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-- Online Buying/Selling Guidance
-- 10.22.2000
-- By:

   We have collected a couple of tips and tricks to make your online purchasing and selling experience a whole lot smoother.  These are all written by people who have experience in dealing with these issues, which can be applied to trades and deals on EBay or many of the other trading communities. Good luck!


see also:
Roger's Trading and Troll Guidance

These were submitted to us by "Underclocked", and should be quite helpful for both buyers and sellers:

1: Be honest, be honest, be honest. Enhance this with total clarity and be sure the other trader(s) have the same understanding of a deal's particulars.

2: Clearly represent your exact product or offering, be sure to include any cosmetic or functional problems. Check your thread for responses frequently or let others know how best to contact you.

3: Make sure any item you ship is well packaged and preferably use a shipping means which carries insurance and tracking. Some shipping tips:

  • Always use order confirmation when sending via USPS. For any item sent via Priority Mail it is only 35 cents. That way you can always see when the item has been delivered.
  • Include a card of some sort listing the senderís and recipientís address information INSIDE the package.
  • Use anti-static packaging to contain any sensitive computer parts.
  • When sending breakable items, use plenty of good padding on each side.
  • Use block caps in addresses, avoid punctuation, and leave 2 spaces between state and zip code. Use a ZIP+4 code whenever possible.

4: There are NO excuses for being late or unable to fulfill a deal. Occasionally, there might be a legitimate REASON, but never an excuse.

5: Always honor your word.

6: Post a price for the item(s) you may be selling. This is not an auction site! Further, should someone meet your asking price or trade offer, you are obliged to make the deal and not quibble for more.

7: Promptly communicate with the other party at the different stages of the deal, i.e. when the money is received, when you ship the package, and a follow-up e-mail to see if the trade is satisfactory. IT IS A VERY GOOD IDEA to use the same e-mail by just replying each time. Be sure to identify yourself from the start with your BBS Username, the BBS you post on, and your real name. This avoids a lot of confusion (especially true for us older traders!)

8: Trader references for many can be found at . Check to see if the person you are trading with is listed and read any feedback. In addition to the HeatWare ratings check you should ask for references, use the BBS search feature to check other posts by the trader, check with other reputable traders for additional info, and finally if you still have qualms - ask the other trader to ship first. Trust your gut instinct on close calls. Once you complete a trade, add your feedback to HeatWare so others might benefit from your experience. Post the bad as well as the good!

9: Get a phone number, and talk to them over the phone (if needed). It's a lot harder to be taken advantage of when you have their phone number, and it also makes it easier to find a person that violates.

10: Please, update your thread when an item is gone and maybe state to whom it went.

11: Stick to the terms of the Deal!!!!! Avoid becoming a trader that gets involved in misunderstandings. Don't try to do so many trades that you cannot give proper attention to each deal.

12: Make a printed copy of the deal and save it until the transaction is complete. This will prevent confusion and prevent the problem of lost information due to a crashed system.

13: If there's no legitimate e-mail in your profile, your credibility suffers from the start.

14: If you're going put up a WTB thread, be prepared to pay a little more.

15: If you're offering less than 50% of what the items are worth on this're a LOW_BALLER !

16: If you make an offer of goods or cash, be positive you will be able to deliver same in a timely manner within the framework of the deal. Postponed delivery of any cash or goods should be arranged on the front side of the deal, not after one party has shipped!

17: If you are new to the boards and would like to play it safe, and since you're going to be expected to ship or pay 1st, try to deal with the long term established traders here for the first couple of trades. You'll quickly build a really good rep without the risk. Then later you can deal with unknowns and ask them to ship or pay you 1st. This is in no way intended to imply that new people are less honest than the older members, it's rather just a safety net suggestion.

18: Try to conduct yourselves as gentlemen and ladies here. If you have no interest in purchasing an item someone is selling, do not interfere with the sale by posting ridicule or derogatory remarks.

19: In line with the above, TRY VERY HARD to resolve any issues relevant to your trades away from this board and preferably by e-mail. Occasionally, things can happen beyond one's control which might cause suspicion or misunderstanding. Please don't have an itchy finger when you suspect a misdeed. Make every effort to resolve the issue by confidential communications before decrying the situation publicly!! Misunderstandings posted on the board can cause undeserved damage to BOTH traders' credibility.

20: Expect the absolute worst treatment if you violate your deals. Your first trade could be your last.

Good luck!

Check out more of his tips over at Anandtech's Forums!

Next: Rogers Trading and Troll Guidance >

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