Cozzies For Sale - GuysRead This If You Don't Want To Be Ripped Off!
By oz_helen Comments: 11196, member since Sat Aug 10, 2002
On Tue Apr 27, 2010 05:00 AM
Made sticky by oz_helen (35388) on 2010-04-27 05:05:19
Once again, we have had a spate of members who have joined DDN essentially to rip off sellers.
It is far too easy for this to happen. Word is out amongst the disco community that you can have costumes sent out without payment or even deposit on this site. A new member joins, gets their 20 comments up as quickly as possible, mostly by posting about how interested they are in costumes, then when someone takes the bait, has a costume sent out to either a real or false address, never to be seen again (until it possibly turns up later after being sold to an unsuspecting buyer).
What can DDN do about it after the fact? Not much, unfortunately. We can (and have in the past) ban members for abuse of the boards, but this doesn't get your money or costume back. The only way after the fact is to get the police involved.
What can we all do to prevent this?
1. Arrange for costumes to be tried on only at competitions.
2. If you MUST send costumes out, only do so after receiving payment. A cheque in your hand isn't good enough, as payment can be stopped and cheques can bounce. Ideally, cheques should clear before the costume is sent.
3. Refund money for returned costumes immediately. This ensures goodwill between buyers and sellers.
4. Check the contact details given before sending costumes out. In a recent case, the school that was named as the one a fraudulent member attended, had never heard of the "real" name that was used by this member and wasn't even a competition school. Another school simply didn't even exist.
5. Read the Negative Feedback thread.
6. Keep an eye on the Administration board.
7. Mod-report any suspicious members or anyone breaking the posting rules on the For Sale boards. Yes, this means reporting people who say "Gorgeous cozzie!" Don't call them out on the boards, because then they'll know we're onto them and will be less likely to slip up. Mod-report them. It's quick and gets the message to the right people fast. This latest bust involved ten separate accounts and the only reason they were found in the first place is because one person mod-reported one of the accounts. However, costumes had unfortunately already been sent out and this didn't come to light until after many of the accounts were banned.
8. Don't be afraid to go against the grain. I know that sending out costumes without payment is the way you've always done it, but it makes you vulnerable to fraud and theft. Nobody should think any less of you if you begin a new way of doing things: a better and safer way.
Helen and the mod squad