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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Dubizzle's priciest items: be wary before getting out the cheque book

Flush with cash and fancy splurging on a second-hand item? Dubizzle has plenty of goods for the frugal millionaire, but not every posting is genuine 

Just come into a lot of money, and instead of splurging in the first Louis Vuitton or Bugatti store you see, want to remain financially savvy and pick up some pre-loved goods?

Luckily for you, dubizzle can help you spend those hard-earned dirhams.

The UAE's largest online classifieds site has long been thought of as a place to shop around for goods at the lowest - sometimes free - price, with a varying success rate. However, it has been known to be a forum for big ticket items fetching monumental sums, too.

If today was the day you've found yourself with a bit of extra cash in your pocket, you're in luck: there's a range of jewellery and collectibles in the multi-million dirham price bracket.

Are you in the market for the Dubai number plate '99' (car worth adorning it on notwithstanding)? That will set you back Dh4 million. Abu Dhabi plates '660' and '333' are also for sale, with the '333' plate asking for a cool Dh6.5m.

How about an antique copy of the Quran? This one, which appears to fit easily in the palm of your hand, is supposedly one of a group commissioned by the third caliph Uthman and the manuscript is thought to date back to the 8th or 9th century, the seller says. If you're keen, the asking price is Dh139,000.

If that's only whet your appetite for cultural collector's items, there's a "Dubai Creek in 80s Painting" that might be calling your name. This canvas painting of Dubai in its earliest carnation will only set you back Dh500,000.

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Read more:

UAE residents cash in on the surging second hand market

The seven weirdest things for sale on Dubizzle

Dubizzle users prefer cheaper SUVs but Dh17m Bugatti is most costly

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If you've always wanted a giant ruby enclosed in gold plating, but aren't prepared to stump up for one at a jeweller's shop, today's also your lucky day. This "museum-worthy" piece's main attraction is its "ancient workmanship", the seller writes. The next thing you notice might be the Dh9m pricetag.

If rubies aren't your thing, perhaps try a white gold sapphire diamond peacock ring instead. With 18k white gold, and 3.72 carats pear-cut sapphire, it's practically a bargain at Dh500,000 (at least, if the ruby was just out of your price range).

However, all these are dwarfed on the payscale when it comes to some of the sales that are now consigned to the dubizzle archives. A golden frog sold for Dh3.67m, an amphibious limousine went for Dh15m, and a dinosaur skeleton for Dh88m. But this pales in comparison to the Airbus A340-542 Prestige Plane, which sold on dubizzle for a whopping Dh150m.

But how do you know if the object you're about to lay down a multi-million dirham bid on is even genuine, we hear you ask? We had dubizzle check our list of nine items, of which, they could verify about half. This doesn't necessarily mean the others are fake - just that they violated dubizzle's terms and conditions in some way; often by providing an international contact number.

Salma Anabtawi, customer support manager at dubizzle, said all listings are filtered by an automated process which flags suspicious content. They also work with the community and users to ensure suspicious listings are taken down immediately. However, the dubizzle customer support team "cannot tell whether the item listed for sale is fake or not", she said.

"Users must be fully aware of the big picture when buying or selling any goods. We care about our users and that is why we regularly send them reminders and updates to make sure they are well informed on how to deal with any kind of suspicious activity."

For example, if you're in the market for an exact replica of the taxi used in the Back to the Future movies - of which there are several of this 'one of a kind collector's item' on the website - you might be sorely disappointed. Aside from the fact there are at least two classifieds offering up this original item (both of which are priced differently, and have a different degree of usage - one never used and one 'lightly used'), dubizzle was unable to verify its authenticity - meaning "The only one in the world!!! Orginal [sic] car from the Hollywood movie", for Dh5 million, is probably not.

You also shouldn't be going to bid on a Dh5m ruby from an 'Aladdin production' - which Aladdin production, we've no idea - or antique 1450-year-old Hijri coins for Dh580,000.

And if you were really feeling flush with cash and were keen on spending frivolously on second-hand goods, we wouldn't recommend putting a bid down on 50 unique horse carriages. Despite the fact the seller claims they've got the "nicest collection in Europe", including the US President's carriage and that of the King of Belgium, for the bargain price of Dh7.5m, dubizzle can't confirm it's genuine.

We're bitterly disappointed we won't be getting a ride in Donald Trump's horse carriage any time soon. Well, in the UAE at least.

How to look out for illegal trading, according to dubizzle:

  • Trust your gut and watch out for unrealistic offers. If it appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Avoid items that have suspiciously lower prices than what is offered in the market.
  • Always ask for the authenticity certificate or guarantee, or the bill when buying a new or expensive/ rare item
  • If you’re buying a car, we advise asking for the history report and all the relevant papers
  • Don’t forget to inspect the item before purchasing. Following this one rule will help you avoid most scams. This also applies for house rentals
  • Do not send copies of your documents, personal data and most importantly financial information