Trading Smart & Safe
- 2003/05/29 11:22 - Trading Smart & Safe [mudboy]
Trading on the Agora can be fun, but it doesn't need to be an adventure. Following some basic common sense, you can help to ensure that all of your trades have good outcomes.
First and foremost, read and understand the published Agora guidelines. These are the rules that really matter, everything else here is just advice based upon my trading experiences.
There are a number of things that I look for in a trade:
- A well-written, concise "For Sale" thread that includes prices, methods of payment that the seller will accept, and whether or not shipping is included.
- If I'm interested, and before I contact the seller, I will check their Beerology or Heatware references. If they check out, I'll proceed. If there's any feedback that causes me concern, I'll either just not contact the seller, or I'll investigate further by emailing the person who had a problem with that seller. I might also do a search in the Open Forum to see if the part that's for sale has any other "history" that might have been mentioned elsewhere.
- If I see something that I would like to buy, I will either place a "DIBS" reply in the thread and email the seller IMMEDIATELY with details of what I would like to buy, how I would pay, etc., or, if I have a question about the item, I'll place a "You've got email" reply in the thread and email the seller immediately with my questions.
- I usually look for an email reply within a reasonable period of time; generally, 12 hours, though if I email over a weekend or a holiday I'll be more patient.
- I usually feel better if I have contact information for the person I'm buying from, and will often verify it with any number of web-based address lookups. When I sell something, I will always provide my street address as well as my phone number, and I have, on occasion, received a call from the buyer verifying the info.
- If I feel even the slightest bit nervous about consummating the deal, I'll either dig for more info to try to allay my fears, or I will back out of the deal. I have backed out of a couple of deals because something felt "weird", and have had one transaction where I felt that way but went ahead anyway...and regretted it. Live and learn.
- Remember to be perfectly clear about everything. If you expect to receive manuals, driver CD's, or the like with the item you're buying, verify that they are included (or available). If you don't ask beforehand, don't be disappointed (or even angry) after the fact. Certainly, some things should be expected to be the norm, such as expansion cards being shipped in an antistatic bag & well packed, proper postage being applied, shipping address being legible, etc.
- I look for good communication. This includes clear emails while the deal is being hammered out, an email when the item is shipped, and a timely Beerology review.
- Once the item has been received, verify that it is what you paid for, and test the item as soon as possible. It's certainly possible for something to be damaged in shipping, and it's best to discover that sooner rather than later.
- If there is a problem, try to resolve it calmly and professionally between the the parties involved. Stick to the facts and avoid any actions or words that might inflame the situation, and keep it private, via email or telephone. Retaliatory postings in the Agora are unprofessional and are truly frowned upon.
- If a satisfactory solution cannot be worked out between these two parties, involve the mods. When a solution or compromise is reached, even if you disagree with it, respect the moderator's decision. If you can't do that, ask that another mod be involved.
In the end, trading on the Agora can be a lot of fun, and there are some seriously good deals to be had if you're lucky. Moreover, the VAST majority of trades on the Agora go off perfectly, and without a hitch...but it's still best to be smart in your trading so that you can avoid any potential problems.