How popular is Wire Transfer.....


I hear good and bad about using wire transfer to pay for audio equipment, on a site like this or otherwise.
I have not used wire transfer yet, and have had deals walk away because I did not use that system.

I have no idea how one even go`s about doing that.
Some comment and info?
Thanks,
Len W
lwerner
Wire tranfser is a fools way to lose the money.
A bank transfer is at least tracable. A wire transfer is sending money to any scam artist who can sucker the bait into sending it.
Of course some honest person may want it.. but no way is it a safe way to send money. So sending cash via Western Union, or some other cash to go place is foolish.
On the other hand a bank transfer is from one bank account to another. The recipient has to have a legitimate account, and in the case of fraud, you have a real target to show the police where it went.
(But be aware, they send the money to a NUMBER, that is it. If the number is in error, you are gonna have a hard time getting it straightened out. Use a bank transfer for big ticket items, or international only.IMO)
With a wire transfer, they will just tell you "too Bad" nothing they can do.
Sending money orders is another way to send money. Bank money orders are expensive, and can be forged, same for certified check. The best money order is a United States Postal Monney Order. It is cheap to buy, easy to send, very reliable,and is you trust the buyer, can bo deposited in your checking account just like any check. If you feel concerned about the buyer, you can go directly to a US post office and cash it for cash, right on the spot. (IF the post office does NOT have enough cash, and most will not!, then get as much cash as they will give you, plus buy a NEW postal money order for the rest of the money. Then you have a guaranteed real money order you can deposit in your checking account as you bought it yourself, for this 'peace of mind' the cost is about $2. for the new PO money order)
Avoid it at all cost. I can't agree with Elizabeth enough. And I like to ad if a seller is asking for either wire or bank transfer. Even if honest as the day long they should relize that it can and will raise a red flag. Use only a paypal type system or credit card. I will only send personal or money order when feedback is high. So don't feel bad thinking you missed out on some good deals. You might have saved yourself allot of headaches and money out of pocket.
There might be a terminology problem here. A bank transfer is often referred to as a wire transfer so wire transfers are common and are safe when they are bank to bank.

Western Union transfers are frequently used by scammers because you can collect the funds by simply giving the code number to the Western Union office and picking up the money.
I have not used Western Union or other wire transfer methods which don't use
a bank as intermediary. I, however, use the term 'wire transfer' to also refer to
a transfer between my bank account and yours.

It requires going to your bank and asking to 'send money' to an account.
When sending money internationally, there is a set of information required. It
is usually: Recipient's Name (also known as Beneficiary's Name), his/her Bank,
Bank Branch, Bank Account Number, and Country. It is helpful to have the
Physical Address of the Bank Branch and of the Beneficiary, but it is not
always necessary. You will likely need the SWIFT code (the international
version of the 'ABA Number' or the 'routing number' as used in the U.S.) of
the foreign bank as well. Many banks will require that to make an
international transfer. Anyone who is in the habit of receiving wire transfers
should be able to provide you with all of this information readily. All of that
information will go into a formatted electronic message to be sent from the
Sender's Bank to the Recipient's Bank called a SWIFT message (when it gets
transferred between two SWIFT members (basically all banks with any kind of
international transfer capability)).

There is sometimes a fee to send money taken by YOUR bank, depending on
the status of your account and its benefits. When you want to send money
from First National Savings Bank of Poughkeepsie to a local bank in Germany,
it is easy. However, your FNSBP will go through an intermediary bank (i.e.
FNSBP will outsource all of its foreign transfers to a major money-center bank
like Citi, JPM, BoNY, BoA) and in many cases, there will be an 'intermediary
bank charge' or 'correspondent bank charge' of $10-20. If your account is
with a major money center bank, in many cases there is no intermediary bank
charge. There is a section in most bank transfer forms where you as sender
can check a box and agree to have intermediary bank fees, if any, taken out of
your account. Checking it does NOT guarantee that additional intermediary
bank fees are not taken out of the amount being transferred because the
SWIFT message has a notation added by that check mark, but not all SWIFT
message-processing-banks' computers parse the notations perfectly.

Once the bank transfer is made, the money is out of your account and in your
counterpart's account. While it is not impossible to get money back if a
transaction goes bad and you cannot agree with the seller, you should expect
it will be impossible. You should only send bank transfers if you are
extremely confident that you are not dealing with a bad seller (who is trying to
defraud you, or who will not treat you right should the item not be as
described). However, please note that Sellers selling across borders have the
same fears of Buyers that Buyers may have of Sellers, which is why they may
insist on a bank transfer (because Paypal is structurally set up to allow Buyers
to defraud Sellers but not vice versa).

Elizabeth is right that postal money orders are an excellent low-cost way of
sending money internationally, and domestically in the U.S. If you send them
Priority Mail, you can track the envelope, and separately you put a hold on the
Money Orders by going back to the P.O. and asking them to do so (though
you have less time than with a personal check). And if well-documented and it
is a US recipient Seller, the USPS may make efforts to get your money back
should the Seller commit fraud. Note that not all countries' postal systems
are linked this way. Canada or Australia to many countries just does not work.

Schipo points out the basic problem. If one does not trust anyone, then one
should use credit card for everything. However, using a money order to pay
internationally is no safer than using a bank/wire transfer. Once it's gone, it's
gone. For international transactions, there is substantially less structural
protection against fraud for a buyer unless he uses a credit card. That is
simply the way it is. For the seller, there is zero protection other than having
the cash.
T_bone's explaination of the bank transfer is excellent, and precise. Great.
One of the earlier posters said that Paypal was structurally set up to allow Buyers to defraud Sellers but not vice versa. This has not been my experience. I once used Paypal to pay for a piece of electronics which the seller never shipped. The buyer stalled providing me with shipping information for several days and by the time I figured out what was going on and complained to Paypal the funds were gone from the sellers bank account.

Paypal provided me with a form email offering congratulations that I had won my dispute. It went on to state that unfortunately they were not able to obtain the funds, and it stated that I have no further recourse. It did state that Paypal would continue attempting to recover the funds, but they specifically stated that they will not disclose what actions they are taking. This was 4 years ago and there has been no further communications from Paypal. I have since learned that this is a very common Paypal experience. Also, to add insult to injury, Paypal will not give the buyer the confirmed address of the seller, so that you can take legal action against the fraudulent seller, even though the seller is provided with the buyers confirmed address.

I disagree about the safety of bank transfers, and I do not understand why a seller requesting this would be raising a red flag. As I recall to arrange a bank transfer, the buyer must be provided with both the seller's personal address and the address and phone number of the bank which will be receiving the funds. The buyer can then call the bank and ask questions before sending funds if there is any discomfort. The only way I can see that a seller can be dishonest in any of these buy sell arrangements, is by keeping the money and not shipping the equipment. This can happen regardless of what payment method is used.

A dishonest buyer on the other hand has numerous ways to defraud the seller. He can make a Paypal payment using a stolen credit card. When this is discovered, Paypal will withdraw the funds from the account in which the money was deposited. If that account is empty, your bank will take the money from other accounts you may have in that bank. The dishonest buyer can send a fraudulent money order or bank draft. You deposit this into your bank account and ship the equipment. When the bank eventually finds out that the MO or bank draft is fraudulent, they will take the money out of which ever of your accounts in their bank has sufficient funds. If there are no sufficient funds in any of your accounts they will contact the authorities just as they would if you were writing bad checks.

For this reason I greatly prefer bank transfers from buyers with good and lengthy feedback, and I am happy to purchase from sellers with solid lengthy feedback using bank transfers. I agree that postal money orders are great, but the buyer is still taking the risk that the seller will take the money and run.

I think the Audiogon feedback system is the only thing which can give any of us a degree of security in these high ticket transactions, and discussions like this serve to remind me what a valuable service Audiogon is providing.

All the best,
Dennis
Dennis saved me a lot of typing as I was about to enter this discussion and post all the points he's made.

One thing I didn't see mentioned, PayPal is frequently requested for overseas transactions and sometimes the buyer wants the item shipped to his work address so someone will be there to sign (signature required for high value).

ANY address other than verified PayPal address limits sellers recourse should the product be lost, stolen or broken.

PayPal can work for or against both buyer and seller. Also, overseas transactions are a premium, especially if currency conversion is involved and then usually another 4% fee.
One of the earlier posters said that Paypal was structurally set up to allow Buyers to defraud Sellers but not vice versa. This has not been my experience. I once used Paypal to pay for a piece of electronics which the seller never shipped. The buyer stalled providing me with shipping information for several days and by the time I figured out what was going on and complained to Paypal the funds were gone from the sellers bank account.

Paypal provided me with a form email offering congratulations that I had won my dispute. It went on to state that unfortunately they were not able to obtain the funds, and it stated that I have no further recourse. It did state that Paypal would continue attempting to recover the funds, but they specifically stated that they will not disclose what actions they are taking. This was 4 years ago and there has been no further communications from Paypal.

In support of Dennis, the EXACT same thing happed to me and through Ebay, the company that is connected to PayPal.

In my case it's only been three years, not four but I'll wager neither Dennis or myself will ever see our money again.
If a thief wants your money he'll go to most any length to get it. There is no guaranteed system that protects both buyer and seller. 8 years ago some thief in Florida established a bank account using false ID. He then listed great buys on gear, and sold the gear dozens of times making victims of dozens here on AG. All AG could do was shut down the sellers AG account. There was no recourse with any law enforcement investigation for the thief had used false ID. I'm retired LE, so even I am was not immune to getting burned. Bottom line is, seller or buyer, someone is rolling the dice and there's always the possibility of being burned. I agree, the feedback does give one a better idea of the character one is about to do business with.

Paypal contract states it does not honor 3rd party contract sells. Therefore I as a seller refuse to do overseas transactions. I'll sell the item to the buyer and ship it to a US intermediary chosen by the Int'l buyer with the understanding that my obligation ends once the item is signed received by the intermediary. Of course it's the int'l buyer's intermediary who is responsible for shipping the item to the int'l buyer and not mine. Paypal is very upfront about this in the rules, so if you're doing int'l sales you're rolling the dice for Paypal won't back you. Personally, if I can't find a buyer in the US I don't need to sell it overseas. But if I do have a rare int'l sale that sale and my responsibility for it ends on US shores, not elsewhere. Be smart, do your homework, that's the best anyone can do for there's no failsafe system. Such is life.
Thanks to all who have sent "in depth" explicite replys to the wire/bank transfer question,
Len W
Actually, just another question. From a Buyer's perspective, how much comfort does one have in buying gear off eBay using the eBay Buyer Protection Plan?? Right now, I am working out a situation with an eBay Seller whose equipment was damaged in transit. We ARE working the problem out, and so far so good. Nevertheless, I contacted the eBay Buyer Protection people to set up a case file just in case. Although I fully expect that my Seller will act honorably, I assume that the eBay Buyer Protection Plan will provide some level of back up.

Maybe A-gon should try to put in place some type of Buyer protection plan similar to what is on eBay????

Nonetheless, I agree with the folks who mentioned that the best protection is to deal with parties who have excellent feedback, either on A-gon or eBay. Thank goodness, so far I have been very lucky in that, either as Seller or Buyer, I have never had a problem.
Try cash on pick up, it works well. You get a chance to test and fully inspect the equipment, no transit damage, you know where the seller actual lives. Always, and mean always get a bill of sale and a sign off the the seller owns and has title to the equipment and is authorized to sell it. Yes, it will limit your selection but in avoiding the payment and condition issues is well worth it. While this rule applies to all gear, it especially applies to turntables.
Geez Buconero, if you live in timbucktoo so much for acquiring much product.

If one is too afraid or paranoid to purchase gear on the used listings why even bother spending time on AG?

As far as AG offering a buyers support service like eBay I don't see that ever happening. eBay owns Paypal. AG owns nothing therefore in the one issue I've had over 13 years the one time I needed assistance they had nothing to offer. This of course was the theft of funds associated with an amp that was sold to dozens of victims. But then again, what was AG to do. Buyers are on their own here and if they don't know it you should know it.

Coltrane1,
I think Buconero117 has a point. For any decent turntable, I ALWAYS go to pick it up myself (except in one case where I got it shipped from overseas, but in that case, it was completely dismantled for shipping to me). That gives me the assurance that it will be transported safely - the TT is the most sensitive of any component I know of (when compared to its weight/inertia to micro shocks. I must have driven 3000+km for TTs this year.
That said, I have made many purchases from people far away, and I have never once gotten scammed. I have had a little bit of damage from bad packing, and about half of that has been covered. I have sucked up the rest to bad luck and the cost of buying things more cheaply than otherwise. I have made it a habit to deal with people who know how to pack, or to pre-build packing materials, send them to the person, and pay COD in those cases.
To ms it cuts both way. There are dishonest sellers and buyers. I will never use any method of payment other than paypal unless the sellers or buyers are regular posters in audiogon or they are from a reputable company or from a company that do business regularly in eBay or audiogon. So far my experience has been very positive with audiogon seller. eBay got to be more careful. In my hundreds of transaction only 2 turn bad and not recoverable and both fr eBay. 1 from purchase of lousy reel tape from a guy kostas in Australia and 1 from Ireland whom I suspect did not post the item I purchase. Audioxell? Is another set up you got to be careful. A seller posted technics sp10 mk3 for sales. Gave me photos , sent tracking nos which is address to malaysia but not my address . Even after I inform Audioxell ( not sure how it's spelled) they don't bother to remove his posting - fr Indonesia) . if u pay thru paypal and cant get resolution thru paypal, you can also try credit card chargeback. The few incidents I was conned ,I was able to get back thru paypal protection or credit card charge back.
However if amount is large and the seller is reputable , I would rather pay thru wire transfer which is much cheaper than paypal unfavourable currency conversion and 4% charge
I agree that PayPal and feedback are good ways to minimize, but not eliminate, risk. So is communication with the seller (the more common scammer, IME). If something seems off about the person, move on.

One thing to watch out for (especially on eBay) is that some people hack into legitimate accounts that are inactive but have good feedback, and run their scams from there. Watch for: prices that are too good to be true, a time lapse in the account's feedback, ads that claim they'll take PayPal but the seller refuses to when it's time to close the deal, any mention in the ad of contacting the seller by email (i.e., outside of the eBay system). In general, a refusal to accept PayPal is a dead giveaway -- IME, no legitimate seller on eBay will refuse PayPal.

If you spot these kind of ads/sellers on eBay (or Agon), make sure to report them to eBay's (Agon's) fraud department.

How do these people live with themselves?