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Discussion Starter #1
Overall I think most transactions go very smoothly on .net, but about once month there is a flare up between somebody getting scammed totally, or a slow shipper, or a non-communicative seller, a bad packer, or a product sold not as described.

For those how have been scammed post up tips on lessons learned.

For those who have never been scammed (I personally have bought all my mods on here without incident, but I have been scammed on eBay before), on what their investigation process is to avoid being scammed.

Try not to clutter up the thread with "+reps" and "good ones".

I encourage viewers to give +rep to anybody who contributes.
 

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Many probably already know this but, paypal can only recover money if the seller still has it in their account, so if paying with paypal, pay with a credit card through paypal, and not with your bank account.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Some things you should not buy used without seeing it and touching it first.

Some people should not buy used, they will never be happy. Some people do not treat items as well as you think you treat your own stuff.

Saving 20% buying it off somebody is not worth it compared to an actual store. With a store, you get a new product, you get a tracking number, a phone number, and piece of mind.

Ask yourself, is saving whatever $$ amount worth it to you? Worse case scenario, are you willing mentally and financially to risk the amount your saving as opposed to buying it new if you were to get scammed?
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Make sure you get plenty of pictures of the item. Make sure you get their address, their real name, and their phone number. Ask why they are selling it and how long they had it? Are they the original owner?

Ask questions, if they don't get back to you fast or are not detailed in their response, walk away it is not worth it.

Be leery of people selling stuff that is not theirs and in their possession. Posting for a friend or selling stuff back home when they are in another state. They don't know the condition, the story behind the product, and they won't be the ones shipping it.

Search prior posts of the seller. Have they sold other stuff? How did that go? Did the seller ever talk about the product in another thread, such as when they first got it or a problem they had with it. This will confirm that it is theirs and will make sure nothing is wrong with it. See who is local to them, see if anybody you respect is in their circle, that could lean on them if something goes wrong.

Don't think just because they have a lot of posts, been here a long time, or have high rep that they are a good seller. Search prior posts and see if they are helpful, or how they treat others.

Don't buy parts that are not already off the car and ready to be shipped, you are asking for trouble.

When your PM each other about to do the deal, be very clear on what the next step is. i.e. I will PM you the money, PM me back when you get it. PM me when you ship it. I will PM you when I get the item.

If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you don't get a good feeling about the thread, the details, the PM exchanges, walk away.

Be careful when dealing with people who are in no hurry to sell, they are usually trying to make money, not unload a part.

Be careful of people who no longer own an IS and are just clearing out their garage. What do they care if you get screwed and they get banned?
 

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Be very careful in sending money orders or cash through mail. These types of payments are untraceable and you put alot of trust in the buyer to send the item out. If possible, avoid having the item shipped. Pick up the item, even if you have to drive a bit. It will save you the agony of shipping time and if/when it will arrive. Plus, you can inspect and ask questions before buying it.

again, Paypal accounts connected to a banking acct rather than a credit card is a big no no! Paypal can be very shady and crappy about getting ALL of your money back in a dispute. Remember, paypal allows ONE dispute per transaction.

save all receipts/conversations/PM's/emails/FS threads/pics until the transaction is complete and you are satisfied. This will help in the future if you need to file a claim/law suit.
 

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Awesome thread SB. As someone who had to recently deal with a bad buying situation and who is a professional salesperson (not of car parts, but of much higher end items) I want to post up some of my thoughts on how to be a good salesperson. These are in no particular order and I'll try to add to it if I think of anything else!

HOW TO BE A MODEL SALESPERSON!

1. Honesty is the KEY.
Honesty gets you a long way in everything in life, and can help prevent tons of problems and headaches when you're selling something. Everyone wants whatever they're selling to sell, and usually to sell quickly, but don't put that before being honest about what your product IS, and what the condition is. If you're selling wheels and they're curbed, tell the potential buyers that. Go the extra mile for them, take close up pictures of every one of the scratches and imperfections. If you claim something is perfect, it needs to be in "just out of the box" condition.

Honesty also translates to buying conditions. If you know you won't be able to ship it out for a week because you're visiting your uncle Jabubu in Zimbabwe, let your buyer know that. Make sure you have access to lines of communication if the buyer has already paid for the item so they know you're still thinking about them. I could go on for pages about how important honesty is, but the last few sentences lead me into my next seller's tip...

2. Maintain lines of communication at all times, if at all possible!
You can avoid stressful situations and angry buyers just by staying in touch with them. It's as simple as that! Send them an email or a PM giving them an update of the status of shipping. If they ask you a question, respond to them as soon as you can. Nobody take offense to this, but we're all busy. You are not a unique snowflake, as much as you like to think you are. Most of us are busy making money, which is what you're doing by selling items. Nobody should be here on an online car forum to make huge profits as a private seller. But you should still treat it as though you're running a business and make sure your buyers are aware of what's going on, because the bottom line is that you're dealing with their money until they get your item.

3. Put yourself in your buyer's shoes.
Would you like to be out of touch with someone who has your money while you don't have your item? Would you like to be on the receiving end of unreturned emails or correspondence? You shouldn't need to think about that answer; it is the easiest thing to keep in mind when you're selling anything. Treat each one of your buyers with the same courtesy as if they're your sweet Aunt Beatrice who raised you as a kid. It will gain you a tremendous amount of credibility and your rep as a seller will increase exponentially.

4. Be prompt about your shipping and do not overcharge people in doing it.
This seems to happen the most on Ebay, but feasibly it could and probably does happen on a site like this as well. Again, along the same lines as the idea that none of us as private sellers (read: not vendors) should be here to profit off of fellow enthusiasts, there is no point in bending people over on shipping costs. Make sure you choose a service that will get your items to your buyer in a reasonable amount of time, and make sure you use a service in which you can provide a tracking number. It's usually a dollar or two more, but it eases the mind of your buyer. This is personal preference, but I always try to use UPS instead of FedEx for example. It costs a little more, but I always explain to my buyers that UPS tracking numbers have always shown up within 24 hours on their online system whereas the majority of my FedEx shipments still don't register even after the items have been delivered. Most buyers are cool with that for the slightly higher cost.

Tracking numbers also give you the peace of mind of knowing that you can make good on your promise as a seller.

5. Be prepared for the worst.
This is what separates the best sellers from the decent sellers. Just like anything in life, you need to be prepared for the worst to occur. Some people like to buy insurance on their packages if they're selling high dollar items, for example. But be prepared to go to war for your customers if say, your shipping service decides not to deliver the package or loses it somehow. Let your buyer know that you're on their side and will help them get the situation sorted out. Generally, this is why some salespeople make a lot more money than others.
On the flip side of that, be prepared also for a refund. If a buyer isn't happy with how you described your item, or feels that they were cheated in some way, it may be in your best interest to work things out to get your item back and to get them their money back. This may hold true, unless you and the buyer specifically agreed that there are no refunds and the item is as is. That is part of the risk that a buyer will take, and honestly there aren't many sellers that would do this out there. That's what good sellers will do, and it's good karma.

6. Don't let simple problems fester into bigger ones!!
Something so small and so benign that it would never bother you may bother the everliving s**t out of someone else. NEVER FORGET THAT!! If you think a buyer is going to be high maintenance, cater to that. Avoiding a small problem or issue can often cause many buyers to seek out other issues that they didn't know they had, or even create new issues magically out of nowhere. If they have a problem, fix it. If you can't fix it, explain to them why and work out a solution.

7. Do not sell stuff on the internet if you can't stay organized and stay on top of it.
I alluded to this earlier, but I can't stress it enough. You need to be organized, you need to be on top of your name, and you need to be proactive when you're a seller. Bottom line. Everyone has emergencies that come up, everyone has responsibilities that come up, but you have a responsibility to that buyer to keep them in the loop when problems come up that are out of their control. You can avoid a lot of issue by staying organized and staying focused on your goal of getting rid of your items quickly and efficiently. If you can't manage things enough to take 5 minutes to return an email, frankly you shouldn't be wasting your time selling anything.

That's all I can think of for now, maybe some stuff will come up as I read it again. Sorry for the long read, but hopefully it was helpful and gave you guys some good ideas on how to do business the right way in order to preserve this fantastic enthusiast buying and selling resource we have here!!

- Lee
 
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I always treat the buyers as if I was the buyer. I know how it feels to deal with people ripping you off. It happen to me one time on ebay and that is all it takes. I am one that gives specific details of the product I am selling along with the shipping info and someone that always comes through. That is why I always have good feedback on my sales here and craigslist. Many .netters can vouch for me even squareback that he has bought from me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
TRACKING NUMBERS:

Buyers: Always require a tracking number, pay a little more if you have to.

Sellers: Always require the buyer to pay for shipping that includes a tracking number. It keeps the buyer calm and patient while it is being shipped, and if something goes wrong you know when and where your package is located.

A tracking number protects both parties.

COMMUNICATION:

Always spell out everything, don't assume anything, get details and deadlines on when events (payment, packaging, mailing, receiving) are going to happen.
 

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When you see the F/S post something like, ie, "$250 shipped" it usually means $250 shipped to the buyer via cheapest way for the seller. I've seen a lot of cases these type of post caused trouble between buyer and seller(buyer getting impatient due to no tracking numbers from seller, package gets lost, seller delays shipping and says "I shipped it" but buyer gets no proof of it, and such).

In general, as a seller's point of view, they want to spend less on shipping cost, paypal fee and such out of what buyer already paid for, because after all, they are selling stuff here to regain or make money.

If you are making these kinds of deal with the seller, I would suggest you(as a buyer) to FIRST ask the seller if he/she is willing to ship it out via shipping carrier with tracking information such as USPS priority or FedEx/UPS rather than USPS regualr parcel service. Tell them you are not feeling secure unless there is tracking information provided by the seller. If the seller denys it due to it cost more, then SECONDLY, you can either go look for another deal or pay bit more for shipping service of your choice.

Usually in most cases, difference between USPS regualr parcel service and USPS priority is within couple of dollars and USPS regualr parcel service and FedEx is within $5 in 48 states, unless it's huge package. Even then price difference is not so much. As long as you supply extra $$, most seller would agree to ship it via carrier of your choice.
 
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