At What Point Are Bad Trades Actually Bad Traders?


On a long enough timeline in the hobby, you will experience what you may consider a “Bad Deal” or “Bad Trader”, but is it really what you think it is?  What exactly is a “Bad Trader”?  At what point in the deal process can we consider a trader to be bad?  Lets take some time today to explore some of these common perceptions.

The number one, most important aspect of any deal is each party doing their due diligence in:

  • Describing the deal in detail.
  • Describing the items involved, asking questions for clarity and certainty, personal research.
  • Defining the scope of the actual transaction (shipping).  

All of these should be done prior to any sort of actual transaction happening.  If you have not covered these topics and are asked about one of them but cannot respond with a definitive answer or have to interpret or infer in-part, you may be at fault for your deal being considered bad.

So you have ironed out the details of your transaction and are ready to proceed, the transactions can begin.  If there is money involved, that is usually sent first.  Once any part of the transaction is done, if there are issues that arise before all parts are complete, chances are that you did not follow the number one, most important aspects of any deal.  Does this make anyone a bad trader?  Not yet.

If the transaction is in progress (items are in transit or ready to be), have you been provided a tracking number?  Even if you have not, we still might not be in bad trader zone.  Did you discuss the specifics regarding a tracking number?  If so, are you outside the negotiated shipping time?  If you are, we might be getting close to a bad trader, but we still aren’t there yet.

If in the scope of the transaction, issues or questions arise, contact the other party with your concerns.  Email read receipts and facebook messages are helpful.  These methods allow you to be certain if the opposing party has read the message, facebook being the most confident of the methods at this point.  If read, but you have no response, you are even closer to a bad trader.  If not read, take time to consider that life happens when unexpected.  Sick people, accidents, family and friends.  Many of these instance come with more importance in peoples lives.  Be considerate.

If read and you have a response, ask for an update.  REMEMBER: Stay polite and stick to the points.  If you become irate or insulting, you may get blocked.  Nobody has time for that.  If there is a reasonable exception as to why the deal is off track, please consider.  If you are not sure, ask someone in the hobby.  Consider talking about a timeline in which the deal becomes void.  If there is hostility during this discussion, you may have a bad trader, ask someone.  If the person blocks communication from you and you have not been insulting or irate, you have a bad trader.

If you have a concern after the transactions have been completed, you may not have followed the number one, most important aspect of any deal, however there are small exceptions, such as omitted information or things that were not clear in pictures.  If this arises, consult other parties for their opinion.  Before you start throwing accusations out there, lets find out if it was an honest mistake, lack of knowledge, or misinterpretation.

Once you have gathered your evidence, present it to the other party.  REMEMBER: Stay polite and stick to the points.  If you become irate or insulting, you may get blocked.  Give them time to consider and respond.  They may have evidence you have not considered to support that the item is as described.  If you cannot come to a resolution, ask for someone to mediate.  If mediation fails, you may have a bad trader.  The mediator may be able to help you make this determination.  If you can come to a resolution outside of a mediator, you do NOT have a bad trader.  If it is decided to simply undo all transactions, you do NOT have a bad trader.

If you have not performed your due diligence in a trade, you may be just as guilty as any other party in an undesirable transaction.  Do not jump to conclusions.  Accept outside advice or mediation when necessary.  If you become accusatory, irate, or rude, you may be considered the bad trader, so don’t.  If a solution is presented and is reasonable, the trader is not a bad trader. 

Why is any of this important?  Your online reputation is very important.  A poor reputation will limit the people willing to do business with you.  You may be removed from groups and have warnings place out about you.  Tarnishing someones reputation is not something to be taken lightly.  Stories can spread quickly about negative transactions.  If you are too quick to accuse someone of being a bad trader without evidence and facts, you run a large risk a being considered a bad trader yourself.