How Do You Buy "Used" gear and Avoid Internet Fraud??

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Mark Wheeler:
Does anyone have any tips about how to buy used gear over the Internet and reduce the risk of not getting what I paid for, or not getting working gear?  Also, are there ways to insure/protect/protect your payment if you find out after sending money (I assume everyone is using PayPal) if your gear never shows up??  Does PayPal guarantee your funds?

I'm trying to figure out how to by used gear without taking extraordinary risk when sending +$1000 then just hoping / praying I'll actually see what I bought show up in the mail.


Peter Gant:
I only buy used gear if I can collect it myself, that way if the present owner tries to sell me an empty box he'll get caught out. Obviously this doesn't apply to a $50 notebook part but then again I've never spent over a thousand dollars on an EBay item.

As for PayPal, the way they have things organized these days everything is on the side of the purchaser. A couple of times I have had orders go 'missing' with one seller immediately shipping a duplicate part and the second time my funds were refunded by PayPal without question.

Peter DL8OV

Max Pierson:
I never send money that I can't afford to write off. I don't expect people to be able to pack things so they will survive shipping. The shipping thingy is a bigger concern for me after having an antique 75 pound radio shipped in a layer of bubble wrap. Forgetaboutit, it had a smashed corner and rattling loose parts...

You can investigate that a ham's address matches his callsign address with the FCC. A Bing search will find internet conversations by him or about him possibly... Possibly you can look up records of disputes of an eBay seller, not sure how much records' keeping goes on there...

Never send via PayPal's "friends and family" option. You give up rights to dispute.

Learn to recognize a psychopath: They will start off trying to establish that they are an acceptable person. They will play on your sympathies. They will request payment via friends and family. They know every trick in the book and delight in getting it over on anybody and everybody. Their schemes are very simple, their con artistry is neverending... don't argue with them, if flags are raised just walk away.

With eBay a seller's ratings tell most of the story. I got in the middle of a transaction with a guy then realized that he had a 60% rating! He wasn't even a con artist, he was just so dysfunctional that you couldn't complete a transaction! I tried to buy a tower from a local guy like that once. I couldn't make it happen no matter what, couldn't establish a price even. He did give me some free homeopathic pills out of a filthy box, there's that. I think he just believed that "the universe" took care of transactions maybe. I complained on the local repeater. An enterprising ham just drove over, dismantled the tower and drove off with it....

Quote from: KM6HFR on November 23, 2017, 07:47:34 AM

I'm trying to figure out how to by used gear without taking extraordinary risk when sending +$1000 then just hoping / praying I'll actually see what I bought show up in the mail.

I've bought lots of used gear which has been advertised on various ham classified sites.

Never a real problem with delivery, promptness, etc. I have bought a couple of antenna tuners at a fraction of their new cost,
in perfect cosmetic condition which required only some mechanical adjustment in order to work as they should. My guess is that is why they were sold--the former owners did not want to work on them, or could not.

I have not, however, ever spent more than about $200 in such a transaction. Not a great deal to lose if that were the case.

You need simply to use your own common sense. Look carefully at photos provided or ask for more if you need more. Ask
questions of the seller regarding the condition of the item. Look at ebay ratings if that is where you shop. Look up hams
on QRZ to see what kind of person they may be.

Bottom line is that most hams are honest, straightforward, trustworthy people. That fact plus your own common sense will
get you high quality gear at a very reasonable cost.

Mark Wheeler:
Lots of great advice -- thanks to all.  I really appreciate it. 

Vr, Mark


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