This is a reminder that Woodworking Talk does not and cannot vouch for the legitimacy, honesty, or reliability of any of the sellers/buyers who use the classified section.
There have been few, if any bad experiences here at least of which we are aware, but it may be happening with more regularity on other forums. Perhaps the poor economy brings out the worst in some people but whatever the reason, use caution when buying from someone online. I am not referring to anyone, or any single incident in particular. Personally, I use these common sense guidelines whenever I by from a new vendor/individual:
- Require a phone number and make sure to have at least one conversation with a new seller
- Ask for references if you cannot find them on your own
- Insist on knowing the physical address of the seller even if it is not a brick and mortar business
- Use Paypal or another payment service which allows for a resolution/refund process in case you do get scammed
- Consider a smaller initial order before placing a large one.
- Ask your woodworking buddies if they have ever ordered from the seller.
While you can never be 100% sure about someone, even dealing with them face to face, it's been my experience that for the most part, people in this industry are salt of the earth. While the above guidelines are meant mainly for professionally sellers, some of them can also be used when determining if you want to deal with an individual who is just selling one item.
If you have a problem with a seller:
- Try to resolve it with him/her first
- If you feel like you were treated unfairly write a letter or email asking for what you consider fair. Phone calls can turn into shouting matches if one or both of you already feel as though the other is the problem. Be respectful with your choice of words.
- If you cannot resolve it with the seller use the 3rd party resolution process if you paid with Paypal or a credit card which offers this service
As a last resort, you can post your experience in the forum where you responded to the advert, but before you do, be 100% sure that you did in fact get ripped off. Being "disappointed with the quality" does not necessarily warrant making such a post. We should expose those who are true scams so our fellow woodworkers don't fall prey, but this means we have to have first hand knowledge of it and are not exaggerating or worse, just spreading gossip.
Our classified section has a great track record, and we want to keep it that way. With everyone's help and cooperation we can.