Selling Expensive Equipment on the Internet

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by SoCal 182 Driver, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Friends -

    I need some advice. I'm selling a Garmin GNS 530W. I have a deal in place, but the buyer is asking me to ship the unit to his FBO so they can confirm I'm not sending him a box with 10 lbs of sawdust in it. My concern is that some knucklehead at the FBO could open the box, take out the unit, and put in 10 lbs of sawdust!

    So, I'm looking for some sort of escrow arrangement where he can wire the money, I can ship the GPS, and the escrow officer can confirm there's actually a GPS in the box. The buyer is in Poplar Grove, IL.

    Or, I'm open to other ideas that protect me as the seller, and the other guy as the buyer. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears!

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Bacho

    Bacho Pre-takeoff checklist

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    short of a face to face for cash, you accept some risk. I have sold quite a few very expensive items online without the problems you describe.

    If your concerned, you might have the UPS store package it, ship it and insure it. Years ago I had to make a claim against UPS. I had some trouble proving what was in it and that it was properly packaged.
     
  3. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Doesn't PayPal have some built-in protections for both the seller and the buyer?
     
  4. Ryan A

    Ryan A Filing Flight Plan

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    Only if you are using eBay, I believe.
     
  5. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't think that applies to private party buyers and sellers. I think that only applies to merchants, eBay, etc.
     
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  6. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Interesting conundrum, because the item is too expensive to be shipped from a UPS Store...they require it be shipped from a UPS Service Center or be handed to a driver. I just checked with FedEx, and they only accept declared value items up to $1,000.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  7. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Ship it to an avionics shop such as Stein who provides this service at nominal cost.
     
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  8. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Are you referring to Steinair in Faribault, MN? If so, how does the process work?

    Thanks!
     
  9. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Yes
    No personal experience but I read they receive your radio, test it, receive the payment, hold radio until funds clear.
     
  10. jrcox19

    jrcox19 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nope, it can apply to regular private party sales as well. You pay a fee, which people dislike, but that's the only way it makes sense.
     
  11. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    It helps if both buyer and seller have long history or presence on the internet. No way would I do business with someone who only has a few posts.
     
  12. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I used https://www.escrow.com/ for a similar transaction, except I was selling a new Jabiru 3300A engine instead of a 530. It worked flawlessly.
     
  13. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    For the buyer, yes. Seller, no.

    Been there, done that.
     
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  14. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  15. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    Saint aviation in Florida offers escrow service on avionics for a reasonable price. He is very well known in the rv group.
     
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  16. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Traditionally risk goes to the buyer. Especially since mail fraud is up to 10 years in prison.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  17. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Stan, can you walk me through how escow.com worked? Thanks!
     
  18. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the tip!
     
  19. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    @Jesse Saint is an active member here.
     
  20. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Tell us more please.
    If the funds are in your PayPal account before you ship are you not protected as seller?
     
  21. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    There's a pretty good walk-through of a typical transaction on the website.

    The two parties agree to the terms, the buyer pays escrow.com by wire transfer or PayPal/credit card (on a $5000 electronic equipment sale the escrow.com wire transfer transaction fee would be $162.50; for a PayPal/credit card transaction the escrow.com fee would be $315). Escrow.com advises the seller that they have received the money and the seller ships the merchandise to the buyer. The buyer receives the merchandise and confirms it is as represented, then escrow.com releases the funds to the seller.

    My transaction was in 2013, so memory of the details are fuzzy, but it worked very smoothly and we were both satisfied. It was at the buyer's suggestion that we use escrow.com and he paid the escrow fee. He had used the service before and I hadn't, but after reviewing how it worked I felt comfortable enough to ship the $14,900 engine.

    I've attached a copy of the Escrow Instructions in effect in 2013; I don't know if the instructions have changed since then.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The escrow idea is something I’m hoping to learn more about in the thread. Selling via PayPal does have some buyer and seller protection too.

    another hobby of mine is ham radio. It’s rare but not uncommon for the buyer to claim the equipment doesn’t work. when the seller gets the kit back it’s missing an expensive component. There isn’t much the seller can do other than call out the person in social media as the lawsuit cost is properly higher than the loss.
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    HAR!

    Either take cash on the barrel or use an escrow service.
     
  24. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    PayPal has built-in protections for PayPal.
     
  25. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nope. If the buyer says they didn't get what you said that you sold, they get their money back. The burden of proof is on the seller. (how do you prove the item they received is the one you sent?)

    About the only way to prevent Paypal from taking your money back is to transfer the money out of your paypal account and then cancel any credit cards and close any bank accounts linked to your paypal account.

    That said, I sold a working DC ANC headset and the person claimed the right earphone was not working. I told them to return it. They returned a completely different headset (that wasn't working). I told the person they sent the wrong headset back and they claimed they returned what I sent them. Paypal refunded the buyers money. (BTW, did you know that DC headset don't have serial numbers?)

    After about six weeks of work, I got my money back. What really made it a sweet deal was that I sent the bad headset to David Clark who completely refurbished them and I made another $250 on those as well.

    So no. There is no protection for the seller.
     
  26. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    HAR. No. I had a scum chineese scammer selling something on Facebook (fortunately it was only a $25 camera accessory). They were kicked off facebook and their website was shutdown. Pretty obvious scam. The scammers sent fake tracking number to paypal, so paypal strung me out. Paypal obviously had already paid out to the guy and he was gone and they couldn't claw it back. It was only my severe misfortune that I had paid with a paypal balance rather than the credit card I ususally use.
     
  27. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here's the part that has me confused, and I haven't seen an answer. Scenario...

    I ship the equipment. It is as represented.
    Buyer received equipment, and says it's junk (it isn't).
    Buyer keeps equipment (i.e., doesn't return it)

    What happens then?
     
  28. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good to know. I will call him later this morning. Thank you!
     
  29. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    If its that complicated I think I'd find another buyer.
     
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  30. Stan Cooper

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    You get paid by Escrow.com.

    Did you read the Escrow Instructions? Specifically 4. Buyer's Acceptance, Disbursement of Funds, 5. Buyer Rejection Process, 6. Shipping and Tracking of Returned Item, and 7. Seller Acceptance or Rejection of Return, Disbursement of Funds?

    EDIT - I've attached the current version of the escrow instructions. It's much easier to read than the earlier version.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  31. JD318

    JD318 Pre-Flight

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    I was actually on the other end of a transaction. I was the buyer. Purchased a Bose A20 headset. Used paypal through ebay. "Seller" sent package with tracking. Package never got to me. Tracked delivery and found where it was delivered. Fortunately I live in a small town and new the address. Called them to see if they received a package. They received a 8.5 X 11 envelope with a bs certificate in it. No way any type of headset would fit in there. Filed complaint with ebay/paypal. Ebay sided with the seller and I was out $599. I appealed that decision and eventually got my money back. I am certainly more cautious on who I buy from on ebay.
     
  32. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    I would have thought that since the delivery was never made to your address that would be the end of it.

    Good that you got your money back though.
     
  33. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Nope, even the tracking (probably for some other shipment) provided showed it was still wandering around and had not been delivered well over two months after it was allegedly shipped and PayPal still wouldn't refund.
     
  34. CRQFlier

    CRQFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm in SoCal if the deal falls through, might be interested.

    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
     
  35. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    The key is not using the transfer to “friends” function to save money. That little extra fee adds a lot of protection.aske me how I know
     
  36. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Your timing is impeccable. PM sent.
     
  37. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    How do you know?
     
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