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View Full Version : A question about protocol selling /buying. Is it just me?



Sam Murdoch
02-24-2017, 4:32 PM
Just asking a question that I would not ask on most other forums but Sawmill Creek seems to be a more intimate/friendly /trusting group of souls and so I ask:

Here is the set up:

You are selling an item on the exchange and choose not to use PP.

You - the seller, are asking for cash, check or money order.

Let's say for a sale of less than $ 200.00 - a totally arbitrary $$ figure.

All parties involved in the transaction have 1,000 posts+, i.e., not new to SMC.

Wouldn't you as the seller simply send out the item as soon as you are told that the $$s have been sent? Why would you need to wait for the check to arrive or to clear? The buyer has trusted you to send the item by sending payment why not reciprocate?

I guess the seller could ask for proof that the $$s have been sent - tracking of some sort - but without that added element, would you - as seller or buyer expect that the trust goes in both directions?

It is my habit to express to the seller that waiting for the check to clear is understandable especially if buying or selling members have no track record on the forum - been around for 6 months and have posted 28 times for example - I can expect some hesitation but but I'm second thinking this reasoning in the circumstances described.

Anyone else think as I do or am I simply wacked on this one? :confused:

What if you were sending $ 1,000.00???? (Answer to self - use PayPal - but that's for another discussion.)

Thanks. Just wonderin'

Sam


I have done many transactions here on SMC as described, as the buyer and as the seller - item(s) sent as soon as check/cash sent.
Never been any issues.

Bruce Page
02-24-2017, 4:54 PM
Each person has different trust levels. I tend to feel the same as you, I am trusting if the buyer/seller has an established history. I'm less trusting if they are new, or only joined to sell items.

Buying/selling on Craigslist is strictly cash-only.

Steve Peterson
02-25-2017, 12:53 PM
Each person has different trust levels. I tend to feel the same as you, I am trusting if the buyer/seller has an established history. I'm less trusting if they are new, or only joined to sell items.

Buying/selling on Craigslist is strictly cash-only.

Agree. Anyone with post counts in the 1000's is probably one of the guys that you can trust.

Each person also has a different pain threshold for loss. The item in question is something that you don't really need or else you wouldn't be selling it. The question is: would a loss of $200 be tolerable to you if the check never arrived? For me, it is about double what I often spend on a nice dinner out with the family. I would be bummed out, but would eventually get over it. It would start to hurt at around $500 for me. Anything over $1000 and I would assume that they should show up in person unless I already knew them.

One more point: as a buyer, would you want to send a check to a semi-stranger and wait a week for the check to clear and another week for the semi-stranger to send the item?

Steve

Dan Friedrichs
02-25-2017, 2:05 PM
It's the accepted convention to send payment first, though. Prior to PayPal, that's how sites like eBay always worked - buyer sent a check/money order, waited for it to clear, then seller sent item. I'm not sure it's any more logical than sending the item first, but it's how 99.99% of people do it and expect it to be done.

Brian Henderson
02-25-2017, 2:23 PM
I would never send a product without payment first. You wouldn't expect any store to do that, you can't log onto Amazon and even if you've been a member for a decade and have made hundreds of purchases, they're not sending you a thing until your payment clears.

John K Jordan
02-25-2017, 3:39 PM
Each person also has a different pain threshold for loss. The item in question is something that you don't really need or else you wouldn't be selling it. The question is: would a loss of $200 be tolerable to you if the check never arrived?

I agree with this. I've sold a number of things to members of this and other forums over the years: tools, wood, and supplies. What I do is send the item as soon as the deal is agreed on and the buyer sends the check when they get around to it. I have "known" some of these people for years, read their posts, and have a feel for their temperaments. If it's a name I can't recall, I'll check their profile and maybe a few messages and then remember. My biggest "trust" shipment was less than $500. On occasion I've even sent something and told the person to try it out and see if it will work, then send the payment. I just try to imagine myself on the other side of the deal.

My feeling is much like Steve's - if something happened and the check never came, life goes on. So far I haven't had a problem. People seem to appreciate this and they sometimes even send something extra with the check, some turning wood, something they've made! I've met some great people and made some new friends that way. One gentleman obviously very much wanted a particular tool, then said he probably couldn't afford it for a few months due to a financial issue. I could hear his resignation and disappointment in his email. He seemed surprised when I said just send the check when you can and shipped the box. A few months later, here comes the check!

The world is certainly seems to have plenty of people out to take advantage of others, get what they can for themselves, and have no moral problem with cheating and hurting. However, those people usually don't hang out on woodturning/working forums, post pictures of things they make, and try to help others with problems. Many in this "hobby" are older, some retired, and are generally happy, creative people.

I see the same thing in other focused interest groups - for example, it is hard to meet a stranger in the llama/alpaca farming community! The 3D graphics community was the same in the early years.

Now dealing with the public over a Craigslist deal - no way! We will meet in a public place (such as in front of the police station), I bring at least one other person with me, and the deal is cash on the spot. A more difficult deal is selling animals or farm equipment where the buyer has to come to the farm to inspect and haul. Here we implement access controls, they park outside the fence, transactions are in view of the security cameras, conversation goes into a pocket digital recorder, and I have two extra people - one by my side and one who quietly walks around and photographs the car and license plate. I'm trusting but I'm not dumb, at least not all the time. :)

JKJ

Sam Murdoch
02-25-2017, 5:50 PM
It's the accepted convention to send payment first, though. Prior to PayPal, that's how sites like eBay always worked - buyer sent a check/money order, waited for it to clear, then seller sent item. I'm not sure it's any more logical than sending the item first, but it's how 99.99% of people do it and expect it to be done.


I would never send a product without payment first. You wouldn't expect any store to do that, you can't log onto Amazon and even if you've been a member for a decade and have made hundreds of purchases, they're not sending you a thing until your payment clears.

Accepted convention - yes I guess so - but the point I am making is that - ON THIS FORUM - in this specialized little world - why is the buyer expected to trust that the seller will actually send the item (or that the item will be in the described condition) after the buyer has taken the leap of trust to send the money? To me the burden of trust is equal.

As for buying stuff from a store - if they accept checks and you walk out with the product it is essentially the same result as I describe. You don't write a check and then come back in a week to pick up your purchase. We here at Sawmill Creek are NOT the general public and all the impulse and crazy and scamming that the general public of an Amazon sale implies. This is why I was careful to qualify the kind and conditions of the transaction here on the Creek that I refer to. They are wildly different scenarios.

NOW - if the Sawmill Creek seller accepts PayPal or some form of credit card payment BUT the buyer asks to pay by check, that to me, sets up a different dynamic and (perhaps) obligation but in the case I describe, I repeat - the burden of trust is equal. IMHO.

Mike Cutler
02-25-2017, 8:11 PM
Sam

I think it really has to do with the comfort level of the parties involved, and that the trust is extended in both directions.
As a buyer here on the board I've had the items sent to me first, I've paid up front, and in one instance paid up front, knowing that it could be months before I got the actual product. I've driven to the person's place of residence also. I guess I don't believe that there is an "expected norm". I've probably purchased $2K- $3K in just wood from folks selling it here on the board, and never had any issues whatsoever.

However,, I think a big part of it is the comfort factor that the folks have with each other. When you've been reading and exchanging posts with folks for years, you kinda gain an insight into the type of person they are and their set of values, which it makes it easier on both parties. So yes, I can see that the burden could be equal for both parties.
I've never worried about buying things from folks here on the board and I never, as the seller, worried about payment. I just didn't. Maybe I'm naive? ;)

Matt Day
02-25-2017, 8:47 PM
As a seller, I don't send until payment is received. I generally only do PayPal. I feel like if you're on an Internet forum, you should/can use PayPal as it's the most accepted way to do personal transactions on the interwebs. I've accepted checks if someone is really firm about it and I really want to move the item.

As a buyer, I'll send a check if that's all the seller will accept. And I don't expect the item to ship until the check clears.

As stated, post count counts.

Frederick Skelly
02-25-2017, 11:39 PM
There's a lot of mighty good people here. On more than one occasion, after asking a question about a hand tool I have received a PM offering to lend me one to try out. Not buy - just try out! The people here are amazingly generous.

My natural inclination is to wait for the check to clear, then send. But I could see myself sending it right away if I felt I "knew" the person here at SMC. A large number of posts isn't sufficient in and of itself. If the individual posts 2000 times in the Metalworking forum, but I don't frequent that Forum, I don't necessarily "know" him and don't interact with him.

Rick Potter
02-26-2017, 1:59 AM
For the $200 question, I would (and have) send the item out right away.

When you get up to the $1000 question, I think a little more discretion is advised.

Michael J Evans
02-26-2017, 2:09 AM
This thread in a wierd sense makes me happy. Some of these posts remind me of My grandfather, he was a very trusting man, he believed in people and trusted them, Although sometimes very crazy in my eyes (like left the keys in his lexus almost every where). A trait I wish I had.

Maybe because of the people i grew up around, I on the other hand generally have very little trust in most folks and expect them to view me in the same way. I've bought on others forums using PayPal and would question why someone wouldn't want to pay using it. Like Matt said if your on here you probably have ( or are capable of using ) paypal.

Now after reading some of the above posts, Im starting to re think taking a check a little, but at their very least the check would have to clear before shipping, and I wouldn't expect a seller to treat me any differently if for some crazy reason I was gonna send a check.

Mike Henderson
02-26-2017, 4:05 AM
Of course, that's the advantage of PayPal (and I assume other payment systems). They act as a trusted third party and will arbitrate disputes between buyers and sellers. Before PayPal, there were "third parties" who the buyer would send the money to, and who would then notify the seller that they had the money and would release it when the buyer received the goods.

As far as I know, they would not arbitrate disputes but would return the money to the buyer upon proof that the item had been shipped back to the seller.

California (and I assume other states) uses a version of that for property sales. An agent collects the money and makes sure all the documents are signed properly, and they they file the deed and distribute the money on the closing day.

Mike

Ed Aumiller
02-26-2017, 8:16 AM
Lean more to the trusting side on SMC purchases / sales...

One thing I very much dislike is when something is for sale and seller requests payment via PP money gift where he does not have to pay the PP fees..

Too me that is wrong... The seller can always say $xxx and if paying with PP, add 3-5% or whatever amount PP charges..
Last few things I bought on a WW forum, I paid via normal PP and added a enough extra to pay the PP fee and sellers did not complain..

Sam Murdoch
02-26-2017, 8:45 AM
Lean more to the trusting side on SMC purchases / sales...

One thing I very much dislike is when something is for sale and seller requests payment via PP money gift where he does not have to pay the PP fees..

Too me that is wrong... The seller can always say $xxx and if paying with PP, add 3-5% or whatever amount PP charges..
Last few things I bought on a WW forum, I paid via normal PP and added a enough extra to pay the PP fee and sellers did not complain..


I don't know why one would not use Pay Pal for these transactions. It protects the buyer and the seller (though admittedly easier for the seller to get redress). Does require attaching a bank account and credit card to a PayPal account and I can see that that would deter some people especially if they only sell a few items a year through forums.

Here I agree with Ed - if you do use Pay Pal - it's silly to by pass the fees because you loose all the protection (and a bit unscrupulous) asking for Friends & Family. The fee is 2.9% + 30 for each transaction in the US.

An interesting discussion and I appreciate everyone sharing their perspective, though I can't say that my thinking has been modified on the topic. I will go along with the requests of the buyers and sellers in my transactions here on the Creek but some might still elicit a HUH :confused: from me :). "Maybe I'm naive" to be so willing to trust. Such as it is...

Dave Macy
02-26-2017, 11:32 AM
I'm in hs and money is hard to come by. But my parents taught me to trust folks and to be trustworthy. If I get scammed then I get scammed but I'm not going to grow up not trusting anyone. That doesn't mean I'd trust someone blindly with 1 post but for if they are posting helpful of other woodworkers then I feel like I can trust them.

Jim Koepke
02-26-2017, 12:23 PM
For many small items I will send them without payment and usually only ask for the recipient to pay shipping. I may also put in a note saying if they feel the value is above shipping I will not refuse their payment above shipping.

My approach is different for items above $20. For that it is usually Paypal as the preferred method of payment.

jtk

John K Jordan
02-26-2017, 6:30 PM
I'm in hs and money is hard to come by. But my parents taught me to trust folks and to be trustworthy. If I get scammed then I get scammed but I'm not going to grow up not trusting anyone. That doesn't mean I'd trust someone blindly with 1 post but for if they are posting helpful of other woodworkers then I feel like I can trust them.

Dave, I think you must have great parents! I've discovered in the long run that people who tend to trust others are happier in general - much of the joy in life is interacting with people.

You will find that most people who play with wood for fun are great people to know. Some recent comments on another forum in a thread called "Turners are the best kind of people" brought this observation after listing attributes common to the typical woodworker/turner:

...these attributes all indicate a well adjusted, stable, honest, thoughtful, helpful, creative individual.
People I like to be around. Wayne K.


I think he said it well!

JKJ

Alan Rutherford
02-27-2017, 1:40 PM
I just sent a money order for $450 to someone I don't know on another forum and am not worried. I expect him to ship the item when he gets the MO.

PayPal won't allow transactions for certain types of purchases, such as firearms. Whether it's only because of that or to save the fee, I often see ads requesting payment as a PayPal gift. I don't like being asked to cheat PayPal and it doesn't help the seller look honest. Also, as the OP said, you lose all protection. If you told PayPal it was a gift, what are you going to do? Tell them you're taking it back?

Kev Williams
02-27-2017, 8:59 PM
but the point I am making is that - ON THIS FORUM - in this specialized little world - why is the buyer expected to trust that the seller will actually send the item (or that the item will be in the described condition) after the buyer has taken the leap of trust to send the money?.

As for the seller actually sending the item, your last bullet point in the original post has the answer, same goes with sending the money: Tracking Number.

As for the the condition described:
355014355015355016
-- a few pictures :)

Beyond that, each party's reputation is on the line. Most folks, especially in a 'specialized little world' like this one, value theirs :)

Jerome Stanek
02-28-2017, 6:58 AM
As for the seller actually sending the item, your last bullet point in the original post has the answer, same goes with sending the money: Tracking Number.

As for the the condition described:
355014355015355016
-- a few pictures :)

Beyond that, each party's reputation is on the line. Most folks, especially in a 'specialized little world' like this one, value theirs :)


Boy do I remember my saw like that got it to work on new house in 1973

Rod Sheridan
02-28-2017, 8:05 AM
Sam, I'm with you.

I've shipped items to people and they then send me payment.

A couple of times I've left stuff in the driveway, and instructed them to put the money in the mailbox.

I wouldn't cheat someone, and I haven't been cheated either..................regards, Rod.

Art Mann
02-28-2017, 10:04 AM
I may be a fool but I would ship without money in hand or send money without guaranteed delivery to long term members of this forum. I would much rather do that than contribute to the wealth of someone like Peter Thiel, who spends vast sums of money promoting things with which I do not agree.

Prashun Patel
02-28-2017, 10:42 AM
Case by case basis. I have to say, my trust level with the average SMC member is quite high. I've transacted with probably 50 people here and have NEVER had a less than perfect interaction.

Ok, Murphy, bring it on. I'm ready for you.

Mike Null
02-28-2017, 11:12 AM
Even in my business, I've only been stiffed twice in 20 years. Once for $100 and once for $40.

SMC experiences have been beyond expectations.

Matt Meiser
03-07-2017, 2:57 PM
One of the last transactions I had here the buyer asked if I would take a check even though I specified PayPal. Terms were never discussed and I followed 20+ years of precedence and waited for the check to arrive. Buyer threw a temper tantrum when I pm'd to say that the check arrived and I would ship the next day. I almost returned the check instead of shipping the item as i expected further problems. I don't recall the amount.

A very rare less than stellar of many transactions here and one of those was my fault and the buyer was very accommodating--actually said don't worry about it, was still a fair price just didn't get what he expected.

Rich Riddle
03-08-2017, 7:10 AM
I sold off quite a lot of LN/Veritas planes a couple of months ago when departing from the Neander illusion. The buyers who had a high post count had their items sent when they said they wanted it and forwarded an address. One buyer received the plane a day prior to his check arriving, but the check and plane crossed in the mail. That said, most buyers had very low post counts, if any. I had one buyer with zero posts in the Creek attempt a little maveuver but he quickly stopped when I replied. It's obvious that some people join the Creek just to be able to contact members/contributors in order to purchase items. Protect yourself and take out insurance when you ship.

Rich Riddle
03-08-2017, 7:12 AM
Sam, I'm with you.

I've shipped items to people and they then send me payment.

A couple of times I've left stuff in the driveway, and instructed them to put the money in the mailbox.

I wouldn't cheat someone, and I haven't been cheated either..................regards, Rod.Rod, did you tell them to bring a shovel to dig out the snow surrounding their items?