Join Date: Mar 2004
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
Note: Parts of this FAQ and guidelines thread have been borrowed/edited from other internet forums such as http://www.hardforums.com
Q: What kind of information should I include in my For Sale/Trade Thread?
A: Please see the above post.
Q: How does TW protect forum members from scams and illegitimate traders?
A: Simply put, TW does NOT offer any sort of protection, warranty, guarantee of any sort on the FS/T section of the forum. By participating in trading & selling, you accept all implied or explicit risks, and agree to not hold Tennis-Warehouse or it's staff responsible for anything that may happen. With this said, TW does "filter" each and every post that finds it's way into the FS/T section. Obviously, this is to filter out competition, but obvious scams are also stopped at this step.
Aside: Protecting yourself and your investment(s) starts with common sense, please adhere to the guidelines and tips presented shortly, and the risk of trading online will drop considerably.
Q: How can I protect myself from illegitimate traders and scammers?
A: Good question!
Here are some tips to ensure your trades always (hopefully) go smoothly!
- IMPORTANT! Exchange Personal Information IMPORTANT!
By trading online, you are assuming personal risk and loss of money and/or goods. To protect yourself, it is ALWAYS a good idea to exchange personal information. Personal information entails: REAL name, a home address, a HOME or WORK (land line) telephone number. Cell phone numbers are fine, but they are easily terminated. If you want further security, verify the telephone number by calling it, and cross reference the number and name on an online service such as http://www.switchboard.com Many people would deem this excessive, but if you are making a trade for multiple hundred dollar items, the long distance phone call and 5 minutes of your time is worth it.
- Always use (when shipping) Delivery Confirmation of some sort. If you are the buyer, request (and be prepared to pay extra (typically under $1)) for Delivery Confirmation and/or Tracking information. This service protects both parties. If an item arrives, the buyer cannot claim it hasn't arrived, etc.
- Keep proof of shipping until the deal is considered complete! Failure to do so can result in sticky situations. I consider a deal to be complete when both parties have received their "prizes" (be it cash, or merchandise) and both parties have agreed that everything is in order. Receiving monetary compensation would require checks clearing, e-checks clearing, cashing of said funds, etc. Receiving a racquet would entail a full inspection of merchandise, and agreement of it's condition.
- If you have suspicions of a seller, contact a moderator or administrator. You can do this by using the "Contact Us" link at the bottom right of any TT page, or by e-mailing a moderator (myself) through their e-mails provided in their profiles (assuming they are activated, mine is). Follow this golden rule: If a deal sounds too good to be true, chances are, it is.
- In case there is a delay, or a lack of communication, do NOT jump to any conclusions (don't post a negative reference if your item is only a week late). E-mail the seller, or call the seller. You SHOULD have their personal information to get some clarification. It is important to communicate and be honest throughout a trade, but please realize people do have lives outside of tennis and this message board. Try to get in touch before going crazy.
- If you feel that you’ve been scammed, you can file complaints about internet fraud directly with the FBI at their Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFFC) http://www.ic3.gov/. You can also go to www.usps.com and file a complaint for postal fraud, and most state Attorney Generals have an online internet fraud complaint form
- Use Credit Card Paypal when possible: Many times, if you are scammed, you can recuperate much, if not all of your funds through either Paypal, or your Credit Card company. IF this is to happen, please search Paypal's site for proper procedure.
- If Paypal, or CC Paypal is not an option, checks are another good way to trade. They can be traced if contact to the police needs to be made. Checks are NOT good for "instant" types of payment. Please make sure they clear first.
- CHECK REFERENCES: I cannot stress this enough. We provide a sub-section of the FS/T subforum. Search this by clicking "Search" at the top bar of this page. Go to advanced search, and in the right pane, select the "References" section in the Search in Forum(s) pane. Do a search in thread titles with either the seller's e-mail address, username, real name (if provided) or all of the above. This will allow you to check any/all successful trades the user has completed in the past. Be careful when dealing with traders with a recent registration date, or low references. To be extra careful, also check the traders that have left references for the trader in question. There are rare cases of users who will register multiple screen names to give false feedback. This is rare, but it DOES happen.
- Do NOT ship first, or pay first unless the trader has plenty (I would start at 50+ since I deal a lot online, if you are very new, you may have to settle for ~20+ trades) of references. Often times, established traders with good feedback/standing can (and will!) ask new users to either ship first, or pay first. Reputation is everything in online trading, do not be surprised if someone with 50+ successful trades asks you to ship or pay first. This is common in online trading, and is a great way to build feedbacks. It is an "honor" system of sorts. You are not obligated to participate this way, but be warned, it is a common way for "newbies" to trade.
- Keep a record of all correspondences between you and parties you are trading with. If you contact each other by e-mail, save the e-mails (or at least do not delete them) until the trade is considered complete. This is common sense, and can be used to "prove" a case when necessary.
Q: I want to post pictures of my gear in my thread, I have no clue how to go about doing this, any advice?
A: Sure! Provided you know how to take pictures (preferrably with a digital camera) and get them on your PC, here is what you need to do.
Q: What should I take pictures OF when selling my gear?
A: I suggest taking picture of any damage, blemishes, chips, cracks, etc on your gear. I typically take one "full body" shot, so that the buyer can see that I am actually selling the item advertised, and then if I mention any blemishes (court rash at 3 0'clock for example), I take a picture of the said court rash. I suggest taking pictures in a well lit room with flash OFF, and if you are going to take close up photos, use the "Macro" mode on your camera. Most modern cameras do offer Macro Mode, it is typically indicated by a "flower" symbol.
- With your pictures on your computer, please ensure they are sized appropriately (800x600 is a good resolution). Also ensure they are in a web-friendly format, such as .jpg, jpeg, gif, (and less common .png). RAW photo data, or BMPs are NOT encouraged, as they are uncompressed, and take up a lot more space.
- After resizing and compressing (into .jpg or .gif), upload your photos to some sort of host. If you do not have your own, personal web space, I suggest using free photo uploaders such as http://imageshack.us or http://www.photobucket.com
These sites offer free hosting for your photos, as well as instructions on how to access them through other sites.
- When inside your thread, click the "insert picture" button using the editor.
A pop up window will appear, asking you for the "URL" of your picture. If you are using your own webhost, insert the address of your picture. If you are using a free uploading site, such as photobucket, or imageshack, insert the URL that was provided to you.
- If you inserted the URL correctly, the image should show up when you hit "OK."
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Last edited by diredesire : 12-16-2009 at 06:11 AM.