View Full Version : flea buy stuff

1st Feb 2014, 16:17
I fancy buying some stuff of flea buy, something I have done before but only when the seller was a commercial outfit and the Paypal side was already set up. What I have my eye on at the moment is from a private individual. I understand that to buy from flea buy in an auction when the seller is a private individual you need to run your own Paypal account (you can't just "send money" through Paypal without an account).

Can some of you "old hands" advise me on setting up flea buy and Paypal accounts in a way that doesn't open up my financial affairs to abuse/theft/undesirable activity?

Is Paypal the best (ie most secure) method of payment?

Would I be better to link Paypal to a current account, credit card or something else?

Is there anything I need to be aware of when buying? or selling?

Thanks for your interest,


1st Feb 2014, 16:41
From my experience, don't touch Paypal with a disinfected bargepole.

1st Feb 2014, 17:09
The trouble with not touching Paypal (and I am no great fan either) is that eBay sellers are now obliged to offer Paypal as a method of payment, and a lot now refuse to accept any other method. When I first started selling on eBay (I don't think we are forbidden from using the actual name) over ten years ago I only accepted cheque or direct card payments, but that option is not now open to me. About 5% of buyers still send cheques (and postal orders seem to be making a comeback as many people now don't actually have chequebooks) but the rest pay by Paypal, which of course costs me because as a seller I lose 4% in Paypal fees.

I'm not saying that there is absolutely no risk when setting up a Paypal account, but I have never actually lost money in the six or seven years I've had an account. What I've heard some people do is open a separate current account to link to your Paypal account and keep it at a minimum balance which may give you some peace of mind.

Big Hammer
1st Feb 2014, 17:09
Never had any issues with paypal but did set up a different account at first for it to use. Just pay on the debit card for that account. So far so good.

Loose rivets
1st Feb 2014, 17:50
Yep, me too. Did it yesterday.

I'm buying every Seiko 7A** series watch I can lay my hands on, and really into doing this as an investment. Most of the sellers say, PayPal only.

I've not had trouble here in the US up till now, however, in the UK, I'd been using it for a while when I got what I considered to be a very rude letter saying I wasn't trustworthy yet. I was assured by another 'bayer that this was SOPs, but I said $#%^@ 'em and spend half an hour on the phone telling all kinds of managers what I thought. My bank profile, "40 years, Zero risk." is what I'd seen on one bank's computer screen. Also, I told him I was one of the first Visa card holders in the world. All restrictions were lifted.

Two weeks later, I got another identical rude letter. :ugh: I advertised my specialist items by a different means, and in all cases, folk wired the money into my bank - sometimes for thousands of pounds - before goods collected/dispatched. Odd, I know, but maybe they had a way of checking me through the banks. Perhaps, I just sound honest, I don't know, but what I do know is it cost bay and pay many thousands.

Why one PayPal (US) should be so simple, and the one in my home country so blooooody rude, I just don't know. I'll have to get it sorted when I get 'home' as this watch thing has considerable potential and working in the micro-miniature world very, very absorbing. And, no grease up to the armpits.:p

1st Feb 2014, 18:15
Interesting points re US vs UK. I can only offer the US version. I've had a buyers account with Paypal for several years now, with no issues. (sounds like Rivets was selling; don't know if that made any difference) I don't think they are any more or less susceptible to hacking than any other online financial institution. Don't know if they have changed, but when I signed up you had the option of submitting either bank account info or credit card info. I would suggest using a card with a Zero Fraud Liability guarantee, and then let them worry about it. Alternatively, if the seller accepts it, just mail a money order.

Lon More
1st Feb 2014, 19:31
It's the ridiculous shipping costs that get me. How can a seller offer free postage in the States yet charge $26 to Europe? I guess the bottom line is he doesn't want to do it.

1st Feb 2014, 19:38
I'm wary with eBay and Paypal, but use both. I had one problem early on, got a refund, and now check the seller's rating. Less than 99% and I go elsewhere.

I've bought around 900 items on there, and on the whole been very satisfied. More to the point, I've bought stuff there that I could not have got anywhere else. I got a load of (25 IIRC) 470pF doorknob capacitors for about what I'd have paid for one from the USA. OK, they're Russian, but they passed the test when I received them. The sender turned out to be the son of a radio amateur I'd known well in the 1960s, clearing out his father's workshop.

I've only sold a half dozen or so things on there, and never had a problem.

Not had any problem with Paypal UK, but I think I was on there early enough in the process that by the time they got pernickety I'd got enough points.

1st Feb 2014, 20:05
I'm not too worried about the ratings of the buyers or sellers as, in both cases you know how big the risk is. I am very worried by the possibility of my details getting stolen and someone getting access to all of the funds in my bank account (or more!).

I think I need to open a new account which I can keep a small amount of cash in, just to keep it open, and fill or empty as deals require.

Probably can't set that up until Monday............


ps can one open an on line account on line?

1st Feb 2014, 20:10
Never had problem with PayPal in UK. Used debit card details.
Ordered stuff from around the World.
Just watch the cut off point with Ebay if your stuff doesn't arrive.

I won bid on alloy wheel, which a month later didn't arrive and Ebay couldn't solve the problem as out of their dispute time frame.

After several e-mails to seller, i told them that i had contacted Ebay that they were fraudulent as i had seen the same wheel advertised as being elsewhere in the UK and that Ebay would pass details to Police.
The wheel arrived two days later.

Dan Gerous
1st Feb 2014, 20:36
Sellers have to offer paypal as a means of payment, but other methods can be accepted. The buyer may specify, or you can contact them to find out.

One thing I did do with paypal, and has been mentioned earlier, is I opened a new bank account at the same branch as my "normal" account, specifically for Paypal dealings. I regularly remove funds from it, on the off chance some cnut does get in and start stealing my dosh, there is hopefully not much in it.

Never had any problems with ebay or paypal, either buying or selling, but you can read the discussion forums on ebay, and see some real horror stories.

1st Feb 2014, 23:28
Paypal as a buyer is not so bad, especially if you attach it to a card or account with limited means and only add money to it when actually performing a transaction. At that point it can be quite convenient because most of the hassle is at the vendor's end.

2nd Feb 2014, 11:30
Look very carefully at PayPal's terms and conditions before you use them. If you can understand them and don't have an issue with them owning everything they know about you, then go ahead. Many of their T&Cs are not legal in the EU, but hey they weren't written for you.

I was trying to book a room at the Premier Inn at LGW online and they insisted I use PayPal to process my Credit Card. So I called them and they very happily agreed to process my CC directly. I still don't understand this, but suspect using the PP option would involve additional fees and charges.

I don't trust them, and make a habit of telling sellers I want another option. If enough of us did so I suspect we would have more options.

cockney steve
2nd Feb 2014, 12:41
Pay Pay moved their operation to Luxembourg, from UK in order to evade the Financial Services Authority and it's code of conduct..

Try googooing "Paypalsux!....for an insight.

I won't buy anything valuable (over 30 !) unless the seller is prepared to accept cash on collection....never refused yet....once bought a car for 4500 and did a direct bank transfer....money was in his a/c just an hour later....I had had several LANDLINE phone conversations with him first and studied the feedback profile carefully.

Yes, I still have an account, minimal amount in it and any sales income is immediately transferred to my bank.

for regular users, a second a/c exclusivelu for Paypay is a good idea, just make sure any balance over a minimum is automatically skimmed before the chargeback scam tries to get back the penny after you've sent the toffee.

A A Gruntpuddock
2nd Feb 2014, 15:02
The biggest annoyance is having some scrote advertise a high-end item then send outmoded or lower-spec kit.

When challenged, they always claim that 'I don't know about these things', although the type (mark) is always on the item and not what they say it is.

Then you have to carefully wrap it up and pay to resend it or you do not get a refund!

If this happens, best to take photos to prove the identity & condition before returning it, or they might well end up with both your money and the item.

Biggest drawback of the system for me - they should have to pay for the return of mis-sold items.

2nd Feb 2014, 20:33
mmm interesting. I rang my bank for info on opening a second current account, which they were happy about, but they would want to charge a fee for it unless I kept a balance of 1000 in it OR made a payment of 1000 per month into it. I don't think so.

When I told the cust ser desk why I wanted a second account with just a bit of pocket money kept in it the operator gave me her tail of woe about her Paypal account getting hyjacked and someone changing her address details to buy a 600 camera outfit. Luckily her credit card company (who pay her Paypal account) spotted the odd transaction and stopped it. She got her money back.

I think I will go with a little used credit card I have which has a fairly low limit and see how it goes.

Ta for those that have responded.


2nd Feb 2014, 20:38
What about a prepaid debit card and just top it up each time you need it with the exact amount?

2nd Feb 2014, 20:40
"More to the point, I've bought stuff there that I could not have got anywhere else."


And also allows you to buy stuff without having to drive around all over the
place to 1. Find it and 2. Buy it !

I tend to keep it down to low value items though or find it and make a phone call.

3rd Feb 2014, 02:22
Have had a PayPal account for 10 years plus - never a problem as a buyer. I've never done the seller bit ...