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Avoiding scam purchasers?

I've read posts here and other sites about scammers and read a few heart-rending tales of people who shipped their watch but never got paid or never received the traded watch. I posted my Sea-Dweller to Craigslist in my city (Portland, Oregon) explicitly stating I want a face-to-face transaction, but mostly heard from people who wanted to pay me via Paypal and ship them the watch. When I offered to send the watch to "my friend" in their city for a face-to-face transaction, they quit emailing me. My questions are:

  1. What should I look out for, for example are there problems accepting Paypal payments I should be aware of? (These people all offered to pay using that service).
  2. Do you have any tips to protect myself when shipping the watch if I do sell it to someone in another state?
Thanks for your help!
Steve

here's a pic
 

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PayPal is a safe way to send money. If shipping out of state, definitely use PayPal for the payments and then ship the watch. When listing your terms, list them as non-negotiable. Whatever you do, do not ship the watch until full payment is received.

-JB
 

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I would ship USPS registered, insured. It is slow but the only way to insure the watch for replacement cost.

Lee
 

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You may want to contact PayPal and see what their rules are with respect to disputes. What happens if you get the money from PayPal and then the buyer says they never receive the watch or it is a fake and ask to have the charges reversed?

Lee
 
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Steve, I'd also post your SD for Sale on the Sales Forum here on WTF. It's a nice targeted audience filled with reputable buyers :)
 

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How do people Scammed using PayPal? Need advice,

Thanks
Well, there are likely several ways. But I believe it's pretty easy to pay for a transaction via a Paypal account linked to a credit card, then reverse the credit card transaction. Paypal will then yank the money back from your account, which usually happens after you've shipped the watch to the scammer. :sad:
 

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Anyone want to write out the perfect method for selling a watch? There are lots of issues and gotchas on the method of payment and shipping. Issues like method of payment X is good for Y but is limited by Z. Or when shipping there is only 1 carrier with proper insurance and you must do X to get it.

If all these issues and advice were all consolidated into a single document it would be a very nice sticky post for the forum.

I've not sold a watch before and not having first hand experience I'm not going to offer any advice.
 

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Yes I have been scammed by using paypal. Only for 200$ but it still sucks. THe way he did it was he reported to paypal that he had not received the item I had sent. After about 1-2 months paypal and his creditard company came to the conclusion that he was right. Even dough I showed the receipt proving that I had sent him a pack with an item in. But I could not prove what was in the pack.

So do NOT trust paypal. They also freeze the money you have received until they come to a conclusion on who the money belongs to.
 

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Remember, you can be scammed almost anywhere - even wire transfers (thought it's extremely rare). On PayPal, here's a couple of thoughts.

1) I do not keep money in my PayPal account. In all my sales I specifically state the product will ship when funds clears my back from PayPal, not when the money is in PayPal. When money is received I move it out of PayPal & into my bank. Only after it's in my bank do I ship. They can't yank what isn't in your PayPal account (well, at least not without more work on their part).

2) ALWAYS ship insured. I also weigh the product on my desk scale with the shipping box, packaging, watch box & watch. I take a picture of it showing all that's there & the weight. Why? Because the post office will also weigh it (and it's always almost exactly the same) and if they claim they didn't get it I'll say what did you get as I can prove the weight shipped matches what it should have been.

3) If it's something insurable thru UPS or FedEx (mainly stainless steel watches under $10k) I'll ship via a UPS Store & use their "ship guarantee" (or whatever it is they call it). With this service they box up the product. It costs a few dollars, but they also open it up to make sure it's there, box it up & ship it out. This gives you a 3rd party verification.

4) Keep ALL paperwork on shipping it!

Again, there isn't a fool-proof way to sell anything with 100% certainly you'll not get scammed. But do diligence & some over-protecting can go along way to minimizing the chances.
 

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Actually if you use PayPal and they send a complain to payPal that they have not received your item then PayPal will freeze the amount of money even if it is not in your paypal account. That is what they did with me and I moved the money from PayPal and in to my account and they still took it. If you take the money out from your bank and put it in your mattress then they will have a hard time getting the money. Also it might work to move the money over to another bank, I am not sure if they can still access it in another bank.

Also I am not sure if PayPal only have access to the account you have linked paypal to or if they got access to all your accounts in the same bank. If they do not have access to all accounts you can probably just remove it from the account that paypal is linked to and over to another account in the same bank.
 

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I don't know about accounts that are linked (they probably do have the ability to yank from those) but my linked account is simply a 'move account'. Once it's there I move it to a non-linked account.

Again though, the key to avoiding charge-backs is keeping excellent documentation. As long as you keep good documentation & information the chances of a charge-back is small. I've sold over 30 items via PayPal, both domestic & international, with never an issue.

If you want to avoid the risk of charge-backs them altogether you can not use PayPal. But remember, the number of customers willing to send a wire transfer is smaller as there is less security for the buyer. With a smaller buyer pool you may not get as good of a selling price as you may get taking PayPal. So you need to work harder proving yourself as a reputable seller (such as having references) if you want your buyer to use a wire. Everything's a compromise, so it's finding the best compromise that protects both sides.
 

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This is most interesting. Because I have never had any attempts from a buyer trying to scam me.

-JB
 
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