If anything feel off, don’t send money. Only buy from members who have a real presence on this forum. Only buy parts where the seller posts or sends you pictures of the actual items for sale. Ask for references to sales to other forum members. Don’t buy anything where the deal seems too good to be true. Pay via PayPal goods and services so you have some buyer protection.
I've done considerable buying & selling online, via fellow forum members. But for one or two instances where I might have done a pinch more due diligence (as a buyer), my experience has been pretty good for a number of years now.
I vet buyers and sellers to the extent that I'm able. The benchmark is their online presence: how long, and how active? The Search function removes all mystery. My sniff test is pretty strict. Although it's quite rare for me to refuse to do business with an interested buyer, I'll not do so if my Spidey sense suggests not doing so.
PayPal Goods & Services for everything, full stop. On smallish transactions, I'll voluntarily send a few extra dollars to assist the seller with their fees, when their stated preference is Friends & Family. To date, they've always been appreciative of this particular courtesy.
Just yesterday, I received a small tool set from a fellow motorcycle owner, via another forum on which we're both active. I paid quickly and he shipped quickly. All I had to do was observe the User Name in his post to know that he was legit. And so it goes.
Always glad to see people being cautious. Many good points have already been brought up. Like others have said, if anything doesn’t feel right, don’t send money. Never ever ever pay anyone with a gift card i.e. MasterCard or similar.
Also, always be careful meeting people in person for a sale, especially when a significant amount of money is being exchanged, you’d be surprised how’s many times I’ve been responded to people being robbed during a sale. Unless you have John Wick skills, I recommend always taking someone with you.
Thanks all for the great feedback. I will add a little more to the story in hopes to help others. I posted in the wanted items for some JL parts. I received a private message from Danen862 saying “I had recently bought parts from member “” (message as since been deleted and do not have the member name he gave). and he probably has what your looking for. They also gave me a number to text. I text the number and everything I needed they had and at decent prices. It just didn’t feel right so I have not moved forward with buying anything. When asked for pics then it was already boxed and didn’t want to tear back open. This could all be a true member wanting to help, it just didn’t feel right. Also Dane862 does not come up in searches for me.