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I think this is a good idea but i am just playing "Devils Advocate" here.
if i were a buyer why would this be in my best interest?
even more so how would i know that the person will send me the watch?
it is my understanding that when paypal receives the money in your email account that it is pretty much untouchable??? at least this is what i have been told by them. paypal.
so as a buyer it would cause me concern if i had to wait until someone transfered money into their account?? and then hope that they will send me a watch?

what do you think?
 

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I think this is a good idea but i am just playing "Devils Advocate" here.
if i were a buyer why would this be in my best interest?
even more so how would i know that the person will send me the watch?
it is my understanding that when paypal receives the money in your email account that it is pretty much untouchable??? at least this is what i have been told by them. paypal.
so as a buyer it would cause me concern if i had to wait until someone transfered money into their account?? and then hope that they will send me a watch?

what do you think?
If you've paid by credit card, you call and dispute the charge. Paypal has to recover those funds. You force them to. Otherwise they tell you that no funds were in the account and you are out of luck. They have poor business practices in my opinion.
 

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Re: How to help AVOID being scammed - Long rant

So is a money order the best route?
Only if the seller will accept a money order. Many/most times, a person is selling their watch and intends to pass the Paypal money on electronically to the seller of a "grail" that he is buying.

Waiting goodness knows how many days for a money order to arrive and to clear (they are not instant money) will cause your seller to lose the watch that he is raising money for. Be prepared for your seller to tell you "No" and move on to the next person who wants the watch.

I've followed this dialogue silently until now, but as an experienced and reputable seller who has bought and sold well over 200 watches in the past five years (My "consolidated" collection is down to about forty watches), the best advice that I can give you is to "Buy the seller, not the watch." This is an old adage practiced on many other forums. In the long-run for peace of mind and assurance of a quality deal and watch, you are better off spending an extra $50 or so, and buying from someone with a long list of sales than going through all of the well-intentioned advice discussed here.

Some of the advice here is good, but perhaps not offered in the best sequence. Some of the advice is okay, but may give you erroneous feedback and ruin a good deal that you could have had. Some of the advice here will just annoy a reputable seller to the point of telling you to go away.

By this I mean, be reasonable in what you ask and in what order. As an example; realize that many sellers sell on many other forums. They may not post much here on TZ because the photo hosting requires a different template than does TZ, MWR, SCTF, and others. They may be well-known there, but relatively unknown here.*

Look for the ad by running a search on other forums (some guys do use a different screen-name on other forums because it is an older name or because it was already taken here.) Check the seller's previous posts to see what they've sold in the past.

This is important because if a seller has a great reputation outside the confines of WUS, he probably has multiple responses for a FS post. If you start with, "What's your phone number?" "I want a picture with a newspaper." etc. You are going to be told to go away. Not because he is a scammer, but because he has other buyers who know and trust him. If it is a good deal, you are not the only one to respond. The same goes if you insist on a sending a money order and/or haggling over the price when a seller has a waiting list. Be prepared to be disappointed. I will only give out my phone number to a buyer who has already said, "I'll take it, but I'd like to talk to you about it." Don't start asking for this stuff if you are merely curious.

Do your research before you ask for some of the things that are listed above. If you buy the seller and are willing to pay a reasonable price, an awful lot of the fear of being scammed can be allayed.

A personal example for those who care to read further:

A while back, I decided to clean out my junk drawer. I had an old Orange Monster head and decided to list it for a "giveaway" price. Apparently, one buyer had read some of the advice here and got offended when I refused to take a photo with a dated newspaper. I explained that I haven't bought a hardcopy paper in five years because I read then on the net. You know, save a tree, be green, etc. He then wanted my address and number and informed me that He was going to do reverse searches and all that crap.

My response, "How many hoops do you think I'll jump through for an $80 watch? I have five other buyers waiting, three of whom have bought from me several times before." He then baraged me with e-mails for three days insisting that he had a right to the watch because he was first and that I should be willing to deal with him.

This was for an $80 watch. That is why many of us state clearly, "The first person to say, 'I'll take it, what's your paypal?' gets the watch."

Many experienced sellers will agree among us that if we list a $1000 watch, we get one question and an "I'll take it." When we list a $100 watch, we get a dozen questions and a low-ball offer. If you see a seller regularly lists and sells big-ticket watches, realize that he is only going to indulge you so far. Do some research beforehand. Remember, a buyer can make a bad impression on a seller.
Rant over



*Recently there was an instance of members here, some whom seem more interested in outing scammers than learning about watches and who the old-time players are, were sullying a very reputable seller because they obviously never ventured far enough outside of WUS to know him.
 

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Some of the advice here is good, but perhaps not offered in the best sequence. Some of the advice is okay, but may give you erroneous feedback and ruin a good deal that you could have had. Some of the advice here will just annoy a reputable seller to the point of telling you to go away.
It isn't supposed to be sequential. Doing all or some of these things can help.


By this I mean, be reasonable in what you ask and in what order. As an example; realize that many sellers sell on many other forums. They may not post much here on TZ because the photo hosting requires a different template than does TZ, MWR, SCTF, and others. They may be well-known there, but relatively unknown here.*
Then they should be willing to say that I sell as ****** on some other forum. I would think that is a pretty simple task.

Look for the ad by running a search on other forums (some guys do use a different screen-name on other forums because it is an older name or because it was already taken here.) Check the seller's previous posts to see what they've sold in the past.
So we're back to the buyer having to do all of the work. I think it should be a 50/50 split in equitable time.

This is important because if a seller has a great reputation outside the confines of WUS, he probably has multiple responses for a FS post. If you start with, "What's your phone number?" "I want a picture with a newspaper." etc. You are going to be told to go away. Not because he is a scammer, but because he has other buyers who know and trust him. If it is a good deal, you are not the only one to respond. The same goes if you insist on a sending a money order and/or haggling over the price when a seller has a waiting list. Be prepared to be disappointed. I will only give out my phone number to a buyer who has already said, "I'll take it, but I'd like to talk to you about it." Don't start asking for this stuff if you are merely curious.
I'm sorry but I wholeheartedly disagree with this. If someone is a "fairly reasonable poster" but has told me that they want it but they want me to jump through a few hoops, I will do it. Why? Because I chose to sell my watch and have to bear the burden of proof. I may at some point ask them to bear some burden of proof as a buyer. And I will certainly give out my phone number to someone who wants to talk about buying my watch. And I would want to talk to someone who I intend to buy a watch from. Call me old fashioned. I'm not going to spend 2 hours on the phone but I can certainly spare 20 minutes of my time to explain the details of the sale.

Do your research before you ask for some of the things that are listed above. If you buy the seller and are willing to pay a reasonable price, an awful lot of the fear of being scammed can be allayed.
The above things ARE research. And how exactly would one go about "buying the seller" without getting a comfortable feeling for the person and the transaction. In my opinion they are part of the process.


And quite frankly I'm surprised that you would discourage people from doing some of these things as a good buyer or seller. You give a false sense of security where there may not be. This is a relatively safe place to do business because there are people behind the scenes working diligently to make it safe. Just because you are a good seller that doesn't want to be bothered, doesn't mean that we should drop our defences for the entire lot.

Sorry for doing this but it miffed me to see someone that I know to be a good person, almost completely discount something that I took time out of my day to prepare for people who may not know these things. Remember, not everyone is as savvy as the experienced folks here.

So, if we could stick to things that will be helpful to these people, I think this thread will turn out as planned.

And I apologize for being the cause that you were inconvenienced by someone who wanted to do their due diligence with one of your sales.
 

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*Recently there was an instance of members here, some whom seem more interested in outing scammers than learning about watches and who the old-time players are, were sullying a very reputable seller because they obviously never ventured far enough outside of WUS to know him.
I remember that well. It was a guy using Ponycars name to sell watches here. That was just folks being tricked. If I recall, they were sullying the name of the scammer here who just happened to steal Ponycars identity to do (try to do) some very heavy scamming here. I hope I made it perfectly clear that the Ponycar that we know was not the person who was here.

And Boots, I do take note of all of your points and while I agree that there is a difference between the "old timers" and the new people, this thread is really for the people who have little buying/selling experience here that need a helping hand. And I'm sure it will cause a little inconvenience with the longtime sellers like yourself. But at some point, they will catch on and roll with it like we all do. With that said, we always have the option of doing business with anyone we want. So thanks for taking time to post your views. As always, regardless if we (or I) personally agree or disagree, we take them in the spirit that they are meant. And that is for information. You can never have too much of it.

Regards.
 

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What about Post count? Should members have a certain amount of Posts prior to being able to Post something for Sale in the sales forum? just a thought
 

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A good idea as long as they are real posts and not fifty "Thumbs up" or "Nice watch" posts. That could be done in a day by by such posting on the WRUW threads on the various fora. A valid post contributes to the WUS community or knowledge base. Unfortunately, determining this puts the onus on the mods. It does not, in any way, help to regulate the "rip-off buyer." Only using Paypal, and immediately transferring funds to your bank account gives you a chance. Do not let Paypal have the right to draw from your bank account or credit card without you expressed authorization.

As I have stated in the past, perhaps too bluntly, "BUY THE SELLER."

Most experienced sellers can provide a list of references. Some of those references should be recognizable from the various watch and sales forums. I repeat, some of those references should be recognizable from the various watch and sales forums.

I'm regularly asked for references on other sellers whom I have bought from. I gladly give them in exchange for the right to list these people when I need to provide references. Other sellers and previous buyers gladly provide references for me. Buying from a recognized, reputable seller may mean that you will, as I have stated before, pay the asking price for the watch without haggling. You may very well pay more, but you will get what you pay for.

For those of you who have said, "But what if the reference list is fake and the seller/buyer has a bunch of friends in on the scam or has a bunch of phoney names?" I have two responses:

1) If you don't recognize any names, don't buy it or sell it. It is only a watch. It is not life or death. Another will come along, or wait until you recognize a buyer if you are selling.

2) If you don't trust any list of references, you are too paranoid to be on the sales forum, buy from a recognized online dealer or from an Authorized Dealer. Again, you are once again "buying the seller." Just accept the extra money spent as buying peace of mind.

For those who care to read on:

People generally get into trouble when they think they are getting a ridiculous bargain on an expensive or rare watch. If the price too good to believe, unless it is a recognized seller, don't go after it unless you can afford to lose the money. I say "unless it is a recognized seller" because sometimes I take a chance and get a bargain and then pass the bargain on when I flip it. Don't chance more money on a risky buy than you would lose on a Superbowl bet or at the track, etc (personal rule)
 

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I would like to add my 2 cents, I agree that one should take precautions to avoid scamming, but I also believe that those precautions should be proportional to the risk that is taken on a purchase. A $20 transaction does not justify all the precautions listed in the original post, but a $1000 does. I also agree that the seller or buyer track record is more important than a phone conversation. I only have one transaction here on WUS but I have a flawless record on ebay, and I would feel a lot more confortable looking at someones feedback on ebay ( and contacting them through ebay is a really good idea) and if an ebay feedback is not available, then I think that references from other deals in WUS are also valid although personally I think that:
1- I prefer one solid reference from someone I know than 5 references from people I don't know
2- The reference should be proportional to the transaction I'm going to make, I would not buy a $5000 watch from someone that has a track record of dealing only $50 watches- there are exceptions of course, and everybody has the right to the benefit of the doubt, but I'm a believer in patterns, and if a pattern is broken I get suspicious. That's why I like ebay feedback so much, it tells you when, how many and how well transactions ocurred, and in my experience dishonest people usually don't go honest over night, but honest people don't usually go dishonest overnight either.

Bottom line is: the bigger the transaction , the more you have to work to eliminate risks, and if the transaction is really big, I don't think that doing each and every step posted here is too much. For my part, the only transaction I did here was a $50 purchase, and the risk for me didn't justify doing any particular background check.

I hope this was useful in balancing the opinions in the previous posts.
 

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I had mentioned in another thread:
I have in the past asked for sellers to give me their facebook info so that I can add them as friends. That way I know their networks and know if they are legit.
Once the transaction is done and everything falls in place either one of us can remove each other from our friends list.
Believe me this is a great way to ensure that the person you are dealing with is legit.
I have done this when selling $200 watches so would highly recommend doing so when selling watches over a grand
 

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Ask the seller to take two photos of the watch against the same background, on two different time settings that the seller gives him/her. A pretty safe way to know that there is a watch in the other end, at least...
Thanks chrono24.com for the idea...
 

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Ask the seller to take two photos of the watch against the same background, on two different time settings that the seller gives him/her. A pretty safe way to know that there is a watch in the other end, at least...
Thanks chrono24.com for the idea...

And also keep in mind that the seller may actually have the watch, yet has no intentions of ever sending it to you.
 

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Can i make a suggestion to all here, i have read alot about the goings on here and other sites and it seems that there are many grubs amongst the good guys, as a collector i recently purchased from the states me being in Sydney i did my homework but come to think of it i dont think it was enough(hindsight is amazing) the deal went fine thankfully but what about asking for there passport and drivers licence picture i would have no problem sharing this info with a potential serious buyer this way they are confident that the seller is really who he says and you can verify where the watch is coming from and so on would this not be an easier way to deal, i know some will say privacy etc but if you have nothing to hide then whats the problem, would like to hear what you guys think too.

Also this post is meant for watches of high value say $1000 plus not sure how it would work for smaller deals as another guy said earlier i think boots for a small deal sometimes its not worth the headache.

gazoz
 

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Would it be worth the headache if you lost $600 to a scammer?
I believe that you two are misundersatanding my statement. My point is that under a certain dollar amount, it is not worth the headache for me as the seller. No way on this earth am I going to send anybody my passport or Driver's License pictures. You may be worried about who I am, but I have no idea who you are. If anybody should ask for pictures, it should be the person with the higher "meaningful" post count. That suggestion is right up there with "let me see your facebook page" idea. As if everybody has, or wants to have, a facebook page.

Here is my point, once again. Part of being a solid community is using the strength of the community. This community extends outside WUS. When you want to buy or sell a watch, do so within the community. Anybody that you deal with as a newcomer should have solid credentials within the watch community:

This means:

You should be able to post a reference check on the appropriate forum, i.e. Dive Watch if you are considering a dive watch, Doxa if you are considering a Doxa, and so forth. I provide not only a list of references with their e-mail addresses, but always invite a new(to me) buyer to ask for a reference check on the many forums that I post on, i.e. MWR, EOT, Various WUS fora, TZ. In particular, the sales fora that I post on. If you check my screen name on TZSC, you'll see over three hundred sales postings. look at my posts and decide if I (and this goes for all sellers) am a regular poster who contributes more than a "nice watch" or "thumbs up" posts. If you are still concerned, ask my references what their screen names are on what forums and see how many and how knowledgable their posts are. Disreputable people and non-contributors will reveal themselves. Don't buy from someone who is a recent arrival if you want to be careful.

It is easy enough on most forums, especially sales forums, to click on a seller's name and be able to call up all of his or her posts. If they have no posts, or very few sales and conversational posts, then do the research that I've mentioned here. If you are still so apprehensive that you want passport pictures, etc., than do us and yourself a favor and buy from an authorized dealer. You are not ready to be part of the community. In fact, if you are that new, with few posts of your own, the buyer should be more concerned about you rather than you about him.

If you have no attention of becoming part of the community, than do the community a favor and don't buy or sell a watch here or on any other forum where you haven't established yourself. Buy from e-Bay, protect yourself with a paypal account and don't add to the rampant paranoia that is manifesting itself around here. The point of a solid, well-established online watch community is to build trust among members by having members build their reputations through participation and longevity.

This the end of the message. The rest is my usual rant, so you don't have to read it.






All of this stuff about passport pictures, DL pictures, reverse look-ups, Facebook, etc. is, IMHO, counter-productive to building a strong community. They add to the sense of paranoia of newbies and people who are using the sales forum as a watch flea market without contributing jackbleep to the community. I have to say that this is the most paranoid sales environment of any that I list on. There is no need for it, if you join and deal with established members of the community. After a point, suggestions like this are an insult to the hundreds, if not thousands, of good people selling and buying here.

We have good mods, like Broker, who are zealous in their pursuit of scammers, because some people are so desparate to score the "Big Watch for Little Bucks" that they are stupid enough, gullible enough, that they don't pay attention to the obvious warning signs, and discard the basic tenet of the community: "Buy the Buyer." As I have stated, you may have to accept that you will have to pay "Fair Money for the Big Watch," but you will rest more easily while it is in transit and you will be contributing to the strength of the community.

If I have criticized suggestions in the past, and I know that some hasve been upset with me, it is because I reject strategies that are based upon what I feel is distrust of a seller unless he is willing to share his most personal details with any bezel-kicking potential buyer who is considering buying a watch from me. To me, these strategies detract from the sense of community by making it more impersonal, and take away from the hard work of many others and I who have been collecting, buying, trading, and selling, and building our reputations with integrity. Just because you are new to the scene doesn't mean that I, or any other seller, should have to jump through impersonal identity hoops to sell you a watch. If I wanted to do that, I'd sell from my own website.

Just remember, reputable known sellers have more than one inquiry about anything that he or she lists. Waiting around for several days while you dither and check this and that, when I or others have several buyers whom we have dealt with before, will wear thin. Be part of the community and have an idea, before you see this week's grail listed, of who the sellers are.

Speaking for myself, if my references from the established watch community are not good enough for you unless you want pictures and fingerprints, etc., I'd rather that you not stress yourself by dealing with me. I would imagine that others feel as I do, but I'm a curmudgeon. Is that polite enough?
 

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I understand both sides of the coin here. It's essentiallly up to the buyer and seller to work the deal out amongst themselves. This isn't a rule, it's just a tool.
 

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A picture is merely a picture and there are enough bogus licenses and even passport pictures out there that they are useless, picture alone. How would that picture be any more valid than my picture posted to the left under my screen name?

I would rather have your references from a forum whereyou have over 700 posts, especially if selling or trading is involved, rather than a passport or license picture that has no valid verification unless the entire license or passport page were posted, and what fool would do that?

Again, all of this stuff is being thought of so that people can buy or sell in safety without taking the time and effort to become a verified member of the watch community. If people don't want to take that time and give that effort, then buy from an AD or e-Bay.
 

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Re: ** warning ** scammers alert ** UPDATE

Guys here is what I do when buying a watch. I've never sold one so I cant give advice there.

a) ask if he has references.
b) if he has a high feedback ebay account, send him a message via ebay. If he replies via ebay its a good thing (even if you are not buying via ebay).
c) Ask him to set the watch to a specific time and date. Get him to email you the photos.
d) if he has the original receipt, ask for a photo
e) When you get his email, put the IP address headers into an IPLookup. If the emails do not originate from another area which he claims to be in, its not good (this may not work if the seller uses free email accounts like gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc)
f) check his post count. Then go to his profile and look at his activity. If he has thousands of posts and they look legit, then its a good thing. If he has low posts and most are just random senseless replies & threads, then its not so good.
g) when paying, ask for a paypal invoice that clearly states what you are getting. Get him to send a payment request first. Get seller to use works like Genuine, authentic etc. Fund from your credit card.

Then its all up to gut feeling.

I must say that I sometimes feel sorry for the sellers that I put them through my German interrogation; but so far all the people I bought my watches from have been happy to comply with my requests. Usually if a seller is legit he will understand why you are trying to be sure before buying. The last guy even asked for my references as a buyer, which was a good sign.

I gotta admit, every time I buy a watch online my heart races and I think; 'could this seller be a smarter scammer then I a buyer'. Its all part of the experience.
 

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There is no longer "Buyer Protection Policy" for transaction made outside of ebay. It is now called "Buyer Complaint Policy".

Read here:

https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_render-content&fli=true&content_ID=ua/BuyerProtComp_full&locale.x=en_US#13.%20Protection%20for%20Buyers.

Here's the difference. You can still file a INR (item not received) dispute and escalate to a claim, but you are NOT guaranteed full recovery.

"If PayPal makes a final decision in your favor, we will collect any available funds in the seller’s PayPal balance at that time. However, recovery is not guaranteed and is limited only to the amounts that PayPal can recover from the seller’s Account. Any amounts collected from the seller will be placed in your Account."

So if seller closes account, empties account, whatever.....no refund!

ALSO, No such thing as SNAD (significantly not as described) protection outside of ebay.

"You may escalate the Dispute to a Claim within 20 days of the date you filed the Dispute. PayPal will make a final decision for some - but not all - Claims. You should not escalate a Dispute for Significantly Not as Described (SNAD) to a Claim because PayPal will not make a decision on a SNAD Claim under the PayPal Buyer Complaint Policy."

So if seller ships wrong item, damaged item, or empty box, you are out of luck.

How to protect yourself? Make sure to pay with Credit Card rather than Paypal funds. Paypal tries everything possible to deflect you from using a Credit Card because they eat the CC fee. You have to zero out your account balance first and then select Credit Card payment method, otherwise it automatically uses your existing paypal funds first. Using your credit card may provide back-up protection from your Credit Card company in the form of a chargeback.

Also, when making payment, be sure to provide a good description of the item including the web link to the forum post. If you simply send money, paypal has no idea what it is for and then it becomes a 'he said, she said' issue. NEVER mark payment as a "Gift", as you will have NO protection at all, not even INR dispute.

Anyway, we all agree that Paypal adds some distinct complications to the process, both for buyer and seller, but unfortunately it's the most convenient method of sending funds. Bank wire and Money Orders are fine, but require even more trust on the part of the buyer.
 

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Ladies and Gentlemen, here is what I do when buying a watch. I've never sold one so I cant give advice there. A lot has already been covered in the original post yet I just thought I'd share what I myself do when buying online.

a) ask if he has references.
b) if he has a high feedback ebay account, send him a message via ebay. If he replies via ebay its a good thing (even if you are not buying via ebay).
c) Ask him to set the watch to a specific time and date. Get him to email you the photos.
d) if he has the original receipt, ask for a photo
e) When you get his email, put the IP address headers into an IPLookup. If the emails do not originate from another area which he claims to be in, its not good (this may not work if the seller uses free email accounts like gmail, yahoo, hotmail etc)
f) check his post count. Then go to his profile and look at his activity. If he has thousands of posts and they look legit, then its a good thing. If he has low posts and most are just random senseless replies & threads, then its not so good.
g) when paying, ask for a paypal invoice that clearly states what you are getting. Get him to send a payment request first. Get seller to use works like Genuine, authentic etc. Fund from your credit card.

In my last purchase the seller even emailed me from his company email address where he had a profile on the law firms website. He checked out to be a partner of the firm which inspired trust.

Then its all up to gut feeling.

I must say that I sometimes feel sorry for the sellers that I put them through my German interrogation; but so far all the people I bought my watches from have been happy to comply with my requests. Usually if a seller is legit he will understand why you are trying to be sure before buying. The last guy even asked for my references as a buyer, which was a good sign.

I gotta admit, every time I buy a watch online my heart races and I think; 'could this seller be a smarter scammer then I a buyer'. Its all part of the experience.
 
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