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Selling to a distant person

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Somepix, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. macrumors member


    Somebody wants to buy a lens I have for sale. We can't meet in person. So, how could the transaction be done safely for both partys ?

    Has anybody experience with this ?
  2. macrumors demi-god


    Bank transfer tbh wouldn't trust paypal.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Someone is probably buying a lens like that right now over at fredmiranda.com. Check it out and see how it works.
  4. macrumors regular

    do they happen to be from africa and claim to be a long lost relative or a prince?
  5. macrumors 6502


  6. macrumors G5


    Here's is some info about scams.

    Or government official.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Can't think of any way off the top of my head that assures absolute safety for both parties. Either you'll have to have complete trust in the other party or the other party will have to have complete trust in you.

    If you want to be safe, I think your only real choices are cash or a wire transfer. No checks, money orders, etc. The other party might object though because they will have no recourse if you decide to keep the money and not ship the lens.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Actually... there is a way. if they are in the same country demand a "sales contract" where it states that the person purchases this from you for X amount and agrees to pay you in X way. have them photocopy their drivers license and attach it to the sales contract and mail it to you.

    This is sufficient for your insurance company should there be a problem, as for him, do the same in reverse. Then agree on wire transfer or any other traceable form of payment.

    has worked for me many times.

  9. macrumors 68020


    Lot's of people knock it, but the ebay/paypal system can work, and fairly safely, as long as you know how it works. It legitimizes your transaction, and provides you with records of correspondence and both money and item transfers/receipts. You don't have to ship until the money has been sent. You can set a straight price - non auction. You can review your buyer's past performance with others... but, there is always some risk, no matter how slight. But, it's more risky meeting in person if you don't know the person. If you get ripped off in person (Craiglist danger,) there's no transaction records and ability for recourse - plus you could get hurt.

    FredMiranda.com has a selling forum. I guess you still have to trust who you're dealing with, and there it's not a lot different than the buyer/seller ratings on ebay. Once reputations are established, most folks go out of their way to protect them.

    The only other way I'd recommend is have the other person mail you a check and then wait for it to clear your bank before mailing the lens to them. They might feel at risk, but I'd never part with the lens before receiving the money - period.
  10. macrumors member

    Thank you for your feed back.

    Finally, it seems there is no such thing as meeting in person, taking a friend along ;-[ Unless the other person has very serious references, of course.

    The problem is, there are regions where the used market is tiny, like, let's say Alaska or, why not, Québec. In those distant places, buyers (or sellers) for pricey lenses can be very sparse.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    eBay used to be safe but these days is so rife with fraud, it's not worth it any more.

    In a dispute, PayPal will ALWAYS side with the buyer and the seller is left with ZERO recourse. A common scam is for the buyer to buy an expensive item and pay for it with PayPal. When they get the item, they claim it is "damaged" and open a claim with PayPal. The buyer is then supposed to ship the item back, but instead will ship an empty box. All the buyer has to supply is a tracking number and prove that SOMETHING was delivered back to the seller. Once the buyer does that, the case is CLOSED by PayPal and no amount of pleading from the seller will EVER change the outcome. Paypal accounts that are hacked or compromised through phishing scams can be used to fradulently buy things from eBay. Once the fraud is discovered, the owner of the PayPal account is refunded the money and the seller is purely screwed.

    Buying things off ebay is still relatively safe because PayPal will always rule in favor of the buyer in a dispute. I would never EVER sell anything on eBay these days.

    Also, with checks. Waiting for a check to "clear" isn't enough. Checks will fully "clear" the bank and the funds put in your account even if the check turns out to the fradulent. It can take up to a month for the bank to determine that the check is fradulent, long after it has "cleared".
  12. macrumors 68020


    There are always scammers out there... so education and caution are the best rules. I haven't sold a lot of things on ebay, but when I have, I have sold with a 'No returns accepted' policy, and requiring fully-insured shipping, delivery signatures, etc. all tracked. I'm fairly specific who I'll even accept bids from right up front. Here's a big one...I won't ship until I have the money. Can't see how as a seller I'm taking that big of a risk. Once the money is in my hands, in my bank or brokerage account... I'm good. It isn't perfect, but when you're looking at a potential market of hundreds of prospective buyers for a lens, vs. maybe one or two...

    If someone is faint of heart, skip it entirely. Just like buying AAPL stock. Today up from 203 to 214, and then back down to 205... yikes!
  13. macrumors member

    Actually, I have a buyer, who is located in ... you guess ... Ivory Coast ! ;)
  14. macrumors regular

    is he a prince?

    prince's are honest fellows.
  15. macrumors member

    Of course !! And he would be very pleased to meet my daughter.

    Thinking ....
  16. macrumors 68020


    Where are you located? It just seems unusual that the best buying prospect for you lens would come from Ivory Coast, unless you're somewhere near there. I don't really have enough information to know what your best options are, so just disregard all my ebay advice.
  17. macrumors member

    Close to Québec City.

    But, let's say you want to buy my lense, which I sell for say can$ 1000.-, a fair price.

    We don't Know each others. So you are not sure the lense is in the condition I tell it is. It's kind a guess for you. If you are not satisfied with the lense, you could send it back, I would send you the money back. But it's kind a hassle, and we have one grant, in money or in lense, travelling back and forth across the continent. And if you break the lense inadvertently, before sending it back, se lose all.

    The point is : there is no easy solution for selling and buying between individuals if they can't meet. It's a risky venture.
  18. macrumors 6502a

  19. macrumors 601


    Actually, I've heard one of the bigger scams is when PayPal is involved and the sender doesn't attach a signature requirement. Then the recipient can claim he never received it and will get a refund through PayPal. I also heard something about recipients being able to claim that the box they did sign for contained only a rock or something. I'm not sure how successful these sorts of scams usually are, but they are why a lot of people will not sell expensive items to people in other countries.
  20. macrumors member

    This is the message I got to day. In french, but could be translate with babelfish or whatever.

    It looks cool ? But still, It smells fishy .... and the scam is not obvious. Not to me, anyway.

    Cher monsieur Xxxxxxx,
    J'ai bien reçu votre message et je souhaiterais vous signifiez que je suis français résidant en Côte d'Ivoire pour des raisons professionnelles et je suis intéressé par l'achat de votre objectif Nikon DX xxxxxxxx car ici il me coutera relativement trop cher.
    je voudrais que vous me donniez le prix définitif auquel vous désirez le vendre.
    Par la suite je vous demanderais d'ajouter à ce prix le cout du transport par Fedex en priorité qui est de 250 dollars canadien de sorte à ce que je puisse vous effectuer le paiement par paypal du cout total (prix de l'objectif Nikon + transport par fedex en priorité).
    Par conséquent, faites moi une demande de paiement par paypal à mon adresse paypal qui est xxxx.xxxxxxxx@xxxx.fr
    Une fois que j'aurai reçu cette demande de paiement du total y compris transport par fedex en priorité et que j'effectuerai le paiement, dès que paypal vous confirmera le paiement, je vous demanderais de bien vouloir m'expédier le colis par Fedex en priorité à l'adresse de ma compagnie en Côte d'Ivoire qui est :
    Monsieur Xxxxxxxx Xxxx
    Xxxx XX
    Abidjan / COTE D'IVOIRE
    Monsieur Xxxxxxxx
    0022XXXXXXXX (phone)
  21. macrumors 6502a

  22. macrumors 601


    Found this much online:

    "When a stolen credit card is used to purchase goods or services through PayPal, the money can seem to appear in your account. In fact, you can even withdraw the money after it has been transferred to you.

    But as soon as PayPal realizes the credit card was stolen, they immediately debit your account for the value of the transaction. Even if you've already withdrawn the money and provided whatever good or service you were offering, PayPal still holds you liable for the fraudulent credit card that was used to pay you from half a world away."

    "Another PayPal Scam is the " Send the Item to Somewhere else " Scam. This involves you being the seller. The buyer will tell you to send the item somewhere else that is not his or her confirmed PayPal Address, first of all you should avoid selling to people who do not have a confirmed Address, but if you do, never send to a different address on their request. As soon as you send the item they will file a complaint stating that they never received the item and your tracking number is useless because you sent it somewhere else. This scam is usually done through eBay. There are also chances that you are dealing with a stolen PayPal. One huge suggestion is never send to third-world countries, there are no laws in these regions and you will not be protected by the law."
  23. macrumors 68020


    I guess if someone wants to bad enough, they can scam just about anyone. The main point I was making was... be smart, check out the other person, look at their history, communicate with them, make some sort of a judgement call. If they pay and I get the money, and convert it to cash... I'm not sure how I can be scammed at that point, but I guess the scammer can convince my bank, or paypal that I'm a liar, and they can try to extract the money back from me somehow. Anything's possible. But, you could get murdered going to the grocery store... at some point you just gotta take a chance. Just don't be dumb about it. Keep your wits about you, and your eyes open.
  24. macrumors 65816

    Do transact internationally is tough. I'm not sure there really is a foolproof way for that.

    I once bought a lens from long distance although it was domestic in the US. I sent the seller a postal money order. AFAIK, with a postal money order, you take it into the post office and they verify the authenticity of it right there. You walk out of the post office with cash. Can they really come after you after the fact if you have cash in your hand?

    Anyways, the seller had good references from fredmiranda (where I bought it from) and we did speak on the phone prior to the deal. As the buyer I was okay with that as verification of the seller being legit. As the seller, he was okay with the postal money order and that he could walk out with cash before sending the lens to me.

    For big ticket items like a high quality lens, IMO without good references it's just not worth it to deal long distance. International is even worse and I would say it's rarely worth it, because it would have to be a great deal to put up with the risk, and if the deal is that great, it's probably a scam.

    Just my $0.02


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