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Section - 10. Payment and shipping recommendations

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Previous Document: 9. Finalizing the sale.
Next Document: 11. International transactions.
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  One of the hardest parts of any Usenet Marketplace sale is the
    exchange of goods for cash.  How can both buyer and seller be
    assured of fair treatment?

***The Safest Ways to Ship for Buyer _and_ Seller

  COD  (Collect On Delivery)
    small and medium transactions
	COD is the Usenet Marketplace standard for transactions
	too small for a third party escrow service.  Federal
	Express, United Parcel Service,	the U.S. Postal Service,
	and many other countries' postal carriers offer this
	option.  In these transactions, the seller ships the item
	to the buyer "COD".  The buyer then pays the courier on
	arrival in exchange for the package.  The courier then
	forwards the payment to the seller.  The small fee is
	well worth the security of having the courier act as an
	intermediate--the buyer can't receive the package until
	he pays, and the seller isn't paid until the buyer
	receives the package.  This method is not foolproof, as
	the buyer usually cannot check the package to make sure
	the correct item was sent.  Cash and money orders are
	usually accepted, but we recommend the buyer pay by
	check or cashier's check to be able to stop payment in
	the event there is a problem.  Unfortunately, COD is not
	available for international transactions.

  Payment by check or money order
    for small transactions
	For small items, fast delivery, or if both parties trust
	each other, payment by check can be a good method,
	although it provides the least security for one of the
	parties.  Either the buyer sends a check first, seller
	sends the goods first, or both agree to send at the same
	time.  Buyer sending a check first is the most common.
	Sometimes, the seller may wait a short time to make sure
	the check clears.  A money order or cashier's check will
	also work, but _do_not_ send cash.  Also, a cancelled
	check makes a good proof-of-payment if the seller doesn't
	deliver.  For this reason, we discourage the practice of
	having the buyer send half-payment before receiving the
	package, and half after.  In court, a cancelled check for
	the first payment may be enough to convince a judge that
	the buyer paid in full.  For the seller, sending the
	package with a return receipt can provide added security.
    Medium to large transactions and international sales
	For expensive items, additional precautions are
	recommended.  One good suggestion is escrow.  In this
	case, a third, trustworthy party acts as an intermediary.
	Usually, the intermediary receives the buyer's check, and
	notifies the seller to ship the merchandise with a return
	receipt	addressed to the intermediary.  Once the
	intermediary receives the receipt, the buyer typically
	has a day or two to confirm that the goods are
	as-advertised, then the intermediary forwards the payment
	to the seller.	Sometimes, especially with local
	transactions, the intermediary may receive and/or examine
	the merchandise	directly.  Also, some escrow services
	accept credit cards for payment, a useful service in
	international trades.  Your lawyer may offer this
	service, or you may contact the	following services:

	American Computer Exchange  (MC/VISA)
	  (800) 786-0717  USA
	  Fee: 5-8%, min. $50
	Boston Computer Exchange
	  (800) 262-6399  USA
	  Flat fee
	Computer Classified Exchange Service
	  (216) 481-2563  USA
	  Fee: $20 up to $1000 transaction
	  Welcomes international sales,  Subject: "Seller Info" or
		"Buyer Info"
	GuaranTrade  (MC/VISA)
	  (913) 841-4483  USA
	  Fee: 5% up to $1500, min. $10, rate drops after $1500,  Subject: "info"
	  (919) 682-7715  Durham, North Carolina
	  Fee: $5 up to $100, $10 up to $1000, $20 for $1000+
	  (813) 969-2803  USA
	  Fee: 4%, min. $10, max. $60
	TradeSafe Online Corporation
	  (800) 994-6362  USA
	  Fee: $15 up to $300, declining from 5% to 1% thereafter
	United Computer Exchange  (MC/VISA)
	  (800) 755-3033  USA
	  Fee: 8-15%

   [No implication is made as to the integrity of any company at
   this time.  If you know of any other escrow services, please
   let us know.]

  Pay by credit card 
    Escrow and commercial transactions
	This option is only available through authorized
	merchants, but it is the means of choice when available.
	This is the safest means for the buyer, because he can
	appeal to the credit card company if the merchandise is
	faulty.  Meanwhile the seller is guaranteed payment by
	the bank.

  Pay by electronic check
    Escrow and commercial transactions
	A few companies now accept electronic checks, where you
	send them the numbers on the bottom of your check, and
	they write a bank draft against your account which they
	can deposit immediately, saving a couple days' mailing
	time.  Companies will usually let you know if they accept
	this form of payment in their ads.

  We suggest adhering to these methods, as they are proven and
	the safest for both parties.  In all cases, you should
	do the following:

    Keep hard copies of your e-mail, checks, and proof-of-mailing
    Insure packages adequately
    Make sure both of you are absolutely clear on the items and
    Exchange and double-check addresses and phone numbers

  In the case of expensive items, you may also wish to draw up a
    notarized bill of sale.  A bill of sale is proof as to what
    is being sold and how much is being paid--essentially a legal
    contract. has provided a sample bill of sale
    for free distribution on the Usenet Marketplace.  You can
    download a copy by anonymous FTP from in

  Also, for all interstate transactions in the U.S., goods must
    be shipped within 30 days of receipt of payment, unless
    specifically stated otherwise.  If a shipment will be
    delayed, the buyer has the right to cancel the sale and
    receive a full refund.  Most states have similar laws.

  Finally, If something does go wrong, the best place to start is
    to contact the other party by e-mail or telephone.  Again,
    the #1 source of problems is miscommunication.  If this
    doesn't work, contact the other person's system administrator
    by sending e-mail with an explanation of the situation to
    postmaster@[systemname].  Most system administrators will
    help if you've already exhausted other routes.  But please
    remember that most system administrators are very busy.
    Contact them _only_ when direct discussions fall through.

    While rare, occasionally fraud does occur on the Internet.
    It is ultimately the buyer and/or seller who must take
    precautions to ensure fair treatment.  Presented here are
    merely suggestions of means of transaction which worked for
    others.  There is no guarantee that they will work for you.

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Previous Document: 9. Finalizing the sale.
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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM