How to Purchase Online
THIS VALUABLE INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO HELP FIRST TIME INTERNET BUYERS
OK, so you just found what you were looking for to buy at Internet…now what?
Well, I have been dealing thru the Internet for many years now ( I still have the AOL#1 Disc!) and I’ll try tell you how to safely purchase an item thru the Internet and minimize your risk in getting burned.
The most important thing you need when you are dealing thru the keyboard is COMMUNICATION!
E-mails are the best way, phone calls one may forget what was said but e-mails you always can read it over.
Buyer must write down all possible questions at once, try avoid back and forward with simple questions in each e-mail….you may ended up loosing the item for someone else!
If the seller does not answer the questions completely or delay in doing that or have no patience at all…..don’t buy from this seller, period!
You need to be very careful in today’s Internet transactions, is just too many scum bags out there ready to take your hard earned cash and you will feel frustrated when you learn that you don’t have too many options to recover from a loss.
Always do some home work and try to find out the most you can from a seller and you can do a few very simple steps.
Rules of Engagement
- Always ask for full address, full name and phone number. Many free sites will cross over name, phone and address if phone is listed.
- Do not accept PO Box or private rented mail boxes as a mailing address, most of scammers use this method.
- Ask seller for references from previous buyers, e-mails or phone numbers, that’s very important!
- Use Gun Boards to inquiry about seller if possible
- Ask seller to provide closed up photos of the item for sell, most of us have a digital camera these days.
- Ask seller his “Terms of Sale”, that should narrow down forms of payment accepted, shipping/insurance process and fees, in case of a loss due to the shipper what will be done, inspection periods and in case of need to send the item shipped.
- Buyer should ask seller to e-mail when receive funds and shipping item out with a tracking number, buyer should agree.
- Try to keep most of the dealing in e-mails, it’s black in the white and you can always go back to read it, in a phone conversation (unless if you tape it) the words will vanish away. Use phone to exchange sensitive information like a credit card number, also is always a good idea to phone the seller just before sending the funds just to confirm the phone number and let the seller know that the funds are on his way.
- Always ask for Insurance in the item to be shipped to you.
- Always ask if the item has any kind of warranty.
- In top dollar items you may consider a contract between seller and buyer.
Buying Firearms thru Internet
As a buyer, you will have two experiences in the Internet. Buying from an individual and buying from a Licensed Dealer.
Extra careful buying from individuals and all the above steps should be followed, they usually have no reputation to be afraid to loose at Internet and don’t make a living of it either.
If you are buying out of your State, either way from an individual or a dealer, you will need to find a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer to receive and transfer the weapon for you, the receiving dealer will do that for a nominal fee ($25~$30 for Title One weapons and $100 for Class 3 weapons) that depends from where you live. Stay away from dealers that want a percentage of the total cost of your purchase!
A signed copy of the receiving dealer FFL should be sent to the seller or (New from BATFE) faxed to seller. If seller receive a faxed FFL copy, he must perform a double check at BATFE site
If seller is a FFL dealer, he must attach a signed copy of his FFL with the weapon and if seller is an individual he should attach a copy of his drivers license so the receiving dealer has an “origin” to write down on his bound book.
Shippers can be UPS, Fed Ex and USPS (United States Postal Service).
Individuals can ship long guns and handguns thru UPS and FedEx (UPS require handguns to be shipped Next Day Air), individuals can only ship long guns thru USPS and dealers are required to fill a Form prior the handgun shipping thru USPS.
The most reliable and secure way to ship any valuable is thru USPS Registered Mail, so if you have a very expensive item have your dealer ship it to you via USPS Registered Mail, it will require a cardboard box and paper tape sealing on all openings as they will stamp everything to prevent one to tamper the package, also you will need to write the From: and To: in black marker to prevent one to change addresses. Every time someone at USPS touch the box they need to sign the log. It’s also the cheaper way!
Ok, enough of shipping…..let’s talk about forms of payment.
You can use a Credit Card to pay for it , you will have some advantage in security but will also need to pay the 3% or 4% more for the Bank, if you can trust the seller you should avoid give up this extra money to the banks.
U.S. Postal Money Orders, they were the most secure way for the sellers until we got a bunch of stolen USPS MO’s or counterfeit MO’s every where now. Still a good way to pay for as the buyer will have the Federal Postal Service Agents at your side in case if you get smoked in a bad deal, they will investigate it as Mail Fraud if you paid with USPS MO and mailed it thru USPS.
Other forms of payment can be a Bank Money Order or a Cashiers Check, or a personal check. Today, most of sellers require a waiting period to clear the funds completely (even Credit Cards take 3 days for VISA and Master Card and 4 days for AMEX) so buyer should be patient on this matter.
What to do if you sent the funds and communication ceased and you don’t received the item you paid for?
First, things do happen in life (accidents etc.)…..try to contact seller and give a reasonable time before suspect fraud. Send a certified letter to seller is the first step, if no answers at all you can search at Internet for the sellers local Police Station and make a contact, (small Towns are better, as they don’t have too much of activity and will be happy to assist you) ask to speak with an investigator and explain everything in detail with dates. If the seller is a scum bag they probably have him on file, either way they will pay the seller a visit as they usually love when is “gun related activity” issue. Anyway, if you follow the steps above you should not see yourself in this situation.
I hope this information helped you, if you fell that you can add anything that may improve this section please feel free to e-mail me .