Paypal/Cash Trading Best Practices Use these guidelines to help reduce risk when trading with paypal/cash. This list represents the most comprehensive approach accumulated from months of trading, getting paypal scammed myself, talking with others who have been scammed, and talking with senior Paypal staff on multiple occasions (including a supervisor who has done game-for-paypal trading in the past). 1. ALWAYS first check if the user is listed as a scammer at UTC or SourceOP via SteamRep.com (click here for more info). Also, be extremely careful to make sure they (or your middleman, if you're using one), isn't an imposter either -- this is a common scam tactic right now (example screenshot). Also, consider making them join a UTC server before any trading occurs (SteamRep has a delay before UTC bans will appear in it). 2. Use a trusted middleman. A middleman holds the item for the seller while the payment is sent, and once the payment is confirmed received, the middleman gives the item to the buyer. This protects you from "I gave the item to the buyer, but he didn't pay" and "I paid the seller, but he didn't give me the item". Be sure you use someone trustworthy, such as a SteamRep Middleman, a SourceOP Trusted Seller or a UTC Admin. 3. Realize and accept the danger of Paypal trading. If the buyer claims unauthorized usage of their credit card/bank account later on, the payment will be reversed (a.k.a charged back) and there is nothing you can do about it. 4. As a seller, consider requesting Moneypak as an alternative to Paypal if you are concerned about chargebacks. Moneypak is just a cash gift card. They are readily available at major shopping centers like Wal-Mart, KMart, Wallgreens pharmacies, and even 7-Eleven. The store charges $5 per card, so you will need to discuss who will be paying that fee. The buyer gives you the number on the card and you simply deposit the money from it into your Paypal account. How does this protect you? Well, very simply, the store selling the Moneypak card is the one taking the risk, not you. If the buyer claims unauthorized usage of their credit card, the store gets charged back, not you. You can think of it like the buyer paying for cash back at the grocery store with their credit card and then giving that cash to you. Now, while this completely protects the seller, this puts more burden on the buyer -- it takes time to go to the store to get one, and they have to worry about the seller claiming the card "didn't work" even if they took the money off it. 5. Gain as much trust in the other person as possible. __A. Avoid users with private backpacks __B. Prefer users with a history of transactions several months long. __C. Prefer users with a reputable steam account ____i. Has been around at least a year. ____ii. Has lots of games on the account. ____iii. Has played those games for lots of hours (especially TF2). __D. Prefer users who have incentive to protect their reputation. E.g. ____i. Are they well-known in the community? ____ii. Are they admin on a reputable server? ____iii. Are they a SourceOP Trusted Seller? ____iv. etc? __E. Consider calling them over the phone, or via other forms of personal contact. __F. See if they are friends with trusted community members. If so, ask these trusted people if they can vouch for the person. _________________ 6. As a seller, prefer smaller payments from multiple people __A. Sell your Sunbeams Kabuto for 7 max heads, rather than for $700. __B. Sell your 7 max heads to 7 different people, not all to the same person. 7. Recognize if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Use caution if someone wants to buy all your expensive items (or sell theirs to you), is unsolicited, doesn't really know what they're buying/selling, or is overpaying/willing to pay/receive whatever you want. 8. For Paypal, request funds sent as a gift (to prevent "item not received" claims). To check, in Paypal click "details" and look at the transaction's payment type. It will say "instant" if it was gifted. 9. For Paypal, write down the buyers steam id and Paypal purchase info and save it somewhere for future reference. (In case he later disputes it with paypal, you can remember who he was and at least get him banned.) There's always risk when money is involved. But it can also be very safe and a lot of fun if you find trustworthy people to trade with.