The vast majority of transactions are conducted by honest and sincere parties, but there are always exceptions. Dishonest people may use a number of methods to defraud someone of money or merchandise. There are some steps you can take to dramatically reduce the chances of being victimized by fraudulent activity. While deception is a very rare occurrence at Audiogon, every transaction should be carefully examined before anything changes hands.
Unfortunately, Audiogon is not immune to this common threat found across the net. Beware of any email you receive that is asking you to login or change your password, these emails will look real and appear to be from Audiogon. However, they are intended to capture your login information and then access your account. All emails from Audiogon will be from @audiogon.com if the email address does not end @audiogon.com it is not from us. We will never ask you for your password.
Item not as described
The most common problem for buyers is when the item arrives in a condition other than what the seller had described/promised. Sometimes it is a simple matter of oversight on the seller's part, and other times it is an intentional misrepresentation.
Physical condition is considerably worse than described
if the appearance is important to you, make sure the seller understands how important the appearance is to you. Some sellers, either through carelessness or with intent, will not mention minor imperfections or discolorations.
Calling an item "mkII" even though it is not the updated version.
If the exact update version is important to you (in terms of sound or resale value), ask very specifically if the item was a "factory mkII" or upgraded from a previous version. Ask how the seller knows that for sure, and if they will provide the serial number to you.
Item is never received
If a seller fails to ship an item after payment has been made and you do not hear from them for 48 hours, you should contact Audiogon Support. Ultimately, if the seller ceases communication and it seems that shipment will not be made, the buyer should report the issue to Paypal or their credit card provider in order to dispute the transaction.
The Seller is always responsible for refunding payments to a buyer when an item arrives in a damaged state. It is also the responsibility of the seller to file a claim when insurance has been purchased on the shipment. The buyer should work with the seller to help them with any information necessary to file the claim.
Item lost in Shipping
If an Item is lost in shipping, the same precedent will be followed as in “Shipping Damaged” above.
Payment is not sent
Give 48 hours and if payment is not received you have the freedom to cancel the transaction. Audiogon will be happy to provide a free re-list.
Payment vehicle is invalid
Audiogon only allows Verified Paypal payment or valid credit cards. This is to protect our sellers. If a buyer's payment method is invalid, we would suggest having the buyer reach out to Support for us to help them add a valid payment method to complete the transaction.
Buyer claims item is not as described
We require sellers to deliver item as described and we rely heavily on the buyer being honest about the condition upon delivery. We rarely have buyers falsely reporting a wrongly described item because there is little to no incentive. Your best form of security here is disclosing any pertinent piece of information.
If item is damaged in shipping, seller is ALWAYS responsible for refunding the buyer, regardless of who paid for the shipping or whether or not there is insurance on the shipment. If shipping insurance is purchased through Audiogon then Audiogon will work to get seller a refund for damages. If label is purchased directly from carrier, then seller will need to reach out to carrier directly.
Deal is too good to be true
Rarely will an item be listed for significantly less than the market demands
Buyer is too eager to pay your price
Overeager buyers should be vetted especially well. Take time to research their past buying history and email back and forth with them to get a feel for why they are interested in your product. Ultimately, if something feels off to you then trust your judgment and err on the side of caution.
Requesting Offsite Transactions
Keeping your transaction on site will eliminate a majority of fraud. On-site payments can only be made via Verified PayPal accounts or, if opted in, Audiogon Express Checkout. Audiogon Express Checkout leverages the power of Stripe to allow sellers to accept direct credit card payments. Stripe's fraud prevention tools are built into every transaction, protecting sellers from fraud, without blocking legitimate customers.
Once a transaction is taken off-site, Audiogon no longer has the tools and ability to help mediate for a Seller/Buyer when and if a deal goes south. Bad actors understand this and will often push to move things off-site.
Filing a Dispute/Complaint with Audiogon
While Audiogon has no ability to insure or force any user to comply with any rules or laws, we do have a process that offers a formalized inquiry into the transaction. Submit a transaction dispute ticket.
Contacting the other party's local police
If you are quite sure that you have been defrauded, you should first contact the local sheriff's office nearest to the other party. The level of interest in consumer to consumer fraud seems to vary dramatically from state to state and county to county, but your best hope for loss recovery is with the police/sheriff nearest the other party.
Reporting fraud to State/National agencies
We have assembled a page of links for national and state level agencies that take reports on fraud. While it is hard to predict any results or recovery of losses, it is possible that other people have lodged complaints against the same individual and company. You may find your local agencies via the USA.gov website.