March 27, 2015

SpiderEarth's Tips For Safe Keshi Trading!

Man, it's been a slow few days for news or happenings, but you know, just as I say that, something big will explode, but even still this topic has been something I've wanted to cover for some time now and today is a good time to do it.

I do a lot of minifigure trading on forums with other forum members.  Aside from purchasing them webstores and auctions sites, trading on forums is a great way to expand your collection and get those rare ones to complete the set.  Honestly, you find better deals and bargains trading on forums too, but for a trade-off:  risk.  Here are tips I keep in mind when I'm trading figures with forum members.

(Be honest and realistic)
Your experiences trading starts with you.  You're going to be the common denominator in all your trading, so be an honest, upfront, communicative forum member to people you're trading with, but also understand there is risk involved in trading.  You can lie, cheat, and steal, but it only works so many times and you only get so much out of it.  There are billions of other ways to get what you want than being banned on a forum.  Be a good, drama-free, forum member.  If you can't make it to the post office today to send away a package, be upfront and say so.  Chances are, the person you are trading with will be more upset about the silence than the tardiness.

(Look at reputation)
Most, if not all, trading forums have some sort of record of successful trades for their members.  It could be points called any number of things like feedback or reputation or whatever.  It's important to look at these scores when deciding to trade with someone, because it'll give you a good idea if they are trustworthy or not.  If you are the new member in, understand some members might not trade with you right away until you get some positive numbers under your belt.  It might be slow, but maybe not.  Just be honest and trustworthy yourself and things work their way out well.

(Lean towards suspicion)
Be careful with brand spanking new members and members leaving the hobby, liquidating giant lots of their collection.  Much like the saying says 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'.  Active members are very protective of their feedback points.  It's essentially their lifeblood in trading, so be a little curious of deals from members in stages of their hobby where they might not care about feedback that much.  But of course, understand that's just adding extra risk to the transaction.  If it's still a great deal you have to try to get, just make sure you're in the right head space.

(Keep it secure)
Unless you are 100% comfortable with the forum member you're trading with, you'll want to protect your money and goods as best as you can.

Firstly, if you're buying something from a forum member, use PayPal, and use the 'Goods and Services' option.  PayPal is a great electronic service that allows you to send and receive money for little service cost.  If you're sending money, compensate the service cost on your end.  For example, if you're sending $40 to a forum member, but PayPal wants $1.50, send $41.50, that way it'll be the full amount for the person you're trading with. The 'Goods and Services' option will protect you if you need your money back.  Go through the second of trouble and make sure you're protected.

Money aside, if you're just trading goods, always get Tracking from the post office.   It's generally a dollar or so, and if need be, insist the person you're trading with to get it as well.  Heck, even pay for it for them, if it comes to that point.  It's very cheap and essential.  If things go wrong, and let's face it, it's the post office, something is bound to go wrong, you don't want to be held to blame for it.  Cover your butt with Tracking, that way you, the person you're trading with, forum moderators, and virtually anyone else can see, by running the tracking number, you've done all you could to get the package in their direction.  You don't want negative feedback points for something the post office did, and without Tracking, you can't prove it.

Okay, so I hope that helps a little bit.  I know there must be a ton I've left off, so maybe a part two will come down the pipe in the future.

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