Discussion of ways to help ensure a safe trade, so you don't get ripped-off. Do not discuss individuals here. Use the Feedback Forum instead.
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Post by K4ICL »

Folks, PLEASE use extreme caution swapping and/or buying from people who:

· Have NO callsign. (After all, it is not that tough for people to be legally licensed if really interested in ham radio.)

· Address does not MATCH the FCC callsign database. (Perhaps the person just made up the callsign so you would think he/she is a ham. Use the callsign lookup link which is on every page on this site, to verify the address you are sending the check or equipment to, is the same as the what the FCC has on file for that callsign.)

· Has a freebie email address like or (Scammers have ruined this for honest people who want to take advantage of these services.)

· Has no phone number or an untraceable phone number (Search for the number using Google, no hits? Time to wonder why…)

· Has negative feedback on the Feedback Forum ( (Negative feedback rarely “just happens.” Usually there is a reason for it.)

· Has to sell the item “ASAP” or “Right Away.” (There are many reasons for needing to sell something in a rush but there is NO reason for you to rush into buying it.)

· Does not give his/her first and last name in the ad. (How are you going to find “Jim” in Denver where thousands of “Jim’s” live?)

· Wants you to send money right away or the deal will go to another who is waiting to buy it. (This in an old very time worn ploy and probably needs no further comment. But it still happens.)

· Has no callsign, is not a legitimate dealer, and wants to sell you a transmitter of any kind. (Ask yourself what an unlicensed person is doing with a transmitter or amplifier that requires a proper FCC license to legally use.)

· Wants to send you a CASHIERS CHECK for MORE than the agreed upon sale amount, then wants you to send the balance to a third party. This is a well known scam. The cachiers check will turn out to be fraudulent and may come back to you weeks later from the bank, meanwhile you are out the money you sent to the third party.

If any one of the above fits a prospective seller, your resources could be at risk, so start asking serious, direct questions. If you don’t hear the right answers, look somewhere else. After all, there are thousands of good solid honest sellers out there and there is no deal good enough to throw caution to the wind.
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Post by N6ATF »

"Use the callsign lookup link which is on every page on this site, to verify the address you are sending the check or equipment to, is the same as the what the FCC has on file for that callsign."

My callsign is not found through the QTH callsign lookup link.

However, if you use the FCC search in my sig, it will be found. Every time I post on this site I get someone bugging me that my callsign 'doesn't exist'.
This person is no longer a member of
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:27 pm

No Callsigns

Post by w0bkr »

Just a note: There are quite a few "Sellers" on here with Callsign = NONE.
Trend lightly when considering dealing with someone without a call.
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:13 pm

Scammers are lurking

Post by wf2s »

In the last month, responses to two ham ads have brought them out of the woodwork.. The old ploy of sending a cashier's check in excess with my refunding the balance to their shipper by Western Union, no callsign, no last name, using freebie mail accounts and not responding to requests for callsign.. The first clue is the repeated failure to capitalize the pronoun "I" when referring to themselves.. I respond only once that I only accept US Postal money orders or a direct PayPal deposit. So far I am batting 1000.

My professional career involved making instant assessments of persons and character where errors were likely to result in personal injury or worse... I learned fast to 'get a read of the land'.

as P.T. Barnum once said 'there is one born every minute and two to take them'.[/b]
Steve WF2S
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:39 pm
Location: W PA

My opinion....

Post by KB3RPE »

:roll: I have another "gripe" re: "sellers" ... be cautious<IMHO> about hams who use "pen names" & not their call-sign when posting an item for sale....are they embarrassed about being a ham :? or is it a ploy :?:

I won't respond even if it's the "rig of my dreams" ..... :!:
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Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 4:58 am

Want to add something more

Post by KP4HE »

If he doesn't take PAYPAL it's might be he has no or bad credit.
PAYPAL runs on checking accounts or Credit Card accounts. If there is no funds in the account; it give a wait period.
All must match with your original Person's real name. Don't use someone else's.
He might not want to pay the service fees. That's up to both. Paypal will charge the seller always. Maybe you will need to pay for this service when buying. You will be able to get your money back if something goes wrong.
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Location: Space coast Florida

PayPal, I don't use Paypal!

Post by KD8Z »

Many of the older generation will balk at using systems like PayPal and even classifieds like Ebay which has btw been the victim of many scams lately. So if you are not prepared to send me a postal Money Order and I mean a US Postal Money Order forget dealing with me. Better yet come by the house and pick up your item and confirm that it works, is as described and has all options listed.

When I am the buyer I always like to call the seller's home phone/land line, cell phones are very dangerous and mean nothing from a buyers point of view. But in my case my LL is used only to get internet access and does not even have a phone hooked to it.

Google the sellers email addy, LL phone, name, home address and any other pertinent info you can get or pry out of the seller. Googling a callsign will almost always get a corresponding phone number somewhere in the search, then you can compare the numbers.

You can almost always get a local ham club member to vouch for the seller as I like to do with any big dollar purchase.

Above all if the deal seems to sweet to bwe true it probably is.
Only you can prevent forest fires!...Smokey the Bear
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:37 pm


Post by kg8lb »

I am always wary of the seller who strongly refuses Paypal for mail order transactions . Money orders are great for the seller but they virtually strip the buyer of any and all protection from fraud . If I can pick up , I always do . When pick up is not practical Paypal becomes the best bet by far . I don't mind walking away from a money order demand . Paypal has thwarted a couple of fraudulent sellers in my behalf and gets a two thumbs up from this buyer .
OK, So where are the filters now ?
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Location: Space coast Florida


Post by KD8Z »

I for one would have no problem putting the kibosh on any deal where the buyer demands he use PP. As I am the seller, I set the rules, if any potential buyer doesn't like it...Too Bad, so sad!
Only you can prevent forest fires!...Smokey the Bear
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Post by Nostroff »

I am getting ready to put a number of extra items up for sale from several completed projects. The question of payment method is unresolved. Need some advice. I do not plan on using Pay Pal but rather would simple accept a personal check. When it clears the item gets shipped. Is this going to be a problem with buyers?

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Post by KA9FOX »

Nostroff wrote:II do not plan on using Pay Pal...
PayPal provides some buyer protection. Your buyers may insist on it, so you will lose sales by not using it.

I'd never buy anything of value unless it was done with either PayPal or a Credit Card, so I have protection in case the item is misrepresented and the seller will not take care of the problem.

See my "safe trading" article at

- Scott KA9FOX
Free Ham Radio Classified Ads:
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Post by N9LCD »

The only party that PayPal protects is Paypal!

An online seller shipped the wrong goods. Per PayPal, I would have had to pay more than the anticipated refund (purchase price only) to get a refund. Per the Credit Card Issuer, if the seller wanted his goods back, he had to pay for me shipping them back to him. RESULT: A refund of my entire payment, purchase price plus shipping.

Another online seller shipped a large piece of glass cookware that arrived in obviously damaged condition -- the rattle of broken glass was obvious when the package was picked-up. Per PayPal, I was not entitled to a refund because the seller plainly said "NO RETURNS". Per the "Credit Card Issuer", I was entitled to return the damaged goods "Refused. Return to seller" at the seller's expense and receive a refund. RESULT: A refund of my purchase price.

Why should I use PayPal and get less protection than the credit card issuer offers????


:?: :?: :?:
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PayPal vs Credit Card..

Post by K1HMS »

If you supply the seller your credit card number he could use it to buy a airline ticket back to where here he came from minutes after you gave it to him. I once made a purchase for a email documented price of $700. I got hit with a $900 charge, the seller said he mis-read the amount and he would send me a check for the$200. He disappeared.

The alternative is to give the CC number to a trusted third party that gives the seller the cash. There are several third party companies that do this, the largest is PayPal.

It's one thing to give your CC number to HRO, Amazon, or QTH, it is another to give it to a private seller, in fact it is foolish.
PayPal plays an important role and only charge 3 bucks per hundred and for that they verify accounts vs addresses, availability of funds, and will withhold funds when you buy a radio and get a box of bricks.

CC companies charge 2-6% to the seller depending on the size of the company and the card.
Hamilton K1HMS (formerly AB1YE)
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Post by KH2G »

Regarding the use of PAYPAL - I have one main issue with it as a seller in that I have no protection. If after I ship the package it arrives but the buyer says it didn't, PayPal will give the buyer his money back and I have no recourse. Tracking is no guarantee with UPS etc just putting packages on the porch and leaving. ON the rare occasion I sell anything, I take cash check or money order. When the check clears I ship. Too bad people have become what they seem to be.
Dick KH2G
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:32 pm


Post by N9LCD »

Once upon a time, I was selling my RacalRA1795 receiver. The price was $1,500 plus packing and shipping. I had a nibble from a buyer who would actually pay my price plus shipping.

I called a commercial packing and shipping service. $250 - $300 for a foam-in-place wooden crate and air freight to the buyer.

The buyer wanted to pay with PayPal.

I called PayPal to find out how soon I would collect from PayPal. Since I didn't have my PayPal account linked to my checking account. just my credit card, I would have had to a month to get one third of my money and another month for eacxh of the remaining thirds.

Oh yeah, PLUS PayPal would charge me a percentage fee plus a check issuance fee for each check they sent.

Now I take U.S.P.S. money orders or personal checks on Chase, TCF, PNC, Fifth-Third, or BofA. I go to the bank the check is drawn on and cash it there and deposit the cash at my bank. Sure there's a fee, about $7, but at least twice this has kept from being stuck with a bum check.

Let's face it: no ham wants the seller calling and saying "You sent me a bad check"!!!

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Post by K9XR »

Wow, I have sold big buck items many, many times and I never have to wait for my moneuy. Maybe because you don't have an active history with them? I don't have my account linked to anything but my credit card.
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