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Hey there! Quick advice post.

Pretty much, I've had an old fursuit casually available for sale for a while. Someone contacts me expressing interest at my full asking price. We exchange a few notes back and forth establishing things, and they seem really interested. I was a little put off by how loosely they typed, per se, but some people are just really chatspeaky?

But, due to their profile saying they were 15(!), I Googled their handle a bit. I was able to find their Furbuy profile, with two people leaving negative feedback for nonpayment.

The thing is, they offered to pay via money order. I guess my question is, is there any real harm in assuming good faith and seeing if they mail me a money order? They can't really be charge-backed or anything, right? Were they wanting to pay with Paypal I would have already declined, I guess I'm just wondering if there's any potential harm other than wasted time in seeing if I actually receive payment. Thanks for any advice!

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
duster
Feb. 23rd, 2014 12:24 am (UTC)
I just wouldn't do business with minors, period. They can't enter in business contracts so if something goes wrong (and money orders can go wrong) you're screwed.

If they already have bad feedback and they're a minor, that's a big red flag. I wouldn't do that deal.
foxhack
Feb. 23rd, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
Money Orders can be faked. Western Union ones are especially loved by scammers.
sacch
Feb. 23rd, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
Agreeing with the first commenter. It is in your best interest to avoid doing business with minors, even if they have GOOD feedback, for legality reasons. Most of the time if a transaction goes sour, they can't always fix it.

A lot of the time, the parents have to be the ones responsible, and how are they to fix the problem if they don't even know what their child is buying most of the time? As crappy as it is, I've heard of a lot of underage people do buy art (sometimes NSFW) without their parents knowing and/or consenting, which can lead to sticky situations.

Because of this I absolutely refuse to do business with anyone under the age of 18, period, and I strongly encourage others to do the same. I dodged a bullet after adopting this policy.

To share my experience: I ran into a client attempting to commission me some time ago. Details were discussed, and when I gave them my paypal and told them to send payment, I never received it; I asked, and they claimed their paypal was "delayed," which I knew was a lie. I checked their profile and it said their age was 15. I cancelled the transaction once I saw that. I asked around and in the end found out that person had scammed several artists who didn't take payment upfront.
lazer_the_hyena
Feb. 23rd, 2014 12:35 am (UTC)
If anything, I would ask to be put into contact with the parents/guardians and discuss any sales via telephone. Other than that, avoidddd!
dspki
Feb. 23rd, 2014 12:36 am (UTC)
I have to agree with Duster on this. I would feel uncomfortable doing business with minors because if something does go wrong there isn't much to do unless you get parents involved or something. And I doubt that will go well to be honest.

And definitely with the negative feedback too. It just adds more suspicion and I wouldn't risk it. I understand having good faith and seeing the best in people but you don't want to get screwed out of not getting money from this.
thecreativepen
Feb. 23rd, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
I agree with the above person suggesting contact with the parents. If this person is legitimate, and they have permission to make the purchase, the parents should be more than happy to work with you to finalize it.

Otherwise, if you're in trouble, there's nothing there to help you.

And as a warning, money orders/checks/ect CAN be faked, as mentioned above. There's also a chance they don't have permission to use the money they have, and they're trying to do a transaction with no paper trail.

A family member was selling items online, and the person attempted to pull the "oh, my accountant drew up the wrong amount, can you send the leftover money back to me and keep the rest for yourself?" scam. Luckily they were smart enough to not fall for it.

When I looked at the check, it looked real at first until I thoroughly inspected it. The bank address didn't match up, it wasn't printed on typical payroll paper, and there were no security markings on it. If your bank or money order attendant wasn't attentive, they may try to initially send it through and credit you the money; when it comes back as fake, they can withdraw the money back out of your account.

Minors + money orders = bad news to me.
kayfox
Feb. 23rd, 2014 02:16 am (UTC)
Quick technical detail about the age in profiles on FA: Its just a number you put in. So it can be out of date or just plain fictitious.

Unless you really think there are that many 2 year olds on FA.
timelapsedecay
Feb. 23rd, 2014 03:27 am (UTC)
Where there's smoke, there's fire. I'd avoid it completely
bio_pelt
Feb. 23rd, 2014 06:56 am (UTC)
Yep. Never do business with a minor.

Especially with a bad reputation. Chat speak is more than enough a reason for me to not take them seriously for such a large purchase in the first place.. Don't do it.

EDIT: BTW Money Orders are a favorite tool of scammers. They are very unsafe and I would recommend never accepting them as a form of payment. Whoever doesn't have a bank account anyways shouldn't be buying something from you, there's no reason they can't set up a paypal in a few business days.

Edited at 2014-02-23 07:17 am (UTC)
skulldog
Feb. 23rd, 2014 07:10 am (UTC)
Been said a few times, Minors and money never a good combo. If you really want to continue, ask for a parent to sign then fax/mail a physical signature. MOs CAN be faked, and CAN be revoked as long as it's done in a very short time frame, so you are not completely able to avoid issues unless you cash the MO and wait up to a month. ASK for a parent/guardian to sign a release if you want to continue, as that will be more legally binding, and more likely to avoid issues with payments.
thaily
Feb. 23rd, 2014 09:38 am (UTC)
Run, do not walk, the other way.

Minors can't be held to their word on purchasing, especially not on such a pricey item. If you ever get the money (and ship the suit) I'm pretty sure the parents could legally just demand the money back and you'd be out of the money and probably out of the suit as well.

Leave it up as is, casually for sale. If it's not sold in 3 years they can try again.
yarbro
Feb. 23rd, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC)
I agree with everyone here. Not worth the risk.
snobahr
Feb. 24th, 2014 03:42 am (UTC)
"Dear [name], Thank you for your interest in my fursuit. Unfortunately, I will only sell it to a person who has reached their legal majority."
tealmoonxiv
Feb. 24th, 2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
A minor and bad feedback?
That would be a huge NOPE for me.
ljmydayaway
Feb. 24th, 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
My biggest concern with someone sending a money order is that they could claim they sent it out to you, but you never receive it, and then they smear your name all over or force you to give them free art via blackmail.

The secondary concern is that the money order would be fake, but if you insist on a USPS money order, then there's less of a chance of it backfiring on you (because you can cash those at Post Offices where they have to check the serial number before they cash it).
werewolfofwater
Feb. 28th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Minors = nope.
Money orders = nope.
Just...don't.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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