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I've never sold or bought anything to or from someone located too far away to drive and am looking for tips and best practice. I don't want to have a future story about how I got taken advantage of, nor do I want someone to worry about me doing the same. How do you remove risk for the seller and buyer from the equation?

As a seller, my risk would be eliminated if I got the money before I shipped the item. However this puts the buyer at risk and vice versa if I got my money after they got to inspect the item. I've come to value the input from members of this forum and want advice.

Thanks
 

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In today's World, everyone needs to be concerned about scams. This appears to be a large and rapidly growing industry. Buying and selling needs to be backed up by reputations on both ends. If you have never sold anything before, you have no reputation, so that will be bad for you.
Likewise, if you have something of value to sell and you ship it to a potential buyer for them to examine, you are likely to lose the item you shipped if you were not paid for it before shipping.
 

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It's customary for the buyer to pay before the seller ships. Personally, I think PayPal is a good payment option for both parties (unless the item happens to be a firearm), you'll get the money quickly and they also offer protection for the buyer. IIRC, PayPal's buyer protection is very similar to what the credit card companies offer, so they will handle possible disputes between seller and buyer.
 

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When I sell something I only except a U S POSTAL MONEY ORDER PERIOD. No cashiers check, no personal checks, no certified check. Once in awhile PayPal. I always get the money then ship it out. Safer that way. Oh, and you have the buyer mail it Priority Mail or Overnight.
My mail delivery people have even screwed that up but it still the safest method.
 

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If it`s a gun you want to sell, you might try a nice gun shop that will sell it on commission. I did that years ago with good luck. Many years ago I use to be on the gun show circuit in California. We did well as I had built up a good reputation. That was 35 years ago and I have been out of the loop and haven't sold any guns since and now find myself in your same boat. The commission might be 10%?? BUT you wont have any comeback arguments on condition etc as a buyer see`s what they are getting. Odds are the store can sell it for more than you can to make up for the commission fee. This will work better on high end antique or rare, or classic guns, NOT on "Christmas tree guns"!
The problem is finding the rare good gun store that will agree to sell on commission. I NEVER would just sell or trade a gun at a gun store. Especially a modern day "Christmas tree" gun that is popularly available. A gun store can buy a new one wholesale for less than you would want to take for yours! How can you expect them to give you what you want, and yet you shouldn't blame them either for trying.
 

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Firearms
For the smoothest buy or sell between legitimate honest parties:

Clear good photos. Provide them when selling and require them when buying and it will be the smoothest it can be.

Payment before shipping. USPS money order

If a seller can’t do that- walk away
 

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A phone call can help when you are trying to negotiate a deal. And reliable information of the people involved. And good pictures. And a USPS MO in hand before the merchandise ships. If you take these conditions into consideration, you will spot the scammer right pronto, or he will mysteriously disappear. It is easy and very inexpensive to just shove off and try again under more conducive circumstances. FTF in your home state is always an option.
 

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When I recently sold a really good high dollar target pistol I went to my favorite FFL and he put it on Gunbroker. He handled the entire transaction and took a fee for doing it. No fuss or muss or bother and he dealt with the buyers funds.

If I wanted to sell an item here and I would be using the boards classifieds pages I would contribute to the board first before I post an add. Then I would take the best pictures I could and post them in the add with specific details of the product. All dealing would be done by PM.

The most valuable item a thief can steal from you is your time, it's the one thing that you can never replace. Value a man's time like it's your own and don't waste the life he has been given and dealing as an honest man you prove your honor to the next man in a deal. People will steal from you, even a Postal money order can be forged. However it's my own opinion most folks are good people and won't steal from you. Good luck with your deals.

Jim
 

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As above a US Postal Money Order is the best method of getting paid.

I once sold a few non-firearms items on ebay and back then you could specify the method of acceptable payment.
I made it clear that ONLY a USPS money order was acceptable.

One buyer sent me some sort of bank money orders. I'd never heard of the bank and returned them to the buyer.
I'd heard of people using fake bank money orders, and you often never knew it for weeks until it was returned as a fake.
He was upset, but my auction post was clear about what method I'd accept.

As above the safest ways to sell are to put it on consignment at a gun store but you may need to cut the price a little to allow the store their profit. However, since you don't have to charge for shipping that might be a wash.
It's usually safe to sell through an online site like Gunbroker, **IF** you sell to a member with a lot of good feed back.
You can also usually do it safely by selling on this forum to a member in long standing.
 

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Since you didn't specify what that "something" is you want to sell, helping you with specifics is a little hard. Might help to know what, quantity, condition, and size. We are assuming this is a gun but might not be?
 

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If selling and you accept anything other than just USPS money orders, I tell the buyer that the item(s) will not be shipped until the instrument of payment clears his bank. It might take 3 days, or it might take 3 weeks, I don't care, the item(s) don't leave my possession until the money id firmly in my bank account. I have never had a buyer complain about this. If they complain, that is a HUGE red flag and I'll stop the sale right then and there. Even with USPS money orders, you can check them by taking them to your local PO and have them check/run the number on the money order to see if it is legitimate (they can be counterfeited but it is not easy so most crooks don't try - but some do).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Since you didn't specify what that "something" is you want to sell, helping you with specifics is a little hard. Might help to know what, quantity, condition, and size. We are assuming this is a gun but might not be?
Handguns... I haven't made my mind up on the quantity yet. I'll post in the appropriate section soon.
 
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