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Trading Security Guide -- for Your Benefit

LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciersEagle River, Alaska Icrontian
edited Mar 2006 in Trading Post
Welcome to Short-Media’s Deal Depot & Trading Post (DDTP). We hope that your trading experience here is fun, benefits you economically, and above all is safe. Please take a look at the guidelines below. Observe them, and your trading at the DDTP will be more secure.

1. References. With whom are you trading? Do you really know who the other guy is? He could be a paragon of integrity; he could also be a serial thief. Ask for references. An excellent evaluation site for computer tech traders is Heatware.com. If you don’t know the Heatware site, I highly recommend you check them out and open an account there. It’s free. Ebay evaluations are worthwhile too, but in my consideration, they are highly inflated.

2. Contact Information. Ask for your trading partner’s telephone number, home address, and ISP email address. Contact the trader through email and telephone. Verify that the person at the other end is the same person that is communicating with you at Short-Media. Generic email accounts such as Gmail, Hotmail, and MSN don’t count for much. They make the account holder essentially anonymous. For security purposes, consider a free email address to be invalid. Concerning Heatware: some trolls attempt to pass off others’ Heatware history as their own. If you have a Heatware account, you can email your prospective trading partner through the Heatware site to verify that he is the owner of the Heatware account being used as a reference. An quick tool to help verify phone numbers and addresses www.reversephonedirectory.com.

Short-Media private messaging (PM). Also communicate through Short-Media PMs, but don’t rely solely on PMs for security. Anyone can sign up at
Short-Media and instantly put up something for trade at the DDTP.

3. Protection Against Trolls, Charlatans, and Thieves. For a list of known trolls see the following links. Visit www.trollhunters.com and PCAbusers.net's *** Traders to Avoid *** thread along with Anandtech's Traders to Avoid. At these sites you will find specific names, aliases, and addressesses of known trading forums theives. I recommend you also do an Internet search through Yahoo or Google to see if your prospective trading partner’s name or nickname pops up.

4. Payment Security. Never send money via wire transfer or other online money order services. They are practically untraceable. Stick with PayPal or use a US Postal Service Money Order. If payment is through PayPal, always get the other party's real contact and identification inforomation - their real name, address and phone number. You should also confirm that information through a telephone call. Many traders have been ripped off because they failed to get a true name.

5. New Traders. So you are a new trader without a history, or you wish to trade with a newbie – what to do? It is definitely riskier trading with an individual who does not have a verifiable history. To mitigate this risk, have the new trader pay first if he is the buyer, or have him ship first if he is the seller. If he refuses to do so, he’s either got a big ego problem or is not the type of person with whom you wish to trade. Move on; let someone else take a risk with him. I recommend that traders without histories do not trade with like people. That's just a very big risk for both parties. For better security and to build positive reputation, new traders are advised to trade with documented, established traders.

6. Reasonable Transaction Time. If two weeks pass after you’ve shipped or have paid the other trading party, and the other trader has not fulfilled his end of the deal, it is time to be very concerned. For every private trade, ensure that you save all written and electronic communications throughout the deal negotiations and closing. Also save any follow-up communications with the other party. This will be very important if you ever need to seek legal redress or the services of Trollhunters.

7. New Short-Media Members. If you aren’t familiar with the nickname offering a deal at DDTP, click on their avatar and look at their “Public Profile”. There is nothing wrong with a new member trading without tenure at Short-Media. But this though, should be cause for the more experienced trader to take precautions. If you notice a new member trading and bypassing rules, politely, in the deal thread, remind him/her of Short-Media rules. If you ‘smell a rat’, please contact a forum moderator immediately.

8. Evaluations and Responsibility. When you provide a trader a Heatware evaluation, please be honest. You only hurt future traders if you give a poor trader a good evaluation. Don’t worry about someone taking revenge on you by giving you a poor evaluation. The honest party almost always comes out on top in disputes. The Heatware people are very good at arbitrating evaluations disputes. Short-Media will not hesitate to ban any user whom we regard to have given an unjustified, poor evaluation either here or at Heatware.

9. Shipping. Whether buying or selling, insist on a means of shipping that can be tracked. US Postal Service with Delivery Confirmation, FEDEX, or UPS are the preferred methods. Insurance is also a good idea, especially for high-dollar trades..

10. Last but not Least. If a prospective deal seems to good to be true, it probably is!


Happy Trading :cool:

Leonardo
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