Buying from an unknown seller
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Jeff E

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I am negotiating a deal with a head-fier who has over a hundred posts but no history on the buyer/seller feedback forum. He does not accept paypal. Any ideas on how I can send him payment while giving myself protection against fraud/theft?
 
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eyeteeth

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Try a post-dated check. I once did this with a good 14 day window which was more than enough time for me to receive the item. You can cancel the check if the item fails to arrive. I actually felt a little guilty when the item arrived quickly and in perfect condition and knew the guy coudn't cash the check for another 10 days.
 
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luukas

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Cash on delivery a possibility?
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by luukas
Cash on delivery a possibility?


COD will let you have a package in your hands before you pay, but not let you examine the contents. If you're uneasy, a reputable escrow service is about the only way to guarantee a transaction.

In an online transaction, trust has to be established, and the buyer is going to be the first person to take a risk, by sending money. Paypal is good here, because it provides a level of recourse. If the seller is on the level, and has a verified account, you at least know that he has a bank account. If a buyer has a confirmed Paypal address, the address you're shipping to matches the address on his credit card. Those are helpful in insuring that the person is real.

The hardest part is the first few transactions. There, the person has little feedback from others. With no Paypal, recourse is much more difficult if the sale goes bad. Best is to get a phone number and talk to the guy. If he seems honest (he's new to this, so he's going to be nervous), then you need to decide on the level of protection you need. If you feel exposed, and opening a good line of communication doesn't help, then you might want to reconsider the deal.

Bear in mind that in using the Gear for Sale Forums, you're making a private deal. You have no recourse through Head-Fi. If you send payment via the mail, you may have recourse through the Post Office for mail fraud if things come apart. OTOH, I've had nothing but good transactions so far.

There are no real protections short of escrow. Anything else is likely to be a real pain to pursue for anything less than large amounts. Talk to the guy, figure out if you trust him, and go from there. If he won't take Paypal or escrow, backing out is the only real protection you've got. However, the only way he can get feedback is if someone deals with him (and Head-Fi members are notoriously bad about using the feedback forum anyway). Somebody's got to make the first deal with the guy...
 
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tortie

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Ah yes, the dreaded first transaction
My first sellingtransaction here was done with a long time member here. I sent him my equipment and told him to pay me when he gets it. I took the risk because I had no selling feedbacks at the time & everybody was afraid of dealing with me because of my location. It was only a $40 transaction, so it was a minimal risk in my part. Everything turned out well.

Paypal or Escrow may be a good way to go. If that is not possible, I think it is wise to pull out of the deal.
 
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luukas

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Quote:

Originally posted by Hirsch
COD will let you have a package in your hands before you pay, but not let you examine the contents.


Ah, too bad. Just used to how it works here... can open the package while a postal office worker is watching.
 
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ipodstudio

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Always establish a dialogue with the seller. Will he agree to taking the goods back and returning your money if you aren't happy with the goods?

Now, I know your question is really about the payment form and the only thing I can think of is:

1. A good escrow service.

2. Send a cashiers cheque (aka Certified Bank Check in the US)
I had the above sent to me once when I was living in Sweden
from a US buyer. I asked my bank if the cheque could be
cancelled and to my suprise they said, yes!! If I send a bank
cheque to the US I cannot cancel it once it's been received and
cashed. However, a person in the US could still cancel his/hers
even after I've cashed it, as laws and systems are different
in the US....Sooo, if what they said was true, and I asked also
the international department of my bank and was given the
exact same answer, then you are fully within your rights to
cancel the cheque even after it's cashed and the money is
will be returned to your account. Your bank should be able to
confirm if this is indeed the case. I was told that the payee
could cancel the cheque during the period of 30 days after it
was issued. As such, I made one US buyer wait the entire 30
day period before I sent the goods to him, as their value
totalled over $4000 and he had zero feedback


Hope this helps.
 
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Jeff Guidry

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When in doubt, don't. There's nothing that seller has that you NEED to survive, so there's no need to risk a transaction you have doubts about.
 
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Jeff E

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Minimum escrow fee just wasn't worth it for the size of the transaction.

However, I got a strong reference from another head-fier. In addition, the seller and I communicated enough to give me a sense of whom I am dealing with. I will send a money order and trust him.

Good advice.
 
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