User's Guide to TTW Trasactions- Add Your Own!!!

Discussion in 'References' started by meowmix, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    Recently, given the large number of transactions gone wrong, myself, Bud, SteveI, Diredesire, Fearsome Forehand, and others have decided to write up a user's guide to trading and buying on TTW. The following is what I have come up with.

    Please add your own insights, advice, and tips to make TTW a safer place for transactions!!!

    Eventually, Diredesire will create a sticky merging all of this together.

    Well, here's what I wrote:

    So You're Thinking About Trading or Selling on Talk Tennis Warehouse?

    Before you read any further, read this following thread. It contains vital information that you NEED to know. It should clear up some confusion that you have.

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=217121

    Now, normally, this thread wouldn't be necessary. TTW has been up and running for more than a decade now, and for most of the time, scams and problems were almost unheard of. We traded and sold based on trust. We trusted each other, each others ratings, each others listings. Back in the earlier days, scams were unheard of.

    Unfortunately, this isn't the case today. While most transactions will not result in you getting jipped, more and more of them are. Here are some helpful tips that I hope you implement. They should give you a slight edge.

    1.Check references. Check references. CHECK REFERENCES!!!!! I cannot emphasize this enough. We have a section on the forum dedicated to references. Use it to your advantage! If somebody has a lot of positive references, then you can be pretty sure that making a transaction with him/her will be safe. You can be relatively certain that you will receive your rackets, strings, or money in a timely manner, and the equipment will be as it was listed. If somebody negative references, or simply doesn't have references at all, BE ON YOUR GUARD! Be intelligent, and protect yourself with the following.

    2.Unless making a transaction with somebody with many positive references, NEVER USE CASH. Money orders, checks, and Paypal are acceptable forms of payment on the boards, but they are NOT the most secure method of payment. The best way is for you to pay using your credit card. That way, if your deal goes south, you can just pick up the phone and call your credit company and reverse the transaction. This protection is not inherent in money orders or in checks. Paypal does offer this sort of protection, but it is less secure. An “intelligent” scammer can easily remove the money from a Paypal account after payment. Paypal is also notoriously slow. Do yourself a favor, and pay using a credit card.

    3.In all transactions, make sure that you secure some kind of personal information. Get the other person's phone number in addition to his/her address and name. Always make sure that you have multiple ways to contact the other person. We understand that things might come up. Maybe Verizon decides to knock out your internet for a few days (hey, it happens). When this kind of thing happens, you want to have some other way to reach the person you're transacting with. It also makes tracking down people a LOT easier in case the deal goes south.

    4.If you insist on using Paypal and are planning to be transacting using a large amount of money, you can protect yourself by getting all of the other person's information. Request that the seller send you a small amount of money using Paypal ($1 will suffice). This gets you the seller's information, and helps protect you. Later, when you're sending your payment, you can just return that $1 payment.

    5.CONSTANT COMMUNICATION! Keep the other person notified of everything. Keep in touch, answer those emails, call back. A lot of things can be avoided if you just keep in contact with the other person. Again, we understand that things may come up. Maybe your brother suddenly becomes very ill. Maybe your grandmother dies. It happens, and we can understand. But when it happens, tell the other guy. Don't leave him hanging.

    6.When shipping anything, get tracking. For the most part, getting tracking doesn't cost anything in addition to shipping fees (if you're using a carrier like Fedex or UPS). If you're using USPS, tracking usually costs an extra quarter. A tracking number can erase a LOT of problems that might come up in a transaction.

    7.When trading, whomever has fewer references should ship first. This should be more or less common sense- if you have no references, we don't know if we can trust you. This makes things a little more secure for everybody involved.

    This should give you some help. If you think you've been scammed, first contact the person you're transacting with. If he/she doesn't contact you within 24 hours, tell the TTW community IMMEDIATELY!!! Post a negative reference immediately. Tell us your story, and we may ask you for more information. Do NOT immediately post the person's personal information. Sometimes, a “scam” is just bad communication, and doesn't warrant the posting of personal information. You'll be able to tell when it's warranted to post personal information- most of the time, we'll tell you.

    If you're sure you've been scammed, things depend on the method of payment. If you took my advice and used a credit card, call up your credit card company and get the payment canceled. If you paid using cash... you're out of luck. If you used Paypal, open a Paypal dispute IMMEDIATELY. Post the person's personal information in your reference, and we'll help you as best as we can. We cannot guarantee anything, but you'll find that we are a fairly tight knit community, and we'll do our best to help one another out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
    #1
  2. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    This is a great idea!

    I especially like your #7 - having the person with the fewer references ship first.

    I appreciate you adding info on various types of payments and what is safest/not safest, too. Lots of good ideas!

    Maybe there should be some 'set' procedure to follow to go through a transaction on TW???
     
    #2
  3. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I did? :shock:

    You write and I'll give you feedback ;)
     
    #3
  4. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Another idea...do you think someone should have a certain amount of posts to be able to participate in transactions? Or, would that be a bit redundant with availability of references?
     
    #4
  5. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    Captain Obvious' Guidelines For Buying and Selling on TT

    1) As a buyer, do not send cash, do not pay with PP balances or pay through PP using your bank account.
    Pay with a credit card if at all possible. Be extra cautious when buying or selling big ticket items; $200+.
    Scammers like the bigger deals.

    2) As a seller, if payment is received via PP, only ship to PP confirmed addresses with online tracking/ proof of delivery.
    Insurance is usually a good idea. PP generally requires signature confirmation as proof of delivery for goods sold for over $250.
    Avoid local pickup for goods paid for via PP as PP only recognizes online delivery verification as proof of delivery. Therefore, only accept cash for local pick up deals.

    3) Trust your instincts. If you are getting a bad vibe, act accordingly. If the seller or buyer seems evasive, or if the deal seems too good to be true, there is probably a reason.

    4) Avoid international deals. Be doubly cautious if dealing with someone outside the USA.

    5) Avoid deals with minors. Almost all of the problems have been with posters who are 25 and under (especially 22 and under.)

    6) Completely avoid international deals with minors. The rate of problems with such transactions seems extremely high.

    7) As a buyer, agree with the seller on a shipping schedule and a shipping method BEFORE paying. Agree on tracking and insurance, etc. Don't leave it entirely up to the seller.

    8 ) Deal only with known sellers and buyers. If someone has no references, or very few references, be extra cautious.

    9) Communicate; confirm payments, shipping and receipt. It only takes a minute to send a confirming email to keep the other party comfortable.

    10) Do your homework and due diligence up front. Ask questions, get detailed descriptions and good pictures, check out the other persons references, email address and TT profile.

    11) As a seller, don't overstate the condition of the merchandise. Just because you want to sell something, doesn't mean you get to enter a different reality than the rest of us. Take a thorough look at what you are selling and describe it accurately. Avoid terms like pristine and mint since they have become trite from misuse. Use terms such as like new, excellent, very good, good, fair, poor; simple terms everyone can understand. Clear pictures and very accurate detailed descriptions save much grief. As a buyer, always be somewhat skeptical of descriptions and cautious about the lack of pics from certain camera angles. A seller's 9/10 may be more like your 6/10. (I have purchased more than a few "mint condition" rackets that were very good to good condition 7/10 rackets.)

    12) If using PP, familiarize yourself with PP's terms regarding buyer and seller protection. The devil is in the details. PP "protection" comes with lots of technical twists and turns. You are probably not as protected by PP as you might assume as many have discovered the hard way.

    13) If you have a bad experience with someone, post what happened so others are forewarned. Be factual and fair not emotional and histrionic. Don't be afraid to leave bad feedback if it is truly warranted as you will probably be saving someone else from dealing with an idiot. (The best indicator of a poster's future behavior is their past behavior.)

    Conversely, don't leave unwarranted negative feedback lest you appear to be an overly picky, Boy Who Cried Wolf, nightmare to deal with buyer. (Jeremy said the racket had 6 paint chips and it really has 7; The grip was more worn than I expected; The seller said the racket was an 8/10 and I think it is only a 7.5/10, etc.) Unless you have been clearly scammed or substantially lied to about the condition of the racket, don't be so quick to go into bad feedback mode. Don't make a big deal about small things or you will make yourself appear so petty that others will be hesitant to deal with you. (If I posted negative feedback every time a racket deal didn't go perfectly, I would be leaving negative feedback more than 50% of the time.) However, if you feel someone has scammed you, or attempted to scam you, or if you feel a seller has purposely left out substantial details about a racket, a factual account of the transaction will serve as a warning to others. (Good examples are a buyer says I never got the racket even though the tracking says it was delivered or a racket has a small crack that was "never noticed" by the seller. In both cases, the other party may be being truthful but the circumstances are somewhat suspect.) Leaving bad feedback involves some judgment so try to be reasonable about doing so. If you are not certain, neutral feedback will usually suffice just as well; it isn't as condemning and still serves as a warning to others.

    14) As a seller, treat money orders like personal checks. (Make sure the piece of paper clears before sending out the merchandise.
    It can take 3 to 4 weeks for a check or money order drawn on a foreign bank to truly clear. Yet another hazard of international deals. Stateside, USPS money orders are the best because you can cash them at the Post Office.) As a buyer, never agree to send wire transfers.

    15) Trades seem to have a very high rate of problems, especially international trades and trades with minors. Be very careful with whom you trade.

    16) Take the time to read a few of the the train wreck reference threads. Besides the sheer entertainment value of such threads, they provide excellent case studies on what not to do.

    In summary, follow a few simple, common sense procedures and you will minimize problems. The people who get taken on TT always wish they had been much more cautious after they realize they have been scammed or misled. Learn from their mistakes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
    #5
  6. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    You lost me at "Trasactions"
     
    #6
  7. neverstopplaying

    neverstopplaying Professional

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    trading without references

    I've completed one trade with someone without any references. I insisted that I RECEIVE his racquets before shipping out mine. He obliged and then I posted a 1st positive reference for him.
     
    #7
  8. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    You will probably not find any refernces for me eventhough I have preformed two transactions off these forums.

    I was buyer both times and left pos feedback for the peeps. But none was left for me.

    So if fro some reason I was going to sell something there would be no feedback on my behalf saying I was honest or not.
     
    #8
  9. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    I've done a few no reference deals on TT as a buyer. But I paid with a cc so I had more recourse than through PP. And I checked out the people I was dealing with to make sure they were adults.

    This is no perfect formula. At best, one can take measures to minimize risk. As careful as I tend to be, I have still had some less than optimum deals where sellers have flat out lied or misled me about the condition of a frame. Especially on the auction site.

    If you ask someone a very specific question and they lie to you, there isn't too much you can do after the deal is done short of going through the whole PP return or chargeback process. If it isn't a huge deal, you let it go and know better the next time. I will say that people that play loose with the facts seem to do so consistently. Some people seem to think it is okay to represent a damaged frame as one in excellent condition. Hard to understand.

    You pays yo money, you takes yo chances.

    And as I have explained to Meow, Steve and Dire via email, no matter what we post, or how many times we post it, some people are still destined to be scammed because they behave foolishly and leave themselves no recourse if the deal goes badly. I can understand when kids get scammed as they have no life experience and are naive but there are adults here who send $900 to someone without having a clue where the other party is located, if they are an adult or a kid, etc. That seems very ill advised and it isn't a shock when such deals turn into disasters.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
    #9
  10. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    I've also done a few transactions with no reference people, but in those cases, I made sure I knew who the person was, got their personal information, and received a tracking number before I sent anyting out.

    And as for those of you that have no references... we all start somewhere, don't we? Just don't be surprised if you have to "confirm your trustworthiness" a little more than some other people who have had quite a few transactions.
     
    #10
  11. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    Bumpety Bump.

    Please add your own insights!
     
    #11
  12. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    bump for a little more visibility
     
    #12
  13. a-naik.1

    a-naik.1 Professional

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    can we sticky this bad boy?
     
    #13
  14. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    ^DD's planning to sticky this when we get a few more responses. He's going to compile it all together, and then it'll be stickied for everyone to be able to reference.
     
    #14
  15. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    Since you've covered most of the important points, let me just add that always be courteous when you communicate with someone. This is the internet and yes, emails are meant to be informal, but sending someone a message like this 'I'll take it for 50', without a signature or a hello, especially when the item has been listed for a much higher price is an instant turn-off.
     
    #15
  16. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Thanks to DD, MM and FFH for all their efforts in getting this off the ground. As MM mentioned.. DD will compile it all together .. edit and then sticky for reference. We hope that this will be a resource to help folks conduct safe deals on TW.. and recover if all does not go well. Please add your best practices to this thread.. share your experiences and help educate the less experienced and informed.

    Regards and Thanks to ALL..

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    #16
  17. ryangoring

    ryangoring Professional

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    I second this if it would help educate some of the newbies or the first timers in the art of wheelin' and dealin' on TDuya!!! WOOOOhooooooooo!
    By the way, I was not in anyway in relations with that bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label......when I wrote this.
     
    #17
  18. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    vkartikv,

    I 2nd the be "courteous when you communicate".

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    #18
  19. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I think this is a little bit of a misconception when it comes to e-mails. Yes, e-mail is an easy, and accessible method of communication, but it doesn't mean it has to be informal, especially when it's with someone you don't know (too well). My rule of thumb is: If you're conducting business, show that you can take your business seriously. It's that simple.
     
    #19
  20. a-naik.1

    a-naik.1 Professional

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    I've noticed one more thing that, I don't think, has been mentioned. And if it has been mentioned, I'm sorry for that..lol. But, I have noticed that on some people's FS thread that the seller has his/her e-mail to contact them for the item, the potential buyer posts "Send pictures to blahblah@gmail.com" To me, that seems a bit rude and I think, UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE IN THE POST, that the potential buyer should contact via the e-mail/phone number that is posted in the FS thread. That's my little rant.
     
    #20
  21. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    PICTURES. make sure you ask for plenty of good pics of the frame.
     
    #21
  22. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Bump...

    One last bump to see if anyone else has input. FFH, MM and others did such a great job with this.. there was not much more to add.

    DD.. please edit and sticky when you feel the need and have the time. New buyers/traders/sellers please read..

    Thanks to all that added their insights and experiences.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    #22
  23. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    very good

    this was a very good post, espeically someone like me who has not experience in these things.

    thanks again
     
    #23
  24. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    MM and FFH.. did a great job!

    Steve
     
    #24
  25. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    Heya Meowmix, just one suggestion for an otherwise great post, could you maybe put a blank line or something between each of your numbers? Makes it far far more readable.

    Great thread!

    Cheers, Orig
     
    #25
  26. ryushen21

    ryushen21 Hall of Fame

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    I would add, never post your email address in the thread. This opens your thread up to any potential scammer out there and not just TTW people. If they want to make a deal or buy your frames, they can wait for the mods to update your thread.
     
    #26
  27. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    Done!:)


    10char
     
    #27
  28. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    Looks superbo now! Cheers, Orig :)
     
    #28
  29. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

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    Very very good point. I made the mistake of doing this once and had some pretty strange emails.
     
    #29
  30. ryushen21

    ryushen21 Hall of Fame

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    I know there are some posters out there that don't have the post count to activate the messaging feature but i'm pretty sure you could easily rack up 50 posts to activate that feature. It just opens you up to attack.

    If anyone does post or contact you via email, as it was said earlier...check references, check references, check references.
     
    #30
  31. a-naik.1

    a-naik.1 Professional

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    bump (just bringing it up to the top)
     
    #31
  32. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Getting ready to Sticky this thread.. Anything to add?

    Thanks to all that added their experiences and insights.

    Steve
     
    #32
  33. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    "4) Avoid international deals. Be doubly caustious if dealing with someone outside of the USA."

    Just read this on your user guide to transactions I can't believe that this is particular good advice. Whats the difference sending an item to someone in the same country or to someone who isn't, no difference whatsoever!

    Paypal is not only used worldwide on auction sites but also on most internet sites around the world as away of making instant and safe payments.

    There are certain guide line that paypal set out to make the transaction safe and if you follow them you won't have a problem.

    I have been buying and selling on auction sites for 8 years with over 1,700 transactions using only paypal to pay and receive payments, most of those transactions in many countries and not had any problems.

    I don't understand why so many of you are so dismissive of overseas transactions when it is so safe and simple.

    Thanks Ben
     
    #33
  34. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    It seems clear that some of us have a problem and we stated our concerns. Easier for most of us to advoid those deals. You can do anything you feel works for you. Most of us are not looking to make money or run a business selling/buying and trading tennis gear. We choose avoid to hassles since we are trying to enjoy tennis not be stressed over it. It is clear it is not so safe and simple.

    This one was really safe and simple....:-(

    rough transaction with tennispro19

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=303154&highlight=mitch
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
    #34
  35. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    What I'm saying is you could have problems with Overseas buyer's as you could with US buyers.

    So why say don't do transactions with overseas buyers, it just doesn't make sense.

    Don't sell or buy then!
     
    #35
  36. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Makes sense to me...
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
    #36
  37. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    Why put any input into this thread if not bothered about safe transactions.
     
    #37
  38. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    This entire thread was created to help folks conduct safe deals and recover from bad ones if they occur. It is clear that many have concerns with "International" deals. They are more trouble than they are worth to some. I share that view. Feel free to post why you think on "International" deals are safe and should be undertaken. I will not do deals with folks with no refs.. nor will I do International deals in most cases. The point of this thread is to inform and educate.
     
    #38
  39. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    I 100% agree regarding information and education.

    But to state Avoid International deals is utterly poor advice.

    Why don't you do international deals?
     
    #39
  40. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    I stated my concerns in the other thread. The bottom line is that I have no real need to deal with extra forms, costs and risks. While I am sure many are well educated and experienced in International shipping.. I am not. Not worth the extra effort on my part.. when I can deal in USA..
     
    #40
  41. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    Custom form is either 1 sheet or sticker that goes on the parcel nothing difficult to understand or get stressed about, all very simple.

    All I would like to say to everyone is there are the same risks in dealing with people in your own country as overseas.
     
    #41
  42. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Beno, this thread is for education. Some prefer not to ship overseas...they are well within their rights to do so. To state that its is just as easy and 'risk' free as shipping within the states is simply unrealistic. The shipper is always well within their rights to restrict where they are willing to ship.

    Probably many here don't even know what is involved in shipping overseas...why don't you *contribute* to the thread by sharing the process and steps one would have to go through to ship a racquet from the states to a destination overseas.
     
    #42
  43. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    People here have there own choice to make up there own minds. But I just thought the thread was very negative to overseas shipping.

    I state its just as safe or unsafe to send overseas or within your own country regarding making payments because stolen credit cards and fraudulant activity happens everywhere, in your own country and overseas it happens.

    I live in the UK and ship items abroad all the time to the US, Australia, Japan and across Europe and have had very little problem.

    The basics are if payment received via paypal make sure your item is going to a confirmed address and send with postal tracking number which is a guarantee to paypal that you have sent it. Our Custom form here is a sticker and is very simple.
     
    #43
  44. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    I don't understand Why?
     
    #44
  45. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    Sending Overseas might take slightly longer as has to go through customs but I send everything in the post with full insurance and with a tracking number.

    Post does get lost and delays happen, but that happens everywhere no matter where your sending or receiving.
     
    #45
  46. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    I have never had a problem with USPS Pri Mail, Fed Ex or UPS in the states. Nothing lost and no delays in about 500 transactions. I was 1 for 2 in International deals. Just reporting my experiences. USPS Parcel Post is another story indeed.

    Thanks for your input and for adding to this thread beno40!
     
    #46
  47. beno40

    beno40 New User

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    I am based in the UK and have made well over 2,000 transactions on an auction site and about 40% of those were International Sales and have never had any problems!

    Thanks SteveI for letting me add my input to this discussion.
     
    #47
  48. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    Jul 5, 2007
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    3,852
    Location:
    Hanover, NH
    Your input is indeed welcome :)

    Most people hesitate to send stuff overseas, simply because it seems like it's riskier. And, tell you the truth, it IS slightly riskier, because of how long things can take. There are reports on these boards of shipping taking a MONTH. For most of us, it just isn't worth the hassle, especially since if something goes wrong, it's a lot harder to renegotiate things.

    That being said, I personally don't have any qualms to buying/selling from trusted internationals... as long as precautions are taken.
     
    #48
  49. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,723
    I understand your (adamant) disagreement with this caution, but I have to agree. Shipping and dealing overseas IS much more dangerous, and that (IMHO) isn't really a point of debate. This is especially true when dealing with other forms of payment besides paypal. Trading is especially risky, if I agreed upon a trade with someone (even in the UK), and we cross shipped, and I received a brick, it would be extremely difficult (not to mention costly) to resolve the situation in an agreeable manner. The shipping is (more) expensive, customs forms (in general) require you to go in person to the courier, which is a huge turn off for me. I like convenience in my trades, and when USPS picks up the package at my door, I'm not complaining. When I have to meet their wacky hours (and go in on a lunch break) to ship a racquet, it often delays shipment.

    In terms of recovering money, when using anything besides paypal, there is little to no TRUE protection to the seller. Overseas buyers (or sellers) don't have much liability when it comes to the jurisdiction of US law. I think your attitude might be very different if you've been ripped off, even just once.



    Edit:

    This isn't to say that one should never trade overseas. For instance, If meowmix moved overseas, and we had agreeable trading terms that would benefit both of us, I wouldn't hesitate to cross-ship with him. However, if it's a new user with 0 posts... no thanks.
     
    #49
  50. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,723
    Any final inputs?
     
    #50

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