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 too am glad it worked out and you got the piece you wanted

I have made some wild trips over the past 5 years on speaker runs 

As a buyer/seller that is also adament about Friends & Family...to all those critical, it works!  Establish confidence and trust in what you are buying and who you are buying from and have a little faith.  It also helps restore your faith in humanity.  

Glad it worked out, I own a Drumforum (yes I play drums..obviously)

and we have a hard and fast rule in our for sale section NO paypal Fand F allowed, If we see a listing with it, we delete it and contact the seller and basically give a warning. Most applauded the move a but a few objected, said we are involved with their sale, I quickly inform them this is NOT a democracy, it is a dictatorship, Me and the mods....make da rules....and we dont. have to explain ourselves etc.

Its not just the no protection, but like I said before, its ripping paypal off, you use the service, you pay for the service. Just my opinion.


Thanks for the reply.  I appreciate knowing how your forum handles F&F: It seems simple enough.  

I expect that most sellers are willing to break the rules, by selling to non-friends/family, simply to avoid paying sales tax

Your rule levels the playing field, which in-turn stabilizes pricing.  Moreover, your policy is fair - I must pay sales tax when I sell my car, my house, etc., so why do some falsely believe their expensive audio gear is an exception?  Such tactics are truly dishonest/illegal.

P.S.  In your example, you did not interfere with someone ability to sell, you simply interfered with their ability to sell on your forum (which is your call).  Subtle, but important difference.  They can place their drums on the lawn with a 'best offer' sign, and that does not involve your forum :-)