Safety and Smooth Transactions for Buyers and Sellers
As with other free classifieds sites or marketplaces, you must exercise your own caution, common sense, and a few savvy tricks to keep as safe as possible. Many tips for safety and due diligence are similar or overlap with the tips for avoiding scams.
Safety Tips for Buyers
- Read a seller's feedback carefully - Sellers with multiple feedback (10+) have had multiple transactions on the site and may be more reliable.
- Ask for recent photos - Some buyers will ask for photos with "proof of ownership" or photos with more detailed resolution of specific parts of an item. "Proof of ownership" is simply a piece of paper with your name and date placed near the item being sold. Not all sellers can cater to every request.
Use payment methods with buyer protection - Unless you trust the seller and are willing to risk potentially losing your money, you should inquire about payment options that have some recourse. If the seller has very little feedback on CM and cannot provide proof of ownership of a well known eBay account, you may wish to limit yourself to payment methods such as Paypal (via "Goods & Services" payment) and Escrow.
Note that some sellers with great reputations and long history on the site may not accept Paypal or Escrow.
Be aware that cheques, Money Wire, EMT, ACH offer no buyer protection - These methods of payment offer no protection whatsoever. The fees that more expensive options like Paypal and Escrow charge are partially used to protect you in case a deal goes badly. Just be aware that even that protection has its limits.
Always send Paypal as Goods & Services payments and Pay attention to buyer protection policies - Paypal offers what they call Buyer Protection which will reimburse you in the case of an item not being received or an item being defective upon arrival. However, this protection only applies if you pay via "Goods & Services" which uses a higher Paypal fee. Search for the Paypal Buyer Protection page in your own country and read the details and their User Agreement carefully as these pages provide details and fine print on Buyer Protection coverage (coverage might differ from country to country). Do not be tempted to send payment as a "Gift" or a "Friend & Family" payment as these offer no buyer protection whatsoever on Paypal.
Ask careful questions about condition and history of the unit - Preferably this information is listed in the ad itself. If the photos and/or description don't match what you learn about the unit, make sure you understand
Be aware that items are sold AS IS - Most items listed on our marketplace are sold by private sellers. There is no warranty with such items. If a seller claims there is warranty left on an item it is your responsibility to make sure that is true before buying.
Be extra vigilant when listing WANTED ads - If you post a WANTED ad, you tend to have less information to work with when contacted by an owner of an item you want. Make sure to ask for recent photos, a clear description of the items condition and history.
Leave feedback and ask for feedback - Feedback is an important part of the site's safety and trust system. Please insist on feedback for all transactions.
Read our scams page for more information - You can learn alot about how scammers operate by reading our Scams page.
Safety and Smooth Transactions for Sellers
For the most part sellers are quite safe in online transactions because you receive payment before shipping or releasing your item. For a smooth transaction your main concerns are the accuracy and quality of your listing (to avoid feedback disputes) as well as how you pack and ship your items.
- Create a detailed classified listing - Put as much detail about your specific unit as possible, and disclose any and all issues both cosmetic and electrical.
- Understand the Condition Grading Scale of your item - Carefully read the Grading Scale guide to correctly grade your item.
- Use accurate, recent photos with Proof of Ownership - Detailed and accurate photos that pre-emptively disclose the condition of a unit will allow your buyers to make an informed decision and set expectations correctly for both buyer and seller. This leads to happy buyers and more positive feedback.
- Pack items carefully in good boxes for shipping - Some boxes are not intended to be shipped, use good quality corrugated shipping boxes and packing materials to prevent an item from shifting around or being damaged during shipping. While this is a used marketplace and buyers must beware, you want your item to arrive in the same condition it was sent out in to avoid disputes.
- Read a buyer's feedback carefully - Buyers with multiple feedback (10+) have had multiple transactions on the site and may be more reliable. New buyers will not have feedback, but as the seller you have the luxury of receiving funds before shipping. Sellers have very high safety records online even when dealing with new users without feedback.
- Check for Paypal Verified status - Buyers using Paypal are more trusted if they have a Verified Paypal account. Such accounts either connect to a legitimate financial institution or have had a shipping address verified by Paypal.
Safety for everyone
- Always leave feedback and request feedback - Even if you are a buyer who may not intend to buy again, ask for and leave feedback. This is the backbone of creating more trust on the site and to help identify trustworthy buyers and sellers.
- Always report an ad if it is suspicious - If you spot an ad that is "too good to be true" or if someone behaves strangely, report the ad.
- Report ads that don't look to have original photos - if photos look borrowed from another source, report the ad.
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