Tips and Tricks to Avoid Being Scammed

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There is no such thing as too much mods. When it comes to buying more parts, there are just as many scammers out there looking to take advantage of ignorant, naïve and clueless souls with money to burn.

With the advancement of the internet, more and more of us are living our lives on the inter-web. Shopping at traditional brick and mortar establishments has been gradually replaced by virtual shopping. While we can shop confidently on credible intermediaries like Amazon or eBay, or on the website of a registered and legitimate business, there are more bargains to be had on less safe options.

From Craigslist to Gumtree, the bargains to be had and the opportunities to be scammed are infinite. How then, do we avoid being scammed? The S2K community in general has a very positive reputation, but there are a few bad apples out there. Although uncommon, we have noticed an increasing trend in fraudulent sales. Here are a few tips from the good folks who coincidentally happen to drive S2000s…

  1. Buy and sell locally – so you can see what you are purchasing in person. Best part is you save on shipping and the possibility of someone mishandling your precious parts.
  2. Contact the Community Organiser or Moderator in the various regions to see if they know the seller, an address would be a bonus.
  3. Just as you would be wary of an eBay seller with few feedbacks, you should be cautious of sellers with few posts, especially so if they are new.
  4. Get the seller’s phone number and speak to the person. Ask questions about what you are purchasing. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Use your own discretion on the conditions of what you are buying. Communicating verbally allows you to pick up on “warning signals” that could be missed on emails, etc.
  5. Lack of or inconsistent communications is another dead giveaway. Research the seller’s posts, do your homework before committing to purchase. If anything seems amiss, walk away.
  6. If you are selling, do not ship until the payment has cleared. Get tracking, buy insurance, and overly package things to avoid damage. Save information and pictures of the item packaged.
  7. If you are buying, make sure you get a tracking number, no good saving on shipping and have it not arrive at all.
  8. If a seller becomes unresponsive or your spidey sense starts tingling, file a claim. It is better to report it sooner than wait.
  9. Leave a trail. Do a bank transfer, send an international money order, or use PayPal. Western Union is well known as a scammer’s preferred choice of payment so if the seller mentions those two words, alarm bells should be ringing. When paying by PayPal, do not use the “gift” option as it eliminates any chance of recourse if you happen to be scammed. If their PayPal is locked or unusable, it is likely due to fraud.
  10. The most important rule of all – USE COMMON SENSE!

Forumer xoz has an interesting suggestion:

I was thinking that a “BUDDY” system, could be done, whereby if say I were a buyer I could if not sure PM say some of the members on from this thread or yes someone local and ask if they or what sort of experience they have had with the seller.

I personally have had three positive experiences so far with buying from members and once got warned by someone else; they wrote “buyer beware” in a preceding post after I expressed interest. That thread ended up closing… I wonder why!

Would anybody here like to become my “BUDDY”?

If you are reading this, you either own an S or aspire to join the most closely-knit community in the world. We should be looking out for one another and this extends to letting one another know of any potential fraudsters.

Write-up by slackzy

Seller Feedback subforum

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