Protecting from Internet scams.
February 29, 2008 10:19 AM Subscribe
At what point is a PayPal transaction considered "cleared?" In other words, when can I stop worrying about fraud. And what other protections can I take to protect myself?
posted by uaudio to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am selling an item (guitar) of significant cost in a private transaction. I've never met the person, and the transaction is taking place entirely over email and UPS.
I advertised my guitar for sale on a forum dedicated to a specific manufacturer. I am a semi-frequent poster the forum and the buyer is too. He's been around for about a year on the forum, but I've never met him. We agreed on a price. He offered to PayPal me half the cost as a good faith payment so I don't sell to someone else, and the other half in a few days when he gets paid. I don't really have any bad vibe or other reason not to trust this guy, but I told him I wouldn't send the guitar until the whole amount was safely transferred and 'cleared' in my bank account. Seems like a fair thing to ask.
After this, I read some horror stories about people that have done this: that the money isn't really 'cleared' until days or even weeks later and that people have been defrauded by thinking that they were paid, but then Paypal debits the bank account because the buyer [lied, and] claimed the transaction was invalid, fraud, etc.
How long before I don't have to worry about this? Is using PayPal a dumb idea? Are there any other issues I should be concerned about when doing this?