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  1. #21
    Member Mikeman's Avatar
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    I think this is a good idea but i am just playing "Devils Advocate" here.
    if i were a buyer why would this be in my best interest?
    even more so how would i know that the person will send me the watch?
    it is my understanding that when paypal receives the money in your email account that it is pretty much untouchable??? at least this is what i have been told by them. paypal.
    so as a buyer it would cause me concern if i had to wait until someone transfered money into their account?? and then hope that they will send me a watch?

    what do you think?
    Last edited by Mikeman; October 3rd, 2009 at 01:12. Reason: spelling

  2. #22
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeman View Post
    I think this is a good idea but i am just playing "Devils Advocate" here.
    if i were a buyer why would this be in my best interest?
    even more so how would i know that the person will send me the watch?
    it is my understanding that when paypal receives the money in your email account that it is pretty much untouchable??? at least this is what i have been told by them. paypal.
    so as a buyer it would cause me concern if i had to wait until someone transfered money into their account?? and then hope that they will send me a watch?

    what do you think?
    If you've paid by credit card, you call and dispute the charge. Paypal has to recover those funds. You force them to. Otherwise they tell you that no funds were in the account and you are out of luck. They have poor business practices in my opinion.

  3. #23
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    So is a money order the best route?

  4. #24
    Member Mr.Boots's Avatar
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed - Long rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeman View Post
    So is a money order the best route?
    Only if the seller will accept a money order. Many/most times, a person is selling their watch and intends to pass the Paypal money on electronically to the seller of a "grail" that he is buying.

    Waiting goodness knows how many days for a money order to arrive and to clear (they are not instant money) will cause your seller to lose the watch that he is raising money for. Be prepared for your seller to tell you "No" and move on to the next person who wants the watch.

    I've followed this dialogue silently until now, but as an experienced and reputable seller who has bought and sold well over 200 watches in the past five years (My "consolidated" collection is down to about forty watches), the best advice that I can give you is to "Buy the seller, not the watch." This is an old adage practiced on many other forums. In the long-run for peace of mind and assurance of a quality deal and watch, you are better off spending an extra $50 or so, and buying from someone with a long list of sales than going through all of the well-intentioned advice discussed here.

    Some of the advice here is good, but perhaps not offered in the best sequence. Some of the advice is okay, but may give you erroneous feedback and ruin a good deal that you could have had. Some of the advice here will just annoy a reputable seller to the point of telling you to go away.

    By this I mean, be reasonable in what you ask and in what order. As an example; realize that many sellers sell on many other forums. They may not post much here on TZ because the photo hosting requires a different template than does TZ, MWR, SCTF, and others. They may be well-known there, but relatively unknown here.*

    Look for the ad by running a search on other forums (some guys do use a different screen-name on other forums because it is an older name or because it was already taken here.) Check the seller's previous posts to see what they've sold in the past.

    This is important because if a seller has a great reputation outside the confines of WUS, he probably has multiple responses for a FS post. If you start with, "What's your phone number?" "I want a picture with a newspaper." etc. You are going to be told to go away. Not because he is a scammer, but because he has other buyers who know and trust him. If it is a good deal, you are not the only one to respond. The same goes if you insist on a sending a money order and/or haggling over the price when a seller has a waiting list. Be prepared to be disappointed. I will only give out my phone number to a buyer who has already said, "I'll take it, but I'd like to talk to you about it." Don't start asking for this stuff if you are merely curious.

    Do your research before you ask for some of the things that are listed above. If you buy the seller and are willing to pay a reasonable price, an awful lot of the fear of being scammed can be allayed.

    A personal example for those who care to read further:

    A while back, I decided to clean out my junk drawer. I had an old Orange Monster head and decided to list it for a "giveaway" price. Apparently, one buyer had read some of the advice here and got offended when I refused to take a photo with a dated newspaper. I explained that I haven't bought a hardcopy paper in five years because I read then on the net. You know, save a tree, be green, etc. He then wanted my address and number and informed me that He was going to do reverse searches and all that crap.

    My response, "How many hoops do you think I'll jump through for an $80 watch? I have five other buyers waiting, three of whom have bought from me several times before." He then baraged me with e-mails for three days insisting that he had a right to the watch because he was first and that I should be willing to deal with him.

    This was for an $80 watch. That is why many of us state clearly, "The first person to say, 'I'll take it, what's your paypal?' gets the watch."

    Many experienced sellers will agree among us that if we list a $1000 watch, we get one question and an "I'll take it." When we list a $100 watch, we get a dozen questions and a low-ball offer. If you see a seller regularly lists and sells big-ticket watches, realize that he is only going to indulge you so far. Do some research beforehand. Remember, a buyer can make a bad impression on a seller.
    Rant over



    *Recently there was an instance of members here, some whom seem more interested in outing scammers than learning about watches and who the old-time players are, were sullying a very reputable seller because they obviously never ventured far enough outside of WUS to know him.
    Last edited by Mr.Boots; October 4th, 2009 at 17:51.
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  5. #25
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    Some of the advice here is good, but perhaps not offered in the best sequence. Some of the advice is okay, but may give you erroneous feedback and ruin a good deal that you could have had. Some of the advice here will just annoy a reputable seller to the point of telling you to go away.
    It isn't supposed to be sequential. Doing all or some of these things can help.


    By this I mean, be reasonable in what you ask and in what order. As an example; realize that many sellers sell on many other forums. They may not post much here on TZ because the photo hosting requires a different template than does TZ, MWR, SCTF, and others. They may be well-known there, but relatively unknown here.*
    Then they should be willing to say that I sell as ****** on some other forum. I would think that is a pretty simple task.

    Look for the ad by running a search on other forums (some guys do use a different screen-name on other forums because it is an older name or because it was already taken here.) Check the seller's previous posts to see what they've sold in the past.
    So we're back to the buyer having to do all of the work. I think it should be a 50/50 split in equitable time.

    This is important because if a seller has a great reputation outside the confines of WUS, he probably has multiple responses for a FS post. If you start with, "What's your phone number?" "I want a picture with a newspaper." etc. You are going to be told to go away. Not because he is a scammer, but because he has other buyers who know and trust him. If it is a good deal, you are not the only one to respond. The same goes if you insist on a sending a money order and/or haggling over the price when a seller has a waiting list. Be prepared to be disappointed. I will only give out my phone number to a buyer who has already said, "I'll take it, but I'd like to talk to you about it." Don't start asking for this stuff if you are merely curious.
    I'm sorry but I wholeheartedly disagree with this. If someone is a "fairly reasonable poster" but has told me that they want it but they want me to jump through a few hoops, I will do it. Why? Because I chose to sell my watch and have to bear the burden of proof. I may at some point ask them to bear some burden of proof as a buyer. And I will certainly give out my phone number to someone who wants to talk about buying my watch. And I would want to talk to someone who I intend to buy a watch from. Call me old fashioned. I'm not going to spend 2 hours on the phone but I can certainly spare 20 minutes of my time to explain the details of the sale.

    Do your research before you ask for some of the things that are listed above. If you buy the seller and are willing to pay a reasonable price, an awful lot of the fear of being scammed can be allayed.
    The above things ARE research. And how exactly would one go about "buying the seller" without getting a comfortable feeling for the person and the transaction. In my opinion they are part of the process.


    And quite frankly I'm surprised that you would discourage people from doing some of these things as a good buyer or seller. You give a false sense of security where there may not be. This is a relatively safe place to do business because there are people behind the scenes working diligently to make it safe. Just because you are a good seller that doesn't want to be bothered, doesn't mean that we should drop our defences for the entire lot.

    Sorry for doing this but it miffed me to see someone that I know to be a good person, almost completely discount something that I took time out of my day to prepare for people who may not know these things. Remember, not everyone is as savvy as the experienced folks here.

    So, if we could stick to things that will be helpful to these people, I think this thread will turn out as planned.

    And I apologize for being the cause that you were inconvenienced by someone who wanted to do their due diligence with one of your sales.
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  6. #26
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    *Recently there was an instance of members here, some whom seem more interested in outing scammers than learning about watches and who the old-time players are, were sullying a very reputable seller because they obviously never ventured far enough outside of WUS to know him.
    I remember that well. It was a guy using Ponycars name to sell watches here. That was just folks being tricked. If I recall, they were sullying the name of the scammer here who just happened to steal Ponycars identity to do (try to do) some very heavy scamming here. I hope I made it perfectly clear that the Ponycar that we know was not the person who was here.

    And Boots, I do take note of all of your points and while I agree that there is a difference between the "old timers" and the new people, this thread is really for the people who have little buying/selling experience here that need a helping hand. And I'm sure it will cause a little inconvenience with the longtime sellers like yourself. But at some point, they will catch on and roll with it like we all do. With that said, we always have the option of doing business with anyone we want. So thanks for taking time to post your views. As always, regardless if we (or I) personally agree or disagree, we take them in the spirit that they are meant. And that is for information. You can never have too much of it.

    Regards.

  7. #27
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    What about Post count? Should members have a certain amount of Posts prior to being able to Post something for Sale in the sales forum? just a thought

  8. #28
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    A good idea as long as they are real posts and not fifty "Thumbs up" or "Nice watch" posts. That could be done in a day by by such posting on the WRUW threads on the various fora. A valid post contributes to the WUS community or knowledge base. Unfortunately, determining this puts the onus on the mods. It does not, in any way, help to regulate the "rip-off buyer." Only using Paypal, and immediately transferring funds to your bank account gives you a chance. Do not let Paypal have the right to draw from your bank account or credit card without you expressed authorization.

    As I have stated in the past, perhaps too bluntly, "BUY THE SELLER."

    Most experienced sellers can provide a list of references. Some of those references should be recognizable from the various watch and sales forums. I repeat, some of those references should be recognizable from the various watch and sales forums.

    I'm regularly asked for references on other sellers whom I have bought from. I gladly give them in exchange for the right to list these people when I need to provide references. Other sellers and previous buyers gladly provide references for me. Buying from a recognized, reputable seller may mean that you will, as I have stated before, pay the asking price for the watch without haggling. You may very well pay more, but you will get what you pay for.

    For those of you who have said, "But what if the reference list is fake and the seller/buyer has a bunch of friends in on the scam or has a bunch of phoney names?" I have two responses:

    1) If you don't recognize any names, don't buy it or sell it. It is only a watch. It is not life or death. Another will come along, or wait until you recognize a buyer if you are selling.

    2) If you don't trust any list of references, you are too paranoid to be on the sales forum, buy from a recognized online dealer or from an Authorized Dealer. Again, you are once again "buying the seller." Just accept the extra money spent as buying peace of mind.

    For those who care to read on:

    People generally get into trouble when they think they are getting a ridiculous bargain on an expensive or rare watch. If the price too good to believe, unless it is a recognized seller, don't go after it unless you can afford to lose the money. I say "unless it is a recognized seller" because sometimes I take a chance and get a bargain and then pass the bargain on when I flip it. Don't chance more money on a risky buy than you would lose on a Superbowl bet or at the track, etc (personal rule)
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  9. #29
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    I would like to add my 2 cents, I agree that one should take precautions to avoid scamming, but I also believe that those precautions should be proportional to the risk that is taken on a purchase. A $20 transaction does not justify all the precautions listed in the original post, but a $1000 does. I also agree that the seller or buyer track record is more important than a phone conversation. I only have one transaction here on WUS but I have a flawless record on ebay, and I would feel a lot more confortable looking at someones feedback on ebay ( and contacting them through ebay is a really good idea) and if an ebay feedback is not available, then I think that references from other deals in WUS are also valid although personally I think that:
    1- I prefer one solid reference from someone I know than 5 references from people I don't know
    2- The reference should be proportional to the transaction I'm going to make, I would not buy a $5000 watch from someone that has a track record of dealing only $50 watches- there are exceptions of course, and everybody has the right to the benefit of the doubt, but I'm a believer in patterns, and if a pattern is broken I get suspicious. That's why I like ebay feedback so much, it tells you when, how many and how well transactions ocurred, and in my experience dishonest people usually don't go honest over night, but honest people don't usually go dishonest overnight either.

    Bottom line is: the bigger the transaction , the more you have to work to eliminate risks, and if the transaction is really big, I don't think that doing each and every step posted here is too much. For my part, the only transaction I did here was a $50 purchase, and the risk for me didn't justify doing any particular background check.

    I hope this was useful in balancing the opinions in the previous posts.
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  10. #30
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    Re: How to help AVOID being scammed

    I had mentioned in another thread:
    I have in the past asked for sellers to give me their facebook info so that I can add them as friends. That way I know their networks and know if they are legit.
    Once the transaction is done and everything falls in place either one of us can remove each other from our friends list.
    Believe me this is a great way to ensure that the person you are dealing with is legit.
    I have done this when selling $200 watches so would highly recommend doing so when selling watches over a grand
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