Handling a deposit through Paypal

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2Xtreme21

Diamond Member
Jun 13, 2004
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I'm in Pittsburgh and a guy in Morgantown, WV (about 1hr away) is selling a bike I've been eyeing on Craigslist and eBay for some time now. I called him today and he said he's gotten many calls about it and many are making plans to see it before Saturday, so I asked him if he'd be willing to hold the bike til I get a chance to see it on Saturday if I gave him a deposit. He said he'd get back to me later in the evening after he met with a potential buyer today.

9:00pm rolled around and no call. I shoot him a quick text message asking if the bike was sold, and he responded that it indeed had. I replied thanking him, etc. and he likewise.

9:30pm, he calls me saying the guy who he sold it to called him and asked him to rip up the check as he didn't have the funds available. He, assumingly, obliged, and said I'm up if I'm still interested. He emailed me his paypal email (verified) and he has perfect (albeit small) ebay feedback. Said he'd let me know tomorrow afternoon if the original buyer didn't come around or anything.

As it can be assumed, I'm hesitant to give him $400 out of the blue, but I have an inkling that he won't screw me. Still, the possibility exists, but any ideas how I can get some kind of "collateral" with him? I'll use paypal to xfer the funds, but I'm not sure if they give any kind of insurance on that on just straight cash transfers. Maybe I could ask him for his home address before making the xfer?

Anyone ever encounter a similar situation? What would you do? I hate to be naive, but I do believe most people are good-- and the bike is a reasonable deal (but not unbelievable).

Cliffs:
- Found a motorcycle I like on craigslist and ebay (same guy, same bike)
- Called him on the phone, said the bike was not available as another buyer was coming to look at it today, but he'd call if he didn't sell.
- Didn't call, sent him a msg asking if it's sold, it was.
- Half hour later, he called me saying the original buyer called him and told him he could no longer afford it and asked if I was still interested.
- Agreed on a $400 paypal deposit to hold the bike until Saturday when I can go see it.
- Seems like a reasonable guy (according to CL he's selling his bike because he's doing a residency)-- 100% ebay feedback (7 transactions).
- Ideas for collateral?
 

jme5343

Platinum Member
Nov 21, 2003
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Remember that the "stand up guy" thing goes both ways. If he's really that sincere, and he knows you're legitimately interested, why wouldn't he hold the bike for you without the deposit...or at the least a smaller deposit of $100 or so?
 

octopus41092

Golden Member
Feb 23, 2008
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I don't trust it.

eBay doesn't mean shit especially if it's only 7.
Haven't seen the bike or met the guy in person yet.
$400 is kind of a lot for deposit.
Don't think Paypal would cover that either
 

2Xtreme21

Diamond Member
Jun 13, 2004
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Seems the consensus is on caution. I think you guys are right-- I plan to head down there tomorrow after work and see it.
 
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