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Buying & Selling Online - Guidelines

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Please note this is a draft and you are welcome to make any suggestions to improve, 

 

Buying and Selling safely online – some tips and a guide,

 

Firstly this is only some tips and only just a guide, doesn’t purport to be a cast iron guarantee that you wont be scammed or conned however its just some measures to do your best to safely buy and sell online J

 

Buying…

 

Ok this bares some trepidation … after all you are often handing over money… but not just that often your personal details, financial details, contact details and often even where you live !

 

The most safest way – pay cash on pick up

Go visit the seller, check out the item being bought, pay cold hard cash, and walk away hopefully content and without any comebacks…. Note the pitfalls of buying 2nd hand though… there aren’t any warranties, no consumer rights, theres no such thing as changing your mind and wanting your money back. There is no after sales… so don’t be disappointed if the seller has no interest in providing any of that. If wanting these things … go buy from a retailer or any company with an ABN which have to uphold your rights as a consumer. OK there is one caveat with all this… what if you are taking along thousands of dollars ?  and not comfortable doing so ? tell someone before you go, take someone with you. Get a receipt from the seller that prove you paid for the goods. Get them to sign and with their driving license number on the receipt. Give them the same if they want the same peace of mind.

 

Cash on delivery (COD)

Ok there are couple of ways this can happen. The seller can bring the item to you, you check out before handing over cash for the item. Before the seller leaves and hopefully leaves you happy and content ! The note above of buying 2nd hand again applies. As does the caveat that you might not be totally comfortable with a complete stranger coming to your home and you handing over 1000s of dollars. Again here, have someone else in the house. Have a phone at hand, make a note of their car rego when they arrive or leave. Get them to sign a receipt with their driving license and give them the same for peace of mind.

 

The other means of COD is where you utilise the Australia post service for this. It is costly so expect the seller to have you pay for this service. Also expect the seller to want you to pay for insurance(replacement value of the item) and shipping cost for the item including tracking and signature on delivery. This is to ensure it gets to you and its covered in case of any damage. Note you will need to go into the post office to pay for the item and pick it up. While can visibly check the item is inside and cosmetically undamaged there is no way to check it works as should until fully test it. And if found not working or Dead on arrival (DOA) will be the case of following up on the auspost insurance to recover costs to repair or replace. Or re imburse item value if a write off.

 

Using Paypal

Probably the safest means. Ok as a buyer paypal does give you some protection… but there are somethings to be very carefull about. If a seller asks you to send money via paypal… decline…. What you want for them to do instead is send you a request to pay. Otherwise if you just send them money… it doesn’t register as a sale and you will have no come back. Responding to a request to pay instead creates a sale transaction and something you will have paypal protection on. The protection will also cover you incase the item is not as described faulty etc. Paypals requirement is usually for you to ship the item back to the seller for a refund of purchase price (you will bare all costs to ship either way)

Please accept the seller to then require to ship the item to your registered paypal address. This is for sellers protection. Also do keep in mind this protection costs money (typically 3% of transaction) so expect the seller to require you to cover this cost and also the cost for shipping as this is all for your protection.

 

Additionally be wary of using PayPal if the seller is asking for it to be used only as a "Gift" or family or friends transfer. As these do not register as a purchase transaction and you get no protection from PayPal as a buyer. 

 

As a note one MAJOR pitfall of paypal is after all that if the seller takes a couple of bricks and puts in a box and sends it to you instead of the actual item…well am sorry to say there is absolutely no recourse if this were to happen !  unless you can quickly check prior to signing for the delivery. However in most cases couriers will not wait for this or worse still will leave items with someone else etc.

 

Note also PayPal has a limit of 180 days of raising a dispute i.e. item not received etc. doesnt match description doesnt work as should etc. so you are entitled to lodge a dispute anytime within this period however if seller is delaying shipping or it is taking a long time to receive an item and it is getting close to the 180 days it is recommended to lodge a claim regardless. at worse if the item does arrive or the issue is resolved the case can always be closed.

 

Direct bank deposit – telegraphic transfers and such *** Buyer beware***

Direct bank deposits have their place. Between people you trust and know. For complete strangers it is not recommended as a means of payment as affords no protection as a buyer and opens up to handing over money and other details to a stranger with no recourse. If stuck doing this as means of payment there are numerous precautions to be made. No 1 establish there is infact a product. Ask for photos to identify the item exists with the seller. This can be via asking them to take a photo of the item eg with a known article eg next to a current news paper. Next to a common place article of your choice. Or a particular angle of photo that is unusual. Or best ask for a photograph of the article with a small piece of paper with sellers user name and current date. If unsure of the authenticity of the photos can down load them and do a search through tineye.com which will check millions of websites. 

 

If you use google chrome browser, you can also right click an image and select 'search google for image' which in the case of a sale thread should not bring up any images other than the stereonet thread (or perhaps ebay under the same seller, but you can cross check details like location/price/date etc)

 

5846a208b9ad2_searchgoogleforimage.png.bf74f471ae4c0a261d3526bb8413057c.png

 

if that method doesn't work for you,

 

Open Google in a new tab and select "Images" in the top right corner:

 

1.PNG.e3a8cb106f770c747403da9ceeaae1a1.PNG

 

Then return to your image and click and hold your left mouse button on the image.  Drag the image to the "Google Images" tab and just drop it in -

 

2.PNG.7d89d8c934c7381e8726bbc75fa55a19.PNG

 

Ask all contact details of the seller … so if things go astray go wrong you have something to follow up with. Full name, address (place of residence) not PO boxes not work. A contact phone number(mobile and if possible a land line) an email address. Also keep in mind you will be providing not only your contact and personal details to the seller and including your banking details so if they are not comfortable providing you with all that… neither should you ! one way to do this is ask for an invoice – which has all this information. And once you have paid for the item ask them to provide you with a receipt. Once the item is shipped you probably want some form of shipping so can watch the item follow it across to you for peace of mind as with some insurance to cover it incase it gets damaged in transit. Ask the seller for signature on delivery so you can make sure a postie or courier cant just leave it some place and you have to sign for it to accept. Very unfortunately the pitfalls of buying 2nd hand apply here very heavily you have no recourse if things go astray… or the item isn’t as described. And certainly none if turns out to be a couple of bricks sent to you instead.

 

Some other buying tips…. Do your best to find out about the item before buying keeping in mind the pitfalls of buying 2nd hand. Try and get as many photos of the item to establish condition prior to getting it. Sense how communicative the seller is…if they are hopeless in communication prior to a sale how do you think they will be during the sale or after it… if things don’t go as they should. Try and do some checks on the seller …just how much of a stranger are they..do they have a track record of good sales ? do they have a ebay identity … what is their feedback like ? if they are a complete unknown the carefull you will need to be.

 

If buying something sight unseen from here especially......see if there is a member in the area that you trust and ask them to go and view the product and confirm it is a working condition prior to it being sent.  Its not a foolproof option but it is a certian amount of protection.

 

If getting an item shipped where possible get it shipped in original packaging the packaging the original manufactures usually supply to ship these things around the world and interstate... probably gives best peace of mind will get to you in one piece ! 

 

Try and take as many precautions you feel are necessary to make you comfortable. Do understand that not everyone will be as comfortable with all this or forthcoming. In which case decide for yourself whether it’s a sale worth going into without the necessary peace of mind.

 

There will always other sales or even items from retailers etc that might be a better buy… if you are not comfortable .. you are not comfortable.

 

Selling….

 

Is not without risk, you are handing over goods hopefully for money ! … but not just that often your personal details, financial details, contact details and often even where you live !

 

The most safest way – get cash on pick up

Have the seller visit, check out the item being bought, pay cold hard cash, and walk away hopefully content and without any comebacks. As a seller you are under no compulsion to offer after sales, provide any warranty or put up with a buyer changing of mind... unless selling as retailer or any company with an ABN in which case you are compelled to uphold the buyers rights as a consumer. OK there is one caveat with all this… you are inviting a complete stranger to your home and what if you are not comfortable doing so ? tell someone about them visiting, have someone there with you. Have a phone at hand, make a note of their car rego when they arrive or leave. Give the buyer a receipt and keep a copy for yourself that proves they paid you for the goods. Get them to sign and with their driving license number on the receipt. This is for both of your peace of mind.

 

Cash on delivery (COD)

Ok there are couple of ways this can happen. As the seller you can take the item with you deliver to the buyer, make sure they check out before handing over cash for the item and you walking away. The note above that this is a 2nd hand sale with no come backs applies here as per above. As does the caveat that you might not be totally comfortable going to a complete stranger house with an expensive piece of gear leaving with 1000s of dollars. Again here, have someone else go with you. Have your phone at hand, make a note of their car rego at their house when you arrive or leave. Get them to sign a receipt with their driving license and give them the same for peace of mind.

The other means of COD is where you utilise the Australia post service for this. It is costly and the expectation would be that the buyer pays you pay for this service. Also make sure you include cost for insurance (replacement value of the item) and shipping cost for the item including tracking and signature on delivery. This is to ensure it gets to the buyer and its covered in case of any damage. The buyer will need to go into the post office to pay for the item and pick it up. IF there is any damage to the item, if found not working or Dead on arrival (DOA) will be the case of following up on the auspost insurance to recover costs to repair or replace. Or re imburse item value if a write off. Your obligations as seller go no further beyond this.

 

Using Paypal

While this is often touted as the safest means. It isn’t the case if you are a seller there are some considerable pitfalls to be aware off. If a seller just sends money via paypal… refund it…. What you want to happen instead is you send them a request to pay. Otherwise if you just accept their payment… it doesn’t register as a sale and once you have sent the item then they can simply reverse the transaction. Sending a request to pay instead creates a sale transaction and something you will have some paypal protection on. What you want to do however is as soon as the money is received transfer it out of the paypal linked account and into another bank account not linked to paypal. Do not ship any item until the funds clear and are accessible.   Do not under any circumstances accept any payment via credit card as these can be reversed by the buyer through their bank and you will have no recourse with item shipped.

 

Make sure if shipping the item it is a fully tracked and via a registered service with signature on delivery and insured to full value of the item – you want proof for paypal you sent the item and it indeed got to the buyer. Do not agree to a sale using paypal unless this is included in the deal – the risk is a buyer who says they never received an item and you not being able to prove the case – paypal will require you to refund the purchase and you will be without your item you sold. As a note, paypal additionally covers the buyer incase the item is not as they feel it was described eg incase is received damaged faulty not working as should etc. Paypals requirement is usually for buyer to ship the item back to the seller for a refund of purchase price (the buyer will bare all costs to ship either way – you don’t have to cover this). This is why insurance is important so you are covered in this event. Be aware also of a typical scam here where the buyer can also send you back the original box you sent it in…but this time with a couple of bricks…there is nothing can really do about this if does ever happen ! unless you can quickly check prior to signing for the delivery. However in most cases couriers will not wait for this or worse still will leave items with someone else etc.

 

Note as seller using PayPal  as a "Gift" or family or friends transfer as means of payment the sale does not register as a purchase transaction and you get no protection from PayPal as a seller or buyer. 

 

Under no circumstances should you accept a buyer wanting to come pick up an item once it is paid for by paypal. This is a typical scam, once item is picked up the buyer can put in a claim to paypal of never having received the item. In this case better to either refund their paypal payment and revert to cash on pickup or cash on delivery. Or better as per Paypal requirement ship the item to the paypal registered person and their registered address. Hence also do not agree to ship an item to anyone else or any other address but the buyers registered paypal details and address. As in all these conditions the buyer can claim to have never received the item and you will have no proof of ever sending to them or their address.

 

One other PayPal scam is where a buyer over pays... gets in touch to then reverse the payment. and then sends you a fake PayPal email showing payment. To which most sellers not realising its fake then send goods. to then realise when they look in their PayPal account that no funds ever arrive. This is again why under no circumstances as a seller you should ship and item or release an item until you actually have finds in your account.

 

One other rather scary aspect of PayPal is the buyer has 180 days after purchase  to lodge a claim i.e. item not received ... item not as described... not working as should. As a seller make sure you keep the proof of shipment and proof of delivery for the 6+ months to make sure you can counter any claims made in this period. Additionally with a buyer claiming 5-6 months after buying an item that its not as described or not working as it should good luck basically ! unfortunately it means PayPal will ask them to ship back to you and for you to make a refund....

 

So does paypal provide any protection to the buyer, well yes it shields your bank details from the buyer but that’s about it.  Considering paypal protection is mainly for the buyer and this protection costs money (typically 3% of transaction) it is usually accepted the buyer covers this cost and also the cost for shipping etc as its for the buyers protection.

 

Direct bank deposit – telegraphic transfers and such *** seller beware***

Direct bank deposits have their place. Between people you trust and know. For complete strangers it is not recommended as a means of payment as affords no protection as a buyer or seller particularly since provides financial details to a stranger with no recourse. Please be aware the particular risks for buyer in this case refer section above to the kind of things they will likely ask for their opwn protection. If unwilling to do all this perhaps this means of payment is really not for you.

 

Some other selling tips…. Do your best to make as much info available to buyers to give the best chance of making the right decision in purchasing this item from you. Try and get as many photos of the item to establish condition so this is clear to the buyer on purchase. Try do some back ground checks on buyers, just how much of a stranger are they..do they have a track record as good buyers ? do they have a ebay identity … what is their feedback like ? if they are a complete unknown the carefull you will need to be.

 

If shipping an item where possible ship it in original packaging the packaging the original manufactures usually supply to ship these things around the world and interstate... probably gives best peace of mind will get to the other end in one piece ! if insuring check carefully the fine print on what couriers offer as often the insurance bought might be worthless or not covering the items being shipped due to some loop hole.

 

Just as for buyers try and take as many precautions you feel are necessary to make you comfortable. Do understand that not everyone will be as comfortable with all this or forthcoming. In which case decide for yourself whether it’s a sale worth continuing without the necessary peace of mind.

 

When all else fails and find yourself in the soup ! 

as highlighted by @Kaynin

On 08/10/2017 at 10:09 AM, Kaynin said:

This is quicker than a police report -

 

https://www.acorn.gov.au/

 

note as always .... If you are not comfortable … you are not comfortable…. There will always be another buyer that comes along ! 

 

........ please be sure to provide any input or suggestions to improve ... will do my best to incorporate.

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note I have updated the original post which now includes a link to report cyber crimes for police investigation. 

 

https://report.acorn.gov.au

 

 

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One more detail. Australia Post insurance will cover max of $100 for any loss or damage.  

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19 minutes ago, 1boruta said:

One more detail. Australia Post insurance will cover max of $100 for any loss or damage.  

I just put  $500 insurance on a parcel this week. 

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al 

Thanks for the time and effort to put this together.

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another thing that may also help..........if buying something sight unseen from here especially......see if there is a member in the area that you trust and ask them to go and view the product and confirm it is a working condition prior to it being sent.  Its not a foolproof option but it is a certian amount of protection.  I would be happy to do that for people who are buying from perth.

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1 hour ago, steffanth said:

another thing that may also help..........if buying something sight unseen from here especially......see if there is a member in the area that you trust and ask them to go and view the product and confirm it is a working condition prior to it being sent.  Its not a foolproof option but it is a certian amount of protection.  I would be happy to do that for people who are buying from perth.

thanks Steffanth for the suggestion, a good one and I have added in. Very true to people are indeed often happy to help and good on you for also offering to assist :)

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Thanks for that Paypal scam refund stuff.

Had heard it could happen but did not understand the process of being conned. Another reason to avoid Paypal besides their percentage.

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