These are all suggestions (which means they're optional), but if you are negligent and don't follow them and get ripped off, it's your fault. SixPrizes bears no responsibility for anything that happens here. Our job is simply to provide a clean marketplace and educate you to be a smart trader/buyer/seller. The most important concepts are listed first, but all have merit. 1. Exchange personal information with the person you're bartering with. Get their: Phone number Full name Home address E-mail Give them a quick call or text to confirm the deal and that their phone works. Send a quick message to make sure their e-mail is legit. Cross-reference them on Switchboard to further confirm their identity. Look them up on Facebook. Tweet them. Google them. Read their old posts. Yes, it's a little extra effort, but 5-10 minutes of detective work is probably worth it. This is number 1 on the list for a reason. It's especially important to do if you don't personally know the person you're trading with and have never actually met them before. Anonymity makes it much easier to commit fraud. Also, you never know if someone will abruptly disappear from the forums or get banned and then you'll have no way to contact them. 2. Check references. We have our own feedback system called XenTrader where you can check reputability, and users are recommended to link to their trading profiles on other sites where they may have received feedback (like PokeGym, PokeBeach, or eBay). If someone has little feedback or experience trading, be careful and request that they send first (granted you have adequate references). If both parties are comfortable, then mail at the same time. We are not making any rigid guidelines on who has to send first. Use your common sense and communicate with the other party about what seems right. The exception is that a buyer must always pay before the seller sends, so only buy from someone you trust. 3. Only deal within your own country. This will limit who you can trade with, but most ripoffs happen when dealing outside where you live since the laws are different and it's much harder to reprehend the scammer. Make sure you really know and can trust the person if they live outside your country. 4. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Contact a moderator and a couple friends to get their opinion. Don't let anyone pressure you into a trade; that is a tell-tale sign that something might be up. Take your time and make a logical decision. 5. If you are purchasing items, do it through PayPal, and DO NOT mark the item as a "Gift." Mark the transaction as "Goods." PayPal gives you some protection if you label the purchase as Goods, but you lose all protection if you make it as a Gift. Check out their Purchase Protection Policy for more information. Paying via cash, check, or money order is risky and ill-advised unless you know the person extremely well or they have a lot of positive feedback already. 6. Make sure both parties are 100% clear on the trade/sale and the condition of the items is known and accepted. Use this grading scale: 7. Ask for a photo of the cards you're trading for. Most people should have access to a digital camera or camera phone these days, so it should be easy to snap a quick picture to prove the cards are in hand and in the stated condition. 8. All deals should be publicly posted and publicly agreed upon in case of potential dispute. If you conduct your trades solely through private messages, it is a lot more likely you will get ripped off and can't do anything about it. Also if a deal seems fishy, someone could then see it and warn you ahead of time. 9. Use delivery confirmation and/or tracking information. This way you can prove the items were sent and actually delivered. Hold onto the proof of shipping until the deal is considered complete and both parties are happy. 10. In case there is a delay, or a lack of communication, do not jump to any conclusions. Try to get in contact with the person via private message, e-mail, and phone. You should after all have their personal information on hand. It is important to communicate and be honest throughout the transaction, but please realize people do have lives outside of Pokemon and these forums. Try to get in touch before going crazy. 11. If adequate time has passed and you feel that you’ve been scammed, you can file a complaint directly with the FBI at their Internet Crime Complaint Center. You can also file a mail fraud complaint with the USPS. Also, please message a moderator and we'll look into the case as well. Scammers will be promptly banned from the site.