Congratulations! You won your bid on eBay or negotiated a successful price on ClassicCars.com, GunBroker.com or one of the many other consumer marketplaces around the web. Now that you’ve secured your prize, what’s next? Have you decided how to pay the seller? Was shipping part of the deal you negotiated? Closing the auction or negotiating a price is just the start… now you have to close the transaction safely and securely.
Agree on Payment
Many auctions sites will list ways in which the seller is agreeable to being paid, but don’t actually provide a payment process. If the seller is agreeable or if you’re unable to pickup the item in person, online escrow services are an excellent way to protect both the buyer and seller through the payment and shipping process – especially if both parties are separated by large distances and are relative unknowns to each other.
While wiring funds directly may seem like a good idea, escrow allows for funds to be held securely until there is proof that the purchased items has either shipped or arrived safely at its final destination. It also protects the seller from the risk of insufficient funds or credit card charge backs by verifying and holding the total purchase price securely in a third party escrow account.
Price & Schedule Shipping
Shipping costs will vary wildly depending on what you’ve purchased. Shipping a car or RV is very different from simply packaging a watch or cell phone, so be sure to shop around when it comes to selecting a shipper. Companies like uShip.com can help arrange shipping for any number of items, while others – like Montway.com – specialize in verticals like vehicle shipping or freight. Once the shipping has been squared away, it’s important to communicate and tracking or receipt numbers to both parties.
Pay Your Tab
Once you have the payment method and shipping all lined up, there’s nothing left to do but pull the trigger! Keeping open lines of communication an documenting messages throughout the entire process is imperative. Payment and document tracking platforms like PaySAFE can be a real life saver as all communications and financial processes are time-stamped and logged in a transaction history that both parties can access during and after the transaction itself.