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B/S/T Forum Guidelines & User's Tips (Updated 01.Feb.09)

A forum reserved for experienced members 18 or older to buy, sell, or trade LEGO with other members.

B/S/T Forum Guidelines & User's Tips (Updated 01.Feb.09)

Postby copyright » Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:54 am

The Buy/Sell/Trade/Finds Forum Guidelines and Users Guide

This post contains two crucial documents for all who trade in the B/S/T. The first is the Official Guidelines. You must read and follow these. The second is a tips and tricks guide written by forum member, Daz Hoo. That document is worth its weight in gold when trading in here, and a great start for new and old traders alike.

Official FBTB Buy/Sell/Trade Forum Guidelines
Official FBTB B/S/T Guidelines by FBTB Forum Admin & Staff, last Updated 14.Feb.2009.

  1. Buy/Sell/Trade at your own risk. FBTB is not responsible for trades gone bad, and will not moderate disputes.

  2. At least one end of any transaction must involve (a) LEGO item(s). (e.g.: It is okay to sell LEGO, but not sell DVDs. It is okay to trade DVDs for LEGO.)

  3. The intent of this forum is 'Members Helping Other Members'. No scalping. If your deal involves a personal profit, its okay, but be honest. If your deal was designed for your personal profit, get out. (e.g.: You're selling a piece from your collection for above what you paid but below market price: OK. You're selling a piece you bought for investment at bricklink average and you stand to make a tidy profit: Not OK)

  4. When linking to websites, such as Amazon.com or Toysrus.com, your links must not contain affiliate links, unless they credit FBTB. This is a form of utilizing our forums for personal gain, and will not be tolerated. Investigation of affiliate link posting will be made, and if you are suspect of purposely posting a non-FBTB link, your posting rights on the B/S/T forum will be revoked.

  5. No auctions. There are plenty of services out there that can do that, but we are not one. No "best-offer" posts, as these are like auctions. All for-sale listings should list a price, though an or-best-offer clause is acceptable.

  6. For-profit businesses may not advertise here and should contact FBTB if they want to advertise on FBTB. However, one exception: If someone posts a 'wanted' item that you happen to have in your inventory, you may reply to that effect as long as you are upfront about your business and if you provide a link, it goes directly to the item in question.

  7. No linking to eBay auctions or eBay/Bricklink stores, except as a reference. If you see something really neat on ebay or the like that you feel FBTB should know about, please contact the forum staff before posting it.

  8. The B/S/T forum is for members 18 years old or older. This is for the safety of underage user's real-life identities and also to prevent immature underage users from irresponsibly entering into transactions they are unable to make good on. If you are caught circumventing procedures that prevent underage users from gaining access to this forum, you will be immediately banned.

Things you Should Know When Trading on FBTB
Tips and Tricks to Trading Online by FBTB member Daz Hoo, last Updated 28.Sept.2007.

Staff Disclaimer: This guide was written by a forum member and does not reflect the views of the FBTB staff. The advice is sound though and should be considered before you begin trading in this informal setting.

Here is a list of things you need to know before you start posting, buying, selling or trading in this section. These aren't rules per se, more like friendly advice on how to behave properly and how to ensure a smooth transaction.

  1. Proper behavior in the B/S/T Forum. Before considering even posting in this section of the FBTBforums, you need to know a few things:

    • Scalpers and Brick Merchants Are Not Welcome. This forum is for 'members helping members'. Yes, everyone has the right to get the current value for their items, but be prepared to justify your demands. Unlike eBay or Bricklink, there are no fees here, so asking the “average price” for your item is hard to justify. If you’re in it for the money, this is not the place for you.

    • Get Your Facts Straight. Don't be a seller who doesn't know what he has. Get your facts straight: research the current value and availability of the item you are selling, trading, or looking for. Knowledge is the foundation of an intelligent and fair deal. Bricklink is a good reference for price and availability for discontinued sets or specific parts. If you’re not sure, just ask around. Many experienced traders and sellers will gladly provide you with the information you need.

    • Thread Crapping is Crap. "Thread crapping", as in publicly commenting on another member’s sale, trade demand or price they are willing to pay for a certain set, is not welcome here. If you don’t like what someone is publicly asking for something, just walk away. If you just can’t help yourself, use the Private Message function to let them know. Unlike in other areas of the forum, where offering constructive criticism and coaching other member's mistakes is considered helpful and beneficial, here it can hurt potential trades and even cut off negotiations. Please refrain from this.

    • Don't Steal Other's Thunder. Don't use someone else’s thread to sell your own stuff, to outbid another buyer, or to ask for the same set. This frustrates the involved parties, could interupt negotiations, and make you look like a fool.

    • Don't Waste People's Time. Negotiating trades, sales, and purchases can take time and effort that a user is investing for the gain of both parties. Don't pull out of a sale or trade last-minute without a good reason. It is rude and impolite. If you want to deal with someone, be sure you have the intention and the means to fulfill your end of the bargain.

    • Clarity and Courtesy Goes a Long Way in Landing the Perfect Deal. If you post an offer or write to someone, take a few extra seconds to write a well thought out message, with proper spelling, punctuation and grammar. If you’re offering something, be specific about the item, the price and the terms (condition of the item, payment, shipping, etc.). If you’re looking for something, also be specific, especially if you’re referring to a set that went on sale somewhere. List both the set name and number. While some have memorized the number, others don't. Also, some sets have been re-released and just listing a name causes confusion. Both together are the right fit. Oh, and always take the time to answer people who sent you offers, even if you’re not interested.

    • Bumping has its limits. Bumping your thread is when you reply (presumably to yourself) with the intention of bringing it back to the top of the forum. Take a hint if you have to bump: some part of your deal isn't working out. Change some details on your offer to possibly get more hits. If after that you didn’t get any offers, it’s probably because no one here is interested. There is no need to bump your thread again and again (and again) if you don’t change anything in your proposal.

    • Let Us Know When You're Done. If you've successfully completed a purchase/sale/trade, please edit your initial post and change the topic title to include (preferably in all caps) the word "CLOSED". This lets moderators know your trade is complete and gives them permission to lock your thread. As you're doing this it may be a good time to thank all those who sent you offers or replied to your post.

  2. Trading or buying online should not be taken lightly. It is important to realize that dealing over the Internet is a very serious thing, and that transactions completed online are as valid and as serious as when you buy something from the store. That also means that deals gone badly can lead to legal actions, including fines, criminal records or even detention or jail time. Bottom line is that any transaction made online shouldn't be taken lightly. If you enter a deal, be prepared to complete your end of it.

  3. Make sure the seller/trader is a serious person. Someone with just a few posts selling a brand new 4483 AT-AT set for $50 is somehow a little suspicious. A seller/trader should always be able to provide you with some kind of feedback (from eBay, Bricklink or the Straight Shooters’ list) of his prior dealings to sustain his(her) reputation as a serious person to deal with. If you’re worried about the other member’s reputation (or lack of), you can ask them to send out their end of the deal first. Another solution is to use a trusted third party to handle the transaction for you, both sending to him and him sending out all the items when all received. The bottom line is this: if the other person cannot provide any kind of feedback, be cautious. You can trust the person in good faith, but take as many precautions as you can to protect yourself if something goes wrong.

  4. Get all the facts before paying or sending anything. So, the trader/seller has the item you wanted for a long time, and his price fits you. OK, but did you get all the facts you needed before you hand out your item or your hard earned money? Here are some questions to help you out:
    • Is the item new in a factory sealed box, or is it used? And if used, was it built once and displayed only, or used often by a 6 year old?
    • Is the item complete or missing elements (parts, minifigs, instructions, box, etc.)?
    • If you're buying, how much is it going to cost you in shipping and handling?
    • If you're trading, how much will it cost you to ship your item to him?
    • How will the item be shipped? Loose in an envelope? In a box? Bubble wrapped? If you're trading, how will you ship your end?
    • By what type of service is it going to be shipped? USPS? FedEx? UPS? Ground? Air? Express?
    • How long approximately will you have to wait for the set? How long will the other have to wait for his item to arrive?

  5. Get your trading partner's information. First and foremost, deals should not be concluded over Private Messaging on an online forum. You should get the email address of the person you're dealing with and confirm it before going ahead with the transaction. That way, if something goes wrong with either the forum or your transaction, you can always contact the other person. Also, it's not a bad idea to get the person's real name, home address and phone number. Serious dealers won't mind giving you that type of information as long as you agree not to use that information for other purposes. Again, if something goes wrong, you have multiple ways to contact the other dealer. Finally, when dealing with someone with a P.O. box, it’s always a good idea to get the home address of the person as well, because a P.O. Box is not always easy to trace back to a "real" person if something goes wrong.

  6. Double-check everything! You should double-check everything before completing the transaction. Did the other person get all your information correctly? Did you both agree on the same things (price, shipping date and method, items involved, etc.)? Did you get the person's info correctly?

  7. The method of payment. The first and most important rule is that you should never ever send cash in an envelope to a stranger. Why? Because you have no way to prove you did send the money, and you have no proof that the seller did receive it. Also, although the regular mail is somewhat reliable in North America, it's not always the case, and money in an envelope is way too easy to steal. That being said, there are lots of other methods of payment out there: money orders, personal checks, etc. The basic rule here is to be able to prove you have paid the amount required, and have proof that the seller did get his money. An even safer way is one that provides you with the possibility to get your money back if you don't receive what you have paid for. PayPal, Google Check and other electronic transfer of funds methods now provide you with that additional security.

  8. Follow-up on your transaction
    Since dealing online is serious business, you should keep in constant communication with the person you are dealing with while the transaction is not completed. You have just sent him his payment/item? Send him an email to notify him of that. He didn't notify you of when the shipment went out? Ask him about it. You just got your package? Send the dealer a thank you note, and post your feedback for others to see. Keeping the lines of communication open with the person you're dealing with is the best way to insure he will deliver the goods as promised.
copyright
 
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Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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