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05-27-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
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On buying stuff on Internet forums

A lot of stuff is being sold and bought on this forum and others all the time. A great majority of the sellers are probably trustworthy and most buyers satisfied with their purchase. But how do you people usually handle the payment and posting when dealing with people you don't know already? Many sellers seem to demand that it's the buyer who takes the financial risk by paying first and only then the item gets shipped. But considering the item and the payment are equal in value, it would be as logical for the seller to take the risk by shipping the item first prior to receiving the funds. So it is somewhat risky business after all. In some areas it is possible to use a cash-on-delivery like shipping, but what's stopping the seller to ship just a brick? Sometimes it is possible to mark the package so that the receiver can open it at the post office prior to paying, but that's a bit complicated while significantly reduces both parties' risk. Of course the whole deal is a bit different when either the seller or the buyer has a good feedback on the forum or is a regular long time member. In those cases it may be reasonable to demand the other party to take the risk.
Also, I think that for example Paypal is supposed to provide some sort of buyer's protection, but AFAIK, it's not always perfect. And buying or selling from one country to another complicates this I suppose.

So how do you people deal with all this? Do you as a buyer just take the leap of faith and send the money? I'm personally fairly careful in this regard and skip a lot of interesting items when I'm not 100% confident in the situation. Usually I only consider items sold either by well known regular members or ones with a solid feedback. But this way I miss a lot of great deals I'm afraid.

05-28-2011, 12:09 AM   #2
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Caveat emptor, as they say.

It really wouldn't be practical for Adam to set up this site like a "proper" trade site, as that would cost waaay to might time and money, and no doubt change the site significantly.
05-28-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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Of course, a level of trust has to be there or the system falls down. Feedback is of some value, but traders do have to start somewhere...

I have traded using the forum for a number of items, and never a hitch, but I am weary of who I am buying from. My sales have also gone without any problems. You may think this is all just 'taking chances' but to me it's a calculated risk that's worth taking. In doing so I've made good rapport with great sellers who I have no hesitation buying from again (and I do).
05-28-2011, 04:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
A lot of stuff is being sold and bought on this forum and others all the time. A great majority of the sellers are probably trustworthy and most buyers satisfied with their purchase. But how do you people usually handle the payment and posting when dealing with people you don't know already? Many sellers seem to demand that it's the buyer who takes the financial risk by paying first and only then the item gets shipped. But considering the item and the payment are equal in value, it would be as logical for the seller to take the risk by shipping the item first prior to receiving the funds. So it is somewhat risky business after all. In some areas it is possible to use a cash-on-delivery like shipping, but what's stopping the seller to ship just a brick? Sometimes it is possible to mark the package so that the receiver can open it at the post office prior to paying, but that's a bit complicated while significantly reduces both parties' risk. Of course the whole deal is a bit different when either the seller or the buyer has a good feedback on the forum or is a regular long time member. In those cases it may be reasonable to demand the other party to take the risk.
I think it's reasonable all the time. I can't think of any place, private or store type where you can get an item shipped before paying for it. Secondly, I don't know of any shipper, postal or otherwise, that will allow you to tamper with (open) a package before paying the COD (Which has a fee of it's own) charge. Not around here anyway.

QuoteQuote:

Also, I think that for example Paypal is supposed to provide some sort of buyer's protection, but AFAIK, it's not always perfect. And buying or selling from one country to another complicates this I suppose.
Don't ever send paypal payment as a cash transfer gift and you are covered. Otherwise, you might as well have just stuck cash in an envelope and mailed it. Many sellers offer this option by stating Price to Them, which means, they want you to pay an additional 3% if you don't use the gift option. This is both against Paypals policy and against Forum Marketplace policy (if I'm not mistaken). Most sellers however will just bury that 3% in the cost and be done with it. As long as you can show (through the transaction record) that you sent Payment for an Item, you are covered. Keep track of everything.

QuoteQuote:
So how do you people deal with all this? Do you as a buyer just take the leap of faith and send the money? I'm personally fairly careful in this regard and skip a lot of interesting items when I'm not 100% confident in the situation. Usually I only consider items sold either by well known regular members or ones with a solid feedback. But this way I miss a lot of great deals I'm afraid.
The way I deal with it is, follow my own rules. Skipping a lot of interesting items can be a money saver. You have to decide if you Really want it enough to take the chance. For the most part, I think people selling in the marketplace are honest. Many of them use it for a lot of buying and selling and don't want their record tarnished by ripping somebody off.

When I sell, I try to describe everything Or show it. I encourage people to ask questions. Sometimes a question will jog my memory on something I may have legitimately failed to mention. Many items I sell haven't been used in months or even years in some cases. In still Other cases, I've Never used the item. It came with something else I bought and I'm just passing it along.

Basically what you are asking for here, is an escrow type transaction. Even then, once the sender shows tracking delivery confirmation, the money is released or it is released after a certain amount of time (I don't know what that time length is). Where the money is held by third party (paypal) until you have received and inspected the item. With New sellers, Ebay does this but in the case of a want ad type listing here in the marketplace, it's probably impractical. Trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right, move on.



05-28-2011, 04:29 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I can't think of any place, private or store type where you can get an item shipped before paying for it. Secondly, I don't know of any shipper, postal or otherwise, that will allow you to tamper with (open) a package before paying the COD (Which has a fee of it's own) charge. Not around here anyway.
Yeah, the usual way is that one pays first and then the item gets shipped, but considering it's a trade between two things of equal value (the item and money), I don't think it has to be automatically a one way risk policy. Secondly, here in Finland the national post office let's the COD package receiver check the contents of the package in front of the postal worker provided the senders has allowed this in the shipping papers. This happens to some degree on forum purchases over here.
05-28-2011, 05:01 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
Yeah, the usual way is that one pays first and then the item gets shipped, but considering it's a trade between two things of equal value (the item and money), I don't think it has to be automatically a one way risk policy. Secondly, here in Finland the national post office let's the COD package receiver check the contents of the package in front of the postal worker provided the senders has allowed this in the shipping papers. This happens to some degree on forum purchases over here.
That's why I said not here anyway. I didn't know to whom (location) I was speaking. There may be sellers that will allow such a thing but you aren't speaking to one of them in this case. Nothing leaves here before it's paid for. Typically if I'm selling something it is because I want something else and I'm a bit impatient in that regard.

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