I always ship bank money orders. My bank verifies that the money is as good as cash. I know that not everyone agrees with this.
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there is a difference between a USPS MO and a bank money order.
a hold can be placed on a Bank MO if it was reported stolen, lost, or for other reasons....eventually it will likely have to be paid, but it can be held up for a long period.
A Certified Check is guaranteed. they cost a lot more money to purchase.
also,. there have been several real looking fake Money orders floating around.
a USPS MO cannot be stopped, it is as close to a Certified check as possible, and costs very little to purchase.
I once purchased a pair of speakers that came completely damaged and misrepresented, I was able to hold up payment of my Money order for a period of time.In the end I got screwed, but i made the crook sweat for a while.
USPS money orders are valid only within the U.S.
In favor of bank cashiers' checks, I recently sent one in payment for an overseas item, and the airmailed check never arrived. My bank was able to determine immediately whether the check had been cashed (had not been), placed a cancel payment on the check, and will return the money to my account. If the check had been cashed with a falsified signature, the money could probably have been recovered by arbitration between the issuing and paying banks. At least you get your $5 worth when it counts.
The USPS has 2 types of money orders, Domestic and International. They also have a limitation what countries the IMO's could be accepted at. For instance they won't issue one to Hong Kong and for the United Kingdom they only accept the US Domestic ones. These are my experiences as I always paid with these.
Beware of counterfeit Cashier's Checks. I have a friend who sold a used car, met the buyer at the seller's bank, deposited the buyer's bank-issued Cashiers Check for $9000 and then signed the car title over to the buyer. DAYS later the bank determined that the Cahiers Check was bogus and reversed the deposit. Problem was that the check looked so good that the seller and the bank did not notice anything wrong. Luckily for my friend, his insurance covered the loss, considered to be theft (by deception). Caveat Emptor. Bob
As Maxcast discovered with his bank, my bank also offers a stop-payment on both certified checks and money orders with the burden of proof on the purchaser for the (legitimate) reason for stopping the payment. USPS offers no such service. Also, contrary to what has been said here, USPS does offer an International MO which can be purchased in US $ or the applicable currency at a current exchange rate. Cashiers checks and MO can be faked. I've not heard of a USPS money order ever being faked, though I'm sure it is possible...just not very likely. IMO, a USPS MO is the closest to getting cash in the mail, and the most secure form of payment. It is inexpensive and can be purchased in amounts up to $1000 using a bank debit card at any post office.
Jax2 and Richingoth,
Thanks for your corrections on USPS mo's. My local post office had told me explicitly that they did not offer international money orders, and directed me to a foreign currency broker or a bank if I wanted to send money orders outside the U.S., or in any non-U.S. currency.
However, I just looked at the USPS website - they say their international money orders go just to $700, and they are valid only in a specified list of countries. The current list of countries on the website is missing most of Europe and Asia, but the website may be out of date.
They can be purchased in faily high amounts and if the transaction is over that amount you can simply purchase more than one.
They cannot be stopped for any reason and any bank treats them as a cashier's check.
IMHO this is the safest method of payment for anyone that cannot use a credit card or does not wish to use paypal because of their rediculous fee structure.
The Post Office really did their homework when creating these and they are really the most economical, best thing going.
I have requested them many times and most of the time will have to hold money orders because of high fraud issues.
Hope this helps!
A person can put a stop payment on a Bank money order. I spoke to rep at citibank. I would not ship item till money order was paid by issuing bank. It was for $ 10,000.00 The money order was issued by an out of state bank with no branches in my area otherwise you can go to that bank an cash it. I take no chances on large deals. Western Union is also great they will give you immediate cash. I just discuss these details with buyer before hand so there are no misunderstandings as Agoners (myself included) must have that new piece ASAP as it may change our lives!
I for one am one of the audiogon'ers who politely request USPS money orders only( if payment by MO) for all these great reasons listed above. It's just safer and less risk for both parties, especially the guy who ships his $6,000 amplifier upon receipt of a MO. I usually like paypal better...but thats a whole nother thread!
I am somewhat of an infrequent seller/buyer. I typically request if I can purchase by personal check and agree to wait for my check to clear before seller ships the item. As a seller, I would MUCH prefer to wait until ANY payment type I receive has cleared before shipping the item. Is this standard proceedure? Or, is a MO assumed to be good and the items is shipped before it clears?
depending on your bank, a bank money order is dangerous. it could take 2 weeks to put a stop payment on it so if it gets lost or stolen you may be out your funds. a money order is the same as cash and easily cashed if lost or stolen. a certified check or postal money order can have a stop payment put on it and it will be efective almost imediately. as i said it depends on your bank. it think a certified check is the way to go and send it registered mail same or next day service as well. hope this helps you.