When I first started buying on Audiogon, I wanted to make all of my purchases COD. I had never had the experience of just sending a fully negotiable note to a total stranger on unsupported faith. A few sellers, who undoubtedly had experience themselves doing precisely that, reacted in a put-off way to my seemingly suspicious request, but ultimately agreed to ship COD if I paid the extra charge, despite the slight inconvenience and the longer wait for the funds. After doing a few transactions this way with no problems, and getting used to the feedback system, I became comfortable enough with the process to drop my COD demand. (It also didn't hurt that I had sold a couple of things on the 'Gon without the same demand being placed upon me.) I have since made several more purchases by just sending the money orders, with no problems. But I can't truly say that this is actually the wisest approach, rather than simply the easiest. I do utilize the feedback system, but ultimately depend mostly on my own perception of the quality of communication with a prospective seller. However, if I am honest with myself, I can't claim any special powers of divination when it comes to evaluating the honesty of an online or over-the-phone correspondent. I think part of my behavior can be explained by not wanting to spend extra, part by having been lulled by my admittedly limited experience into a quite apparently false sense of security, and part by just a simple desire to trust and be trusted. If and when I wind up paying the price for this trust, or ignorance, or arrogance - however you care to look at it - I'm sure my behavior will perform a 180-degree hairpin turn in the regressive direction. Nevertheless, I continue to remain optimistic about my chances around here given the quality of the folks on A-gon, feeling my eventual burning will, in all probability, occur in the wild, wild west that is ebay.