The Etiquette of Buying/Selling Second Hand Items

Hello all.

After reading about so many horror stories about fake receipts, chargebacks, transactions reversed and so on, I'm wondering what is the best way to deal while selling/buying second hand items.

It's great that as a seller you ask for upfront payment, wait for it to clear and then hand over or deliver the item, but as a buyer, I'd be wary of handing over money to an unknown person. I'm looking forward to a post saying "I transferred some money to Mr.X and now can't get in touch with him".

Also, if you're being given cash, even that can be counterfeit. How do you overcome that?
And how exactly should we transact?


  • Paypal..

    Cash is better and you can check it. It's rare for it to be counterfeit.

    • So with paypal, if you've mentioned that it's a payment for goods or services, would you still have buyer protection if the said goods were never sent or were faulty?

  • +3

    cash transaction ONLY
    meet in public place during day time or in high traffic area at night with bystanders
    have a friend with you
    ask to see cash first before handing over item for inspection, and do a rip test to test for counterfeit

    • But that will really limit the transactions that can be made. I mean I wouldn't bother with some small value items. As an example, I bought 4 gold class tickets @$25 each from someone on gumtree. Sent the funds through paypal and got the vouchers emailed.
      If I had to travel and take a friend along, it would not have been worth the hassle.
      If I lost $100, I would have been pissed.
      But think on the other side, if as a douchebag seller I got 3 hits a fay @ $100 each. Is great revenue and with smaller amounts no one would go to the trouble of reporting and trying to locate me.

  • Cash or Bitcoin only.

    Meet at a place with surveillance cameras, maybe inside a Cafe you frequent.

    • +2

      Hmmm you'd be waiting at the cafe for a very very very long time if they transferred bitcoin.

      • +1

        Increase the transaction fee, it'll get confirmed at least once instantly; but yes, this would only work if both buyer and seller knew what they were doing.

    • +1

      Casino chips bought from the table are a good option too. Don't need to worry about counterfeit money this way and cameras are plentiful.

  • +4


    Well, first realize that these people getting ripped off are a small proportion of what goes on, and that worrying about it too much is pointless.

    It really depends on the item. As the value goes up, you should take more precautions. A lot of people here are saying meet in a public place, but as a buyer I would be wary of that. To me that sends a message that the seller plans to rip you off and doesn't want you coming back at 3 am to break his front windows.

    You should also write a list beforehand of things you want to check. It can be hard to focus on what your doing when the sellers right there, but if you have a list you can run through each item one by one. The last guy who posted bought a phone, did everything right but forgot to check one thing and it ended up coming back to bite him.

    • Well my point is that how can we be trusting in sending actual cash to someone without having any guaratees on getting the items.
      If you're happy to ask for payment upfront when selling, why not ask for goods upfront when buying. End of the day, one party to the transaction will have to trust the other.

      • If you're talking about sending money and trusting the seller to post it, then cash is always a gamble

        There's a reason why paypal is so successful, and thats because it was the first real payment transfer company to have fraud protection, and they heavily promoted that.

        If you're happy to ask for payment upfront when selling, why not ask for goods upfront when buying. End of the day, one party to the transaction will have to trust the other.

        The difference is that the group of people selling something, is a lot smaller than the group of people who want it. There is a power inbalance, which therefor favors the sellers position.

  • +1

    Honestly it's a wild west. Have had some good ones where we both had a beer in their car and got a good deal on a nvidia shield tablet and he threw in a controller for free at a good price.

    Some normal ones where either party have extra discounts or bonuses after lots of friendly mutual communication.

    Generally I trust them and send the money and receive what I bought.

    Then also had bad ones where I got too clumsy and thought I had a good deal like too good of a deal ($340 iPad pro 10.5, sealed and everything brand new) it was interstate so I sent some money via bank deposit then the seller said some bs like it didn't clear or wrong bank account and gave me the run around essentially saying stuff like they don't have my money yada yada and ended up stalling and saying they were in hospital for the longest time and etc all the while holding my money, still chasing this one up. I had a funny feeling about this transaction but I went forward with it because it seemed too good to not take up only time will tell if I was right or wrong.

    It's all really hit and miss really but generally if it seems too good to be true it usually is.

    Trust your instincts padawan for only you know for them to be true.

    • If you still have the nVidia Shield, Geforce Now, is now for the time being subscription free.

    • Yes, I've always been very wary of these transactions as well. I did buy a couple of movie tickets where I sent the money upfront but it did leave me wondering whether there is a better way.
      I mean it's a matter of one party trusting the other either way.

  • Bitcoins man, bitcoins.

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