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!


I would NEVER do PayPal Friends and Family with an unknown person! Even if it was someone I know I would have to trust them. You are on the losing side if anything goes wrong, and the protection is all one-sided.

Find someone in this community who is local to the seller and would do you the favor of inspecting the gear. I'd do that for another enthusiast. Good luck!

only a FOOL sends money via paypal F and F. 1st off it is deceitful to paypal it is a sale and not a gift etc. a service is being used and needs to be paid, 2nd NO protection at all. Why in the world would you even consider doing it ?

everything to lose and nothing to gain here.

@ntpc4 I like the idea of finding someone local from here. I wonder if the seller would open the box then. 

If they wouldn't, then f them. I wish I knew what piece of gear we were talking about; anything described as NOS intrigues me.