Buying gear cash on collection?

I’ve never bought hifi gear cash on collection.
For one thing it’s potentially dangerous as people know you’re going to their house with a large wad of cash in your pocket.
Also there is no way back o

  • you cannot return the gear if it doesn’t work for you.
    The upside is that it might mean that you can buy something excellent which you would really like to get but could not otherwise afford.
    then there is the issue of what happens if you sit down, have a nice cup of tea, listen to the gear as agreed … and you don’t like it. I suppose then you just say so and refuse to buy but that is quite an awkward situation.
    Any thoughts welcomed…

If its an eBay purchase then the seller will normally only accept cash- this is to avoid being scammed.
I always offer to demo gear that I’m selling only to prove it’s working fine. A few minutes is all it needs.

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So how would a scam work paying by credit card or Paypal thru eBay?
The seller would have been paid before they send the gear.
So would a scam be that the buyer would claim they didn’t get the parcel or would return an item other than the one they bought?

Also, yes, I understand that the seller would briefly demo the gear to show that it works ok, but what happens if the buyer doesn’t believe it sounds ok. That seems to have the potential to be quite an awkward situation

Yep, that’s right. Pay by Paypal, collect it and week later claim the item hasn’t arrived.

But if it was sent Tracked Signed For then I expect eBay and PayPal would almost always side with the seller
Or am I missing something?

If the item has been shipped as “signed for” and the seller and the shipping firm has your signature you can’t claim you didn’t receive the item. In that case PayPal won’t give you your money back.
If you claim that the box you signed for didn’t includes the right item or the item was not working then PayPal will protect you.
But you need to look at the sellers feedback profile.

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That’s not Cash on Collection though. So with that method you have proof of delivery and all should be well. :blush:

Yes that’s what I fear as a seller …that someone will falsely claim the box had something else in it.

But at the moment I’m wondering whether to buy something cash on collection for the first time. It just seems quite risky.

I always use eBay Shutl as it integrates nicely into eBay and helps protect seller and buyer.
I’ve had attempted scams before when selling Naim gear. I’ve always rumbled them though - giveaways are iffy looking addresses that are forwarding addresses in the UK or industrial units. Always send tracked and fully insured.
Both my Hicaps were collected and paid in cash - separate occasions. Any worries by the buyer were easily dispelled once they see an LP12 and a rack full of Naim :grinning:

Jim, you could always ask 150 people’s opinions on different forums and hear scenarios varying from being stabbed with a Global knife to the best bargain ever. Knowing you, why don’t you just go to a dealer and be happy?

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In the past, I paid my local Naim dealer to broker the transaction, when the sellers were known to them, even across the country. Very satisfactory.


Having a chat with the seller usually provides quick signals as to whether they are legitimate or chancers. I have only come across one instance of the latter.

In this day and age though, I only ever offer bank transfer - it takes a few minutes to transfer across and avoids carrying a large brown envelope of cash. I have let some deals pass when the seller insisted on cash but most folks have internet banking and are fine with this approach.



Bank transfers as you say are perfectly fine.

I’v bought and (mainly) sold through the fishy place with no issues. I’ve demo’d kit as part of the deal if the buyer has collected in person. Most people buying S/H kit know what they are looking for so the demo is just to prove all is well rather than a demo to see whether they like it or not. As with anything, if it doesn’t feel quite right then be cautious and if you are doing a deal which involves you carrying a lot of cash, take a mate along. If you’re not comfortable then, as Count mentions, use a dealer.

What are you looking for ?

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Bottom line here is to trust your instincts. If you’re buying something at a “too good to be true” price and the unknown seller has insisted on cash only, meeting at a quiet place, then I would be concerned. However, if it’s a seller with good feedback, the items being sold seems legitimate, the seller has been open and upfront in the transaction and has provided you with their address, phone etc. then I think you’ll probably be OK. If you ever sniff a rat, just walk away. If in any doubt, a quick phone call to the seller will usually tell you very quickly whether a sale is legitimate or not.


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