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Questions about selling used gear here

Original Post
anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

I'm considering selling a few rock climbing items that I can't, or don't use anymore. I notice that most people in the for sale forum use some sort of electronic money transfer like paypal or others like it. I don't use any of these things and am wondering if using US Postal Money Orders is acceptable and would work for people? 

I also have a question about selling reputation. I've noticed a few people went above and beyond to verify that they are who they say they are. I assume they had problems with being accused of being scammers, but I don't really know. I'm not sure what people are looking for in this regard, and whether this is something that is necessary. Obviously I've never sold anything here so have no reputation beyond my posts and comments. Thoughts?

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 656

1. Use paypal

2. Using paypal should alleviate most people's concerns about dealing with you.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 90

Paypal is generally considered to be secure, and trustworthy (with the exception of paying with the "send money to friend/family" that avoids the fee, because it's not protected). It's the gold standard. There's nothing stopping you from using paypal - it's free to set up, and cheap to use. Often buyer's will front the fee if asked up front ($0.30 + 2.9% of transaction, however people often just round to a flat 3%)

On the opposite side of the spectrum, asking for money order's is generally considered to be the first telltale that the person is a scammer. There's no tractability, and no protection. It's not smart, and generally avoided in online transactions. On the flip side, there's also no guarantee the M.O. is real, and you'll end up with squat after you ship your item (unless you wait for it to fully clear before shipping). In general: no, don't use a M.O.

If for some reason you REALLY don't want to use an electronic transfer service that has built in protections for you and the buyer, I suggest finding ways to do business in person.

Noah Yetter · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 105

Make no mistake: if Paypal is used, and there's a dispute, SOMEONE is getting screwed. Paypal has a horrible reputation because they earned it. This is why lots of people are comfortable using "friends & family": because it gives up protection that's just an illusion to begin with.

That said, it's basically a cultural assumption here that Paypal is what you use. I've sent off thousands of dollars in money orders and cashier's checks to buy gear for a different sport, because in that community it's considered standard. There's no right answer, it just comes down to what buyers and sellers can agree on.

NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105

yer definitely gunna die

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Brian L. wrote:

Paypal is generally considered to be secure, and trustworthy 

Got a good laugh on this one. Paypal is despicable both as a company and a product. They skirt many (if not most) banking and consumer protection laws by claiming they are not a "bank" when in reality they basically are. Your money is not protected by the FDIC and Paypal literally can do whatever they want with your money (and they do as they please with it all the time). Personally, I dont really accept standard Paypal unless the buyer is willing to pay the fee or send via friends and family. I know that I am not going to scam the buyer--I've sold 200+ things on here, so why would I be willing to pay money for a protection against myself? As such, if the buyer wants the protection I think it's fair that the buyer pays for it.

I prefer Facebook payments which is basically like friends and family except it's FAR easier to use (literally takes 45 seconds to set up), and the seller gets their money in an hour instead of days. The seller also doesent have to do squat to get their money, it's fully automatic. Facebook sends it straight to your account. All you need is a debit card. I think if more people knew how easy Facebook payments was, Paypal would be out of business in a day.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,145

US Postal Money Orders or any other type of money order is not going to fly as there is zero recourse. I have accepted checks if the shipping address is the same as what is on the check. Otherwise I use Goggle Wallet or Paypal with the buyer typically paying the fees in most cases.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
20 kN wrote:

All you need is a debit card..

Rule #1 of banking in US ( Europe is a tad different)

Don't ever, ever use your debit card for anything for any sort of financial transactions.
Here is why

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
amarius wrote:

Rule #1 of banking in US ( Europe is a tad different)

Don't ever, ever use your debit card for anything for any sort of financial transactions.
Here is why

If you have a good bank they will let you dispute fraudulent charges on a debit card (mine does). If you’re buying from a member on the forum with a long-standing history the chances of you getting screwed are extremely small and it would be extremely easy to call them out on the form if something happened. Also, Paypal Friends and Family, which seems to be the standard on this website now, requires you to pay with your bank account which offers even less protection than a debit card. Paying for something via an ACH debit is effectively the same as using a cashiers' check in terms of consumer protection.

If you're really worried about it pay with your credit card and cover the fees yourself--easy.

Ol Leatherhands · · Olympia, WA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

For the record, I sell things on eBay and PayPal frequently and am approaching "trusted seller" status on eBay with 100% good feedback on 75 transaction (which are just a fraction of the total number of sales I've done). I won't tell you the dollar amount in sales that I've done. Typically I buy on MP because there is no seller fee and prices are lower.

In my experience, PayPal's "Purchase Protection" part of the user agreement ( has been kept well by them. In order for it to work out as protection for both the buyer and the seller, a simple protocol should be followed by both. This protocol ensures that both parties don't do anything to disqualify themselves from a ruling in their favor in the case of a disputed transaction.

In order for the seller to be protected they must provide a tracking number as proof of delivery.

Buyer protocol, in the case that they send money via PayPal's "Send Money" feature or if they send it via an invoice from the seller, is to unbox and inspect your items with video and take hi res photos immediately after videoing their condition. Be sure to describe exactly what you're agreeing to buy and the shipping agreement between them and the seller.

If the seller cannot provide tracking and there was no pre-agreement to pick the item up locally, then the buyer will win.

In order for the seller to fully protect themselves, they should video/photo document the package before sending and provide a tracking number via PayPal message to the buyer.

If the seller provides tracking but sends a fake item / empty box, then the burden on on the buyer to provide solid proof that the item they can expected didn't show up. Hence documenting via video and photo the item they received.

For both parties, communicating via PayPal to document the agreement details is always a good idea.

The same rules apply for eBay, but they charge a 10% fee (on everything including the shipping) plus the itty-bitty ~3% that PayPal charges. Also, PayPal's multi-order shipping feature is the cheapest shipping available anywhere, and typically faster than UPS.

If you sell OR buy via PayPal, any item shipped via USPS First Class mail (using PayPal Multi-Order shipping) that "less than 8oz" (sometimes you just gotta guess how much something weighs.... the post office typically doesn't check unless the discrepancy is yuge) only costs $2.77 USD. 

USPS First Class is the most affordable shipping and is usually pretty quick, except around holidays. USPS Priority is suuuuper fast for a really, really reasonable price.

Avoid UPS unless you're buying from Amazon Prime. FEDEX costs an arm and a leg.

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

Thank you for all of your responses. This sounds like far more hassle than I want to deal with. I won't use Paypal because much like user 20k I know they have a terrible reputation from the research I've done about them. And it sounds like US Postal Money Orders have it's own set of problems too. Although I thought that was secure and offered a way to get your money back if lost or scammed as they advertise on their web site. I think that I will try to sell this gear locally for cash in person. Thanks again.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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