ebay vs audiogon

I have bought equipment on both audiogon and ebay this past year and would say that I am definitely more comfortable with the former vs the latter. Twice recently equipment was misrepresented on ebay. On the first one paypal helped me recover my money. On the second it wasn't worth going crazy on (some scuffing on the top of a DVD player), but still left me hesitant to buy there again.

Hat's off to the audiogoner's for greater trustworthiness and honor.
I think the biggest problem in ebay is the "power sellers". A lot of these pick the stuff up from estates or whereever, and often no nothing about high-end audio, etc. They really dont even know HOW to list the items properly. Some guy had a Pioneer Elite CLD-95 Laserdisc player listed as Dolby Digital capable. I looked it up to make sure (I was already pretty sure it wasnt DD capable), and sure enough, it was not. I emailed him and he thanked me and changed the listing.
I have the opposite experience. I have over 150 deals on ebay and 10 deals on audiogon. I have had 3 sour deals all on audiogon none on ebay. It was mainly my fault as I dealt with 0 or low feedback guys each time. I also have more offers that are not kept on audiogon as the system allows non-members to contact us. On ebay I have been lucky because I buy the seller as well as the equipment. The gon allows anyone to post feedback even if no transaction is completed. The reason I was burned is because I felt the membership was more honest here than ebay, but it is just a typical cross section of society. Some good some not. I learned from my audigon experience that here as with ebay you buy the seller as well as the deal and equipment. In closing I would say that ebay nor audiogon in general is better or worst. People will always take advantage when allowed. The false sense that audiogon is safer can get you in trouble someday.
Yeah, Ebay is very shady. One must be extremely careful when attempting to buy/sell there. I guess because it's so much larger, it tends to draw a larger amount of scammer's.
I have bought and sold on both sites and I have found both sites to work well. When I am looking at high end stereo equipment then Audiogon gets my interst. I look at the feedback on Ebay to see what the character of the seller may be like. This sometimes can put up the red flag. A scratch on a component can be tolerable if the purchased price is a great deal even if the buyer was not aware of the issue.

The typical ebay user has probably never sat in front of a home stereo system to listen for differences in cables. My guess is most audiogon members have. Point is that ebay and audiogon attract a different type of person, and lets face it guys, audiophiles are different...but in a good way...right?

Let hope the community thing here keeps up. Sure every once and a while you find that awesome deal but the sense of community is the really cool thing here.
Almost every time I'm considering buying something on Ebay, particularly some audio related product or equipment, I'm convinced that the only reason it's listed on Ebay rather than Audiogon is because the seller is hoping to screw soneone. It might just be my scepticism, but why the hell would someone legitimately interested in selling audio "stuff" not want to list it on Audiogon? I'm happy to say that my experience with the membership here has been nothing short of exceptional. I'm sure Ebay serves a need for some, but it sure doesn't do it for me.
There are good and bad sellers on both; that said, I find that ebay is just shadier all around. The small handful of A'goners I've dealt with have been, on the whole, more communicative, responsible, friendly, and professional than the ebayers--but that's rather a generalization considering my limited experience.

I also much prefer the classified way of selling. I don't like auctions and won't buy off Audiogon auctions since I don't have to. On ebay I will rarely use anything but buy-it-now. If there is no BIN, I won't bid on anything that suggests I will have serious competition. It's too easy to get carried away or burned.
Ebay buyers often get carried away and pay way too much for an item. I suspect that is one reason people sell there.
It is much more risky. Many scammers are lurking there. Often if I am bidding on an item I get an e-mail offering the same item for lower price. On the rare occasion I make contact with person, it is from someone overseas wanting a wire transfer to proceed. If I ask for serial #, usually they disappear.
Buyer Beware on Ebay!
I forgot to mention in my last reply, a year or so ago I had listed my pair of Kharma CE 1.0s here on Audiogon. I had numerous pictures and a fairly thorough description included in the listing. I received an email from another Audiogon member telling me it looked as though someone had taken my ad and duplicated it on Ebay as an auction. I tried to contact Ebay and the only way I could file a complaint was to join Ebay. Well to make a long story shorter, some lucky person thought he bought a mint pair of Kharmas for less than half of what I would have sold them for. You go Ebay!!!
People are people, it's naive to think that good guy's are on Audiogon and all the crooks migrate to eBay. If you exercise some diligence you can trade on eBay without significant risk. The feedback system works just as well on eBay as it does on AG. Anyone who has consistent positive feedback will work hard to protect it, and you should be able to trade with them without worry. Someone who has not established much of a reputation through the feedback system may not have the same desire to preserve their feedback rating and might represent more of a risk.
Remember that eBay is a much larger community than AG, so you're exposed to a much larger mix of people.
If the feedback system isn't enough, you can often guage what a person is about by the way they construct their ad. Is the person clearly knowledgable about the equipment they own, have they provided suitable images, are they responsive to emails, will they provide a telephone number etc.
It's common sense and there's no need to get burned if you use it.
I've been trading on eBay for several years and for a little longer on Agon. I probably have over 300 transactions on eBay and only 20 or so through Agon, yet my one bad online experience was through Agon.
There are exceptions to the rule in any situation.

the term "POWERSELLER" of which im proudly part of that group can only be obtained by high volume sales & a feedback profile that stays above 98% positive at all times.

also the term powerseller does not refer to the sellers expertise in any certain area of selling other than the seller is honest & try's to do a good deal.

you cant just look at the power seller icon next to a sellers name & expect the seller to be all knowing because he sells alot,if the guy's feedback shows that most of his feedback come's from selling stuff other than hifi gear then questions need to be asked.

ive done about 200 deals on ebay of which 99% were very nice & went well but i have had a few goofy asses too & in my case the same numbers apply to dealing on audiogon.

my worst experience in a deal was with a buyer who smashed the glass face on a mcintosh amp on purpose in order to get ups to pay an insurance claim which just so happened to include newer stlye end caps that would match his other gear,i checked with a few of the people who left feedback for this guy & the horror stories came pouring in from sellers who had been threatened with viloence & manupliated into sending this guy cash back & this was on audiogon.

its silly for anybody to sit up on their cloud & brand all ebay traders as liars & thieves or ignorant slobs who dont have a clue what their selling beacuse that couldnt be farther from the truth.

I have done both with no real problems, still...buyer beware IMO.

I only use buy it now on e-bay and don't do the auctions here either. I did hold one auction here at Audiogon...poor idea though as the winner took a hike.

He had poor feedback and should not have been allowed to bid IMO...wasted my time and $3.

The only thing audio related I've bought on Ebay was a tube tester, and I was very happy with the transaction.

I prefer to purchase Hi Fi gear on Audiogon because I feel most of the people here are fellow enthusiasts rather than someone just trying to unload an expensive piece of gear.

Good deals on clean items can be had at either place. You just have to be careful.
I've done over 100 deals on ebay, and only 5 (so far) on A'gon, mostly because I didn't find out about audiogon sooner. I've had good experience with ebay, but you really do need to be careful what you're bidding on and who you're dealing with. Things seem to sell quicker on ebay, and for more money if you structure your auction carefully and clearly. The thing I've noticed in my limited classified adds on a'gon, is I've had some real knuckleads submit lowbal offers, and in a way I fealt I was on the local used car lot. Frankly, I prefer the auction format over dealing with that kind of silliness.
I will agree with Sogood51. I too went on E-bay one time & bidded on a vintage ARC preamp. I thought for sure I won the auction. Last 5 minutes before the auctioned closed I was bidding against a fellow from Japan who obviously was willing to spend much more than I for this product. But despite that I was so determined to win this auction I found myself bidding much more than what this piece was worth, things reached a fever pitch, whew. But in retrospect I'm glad he did win the auction because he ended up paying much more than I would of been happy with. No more E-bay auctions for me.
Yes its true, there are some lowballers on Audiogon but consider this. Some sellers are asking such ridiculas prices for their gear, as if they were intending on retiring right after the sale. Everyone likes a good deal & I'm no exception but I always treat the lower bidders with respect & just politely say your too low. I myself am guilty from time to time asking the seller to include shipping but if I think the piece is worth the asking price I just simply agree with the sellers terms.
No matter where you trade it takes some common sense to trade happily. Hobbyists can be identified easily on either site.

Audiogon has auctions but most of the good things I see have reserves. To me, reserve spells non-serious seller. Guessing games just don't do it for me. That leaves the other listings which are basically variable buy-it-nows, assuming you're willing to endure the cascade of email necessary to set price, payment terms, shipping method and cost. Experienced Ebay sellers list all the details up front. This frees the buyer to do the one thing expected of him -- pay.

Ebay works better for me, mostly because nowadays I'll only bid on things where the guesswork has already been eliminated. Once an Ebay seller double burned me on a digital cable. It was supposed to be mint and no shipping cost was specified. The seller took $15 shipping, spent $2.50 to send it in a crumpled shirt box that arrived wet in the rain AND sent me a cable with a loose connector. Did she know the XLR was filled with hardened hot glue? I'll never know, but I learned my lesson.

Here's my Audiogon story: once I listed a nice $850 power amp on Audiogon and got the usual gang of lowballers, tirekickers and others seeking a general education on the brand and power amps in general; basically lots of interest but no genuine commitment of any kind. I renewed my ad for another 30 days, dropped the price $50, even emailed the most interested parties. The amp still didn't sell. Over to Ebay it went with an opening bid of $9.99 and no reserve. Seven days later I shipped the amp to a USA buyer at $300 MORE than my Audiogon listing. Go figure.

Another difference: lots of Audiogon listers persist in offering Paypal at the buyer's expense. These cats ignore the covenant each voluntarily made with Paypal. No matter how you feel about the fees themselves, these sellers' lack of scruples erodes my confidence in their deals. Ebay has weeded out most of the non-compliers, but one still pops up here and there.

To close on a positive note, my last major purchase was on Audiogon. I saw the listing early, rushed to answer it, we worked the deal on the phone, wrangled a little and everybody was happy.
I agree with Rockvirgo on his point regarding the seller charging the paypal fees (3%). He is right as rain. I contacted paypal one time myself by phone & they specifically said it is illegal for a seller to charge the paypal fees in their ad & said if you see it, it can be reported to them. I never knew that before.
if you get caught on ebay asking the buyer to pay the paypal fee your auction will be canceled instantly.

i can see not wanting to eat the 3% fee on multi thousand dollar deals but cmom its getting down right silly when a seller asks for 3% on a $500 item & it reek's of pure greed to me.

Speaking of paypal fees; how many times do you see an item for a hundred or so that also have obo--paypal add 3%.????
So I guess I should add 3% to the listing price and say Paypal is free. This is quite common. I know many sellers who claim Paypal is free, but will give a discount for a MO. What's the difference? I guess it's safer to do business this way. No chance that Paypal will catch you if you advertise free Paypal and give discounts for cash.

The reason Ebay enforces free Paypal, is because Ebay owns Paypal.
Oh Please. There is some sort of fantasy that Agon is such a gentlemans forum, where everyone is respected, information is gladly given and everyone is on the up and up. I have bought and sold 20 items here. I have dealt a lot with flakes, people who want to buy and then back out.

IMHO this forum works best when the buying/selling function is seperated from the educational function. I find it very frustrating when the 2 are intermixed. When I sell items now, I qualify the heck out of people up front, just like I do in my business. Selling is about dealing with high probablity prospects and not about educating readers more about audio. The Forum is the place to gather and learn about audio. In fact I have learned a great deal by reading and asking questions.

Ebay is straight forward and has better safeguards built in. Agon requires more diligence.
Not everyone reads the fine print when they sign up for paypal. It seems to be a common practice on A'gon to charge these fees in their ads & I'm sure most people thought this was OK. I for one don't want to go to jail for 20 years over paypal fees. Ha Ha just kidding! Nor have I or would I report this to paypal (better things to do) but it is good for the seller to be aware of this fact.
Depends on how simple you want your life to be. If you've an item that is well regarded and price it right, on A-gon its gon rather quickly without hassle and big seller fees other then the cost of the ad. With E-bay, the only way you can be sure to get your price is paying extra fees on top of their seller fees and waiting. I do think there may be potential for receiving an even higher price there then here on A-gon. However, that 'OBO' could mean 'or better offer' just as easily as 'or best offer'. Would it be a bad idea to having your listing here state just that, along with a time frame for making a decision?
Hi - I have used both eBay (766 Positive Feedbacks & 1 revenge Neg from a dead-beat bidder) and Audiogon (29 pos, no negs) at various times with almost no problems whatsoever. I do check feedback carefully, and will not buy ANYTHING from anyone who doesn't own the merchandise. If I have any suspicions, I ask a question before bidding to see if the seller knows anything about the item they are selling. It also would take something really rare for me to do business outside of the USA; not from xenophobia, but shipping overseas (or even to Canada, sorry) can be expensive, and very slow. I have found great people in both venues, and have enjoyed most of my transactions. Some people are obviously only in it for the money, so they're not particularly communicative. But, if they handle the transaction professionally, I don't mind. Bottom line? Don't buy, or bid on anything until you have investigated both the item and the seller.

I too have used both services. I have been a buyer on Audiogon and both buyer/seller on eBay (under the same handle - "treyhoss"). I decided to sell on EBay based on the fact I would see similar equipment bring more money on Ebay than Agon.
As far as the Paypal fees, I can see where some sellers would ask people to pay for these (I'm not one of them - yet). I always put mine up in the auction format with no reserve and beginning at a reasonable price as I have found this brings the most attention. However, in the auction format after you factor in the EBay listing fees, settlement fees, shipping fees (which most honest sellers can end up getting screwed on) and then an additional 3% for Paypal, you end up netting far less than you expected. It may sound cheap to ask for the 3% but if you're the buyer you need to know the terms of sale.
On a $500 item why should I be out another $15 just because someone wants to pay me with Paypal? The whole reason I even accept Paypal is because I got sick of people asking if I took Paypal - even after saying I didn't in the listing!!!! ...but that's another post:-)
Another annoying thing is people who use shipping fees as a profit center. I've gotten packages where the shipping charges are double what is stamped on the package.
some people like to paint a picture of ebay as the wild west full of bumbling fools who pay way too much for their gear,sellers who are all con artists or ignorant about the gear their selling & where simon bar sinister is lurking around every corner waiting to strike.

the same folks paint a picture of Agon as the sweet polly purebread of internet hifi trading where the sun always shines & the people trading the gear are more honest & trust worthy.

the fact is that both sites serve the same function & each site has its own good points & draw backs & neither site is beyond reproach.

I'm just wondering here...it seems as if about 90% of A'gon sellers who say they accept Paypal also ask the buyer to eat the 3%.

I've been around this community long enough to know that 3% is HUGE chunk, especially when you consider not many people on A'gon actually have more than 3% profit in the items they are selling (more like -40%). Understandably 3% is A TON for most A'gon users; especially when you further consider that the average transaction on A’gon seems to be somewhere around $1500 which translates into a $45 Paypal fee.

So the question I have is, why is Paypal such a popular a payment method on A'gon?? Is it the pure convenience? Or, is it REALLY because Paypal lets you use a Credit Card to send payments to any Paypal Seller? If this is the case, what A'gon sellers are essentially saying is "I will accept Credit Card payments via Paypal." If that is what accepting Paypal really means, and if that is why A’gon buyers insist on Paypal, then that is a pretty LARGE convenience to the seller (considering the cost of establishing a merchant account) that the seller should be willing to pay for. As a seller, the thing I hate to do is accept Paypal where the buyer is funding the transaction from his checking account and I have to eat 3% when I could have just accepted a cashier’s check for free. So here is the question? Do you guys think that most A’gon buyers who use Paypal are funding their transactions with their Credit Cards?

I'm not sure this is the case. I don’t seem to remember anyone, if my memory serves me well, that would only buy an item from me if I accepted their Credit Card via Paypal. I have only ever accepted Paypal once (small ticket item), because I was under the impression that most people on A’gon typically transact with funds from a checking or savings account (via cashier’s check). Am I missing the boat here? Will I sell my items quicker on A’gon if I accept credit card payments via Paypal?

I, like most Paypal users, signed up back in the day when Paypal was billed as a free service but then somehow along the way I was bumped up to a Premier account and found myself paying 3%, even when my bother would reimburse me for something personal like lunch. That got frustrating, but I do understand the laws of the Credit Card world and in that world NO ONE gets around the 2-3% fee that credit card companies charge you for putting money in your account today when it will take them at least 30 days to collect it from their cardholder.

So again, the real question at hand is, are buyers who use Paypal insisting on Paypal because it lets them put it on plastic, or are A'gon buyers still using Paypal to move funds from their checking accounts and use Paypal mostly for its convenience. If it is the latter, it sounds like we need a Paypal alternative that caters to the flat fee payment mentality we here at A'gon crave.
I had the Paypal account before the "premier" account and kept it that way as well until about 6 months ago. I was able to receive bank transfers via Paypal and it was free. The thing that "forced" me to go to the Premier account is that I had a few "high ticket" items I had for sale and even though I had, in HUGE font, "I only accept Paypal IF...". I had it in the description and I had it in the payment methods, clear as day. When the auctions ended, 3 of the 5 people sent me credit card payments which I couldn't accept (stupidity at large is amazing). Make a long story short, after several listings and the same problem always creeping up, I decided to go with the flow. I have been paying 3% ever since - even for bank transfers.
Bluefin684, I know some sellers who keep two Paypal accounts for this reason. If the buyer is transferring funds from a bank, they use the standard account, thereby no fees apply. If the buyer is using a credit card, they use their other, Premiere account, with the 3% fee.

Seems a tad complicated, but I guess it makes sense for some. I usually use CC when using Paypal, as a buyer. If I have the cash, I usually send a MO, as the seller will have a lower price if not using Paypal. I find that even sellers who advertise no charge for Paypal, give discounts for those paying cash.
Hey Luc, us ladies take offense at your characterization of the 'gentleman's club.'
Treyhoss if I am reading your response correctly, in your experience, people overwhelmingly seem to prefer funding their PayPal transactions with a Credit Card, so much so, that you were forced to abandon your "FREE" Personal Account for a Premier Account and pay the infamous 3%. Again, in my opinion the 3% is reasonable when accepting credit card payments (it's the nature of the beast), but the 3% just KILLS me when it’s a bank transfer. So accepting credit cards is one of the reasons so many people are being pushed into PayPal Premier accounts that levy a 3% surcharge on receiving any funds. PayPal…very tricky.

In addition though, accepting Credit Cards via PayPal is not the only thing pushing A'gon uses into PayPal Premier Accounts. PayPal Personal Accounts have a receiving limit of about $500 dollars/month (though according to PayPal's, website it can vary), so it is my understanding that if you exceed the limit of the personal account they bump you to a Premier account (again charging 3% regardless of the funding source used in the transaction). Again, it seems to me the average cost of an A'gon item is between 1000-1500 which bumps almost all A'gon sellers who accept PayPal into Premier Accounts fairly quickly, and that is probably why so many postings on A'gon include "PayPal adds 3%" I suppose the nature of our hobby and the high ticket price of audio gear will just always put most A'gon users in the Premier Account Category. Therefore the "PayPal adds 3%" isn't likely to be going anywhere anytime soon.

The last item I sold on Audiogon was a pair speakers for $1800. I sent them C.O.D. and it took 21 days from the day I shipped them till the $1800 cleared my checking account. 21 days is kind of a long time to be apart from $1800 or any amount for that matter. Furthermore, with so many bad cashiers checks in circulation, every time I take a cashiers check from an A’gon sale to my bank, the teller always looks at me cross-eyed and reminds me that the check might be bad and that I must wait until the funds clear before they will guarantee the funds. Having said all that, I think I am done with the C.O.D. thing. I’d prefer to receive money exclusively via an electronic payment service like Paypal for speed and convenience but for 3%...I'm not sure.
Jmcgrogan2 you are right! Thanks for the input. I even searched the PayPal site and they explicitly condone the practice of having a Personal account AND a Premier account for this precise purpose. However, it becomes a bit complex because your PayPal accounts must be tied to two separate bank accounts…no two PayPal accounts can be tied to the same bank account (or at least that is my understanding). You are also right that it is a huge hassle to have two PayPal accounts tied to two separate bank accounts but it is a workaround.

However, this “two account” solution begins to breakdown for most A’gon users because most personal accounts have a receiving limit of $500/month before being bumped up to a Priemier account. Personally, I don’t remember buying or selling anything on A’gon for less than $500 (I love this hobby!)
Most of the stuff I was selling was under the $500, but you are right Bluefin, this was another reason for the "upgrade" for that particular transaction.

My take on this from a seller's perspective is that while having the cash in hand quickly is satisfying for the seller, it comes not only with the 3% charge but the buyer's right of refusal, backed by the credit card company, if the buyer doesn't like the item. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about consumer's rights and if I were buying a high ticket item, I'd be inclined to pay by credit card for the purpose of not getting burned. But as a "non-business" seller, by accepting credit card payments I could open myself up to major headaches if the buyer decides he didn't like the item (finding it "defective"). I believe under the Paypal rules, the credit card company, after being contacted by the buyer, can go to Paypal who will then get into your (the seller) personal bank account which is linked to Paypal, to reclaim the funds. As the seller, you're now out the equipment, the money AND that 3%!

The bottom line for me is, with so much "protection" afforded the buyer in a credit card transaction and so little "protection" for the seller in this, asking the buyer to pay the 3% (which the buyer doesn't get anyway!) is a drop in the bucket.
treyhoss,damm good point & ive never thought of it like that,come to think of it some sellers may include the 3% fee to encourage buyers to use other methods of payment.

your right,for how exposed paypal leaves a seller the 3% is a drop in the bucket.
Treyhoss, I totally agree with you. Perhaps the real the person who gets the most convenience out of Paypal is the buyer since they seem to have the last WORD--Not to mention the miles they are probably racking up and the convenience of not having to pay for 30 days.

However, I've got to still take into consideration that a Credit Card (CC) funded Paypal payment means I get my money TODAY (plus the 3-4 business days it takes to download the funds into my actual checking account from my Paypal account).

I guess we all have to remember that the CC Mechanisms of the world were built way before Paypal and were typically only extended to merchants. That is why they call them merchant accounts. Most merchants make a profit on what they sell, and any cost of doing business is usually absorbed by those profits. Merchant have the luxury of dipping into those profits if a customer disputes a credit card charge. The merchant usually takes it in the shorts and goes on...business as usual. Merchants are also a "known quantity" relative to a Paypal user that can accept CC payments with a tremendous amount of anonymity. The CC industry’s VERY liberal "the buyer is always right" dispute policy is a child of an old paradigm that doesn't consider the complexities of pier-to-pier (P2P) transactions conducted through Paypal. I guess what I am really saying is that VISA, MC, and AMEX probably never intended on Individuals being able to accept CC payments. Therefore I think the current system is “broken”.

So again, another paradox I am observing here is that Sellers are most Protected by USPS Money Orders (because you can't stop payment on them) and Buyers are Most Protected by using Credit Card Funded PayPal.

Is there a happy medium in between? The best I can come up with is C.O.D. with a USPS Money Order....Argggg I hate C.O.D. ---too clunky and takes too long to get my funds.
The only happy medium I can think of IF someone wants to pay by credit card is to ask they send you a check. You know, one of those checks the credit card companies send you with your bill saying it can be used "for anything...".

If you deposit that into your account and wait for it to clear, it should be OK. You get "good money" assuming the person doesn't go over their credit limit and the buyer still enjoys the "financing" aspect of the purchase. Just a thought:-)
Actually, what I did is just go open a new checking account. I had it verified and closed out my other bank account, which is a joint account with my wife and household moneys. My new account is strictly for Paypal. I've heard too many horror stories about that scam. They send you Paypal funds, you ship the item, then they refuse CC payment saying it's broken. They now have your ______ and their money. You have nothing.
So from now on I'll ship as soon as the funds clear Paypal into my account, and my account is emptied. Therefore Paypal wouldn't be able to come take back your money with you having no say in the matter.
jmcgrogan,that is exactly how i do it,i feel alot safer that way & even if paypal does do a charge back there wont be anything there for them to get & i have the cash,there's alot to be said for having the cash.

one thing though about doing it this way is you will encounter lots of enraged buyers demanding that YOU MUST SHIP NOW!!

its always the same story too,i paid you an INSTANT payment with paypal you need to ship RIGHT NOW!

my answer is always the same too,who was the payment instant for? you or me ? when the cash has been transfered to my account & is in my hot little hands i will ship & not one second sooner.

it kills me how many people DEMAND you be verified to do business with you when its THE KISS OF DEATH for anybody who ever intends to sell anything.

for all you folks who demand a buyer be verified remember when you sell that logic can work against you in a big way.

mike,a non verified member.
Well guys that is the whole idea behind an instant payment through paypal. I have never yet encountered a buyer that cancelled a credit card payment on me because I already know what I'm selling is right. Check your buyers feedback, then proceed. If your going to hold the item till the funds clear through your bank than you might as well insist on a Postal money order only.
PHD, USPS money orders don't give the buyer the choice of credit card use. I also have not been stung....yet. I've read posts from those who have been. I do not wish to write one of those posts. So while using Paypal may not get the buyer the unit any quicker, it will allow them to use a credit card.
Anyone can learn from their own experience, a wise man learns from the experiences of others.
Jmcgrogan, any time you do business on the internet regardless of payment method there will be some risks, were all taking chances just by living. Again check your buyers feedback. When I am looking to purchase, I actively seek out sellers that offer paypal. I don't like sending a money order unless I have to because it takes too long to receive the item. I can honestly say that three out of four items I have sold were done via paypal. Take paypal out of the picture & you may not sell the item at all. If you don't intend on shipping in a timely manner I would make it clear in your ad that you accept paypal but you will not ship until the funds have reached your bank. Remember if you do ship an item quickly & the paypal payment (credit card)is cancelled you can also call the shipper & retrieve the item before it is delivered. You will have to pay return shipping costs. Paypal can also be tied to the buyers savings account which is called a bank transfer. This is a prefered method of a paypal payment with some sellers as it can't be canceled.
Audiogon has been great to me! I wouldn't even consider using ebay. I mean why would I? A toast to Audiogoner's, you are truly the cream of the crop.
ok fellas dig this,i just had a amp on auction last night on ebay & the high bidder had a recent negative feedback in his profile stating that he had used the paypal charge back to scam the seller.

of coures this sent me into outer space as soon as i saw it so i wrote the seller & asked for a explaination of what happened,below is a copy of his entire email he sent me last night,word for word.

keep in mind that this buyer has great feedback other than the negative stating the charge back,the seller also has a huge feedback rating & its all perfect too.


mike,he purchased a mcintosh mc2300 amp from me for $900,he picked the amp up in person & put it unprotected in the trunk of his car & went home.

he wrote me the next day saying the amp was not working correctly & demanded a partial refund,he filed a complaint with ebay & lost,then he filed a complaint with paypal & lost,then he did a charge back thru his credit card company NOW HE HAS MY AMP & HIS MONEY!

paypal is filing a complaint in my behalf with his credit card company but it takes up to 75 days to process & ive yet to hear a word from them.

this amp was in good working order when it left my house & i believe it still is,he just wanted a partial refund,not a total refund where he would have to return the amp,he wanted a partial refund of $500 in his complaints to ebay & paypal,he was denied on both complaints but due to the credit card company charge back now he has all his cash & my amp!

good luck with him & let me know how it turns out.


the whole deal of being verified works great for buyers & it takes care of a lotta issues for them like buyers remorse or to flat out rip a seller off ,when you supply the credit card info in order to be verified there isnt a thing in the world you can do to stop a charge back.

this isnt a issue of ebay vs audiogon & since were trading here & not ebay were safe its an issue about a dangerous loophole that leaves a honest seller totally at the mercy of idiots & thieves who on a whim can have the gear & the cash & it happens every day.

ive been turned down many times from sellers who refuse to sell gear to a non verified address thinking this in some way protects them,it dont protect anybody but the buyer & will only make it possible for a buyer to legaly rip you off.

Bigjoe: It's true, paypal ain't perfect. It's risky both ways. Sometimes chargebacks made by malicious buyers go through and screw the seller. Sometimes chargebacks get refused by paypal when the seller really did scam the buyer.

That said, it's a helluva lot safer for a buyer than sending a money order, and I think it would be great if you could acknowledge that as a strength.

I know sellers matter too. The idea here is to come up with a way to make both people relatively safe and happy. I know that you're very anti-paypal because of your own experiences, but it's been really frustrating to read your responses on this issue, in this thread and others, which are many, because I've never seen you actually offer a solution. All I see is complaints, and the insistance that money orders are the way to go because they're 100% safe for you, the seller.

You seem to hate Escrow.com with an equal passion, and you've never explained why, besides the ubiquitous "it's bad for the seller", and that it's slow. Again, the point is to come up with a mutually beneficial solution. Finding such a solution will benefit you as a seller as well, in the long run.

The policy of draining an account after a transaction and waiting to ship is extremely underhanded, deceitful, and disrespectful. If I were involved in a transaction with a seller who did that, I would report them to paypal immediately.

I don't mean to be b*tchy. I've had a lot of fun talkin' to you and many other anti-paypal dudes on the Gon, but I just had to express my frustration. The end.
lousyreeds,im not anti paypal in the slightest in fact i prefer paypal & prefer to use it weather im buying or selling,all im saying is that the confirmed address bit that has taken over is meaningless to a seller & offers no protection to the seller.

what i was lookin for was for somebody to tell me why they insist on a buyer having a verified address before they sell to them,it seems that every body selling gear wants the verification but nobody can explain why & that leaves me a bit confused about the whole thing.

i cant speak for other sellers but i make sure that i tell buyers my methods & most times i ship before the payment is transfered but it all depends on the amount too,if its $5k then it must clear first.

when you stated that i hate escro you were correct,escro is the fastest growing scam out there with copy cat names that decieve buyers into thinking their dealing with escro.com when in reality their getting scammed.

ive also never claimed to be an expert on the best method of payment but having been a victim of scams ranging from money orders to paypal i know the bad points to all the payment methods & it never hurts to pass this info along as most people will never encounter as many con artists as i do,all i have done is try to show buyers how they can be scammed no matter how they pay,im not bitching at all but if somebody had taken the time to point out a few of these things to me & not worry what others think about what they say i may have avoided a few of the scams & saved alot of cash.

im not trying to pin a medal on my chest or anything but im the only member here that admits to selling gear for profit when this place is full of resellers & all i try to do is pass along information that i know to be true in the hopes of saving some other poor guy the grief & loss of cash that i have experienced,its hard to not come off sounding harsh but sugar coated information helps nobody at all.

i also post warnings in every one of my ebay auctions letting buyers know what to look out for & have recieved many emails from audiogon members & ebay buyers alike telling me that the info i gave them helped them avoid a scam.

if i come off as being a know it all its not the case or the intent,just the passing of information from somebody who has been hit with every scam on the planet.
Hey Bigjoe, thanks for the clarification, I appreciate it! Looks like you and I both have been scammed a couple of times, and we're both after the same solution. Here's to the betterment of the online community!
Bigjoe - I am a new Audiogon member in the process of completing my first Audiogon purchase, so you have infinitely more experience in the selling/buying process than I do. However, I question your dismissal of escrow because it is “the fasting growing scam out there with copy cat names.” There is no reason for a savvy seller to end up dealing with a “copy cat” or “fake” escrow company. First, Audiogon has a direct link on its Help page to Escrow.com, one of the largest escrow companies. Second, if a buyer insists on escrow, you, as the seller, should insist on choosing the escrow company or give the buyer a choice of several legitimate escrow companies. If the seller limits the choice of escrow company to legitimate escrow companies, I doubt there is a way the buyer can highjack the transaction and move it to a sham or fake escrow company. Of course, this approach requires you to use Escrow.com or research and select other escrow companies in advance of placing your ad. You may not want to spend that time and effort.

In a related thread, “What is it with Scams,” a post on 03/01/05 by Ga5556 suggests a scam that might be worked into the fabric of a legitimate escrow: a phony e-mail from
the escrow company. In the case of the seller being scammed, the phony e-mail would confirm that the buyer’s funds were good and instruct the seller to ship the quipment. I don’t know how ingenious scammers are in creating fake e-mails, but it seems to me the seller could sniff out a fake e-mail by comparing its origin with the origin of legitimate e-mails from the escrow company. Also, a separate e-mail (not a response to the suspected e-mail) or a telephone call from the seller to the escrow company asking for confirmation should be enough to uncover a fake e-mail instruction to ship.

There may be other reasons why you do not like to use escrow companies, like slower completion of the deal and the escrow fee, but I think concerns about a fake escrow company or fake e-mails can be eliminated with a small amount of effort.

One problem area I would have about using an escrow as a seller is the acceptance of credit card payment by escrow. Escrow.com accepts credit cards and its FAQ does not
discuss the ability of the buyer’s credit card company to yank back or "freeze" the funds after the equipment has been shipped. If an escrow company told me that it could not stop funds paid by credit card from being pulled out of escrow or being "frozen," I would not use escrow unless the escrow instructions for my sale specified that payment by credit card would not be allowed.

Incidentally, I think escrow avoids a “partial refund” claim of the type described in your 02/26/05 post to this thread. As I understand the escrow process, the buyer has a set period of time after delivery to accept or reject the item. If the buyer does not notify escrow that there is a problem, escrow automatically forwards all the money to the seller. If the buyer rejects the item, the buyer does not get a refund until the seller confirms receipt of the returned equipment. There is no procedure for a “part payment/part refund” - it’s either all or nothing. And at no time is the buyer allowed to have both the item and his money (provided the credit card issue discussed in the prior paragraph is eliminated).

A further thought on the “partial refund” transaction that was described in your post. That transaction was concluded face-to-face, so the seller could have put the amp into
his system and played it for the buyer just to confirm that it was in working order before handing it over. Of course, that wouldn’t have prevented the buyer from later lying
about the condition of the amp when it was handed over, but it would have given the seller some additional ammunition. If the seller really wanted to protect himself, he could have asked the buyer to sign a receipt confirming that: (i) the amp was delivered and (ii) the buyer had listened to the amp and it was in working order. This may sound a little over the top, but if you conclude a deal in person, you might as well get all the advantages it offers over transactions that involve shipping. The ability to confirm the condition of the equipment at the time of delivery to the buyer is one of those advantages (for both sides). Also keep in mind that a seller who ships has the carrier's receipt to prove that he shipped the equipment and maybe a tracking report or carrier’s record to prove it was delivered. As a seller in a face-to-face deal, you have neither, so you should create a receipt to at least verify delivery.

I don’t claim to be an expert, so any additional comments you can provide would be welcome.