Standard warning message for any new member, nothing personal. and...welcome.
Look, I know this sounds very condescending, but the truth of the matter is that our industry… as well as any other… has its share of flakes and shady people. Because of this, you really need to protect yourself when buying things from individuals.
There are measures that should be taken to protect yourself from theft, and I thought I would share a few ideas with you.
1- Whenever possible, deal with an established company with a reputation. Paying a bit more for something is always more reliable than sending money to some dude with nothing but a screen name and 30 or 40 posts. Perhaps the reason why “Mr. Screen name” is offering a good deal on a bunch of equipment is that he is irresponsible with money, and will most likely be using Peter’s money to pay Paul.
2- Only agree to a sale if it is shipped out C.O.D. / cash or certified check only. Note: this will not protect you from misrepresented equipment, and always insist on insurance and a tracking number.
3- If you have a mutual (and trustworthy) friend, ask them if they would mind being a broker for the deal. Buyer sends payment to broker, and broker releases funds to seller when goods are received.
4- Paypal has buyer and seller protection policies in place… they have a whole team dedicated to this service, which is why you pay a fee for using them. Here are a few links to check out their services:
Whenever someone gets screwed there’s always an outpouring of sympathy from other members. Unfortunately, even if you get 100 “Dude that really sucks”, you’re still not getting your product or your money back.
My final thought on this matter is this: If you do nothing at all to protect yourself, and end up getting ripped off, just accept the fact that it’s your own fault. Whatever it ends up costing you, consider it paying for a lesson in “Life 101”.
Happy buying and selling, and I hope this helps some of you.