Home: The Cargo Hold

  1. asok's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2002

    CARGO HOLD TIPS - New Members - READ THIS FIRST!!! This post may save you some heartache when buying/selling in the Cargo Hold!

    Cargo Hold Tips (originally posted by jedirick; edited for TDH):

    Avoiding the pitfalls of poor transactions.

    Most of the TDH buyers and sellers are hobbyists. Occasionally we suffer an intentional scammer but most deals that sour do so because of poor communication, lack of maturity, or inexperience on the part of one or both members. Both buyers and sellers both must be aware that all transactions are based on a fragile element of trust. Communication, response time, patience and manner can build or break it.

    Tips for Buyers

    Be Informed

    Not every seller has the same talent or experience; the goods offered here may vary greatly in quality, service and price. You must realize your responsibility in a transaction does not begin and end with payment. The seller is not Sears and Roebuck; unanticipated post payment demands by the buyer may not be well received.

    I- Know what you seek. Do some homework. The seller is not responsible for your product knowledge.

    You may have always wanted a Vader Saber, but do you know there is more than one variation? Are you familiar with terms such as hardware saber, resin, Delrin, heiland, styrene, Sintra, CNC, MPP, MR, ICON, HK? Shop before you drop the cash.

    II- Don’t spend money you do not have.

    Agreeing to purchase an individual item or taking a slot on a group purchase list is a commitment. Success is dependent on 100% participation to keep costs low. Making a hasty commitment may mean you cost other members money or forfeiture of the entire purchase. Budget yourself. If you really must cancel a transaction, please have the common courtesy to let the seller/organizer know immediately.

    III- You are your best insurance against loss.

    It is your first responsibility to safeguard your money, not TDH, not the seller.

    A- Keep Records. Use EMAIL for your transaction process. PM’s are fine for first contact, but working emails are a must and all information can be easily saved for reference. Keep payment receipts, shipping and insurance receipts etc. until both parties have no need for them. Assist the seller where you can. Put your name, address, ph# and TDH name on all correspondence. Include the same on Money Orders or online payments (i.e. Paypal).

    B- Get the seller’s EMAIL address, REAL name, STREET address and PHONE number. There are free reverse directories online that can verify addresses by phone number entry. ( ) Get references; check seller’s email addy with eBay to see if he has a feedback record. Find out if you are dealing with an adult or minor. In this age of low-cost cellular phone calling packages, a quick initial call to the number provided may make the transaction much smoother.

    C- Ask questions NOW. Ask for pictures of actual item being purchased not "like this" pics borrowed from another website. Ask about possible damage, repairs or flaws in the item. Ask for a shipping quote. Ask if seller has a normal day when he ships or if he has difficulty in finding time to ship. Ask for a ship date. Ask if there is a return policy. If an answer seems vague, ask another way. ASK, ASK, ASK

    D-Before you pay, verify shipping cost, any handling (bubble wrap is not free) insurance (BUY IT!). REQUIRE a tracking number even if you have to use a more expensive method of shipping. UPS provides first $100 insurance and a tracking number in the cost of shipping. The USPS does not. USPS Priority mail can be insured and delivery confirmation is only a nominal fee (about 40 cents). Tracking numbers can avoid anxiety.

    E- Pay by USPS Money Order or opt for an on-line pay service (i.e. Paypal). Personal checks can be too easily altered. Depending on circumstance Paypal and Charge Card backed transactions usually provided for some type of refund process. Check before you pay.

    Obviously NEVER mail cash and I personally recommend staying away from wire services - Western Union etc.

    Refunds, partial or by deadlines, surcharges, handling fees, customs tax, deposits, prepayment, piece work payments, installments all are part of the transaction and must be agreed upon and UNDERSTOOD by both buyer and seller before exchange.

    Assume nothing. When in doubt, pass up the deal.

    IV. If things get sticky….
    A dozen deals a day are made in the Cargo Hold. Most will go without a hitch. But sooner or later, the curse of lost packages, broken items, crashed hard drives and sudden deaths of third cousins will be cast upon a Junkyard deal. If you did your best from the beginning to secure the transaction, then the odds are in your favor all can be resolved.

    Tips for Sellers-

    Be Responsible

    As a seller in the Cargo Hold, you are charged with the responsibility of making an organized and valid transaction.

    I-Preparation -before you post
    A- Organize your sale- even if just 1 small item, do you have shipping supplies? USPS will supply Priority Mail boxes, labels and tape at no charge.
    Are you familiar with shipping methods, regulations and rates? Will you ship worldwide or domestic only? Hit the sites:

    B- Play what if.
    What if buyer backs out or is slow to pay or wants a refund? What if your PC or car crashes? What if you have a family emergency? Try to have a plan B to handle unanticipated events. Decisions made while stressed can cause more problems than they solve.

    II- Listing your sale

    A- Title. Use an appropriate subject title for your listing. Catchy phrases can be fine, but don't waste a Junkyard shopper's time. Slick headlines may make them wonder what else hides behind the smoke and mirrors.

    Familiarize yourself with the customary format; abbreviations, and terminology used listing items for sale in the Junkyard… then use them:

    FS- For Sale
    FA- For Auction (which is NOT the same thing as “FS”!)
    WTB- Want to buy
    FT- For Trade
    WTTF- Want to trade for

    B- Description. Accurate descriptions help sell the item but most importantly they sell the buyer on you! Is item a kit, or completed? Do you have multiples? Is the item "ready to ship" or in production?

    Examine the item. Now is the time to discover damage or flaws (not after it is sold). Include, age, maker, model, dimensions, materials, finish, accessories and options. Think about price, what do you want, what will you take? Better have an idea. A price in your post will better turn readers into buyers.

    C- Pictures. Photos will sell most items quickly. Prop collectors are very condition and detail sensitive. Pictures from screencaps or websites may enhance your post but original shots of your item will help validate the sale. You may find a single picture is sufficient, but take several as in most cases you will be asked for more. The most frequent Junkyard request is for pictures.

    D-Terms of sale. List your terms of sale in your post. Nothing creates disharmony quicker than surprising a buyer with an unforeseen circumstance.
    Payment methods and Payment deadline(s)
    When item will ship and How (list options)
    Options to Insure or Track (i highly reccoment using tracking/shipping!)

    A note about Paypal- Sellers should use caution when using Paypal. For one, ALWAYS make sure you ship to someone's verified address. Paypal will not protect you if you've shipped your item to a different location. Aslo, often times people fund their purchase with a credit card. This can also be dangerous to sellers because of paypal's refund policies. When dealing in large amounts, it's suggested to be sure the funds are coming directly from the buyers paypal account and NOT a credit card.

    E- Contact info. Include an email address in your TDH member info if you plan to do business in the Junkyard. If you’d prefer not to do that, simply listing your Email address in your post is another option.

    III- Sold!
    As the seller you must accept PRIME responsibility for communication. Email buyer immediately. Cut and Past your TDH ad in the email. Include all agreed upon terms, times, item pricing, shipping and handling, TOTAL amount due. I recommend including that information in every email you send your buyer.

    Now get to the post office/UPS/fedex and get that item in the mail!

    While you're there, I highly recommend that sellers always use some form of Delivery Confirmation (USPS) or tracking (UPS/Fedex). This may help you avoid a potential "I never received anything" situation.

    NOTE- Do not spend the money received until the transaction is complete! Even though the cash is in your possession, treat it as belonging to the BUYER until the item has been delivered safe and sound to it's new owner.

    Sane suggestions for buyer and seller.

    Be upfront. If you can’t get to UPS except on Fridays say so! If you are using your ex-girlfriends paypal account, say so! Moving, going on vacation, business trip, hospital stay, honeymoon SAY SO!

    Go to email communication as soon as possible.

    Buyer and Seller should always promptly respond to all emails. Communicate in full sentences, respond to all inquiries ASAP, and be courteous and informative.

    Buyer and Seller should always save all communications to your hard drives. I also recommend printing hard copy.

    Again, both Seller and Buyer should keep all insurance and tracking info until buyer indicates receipt and satisfaction.

    If a delay in buyer payment or seller delivery is foreseen contact the appropriate party immediately! Don’t wait for them to contact you!

    Do not be afraid of the phone. You might make a friend in real time!

    After the sale

    Both buyer and seller should realize a trust relationship has been established. Many Cargo Hold deals have blossomed into lasting friendships. Keep in mind the person you sell to today maybe someone you wish to buy from tomorrow.

    Showing off a new acquisition on the main “Prop” forum is a great way to acknowledge appreciation of a good collector to collector transaction. If the item in question was made by the seller, be sure to ask permission before posting a review.


    US Priority Mail Track and Confirm

    US Mail Fraud Complaint Form

    UPS Tracking

    UPS Claims lost/damage packages

    Internet Crime Complaint Center IFCC -FBI

    Ebay's phone number

    Paypal Phone number

  2. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2002
    Las Vegas, NV

    The Cargo Hold Terms and Guidelines

    Welcome to The Cargo Hold! This forum provides an area for members to sell or trade items. Please note that by creating a thread or posting a message to a thread in this forum, you are agreeing to the terms and guidelines below. Failure to comply with these terms will result in your thread/post being edited or deleted and sanctions being brought against you.

    What can be sold in Cargo Hold?
    You may sell any item that does not conflict with the Code of Conduct. However, this is a prop and Star Wars related board. Please do not abuse this privilege by turning the Cargo Hold into your personal garage sale.

    Lifespan of threads within the Cargo Hold
    Threads that have not been replied to for 7 days will automatically be deleted.

    Can eBay auctions be posted?
    Per the Code of Conduct:
    Posting information and/or links to a live online auction (i.e. Ebay, Yahoo!, etc) is prohibited except when you are the seller in the auction.

    Best Offers / Silent Auctions / Charity Auctions
    As a seller, you MUST state a price in your thread (excluding threads that are simply links to eBay auctions). TDH will permit "OBO" or "serious offers" in a sale thread where a price has been stipulated, but threads where no price is stated, and asks for open or silent offers are not permitted. In addition, silent auctions or charity auctions are not permitted.

    Obligation to Sell / First Come Buyer
    The seller is free to determine whom they want to sell their item to and are not required to sell to the first person to commit to purchase the item. While we would like to think our sellers wouldn’t deny selling to a particular buyer, a seller is not obligated to sell to anyone they do not wish to for any reason or for no reason at all. Calling “dibs” on an item doesn’t obligate the seller to sell to you.

    What do I do when my item sells or is no longer available?
    Once an item has been sold/traded, the auction has ended, or the item is otherwise no longer available, you may delete your own post by going into the thread, then choosing “EDIT” in the first post. When the Edit Window opens, choose “Delete” then click the radio button beside “Delete Message.” In the field titled “Reason for Deletion” type in your reason for deleting the thread such as “Item Sold.” Finally choose “Delete This Message.” This will delete both your post and the thread. Please note that the administration will still be able to see your deleted thread.

    Runs and Interest Threads
    If you plan to produce a limited run of an item and also plan to post an interest thread and/or sign-up list, do not post them in The Cargo Hold. Instead, post the interest thread/sign up list thread in the forum that is most closely related to the item that is for sale (example: post your interest thread for a run of jet pack rockets in the Jet Pack forum). The Cargo Hold is intended for items that are available for immediate sale or trade, not future projects in which the item has yet to be created or completed.

    Interference in a For Sale Thread
    Do not post criticism in regard to the price or the quality of the item being offered. A seller is free to sell whatever they want and ask whatever price they feel they can get. As long as a buyer is willing to pay this price, the price is fair. The only criticism that should be posted in a For Sale thread is if you feel there is fraud, or deception involved.

    Do not post your own for sale items in the for sale thread started by someone else. Start your own thread, rather than jumping into the thread of someone else.

    If your contribution to a for sale thread does not advance the sale, you are in the way.

    If you spot inappropriate posts in a for sale thread, please alert a member of the administration.

    Disputes regarding Sales or Purchases
    It is recommended that all parties involved agree to the terms of any transaction prior to the exchange of funds or goods. This includes, but is not limited to, price, condition of the item(s), shipping/handling/insurance fees, anticipated delivery date, and refund policy.

    Make every attempt to resolve any disputes that arise via email or Private Message (PM) prior to bringing the dispute to the attention of the rest of the forum. For obvious reasons, bringing transaction disputes to the public TDH Discussion Forums can lead to unpleasant confrontations. If such a situation occurs (i.e. flame war) the administrative staff will act quickly to neutralize the situation.

    The administrative staff will not assume responsibility for transactions conducted on the board, and therefore will not act the role of mediator, negotiator, arbitrator or enforcer of any sale. These are private transactions, and the purpose of allowing such sales on The Dented Helmet is ONLY to help members sell and buy items from one another. However, if The Cargo Hold is used as part of a deceptive or fraudulent transaction, swift and decisive action will be taken. Banning of involved parties is one potential outcome.

    The Sale of Copywritten Material
    TDH Discussion Forums owner and administration staff will assume absolutely no responsibility or legal liability for the sale or trade of any licensed or unlicensed costumes, props, or other items at TDH. Members who sell or trade such items here do so totally at their own risk. Please note that if necessary the owner and administrative staff will FULLY cooperate with any law enforcement agency or legal team involved in the investigation of copyright, trademark or licensing infringement.

    Suggestions to Help Sell your Item
    If you are posting a topic for an item or items that you have for sale or trade, follow these conventions when authoring the Subject line of the topic that you post. This will allow others to quickly navigate through the topics in The Cargo Hold.

    FS: . . .= For Sale (example = "FS: Don Post '96 Fett Helmet")
    FT: . . . = For Trade (example = "FT: Left Jango gauntlet")
    FA: . . . = For Auction (example = "FA: eBay auction for Zam boots")
    WTB: . . . = Want To Buy (example = "WTB: Fett knee darts")
    Post Pictures! A picture is worth a thousand words and many buyers will not even consider buying from you without seeing what they are buying.
    Give shipping costs.