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Old November 7th, 2005, 19:31   #1
Shugart
 
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The Middle Man

With a string of recent Flakes on big transactions, I've been thinking.

What if a voluntary Middle Man system was set up? Here Me out;

When someone puts something up for sale, or wants to buy something, than can decide to go through a middle man. This means that the goods and the payment are both sent to a "middle" man. Once items from both sides are recieved, the middle man complete's the transaction and sends everything on its way.

So as not to confuse people, it can be a completely voluntary process. Wanna buy something, but seller doesn't have enough, or a bad trader rating, ask to go the middle man route. Same thing with selling, buyer has little or a bad trader rating, say selling only on condition of middle man.

And so as too make sure no one runs off with everyones stuff, trusted and respected memebrs of the forums could step up and offer their services for a very small fee.

Yes, it may sound like adding another unneccassary step, but seeing as it would be completely voluntary, their would be no real issue with being forced to go that route.

And as for setting up middle men, all its really needed is a person both parties can agree on, though I think it would be easier if a list was made so that New people could see who is trusted by the community.

This would also work for people who are new or have bad ratings to build up their ratings so as to become more trusted. And it would also greatly protect against scamming as nothing would really be "lost" until everything was properly accounted for by the middle man.

Just take the huge fiasco with Green Igor. If a middle man had been used, everyone would easily be able to get their stuff back at any time. Money can Easily be wired, or transfered back, and goods can just as easily be resent.

Just some food for thought.

EDIT: Could a mod possibly add a poll to this, so as to get a better grasp of peoples views?
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Old November 7th, 2005, 19:40   #2
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I must admit that I'm getting really sick of the flaking that's going on as well. I've had up to 6 people in a single day say, "I'll take item X" and then PM me all of 3 or 4 hours later and say, "sorry, I don't want it anymore." That makes it really difficult for me to make any promises to other sellers about when I'll have my full payment ready for them. I think that the middle man system would be a good idea for selling higher priced items or for deals between the parties mentioned above. Some sort of process needs to be strung out though, to ensure that the middle man doesn't just keep the money and the product and make off with them both, never to be heard from again.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 19:57   #3
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I read about something like this about a year ago. I personally like the idea alot. Maybe the middle man wouldn't have to be used for small purchases under $100, but an AEG would be fine.

Just my two cents.

Norbert
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Old November 7th, 2005, 20:15   #4
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a much easier and simple solution- read their feedback.
I dont know why people would send someone $500+ they've never met and has 0 trader feedback, its almost a begging to be scammed.

I buy from upstanding members only, and if no one has what I need, I buy from a retailer.

simplicity
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Old November 7th, 2005, 20:16   #5
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Last thing I want is for this to be seen as a mandatory measure, because honestly, with the volumne of sales that go on on these boards, no one could handle the traffic going through their house.

The middle man is just a set up for people that feel uneasy about the other party to add a level of security to the transaction. It could be for a 3500$ m249, or a 5$ pair of gloves.

All I'm really asking for is too help set up some sort of list of respectable players who would be willing to act a middle man on transactions. This way new players can go to them knowing that they have the backing of the community.

Yes, of course there's always the risk that the Middle man might up and leave with everything, but when a list is present this makes it a lot easier to stop.

The only other point I would add is a full disclouser agreement. Meaning that if, say, an AEG where being shipped with a bunch of Accesories. The Seller of the item gives permission for the middle man to look through the package upon arival to ensure everything is accounted for and then procedes from there.

EDIT: @ Nuck, I can see your concerns, but a system like this would make it a lot easier for people to feel more security regarding transactions with unproved, or suspicious individuals.

Say your selling your M60 @~2000 and the only hit you ever get is from a New Guy with a couple posts and no trader rating, you personaly may wait for someone else to come along, but if a system like this was set up I'd feel a lot safer going through with the deal knowing that a respected member of the community is holding onto the unit for me waiting on deleivery of funds.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 20:20   #6
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This would dubble the shipping cost and what if the middle man says "weee a free gun came in the mail for me WooT"

I say just whatch who you buy from, if he's some newb who has no rattings then dont bother.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 20:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuck
a much easier and simple solution- read their feedback.
Feedback is not always reliable. Look at the case of Green_Igor. He had positive all around until he screwed some guys over. It happens alot.

Yes, shipping would double, but I would pay it if I want to get my $2000 M60. Those who choose to do this, do it because it is much safer.

Take care guys.

Norbert
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Old November 7th, 2005, 20:52   #8
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I agree with the middle man principle, it will give the chance to build up a positive trade rating for n00bs.

It is the same conundrum with work experience, you can't get a job unless you have work experience, but you can't get work experience without a job...

This will give the opportunity for new members to get age verified, buy a gun, and not be turned down, ignored, or taking advantage of in the form of fraud, while on the other hand, protecting the seller from shaky deals.

As per shipping costs, the buyer sends the money to the TRUSTED middle-man. Someone with a spotless record and high buy/sell rating. Upon receival of money, the middle man informs the seller that the money has been received. The seller then sends out the item. Upon receival of the item to the buyer, the middleman sends the money to the seller.

As you can see, I think that seller fraud is a bit more important than flaking, but flakers can be given neutral feedback... This system will protect the buyer from seller fraud, give n00bs a chance to purchase items and not be turned down, and give sellers a reason to give neutral feedback on flakers...
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Old November 7th, 2005, 21:01   #9
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I've seen this 'middle-man' system in action before on other forums. Instead of the seller scamming the person, the middle-man does it.

Even if the 'middle-man' had plenty of good feedback, whats to stop them from accepting a bunch of jobs and stealing everything?

ie. Person X wants to quit airsoft. Person X tries to steal everything they can, sells it and makes $
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Old November 7th, 2005, 21:02   #10
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I think it's a great idea, how else is a new person going to get feedback if no one will buy from him? You were new once too.

Dustin
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Old November 7th, 2005, 21:05   #11
Shugart
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VipaMave
I've seen this 'middle-man' system in action before on other forums. Instead of the seller scamming the person, the middle-man does it.

Even if the 'middle-man' had plenty of good feedback, whats to stop them from accepting a bunch of jobs and stealing everything?

ie. Person X wants to quit airsoft. Person X tries to steal everything they can, sells it and makes $

I completely understand your worries, but remember, this isn't like every other forum. Generaly most people's home addresses are known to at least one other person on this board, so running would be very hard.

AND, the Middle men would be either A) Community Selected individuals who are seen as responsible, or B) A person BOTH parties agree too.

EDIT: To elaborate on my point.

Buyer wants something from Seller. Seller see's that Buyer has a no trader rating at all, and doesn't feel comfortable doing a one to one transaction, so Seller consults a middle man list.

The Middle Man list consists of people that have volunteered to be Middle Men, and have also been vouched for en masse by the community. This would provide (hopefully) a relatively sizable list of people to choose from to work as the inbetween for the deal. BUT say that no one on the list catches the Seller and Buyers eye (as both would have to agree on the person), they can both decide on someone else.

Not just anyone can pop up and be the middle man in a random transaction, some credentials would be required.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney J. Harris
"Terrorism" is the violence of the weak, and we condem it; "war" is the violence of the strong, and we glorify it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah Arendt
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thucydides
The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
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Old November 7th, 2005, 21:12   #12
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It will work, but both parties must understand than an escrow service costs money. Furthermore, who will be the middle man?
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Old November 7th, 2005, 21:16   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surebet
Furthermore, who will be the middle man?
Quote:
Originally Posted by shugart
AND, the Middle men would be either A) Community Selected individuals who are seen as responsible, or B) A person BOTH parties agree too.
Just in the post above yours.

Norbert
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Old November 7th, 2005, 22:09   #14
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Yes, I saw that, but what qualifications does one need to become a middle man?
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Old November 7th, 2005, 22:32   #15
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I volunteer to be the middle man.

I will randomly keep every 30th sale for myself to simulate problems in the buy/sell community

That's how much of a commitment to realism I'm willing to make.

KD
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