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Taking Care of Business
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:43 AM   #1
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Safest transactions

I'm selling a pretty big ticket camera package and would like to get some advice on the safest way to proceed with a transaction, so I don't get ripped off.

Thanks for your help, in advance.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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1. Meet buyer in person, and get money up front.

2. Use PayPal if you have to.

3. Don't ship until the check is cleared. Talk to your bank an make sure the clearing of payment is not provisional and that funds are verified.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 12:06 PM   #3
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As said above just be smart about it. If something feels wrong follow your gut. I also use Google Checkout for my larger items as they charge less fees than paypal.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:36 PM   #4
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If you are selling, there is little risk as long as you send the item _after_ your received the payment. ;-)

In addition to cash or Paypal, you can request a money ($1k maximum) order or a certified check.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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If you are selling, all you have to worry about is that the payment clears. I would wait a least 5 business days before shipping when you put the funds into your bank account. Also call and confirm with the bank that the payment is cleared.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:26 PM   #6
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If it's not possible to meet in person, then insist on communicating verbally by phone. If the other party shows any hesitation about speaking to you over the phone, that's a big red flag right there.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #7
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Beware of money orders as well as some scams have used conterfeit ones. Treat them like checks and verify the clearing.

If meeting person to person, meet in public, don't invite people to your residence.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
If it's not possible to meet in person, then insist on communicating verbally by phone. If the other party shows any hesitation about speaking to you over the phone, that's a big red flag right there.
bingo. the GL2 I bought (here via the private classifieds) I phoned up the seller and we chatted for a bit, talked shop, swapped stories and then got to the business end of the sale.

If someone can't be bothered to spend 15 minutes talking about the camera, how they used it etc, then it isn't worth your multiple thousands of dollars. From a seller perspective, you hold most of the cards. Don't be surprised if the buyer wants to add some protection for themself, like an using an escrow account or in person transaction.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #9
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Generally speaking, online transaction options such as PayPal and Google's Payment system have some built in safeguards - the most important being you can use your credit card. They do go to some pretty great lengths to verify identities, but no system is perfect.

What this means to you as the seller is you need to document the shipment of the item (be sure to insure for FULL value!!), and the receipt, so that you don't get a scam "chargeback" or stuck with someone who used a stolen CC - that's where some personal contact may be helpful, if you're good at ferreting out sketchy characters...

I also make it a practice to take any balances out of my account ASAP once I've been paid, send them to my bank account where the funds are a bit safer (keep in mind PP is tightening down and making it harder for new users to transfer funds out, and ALWAYS has until they "vett" you).

On the flip side, a genuine buyer should have a CC, eBay is actually prohibiting MO and check in the near future, because of all the potential for fraud with counterfeit "instruments" (remember "Catch Me if You Can"? - it's not as easy as it was then, but technology stays barely ahead of the counterfeiters, and counterfeiters USE technology nowadays!).

Most Credit Cards have protection for the buyer (check with your card issuer before you count on it though!), and the ONLY times I've ever "lost" (small transactions) are the few times I didn't use a CC because it was a "small item"... now I only use CC, no matter how small the transaction, no paypal balances, thanks...

You'd have to be a total idiot to make a transaction sight unseen without any REAL protection - while PayPal and the like aren't perfect, they at least offer a structure for legitimate transactions, as long as you are careful to protect yourself.

It's really no different in the real world, where someone can "swipe" a CC and steal your info... or "dumpster dive" and get ahold of personal info and steal your identity... gotta be careful out there.

On the positive side, I've done several transactions with other DVinfo members, all were smooth and seamless, and I feel comfortable with anyone who's been in this communitiy for a while and actively posting. I also buy and sell on eBay regularly - well over 1000 transactions...for everything imaginable...), and while the occaisional idiot comes along, they are the exception, not the rule (albeit they CAUSE all the rules to come into being!!).

You'd think "common sense" was more common, but I guess it's an oxymoron for some. Thankfully, by and large you can do business across the country (or even around the world, with limitations) if you have and use some "common sense". If someone is technologically saavy enough to use online forums, they should be able to have and use an online transaction system with relative safety - if you're so dumb you click on attachments to emails from people you don't know promising to "fix" your computer, please disconnect NOW, and toss your computer in the trash for your own safety!
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