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For Sale Forum rules and tips

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The same rule applies in the 5th gen For Sale forum as applies in the old For Sale forums, anyone posting items for sale must be an Elite Explorer member. This policy was put in place years ago after we had a lot of bad sales on the forum. Requiring those who sell to be supporting members reduced the incidents dramatically.

For more information about the "Elite Explorers" check this link:

Tips to help protect yourself from fraud:

Use a credit card if you can
Use an escrow service like or use Ebay if you are unsure or use a 3rd person the two of you trust to conduct the transaction if you have ANY doubts.

Explorerforum does not mediate delivery, payment, or any other details of specific transactions
between vendors and buyers. We simply provide this forum as a communication channel.

First, as a general rule for dealings on the Internet, keep copies of EVERYTHING- emails, PayPal receipts, money order stubs, everything! Second, be aware that steps 1 and 2 can involve a lot of back and forth between them, depending on the method of payment.

Inform the Financial Institutions and websites involved.

If you paid by money order place a complaint AND a trace on the money order with the company that sold it (western union, USPS, etc.). Make sure it was cashed. Find out WHERE it was cashed. The same goes for a check, whether issued by a bank or a personal check.

If you paid by PayPal, go to the PayPal website at and look for the complaint process. PayPal Buyer Complaint Info Page.
Next, Review the Buyer Complaint Process and fill out a "Buyer Complaint Form" through the Security Center. If you are logged in on the PayPal site, it may take you to a different site than these links. You must be logged in to fill out the form.

If it was on eBay or another auction site, look for the "Safe Harbor" clause or provisions in the user agreement. Try the "help" icons and search for "fraud" or "safe harbor" in the FAQs or Help sections.
Here is the General Help Page for eBay: General Help- eBay. Here is the Fraud Protection Information: Fraud Protection Information- eBay.

Most other auction sites have similar policies. I use eBay as an example because I, like many of you, use it frequently.

Buyer Beware. While you may get assistance gathering IP information, login frequency, and other contact info, in most cases nothing can be done.

One other thing to look into is the fact that eBay and PayPal are now one company. While before they would play one off of the other as to whose responsibility it was, they can no longer do that safely, as statements of one could be used against the other. This should, at least in theory, cut down on passing of the buck between the two, a common thing in the past.

Your bank or credit card can also be a powerful ally. While not necessarily bound to help you if you used PayPal, most of the time the fraud protection issued by your credit card company can help get to the root of a problem. Remember, you credit card can even file a complaint with PayPal if PayPal won't do anything to help you, because, as far as the credit card is concerned, PayPal took your money. THey don't care what PayPal did with it, they just know that it was PayPal that billed you. Your bank can do the same. Your bank will be more likely to give you personal service, but your credit card company has more clout. Use both to your advantage.

If you paid by check, or money order issued by the bank, or by bank card (ATM/Debit Card) directly, the bank should get involved. My PayPal account ACCEPTS Credit/Debit cards. If someone were to pay me that way directly (not through "PayPal" funds), their bank or credit card company could come after me directly (if I tried to shank them). I have helped people get money back through PayPal this way.

Inform the Authorities.

If you sent payment in any form, whether check, Money Order (Postal or other), cashier’s check, or cash (NEVER SEND CASH!!!) through the mail, file a complaint at your local post office. Here is a link to the mail fraud reporting form:
Mail Fraud Complaint Form

It is a federal crime (mail fraud), so they should know the drill. Get the manager of your local post office to give you the name of the post office that is local to the recipient (where HIS/HER mail gets routed through prior to delivery).

Here is a link to the USPS web site. It has a "finder" feature to locate post offices anywhere, including contact information:
USPS website

Call the endpoint post office and file a claim. Call the local police or sheriffs office and file a criminal complaint using the information from the postal complaint form. Local police numbers can be found through most Internet directories. I have found that works the best for me. Most of the time, the post office can even give you that information. If not, your local police can do so.

Involve the BIG DOGS.

Your next step is to go to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center website.
IFCC is a joint venture between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center

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