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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all:

I am sure there are a number if threads addressing this topic, but can someone please point me to the proper steps to avoid being ripped off while buying from a private individual advertising in the classified section?

Is Paypal the best way to pay?

When do I send the money/he send the gun (to FFL)?

Any other suggestions?

I spoke with the seller and he seems great, but I want to avoid any issues (and get my NEW GUN!!).
 

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I lost them all in a boating accident.
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NKB246 said:
Hey all:

I am sure there are a number if threads addressing this topic, but can someone please point me to the proper steps to avoid being ripped off while buying from a private individual advertising in the classified section?

Is Paypal the best way to pay?
Personally, I prefer a certified check or money order. Paypal is an expensive proposition for the seller. Plus, I think they frown on firearms purchases.

When do I send the money/he send the gun (to FFL)?
You send the money when the buyer and seller agree on the price. When he receives the money (and probably cashes it), he'll send the gun to the FFL of your choosing. Good sellers will provide a tracking number so you can see where your package is along the way (and so you don't bother them every 3 hours).

Any other suggestions?
1. Send your money with some sort of tracking and proof of delivery.
2. Get to know the seller on the phone. Intuition goes a long way. If I get a funny feeling when talking to the seller, that's enough for me to pass.
3. Be patient, this is probably not the sellers primary job. From the second you agree to the transaction, it will probably be two weeks before you have the gun in your hands.
4. If the seller has sold guns on the classifieds before, ask for a reference.
5. In the end, it's a matter of trust when you lick that envelope. All your leverage is gone when that envelope hits the post office. Make sure you are comfortable.
 

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Excellent advice.

Do not use PayPal for a gun sale. If PayPal gets wind of a gun sale using "their" service, they will freeze both the buyer's and the seller's account. I speak from experience on this issue and it was a pain to get PayPal to "unfreeze" and reactivate my account.

I whole heartedly agree with calling the seller. Your intuition goes a long way in this process.
 

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Marist89 (Jeff) hit it on the head.

Personally, I've bought two of my SX-1s and an extra barrel here and one of my 16s on 16ga.com and I've never had a problem.

A scammer can pop up anywhere, but trade some e-mails and have a phone conversation or two. Get a sense of the seller and the gun. Most decent guys are glad to talk about their guns, even why they're selling them.

If you get an uncomfortable feeling, stroll away. There's always another gun about to be posted.
 

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Buy the seller, not the gun.

If you are buying from an individual here on SGW look for a seller with lots of posts and read some of them to get an idea of who you're dealing with.

If you are buying a gun from Gunbroker looks for someone with lots of sales and good feedback. Many on gunbroker are dealers who take credit cards.

Regardless of how well you check things out, there is a risk from buying off of the internet. If someone wants to scam you, they can.
 

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If you use a USPS money order, and send it thru the mail, if you do not get anything - that's mail fraud and they have a whole slew of Federal Mail Investigators who just love to nail those people. I was somewhat surprised when one day i was in the small local post office and an inspector was there following up on a charge over a $175 transaction. He was just about to go and get a federal warrant and arrest the alleged perpetrator. I talked to him for a little and was surprised at how much they do. If you get something and there is a question over condition etc., there isn't much they can do, but if you don't get anything, or get a baseball bat instead of a bicycle, they will get involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the advice. While I am yet to receive my new purchase I have no doubt that everything is in order. I will say that the most important thing for my own comfort is the fact that the guy used his work email. (I then googled :roll: :roll: :!: )

Coincidentally my mom happens to be staying in the guys home town (at a boxwood symposium of all things) and is going to stop by and have a look. Unfortunately she can't pick it up because of typical transfer BS...

Again, thank you all for the advice.
 
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