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meowmix 12-27-2009 05:43 AM

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

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.

Topaz 12-27-2009 12:36 PM

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???

Bud 12-27-2009 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by meowmix (Post 4223586)
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.

I did? :shock:

You write and I'll give you feedback ;)

Topaz 12-27-2009 12:47 PM

Another 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?

Fearsome Forehand 12-27-2009 12:48 PM

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.

r2473 12-27-2009 03:37 PM

You lost me at "Trasactions"

neverstopplaying 12-27-2009 04:33 PM

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.

hollywood9826 12-27-2009 04:41 PM

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.

Fearsome Forehand 12-27-2009 05:21 PM

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.

meowmix 12-27-2009 07:47 PM

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.

meowmix 12-29-2009 04:31 PM

Bumpety Bump.

Please add your own insights!

diredesire 01-06-2010 09:50 AM

bump for a little more visibility

a-naik.1 01-06-2010 10:13 AM

can we sticky this bad boy?

meowmix 01-06-2010 12:14 PM

^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.

vkartikv 01-06-2010 12:24 PM

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.

SteveI 01-06-2010 01:14 PM

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..


ryangoring 01-06-2010 01:37 PM

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.

SteveI 01-06-2010 01:57 PM


Originally Posted by vkartikv (Post 4251832)
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.


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


diredesire 01-06-2010 03:00 PM


Originally Posted by vkartikv (Post 4251832)
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.

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.

a-naik.1 01-09-2010 06:21 AM

I've noticed one more thing that, I don't think, has been mentioned. And if it has been mentioned, I'm sorry for 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" 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.

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