I'm selling speakers for the first time and concerned about fraud

I've received an offer on my Klipsch P-17b speakers from a buyer with zero feedback. I also have zero feedback. I'm just concerned about getting screwed somehow. Can anyone give me advice?
Take your payment via postal money order. Thieves avoid using these as the gov't takes fraud seriously. Or take personal checks but wait until they cleared the purchaser's bank. Many of the complaints revolve around the recourse that buyers have when PayPal is used and they know it and sleeze ball members, feedback notwithstanding, take advantage of it. 

Good luck!
In addition to Newbee's excellent advice:

First, Google the person’s screen name, and see what turns up. Second, ascertain the person’s real name and location, and check it out on Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Intelius, etc.

You may be surprised at how much information can be found out about people online.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al

So PayPal's fraud prevention stuff isn't really a safeguard? I'm just worried he'll get the package and claim something's wrong with it or something weird. I don't do this often so I'm aware I'm basically fresh meat.
So PayPal's fraud prevention stuff isn't really a safeguard?

Sadly, no.

PayPal offers much more assurance to the buyer than it does to sellers.
Too many horror stories to even get started.

As a long time seller/buyer, I don't think that I would accept an offer from a buyer with zero feedback on a pair of speakers, requiring the use of PayPal AND shipping.

I would be either looking for a cash 'n carry local deal, or a USPS money order, bank, or even personal check (wait to clear before shipping) if I was going to ship.

Granted, as a buyer with no feedback, I would be leery of buying from a seller with no feedback without using PayPal.
Just remember that PayPal may help the buyer out, particularly if he uses a credit card, but PayPal is not there to protect the seller.

Good luck with your sale.
and lots of us do not want to go to the Post Office, wait on line...to get a money order...then the worry is all on the buyer though
Do you guys in the USA not have E-transfers basically a bank to bank transfer. easiest wY I've used to make buys just have your buyer send you the money 
I would'nt worry so much about zero feedback as that's were we all start.

When I sale something and the buyer has no feedback or low feedback with being a member for sometime I request a payment by check or money order and won't accept PayPal from them.Paypal really only protects the buyer and I've had one bad experience and I don't want it to happen again.

" So PayPal's fraud prevention stuff isn't really a safeguard? "

Its just the opposite. Paypal doesn't care about the buyer or seller. The horror stories are true.

COD or money order is the only way I would do it. No checks.
I was paid a few thousand dollars for some gear years ago…with stolen postal money orders. Took my bank a month to charge them to me, and they supposedly were investigating…right…lesson learned.
I accept U.S. Postal money orders as payment for the vintage drums I deal in, but I take the mo to my Post Office, where they give me the cash for it. They look up the number to make sure it's legit, then hand over the dough. Only then do I ship. Foolproof!
1.  A number of you propose to protect the seller by putting the onus entirely on the buyer:  Only after the money is secure would you consider shipping.

2.  For ducks I googled myself.  The return was my last Who's Who entry from at least two decades ago when I stopped responding to requests for updates.  You can't always get what you want, Al, and sometimes you don't get what you need.

3.  I bought an Esoteric SA-60 from a seller in the SF bay area.  He wanted a money order prior to shipping, and wouldn't accept PayPal.  I seethe money order and assumed the risk.  The SA-60 arrived and was as described.  He and I agreed on a price for a Proceed Amp 3, so with confidence I shipped it, again assuming the risk.  That was over year ago and I've yet to receive payment.


Some good advice here. One strategy that I always use is to Google satellite map the address. What does the area, building, home etc. look like? Does it look like a place where someone would enjoy the speakers? I have literally seen empty fields for an address I searched.

I have to echo those who mention that we were all at zero feedback when we started. My biggest concern on my first purchase was the fact that I had no history. Fortunately I have had nothing but positive experiences. We all have to start somewhere. Good luck.
If you are this freaked out perhaps specify a local only transaction? This is not that uncommon for speaker sales and would give you the peace of mind of an in person transaction.
You could communicate with the buyer that since you both do not have feedback you  want to be a little more creative with this transaction. Maybe have him pay half with certified check and the rest on delivery. So both side have to compromise. If the transaction is successful you both can write glowing feedback on the other.

Why don't you ask this person if he/she has feedback on some other site , and if so see what it states; otherewwise, given the degree of discomfort you have just do a local sale with cash required at delivery as someone else suggested. I've never experienced a problem buying or selling to folks on this site, and in fact haver shipped items simultaneous to them sending payment; but that's just my experience and me.
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If, and it's a big if, you can get a local buyer, have them meet you at the local police station for the handoff.  I buy and sell wine regularly and unless I know the person that's what I do.  Scares off any potential dirtbags in a hurry.
My first transaction was selling a Camelot Technologies Lancelot Pro phono preamp. The gentleman was a Dr. of Opthamology. (eye surgeon) He too, was cautious about a transaction with me since I had no feedback at the time. I assumed the responsibility  of sending him the phono preamp with no payment of any kind. Telling him that once he received it, and checked it out to be not DOA, he would send me my money. Fortunate for me he was the person he said he was, and sent me a postal money order. I guess I should look at myself as being quite lucky in that transaction.
You have a point worth considering. The seller and buyer should communicate. A quick phone call can reveal much about a person. If you still feel unsure, then cancel the deal.

Maybe the buyer knows someone who he could use as a reference?  One of my relatives was a first-time seller here a few months ago, the buyer was a bit nervous, so the seller used me as a reference and after the buyer and I spoke he was no longer nervous about it.




Have you tried selling them on the Klipsch Forum?

No fee, PM system where you can exchange phone numbers and talk directly to potential buyer.  I saw recently where a forum member was looking for a pair of P-17B's.

I have bought and sold there many times and all transactions have been smooth as silk.  Same can be said about this site.

Hey guys , thanks again for the responses. Bill, I just researched a guy pdawidowski, and he is on the Klipsch Forums. Problem is, he wants to have a courier pick them up because, as I find out, he's in the UK. That would violate PayPal's seller protection stuff... 😥
Shipping speakers overseas is not advisable even if both of you had perfect feedback!  What happens when they are damaged in transit?  Are you going to file a claim with the courier and refund the buyer?  You don't need the hassle, like others have said, local sale is best.

" Bill, I just researched a guy pdawidowski, and he is on the Klipsch Forums. Problem is, he wants to have a courier pick them up because, as I find out, he's in the UK. That would violate PayPal's seller protection stuff... 😥"

Yeah he was looking for the matching center speaker P27C about this time last year.  Not sure if he ever found one.

Can't hurt to list them in the Klipsch Forum Garage Sale section.  Maybe you will get another bite.

When you receive payment (NOT FROM PAYPAL or VISA) in your account via a money order or check...and it clears! Then you can ship the speakers. Otherwise you run a high risk of them coming back to you and your money goes back to the buyer. LOTS of tire kickers out there, not real buyers!

Matt M
Bank wire transfer only.  Do not ship until funds clear into your account.  You will be 100% protected that way.  
Didn't  Audiogon offer an escrow service at one time? In any case wire transfer is the best bet
Follow up from my post saying bank wire transfer only.   we have received a few fake cashiers checks and money orders.  They actually cleared and we received the money and shipped the items.  However 6 months later on one of the checks Wells Fargo took the money back out of my account. It was $6,000.  I called them to see what the heck happened and they said they found that the check was fake.  It took 6 months for them to figure this out.  I was out $6,000 plus lost the speakers.  This check came from a Canadian bank.  When I tried to get my money back.  Wells Fargo told me that originally the Canadian bank paid them which allowed the check to clear on my end.  But 6 months later the Canadian bank realized the check was not real.  So Wells Fargo gave them the money back and then took it from me.  It was horrible.  Then Wells Fargo told me I had to deal with the Canadian bank myself  it was HSBC out of Canada.  Be careful not to make the same mistake we did. These checks even has seals on them and faked all of us out they look so real.  Personal checks are actually safer these days because they are not counterfeited. Just make sure they clear first.  Sorry to scare you but 0 feedback scares me.  I feel a little better if it's a local guy and we talk on the phone.  
get to know the buyer. have a phone call or two. we all start with 0 feedback, this is how i was able to overcome the hurdle. worth trying - sometimes a quick chat is all it takes to figure out if someone is bluffing or genuinely interested in the product and transaction
Ditto the above counterfeit check (personal) experience of Audio Limits. Look, these crooks are getting so sophisticated that banks say they've cleared...and yes, the bank lobbyists have written into laws that even up to a year later the bank can seek recourse, send your account off to collection agency and the nightmare of that haggle! It happened to my son - and I told him just to make sure it cleared. That bank assured him it had cleared at both banks and it still happened. Just like in the movie, "Catch me if you can", there are still problems in the checking system. Crooks are gaining the upper hand again in the "game". Online is their latest exploit.
So, I second audio limits in saying bank transfer only!!!

Oh, and you'll find shipping speakers internationally is way too expensive to make any sense.

Insist on speaking with the person and you'll figure out pretty quickly if he has a clue about hi-end audio. Never use the "buy", instead use, "make an offer" so you can choose whom to sell to. 

There are lots of scammers online now....even on audiogon.


             I was out $6,000 plus lost the speakers.

First things first.... sorry to hear about your experience.

But how can you be out 6 grand and the speakers?  The speakers I understand, they are gone.  But the money.... Wells Fargo gave you 6K and then later took it back so it looks to me like it's a wash.

OP.  Selling stuff online is a risk for someone.  Either you have to be willing to accept the risk or the guy buying from you has to accept the risk.

In my world.... it's gonna be the other guy taking the risk.  I know I'm honest.
Personal checks are actually safer these days because they are not counterfeited. Just make sure they clear first.

The only problem that I have with that is that no bank that I have dealt with, Chase, Wells Fargo, or TD Bank, can tell me anymore when a check actually clears.

Most banks will make the funds available to you within 1-3 days, but all of these banks have told me that it could take 30 days or more for the checks to actually CLEAR.

There is NO way to transfer money that is 100% safe. Even cash and carry deals can be carried out with counterfeit cash.

The worse the global economy gets, the more sharks there are in the water.
Andrew,  yes we lost the speakers that were worth $6,000.  There were other cost involved in time spent.  hours on the phone to try and get our money back from the banks. But we never did get it.  
I have a situation at the moment where I bought a subwoofer on ebay. The seller described that the subwoofer was in "perfect In perfect working condition and sounds great. It has some cosmetic wear" but neglected to mention that it was missing a cable that is not an off-the-shelf item, is unique to the system and without which the subwoofer does not perform in "perfect In perfect working condition". The manufacturer no longer makes the sub or the cable.

It also had a small tear in the surround, which I was not as concerned about, as it is repairable, but that tear was not mentioned in the listing and only shows up in his photo if you blow it up 200% and then only if you know to look for it. There is an anomaly in the image that is near the tear in the surround that suggests that someone was trying to retouch it out but did not know what they were doing and not only did a sloppy job, but missed the spot.

I am disputing the transaction. Would you consider the description fraudulent? Thx to all beforehand for your responses.
Yes. I would think so. Just for the missing cable alone. I'm quite sure this guy knew that sub needed the cable in question.
It's a big problem that there's really no safe way to do it.  You just have to rely on the buyer being a good person and the only way you can get an inkling of that is based upon feedback but that's no guarantee.  For very high value items, the only real safe thing to do is to trade it in to a local dealer but that means you have to find a dealer willing to take it, get less than you could get privately and buy something from that dealer.