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Issue with Gunbroker Seller
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March 24, 2022 - 8:33 pm
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On February 20, 2022 I “won” a Gun Broker dot com auction for a Model 1894 Winchester from a dealer named “xxxxx Pawn”. While the price I spent on the gun, shipping, and taxes may not be much to many of you, it is the most I’ve spent to date for any gun in my small collection. Trying to be a responsible buyer for my first GB gun purchase I contacted the seller on the next day and attempted to pay with my credit card, which, of course, was stopped by bank’s fraud department. The seller said it would save me 3% in CC fees if I sent a cashier’s check instead, which is my usual method of payment when buying guns online anyway, so I decided to go that route.

So, the next day at lunch I went to my bank and picked up a cashier’s check for the gun purchase, put it in an envelope with cover letter, then drove to the post office to mail it to the seller on the other side of the country. About 6 days later (around March 1) I get a call from the seller saying he got my check, but my bank had made a mistake and made it payable to “xxxxx Pond”, not “xxxxx Pawn”. I checked my check receipt, and sure enough, he was right. I spelled it out to the teller but I guess she couldn’t hear me well through the mask I was forced to wear to enter the bank. So the seller said his bank gave us two options:

1. He can return the check to me and I can take it to the bank to have it destroyed and a new check issued. I would then send the new check back. The total time involved would be about 2-3 weeks.

2. He can deposit the check as-is, since the error was minor, and the bank would notify him when the check cleared my bank and to wait another 2-3 weeks to “be sure” that there were no issues. I guess their (bank and seller) concern is/was that I would claim that the check was cashed fraudulently (due to the “pay to the order of” error) and somehow end up with both the gun and the money.

As the timing was about the same, but there would be less risk on losing the check in the mail for two more cross country trips, I decided on option #2 and the seller deposited the check the next day, to my knowledge. The GB sale was marked as “paid” on March 4, 2022, which my bank confirmed that the check had cleared when I called them on about March 15. My bank also said the check was considered “negotiated” and that there was no problems with the transaction.

That afternoon, I called the seller to tell him my bank had verified the check had cleared and asked if he could talk to his bank to confirm this, and, if so, could they please ship the gun on Friday March 18 or Monday, March21. He responded that he personally didn’t handle the banking for the business but he would talk to the person that did, who he wouldn’t see until Thursday, March 17. He also stated that they were waiting for their bank to give them the go ahead to ship the gun. He did not explain what criteria had yet to be met according to the bank in order for them to give their approval (I don’t see this as the bank’s call).

So, it is now March 24 and it has been over a week since I last spoke to anyone concerning the gun or payment. I have not received a tracking number so I can only assume the gun has not been shipped to my FFL who will do the transfer. The GB sale is still marked as “pending shipment”. No one is disputing that the gun has been paid for. I guess I am expected to wait out in some kind of purgatory until the seller’s bank feels good enough to give them the go ahead to ship. If the seller is waiting for the statute of limitations to expire on check fraud, that is 6 years in their state and for the amount of the check.

I understand the seller being cautious and I know I bear some responsibility in this since I should have caught the error on the check before mailing it. It is hard to get to the bank and post office and back to work within an hour where I live and work and I was trying to pay as quickly as possible. This is probably my first and last gun purchase on GB. I have done “OK” there for reloading supplies but I don’t want to go through this kind of trouble again, not saying it is Gun Broker’s fault, but, I don’t think I would have had this kind of trouble when dealing with the like’s of Leroy Merz and others I have purchased from in the past.

Tomorrow, March 25, marks exactly 3 weeks since the sale was marked as “paid” in GB. I plan to call and ask (demand) that the gun be shipped. I think I have waited long enough. Further delays may require me to look into legal action. Have any of you had I stalemate such as this involving a bank check issue or other issue which caused an extended delay in getting a purchase completed?

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March 24, 2022 - 9:25 pm
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I always double check to ensure that the info on both the check and envelope are correct

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March 24, 2022 - 11:45 pm
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I would of talked to my bank and ask them the best way to cancel the check on his end either by writing void on it or some other method then have him send it back. Then resend the correct one. I was told that if I accept a cashiers check that is bogus the bank may not find out for a month so I can understand his bank using caution.

Bob

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March 24, 2022 - 11:59 pm
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I had a similar type of deal but slightly different. The dollar amounts were slightly different on the cashiers check with the written line being correct and the box $ figure being off by a couple of bucks. (typo) I took my copy of the cashiers check to my bank and showed them their error. They did a stop payment on that check and cut a new one and put it in a pre stamped envelope for me. Mailed it out and good to go a week later. I know everyone has a hard time waiting for their new toy to arrive and the simple things that make delays adds to the frustration. Being as they acknowledge receipt of payment I wouldn’t be too concerned, good things come to those who wait………

Erin

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March 25, 2022 - 12:11 am
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  I sent a bank check USPS to RIA following a auction purchase, priority with tracking. It was lost in the mail for 60 days. The bank could not cancel payment on bank checks, only personal checks. I had pay again and wait 60 days to get the money back on the first check. My bank informed me to in the future send personal checks only! You can no longer trust the mail and if they loose your bank check you have to wait 60 days to begin the process of getting your money back.

 I know this wasn’t your problem, your seller got the money, but you could have had both problems. T/R

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March 25, 2022 - 12:56 am
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I really wish the CC company would have called right away rather than 30-45 minutes after declining the purchase. That is another pet peeve of mine. 

Unfortunately decent Winchesters aren’t easy to find in person here. We need a WACA show in the Southeast USA: TN, NC, or SC

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March 25, 2022 - 1:04 am
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Seems to be a lot of fraud involving cashiers’ checks, I can understand caution on the seller’s part if things seem a little off. Most of my non-firearms business lately has been wire transfer. They’re generally completed within a matter of hours with confirmation on both ends.

 

Mike

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March 25, 2022 - 2:02 am
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TR said
  I sent a bank check USPS to RIA following a auction purchase, priority with tracking. It was lost in the mail for 60 days.  

TR,  Did your first check eventually reach RIA?  In my almost 80 yrs of life, I’ve never experienced a verified “lost in the mail” incident  Not that’s it’s impossible, by no means, but I’m more suspicious that it was an unacknowledged RIA F-U.

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March 25, 2022 - 2:38 am
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clarence said .

TR said
  I sent a bank check USPS to RIA following a auction purchase, priority with tracking. It was lost in the mail for 60 days.  

TR,  Did your first check eventually reach RIA?  In my almost 80 yrs of life, I’ve never experienced a verified “lost in the mail” incident  Not that’s it’s impossible, by no means, but I’m more suspicious that it was an unacknowledged RIA F-U.  

 Clarence, The tracking stopped in Des Moines, Iowa with no word until 60 days later, it showed up at Rock Island wet with tire tracks on it. They sent it back and I returned the check to the bank for a 8K refund. The bank and my Post Office did everything possible, but I was out 8K four 60 days and if it would have been lost I’m not sure of the time frame on my money.  You can’t stop payment on a lost bank check for 60 days. If someone fraudulently cashes the check in the 60 days it gets complicated. Don’t Mail A Big Bank Check! T/R

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March 25, 2022 - 10:59 am
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T/R, thanks for the advice. I guess in the future I’ll avoid bank checks like the plague and either stick to CC or personal checks.

As far as my current situation goes I’ve got to negotiate a firm timetable for the seller to ship my gun. Whenever we feel like it isn’t an option.

In hind sight I should have paid for a secure method for them to return the check in error, got a refund from my bank, and then paid by CC.

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March 25, 2022 - 12:31 pm
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There’s some excellent cautionary advice and experience in this thread.  I realize now how lucky I’ve been.  

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March 25, 2022 - 12:40 pm
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[email protected] said
T/R, thanks for the advice. I guess in the future I’ll avoid bank checks like the plague and either stick to CC or personal checks.

As far as my current situation goes I’ve got to negotiate a firm timetable for the seller to ship my gun. Whenever we feel like it isn’t an option.

In hind sight I should have paid for a secure method for them to return the check in error, got a refund from my bank, and then paid by CC.  

 The so called 3% convenience fee businesses charge when you use a credit card add up, but if it saves me from sending a bank check, it’s money well spent.

 As a bidder at RIA they had my credit card on file and would have been convenient, but the 3% would have been $240. If you add the shipping it was cheaper to drive. This was old school, I handed them the money, they handed me the gun, no worries on the shipping.

 Buying from a total stranger is stressful. Good luck. T/R

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March 26, 2022 - 6:36 pm
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I just got word from the seller that the gun had been shipped to my FFL. Hopefully it will be as described.

Lessons learned are not to use bank checks and either pay in cash or by credit card. 

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March 26, 2022 - 7:11 pm
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[email protected] said
I just got word from the seller that the gun had been shipped to my FFL. Hopefully it will be as described.

Lessons learned are not to use bank checks and either pay in cash or by credit card.   

I learned more than that from this thread.  It sounds like perhaps all of this might have been avoided if you had checked the bank check to insure it was made out correctly before you mailed it?  I’m not trying to be superior here – I’m sure I’ve stuffed many a check in an envelope trusting the bank had made it out correctly.  And, next time I pick up a check from the bank, I’ll remember this thread and invest a couple extra seconds to insure all is correct.  You may well have saved me future grief from your tale.

I hope the gun is what you had hoped for and it all ends well.

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March 26, 2022 - 8:57 pm
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 Mark,

 I can’t begin to list all the mailed check delays that have been my fault. I even sent a bank check to pay for an airplane with the wrong zip code. The phrase “the checks in the mail”, it was.

 The US mail today is operating beyond capacity. Their infrastructure is not capable of handing the volume. Many people are using Pay Pal or wire transfers.

 I should also mention that RIA was very understanding and promptly returned the check.

                                                          T/R

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March 26, 2022 - 11:56 pm
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I haven’t heard anyone mention good old “cash”. I just bought a mod. ’85 from a gentleman in Penn. , I sent Him $’s , I spent the extra, packaged up $100.00 bills and sent the parcel Priority Post so I can track the package, it used to be overnite service now it takes 2 days, and He signs for receipt of. This has worked well for Me over the years. I know what You’re probably going to sayWink.

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March 28, 2022 - 12:05 pm
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I also give the teller an index card with the cashier check recipient’s information printed on it. The card also comes in very handy when addressing the envelope that my bank provides with the check.

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March 28, 2022 - 12:25 pm
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Cash is still king in my book, but I don’t think I want to be packaging up hundred dollar bills to send by mail these days. I would love to buy my old Winchesters locally, but, I wouldn’t have any as they simply don’t exist here. Every pawn shop has one older (pre WW1) Winchester lever action hanging on the wall in poor condition priced at high condition waiting for the one poor guy who will pay 5x what the gun is worth.

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March 28, 2022 - 12:50 pm
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Henry Mero said
I haven’t heard anyone mention good old “cash”. I just bought a mod. ’85 from a gentleman in Penn. , I sent Him $’s , I spent the extra, packaged up $100.00 bills and sent the parcel Priority Post so I can track the package, it used to be overnite service now it takes 2 days, and He signs for receipt of. This has worked well for Me over the years. I know what You’re probably going to sayWink.  

You’ve got a bigger-set than I do Henry!!

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March 28, 2022 - 6:30 pm
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Well the gentleman got his “money ” on time and the gun is on it’s way to Ontario. Every body’s happy, so far.

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