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Red flags when buying equipment online?


amheck
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Hoping to put together a nice 2 channel system.  One of the items I would like to try is a DAC in between a bluesound node and tube Amp. 

 

Been keeping my eye out for a Black Ice Glass FX DAC Wifi and one popped up on US Audio Mart for a pretty nice price (lower than most others I've seen listed) 

 

Talked to the seller back and forth and everything seems generally OK until I asked about using PayPal and they offered to send out the item with just a pic of a money order. 

 

Might be a totally nice guy but that seems strange to me. 

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Just now, Racer X said:

Perhaps you could view this from the seller's perspective:  How would you like to pay Paypal to get your money ?

 

Most of the time I've seen sellers pass along the 3% fee to the buyer. Assuming that's what you are referring to. 

 

In either case, PP is the method that US Audio Matt recommends for buyers to use

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36 minutes ago, amheck said:

Talked to the seller back and forth and everything seems generally OK until I asked about using PayPal and they offered to send out the item with just a pic of a money order. 

 

Might be a totally nice guy but that seems strange to me. 

 

 Take a pic of the money order and hang onto it until you receive the item, if all is good then mail it out?

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6 minutes ago, jjptkd said:

 

 Take a pic of the money order and hang onto it until you receive the item, if all is good then mail it out?

Yeah, that seems like the obvious answer.  I'm just not sure why any seller would do that.  I certainly wouldn't.  This, along with the strangely low price, just got me wondering, that's all. 

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24 minutes ago, amheck said:

 I'm just not sure why any seller would do that.  I certainly wouldn't.

 

Lets see if I have this right, strangely low price, niggling questions in the buyer's mind & "I'll ship it to you if you send me a photo of a money order."

 

And your question is "Why would any seller do this?"

 

My question is why would you want to personally see how this comes out? I mean, you can't look away from a train wreck and I'd like to hear how it comes out, but not from someone on the forum (who needs La Scala IIs). This sequence just does not make sense. Something is just not quite right in my humble opinion.  I'd keep looking for a more traditional/rational transaction.

 

Just my dos centavos.

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Seller has a couple positive transactions but I suppose those are easy enough to fake. 

 

And the price is low but not crazy stupid.  These dacs started at around 700-750 i believe and have now crept up to 1250.  So if he was one of the early buyers, his price would be reasonable for used.  But I think some sellers are riding on the price increases possible selling used for more then they paid initially new. 

 

But like you said, I want (need?) new speakers more and need amplification too, so not going to mess with this deal with the flags popping up. 

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Some people want a quicker sale and a lower priced item will sell faster. It's a tradeoff in that he gets money in his pocket faster but won't receive top dollar for it.

 

I don't see how you are at any risk. It's not like he is asking for you to send the money order before shipping the item, he just wants a picture to know you bought the money order and not screwing him. When you get the DAC see if it works real quick before mailing the MO out, this seems like the purchase is in your favor because if you are unhappy you can just not send payment and return it. Money orders are very safe. The seller needs to provide an ID when cashing in the Money order so if there is an issue where you get ripped of just tell them the MO serial number and they will either freeze the payment. Or, if he already cashed the MO then the serial number is linked to the ID he used so the authorities have his name. If he uses a fake ID then just about everywhere that cashes MO's will have video monitoring so at least the authorities will have a face shot of the thief.

 

Reasons he might prefer a money order.

 

Doesn't want Paypal to send tax documents to the IRS

 

Doesn't want to pay Paypal the fees regardless if it's out of his pocket or someone else's. If you have to pay the fee then the price isn't as good as it once was. If he pays the fee he gets even less money than what he is asking for.

 

Possible bad past experience with paypal and just hates them and will never use them again. They can randomly freeze your account and tie up your funds. They have been known to hold payment for 21 days for no reason. They say it's a "higher risk" sale but that's BS 99% of the time.

 

Does not have a bank account to transfer his funds to.

 

 

I personally wouldn't be worried if I were in your shoes. I would ask to speak over the phone and ask the reason for money order. USAudiomart prefers sales through Paypal but money orders, wire transfer, and cash are all acceptable methods. Also do some small talk about hifi gear or music he listens to etc.... Feel out the situation and go from there.

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8 hours ago, amheck said:

Yeah, that seems like the obvious answer.  I'm just not sure why any seller would do that.  I certainly wouldn't.  This, along with the strangely low price, just got me wondering, that's all. 

 

  It would seem to me that the seller is willing to shoulder all the risk in this transaction, looking at the listing on US Audiomart $450? seller has bought and sold before and received good feedback and his phone number is on the listing. I personally would buy from the guy if I was interested just wouldn't send the money order until I received the item and had a chance to hook it up and make sure it works correctly.

 

 I would probably give it a day or two before mailing out the money order just to be extra sure it doesn't have any problems that don't present themselves right away. I don't know what else the seller could do to ease your mind? If you want a warranty you'll have to buy new otherwise if you want a deal on used all you can do is make sure the item works as it should and hasn't been tampered with in any way then it should be no riskier than buying any other used item online. 

 

  In today's world selling with Paypal means tax forms and possible audits in the future and now $2500 fines for wrong think, I cannot blame the guy for not wanting to use the service and cash or money order are the best alternatives. Offering to let you hold payment until you receive the item is significantly safer than sending payment through Paypal as "friends and family" as there's no recourse once you hit that send button. 

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I agree with @jjptkd I don't see any risk on your part whatsoever. More and more people don't want to use paypal because of the new IRS laws. To me, this is safer than using PP Friends and Family, because you have zero chance to reclaim that $$ if things go sideways.

 

Personally I'd have no problem doing it this way as long as you receive the item in good condition and let it run for a day to make sure there are no issues.

 

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The usual online transaction is: Send me the money, then I'll send you the goods.

 

On 10/31/2022 at 6:11 PM, amheck said:

Hoping to put together a nice 2 channel system.  One of the items I would like to try is a DAC in between a bluesound node and tube Amp. 

 

Been keeping my eye out for a Black Ice Glass FX DAC Wifi and one popped up on US Audio Mart for a pretty nice price (lower than most others I've seen listed) 

 

Talked to the seller back and forth and everything seems generally OK until I asked about using PayPal and they offered to send out the item with just a pic of a money order. 

 

Might be a totally nice guy but that seems strange to me. 

 

People are bailing out of the PayPal Gulag in droves. It's a horrible company, with horrible policies.

https://truthpress.com/news/paypal-responds-after-losing-thousands-of-accounts/

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It is not that easy to find reliable information online. One study from 2011 suggests that 91% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations - as long as the reviews are authentic.  But about 20% of reviews are fake. The problem is, it's easy for sellers to create fake positive reviews. You can find reliable reviews on pissedconsumer website https://help-center.pissedconsumer.com/amazon-vs-ebay-customer-service-survey/. This website provides real reviews and complaints from real customers.

Edited by Weni
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On 10/31/2022 at 11:24 PM, captainbeefheart said:

Some people want a quicker sale and a lower priced item will sell faster. It's a tradeoff in that he gets money in his pocket faster but won't receive top dollar for it.

 

I don't see how you are at any risk. It's not like he is asking for you to send the money order before shipping the item, he just wants a picture to know you bought the money order and not screwing him. When you get the DAC see if it works real quick before mailing the MO out, this seems like the purchase is in your favor because if you are unhappy you can just not send payment and return it. Money orders are very safe. The seller needs to provide an ID when cashing in the Money order so if there is an issue where you get ripped of just tell them the MO serial number and they will either freeze the payment. Or, if he already cashed the MO then the serial number is linked to the ID he used so the authorities have his name. If he uses a fake ID then just about everywhere that cashes MO's will have video monitoring so at least the authorities will have a face shot of the thief.

 

Reasons he might prefer a money order.

 

Doesn't want Paypal to send tax documents to the IRS

 

Doesn't want to pay Paypal the fees regardless if it's out of his pocket or someone else's. If you have to pay the fee then the price isn't as good as it once was. If he pays the fee he gets even less money than what he is asking for.

 

Possible bad past experience with paypal and just hates them and will never use them again. They can randomly freeze your account and tie up your funds. They have been known to hold payment for 21 days for no reason. They say it's a "higher risk" sale but that's BS 99% of the time.

 

Does not have a bank account to transfer his funds to.

 

 

I personally wouldn't be worried if I were in your shoes. I would ask to speak over the phone and ask the reason for money order. USAudiomart prefers sales through Paypal but money orders, wire transfer, and cash are all acceptable methods. Also do some small talk about hifi gear or music he listens to etc.... Feel out the situation and go from there.

I have been screwed by PP several times

I will never use them again

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