Gun auction security


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dashootist
March 24, 2011, 09:44 AM
I'd like to bid on a 32 cal snubby from Gunbroker, but I have the philosophy of not buying anything used sight unseen. This model is so rare, that local gunshops will probably never have it. The snubby is $700, which is probably over priced. But it's hard to find. I'm not sure if I want to wait for a better deal. So anyway, seller wants Postal Money Order. How do I protect myself incase the seller cashes the MO and disappears, or claims he didn't cash the MO, or some other scam? Seller has a 300 rating. I guess that means he has done 300 transactions on Gunbroker.

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MIgunguy
March 24, 2011, 09:53 AM
I assume you mean 300 positive feedback reviews? If he has a 300 rating (which could mean 300 transactions with 300 members or 5) with no negative reviews (or only a few old negatives) I wouldn't worry about it. I've always paid with U.S. postal money order on GunBroker and never had any problems (40+ transactions). I've read very mixed and conflicting opinions on whether you're more "protected" with postal MO or online or credit card payment. I've also heard that GB will take the side of the seller and not so much the buyer if things don't go smoothly. It's always a gamble with things in life but if he's not a new seller and has lots of good pics (and answers questions, if you ask them), I wouldn't worry about it. What's the auction number?? J/K... it doesn't sound like it's something that would interest me, but if it is rare and you want it, I wouldn't advertise the auction, either :evil:

I had my reservations the first time I used Gun Broker but have gotten some of my best and hardest to find guns off that site :D

AFAIK, if you pay by credit card or on-line payment each company has it's policy for fraudulent sellers if you don't get your item. With a U.S. Postal M/O, they can't claim they didn't get it (and then cash it) b/c you have the # on your part of the M/O and you can check with the post office if it's been cashed. If he doesn't send the item but has cashed the M/O, he's committed mail fraud, or so I've heard. But like I alluded to, if he's an established GB seller I wouldn't sweat it.

forindooruseonly
March 24, 2011, 09:59 AM
You don't. Look at the feedback and take the risk if you are willing. If it is a scam, the best you can hope for is a fraud case against him.

If he has 300 plus transactions, and most of them are selling with A+ feedback, I don't think the seller is a scam artist. However, make sure that the item is well described. I've bought dozens of guns off of gunbroker and have never had a problem with a scam artist, but have sent many back for not being as described. For example, Like New In Box (LNIB) means something very specific, but I have found that sellers use the term liberally. Same thing with mint, ect. Make sure the pictures are good and show everything, and make sure the seller has a return policy if not described accurately. If you pay a premium for something, make sure it is up to what you are expecting to buy. If the pics are out of focus and don't show the whole gun, you are just rolling dice hoping to get a good one, and guess what? There probably aren't any pictures for a reason.

CoRoMo
March 24, 2011, 10:16 AM
Contact him through the "Ask Seller a Question" feature. Find out if he has a business, get his name, whatever you can. If he's got a gun business, google it and find out some more about it.

Onward Allusion
March 24, 2011, 10:48 AM
After feedback the other important thing is - communication. Need to do this to avoid surprises. Ask questions now rather trying to resolve an issue later. If the guy has 300 transactions with few or no negatives, the seller is probably pretty stand-up, regardless if he's a seller or buyer.

deadin
March 24, 2011, 11:02 AM
Also check just what he was selling to get the positive fdeedback.
I ran across one on another non-gun auction site that had lots of great feedback and then defaulted on some high ticket camera gear (to the tune of defrauding around 15 buyers for around $1000 each. When you checked his A+ feedback it turned out to all be from $1 or $2 Dutch Auctions that he was very prompt is sending the cheap items out. So for one auction he might sell $20 worth of product and garner 20 sterling feedbacks saying he was a great seller. He did this for six months or so and then disappeared with around 15 Grand when he sprung the scam.

dashootist
March 24, 2011, 09:47 PM
Maybe I'll wait for another deal. The item is sold "as is." I guess that means no return. Seller wrote that the gun is tight and has only been fired a few times. But there are no detailed picture.

tazbigdog
March 24, 2011, 10:02 PM
I have paid for many items with a USPS MO. I have also asked for USPS MO many times. Why? Because if the guy cashes it and takes off, he will be investigated by the federal authorities. It's a crime (fraud) to steal from you and when you send it to him across state lines, the feds come in. Besides, he has to show proper ID when he cashes it, whether it be another USPS place or bank.

I feel very comfortable with that.

On the auction side, if he has 300 positive sales, you should be confident that his transactions will be smooth. But before you bid on it, ask many questions, ask for more pictures, especially detailed ones. If he is a good seller, he will oblige.

Good luck!

Jeff

bushmaster1313
March 24, 2011, 10:23 PM
To be really sure you could do the sale through an FFL on his side.
He brings the gun to the FFL
You send the money to the FFL who ships it to your FFL
FFL on his side will not likely risk his license over $700.

dashootist
March 25, 2011, 09:11 PM
I decided to do the "buy it now" for $650. But when I logged on a few hours before the bid closing time, bidding time was extended by 11 days, and the starting bid price jumped up to $750 from $650. So, after FFL and shipping, this little gun is going to cost me over $800. I am not bidding on it. $800 for a carry gun that'll get tossed around in a bag and worn alot is just too much.

GRIZ22
March 25, 2011, 09:51 PM
I have paid for many items with a USPS MO. I have also asked for USPS MO many times. Why? Because if the guy cashes it and takes off, he will be investigated by the federal authorities. It's a crime (fraud) to steal from you and when you send it to him across state lines, the feds come in.

What you are describing is mail fraud. It has nothing to do with teh postal money Order but using the mails. I seriously doubt the Postal Inspectors are going to open a case eben if its several thousand dollars. Their threshold is much higher. I know of a case where a guy used the mails to bilk people out of several million dollars, about 900 counts of mail fraud. He pled out and got 3 years.

medalguy
March 26, 2011, 08:12 PM
Try this scenario: Guy advertises a gun, wants POMO, cashes the MO, sends a piece of 2x4 in a box to you by registered mail. He has a receipt showing the "gun" was mailed to you and you signed for it. Now what do you do?

Having said this, I also buy on Gunbroker and have had no problems except one guy's description of "95% condition." I guess most guns sold are 95% and have a low round count, don't they? :scrutiny:

GRIZ22
March 26, 2011, 11:31 PM
Try this scenario: Guy advertises a gun, wants POMO, cashes the MO, sends a piece of 2x4 in a box to you by registered mail. He has a receipt showing the "gun" was mailed to you and you signed for it. Now what do you do?


It could only be mailed to you if both of you had FFLs.

PRM
March 26, 2011, 11:45 PM
I got burn't one time on Guns America. It happens.

I also have had a lot of positive buys on the internet (Gunbroker...). Most sellers are OK ~ Look at the pics and ask for additional, if you are in question...

One thing I have found, is that a seller's opinion of excellent condition ~ may not be mine. Little things (minor cosmetics) are OK, mechanics are not. I'm a shooter.

Feedback is a big indicator of what you can expect.

If you have reservations ~ ask the seller if they will give an inspection by a reputable third party with a return option (your cost)?

Do they offer a return option?

Last ~ the internet is where you will probably find that rare item. If you feel something is not right ~ wait, another will be offered.

toivo
March 26, 2011, 11:54 PM
Also check how long the seller has been registered on Gunbroker. A scam artist isn't going to take five years to set up an $800 sting.

I have made a few purchases on Gunbroker and Auction Arms both. I've never had a problem (knock on wood). I pass on items where the seller looks fishy: low sale count, some really bad feedback, etc.

MattTheHat
March 27, 2011, 02:40 AM
Read GunBroker's buyer protection policy. They have you covered. I purchased a 10mm upper early last year which was not as advertised. Heck, it didn't even work properly as the piston system had been crudely repaired. After many, many attempts to get the seller to make it right, I basically had no choice but to involve GunBroker. Before doing so, the seller had stopped communicating with me. After doing so, I had a refund from the seller in a week. I hadn't even returned the upper yet!

My understanding from the GB rep I communicated with was that if the seller didn't make it right, they would refund my money directly. I have no way to know if that would have actually occurred or not.

I was always a bit leery of my purchases on GB before that time. Since then I don't hesitate at all.

-Matt

marsofold
March 27, 2011, 02:40 AM
[QUOTE=medalguy;7198609]Try this scenario: Guy advertises a gun, wants POMO, cashes the MO, sends a piece of 2x4 in a box to you by registered mail. He has a receipt showing the "gun" was mailed to you and you signed for it. Now what do you do?

Your only option is to do what expensive coin dealers do on eBay. You videotape the box being opened in your presence, with an extreme closeup of the actual item shown. Then your attorney has the necessary paperwork served to all parties involved to initiate a lawsuit.

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