What's the safest/best method to collect payment from a private sale?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Landmonster, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Landmonster

    Landmonster

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    What's the safest & best method to collect payment from a private sale?


    Let's divide this into 2 categories:

    1) Let's say you are selling a medium-value item online, something worth less than $1000, through Ebay or Craigslist. (i.e., electronics or sporting goods)

    2) Let's say you are selling a high-value item locally, something worth more than $1000, and has a title. (i.e., a car, or motorcycle, or boat.)


    If you accept...
    • Cash, you could receive forged bills, and not be able to detect them until the bank does.
    • Checks, the buyer's checking account could have insufficient funds.
    • Money orders, you could receive a forged one, and not be able to detect it until the bank discovers it.
    • Paypal or Credit cards, the buyer can simply withdraw his funds after the deal, or dispute the transaction later.

    Certified funds, like a bank check, seems like the safest thing to accept as a seller.... however, many buyers are unwilling to pay this way, especially online. (This could also be forged, much like a fake money order.)


    Here's a question: Is it a very bad idea to give out a bank account number to a buyer, to accept a bank transfer as payment?
    1) Does this put you at a risk for theft, fraud or identity theft?
    2) Is there a way a buyer can recall his bank transfer, like he can with Paypal?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  2. hoven88

    hoven88 Wannabe

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    Well seeing as how you believe you have a master forger on hand, i'd say keep your things. In normal land i will take hard cash, a cashiers check or usps money order.
     

  3. american lockpicker

    american lockpicker License to Il

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    Take cash have a UV light, counterfeit detecting pen and, if your really paranoid known real examples of US currency in every denomination and type over the past 100 years for comparison.
     
  4. chris in va

    chris in va

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    Cash, works quite well for every large sell/purchase I've transacted. Otherwise a USPS money order or bank check.
     
  5. Roro

    Roro

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    So if you can't tell money is fake. Go to the office supply store and buy a counterfeit marker. its not fool proof but if you cant tell its better than nothing

    Look at the MO/CC check. Nearly all companies have a few security features to prevent fakes and forgeries. Use common sense mainly.
     
  6. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

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    For cash transactions (like my truck I sold a few years ago for $3K cash) I come armed, with friends, in a public place, in daylight.

    I checked all the bills, all were legit.

    Surprisingly, for a guy who said HE was coming alone, he also brought friends, who hung back and stared at my friends.

    With a pen-check and/or black light and some practice, you can spot just about every bad bill out there. (I was a pay master at one of my military assignments and learned a lot)

    I have seen examples of near perfect bills that could fool everyone. Luckily those are few and far between.

    MO are easy to fake now. Banks are being fooled, only when the MO is sent into the system do they find out the bank account is empty or fake, sometime two weeks after it is cashed.

    I'll stick with cash for FTF.

    Paypal can be very safe, but I have never used it for more than a $200 transaction at one time. Lots of sub-$50 transactions, so I feel pretty safe. And I keep the PP account empty, just incase someone gets froggy.
     
  7. jp3975

    jp3975

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    Easy.

    Meet them at the bank and deposit it right there before you give them your item.

    As far as ebay goes they send you money first.
     
  8. Ol Timer

    Ol Timer ↓ hog hunter ↓ Millennium Member

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    Buy a bill detection pen, about $3.

    Strap up.

    Meet someplace other than your home.

    Snap a cell phone photo of the car and plate.

    Accept cash, use pen.

    Look for the security strip. Know it's location, it is different on all denominations.
     
  9. uhlawpup

    uhlawpup l'Italia s'è desta

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    Cash and US Postal money orders are not that easy to counterfeit. If, however, you are unsure about your abilities, meet at your bank and deposit the cash or money order right then. Banks have a way of instantly checking postal money orders. You can do it, too, if the money order was issued more than 48 hours before. You can go online with the details of the money order and the USPS site will tell you the good or bad news.

    No, it is never safe to give your bank account number to someone.

    Why is it I feel like someone has approached you with a scam and you're trying to see if you can give them your account number safely?
     
  10. thanospro

    thanospro

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    This.
     
  11. GMB

    GMB

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    If you're really concerned, you can look into escrow services.

    There are several eBay-specific services for this purpose.
     
  12. Rabbit994

    Rabbit994

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    Usps money order. Call the verification number and double check. If it checks out, your good to go.
     
  13. TurboRocket

    TurboRocket

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    +1 for smaller sales via mail. I just go to the PO and have them run it through their scanner to tell me if it is real. Often times, they even cash it right there.

    For larger sales done FTF, I'd say meet at their bank, watch them withdraw cash or buy a bank check.
     
  14. DR. HOUSE

    DR. HOUSE Everybody Lies

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    money order or check.

    Dont send the product untill it clears.......Pretty simple.

    people have been doing it that way for years now. (smart people)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  15. bfg1971

    bfg1971

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    Do it in a bank and have them run the check before you hand the item over. If the guy is willing to walk into your bank and be filmed handing over a check that is going to be run through the system as he stands there its probably good to go.
     
  16. Glock n Stein

    Glock n Stein Millennium Member

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    Cash, ftf -- you could get one of those markers.

    Bank-to-bank wire transfers: identity is verified on both sides. Very rarely recalled. ~$35. You could give your banking info to their bank, after they've verified buyers' ID.

    Usually, no. Good question to ask the bank.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  17. void *

    void * Dereference Me!

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    It's different based on how old the bills are, too. Back around '99 we had a Burger King refuse to accept a $20 because it was a series 1989 bill (perfectly good, we got it from a bank) ... the security strip was added to the $20 in 1990. The strip had 'USA 20' added in 1989.