Best Practices - Buying / Selling / Mailing

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Up and Over
A collection of the best suggestions for Buying / Selling / Mailing items on the SBF message board...


1) is not responsible for any transactions between users. You must use caution buying and selling through the internet. It is your responsibility to protect your own interests when buying or selling an item.

2) DO NOT send a Paypal payment as a gift. Yes it will save you a few dollars, however, if you have an issue with a seller you will not be able to file a dispute with paypal for a refund.

3) Investigate the buyer/seller you are dealing with - Check the iTrader & Sales Feedback Sections (along with a general search of other posts) to see what kind of history is available. Here are the two main links:

iTrader Section

Sales Feedback Section

4) Be comfortable with the party you're transacting with. Ask for their full name, address, phone number. They should be agreeable to this if you supply the same to them. Call and talk with them on the phone BEFORE sending money or the item if you have any concerns.

5) Leave Feedback - Use the iTrader & Sales Feedback Section of the board - it's to everyone's advantage. When a transaction is successful, let everyone know so that reputations can be established. Likewise, if there is a solid problem with the way a member makes deals (not simply some hiccup in the process), let the board know the info in an unbiased, honest, two-sided explanation.

6) Keep copies of all of your communications during the deal process. This will help others (or the authorities) to see the proof of your interactions and exactly how this has been handled. After you are 100% satisfied (along with all others) that the deal is completed fairly and without problems, then you can decide whether to keep the details any longer.

Buyer Issues:

1) Look carefully at the description of the item being offered. Ask for clarification before offering to buy something if you are unsure of the quality, usage, model variation, etc.

2) Use the Private Message (PM) system to make offers unless the seller asks you to post in the thread. This keeps your dealings confidential and allows both parties to be more open. If you are taking the deal straight up (as offered without further negotiations) then Post In The Thread that you absolutely want the item. The deal is not done until the seller communicates they have accepted, so don't just PayPal without consent.

3) Be confident of the seller. See the general notes about name,address,ph#, etc.

4) Be clear with your offer to buy. Recap what you expect to receive and clearly state what you are willing to pay.


6) Sellers expect payment in a timely manner. Within 2-days (exclude weekends) you should have the payment made or in the mail, unless you have specifically made other arrangements with the seller. When you've made the payment, notify the seller. If you have ANY problem meeting the 2-day expectation, communicate with the seller IMMEDIATELY. Prevent misunderstandings.

7) If you are dealing with someone who has shipped the item before payment, BE SURE YOU PAY IMMEDIATELY AFTER RECEIVING THE ITEM. There's no excuse for late payment when someone has already delivered the goods.

8) If you are new (less than 6 months) or have limited feedback, expect to wait for your payment to clear with the bank/issuer for the seller before your item is actually shipped. This may take extra time. It's just a part of getting your reputation in order.

9) Allow sufficient time for the seller to receive your payment. After receiving your payment, you should allow the seller the same 2-day window (as you got) to get the item shipped. Be patient and communicate any issues clearly.

10) When you receive the package, check it for content with the delivery person present, if possible. This can help your insurance claims if needed.

11) Provide timely feedback to the seller that you received the item and are satisfied with the transaction. Leave feedback in that section of the SBF message board. If there were problems, only post information that is unbiased, honest and expresses both sides of the issue.

Seller Issues:

1) BE CLEAR. List your item in the right section. Provide all relevant details (age,condition,weight,size,etc.). Help the buyers understand what you are selling without them having to send a hundred PMs to drag out the details.

2) PROVIDE PICTURES OF THE ITEM. This will go a long way to answer questions. Try to get clear pictures against a neutral background.

3) List a total price (or trade info) for your items with whatever conditions apply (Price should include PayPal, Insurance, Delivery Confirmation and shipping fees). Minimize PMs for more info.

4) Be specific about any payment conditions such as PayPal only

5) WHEN YOU ACCEPT AN OFFER - KEEP YOUR WORD - EVEN IF MORE MONEY IS OFFERED BY SOMEONE ELSE!! And edit your 1st posting in the thread to indicate that the item is SOLD (perhaps pending payment) so others know the scoop.

6) The first person to accept your offer should be the chosen buyer unless there is a really good reason to refuse (not just other offers). Typically, negotiate with one buyer at a time to reach a deal, like 1st come - 1st served. SBF isn't running an auction site like e-b-a-y so minimize negotiating with multiple buyers at the same time - that just gets messy and someone usually feels used - or at least be upfront with everyone that the 1st to reach a deal will get the item.

7) Be confident about the buyer. See the general notes about name,address,ph#, etc.

8) If you are new (less than 6 months) or have limited feedback, expect to ship your item before the buyer sends payment. Be sure you are shipping to someone who has an established reputation. The buyer should send payment within 2-days of receiving the item. It's just a part of getting your reputation in order. (If you are uncertain of shipping directly to the buyer before payment, you might consider using a GTG middleman - the details of such an interaction must be worked out with the buyer & middleman.)

9) Allow sufficient time for payment from the buyer. Give them at least 2-days (exclude weekends) to get the payment made or in the mail. Expect to hear from them when it has been made.

10) If you do not get the payment within 2-days (or confirmation of mailing), communicate with the buyer immediately to clear up any misunderstandings or problems. If you are unable to reach the buyer after these 2-days without payment, provide an email or PM letting them know that after another 24-hours without a response, the item will again be offered for sale to the next interested party.

11) Once a successful transaction is complete, post feedback in that section so that the buyer's reputation is established. If there were problems, only post information that is unbiased, honest and expresses both sides of the issue.

12) The bat description by the seller should be as honest as possible. All scratches, paint chips, dents, dings, waves should be disclosed. The type and condition of the Grip should be described.
If the Endcap is not 100%, it's condition should be explained. Some estimate of the number of hits should be provided if you know, such as 200, 500, 1000, or state UNKNOWN HITS.

Pictures are critical to communicating the bat condition. If at all possible, seller should post quality pictures in the first listing. As a last resort, pictures should be offered by email.

The following terms should ONLY have these meanings:

NIW - New In the Wrapper - NEVER HIT even once
- - - No modifications of any kind - Original Grip

NOW - New Out of the Wrapper - NEVER HIT even once
- - - No modifications of any kind - Original Grip

MINT - Fewer than 20 hits - ONLY minor scratches
- - -- No modifications such as 'down a hill' - Describe Grip

LIKE NEW - Fewer than 75 hits - ONLY minor scratches
- - -- No modifications such as 'down a hill' - Describe Grip

USED - ANY OTHER USAGE of the bat makes it USED
- - -- ALTERED BATS (are illegal and) are definitely USED

Mailing Issues:

I typically will use USPS because of the Mail Fraud Laws. But no method is 100% perfect. If you prefer UPS or Fedex, fine, but use these suggested packaging procedures to minimize losses.

1) Take pictures of the items you are sending as proof for insurance.

2) Package the items in a quality box. If it's been used and crushed before, find another box.

3) Securely tape the buyer's address to the item in case it really does 'accidentally' escape the box.

4) Triangle or Square boxes for bats are preferred for several reasons.The round tubes have a history of the cap cutting the tape (or a person) and being received empty. It's harder to identify that the cap has been opened. The triangles are free from (order 10 free online to have some on-hand) and these can be better taped closed. If you insist on using a tube, be sure to staple the endcaps in place every two inches, then crisscross the endcaps with strapping tape (see below) and then wrap tape around the tube end to cover the ends of the strapping tape.

5) Use strapping tape rather than box tape... strapping tape has strands of string (maybe fiberglass) running the length of the roll. This is much harder to 'accidentally' break or cut. CHEAP TAPE is no bargain.

6) Tape over the ends of the box, then tape around the end of the box to double secure the tape you put over the ends.

7) Always purchase insurance and delivery confirmation. Include this coverage in your selling price.

8) Notify the buyer when you ship the package. Send an email with the tracking number (and pictures if you have them).

9) The buyer should check the box for weight (that it's not empty) BEFORE they sign for the delivery. If it IS empty, be sure the delivery person signs something that states it was delivered empty!

(10) Here is a link to Jobu2's Tutorial on using a USPS Shipping Account:

Handling Problems:

There will always be ripoff jerks... sometimes it's the seller, sometimes it’s the buyer, and sometimes it's the shipping company.... Following the listed advice will not guarantee a successful transaction, but it will go a long way toward minimizing bad transactions.

Payment not received: Or confirmed within 2-days (exclude weekends) <-> Notify the buyer that they have 24-hours to respond and make payment confirmation or the deal is dissolved.

Product info is unclear <-> Contact the seller BEFORE making an offer. Understand clearly what you are offering to buy. Ask for pictures to verify information.

Product is not shipped (or confirmed to have been shipped) within 2-days (exclude weekends) <-> Contact the seller (by phone if possible) and ask for confirmation information or determine the problem. Dealing openly and honestly at this point is critical. Get concrete agreement as to when and how the item will be shipped. The seller must now do everything possible (and necessary) to complete this deal above board. If both parties are properly communicating, try to resolve the problem within 5 weekdays. As a final resort, bring the issue to the board to help the seller understand their responsibilities.

Product is not as represented <-> Contact the seller immediately to notify them you received the item but that it is not what you expected. Dealing openly and honestly at this point is critical. Review all the information provided by the seller during the deal. Perhaps you overlooked something or failed to ask about the problem area. If you ASSUMED something without confirming it with the seller, you share the burden of the final result. Both the seller and buyer must be acting in good faith to accomplish a successful transaction. Try to work out a resolution that is fair and satisfactory to both parties.

Insurance Claims <-> The amount of insurance you can claim is the lesser of the provable item value or the amount of insurance purchased. In other words, if you insure your bat for $500 but can only show a receipt for $300, you can only claim $300 even though you paid for insurance of $500. Most claims will require you to show a receipt (or establish current value in an acceptable way) before the shipper will pay on your claim.

The USPS (post office)
has the following online Insurance Claim Information:

UPS has the following online Insurance Claim Information: UPS Link for Insurance Information

Fedex has the following online Insurance Claim Information: Fedex Link for Insurance Information

FRAUD IN THE BUY/SELL SECTIONS should be taken seriously by all involved. When all else fails bring the matter to the SBF message board for opinions. Where fraud has occured, seek the advice of a lawyer and contact the proper authorities to find a resoution.

USPS - Mail Fraud Reporting Form:

FBI - Internet Fraud Complaint Center:

Happy Buying/Selling/Trading

Last edited:
Im going to add a bit, some of which may be a repost of the above. I don't care.


• Provide DETAILED and ACCURATE descriptions of your items.

• Provide pictures of your items, clean your items before taking pix, presentation is everything!!!

• List the best way to contact you, email, PM, cell, trailhead, etc...

• List forms of payments accepted; paypal, cash, etc...

• Once item is sold, edit your first/last post as "SOLD" and we'll lock up the thread.


• Keep your opinions of the original posters prices and/or products respectful. If you object to a price, drop him/her a PM about it. Thank you.

• Please keep the off topic discussion to PM.
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