8th August 2012, 06:03
M5 Guru (>2000 posts)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Orange County, California, USA
2006 E60 M5 Black on Black
Thanked 315 Times in 244 Posts
Another thing is how long they've been on a forum. Someone with 50 posts who joined 3 weeks ago is something I'd look out for. If the person has been on the forum for 5 or 6 years and has a couple thousand posts, that's much better (though no guarantee, of course).
Generally, you PayPal the entire amount up front, and they ship it (they should use a shipping method with tracking and full insurance - which I have no doubt they will if they are shipping something as expensive as wheels). If they fail to ship it or the items arrives much differently then they advertised and they refuse to take it back, you simply file a claim through PayPal. PayPal sides very much with the buyer (though in many cases I don't agree with this tactic - but they do this so people keep wanting to use PayPal for the protection it offers).
I've never bought any car parts online (have sold a couple), but I have purchased in excess of $10,000 of used photography gear (and resold most of it for a profit) and I've never had an issue.
The key is to keep an eye out for red flags. Here are some:
REQUIRES you to use PayPal gift even if you offer to cover the PayPal Fee (PayPal takes ~2.9% of whatever you send, so some people require that they "net" $1000, so you send ~$1029 and they receive all $1000 but you are still covered by PayPal buyer's protection. Sending something PayPal Gift [if you have PP pull the money from your bank account], there are no fees. You send $1000 and they receive $1000 - but you have no buyers protection.)
Requires you to use some other form of payment that offers no buyer protection (I personally just back out - some people use other the things and it works out ok).
Refuses to ship through a mainstream shipping provider. Refuses to insure product. Refuses to get tracking.
Minimal post count and all the posts are "post-whoring" posts (just made to increase post count - no real content).
Using photos that are not theirs/don't reflect the actual piece of product he is selling
The M5 is my dad's - but I drive it more than he does!
Last edited by Revo; 8th August 2012 at 06:09.
Reason: Added some more info.