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On those rare occasions when I have mailed someone a money order for something I was buying (I prefer COD for the big stuff) I wondered what kind of mess would be created by having the seller claim he never got the money order. Even if it were really "lost in the mail," which almost never happens, he would wonder whether I really mailed it, and I would wonder whether he actually cashed it but didn't ship. Do you send your money orders in such a way that they can be tracked, or just drop them in the mail?
When I send out money orders I usually use certified mail or overnight express just to make sure that the seller will really get the money order.This way the seller knows also that I know that he got the money. I think paying a little extra for sending your money is very much worth it for your own peace of mind.
Doesn't that only work if you leave money in the paypal account? I never leave any money in it because payors can reverse only if there is money still in the account. Now if paypal started extracting money out of my bank account on their own, and none was left in the paypal account--then Lord have mercy on the poor sucker at the bank that would have to handle my complaint. I'd pack a lunch and turn it into an all day affair.
Money order, by Fed Ex, is the best way to handle transactions in my experience. So far, I haven't been burnt, I attribute my "luck" to the quality of people who visit AudioGon. I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, and concerns me on a personal level knowing a Canadian took you for a ride. There are bad apples everywhere, fortunately fewer than the norm on his site. ATB, Jeff
Unfortunately, I don't believe there is any way to guarantee a safe transaction when making deals on the web. Even a cod, with a deposit, can go wrong if the merchandise isn't as decribed, or worse, damaged. I basically trust people and use my intuition when making deals. There are signs that come up that during negotiations, that will kill a deal for me. If I am a buyer, the seller must communicate in a timely manner, and answer all my questions clearly. I always ask for a phone number and speak to sellers. I have made over twenty deals in the last eighteen months. In three cases, the merchandise was rated higher than it should have been. Twice, I left negative feedback, and lived with it. In the third case, I insisted the seller make good, which, fortunately, he did.
Another thing. I always do my homework. There is a Classe amp for sale, on Audiogon, right now. The seller is listing a retail price of $3000. The right price is $2300. Honest mistake? Maybe. Unless someone lies to me, I will always know what it is I am buying, and what it is worth. I often see ads where the seller lists a blank warranty card. In order to find out if there is a warranty, I will get a serial number, call the manufacturer, and ask. They will give the history of the piece, with repairs and manufacture date.
There are great deals to be had here, and I wouldn't have been able to put together the system I have without them.
Always send Money ORders via Certified Mail and insured for the face value. Well worth the few x-tra dollars. As for shipping gear, I always use USPS Priority Mail, insured AND with Delivery Confirmation. Better be safe than sorry! After being burned once, I also insit on speaking on the phone with folks I am selling to or buying from if the transaction is for more than $ 200.