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Topic: Is Caveat Emptor Good Enough???
Message: Posted by: Eric Rose (Nov 14, 2005 05:20AM)
Mr. Brooks,

I have been a member of the Magic Café for some time now. Like most members, I am not a prolific poster, nor am I a superstar among the ranks. I figure I fit well into the normal curve grouping of a typical user.

One thing about the Magic Café stands out. Over the past year or so, I have gotten ripped off by three different sellers in the Magic Deal section. To provide some background, I purchase thousands of dollars of magic every year from stores, private sellers, manufacturers and several forums, including the Magic Café. I even purchase products that are advertised on the Café. I currently have a 100% satisfaction rating on e-bay with over 300 different magic purchases there.

However, even with all this purchasing, the Magic Café selling forums are the only place where I have been defrauded in the past year. I am not an unknowledgable buyer, so I would have to infer that the Café forum has more than its share of individuals attempting to fleece the purchasers. Beyond those three who have just plain stolen from me, I have even had to resort to threatening reporting mail fraud on a seller in the book section. Interestingly, his month long delivery delay due to "problems at the post office" dissolved and the book was priority mailed less than an hour later. By the way, this same seller is currently endorsed as a great seller in the sticky thread in the book section.

One time I posted (innocuously) on a seller's thread asking if anyone else had received their items from a seller since several weeks had past since my payment. I received a PM from a Café Moderator stating that there was "No place on the forum for a post like mine" and that the post was deleted.

I wonder, since I have never had these type of problems on other forums I purchase from, why does fraudulent activity seem so comparatively common on the Magic Café?

Looking forward appreciatively to your response,
Eric Rose
Message: Posted by: Review King (Nov 14, 2005 08:07AM)
Well, this may be the post that gets the buyer/seller section removed.

I think a remedy to our situation is to exchange phone #'s and legit -e-mails ( no yahoo or hotmail ). Thieves will not expose themselves like that and it should end the nonsense.

Except for one member, I've had wonderful experiences and find the forum a great asset and hope it stays.
Message: Posted by: Eric Rose (Nov 14, 2005 08:32AM)

Let me tell you that by no means is my post intended to get the selling section removed. However, Mr. Brooks says in his sticky post in this section that if we have a question or problem to ask it - he wants to make the Magic Café better.

Before this thread gets taken over with comments about my post, please let Mr. Brooks respond.

Thank you,
Message: Posted by: RandyStewart (Nov 14, 2005 02:32PM)

I've purchased a few items at the sale forum. The last two the result of a "want to buy" post by me. Having seen the words "Caveat Emptor" within the Forum title and knowing the Café means it, here's what I did before paying for items:

1. Learn what I can about the seller by member/user information (particularly helpful if they have a professional performer's website which some did). Incidentally I did purchase a $300 item from seller with, GET THIS, one post. Despite this, he had a website address with photos of him and his entertainment co., a phone number on the website that matched the one he e-mailed me, physical address, and photos of the item I was interested in.

2. Contact info. to include e-mail address, website address, and TELEPHONE NUMBER. Not one of the sellers had a problem giving me the information and having me call if for just a couple of minutes.

3. I only pay through paypal incase the seller "disappears" on me. This way my purchase is protected.

4. Insist the shipped item is insured and confirmation number e-mailed to me for tracking purposes. Not going to put up with "gee it must have gotten lost in the mail". That's what delivery confirmation is for.

These steps have, knock on wood, helped so far. They don't guarantee a successful and fair exchange but can help.
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Nov 15, 2005 04:24PM)
I sympathize with your frustration, but have no real solution to the problems you've had dealing with those who are less than honest in their dealings.

The best that we can do is offer the following [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=13329&forum=39&0]Guidelines[/url] when dealing with transactions on the board.
It is very unfortunate, but not everyone is honest.

I will tell you that we [i]have[/i] [b]permanently banned[/b] several individuals from our magical community for dishonest dealings, whether in the trading forums or because they have been caught dealing in pirated/bootlegged items.
Other then that, we really are unable to do much more without getting seriously involved in the trading forums. Frankly, we just don't have the manpower.

You said; "[i]I wonder, since I have never had these type of problems on other forums I purchase from, why does fraudulent activity seem so comparatively common on the Magic Café?[/i]"

The answer is quite simple really - NUMBERS! With so many members participating here, the percentage of theft and dishonestly naturally occurs more often. Like any town or city, the bigger the population, the higher the crime rate.

I know all this does not make you feel any better, but I don't have an answer that will. :smoke: