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    Prowler573's Avatar
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    Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    I have dedicated much thinking here of late about the scamming that has gotten such "Front & Center" attention recently on our forum. ConcernedMember has an interesting posting signature containing some sound advice in this regard and several of our moderators have seen fit to take various steps to eliminate some members with known abhorrant trading practices as well as attempt to minimize the occurrence of future scammers. These steps include (but are not limited to) several threads that hopefully will be both read and comprehended by everyone as well as enacting new rules governing thread creation and posting in the different Classifieds subforums. (see the stickied threads in the Classifieds for further details)

    A random sampling (well, not really random at all...I just took the first twenty) of threads in the Buyer/Seller Feedback section reveals sixteen of the twenty threads used for this exceedingly unorthodox research to be traders on one side or the other of a transaction who were pleased with the results of their trade(s). This tells us two things: (1) There are some people who are inable to make negative trader feedback threads in the correct subforum. And (2) That equates to 80% or 8 of every 10. While not a horrible number it certainly leaves room for improvement.

    The bottom line here is that what that tells us is that there are many more reputable traders who have solid selling practices to be found in this kind of setting than there are those who are just looking for a victim. A small amount of diligence on the part of the prospective buyer can help us improve that percentage considerably. Dont be a victim!!! So, I have decided to attempt to impart some basic guidelines for people contemplating a trade of any kind with someone from this forum or any other online person-to-person trade.

    I know these guidelines to work from personal experience. I'm a bit of an addict on eBay and the only thing that keeps me from spending much more money there than I already do is the simple lack of discretionary funds to blow. I have yet to get scammed once on eBay or elsewhere and I genuinely feel this is due, in large part, to me being a stickler for certain things. If in any way a trade doesn't meet with the criteria that I require? Then I move on to the next deal. I'm sure over the long haul I have missed some if not many really outstanding deals. Fine. So be it. I would prefer to occasionally miss a great deal than have someone rip me off even once, wouldn't you?

    Here we go ~ please excuse yet another of my overlong, uber-wordy posts. This one is for good reason, I promise.

    1) Know your seller
    Find out as much as you possibly can about the person you are considering making a purchase from. Doing business of this nature online isn't nearly the same as buying from the fella down the block who isn't incredibly (impossibly) inconvenient to go talk with if the item isn't all it is cracked up to be. If the trade you involve yourself in, whether it be borne from a post on www.CarAudio.com or elsewhere, fails to be what it is advertised to be your available avenues of recourse after the fact are considerably limited in comparison to buying from a local B&M store or something akin to that. Remember and believe what your grandmother likely told you more than once as you were growing up: "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure." Sage advice, indeed.

    Check their feedback. Talk to their previous trading partners to see how their experience with your potential seller ended up. If possible have a look at the kinds of things the seller has sold in the past. If someone has a history of selling $10, $15, or $30 items and all of a sudden they pop up wanting to move something that goes for $1,500 or more that could be good reason for a red flag to go up in the back of your mind. (Not all the time, mind you, but it would be good reason to be cautious at the very least)

    Also research not only the feedback that has been left for your seller have a look at the feedback left by your seller. The things someone has to say about the people that have bought from them can be very telling about how they choose to conduct theirselves during a trade. If there are instances of negative feedback have a look at how the seller responded to said negatives and what, if any, resolution was reached ultimately. People are people. One of the unavoidable foibles of the human condition is an inability to please every person every time. Eventually one will run across someone who wants to whine and complain regardless of there being any actual fault that can be attributed to the seller. How situations such as this are responded to/resolved can also be very indicative of a person's true character. Hopefully you are getting the idea that doing as much homework on your seller as is possible can make huge inroads towards avoiding getting ripped off.

    2) Do not be afraid to ask questions.
    If there is anything about any given item that you are not completely sure about then ask! Ask 1 question. Ask 10. Ask 100. No, I am not suggesting that you be a nuisance and make the seller want to block your communications but as well do not be afraid to ask as many questions are necessary for you to completely understand what it is you're trying to buy. If your seller is legit and genuinely wants to make a sale they will be happy to give over any information they may have. An ethical seller wants the buyer to be as much or more happy than the seller once the trade is done. No matter how good a deal may be on paper if the item isn't something that truly fills the buyer's needs then ultimately they will still be unhappy. Ask as many questions as you feel are needed to ensure that what you're buying will do what you need done.

    Bear in mind that if you do feel you need some questions answered regarding any given item(s) and your seller isn't forthcoming with the information then that should be a huge red flag to you and chances are it isn't a deal that you want to involve yourself in. Think: jeremyzach and the Viper monoblock amp he sold here on the forum. He repeatedly dodged requests for pictures of the amp he was selling. The buyer went ahead and proceeded with the purchase and eventually, upon taking receipt of the amp he had purchased, became exceedingly unhappy with the deal. Yes, the amp worked so that was a plus, but cosmetically that poor old Viper had seen much better days. It was considerably less than what it had been advertised to be. It's your money, after all. Do not feel as if you are being an imposition wanting to know exactly what it is that you are spending it on. Again, an ethical seller will not take issue with you wanting clarification on any of the details. A shady trader will give you the runaround if you are asking questions that will expose their lack of honesty.


    3) Know your item(s)
    This is just as essential to a positive conclusion being reached in any given transaction. Once you find something (or several somethings) that strike your fancy / suit your needs / whatever the motivation to make that purchase may be do all the research on that item or items that you can. Find out what it sold for new. Find out what its relative worth is now if it's a used item. Feeling as if you got a good (or at least decent) deal goes a long way to overall "transaction satisfaction." Be aware, however, that once the deal is sealed and/or finished your window of opportunity to complain about the price has long since been closed. Do not agree/commit to buying X item at the total cost of Y dollars and then later down the road complain that "But I found it for THIS amount over on so-n-so source ~ why did you rip me off?!?" If you initially agree to making a purchase at any price then at least in that moment in time you felt the cost of admission was fair. Please do not make your seller the victim of Buyer's Remorse once the deal is done. It isn't that seller's fault if you are a compulsive impulse shopper. Do not treat him or her like it is after the fact.

    4) Use common sense and trust your gut
    C'mon, guys and gals....this is the practice of free enterprise and open commerce, not quantum physics! If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has water rolling down its back? Chances are it's a duck. On the flipside of that same coin, however, regardless of how trite it may be the old adage "If it looks/sounds too good to be true then most likely it is" still holds true.

    If someone with no known history on the forum pops up with a JL 1000/1 for $200 but they have no references on here or any other forum, no eBay feedback, or provides no pictures of the amp to indicate that they actually have one in their possession then most likely it is going to be a really bad idea to send that person your $200. On the other hand if you need some wiring or related accessories then you can feel safe buying from FRITO. If you need a decent deal on an entry-level USAmps then flakko's your man. Looking for a Rainbow component set? Have a quick chat with 6spdcoupe. My point is that there are regular participants on the forum that you could safely place blind faith in and not get screwed over. Other instances should be evaluated on a case by case basis and see what your gut tells you. Remember what I said previously ~ I would rather miss out on a good deal several times than get completely ripped off even once. Wouldn't you???

    /rant.
    Last edited by Prowler573; 07-01-2006 at 01:53 PM.



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    None of these tips are earth-shattering information. Matter of fact none of the text found above is the result of any degree of above-average intellect. It is comprised totally of things your average person should already know but sometimes in our excitement over the possibility of getting one unheard of deal or another we forget to use what gray matter the good Lord saw fit to bless each of us with and we let our wallets go to our heads. It is in these instances that normally result in tears before bedtime (to borrow a phrase from my beautiful bride ~ Love you, sweetie!).

    SO! In closing, I hope these common sense policies will help to some degree stem the tide of BS happening here in our little corner of the car audio world. 80% is batting .800. In this particular case it isn't nearly the amazing number it would be were it a baseball average. If it feels funny in any regard? Don't be stupid and swing for the fences. Let 'em walk you and return to fight another day.

    That is all.







    Please, please, please let's not have this thread become a complete clusterf**k of off-topic responses.

    Thanks in advance for helping me keep this one uncluttered. It may be long but still a worthy read if I may be allowed to sound very unhumble since I am the author of said thread....
    Last edited by Prowler573; 07-01-2006 at 01:53 PM.



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Bump for the day crew and my wanting this to be read and absorbed by as many folks that will take the time to peruse my ramblings



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    good thread funky Geo man






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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    I'm going to sticky this for a while and keep it clean for as long as possible.

    Good thread.



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Thanks, Cap'n Canada. Much appreciated. Would it be possible, if this is going to be a sticky (even if only temporarily), that this get moved over to the Classifieds subforum where the more of the people this thread is 'targeting' might happen across it and read it, please?



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Would it be possible to maybe automatically stick this as a link in every for sale ad?
    People dont read the stickys.......as an example, view the recent group buy thread- most people were unaware that group buys were not allowed.

    Just an idea.




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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    I think this is a good will step towards sanity, but people will still do stupid things because they want a new toy.

    Also, Im kinda dissappointed in the mods' decision NOT to require item pictures in every for sale thread. This is still a loophole ripe for abuse.


    And being that I do buy more items on caraudio.com's for sale section than sell, this is a point topic in my opinion....I suspect active buyers make up more of the population of people rummaging thru the for sale threads than people selling.




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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopdan
    I think this is a good will step towards sanity, but people will still do stupid things because they want a new toy.
    You're right but hopefully this will at the very least give them pause to think about it before jumping in feet first. Even a baby step is still a step, right?

    Also, Im kinda dissappointed in the mods' decision NOT to require item pictures in every for sale thread. This is still a loophole ripe for abuse.
    Has that decision been made final or is it still being very heatedly debated in the backroom? Either way it happens to be it is up to the buyer to find out as much info about any given item they are considering purchasing as possible. If you ask for pics and never get them then that's a pretty good indication (at least to me) that greener fields are to be found elsewhere.


    And being that I do buy more items on caraudio.com's for sale section than sell, this is a point topic in my opinion....I suspect active buyers make up more of the population of people rummaging thru the for sale threads than people selling.
    Agreed. That's why this is more aimed towards potential buyers than it is towards a prospective seller. A scammer cannot scam if the buyer doesn't let them. Sure it is still going to happen ~ people are people and some people are just garbage. But certainly the chances of it happening can be minimized to an extreme degree I think...



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Great post.




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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler573
    Thanks, Cap'n Canada. Much appreciated. Would it be possible, if this is going to be a sticky (even if only temporarily), that this get moved over to the Classifieds subforum where the more of the people this thread is 'targeting' might happen across it and read it, please?
    Consider it done.

    Perhaps people will get the idea with the what, three or four sticky threads on the same topic. Probably asking for to much, though ...



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler573
    provides no pictures of the amp to indicate that they actually have one in their possession then most likely it is going to be a really bad idea to send that person your $200.
    another common sense point, just because someone has a picture of the item with their name written on paper in front of it
    A. That can be edited on the computer
    B. Just because they havent doesnt mean they'll send it once you pay
    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler573
    Check their feedback. Talk to their previous trading partners to see how their experience with your potential seller ended up.
    If there are instances of negative feedback have a look at how the seller responded to said negatives and what, if any, resolution was reached ultimately.
    Feedback...I'm a paranoid lil foker . When checking feedback and the feedback was left by someone w/ little to no feedback...I don't even count that . I know a **** ton of folks on ebay for example, thats good for them . In my book, they do not exist . Its is way too easy to open multiple accounts on multiple names and leave feedback for your sellers account.

    As for negatives, also be sure to check when the feedback was placed.
    If seller gives neg first then buyer give them a neg.... Good chance the buyer didnt pay for the item and gave a neg feedback just because the seller gave them one.
    If buyer gives neg first then seller does, either seller could be a little shithead...or maybe leaving a neg. for receiving one for no reason .
    Quote Originally Posted by Prowler573
    Remember and believe what your grandmother likely told you more than once as you were growing up: "[I]An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure."
    How do you know my grandma , when did she say this?
    Oh yea, nice thread prowler . Hopefully you can help a few.
    Can't help the ones that have to learn the hard way



    Really can't help the ones that learn the hard way, multiple times ....guess thats not really learning though



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Just use some common sense here people. Don't buy from somebody who doesn't have feedback. If you still want to buy off that person, make sure they send first. You can send payment after you've received the item.




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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    Nice Thread, good to see the recent sticky's at the top. It's really not hard to deal with someone and not get ripped off, I've only had one bad deal in almost 3 years and even that got resolved after some posting about the seller.

    On a side note maybe someone who has been scammed and eventually got their stuff or money back should post up what to do if you do get scammed. I just started a few threads about the person, and made sure to update them frequently for everyone to see. I also posted a few of them, instead of just one so people would really believe me. Anybody else have some ifo to add on what to do if you do end up on the wrong end of a deal?



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    Re: Ethical traders Vs Scamming pondscum traders

    ss3079~ Thanks for moving this to an apprpriate place.


    Bimma,
    You're always such a naysayer when anything touching on this topic comes up. Why is that? Have you been burned incredibly bad and consequently harbor some unresolved bitterness about online trading in general? I have made no claims that my thread contains the "Be All, End All" method of keeping yourself from getting scammed. It is, however, some common sense information that potentially hasn't occurred to some as of yet for various reasons. It is garnered from my own personal online experiences, a good bit of time spent on the eBay discussion boards, and a few other resources that serve me well in my goings-on day to day on the interweb.

    Nothing you do will prove to be a perfect system and I am happy to both recognize and admit that. That doesn't mean since we cannot eliminate scammers altogether that we shouldn't make efforts to minimize their being successful as much as we possibly can ~ both on an individual basis as well as together as a group. It is to that latter end that my efforts in this thread are focused.

    So, to respond to your post:

    Quote Originally Posted by bimma85
    another common sense point, just because someone has a picture of the item with their name written on paper in front of it
    A. That can be edited on the computer
    B. Just because they havent doesnt mean they'll send it once you pay
    True and true. Let me reiterate ~ these tips are in no way meant to get rid of scamming altogether but if it in any way reduces the chances of it? Then I, for one, am all for it. Why wouldn't you be? Please don't come at me with that tired story about being an inconvenience for an honest seller. I've already trounced that soundly in the mud. An extra minute or two (literally) at the outside is no inconvenience if it helps you to make that sale. /story

    Feedback...I'm a paranoid lil foker. When checking feedback and the feedback was left by someone w/ little to no feedback...I don't even count that. I know a **** ton of folks on ebay for example, thats good for them . In my book, they do not exist. Its is way too easy to open multiple accounts on multiple names and leave feedback for your sellers account.
    Paranoia, in limited amounts, can serve a person well. In the inordinately large amounts with which you are apparently afflicted, however, it makes for a dismal existence. Everyone has to start somewhere, bimma. Once you had Zero feedback on eBay. Think back to that very first transaction on eBay ~ did the feedback you left for your trading partner become inconsequential because you had none yourself? That is lunacy, dude. You are entitled to your opinion as is everyone else. Mine is that your point of view in that regard is more than a bit silly.

    Yes, dishonest things happen on eBay. They happen here. They happen everywhere. The underlying point is that the transactions that end positively far outweigh the number of bad deals here and elsewhere. The bad ones simply get better press because those are the ones that shouldn't have happened. In large part no one really pays any attention to those deals that conclude as they should have.

    As for negatives, also be sure to check when the feedback was placed.
    If seller gives neg first then buyer give them a neg.... Good chance the buyer didnt pay for the item and gave a neg feedback just because the seller gave them one.
    If buyer gives neg first then seller does, either seller could be a little shithead...or maybe leaving a neg. for receiving one for no reason.
    This bit I agree with completely.

    How do you know my grandma , when did she say this?
    Oh yea, nice thread prowler . Hopefully you can help a few.
    Can't help the ones that have to learn the hard way
    If your grandma didn't tell you that at some point then she's among the minority of grandmothers, I'd say. And thank you. I know this isn't going to stop anything completely - but if anything I've said helps someone to keep from getting screwed even once then I have accomplished my goal. Maybe something I've posted will help someone, at least once, to having to learn the hard way.

    Really can't help the ones that learn the hard way, multiple times ....guess that's not really learning though
    Nope, it isn't. It only took me burning my hand once to learn not to reach up on the stove when that knob on the front of it was turned at an odd angle. Others take a few more times before they get it...
    Last edited by Prowler573; 06-28-2006 at 06:53 PM.



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