Why the truth is not in them ??

I wonder how many people have been told something by a buyer, that was no where near the truth....I hate to think how many times I  have been told that I will send a Pay-Pal tomorrow, or I'll send you a check tonight....and never do anything of the kind.....I've been waiting for two weeks for a check from a guy in Michigan  , I have sold a item 13 times on another web-site based on what a person has told me and never received the first penny..........Does anyone tell the truth anymore ??   I have one web-site that I do business on that has a 98% negative truth rate.....Isn't that a poor way to deal with people ??     What are your experience ?? 
I’ve been wondering a lot recently about honesty in Internet conducted business transactions. I live in an area in SW Virginia where few people wear face masks. At age 68, knowing I must avoid those people to avoid Covid-19, I’ve limited most of my shopping to internet purchases of late. In particular I’ve purchased maybe 15-18 hardcover books, some in sets over the past few months since the local library is closed. Of these purchases from ABE Books, Ebay and Amazon at least half of the transactions have been problematic, including two more just today.

Problems range from the books being severely damaged in transit, late delivery due to Trump’s recent orders to slow the mail being implemented by his newly appointed postmaster backlogging post offices, a request for $200 extra cash for one set of books ordered above the advertised price, books never being sent at all, plus some other issues such as getting inexpensive paperbacks delivered when expensive hardcovers were ordered and paid for.

At first I thought the Coronavirus was screwing things up, but 50% of simple book orders being screwed up, and the OP’s issues, may indicate otherwise. And regarding stereo equipment, It took about ten calls to get orders for twenty-one isolation feet for my stereo components finally squared away a few months back. CD’s ordered frequently come with damaged jewel cases too. 

This high percentage of problems seems in the same ballpark as the OP’s even more extreme issues. I’m extremely frustrated with the degree of follow-up needed to get simple orders fulfilled, or waiting on refunds for orders that seem to take forever to arrive or not. In my experience it’s getting to be a crap shoot to order stuff and time consuming to have to track and follow-up on orders. Makes you long for the brick and mortar stores selling books, records, and stereo equipment, not to mention hardware stores that sold decent tools and hardware, instead of low quality junk from China. Well, that’s enough whining. I hope you all are having better luck.

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@autospec , anything that has a 98% Fail isn't worth wasting your precious faith on anymore.

@bigkidz has a good approach for you to follow. Advertise FIRM, state the parameters of the deal clearly and succinctly.  "No ship without cleared check", etc.

Anyone that doesn't want to play by your rules doesn't deserve your time, nor what you're selling.

In our business, we've learned how to pre-qualify our clients....literally in first contact, both on the 'net, the phone, or even in person.

Recent call:  Prospective customer, wanted pretty much the whole 'A' ticket, pretty much a 'turnkey' project for us.

That's our 'Question #1', without fail.

"What are you interested in?"

Followed by 'Question #2'....also, without fail....

"What is your budget?"

The 'ballpark figure' was considerably less than one could do as a DIY.

"We're sorry, but our 'A' of that nature generally Starts at 'F'.

A figure 5X what was asked for, especially 'site unseen'.
We are NOT operating out of the back of a pickup truck.
We are NOT a charity organization.
We are NOT 'doing what we do' to rip anyone off and ruin a good reputation that we've spent over a decade to create.

We require a certain level of Trust.
We require 50% down.
We repay that trust with a project that tends to exceed what was expected.
We consider that our SOP.
We like doing what we do, and would like to continue doing so.

Play Fair.  Respect us. We will return that respect and attitude with something you will Absolutely Enjoy having done for your Children.

Yes.  We make things for your Children.  For their FUN.

That, in itself, demands Trust in Us.
We repay that.

Now, that may becoming rare 'out there'.....but we'll be damned to sink to that percieved level.....

Regards, J

Pardon the rant 'n rave, but why let others drag you down?

Set your rules....if the 'other' doesn't respect that @ the beginning...

*shrug* "Sorry, no deal."

Pretty f'n simple, no?
I believe in pre haggling by messaging or emails. The condition and operation of the relevant equipment should be exposed and then agreed to. Then any shipping costs investigated and agreed to. Once a deal has been agreed to, ie the order/invoice paperwork is agreed to by both parties or intermediary, the funds are transferred, or what ever the safest way comfortable by BOTH parties.
As long as there is no dishonesties (unfortunately not guaranteed), both parties should be mostly be satisfied. As long as there is specific documentation accompanying the transaction as should be well. It also is essential to be honest and upfront about sellers and buyers expectations. (Who am I teaching?).
I have been done over once. My fault for being inexperienced and gullible. Once bitten, twice shy.

 I now see myself as honest as I predict the second party to be. Now way will I rip someone off. Neither would I expect to be done over either. 🇦🇺