Sometimes, if it’s too good to be true it usually is. Other times people only see what they want to see, then, when the honeymoon is over the truth comes into focus. Business choices and decisions require a sober mind and a strong grip on emotions. If someone wants something too much, if they’ve convinced themselves they are not walking away, too often critical terms are overlooked and outcomes become disastrous.
My wife and I considered selling a couple of our ATV’s we had. Our kids are growing up and the quads were just sitting around too much. We decided to sell them using Kijiji since my wife does most of her shopping through there anyway (we are loyal customers). We took a few pictures, decided on listing them for about 10-15% below local market price and posted our ad.
After a couple days we were emailed by someone who seemed interested. In fact they seemed very desperate, some sort of emergency. They asked a little about the ATV’s history and we e-mailed back. They e-mailed their acceptance and said they would take them both but would like to see them first. I e-mailed my availability.
The reply was a little shocking. They were located 2200 miles from my home (so how then were they planning on seeing them). They stated they would pay me exactly what I wanted and make arrangements to have the ATV’s couriered after I got confirmation of a pay pal deposit into my account.
The situation was a simple business transaction that appeared normal. Offer to purchase, arrangements for payment and pickup, piece of cake. If I was desperate to sell them I wouldn’t have thought any further. But let’s take a closer look at the details and see if it made logical sense what was being said and offered.
Shipping two ATV’s 2200 miles across Canada was not going to be cheap. In fact they would end up adding a minimum of 35% to the purchase price (probably closer to 50%). The end cost to the purchaser would be 125+% of my asking price.
Market price differs across Canada. Many people buy in one location and sell in another because price differs that much geographically. As an example Alberta generally pays more for things than do those in the Maritime. So why would the buyer agree to purchase an ATV above their local cost, then arrange shipping on top? It defies business and money logic.
Making sound business decisions sometimes requires developing “spider sense”, the ability to sense danger without anything being visible. When the spider sense starts tingling stop what you are doing and take a close look at your surrounding situation.
Every business decision requires trust. The key, however, is verifying the accuracy of claims and have recourse if the facts turn out to be extremely off.
Checks are a legal document that can be taken to court and have enforced. Even if that check had a stop payment assigned to it, it does not stop the validity of the original intent (transfer funds from a specific account to the recipient). A check retains the power of legal recourse. Electronic transfers do not retain nearly as much legal recourse as our electronic society thinks.
Pay pal in the minds of many is perceived to have no legal difference than a check. But it can. Pay pal account names and tracking features (often times international) are not nearly as accessible as is a local check with a printed address and signature on it. Finally, how are you going to find the owner of the pay pal account when they are 2200 miles away (if that part of the story was even true)?
This story is not written to warn people of pay pal scams. It’s designed to inspire people to take logical inventory of the business choices they make.
If I would have been desperate to sell the quads, urgently needing the cash, I may have been tempted to think others are desperate enough to overpay for the ATV’s, blindly overlooking simple common sense logic. If I was desperate, I wouldn’t have considered questioning the means of payment and its legal difficulties. Desperate people convince themselves that desperate choices are actually reasonable.
Too much emotion should not be a part in business decisions.
When operators are looking to move their truck, too often they start the process in desperate situations, where patience may not even be an option. They end up settling for something they didn’t really want, because they didn’t really have the time to make an educated decision. They retained too much blind faith, and drank too much coffee.
Heaven and hell are in the details.
BTW: a quick internet search confirmed my suspicions. There are many pay pal scams going around (google: pay pal scams). This scam has nothing to do with pay pal, the scammers are only trying to find real pay pal and bank account information and get gullible people to send THEM money. Apparently not all scams come from Nigerian Royalty. These shysters have a lot of nerve, they are bold liars.