While it may come as a surprise to some, there is risk in buying and selling personal items on line. People can and do become victimized by dishonesty. Because people are members of our community doesn't make them automatically honest nor does it make them automatically your friend. In fact there are people who make full time or part time livings by preying on forum communities.
We've had a couple of cases of fraud on this forum recently. My natural reaction is to close it down. Since two out of hundreds isn't an epidemic, I let it stay. But understand that trading with members of the community is done at your risk. I will not get involved in any trading that goes on here. I'm happy to ban the frauds but I can't get your money or your item back to you.
My advice is to do your buying from established and reputable on-online retailers. There are hundreds of thousands of them. Another option is Ebay which has fairly bomb proof buyer protection policies. The prevalent distribution system in the U.S. provides no seller protection. I should know. I make my living selling on the internet. Fraud is not uncommon. I suffer about $20,000 per year personally in losses to fraud and that is a tiny fraction of the attempts to defraud me. After a dozen years of selling on the internet we know all the tricks and are very good at spotting fraud. Nevertheless, we feel it fairly often.
If you sell something you are wide open to fraud. So understand that a seller should never, ever ship anything to a buyer without being fully paid. Do not ship your item on promises or credit. Do not do it. Buyers have protection. Sellers do not. Understand that clearly.
Finally, understand that, as a buyer, your protection comes in the form of the ability to do chargebacks on your credit card. That means you should do your on-line buying with debit or credit card or through one of the on-line payment services like Paypal or Moneybookers with an account backed by a credit card.
If we continue to encounter fraud on the trading post forum, I will close it as a protection to the community. it is supposed to be a service to the community.