View original topic: Tips for Internet Buying and Selling including Paypal Page: 1, 2  Next
EverettB Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:29 am

Official tips from the US government:

Example of how to use Paypal outside eBay:

Also see this companion topic:
Tips for buying a car over the Internet

Here are some additional tips that may help you to have trouble-free Internet transactions.

1. When inquiring about an item, let the seller know the exact item you are interested in.
2. Always send your location to the seller, such as zip code or country, in order for the seller to calculate the shipping charges up front. If you want anything extra like insurance or signature required, state this up front as most sellers do not include these extra services automatically.
3. If the buyer only accepts a specific type of payment, such as USPS money orders, do not send any other form of payment.
4. If you are paying via mail, let the seller know when you are sending payment. If there is a delay, let them know.
5. Include a note with your full address and what you ordered with your payment. Don't rely on the address printed on the envelope, money order, or check. Print clearly!
6. After you receive the item, let the seller know the item arrived.

Questions to ask yourself:
1. Does the seller give a complete description of the item, either in the ad or via email contact?
2. Does the seller respond in a timely manner?
3. Is the seller willing to answer all questions and provide additional photos when requested?
4. Does the seller provide a clear description of payment methods and shipping charges?
5. Does the seller seem honest? Does the transaction feel safe?
6. If you are purchasing something expensive:
Does the seller have any references or positive feedback?
Do you have the seller's full contact information, including address and phone #?

Overall, as a buyer, don't be afraid to walk away from the deal because something doesn't sound or feel right. If possible, let the seller know why.

1. Give a clear & honest description.
2. Provide detailed photos, highlighting any damage or issues.
3. List the types of payment you will accept.
4. List any other charges that may be required with the item - shipping, packing, etc. Example: "Buyer to pay shipping". Most people don't like handling charges or paying your Paypal fees, which is against your Paypal user agreement, so include these charges in the overall price of your item.
5. Respond to any questions or requests in a timely manner or give the prospective buyer a time line, e.g. "I can answer your questions this weekend" or "I will get you those photos tomorrow, it is dark now". Respond to all inquires, even if it is to say "It is sold."
6. Set a price for your item. Example: "$250 obo" Buyers hate "Make offer" and you will get a lot of time-wasting emails.
7. Treat any prospective buyer as an actual buyer until they prove otherwise. Exception: Scam Emails
7a. When possible, reserve items for buyers. If someone says they will buy something, don't sell it to someone else without waiting a reasonable period of time for them to pay.
8. When payment has been received, inform the buyer and provide a ship date and tracking number, when possible. Save all shipping receipts for at least a couple of months.
9. Whenever possible, use some sort of tracking to protect yourself as the seller. For instance, delivery confirmation, which is free from the US Postal Service when printing out Priority Mail labels using Paypal now requires proof of delivery and it is a defense against false Paypal disputes.
9a. In general, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure the item arrives and is in good shape so take whatever precautions are necessary as the seller, including tracking and packing the item well.
10. If you encounter any delays in shipping out an item, proactively let the buyer know. Communication prevents complaints.
11. When your item is sold, delete the ad from the site.

Email addresses:
If you are posting ads on this site, make sure your email address in your profile is current and functional.
If you are buying items from this site, make sure the email address you use is correct.
Create an account if you do not have one, that way you do not have to type in your email on the contact form and risk making a typo.
I get 100s of rejects a week from invalid email addresses, from both buyers and sellers.

Paypal Tips:
1. If you pay someone as a "Gift" you will not have any recourse if a problem occurs. Avoid this practice.
2. Sellers - It is against your Paypal user agreement to charge for Paypal.
I do not recommend this because:
a. It looks bad to add on bogus fees, like Add 3% for Paypal
b. It's just as easy to build this cost into your asking price.

Paypal fee reversal calculator:

Other information:
Discussion of what NOS means
US Postal Site on verifying USPS money orders
Sample Bill of Sale Document (External link)

Feedback welcome.
I will update this list.
Stay on topic in this thread.

Type 5 Joe Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:48 am

I get alot of E-mails from buyers that just say "I'll take it"

Buyers need to describe the part they are interested in...

Alot of people on here have a ton of ads for various parts.

Sometimes responces are made very quickly, with no attention to coming across as sounding even semi-intelligent....

This gives the "feeling" from corespondence that makes me wonder if this is a 12 year old Dreamer, wasting my time...

I don't usally respond to these types of E-Mails...

I always specify that "I accept U.S. Postal Money orders ONLY Please"

People still send other forms of payment... -and it pisses me off usually...

They need to understand that this form of payment is for their protection / and mine.

Not following thru on the specified form of payment can result in a huge delay...

People need to send the name of the town they live in / nearest town along with their Zip Code, when they request a shipping Quote...

The / US Postal Service web site requires this specific info.

The other irritation is the "tire kicker"... Don't respond to an add unless you are honestly interested... Don't waste peoples time...

This is the 1st step to being a good buyer.

- Joe

torboon Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:02 am

Is it possible to have seller rating or buyer/seller feedback database like Ebay? I found that the Ebay system work well, any opinion?

EverettB Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:39 am

torboon wrote: Is it possible to have seller rating or buyer/seller feedback database like Ebay? I found that the Ebay system work well, any opinion?
The problem is there is no trackable "transaction" between 2 people like eBay has. I remember when eBay just let you leave feedback about anyone, that exploded real quick with people harassing each other and leaving fake feedback. That is what would happen here.

You can leave feedback for someone in the Buyer/Seller Feedback Forum but it's still an "open" sort of feedback.

busnerd71 Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:03 pm

I have found as a seller that honesty is the best policy. I describe my parts carfully and take a lot of pictures. I don't want anyone I sell to to be surprised in an unpleasant way when they receive their package. I want them to feel like they have just received a really cool Christmas present or a really cool part from a big vendor. And with that in mind I clean everything and pack it carefully. If a part won't come clean, or isn't completely ready to be bolted on to the car, I let them know before I send it. And if I end up needing more time, or running late on sending something out, I just come out with it and apologize with an honest explanation such as "I know you expected me to mail your part today, but the post office was running about an hour behind and I couldn't be gone from work that long." It is tough to argue with truthful, honest communication. Most people don't care, they just want to know what to expect.

nsracing Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:42 pm

Here in theSamba, if you do not fly straight you will know about it.

You can talk crap all you want, but you HAVE TO BACK IT UP.

If you take hundreds and thousands of US hard-earned dollars from people, you better deliver on your promise. You just have to be honest up front on what can be done and what can't be done. Let the customer decide and go from there. And if they still want to experiment, then that is fine too. But I will tell them exactly what I think of it.

I bought and sold engine parts and tools here on the samba, and so far I have only come across one that tried to rip me off.

Everyone else have been as honest as they come. People in general are essentially good and I believe that. You have to give people a chance too.

But then again, there are those who live to make others' lives miserable. There will always be those kind...BASTARDS!!

regards. NSR.

Blaubus Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:30 pm

tip to sellers: when a buyer says "consider it sold" , this is not really a commitment to buy if interpreted literally, and every buyer who said this to me backed out, and there were quite a few. if a buyer says this, ask them to rephrase it as a commitment to buy. also ask buyers to contact you as soon as payment is sent . this will help you to avoid the teasers.

[email protected] Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:30 pm

1) It is a small world and with the introducation of the Internet has now made it don't screw and one as the word gets around very quickly.

2) When selling parts describe it the best way you can. I have talked (or should I say typed) my way out of a sale as the guy wanted perfect for a show car and I had part that was good but not perfect.

3) Think long-term and follow #1

4) Always donate to

These are the rules I try to follow.
Happy selling/buying.

QtrMileJunky Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:55 am

The Feedback feature... How do I leave it? The things I just bought were all bad and the ads deleted. Got link?


Glenn Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:56 am

Just post in this forum with the persons userid and name.

Then give the details of the transaction.

EverettB Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:06 am

Please read this:

ryentzer Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:28 pm

Just came across this forum as I'm interested in buying an early model Vdub after 15yrs or so out of the scene. Thanks for the useful information. I've bought/sold off of Ebay but I've been a little weary on purchasing a car that I would not be able to see in person. Thanks for easing my mind and answering some questions.

Redd73 Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:22 pm

6. If you are purchasing something expensive:
Does the seller have any references or positive feedback?
Do you have the seller's full contact information, including address and phone #?

One way I have purchased expensive items online was by using an escrow service. I know ebay offers one but I'm sure google could direct you to others.

Its a good idea when dealing with someone for the first time or dealing with someone on a big ticket item that you get a written invoice/contract/work order/something that states what is being done or what you are purchasing, how much money that it will cost, how much of that cost is already paid, and if possible a turnaround time for completion of the order.

Its impossible to stress enough that you check peoples feedback on the samba, check their feedback on ebay, or do internet searches on the company name if you have not heard any information about dealing with them. A quick google search of a recently defunct parts provider got quite a few hits leading to negative information. As a consumer there is a WORLD of information out there on prospective sellers and buyers.

larryho Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:53 pm

I feel strongly that a tracking number is very important and should be included as a condition in a transaction. This certainly will eliminate the agrument of receipts and confirm delivery status. A small price to pay for this service but an additional check that will benefit both buyer and seller.

joescoolcustoms Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:47 pm

Any recomended tips for doing trades with parts over the internet?

I have a add advertising to trade a part, so does the person wanting to trade send their part to me first, then I send out my part, or vice-versa?

Any good way to protect both parties on a long distance (not in person) trade?

EverettB Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:10 pm

I think both people should send their parts at the same time, with tracking numbers so you both can follow the shipments.

If one person is more "known" - for instance they have a string of feedback and a "presence" on the site, I don't think it's unreasonable for that person to request the parts be sent to them first since they have more to lose in terms of a reputation.

werksberg Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:11 am

EverettB wrote:
If you are posting ads on this site, make sure your email address in your profile is current and functional. I get 100s of rejects a week from invalid email addresses.

Everett, I also get many of these a week and I think it is a glitch here or at Paypal as if the buyer goes back in a few minutes & the use same addy, it goes thru no problem.....

EverettB Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:04 pm

It's not a glitch here because it has nothing to with my site. It could be a glitch with Yahoo/GMail/whomever.

werksberg Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:08 pm

A new and recent change at PayPal is screwing with me....

If PP received a non greedbay payment, they now have a link next to it as "Issue refund" instead of a "Print shipping label" link like before. I look for the "Print shipping label" link to know if I have already ship an item out or not.... Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad

Then PP if it is a Greedbay paid item....they have a "Print shipping label" link there but even after you ship the item out and post the tracking number to the items main page...the "Print shipping label" link still is there..... Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad
They want you to click and post the tracking number many times.....

So Bare with the sellers that don't get your items out fast and politely ask them after 2 weeks if the items has been shipped or PP is screwing with them...

EverettB Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:50 pm

In my Paypal account, all parts payments made directly to me through look normal and say "Print Shipping Label".

The ones where a shipping label is not applicable** say "Issue Refund".

** Example: Subscription payments for the banners on my site.

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