A Place for Knitting Machine Enthusiasts
In today’s climate we should all take care and protect ourselves when doing transactions on the Internet. This is just a short summary of things that you can do to protect yourself for both Buyers and Sellers.
For the most part I have found 95% of the members of any Knitting Machine YAHOO Group to be honest, very nice and like-able people who are just selling a few items out of their homes. But, you may still come across a few scammers.
Also, SELLERS CAN GET RIPPED OFF by Buyers who want something for nothing, or a discount after the fact, keep an item for a while – break it and then all of a sudden 3 weeks later want a refund/return, or use it until they no longer need it and want to return it such as in the case of KM Lessons on DVD/VHS. Also, PayPal is NOT a sure thing for either the Buyer or Seller. If you should make a claim, especially when it comes to knitting machines, they have no idea what we are talking about, no foul on them, but let’s face it – they are customer service representatives, not knitting machine enthusiasts.
We easily know when we are buying from a Store versus a Private Sale and Stores hold themselves to a higher level of customer service for repeat business. So, this article is not about them.
TAKE NOTE: “PRIVATE” sales are ALWAYS AS IS and NO RETURNS, so keep this in mind when buying and be realistic with your expectations when buying from a private sale. You should ALWAYS assume that the seller is exaggerating about the condition of the item, unless you can actually see it in person. Even pictures are not a sure thing as they can take pictures at certain angles in order to make the machine look better than it is or hide yellowing. Also, Knitting Machine Yahoo Group Moderators are not liable for any transactions on a site where private sales are going on. But, what I have found is that most Moderators will try to help you out. Rule of thumb - it is always best to abide by the motto “Buyer Beware” and "Seller be Careful and Honest".
SELLERS: Ways to protect yourself:
1. DVD’s, Software and Lessons on VHS: While PayPal is a great way to do transactions, Buyers can still rip you off by keeping these items for a period of time, as in weeks, probably copy them and then file a claim with PayPal when they are done. Even if the outcome is that they return the items for a refund, they are still getting something for nothing. This is especially true with DVD’s, Software and VHS Lesson Tapes. You can opt NOT to use PayPal as a means of payment, and have a check or money order just with these items. PayPal does not always see the whole picture and I know of people who have been ripped off with Buyers in this area
2. Make sure to get the same info on the buyer and a LANDLINE Phone number. While it is no issue to ship to a PO Box you should get their home address, then you can file a complaint with their local Police Station for Internet Fraud and they will get a knock on their door. When that happens they fix the situation in a hurry.
3. For high cost items, say anything over $200, a phone call could not hurt just to feel the person out and if something feels amiss just decline to sell to them. Someone will buy your item for sale.
4. If you want to you can also keep an eye out on other yahoo groups to see who the problem children are, they are the same ones who complain all the time no matter which group. There are some mean and nasty people out there who just like to stir up trouble for something to do.
5. If you do get paid via PayPal, DO NOT Send the item until you have transferred the funds out of your PayPal account, which usually takes three days and you will get a notice once the money has been transferred into your checking or savings account.
6. Contact the Yahoo Group Moderator if you sell on a Yahoo Group Site as they almost always will go out of their way to help you. At the very least they will probably have information as to what legal recourse you have with which agencies or that info will be posted in the links section.
Unfortunately, there is little recourse to go after a buyer who is trying to figure out a way to scam you, especially through PayPal.
BUYERS: Steps you should take
1. Always ask for pictures, even though they can do a bait and switch, at least you will have proof of it for a police report. BE SPECIFIC! If the Seller is being vague, walk away. I would also walk away from a machine that has yellowed, you can read more about this on the About Buying a Knitting Machine page.
2. ALWAYS, ask for a phone number, not just cell as it could be disposable but a landline/home phone also, address and any other contact info. You will need this for crime reports and also to know who you are buying from. This is probably the most important and most overlooked part.
3. Pay via PayPal if you can, not a check or money order as you will have little recourse to get your money back. But, more and more private sellers are not taking PayPal because they are getting scammed with Buyers, so it is becoming an issue that even PayPal cannot help.
4. If you lose communication for 48 hours consider it an issue. If you file a claim with PayPal, PayPal will freeze the Seller’s funds during the claim process and if you win PayPal will have the seller refund your money. BUT, PayPal is not always correct in its practices, so this is not a sure fire way to protect yourself. Contact the Yahoo Group Moderator if you buy from a Yahoo Group Site as they almost always will go out of their way to help you. At the very least they will probably have information as to what legal recourse you have with which agencies or have that information posted. Believe me, if the local cops come a' knockin', they will fix the situation in a hurry.
5. If you pay with a check or money order, because not everyone takes PayPal due to fees, make sure to get a landline phone number and not just a cell phone, call them and talk to them to make sure you are dealing with someone who is honest with big ticket items.
6. MOST importantly, make sure that the Seller is willing to put in the time, effort and expense of packing your items well and securely. So many times I have received something and it was completely broken due to insufficient packing, or being lazy about it. This is the number 1 complaint that I hear of.
Do not worry about being "nice", the people that are ripping you off are not "nice" and if you make a mistake you can always apologize. It is better to be a little embarrassed than be out hundreds possibly thousands of dollars. Also, the main key to possibly being ripped off is if communication stops. Especially if no one returns your emails or phone calls for 48 hours. That is when I get nervous.
So, I hope this helps you in learning how to protect yourself when buying or selling on the Internet and below are some legal organizations that you can file a complaint with.
For Copyright infringement
For Mail Fraud
For Internet Fraud of any kind
Buying & Selling on the Internet & Safety