How to Protect Yourself in the Prime Marketplace
At the outset, all Buyers and Sellers are reminded that NSX Prime is a free website which also permits a Marketplace to exist without charging any fees for listings. Although there are Moderators on Prime, everyone needs to understand and appreciate that they are all volunteers who assist the NSX Community by reviewing posts in their spare time. As a result, there may not be “instant gratification” to a member in the event that a Moderator is attending to “life” outside of Prime and patience during “wait times” would be appreciated greatly.
As a result of this service being provided at no charge to the NSX Community, NSX Prime (including its owner/s and Moderators) does not guaranty any transaction nor does it vouch directly in favor of any buyer / seller / vendor / member / or any other type of Primate. All members are advised that use of the Prime Marketplace is at their own risk and Prime encourages all members utilizing the Marketplace to perform their “due diligence” in confirming the accuracy of any posted items as well as investigate the persons/vendors involved to determine if there are any potential risks in the transaction.
Part of this “due diligence” should include a review of the Trader Ratings that are a part of the Forum. If you look under the member’s name, you will see an “iTrader” indication together with parentheses in which often times will be contained a numerical value. If you click on that value, a history of transactions will pop up and you can review how many transactions have been “reported”, whether they were satisfactory and most times you will be able to link back to the thread involving that transaction. A positive transaction counts as +1 and a negative counts as -1. However, please note that multiple posts by the same member will not affect the count but may be indicative of a good trading history with that one member.
Please note also, however, that not every member utilizes the iTrader system and that may result in a less than accurate reflection of the potential “safety” of the transaction. All members are encouraged strongly to always use iTrader to provide the community with the most comprehensive database possible.
You may also benefit from contacting members who have completed transactions, or who have had bad experiences, through the PM feature to get additional details. All users are encouraged to review all posted transactions insofar as every now and then there may be a “personality issue” or something unusual whereby a highly reputable vendor may be involved in a “dispute” that may not be what it appears. Checking other posts from both the seller/vendor and the buyers will provide you with additional information to assist you in trying determine the credibility of any complaint and allow you to weigh the risks of any potential online transaction.
If after due diligence you are comfortable with attempting a transaction, keep in mind the potential problems with resolving disputes such as in the following examples:
- The vendor/seller may be in a foreign country not subject to the jurisdiction of American courts.
- The vendor/seller may not accept credit cards thereby eliminating your chance of filing a chargeback/dispute.
- The vendor/seller may not accept Paypal thereby eliminating another potential forum in which to resolve a dispute.
Always consider the potential for a “failed transaction” in weighing the risks and understand what rights you may have to get your money back. Certain payment options have built-in buyer protections as follows:
- Paypal requires a buyer to file a dispute within 45 days, otherwise you waive any claim you may have had through Paypal
- Credit card companies allow for a chargeback as part of their dispute process
- C.O.D. allows for receipt of the product prior to payment but does not provide any further protection once the item is received (e.g. if it is found to be defective within a matter of days, you own it subject to the willingness of the seller to take it back)
“Red Flags” to be mindful of when considering a transaction:
- Foreign vendor/seller, particularly one who claims to be temporarily overseas
- Private buyer/sellers who says he happens to own a business and can accept your credit card directly. This is a scam to steal your credit card info.
- Vendor/seller who does not accept major cards
- Vendor/seller who does not accept Paypal
- Vendor/seller who requires checks/cash only
- Vendor/seller who requests payment in full up front on products that are yet to made
- “New” vendors/sellers with no trading history on Prime
- “New” buyers who are newly registered on Prime without any “posting history” to review
With respect to Paypal, in addition the 45 Day Dispute Rule, it is recommended that you link your Paypal to a major credit card rather than to your bank account. This will provide another potential layer of protection in the event of an unsatisfactory response from Paypal. You may be able to obtain a chargeback from your credit card company even if Paypal provides you with an unsatisfactory response. Always remember that if a vendor/seller continues to “promise” that the goods/products are “on the way”, you still must dispute it through Paypal before the expiration of the 45 days “just to play it safe”.
There is a new technique for scamming that all buyers should be aware of when making a payment through PayPal for an item bought online. A relatively new feature on PayPal’s website is the ability to send a fee-free “gift” or “personal” payment. Such a payment is solely for the purpose of sending a cash gift -– not for the payment of goods bought/sold on the internet.
You may be saying, “that’s great! – the seller will be happy that he/she isn’t going to be docked a fee for our transaction!” But, what is not readily explained is: this “gift” payment option comes with ZERO buyer protection – meaning, you cannot dispute a transaction if you receive a faulty item or do not receive your item at all. Many online scammers are requesting payment in this way so that the buyer cannot file a PayPal claim – if a seller requests that you pay via this method for a substantial item, please be very cautious as the item could be defective or not exist.
Keep in mind that “agencies” such as the Better Business Bureau essentially are “worthless” if you have a bad transaction. Although more active/larger vendors may have a BBB history, if the vendor decides not to respond to a BBB “complaint” you will not get your money back from or through the BBB.
For those members who may be “fond” of litigation, you must understand that you may not be able to obtain jurisdiction over the other person/vendor except in a small claims court in that other person’s/vendor’s geographical location. For example, you may reside in New York and may be owed money from a San Diego vendor, thereby requiring you to litigate your claim in San Diego. A much wiser and safer alternative would have been to use a credit card or Paypal to allow you to dispute the transaction.
If you are going to be joining in on a “Group Buy”, ask questions of the organizer of that Group Buy to determine whether it is being organized by an agent of the vendor/seller or if it is just another Prime member “helping out”. This becomes important insofar as you might be forwarding money to an “organizer” who is merely facilitating the transaction on behalf of the group but who has no responsibility legally to refund monies if the transaction fails. If the funds are then sent overseas, your recourse to a refund is virtually non-existent.
The foregoing are just some suggestions for all Members when utilizing the Marketplace. The bottom line is quite simple: Caveat Emptor (or “buyer beware” in the Queen’s English). Perform your due diligence, weigh the risks involved and understand your potential for a recovery from the vendor through appropriate methods because Prime is not responsible legally for any failed transaction. This Forum is free and is a tremendous asset to the NSX Community but Prime does not arbitrate/mediate/reimburse/or otherwise participate in any transaction herein.