Selling Tips – Step 8: Completing The Sale

With a bit of luck, you will now have found a buyer for your item. Maybe you accepted a slightly lower price they offered, maybe they didn’t barter. The key thing now is to get paid and get the item to the buyer.

  1. If the buyer is local, the logical option is for them to call by, double check the item is as described, possibly have a listen to it. Then pay cash and take the item away.
  2. Alternatively the etiquette is for the buyer to send payment and on confirmation its arrived/cleared, then post the item to them.

How best to accept payment:-

  1. Cash. The best option if the buyer is collecting. Never suggest a buyer posts cash, it won’t be insured for loss.
  2. PayPal. Pretty common these days and now ebay own them, this option will be heavily pushed for ebay auctions. The key advantage is instant payments. Payment protection (for buyers and sellers) is available, with a few provisos (the important one being proof of postage, only posting to confirmed addresses etc). This works both ways, so an unhappy buyer can potential reverse the payment, leaving the onus on you to prove you did right, to get your payment back. A not insignificant fee is taken from every transaction. Sending a ‘PayPal Gift’ avoids this fee, but offers no payment protection and is forbidden on some forums.
  3. Bank transfer. A reasonable option now many banks offer very fast transfer times. The payment can not be reversed by the buyer, so no worries there. However giving out bank account number and sort-codes to strangers, can leave you open to fraudulent transactions, as Jeremy Clarkson famously found out a few years ago.
  4. Cheque. A little neglected these days, now cheque guarantee cards have been discontinued. You will need to pay these in and wait for them to clear before you can safely send your item. After 6 days, the funds can not be withdrawn from your account without your consent, in the instance of a bounced cheque. i.e. you just need to contact your bank to get confirmation of clearing on the 7th day. More info can be found here: The Cheque and Credit Clearing Company – The cheque clearing cycle
  5. Bankers Draft. Similar to a cheque, but once written it is guaranteed to clear, they can not bounce and can not be cancelled. The bank writing the cheque will have confirmed funds were available. Banks often charge for writing, in region of £10-25, so only worthwhile for high value items.
  6. CHAPS. A bank-to-bank same day money transfer mechanism. Payments are irrevocable. Again banks will charge a substantial fee for these transactions, so only worthwhile for high value items. Also a good option for sending money abroad to buy goods.

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