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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakFound on the 'Net(Moderators: RedHotMama, BFW) Best, safest way to accept payment
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norbie2009

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« on: Jan 17, 2011, 06:17AM »

Hello,

Having posted a couple of trombones in the classifieds (Yamaha YSL-603 & Olds Super), I am wondering what's the best, safest way to accept payment.  Paypal?  Certified check that I wait to clear before sending the instrument?

Thanks!
Michael
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 17, 2011, 06:35AM »

One of the best ways to go for a reasonably large sale is an escrow service.  One I know of is Safe Harbor (which I think is part of the Ebay empire along with PayPal).  Your customer pays into Safe Harbor, you send the horn, and if the customer approves they release the money (less a service charge).  I'm not sure how they would handle somebody who refuses to release the money and keeps the merchandise; you'll have to research that.

Or you and the buyer can negotiate a sort of contract where he sends, you clear the check, then send out the goods.  If the customer is dissatisfied he can then return the goods and you return his money.  But that depends on both of you being honorable.
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 17, 2011, 09:35AM »

Cash in person.

I hate having to use Paypal sometimes.  Just found out that they have a hidden fee on currency conversion.  There's a fee, but on your transaction it states "Fee: $0.00"

I wish I didn't have to use it.  I wish some of my store's suppliers didn't want to use it.

We had one supplier tear up a cheque because "it wouldn't fit into our ATM."  FACEPALM!  They now use Paypal and we get fees.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 17, 2011, 02:38PM »

We had one supplier tear up a cheque because "it wouldn't fit into our ATM."  FACEPALM!  They now use Paypal and we get fees.

You really had a customer attempt to put a check in ATM machine?  That's brilliant. Idea!
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 17, 2011, 03:59PM »

No, a supplier... they said our cheques were too big.  They weren't lottery cheques, it was a US funds cheque from our US account.
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 17, 2011, 05:29PM »

If both parties are in the U.S., I've had good luck with accepting a check and specifying that it will take two weeks to clear.  My bank assures me that any insufficient funds notice would arrive before two weeks were up.  I've sold items worth up to $12K this way.

Certified checks aren't any better anymore because there are counterfeits.  PayPal and escrow services take money out of your pocket.

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« Reply #6 on: Jan 17, 2011, 06:26PM »

If you're going to wait for the check to clear anyway, certification doesn't do you any good.  The last time I tried to cash a certified check, I was casually informed that it would take at least two weeks to clear.  I all but had to throw a fit in the lobby to get them to call the issuing bank for confirmation.

Personal checks, on the other hand, usually clear within days in the U.S.

We had one supplier tear up a cheque because "it wouldn't fit into our ATM."  FACEPALM!

One of those three-ring-bound stub checks, by any chance?  I've heard of some terminals having trouble with those sometimes, but it's hardly grounds for refusing payment.
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 17, 2011, 09:35PM »

One of those three-ring-bound stub checks, by any chance?  I've heard of some terminals having trouble with those sometimes, but it's hardly grounds for refusing payment.
nope, standard cheque... maybe 1" taller but still made out of paper, still foldable to be placed in an envelope.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 17, 2011, 10:21PM »

I worked as a teller a while back and was told that checks can bounce for quite a while. A supervisor told me about a check that was returned after close to 6 months. So if you get a check from a known bank, ie a large national bank, it shouldn't be a problem. You can at least take it to your local branch of that bank and either cash it or make sure its good before you deposit it. If you bank at the same place it should clear very quickly, if not instantly.

I've decided to just take paypal for stuff I sell online. I would rather pay a fee to paypal instead of waiting for the check, waiting 10-14 days, etc etc etc, and then hoping it still doesn't bounce. A bounced check fee is usually $30-40 depending on your bank. Plus, depending on the amount, could cause other fees (ie overdraft) if you had already spent the money. Leaving you out a lot of money and the item.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 17, 2011, 11:20PM »

Paypal is good. Isnt it? Seems to be safe but on internet nothing is 100% safe maybe.

Leif
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 18, 2011, 01:34AM »

The downside of PayPal is that when disputes arise they nearly always resolve them in favor of the purchaser.  Scam artist purchasers can (and do) bilk honest sellers using PayPal.

All the scammers have to do to make trouble is to file a "not as described" claim.  If a seller is dumb enough to send a PayPal-purchased item without requiring the purchaser to sign for the delivery, the purchaser can claim he never received it.  Without a signature, PayPal will back the purchaser.  Then the seller can be out his merchandise and his money.

I won't use PayPal as a seller.  I do use them occasionally as a buyer.

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« Reply #11 on: Jan 18, 2011, 05:54AM »

I'm not sure how they would handle somebody who refuses to release the money and keeps the merchandise; you'll have to research that.
That is the whole point of the escrow service.  If the buyer refuses to return the merchandise, then the money would eventually go to the seller after the dispute process runs its course.  Essentially both parties are putting their faith in the escrow service to arbitrate fairly, so go with a reputable escort (I mean) escrow service
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 18, 2011, 05:35PM »

nope, standard cheque... maybe 1" taller but still made out of paper, still foldable to be placed in an envelope.
My bank has gone over to "no-envelope" ATM's; you feed in the checks and it scans them. Next time I make a deposit, I'll have to see if it looks like it can take an extra-tall check.

Of course, you supplier could have just walked into the bank...
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 19, 2011, 07:36AM »

What I love about this story is that it not only evokes the picture of a business proprietor patiently feeding checks into an ATM -- which is sort of pathetically humorous in itself -- but that, when it doesn't work, he just gives up and destroys the check.

Priceless.
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 19, 2011, 08:44AM »

So, how safe are postal money orders? I know there is a limit to the amount, but I always thought they were safe.
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 19, 2011, 08:50AM »

There are fake postal money orders. Usually the bank catches them because they do look different, but if you assume they are good and ship the item.... :/
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 20, 2011, 07:16AM »

Of course, you supplier could have just walked into the bank...

yep, they wouldn't do that.

As for what happens if the customer doesn't return the item?

I had a customer who opened a paypal dispute because he had not received his item.
-It was going to England, cheapest service available (picked by customer)
-It wasn't even late, the customer was just impatient
-Ebay sale
Paypal paid him.  The product then arrived on time later.  I have no leverage to get it back, the worst I could do is NOT leave Ebay feedback.
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« Reply #17 on: Jan 20, 2011, 08:47AM »

Hello,

Thanks for all the responses.

If you do a search for online escrow services, one of your first hits is a BBB rated (positively), eBay approved, Cars.com approved, etc.,  accredited in CA company called escrow.com. 

Basically, terms of sale are agreed upon by buyer & seller; the company takes the funds from the buyer; the seller ships the merchandise; the buyer accepts the merchandise and the $$ is released to the seller OR if the buyer refuses the merchandise, it is returned to the seller according to the predetermined agreement.

Cost? It varies, but it is around $65 for a $2000 transaction.

Ciao,
Michael 
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« Reply #18 on: Jan 20, 2011, 02:30PM »

I had a customer who opened a paypal dispute because he had not received his item.
-It was going to England, cheapest service available (picked by customer)
-It wasn't even late, the customer was just impatient
-Ebay sale
Paypal paid him.  The product then arrived on time later.  I have no leverage to get it back, the worst I could do is NOT leave Ebay feedback.

Fairly typical example of what happens to a seller on PayPal who engages with a scammy buyer.  Sad story that I've heard many times.  Caveat vendor on PayPal.
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-Howard

The nastiest fellow I've known
Smashed his trombone and ruined its tone.
There's a simple excuse
For his slush pump abuse:
He was born to be bad to the bone.
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