Collectors - How do you ensure a safe calculator trade?


I am interested in making a calculator trade with an individual I have not met. Although I am a regular eBayer with a feedback rating to risk, this individual is not. What methods have you collectors used in the past to ensure a safe transaction? Thanks in advance for your assistance.



In my personal experience, I've never had a problem worse than tardy shipment; I've always received what I paid for. But, your concern with a new seller with no feedback rating is not unreasonable.

In response to fraud which has occured on E-bay, they have made available two different services to protect buyers. The first is third-party escrow (, the second is insurance which E-bay provides ( E-bay is also now requiring new users who register to give a more legitimate e-mail address, rejecting e-mail addresses from those free services.

Use a money order (preferably from a reputable source, like the Post Office) so you will have good documentation of the transaction. This way, the seller has no excuse to delay the shipment while a personal check clears. Send the money order to the seller via USPS Priority Mail so that you are fairly certain of the delivery date. Also keep in communication with the seller, tell him when you send the money order, ask him to tell you when the money order arrives and when your calculator ships. Be polite in all you communications. Give the seller a reasonable time to respond to e-mails and to ship; sellers have lives too, and have things happen which will legitimately delay completion of the transaction.

Trust your intuition; if something doesn' seem right, even if you can't articulate what is wrong, don't bid. There is enough activity on E-bay that you will see another instance of that calculator in the future.

Good luck.


Thanks Mike,

You make some excellent points with regard to purchasing calculators on eBay and by extension I assume the newer auction sites on the web. My experience with eBay is very similar to yours - no problems with non delivery of goods.

My question (poorly phrased in my original post) is how do collectors handle calculator exchanges ie my mint 15C for your very good 16C or whatever. How do you handle the logistics of exchanging calculators with individuals you have never dealt with and have no knowledge of? I am beginning to think you simply asses the individual as best you can through email discussion then send your calculator and hope the other individual is as trustworthy as you. In the particular trade I am discussing the individual I'm dealing with has no experience trading calculators over the net. While I have used eBay for the last few months and have a good feedback rating, he is not familiar with this process. How do we "do a trade" that he can be comfortable with? Do escrow services work with "bartered" goods? If so how do they figure a fee?

Thanks again for your response. Any other thoughts?


I've never done a remote trade like you are describing. I've only done face-to-face trades where I could examine the goods before the exchange.

One suggestion would be to handle each side of the trade as an independent sale, where each of you get money before you sent your calculator to the other party. Then the traditional concepts of sales/auctions over the internet would apply, and an escrow agent could be employed if appropriate.

Alternatively, develop trust by exchanging pictures of the goods. If the other party's pictures and descriptions describe even minute/trivial defects, you are most likely dealing with someone you can trust.


Arrange it so both parties to the exchange send their merchandise to me. I'll verify the quality of the goods, and promptly forward the packages to the repective (and, may I add, respectable) recipients.

Nothing could be simpler! Ya got nuttin' ta worry about! ;)



I have *never* had trouble with dealing with anyone *here* on the HP Calc. Classifieds. Die-hard calculator nuts are generally not fraudsters. I'm sure someone will eventually prove me wrong but if I have to worry about a few $$, I have bigger problems than worrying about getting cheated!

However, I don't know about EBay. [ I now refuse to do business with them due to their "politically correct" attitude suppressing postings of legal firearm parts, etc. ] Even before this, I never liked to compete with the Ebay overbid mania - most true calc junkies post to this bulletin board and it is more sedate.



I've yet to be disapointed in trading HP stuff through Ebay or buying from individuals that frequent this site and or have links to their sites. I think it speaks highly of the HP breed! Just my .02

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