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BigD
08-25-2015, 10:51 AM
Kind of an odd title but ill go with it. Im curious as to what everyone out there needs to know before they sell a ukulele or anything really online to another person. What do you see as red flags that maybe other people would look over.. lately ive been trying to sell my pono and have received a few messages but they've given me a bit of a reason to stop and think before i sell, as this has happened before. Someone contacts me, with a normal hey im interested kind of message. One of my first red flags is when someone immediately tried to funnel me towards using their email as a way of contact instead of uu. My next thing is usually i look to see how many posts they have and if they have any friends or contacts within the site that can vouch for them. Next i usually ask about them in a normal "hey when did ya start playing uke, whats your favorite song to play,size etc.." way and its very surprising to me how many people dont respond back from that. Maybe im too friendly but it seems to me if im going to send an instrument across the country for you then you can divulge a little info bought yourself, is that out of hand? Or maybe they were trying to scam me... My main question is what do you need from a person before you will send them an instrument?

Jon Moody
08-25-2015, 10:56 AM
Honestly? Payment. It's a business transaction.

I almost exclusively sell musical instruments online either on Talkbass or UU. In the case of TB, there is a feedback system, and since you have to be a Supporting Member (meaning, you pay around $20/annually) to post For Sale ads, it's a pretty safe environment. I've sold only a couple things on UU, but it's been extremely easy with no hassles whatsoever.

The only times I've ever had red flags come up is when I give someone my paypal address once they say "Yes, I'm interested" and then come back with something like "Will you hold it for ___ days?" or "I'll get with you this weekend."

deschutestrout
08-25-2015, 11:00 AM
Follow your gut. If you get a bad vibe, for whatever reason, walk away. All the sales I've made via UU have had all conversation via UU. Sometimes we trade email addresses, for convenience reasons. I've gotten to be "pals" with most of the folks I've bought/sold/traded with. I bought one I was a bit nervous about because the seller assumed I knew less than I do, and had a low post count. Sale was solid, uke is awesome. Bottom line, follow your gut, it's usually right. My opinion.

billten
08-25-2015, 11:08 AM
Agreed, if you listen it's simple to get the sense if the buyer is real, also go back and read the history of his/her posts that can be revealing. I will say after trading way too much on UU (just ask my wife) i'm yet to have a bad experience here, so IME this place is pretty cool for the quality of traders.

One thing i really wish we had is a feedback system, even just a place to leave feedback. I'm based in Canada and occasionally have had people worried about various cross border issues and if i had some good feedback from the people i traded with in the past i think it would be much less of an issue. Just an idea but it is effective on other forums...

Hippie Dribble
08-25-2015, 11:12 AM
I never met a dollar bill I didn't get on OK with.

Seriously, if your uke (or whatever you're selling) is described accurately you have no need for concern selling to anyone.

NatalieS
08-25-2015, 11:34 AM
I have bought and sold about 20 ukes during my time as a uke player and the UU community is generally great to work with. I don't encounter many red flags here, but one is if someone is a brand new UU member and tries to lowball my price right off the bat. I'm not turned off by someone giving me their email address, and I do the same if I'm really interested in a uke, just to give the seller their choice of communication method. (Some people get tired of the private message system on the forum because inboxes fill up fast, you can't attach pictures etc.)

As a seller I don't ask any questions about the user's playing history. I figure they can decide for themselves if the uke is appropriate for them.

I guess my overall advice to sellers here is to not get your hopes up, ever, on making a sale if someone sends you a message. I did that early on and then would feel disappointed if the sale fell through. It's a much more pleasant experience to be patient for the right buyer to come through. Then it's a win-win for you because you know your instrument went to someone who really wanted it, and for the buyer because they weren't rushed into buying.

vinceherman
08-25-2015, 12:02 PM
My brother buys and sells a lot of musical instruments, many on ebay and craigslist (upright basses and others)
The most common scam attempt is on payment.
They want to pay with check/money order/travelers checks.
Response? Absolutely. Take your check to your bank, exchange it for the cash you say it is good for, and give me the cash.
Absolutely, take your travelers checks, exchange them for cash, and give me the cash.

We even had this: My brother-in-law lives near you. I owe him money. I will buy your instrument for what you are asking. I will send a check for that amount, plus what I owe my brother-in-law. If you would simply give him cash for the difference, plus your instrument, we will all win.

Today's color printers can produce documents that look like real checks, money orders and travelers checks. The buyer can say all they want about the validity of the document. We ask them to prove it by exchanging it for cash at their bank.

Funny how they never have.

stevejfc
08-25-2015, 12:24 PM
If they send the do-re-me via paypal or cash it's usually not a problem. Though I do try to check to determine if they have a "habitual return" problem.

dirtiestkidever
08-25-2015, 12:50 PM
I always prefer my email to the uu messages. It is clunky and always filling up. I don't see that as a red flag at all.

DownUpDave
08-25-2015, 01:21 PM
As long as it is a member with some history I just need a pay pal account. It is that simple to me. If they are willing pay for it they get it.......pronto.

I am a sales rep as my profession. Biggest mistake is talking so much you talk yourself right out of the sale. When they want to buy, sell it to them. Too much talking usually ends in failure.

SteveZ
08-25-2015, 01:48 PM
All of the above...

Have not had a bad transaction using the UU marketplace. In fact, the folk I've met buying/selling/trading have been stellar. It has been a friend-making experience.

I must admit that I check somebody out via past posts, etc. before I send money on a buy or send an instrument if a trade. I expect folk to do the same of me. Got stuck once on another forum's marketplace, so once burned, twice learned.

Dan Uke
08-25-2015, 03:27 PM
I like to check the number of posts before selling. I also prefer using my email rather than UU. It's easier to follow than UU because it becomes a hassle to type below the other person's quote on a phone and eventually exceeds the number of characters.

spongeuke
08-25-2015, 04:01 PM
I wish it was easier for me to communicate Through the UU message link. I find it frustrating to reply and have no record that it was sent plus attachments are easier for me on my regular email.
Therefore I request a switch over to my regular email for further pictures sound bites and such.

rappsy
08-25-2015, 04:11 PM
As someone who buys and sells a lot, I very rarely look at the amount of posts that the person has. Many of the people that are here who are looking for Ukes are new to the forum and they come here to upgrade, learn, and try to understand about the ins and outs of the Uke.

I accept PayPal only. PayPal is known for protecting both buyers and sellers, and even though I have never had to use it and might find out differently if the situation should arise, reputation speaks volumes. I did have one case where I had to fight for my money back for a service and the fact that I threatened to notify PayPal of the problem caused the amount to be refunded back into my account quickly.

When I sell, it is because the product is not for me. I have built up a number of sales in my time here and other than a damaged during shipment situation, all the sales have gone well. It's not my place to ask them of their history, why they are buying, and I don't even ask why they are selling. If I want it, I will get it and it's not up to them to determine if it is right for me, just as it's not up to me to determine if it's right for them. If I make a mistake, I put it back up for sale. It's all for the search of the mythical "THE ONE".

Using email doesn't matter to me. We all get a gazillion spams. Everyone knows our address. Why not give it to the person who you are about to do business with?

It's for the fun: the destination. The work is the journey.

My .02 which has grown to $40 with inflation.

Camsuke
08-25-2015, 08:57 PM
My main question is what do you need from a person before you will send them an instrument?
Payment before dispatch, is all you really need. If you have doubts about the prospective purchaser, don't send the ukulele.

Louis0815
08-26-2015, 02:47 AM
:agree:

Describe the item for sale correctly (including any potential flaws), stay rather neutral and don't exaggerate (after all you're not advertising, you're just selling privately), set your terms of trade (payment before dispatch, registered shipment, no return, no warranties, ...)

Having few posts on UU doesn't mean a thing, the buyer might be active in other forums/platforms.

What puts me off eventually is kind of "rude" communication, buyers should be friendly (after all they want to get what I already/still have - and I am not deadly desperate for the cash).
Price negotiations are normal, everybody tries to make a bargain nowadays. But don't make me say "No" to the same price offer more than twice...

I've sold some instruments on other forums and eBay and never got burned - treating others as honest and friendly as you want them to treat you has paid off for me so far.

mm stan
08-26-2015, 03:23 AM
Payment before dispatch, is all you really need. If you have doubts about the prospective purchaser, don't send the ukulele.

Yup and all sales final except if not as described. ..

Rllink
08-26-2015, 05:42 AM
Two things that I would like to add to the discussion. First, I don't sell or buy things with private individuals on the internet, that I can't afford the loss. Going along the same lines, there is no such thing as a sure thing in life. Sometimes you just have to stick your neck out and take a chance. Most of the time it works out. But again, I don't take chances that I can't afford to take. As far as ukulele's in particular, I don't see a lot of profit in ukulele scams. I'm sure they are out there, but let's face it, we are talking ukuleles here. It seems like a narrow target for a criminal endeavor. I'm thinking that most transactions that don't go well can be attributed to miss communications, more than out and out criminal intent.

LifesShort
08-26-2015, 09:06 AM
I have sold all types of items from camera equipment, to ukuleles, to very expensive guitars on eBay and UU. I've never had a problem at all. I make sure I receive payment before shipping and I always use Paypal so that I have as much protection as can be expected.

I feel much more vulnerable to scams when I am the buyer. It's easy to make photos look really good, but for the instrument or whatever to be in "not as described" condition upon receipt. Once again, that's why I always use PP.

RichM
08-26-2015, 09:37 AM
What puts me off eventually is kind of "rude" communication, buyers should be friendly (after all they want to get what I already/still have - and I am not deadly desperate for the cash).
Price negotiations are normal, everybody tries to make a bargain nowadays. But don't make me say "No" to the same price offer more than twice...



Around 50% of the sales I've made online, the guy making the low-ball offer is the same one who ultimately buys it at full price. An offer, any offer, is the opportunity to start a selling discussion. Being polite, fair, and open-minded greatly enhances your ability to make a sale. Whether you mean to or not, once you put something up for sale, you become a merchant, and customer service is just part of the deal.

ukeeku
08-26-2015, 10:32 AM
Kind of an odd title but ill go with it. Im curious as to what everyone out there needs to know before they sell a ukulele or anything really online to another person. What do you see as red flags that maybe other people would look over.. lately ive been trying to sell my pono and have received a few messages but they've given me a bit of a reason to stop and think before i sell, as this has happened before. Someone contacts me, with a normal hey im interested kind of message. One of my first red flags is when someone immediately tried to funnel me towards using their email as a way of contact instead of uu. My next thing is usually i look to see how many posts they have and if they have any friends or contacts within the site that can vouch for them. Next i usually ask about them in a normal "hey when did ya start playing uke, whats your favorite song to play,size etc.." way and its very surprising to me how many people dont respond back from that. Maybe im too friendly but it seems to me if im going to send an instrument across the country for you then you can divulge a little info bought yourself, is that out of hand? Or maybe they were trying to scam me... My main question is what do you need from a person before you will send them an instrument?

I have sold about 10 ukes here through the years. If they message me and want the uke, I send them a paypal address. They pay me, I send the uke. I don't need to know who they are. If they want to use email, that is fine. maybe they don't check UU very often. I don't care how long they have been using UU.
On the flip side. I would never buy a uke from a user under 500 posts, unless I know you, or it is a small transaction (sub $200). I also look at your past posts. If I see a pattern of being a jerk, or weird I will not even make an offer.

TheCraftedCow
08-26-2015, 10:41 AM
I always prefer my email to the uu messages. It is clunky and always filling up. I don't see that as a red flag at all.

If I begin to write something on U/U and get called away before I am finished, I return to a blank screen. Is there capability to SAVE a partial post that I have yet to discover? For, that reason alone I do not do business over this website. It has nothing to do anything else but the factor known as TI M E .

SteveZ
08-26-2015, 12:52 PM
Payment - I always use PayPal and always go the "fees" route whether as buyer or seller. If the other balks, I let them know I'll pay the 3% fee. It's cheap insurance for both sides in the transaction.

bonesigh
08-26-2015, 02:51 PM
Me either on this point.



I always prefer my email to the uu messages. It is clunky and always filling up. I don't see that as a red flag at all.

pritch
08-26-2015, 03:11 PM
It's unlikely to occur on UU as scammers are not likely to be reading the for sale ads here. There are scammers about though and they can be quick. A friend advertised a motorcycle for sale in the local equivalent of EBay and he had a scammer contact him almost immediately. It won't necessarily be obvious but the "customer" will not be local to you, he is more likely in Nigeria or somewhere on the Indian sub-continent or some other part of the globe. There will be a long complicated story the outcome of which would be that you are sending them or some relation of theirs money - as someone already mentioned in this thread.

I know none of that sounds particularly threatening but these guys do catch people out. Basically, any long complicated story would set off my BS detector.

Mivo
08-27-2015, 03:19 AM
I haven't sold anything on UU (I only bought something, without problems), but in general, I'd always go for reputation/history over anything else. In case of UU, you can see someone's posting history and level of activity, and on eBay you have feedback and number of completed transactions. Both should give you a solid impression of the other party.

I wouldn't be alarmed by someone preferring email. The inbox here is very limited in size, and if you converse with just a handful of people, you constantly have to delete messages to prevent it from overflowing. Email is also useful to keep all correspondence in one central place.

As a buyer, the one thing that would make me a little suspicious is if the seller asked to have the money sent as a gift via PayPal. I don't mind doing it, but I don't want to be asked. I understand why the seller might want this (chargebacks are an issue, especially with PayPal having a tendency to rule in favor of the buyer; I deal with this in my job occasionally), but gifting money leaves the buyer without a safety net.

Nickie
08-27-2015, 08:32 AM
I've learned some things reading this thread. I think Pay Pal is pretty secure, they probably have anti-hacker defenders working 24/7. I use it too.
I've sold 3 ukes in person and one through UU. No problems. UU members are pretty safe, although I'm skeptical of a brand new member whose 1st post is in Marketplace as a seller.
I've noticed it's a lot easier to give a uke away than it is to sell it....hmmmm....

CactusWren
08-27-2015, 10:17 AM
1. Paypal, "goods and services" option: I think this is a must for the buyer. There is an added fee, but Paypal will go to bat for you (hopefully), if something bad happens. If the seller does not allow it, it increases the buyer's risk drastically. Ebay scammers sometimes take advantage of this to extort from buyers, unfortunately.

2. Lots of pictures and honest, thorough evaluation of the instrument: This would help to reduce the chances of a misunderstanding or an unhappy buyer. Really, the more information, the merrier, in my opinion. It's just due diligence.

3. Forum behavior/reputation: I would take that into consideration, if possible. On the other hand, there are lots of sweet-talking con artists and not everyone who's rough around the edges is a crook!

4. Get the money before sending it (obviously). Have a clear return arrangement. Are returns accepted? Under what conditions? Who will pay shipping?

5. Instincts. Yes, follow them.

6. You'll win some and you'll lose some. I like Rlink's advice that you shouldn't be tradin' if you can't afford to lose it. YMMV.