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Tips For Safe Shopping

The majority of Sweetwater Trading Post users have had smooth transactions when buying or selling gear on the site. However, it's important to keep in mind that there may be people out there who will try to take advantage of you. That's why we've included the shopping tips below. By taking just a few reasonable precautions, you can make sure you're always shopping safely.

Scam Alert

Be especially aware of this common scam. A buyer who claims to be overseas offers to send a cashier's check with shipping instructions. When the check arrives, it's made out for more then the negotiated price, and the buyer asks you to deposit it, keep your portion of the money, and send the balance to a third party (often in the form of a Western Union money order).

Do NOT agree to participate in this! The "cashier's check" is a worthless, counterfeit document, and your bank will hold you responsible for the funds you send to the third party.

  • If you have friends or family who are local to the seller (or if you can get there yourself without too much trouble), arrange for them to physically transact the purchase. True, it takes some of the convenience out of online buying, and it may not even be an option, but when it's possible, it guarantees a smooth transaction.
  • Verify the seller's home address, business address, and phone numbers.
  • Ask the seller for references from previous transactions. Most people buy and sell many times, so this is not an unreasonable request.
  • You have the right to a payment method you feel comfortable with, so use your best judgment. Checks and money orders are never good ideas. Instead, there are many convenient payment methods available that provide buyers with additional protection. Cash on Delivery (COD), for example, can take a lot of hassle out of the entire buying process. Other options include PayPal, or services such as escrow.com, which (for a small fee) will hold your money until you get the goods, at which point they'll deliver the money to the seller.
  • Don't agree to buy something unless you are absolutely certain that you want the item. Sellers who use the Sweetwater Trading Post are people, not businesses. Changing your mind after purchase will at best be a huge hassle and, at worst, impossible to undo. Once the transaction is complete and you've paid for and received the item, the seller is under no obligation to take it back if you change your mind.
  • Finally, read our guide on how the Sweetwater Trading Post works. Having a good idea of what both the buyer and the seller expect from one other can help make transactions go smoothly.
  • Please note: Sweetwater is not responsible for ads posted on the Sweetwater Trading Post, and we have no part in transactions. We are only involved in providing the public bulletin board.

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