Author Topic: How do you buy an item from a member?  (Read 8859 times)

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Offline walter9999

How do you buy an item from a member?
« on: March 05, 2009, 08:22:28 am »
I am interested in purchasing an item listed on this site and am wondering how a transaction would work.  The item is not cheap,  so how is money exchanged and the item received?  I am familiar with pay pal on ebay and it gives you some what of a secure feeling doing business with a seller, but I was wondering how a transaction works here?  Any ideas?  TIA Walter

Offline mucknort

Re: How do you buy an item from a member?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 10:05:52 am »
I have not made a purchase on this forum, but I have made numerous purchases privately on another cycling forum. Here's some suggestions:
-You can make a payment to someone via paypal, if you both have a paypal account. You just sign in and find the "make a payment" option. Paypal will take a 3-5% charge depending on your membership levels.
-Just as I only buy from established members on ebay, I tend to only buy from members of a board that have made numerous posts, have a positive reputation, on the board. This could be tough here, as this board is fairly new and folks don't seem to make tons of posts.
-When I don't use paypal to make a payment, I send a USPS money order from the post office. They cost a dollar, but are only available up to a certain amount ($500 I think). Once I had to buy several money orders for an expensive bike. If they are lost, you can report it to USPS and if no one cashes it within a certain time frame, they refund you the money. This happened to me once, so I know it works.
-If they live far away, you can try to find a local bike shop that will act as a broker. I use to look up bike shops in cities around the US. The person drops the bike off at the shop, calls you to say its there, boxes and ships it, you pay them.
-For any big purchase (bike), I always request a phone # and give the seller a call. I find it much easier to get a "feel" for a seller over the phone than just internet messages.
-There are escrow companies (and some bike shops will act as an escrow company) where you send them payment and the seller drops off the item and the escrow company only completes the transaction after both parties have completed their part.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 11:01:01 pm by mucknort »

Offline walter9999

Re: How do you buy an item from a member?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 03:27:16 pm »
Ok here is what I ended up doing for the purchase I made.  I used an escrow company to complete the transaction of approx 3K.  The buyer and seller sign up and establish a contract of what's being sold and for how much and any other details.  When it's agreed upon, the buyer sends the money to the escrow company,  the escrow company confirms to the seller that the funds are received and notifies the seller to ship the merchandise.  The buyer receives the merch. and either accepts or declines.  When accepted the buyer notifies the escrow company and they in turn release the funds to the seller.  The escrow company charges a small transaction fee.  It gives a great comfort to both parties and was inexpensive to use.  I am old school and would have gladly taken someones "WORD" for sending the merchandise BUT, it's 2009 and doing anything old school anymore, will get you burned. Hope this helps someone else.

Offline jsieber

Re: How do you buy an item from a member?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 04:45:31 pm »
Thanks for posting how you handled this situation Walter. I think this will be a useful guide down the road for people wondering about making large purchases online through this forum.

Offline GarySherck

Re: How do you buy an item from a member?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 01:42:08 am »
Good post.  I, too, like the idea of talking with the seller on the phone.  Today, phone calls are inexpensive, and as you say, one can get a good feel of the person over the phone.  gary

Offline BrianW

Re: How do you buy an item from a member?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 09:58:03 am »
I've bought and sold lots of bike stuff using the Internet over the past decade. I've bought a $3500 tandem and a $6000 triplet from people thousands of miles away, as well as other bikes and accessories along the way. I've sold several tandems and shipped them cross-country to buyers. It can be scary, but there are some ways to protect yourself.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Always use PayPal if possible and buy from/sell to verified members. It's not foolproof, but knowing that a member is verified is at least something. If it's a high-dollar item, the seller may ask you to pay the surcharge (up to 3%) or split it with him/her. It's worth it.
2. If using a money order, USPS ones are the way to go. It's a federal crime to misuse them, and the Postal Inspectors take these things seriously.
3. For an expensive item, ALWAYS do due diligence. This includes: a) Getting a HOME phone number for the seller (if they have one) and looking up the number online to see if it matches with the other info you have (location, etc.). Call the seller once or more to discuss the item so you can get a feel for them. Are they selling a specialized item but don't seem to know anything about it? Maybe it's stolen, or doesn't exist! b) Google the seller's name, e-mail address, and anything else you can find to see what shows up. You might be surprised.
4. If selling an item that was paid for with a money order, always make sure it clears before sending off the item. There are plenty of scams with money orders and cashiers checks being fraudulent. Just because your bank deposits it without issue doesn't mean it's legit (I learned this the hard way years ago when selling a computer).
5. If you agree upon something in a call (see #3), always follow it up with a written e-mail detailing the agreement and get a response from the seller/buyer that he/she agrees to the terms. That way you have something in writing to look back on.
6. For any high-value item, as a seller always ship using trackable services and require a signature. Follow-up right away with an e-mail asking if everything looks good. Assuming so, this gives you some protection if the buyer comes back in a week and says something is wrong.

Offline diesel9er

Re: How do you buy an item from a member?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 03:11:28 pm »
I've found doing a google map especially with street view also can give you a warm fuzzy. I recently sold a Riv to a gentleman and was relieved when I saw his digs! He could certainly afford it!

I know, don't pre judge but in the World we live in sometimes it's not a bad idea! Especially if you're not feeling completely comfortable with the transaction! ;D