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I agree and disagree ! Wherever there is a financial transaction involved you should always "err on the side of caution".
However, even though the situation may look a little suspicious, always remember; - - - you were a first time buyer/seller at some time in the past.
How would you feel to know that people were "blowing you off" because
you had no history with AUDIOGON.
I think the appropriate thing to do would be to invest a little effort and establish a line of communication; ask for some personal background and do a little investigation of your own, before you draw any conclusions. And of course, make certain it's not an "off shore" scam of some sort.
I have done these things myself years ago, and frankly, it paid off. And, - - - - - yes, I actually had to blow off a few. Anyone credible should be forthcoming. Frankly, I don't like PAY PAL much but it seems that AUDIOGON is pretty well locked in with them. It can work in your favor, but always be cautious.
One shouldn't make blanket statements about any country being home of scammers, they exist everywhere. I recently purchased relatively expensive item from Viet Nam, no scam.
Axpert is correct, everyone was newbie without feedback at some point. I've made tons of audio deals worldwide over many years, only one attempt to deceive, and that from ebayer from my own home state! I've always done my due diligence, minimizes ripoffs.
I agree to proceed with caution with any online transaction. That said, we all had to start somewhere.
About 15 years ago I had a pair of large floor standing loudspeakers for sale here on Agon. A buyer reached out to me from the other side of the country with interest. He was a new member with zero transactions or feedback. I was skeptical of course, but insisted that we speak on the phone. He seemed genuine and was mindful of his lack of history on Audiogon. After a long conversation I took a chance on him and everything turned out fine.
So remember, you (all of us) had that "first" Audiogon transaction and someone had to trust you as well.