Mods can feel free to delete if it isn't community themed/topic/whatever.
Heavy Pictures Under the Cut.
There are cases where you might get a legitamate seller in these situations, but regardless everyone should take caution. If it looks shady, take caution. You rather have security then uncertainity
1) Finding the Sale
When finding the sale, you gotta look at the post. Does it have a picture of the product advertised? Does it not? If it doesn't have any pictures, then hate to say it, I would stay clear from that sale. It might be a scam. How can you buy something if there's no pictures? Are you going to just trust and hope that they send you what they so called said they had?
No, its the internet. Things don't work like that. If you're not going to shop like that on eBay and be more aware there then you need to be tripple aware when shopping on SMS like Livejournal.
2) Make Sure the Pictures Are Not Taken From a Site like Yahoo! Auctions or from another sale
One major thing to look out for is pictures. If it looks too... small, or clean, or simply out of the ordinary then the purpose probably didn't take the picture. I like looking for sales that have nice big pictures of every single thing that they're selling. Like this seller, who I bought for magazines from and had a great transaction with. All the magazines were well layed out, well taken, listed correctly, and priced reasonably.
Johnny's puts a clear ban on their talent's images online -- If you see that their face is covered, the picture is blurry, etc etc... It was probably yanked from an Yahoo! Japan Auction. Majority of the pictures from those auctions are distorted due to the image ban. Sellers also remove the image after the sale is over. Take that into consideration.
So in the picture look for these things: Taken inside their house and a nice sized image.
3) Check Their User Activity
Check their activity. If it's being sold in a personal journal and they have under 10 posts, you are probably going to get scammed. LJ lets you know how many posts s have been made on a journal, whether the entries are friends only or not. So if you look at the journal and only see the sales post, check their journal stats -- you'll see how active they are.
If they run a sales journal, this wont help you much, but look for other sales, read the user comments. Get a feel for the seller. If you see a lot of satisfied people then they're a good seller. If they're selling for the first time on a "personal" journal and only have "one to two" posts, its a sock puppet account and they're going to scam you.
Socket Puppet, for those who don't understand, are LJ accounts that have no account activity but are usually used to troll or just cause harm anonmyously.
Okay, people must be confused about the seller/personal journal. Here's an example.
yamapi_wife69 is holding a great sale. Unbelievable sale, CDs for 10 dollars, clippings for 3 dollars a page (if you pay this i have no sympathy for you), and seems to just have that one thing you're looking for. You've never seen this person around the community, never seen them post never seen them comment. But they're selling stuff and you want it. Well, you look at their user stats.
1 post, which is the sellers post.
0 comments recieved or posted, unless its equal to the comments in the sellers entry.
This is a clear sign TO BE WARY of this seller.
jin_store is holding another great sale, around the same prices for everything and has that one thing you're looking for. You CAN'T rely on the other stuff above you because its not a personal journal, but a sales journal so it's going to have less activity.
Check for a feedback post, look for previous sales, find out who the seller is.
If you can't find any of this out, BE WARY of this seller.
Hope that clear things up.
4) Everything apparently looks good, so I'm going to go ahead and buy it
So the seller says they prefer paypal or that they're "paypal" only. When you go to pay, LOOK AT THEIR INFORMATION.
If they ARE NOT a verified buyer or a MEMBER SINCE 2008/2009/2010/infinity then THEY'RE PROBABLY GOING TO SCAM YOUR ASS.
THEIR ADDRESS SHOULD BE LISTED. If they do not have no address listed THEY WILL PROBABLY SCAM YOUR ASS
THEY MUST BE VERIFIED, IF FROM US. Verified buyer has their account VERIFIED by PayPal, meaning they've provided a credit card and a bank account. If they are NOT then they are not verified.
If you run into ANY PROBLEMS with someone on Paypal -> MEANING THEY HAVE NOT SHIPPED OUT YOUR PACKAGE IN TWO WEEKS TIME, then FILE A DISPUTE WITH PAYPAL. -- Some suggest to wait longer, I'm impatient though. lol
A dispute lasts at least three to five days. IF THE SELLER CAN NOT BE CONTACTED OR REFUSED TO SHOW PROOF OF SHIPMENT then YOU WILL BE REFUNDED YOUR MONEY AND THE SELLER WILL THEN OWE PAYPAL FOR THE FEES INCURED
This is called Paypal's Buyers Protection. All accounts have it. USE IT. Don't cry on je_sales because someone ripped you off if you didn't file a paypal dispute and you don't know what to do. Read your Buyers Protection for more information. When filing disputes, do it over the phone. If you get no where, pressure them. Its your right, protect what's yours.
Don't wait A MONTH, TWO MONTHS, THREE MONTHS, A YEAR to get this done because if you do paypal is going to do JACKSHIT. You have 45 DAYS FROM THE TRANSACTION TO DO IT.
Now if you paid by money order or cash, you're shit out of luck. Sorry.
panadasales let me know that
This isn't necessarily true. Well, if you send cash, it is. But not necessarily for a money order. Plenty of people use money orders to pay rent or bills and if it gets lost or stolen, I believe there is a number you can call to report this. The number should be on the money order receipt. I've never had to do this myself so I can't really say what the terms and conditions are, but I think a person can still report it and have a chance of getting their money back.
Also, talking in the comments below, I realized something (if you live in America, but if it applies to your country go right ahead!): File a police report! Take it up a notch. It's STILL a sale, its still LAW abiding. Take it further, and if you got their contact information ... and things just don't progress - File a court claim (if the seller is in this country). Do watch you gotta do to burn them.
5) Beware of Obscene Prices
Don't buy an LE at 80, especially used, because its an LE. These days you can get LEs much cheaper else where like eBay or other sites. Check stores like YesAsia, HMV, CDJapan, Tower Records, or Amazon.co.jp to see if they have it in stock befoer you buy it. If youre going to pay that might as well get it brand new.
Prices must be reasonable. Be a sharp shopper, not a dumb one.
Some great advice from acidae! Thanks!
I just wanted to add that scammers don't necessarily take pictures from Yahoo Auctions, eBay or not provide any at all. There have been instances where scammers take pictures of goods that they do own themselves and pretend to sell them off-- and because they're using actual, self-taken photos, buyers fall for it.
In fact, that's probably what the smarter scammers would do if they have any braincells, because it makes it seem more authentic and gives buyers a false sense of security, like "hey! If they take pictures of stuff inside their house, it has to be real!" Which, sorry to say, it doesn't. It just means that person is going to be watching the same DVD you just bought and laugh at you as they watch the funds in their Paypal account grow.
I think the best bet, as both a seller and as a buyer, is to check out the feedback posts-- if a seller doesn't have one, I'd strongly recommend them to, and if they do, buyer really should take a look and check out both the feedback contents and the journal info of these other buyers.
More great advice from asphodel! Thank you!
- If you are unsure about the seller at all and they accept credit-card Paypal, use a credit card transaction through Paypal. Even if Paypal can't recover the funds, there's a great chance your credit card company will (and this is speaking from experience.) Of course, this is dependent on if possible additional fees charged are worth it.
- When looking for seller feedback, look for feedback if possible in a neutral place (i.e. not their personal journal, because they can delete negative comments there.)
More advice from karadin!
I would suggest that whenever people find good reliable sellers on the internet, they throw business their way, it's good for fans to know, and keeps reliable sellers in business.
Two I know of off the bat,
I-TM4U, a Japanese shopping service that specializes in JE goods, including concert tickets.
and GKSOHOUSE on Ebay, that gets Jrock Jpop records at a great priced (the CDs are legit product, but since they are 'used' even in factory wrapping, they can sell at a discount.
Now I think I pretty much covered everything to protect yourself on a transaction through Livejournal. If you have any comments or anything else that can help better protect this fandom from being scammed, please go right ahead. We need to save ourselves from assholes like this.
Again, there are cases where you might get a legitamate seller in these situations, but regardless everyone should take caution. If it looks shady, take caution. You rather have security then uncertainity
Good day, happy safe buying!