Paying For Metal, Shipping Metal, Newbie Info.....
a. The unspoken guideline here at BS regarding new and old members with high feedback is fairly simple. New members ship first / pay first, whichever side of the transaction. And what exactly is a new member? How about less than 20 or 30 feedbacks and 12 months or less as a member (as a guess). Be very clear with the terms of the total transaction upfront ! The problem of course happens when both members are new. Common sense, smaller transaction sizes are important considerations.
b. Paying for metal. Most members here have Paypal for gifts and straight fee based payments. Avoiding PP fees is generally preferred as that 3% adds up after a while. Most members also accept US postal money orders. Many of us take grocery store money orders such as Western Union and Money Gram, fairly inexpensive too. Cashiers checks work but are fairly expensive I believe.
Members also accept direct cash payments into their national bank accounts such as BofA and Chase. All you have to do here is get the sellers a/c #, walk into your local branch and deposit the cash. I would guess these a/c's are opened expressly for this type of payment as the buyer then has the a/c #, so the money is possibly withdrawn / transferred fairly quickly. I will also mention this here and that is to keep in mind that your bank has been directed by the US govt to report any suspicious activity that is usually triggered by large cash deposits either daily or a monthly cumulative (I believe). No one needs to have the Feds knock on their door asking where and why they have those deposits. DYODD on this subject.
Members also take person2person payments such as ING Direct (my preferred method). It's all free to both parties and is instant. BofA I believe has the same type of payment method now. The added benefit of an ING account is their free money order service whereby you can send a money order from your account to someones mailbox. Saves your time and free never hurts, just takes a few days for the check to arrive.
Finally, if you are so bold, cash always works. Either face2face or via mail. Small payments that I have received in the mail are in regular everyday envelopes. For larger payments, it is highly suggested that the cash goes out via Registered Mail with full insurance.
c. Information exchange. When making deals, I highly recommend that your listing be as complete as possible. Having any doubt as to what is shipping out should not happen. Put disclaimers in your listing, such as I think it is BU but may not be as I am not a professional grader. I know this might make some of you cringe but always always understate the condition of your items, not the other way around. When exchanging private info with mailing / payment names, addy's, I also highly recommend exchanging phone numbers. Again, especially for larger transactions, there is nothing wrong with giving someone a call to confirm everything. And say hello. And get a good barbecue or pasta recipe while you're at it
c. Mailing. We all pretty much use the US postal system with their flat rate boxes being an ideal way to ship heavier items in safer cardboard boxes at reasonable rates. UPS/Fedex are of course just fine for shipping, just can't be delivered to PO Boxes. As we have seen over the years, getting your items to a buyer is of utmost importance so please don't skimp on packing material, tape or paying for Registered Mail. Seal up your packaging and if at all possible, when a package is shaken, there should be NO noise at all coming from it. I don't mean to sound like a kindergarten teacher here guys but I have received hundreds of boxes over the last few years, still amazes me how they are sometimes wrapped (both by individuals and companies alike). As for insurance, we should all be aware that it will be difficult if not impossible to get insurance money from the USPS for metal as that is expressly not covered. Many of us still purchase the $300+ of insurance for the intended purpose of having the purchaser sign for the item. That way, it is not left in front of their home when they are not there.
d. Registered Mail as we all should know by now is THE most secure method of shipping an item. It is so important, I gave it its own bullet point. You can pay for a flat rate box at home, take the box to the post office and pay the added fee for RM. It is not guaranteed but comes pretty darn close. Reason....postal employees have to sign for the packages when they receive them into their own custody. If they are lost during that time, that postal employee is liable for the declared / insured value of the parcel. Why buy the flat rate box postage at home you ask? Some of us believe that getting that computer address label makes the box ship faster for some unknown reason. I have found it usually takes about one week or less with this method. Paying for RM and postage with a cashier does seem to take at least a week or more for delivery.
e. Finishing up. I will say that we are all here at BS to buy, sell and trade metal. We will not agree with everyone else's philosophy, religion, politics, etc, etc, etc. Stay focused on metal and coinage and things do run smoother here. We have grown past 700 members and many of the posters I see are new. I hope the guidelines help a little and we all make tons of money in the near future. From one newbie to another, best of luck with your stacking
Thank you John (mnymgr1) for putting this together.
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