Unfortunately no one has taken the initiative to create a thread to assist with concluding a safe and trouble free deal on carbonite. So I decided to spend a little time and create a thread with useful hint and tips on how to do so.
It isn't fool proof, if there is a will there is a way. Scammers will go to great lengths to con you out of your money and hardware, no questions asked. So it is best to be alert and cautious on any deal you do on carbonite.
Carbonite has an Itrader system in place which allows in rating deals after they have been completed , the Itrader isn't foolproof either.One or two members had a large rating, and managed to con a few people for what ever reason.
Scammers will try and a mass a few itraders to get your guard down, and then go in for the kill.
Scammers will offer you a deal that is to good to be true, if that item he is trying to sell to you at 50% less than secondhand value then it's a good bet that some thing is up, and rather give that deal a miss.
If you are not sure about a deal, skip it, move on there is plenty of fish in the sea.
Scammers have dual accounts on the forum, mods and admins try to ban these accounts as fast as humanly possible, so there might be one or two that slip through the cracks. Take note of writing style punctuation and words used, very often you can see who is two timing on the forum.
When conducting a potential deal with a member you have not dealt with before, do a little research on the person you will be dealing with, make sure where his itraders has come from, read a few of his threads. Very often I have seen a few members that have itraders for only buying stuff and none for selling any thing.
Avoid doing trades with new members or members with zero itraders, these deals should be done face to face. If not possible to do face to face deal move on, I promise you there is enough hardware to go around for every one you will find what you are looking for even if it takes a little time. This isn't fair towards new members that have truly good intentions, but there isn't any other options than to rather avoid deals you can't do face to face.
Often members will be in another province, that offer some thing that you want, other members that have concluded many deals have offered their services to go and collect hardware for you and ship it to you, make use of these people, they might ask you to handle their petrol expenses or whatever.
SAPO offers COD, where by you can send an insured parcel over the counter, at a small extra fee like R17,50.Where you can send hardware safely to any where in the country, the receiving party needs to pay the COD charge before parcel can be collected, if the parcel you sending is a R400 GPU the COD charges will be R400 + shipping fee +R17.50 COD charge. However be warned this isn't a fool proof either, the user may back out of the deal and the parcel may be stuck for the next 40 days at the post office. You can however have the parcel intercepted at a small extra charge. The down side is you have to wait a few days for the cash, which can be collected at any post office after the parcel has been collected.
But it is a safe bet if it is a scammer he will not want to do a deal with you.
Do not send a parcel without cash simple, no cash no hardware, and stick to that. Some scammers will plea they need the hardware ect ect. Put your foot down.Do not take 50% now and 50% later deal either.100% now or nothing.
Do not allow payment plans either, point period the end. There is a member on the forum that tries to do this. Do so at your own risk an peril.
Have couriers pick up your parcels.
Rather do face 2 face deals
Rather do face 2 face deals
Rather do face 2 face deals (Three times is enough )
Insist on a physical street address, don't accept a P.O Box.You can check out the address on google earth.
Get contact numbers, Home work ect, if you have his work number contact them and confirm his employment.
Always save private messages till after deals have been concluded, Private messages can also be exported when no longer needed.
Read the bad deals section, often even if not applicable to you still read it, it contains info on the scammers and may be useful when conducting deals in the future.
Read all threads of importance, be it rules, be it new info, be it a new scammer, take the damn 5 mins time out and read it.
Get full name and surname, and a cell number when asking banking details, phone the cell number and confirm it is the correct person you are speaking to. Don't tell them who you are first let them tell you who they are, a common mistake often telling people who you are first, I know it is good manners. However scamming thumps good manners any time. Facebook is also helpful, if you can get that as well.
Make it as hard as possible for the scammer.In other words request pictures of the hardware being sold, wanting to phone his employer, wanting to confirm his residential address ect.Normally you don't go to that sort of lengths, in a way you are fishing to see how legit the sale is.
Some people will find it offensive if you intrude like that, some wouldn't mind at all, scammers will or will not have issues, but I bet they will think twice about doing a deal with unreasonable demands that doesn't benefit them or makes the scam harder to do.`
If you can read all sales threads and drool over the awesome deals, you can spend 10 mins doing a little research on a member before doing a deal, no one person is that busy that he can't.
If you feel you have been scammed, and the member is not responding to calls, emails or any form of contact and giving enough time to respond.Sapo parcels are allowed to be intercepted while still in transit or still at the receiving post office, at a small fee like R17.50, it's nearly instant, and pending the SAPO database works.
When doing deals.
Ship the items securely. Do not pack stuff in a box without some protection and expect it to arrive in tip top condition on the other side. If you don't have stuff to securely pack items, inform the buyer that you will need to get extra bubble wrap or whatever often they will do this on their own expense. If you know you can't securely pack items and you need to buy some packaging, include it in the sales price.
Direct deposits costs the seller money, so make sure what method of payment will be used and adjust prices according to that.
Make sure money clears first before shipping stuff.
Include details so you can receive a payments notification.
Do not dibs items unless you are 100% sure you can afford it or want it, rather reply with a YGPM and send the member a private message, and request more info ect before making up your mind.
Make the buyer aware that you want the items, however you will need 2 or 3 days. Some will be willing to wait, some may not, but do not keep the seller waiting for too long.
Always Itrader the member after doing a deal.
Always test hardware, when it arrives, you can then sort issues right away.Members will be less likely to assist a few weeks down the line
Always inform the buyer when you will be able to ship
Always send tracking info, even if not requested.
Always keep in contact with buyers or sellers till the deal has been concluded.
Monitor shipping of items your self as well.
Request updates on items send or received.
Always do this with a smile, and users will go out of there way to assist you next time.
Remember you are you using the site at your own risk and peril, there are no guarantees, an no one will take responsibility if you do some thing stupid and get scammed. I can't stress enough how a little common sense and reserving your self a little and some good old intuition will save you a whole lot of trouble and starve the scammers.
If you do get scammed, take it to them, don't just moan and groan about it, they keep coming back, take them to small claims court, it will cost a little time and effort, but sure as hell if they start repossessing stuff, it will stop eventually. I urge you do some thing about it and not just say “oh well it's only R200 bucks”, nail them fast and hard. Get as much info of the buyer and seller before doing the deal so if there is any problems you can take action, yesterday. Freeze their accounts today make sure you have proof of payment insist on it.
Don't threaten with violence and what else, don't make threats period, take legal action.Unfortunately the scammers are every where, the biggest scammer(s) is in CT so be extra alert when dealing with CT guys. Most scams entails trading,so rather avoid that, it's the easiest method of scaming people.
If you can think of any thing else that should be on the list please post away.