A Better Way to Buy Gear - Help Needed

** this is a Sale-Process question... not a Gear question**

Hi All:

I intend to upgrade my stereo this year and have located an item that I want to purchase. Unfortunately, there is a ‘snag’ -- the seller insists on receiving the money before I get to see the item.

With this introduction, I would greatly appreciate knowing your individual/collective experience and advice.  Perhaps there is a solution!


About the Sale-Process:

The seller accepts only cash or PayPal Family & Friends:  He gets the money before I get the item. 

Because I would be without PP Buyer Protection, I would be stuck with any/all repair(s).


About the item:

The item is sealed in a box (NOS), so I cannot

    1. determine if it was damaged during shipping (to his house),
    2. power-up the unit and demo/confirm the functions. 
    3. verify the cosmetic appearance of the item
    4. verify that the correct item is in the box!
    5. Condition is advertised = 11/10

The item is big, heavy and expensive.  I have seen a photo of the box, but there is no meaningful information visible in that photo (e.g. company, make, model).


Additional information:

The seller lives in another State, a long way from my location.  A visit would involve a flight (or a long drive) and day or two in a hotel.  

The seller has a 95% rating. 

To me, a good rating means that I am willing to engage with a seller, but it does NOT justify sending the money without verifying the item’s existence/condition.


My question:

Because I am not inclined to send cash up-front, is there a better way forward for this ‘money-before-gear’ type of sale?


Thanks in advance for your replies, and happy listening!


When you pay using PayPal Friends & Family, it just means YOU pay the PayPal fees instead of the seller. PayPal always gets paid, that's why they're in business. 


That’s actually not true, unless you are using a credit card and yes, the credit card company gets paid not Paypal. If you are paying someone via F&F from a cash balance, either in your Paypal account or your linked bank account, there are no fees. Use this method only if there is a demonstrable track record with the seller.

I'm a securities trader and I've engaged in hundreds of trades over the decades.  Trust your gut instinct.  I'm pretty sure that by posting the question that you're uncomfortable with the transaction.  A missed opportunity is better than lost money.  Hope you find what you're looking for.  Cheers

If your gut says it’s a dicey deal, I would pay attention. However, as someone who has been on both ends of many deals, there is always a degree of risk to both parties. As a seller I am not willing to use straight PP, not because of the fees, but because of scammers that pay, get the equipment, and then lodge a complaint with PP and get their money back too. Deals are best with a bit of risk on both ends.