Monday, April 4, 2011

You Can't be too Careful

My wife and I are avid garage sale aficionados. She says that she decided this week that we qualify as professional garage salers. While this means we find many treasures hidden amongst the piles of leftovers, this also means that we have to store those many treasures somewhere. With that problem we periodically have garage sales of our own to attempt to unclutter our home. Lately we have also begun selling things on the internet, mainly through Craigslist.

Craigslist provides a free venue to post descriptions and pictures of items we want to sell in a local market. Did I mention it’s free? We have had some success selling things in this manner. My latest attempt is to sell a large monitor for a Mac computer, back and middle seats to a Chrysler Voyager van and a very new motorized wheelchair.

I posted descriptions and pictures of each item and shortly emails began arriving asking if each was still available. In an attempt to be fair to all, I answer emails in the order they arrive. For future reference I will mass email all and give more detailed contact information then sell on a first come first serve basis.

The wheelchair was the most expensive item. Quickly I received an inquiry regarding it. After replying I received another email requesting more information, then another requesting additional pictures. Soon the potential buyer wanted information for a shipping company he contacted to ship the item. I don’t offer shipping, normally. It was exciting anticipating such a sale.

Soon I got an email from Paypal stating a payment had arrived. That’s when things got weird. The email stated that since a third party carrier was involved in the shipping, the funds would not be released until they had notification of payment of over $300 to the carrier. That’s also when the bells began ringing. Scam alert! I emailed the buyer to let him know that I would not fall for this scam and that I was forwarding copies of all the emails to Paypal Security. Amazingly enough, I know, but I have not heard any more from buyer or carrier. The sad part is that if he had perpetrated the scam smarter I would have shipped the wheelchair (on his nickel) to him and would not have received a valid payment. Now, however, I’m another day older and another day smarter, hopefully, and will avoid potential scammers in the future.

Stay strong. Stay aware,



Nene said...

It's sad, it seems people have learned to scam in everything!

Amber and I went garage-sale-ing on Saturday. She got a Smith-Corona typewriter (non-electric) in a case for $5.00. It was in great condition! She was happy - I'll stick to my computer!

Inklings said...

It's a good thing you were smart enough to catch that!