When selling items that have a substantial price, how do you folks accept payment ? Do you require USPS money orders, certified cashiers bank checks, or personal checks and wait till they clear? How long does it take for a personal check to clear? Thanks, mike
On large sums I always use bank checks, I use them for both buying and selling that way I'm protected either way. When I'm buying there is no delay in the transaction because the seller is protected and when I'm selling I'm protected.
A personal check can take up to 10 business days to totally clear. Banks often run a personal check through twice, which means extra time before you know it was rubber. I would go for a certified bank check and on a bank you know. I would even go so far as to take the check to a branch of that bank and cash it. There will be a fee if you don't bank with them, but it might be worth it. Once you have good old cash in your hand. I think you are pretty safe. Who said cash is going out of style just hasn't had a check bounce a week after you deposit it.
While Postal Money Orders (USPS) could have been stolen, they are as close to cash as you can get. But almost immediate notice will be given, if they are stolen, while you're at the counter. Hold item(s) until you have cash in hand.
A check is a check. It doesn't matter if it's bank check, certified check, personal check or money order from a local quick stop. It's a check and as such will need time to process or "clear".
Checks from US banks can take up to 10 days to clear. Checks from foreign banks can take up to 90 days to clear. And this is how some scammers work. They'll open an account on a US bank using a foreign bank check. While that check is "in process", they write checks on the US bank account(s). The ultimate looser is the person holding the last check.
Electronic transfer of funds (ETF) is the only way to go on large transactions. You get your money within an hour or two and you know it's good. On small stuff I always take personal checks, local bank can clear them for me in three days. Most of the time I don't even worry about that anymore because car people are the best people!
Best Method of payment would be CASH or BANK WIRES
Visa or Mastercard.
The transaction and payment can be made immediately, the seller is protected, and so is the buyer if the seller misrepresents. Disputes usually fall in favor of the buyer.
Occasionally on the classifieds, I see where an item is sold, pending payment, then is back on the market.
Visa or Mastercard, yes, has a cost to the seller, but the expediting of the transaction, the certainty of the sale, and the certainty of being paid for the product greatly outweighs the cost.
Using, and accepting, a Visa or Mastercard means both parties want the transaction and the merchandise is as represented.
In person - cash
Over a distance - bank wire transfer
Cash is King
Bank wire transfer is cheapest & safest way to transfer funds for both Seller & Buyer.
I had never done a wire transfer until recently. It is easy to do at any local branch banking office. It took about an hour for the money to be "transmitted" and I got confirmation once that was complete. They made it very clear that once the money was out of my account there was no getting it back and they even had a system of checks and balances with multiple clerks having to sign off on it. It seems to me that this would be the best way to get or send a large amount of funds.
There are NO risk free options here, even cash. Better believe if I sold a car for $35k I'd be checking each bill. Not too convenient in my opinion.
When selling to club members, I've never had a problem with personal checks.
As part of your research, don't forget to look at the fees involved. If someone writes you a personal check and you deposit it and it does not clear, most banks will charge YOU 35 or so. If you receive a wire transfer, some banks may charge you a percentage of the fee or a wire transfer fee up to $40. So it's up to you what you want to pay for peace of mind.
I sold a Rolls Royce one time and the buyer wanted to wire transfer and with the advice of the bank manager, I opened up a separate savings account with a $5 deposit. The wire transfer came in, I transferred it out into my regular account and closed the wire transfer account. That way the buyer had no access to my account or routing numbers and as has been stated above, once the funds are taken out, the bank has no recourse to recover them.
Bank Cashiers Checks or Money Orders would be my second choice. Most banks have a dollar limit on money orders as well as the USPS. Maybe $1,000.
I would NEVER use Western Union or MoneyGram as the fees are high and the odds of being scammed even higher.
All of my collector car sales and purchases over the years have been in-person cash transactions.
Gotta watch out for those Iranian printed Benjamin's!!!
"Get 'em on the phone and talk to them." Not too difficult to identify how far to trust them...
Stephen in South Texas is right, I got bit on a certified check after about ten days, and got some school, HKU, again. Also agree with Marv Konrad, you can usually tell who's trying to BS you. Merry Christmas, Dave in Bellingham,WA
Cash in person is not totally safe.
Some years ago, I was selling my '79 F-350 for $2500.00.
On a Sunday, I got a call from someone wanting to come take a look. He showed up. He wanted the truck. He handed me twenty five (25) $100.00 bills.
Five or six of them looked used, wrinkly, authentic. The other 19 or 20 looked absolutely perfect. I got mildly suspicious. I thanked him for coming, but that I'd changed my mind.
I called the Secret Service that afternoon; they told me that no, no bogus $100.00 bills were floating around.
Later the next week, I sold the truck to a guy who said, "Let's go to your bank, and I'll buy you a certified check", which we did.
About a couple of weeks later, the news reported some bad $100.00 bills were circulating in the Memphis area.
The original buyer could've bought my truck, with title, for $600.00 dollars and would've been able to disappear.
If the transaction is in person, go to your bank, or his, and buy a certified check. No one who's knowingly passing phony bills will dare hand them to a bank teller.
Loose nickels is the only way to go. No scammer is going to
stick around when you require payment in loose nickels.
I've had good results using PayPal using the "friend to friend "
option there are particular fees!!
In my experience, and from many people I have talked with, bank wire transfer is probably the most safe method. All other methods have been compromised by counterfeits, even USPS money orders.
Just yesterday, I posted the following on Gilbert F's thread:
" I had some talks with my banker a few years ago when one of my accounts became compromised. I had to recover monies stolen from me. Some of what I found out should scare you.
If you accept a check, deposit that check, and the banks (all three or four of them that will have to clear it) declare it good and pass it along, you think you are safe and send the car off into the night to its new owner (you think). If that check is in any way a counterfeit, a forgery, non authorized signature, restricted account? The owner/administrator of the account has at least 90 days to refuse it and send it back. Some circumstances can extend the 90 days to six months, or even a year to turn the check back through the various clearing houses. The time it takes to go through those clearing houses is slow. It is a failure, it must be examined closely, and by everyone that thinks he should be involved. All the "i"s must be properly dotted, all the "T"s perfectly crossed. That check that cleared halfway around the world in only a week, might take two months to get back to you.
Six months after you thought the car was sold and paid for and gone, checks cleared, money spent? The bank calls. They want their $100,000 back, today. And believe me, somewhere in all that bank's paper with fine print all over it, there is a statement that you agreed to that says that you will return any such monies so compromised.
Real or counterfeit checks connected to large accounts are often used for such activity. Such checks usually pass cursory examinations and contact inquiries. It often takes a couple months or more for the check to find its way back to its accounting or oversight department where its discrepancy can be found. "
I have heard of checks taking six months to go through the entire process and bounce back. When my checking account (paltry as it was) information was stolen, I had discussions with several officials (banking and law enforcement). The thing that made me the maddest of all, was everybody else's attitude. I got tired of being asked why I was so upset. After all, I was going to get my money back (about $600 that I needed). An online company was out the goods they had sold and shipped. Three different banks (including mine) had handled the transaction. and nobody but I was angry about it. I figure that the only reason nobody else was angry, was that because the fraud was committed through electronic transfers, the FDIC was probably going to cover the loss.
But guess who pays for that?
Just my short take on one of the realities in the new world.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2