[NTLK] Risky Business

From: James Wages (james_at_kiramek.com)
Date: Sun Nov 14 2004 - 22:15:42 PST

On 11/15/04 1:30 AM, Tom Stock <tstock_at_tampabay.rr.com> wrote:
>> Many sellers in the US are gun shy because of rampant internet credit
>> card fraud. The system that checks numbers and seller's addresses does
>> not work outside of the US (even in Canada) so sellers are justified in
> Well, there's even more to it. There are a ton of fake money order
> scams from outside the country, wire transfers and western union
> payments. How is one supposed to pursue a scammer in another country?

I understand both of your positions. But as an honest customer with cash in
hand to spend, I should not have to. There are just as many horror stories
from the other end of the buying stick. Risks exist for sellers and buyers

I personally use Paypal, which is not only safer than Western Union but also
recommended over Western Union by EBAY. There are ways for sellers to make
safer transactions with customers in foreign countries. But let's face it,
human beings are human beings, whether they be scam artists from the US or
elsewhere. And although sellers may feel safer offering products to US
customers only, that security net is not bullet proof. (I know. I used to
work at a California-based collections agency for many years.)

As a buyer, there is nothing I can say to convince some sellers to be more
open minded. But as a business owner who sells to end users internationally
though, I can say that any type of business carries with it some level of
risk. And those who take risks stand to reap greater rewards than those who
do not. But that's what business is all about. I am not one to stay inside
the house for fear of lions roaming the streets.

If you're an EBAY seller worried about international buyers, perhaps the
setting of a minimum feedback rating for international bidders would put you
at ease. Be creative in giving your customers MORE OPTIONS, because leaving
discriminatory restrictions in place will only limit your business in the
long run.

Besides, how many sellers *outside* the US do you see who impose the same
sales barriers against foreign buyers? Relative few. Truly, it's a US
seller phenomenon, despite the fact that the risks are pretty much the same
for any seller, inside or outside the US.

Sadly though, most US sellers believe that the US market is more than large
enough for anything they want to sell. "Who cares if I don't sell outside
Planet USA," is common. Other US sellers have a mental block over "all the
extra paperwork involved for shipping," as if they are trying to export
weapons grade plutonium!

But I, like many international buyers in this forum, are overjoyed when that
rare seller is willing to go the extra mile for us. For it encourages us to
bring our money back to such sellers in the future.

--James Wages

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