A couple of questions concerning Buys

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The Penguin

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I think that it's fairly clear that any "buyer protection" would be debited to the group buy coordinator's account - not to PayPal (because, hello...why would they take a loss? they are just functioning as the merchant charge back in lieu of an actual cc company). This would work similarly if you'd deny a charge made to PayPal itself with your VISA card, for example, although I suspect that you'd have all sorts of problems with PayPal after something like that, LOL.

I agree with Duncan, frankly. Part of what we are doing here in this community is trying to help one another in our crazy obsession with turning - uhm - I mean quite respectable hobby.

Although this is a virtual meeting space, there are friendships formed (some IRL) and there is a certain amount of respect and trust that goes along with that. If you don't trust those folks that you are going into business with, then don't do business. Simple enough.

It'd be a shame to make this nice activity go away due to the oppressive feeling of people worrying about things that haven't ever happened here to begin with. If it did happen, I'm sure that there would be significant repercussions to that individual, but honestly, I wouldn't think that any of the folks here are that dishonest. They wouldn't be here, and they wouldn't still be part of this community.

Besides...we know where you live. Bwahahahahaha!

And I agree with Penguin that anyone that doesn't take responsibility for their own package (insured or not) and then turns around and tries to make it someone else's fault just probably doesn't belong here and should be sent to the naughty corner and not let out any time soon.

As far as making labels on USPS goes - it's not that hard to cut and paste from email or whatever list/spreadsheet that's been compiled. It can be a bit more of a pain, but hey...anything is fun if you decide it is...just sayin'

Good days and great days...don't have bad days anymore (and that's by choice ;)

Let's not cancel the party because we might not like the clown...

Just my two cents.
Well the coordinator is entitled to be protected as well as the buyer -- and what others think not-with-standing insurance is to protect the sender against loss. If a package is lost or damaged the seller (group buy coordinator) is responsible to make it good by replacement or refund. Period. And, contrary to what some people seem to believe, not everyone participating in a group buy would be willing to eat a $500.00 loss whether they bought insurance or not. It isn't a matter of trust - losses can occur through no fault of the coordinator.

Buyer protection is to protect the buyer against loss in the rare case where the seller decides to obscond with the money - that isn't likely to happen, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods, accidents and deaths can and do happen - Buyer protection works in those cases too. Again it has nothing to do with trust. And, it is free.

Postage labels - What good reason is there to ask the group coordinator to do more work than he/she is already undertaking. If anyone thinks that paying a paypal fee negates their savings, they are free to not join the buy.
yes, losses can occur through no fault of the coordinator.

if the end buyer (participant) - refused to to purchase shipping insurance (because he's a cheapass and likes to gamble?) and then God forbid - the package is lost in shipment - you still think the coordinator should be liable for the package & contents?

unbelievable.
 
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magier412

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I think there is some misunderstanding about this feature. It is nothing strange.

There are two ways to pay using PayPal. Merchandise payment and F & F, both of them offer the same options for the source of funds to make the payment with. A Payer can have one or more credit cards set up. They can have PayPal access their bank account and they can use their PayPal balance.

Buyer Protection applies only if the payer uses their PayPal balance as the source of funds and only if used in payment for merchandise. It gives the payer only the same recourse using their PayPal Balance that they have if they use a credit card as the source of funds. Nothing more.

If the payer uses a credit card their recourse is via the credit card bank rather than PayPal but they do have it.

The charge back always goes first to the Payees funds but in some cases if the payees funds don't cover an allowed charge back the credit card bank must bear the loss. PayPal buyer protection seems to work the same way. If they can they will charge back to the Payee, if for some reason they can't do that they will still make good the charge back.

Whether or not the Payer initiates a dispute is entirely up to them, because they can doesn't mean they have to. I've had a couple started against me because of slow delivery to Canada then dropped when the package arrived - they were initiated only to protect the buyer in case of loss in the mail.

You can't dispute a F & F transfer from PayPal under normal circumstances because you are saying you're not paying for anything.

The reason I would not use F & F for Group Buys is because it does not connect to the mailing label if the coordinator is going to use USPS and I'm not sure maybe FedEx or UPS as well. If you have 50 participants this can mean a ton of extra work for the coordinator.
No, I totally understand. I do. :dog:

My point is that using this option, while it does protect the buyer (fair enough) it also puts the coordinator/seller in a huge position of liability.

I'm not saying that it's not up to the individual to decide to file a claim if they don't receive their uninsured package that was lost/damaged after mailing - I personally would find this to be bad form and a risk that I wouldn't take on as a coordinator/seller.

I also think that should some unsavory person decide to abscond with funds sent in good faith - then the proper recourse would of course be to file a claim.

I guess that what I am saying is - if people want to be in the best position possible, then they should pay for Goods and Services (paying the appropriate fees thereof and thereby receiving the benefit of PayPal Buyers Protection) AND they should also pay a MANDATORY insurance fee for actual replacement value of their shipped goods in case of loss or damage (to protect the seller in case of a claim, or the buyer that doesn't want to file a claim with PayPal, but does want to file a claim with the shipper).

This isn't what has necessarily been done in the past (although some have), but if everyone wants to protect themselves and those that put themselves at risk by taking on the task of coordinating these group buys, then this is likely the most transparent and risk-less way to do it (not risk free, but less risky) as far as PayPal goes. :smile:

It adds to the cost and may be somewhat more cumbersome, and that may make it less attractive to some. Or not. :banana:

Phew...That's about as clearly as I can say it at this time of night with a tired and somewhat angry brain... LOL. :laugh:
 
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Quality Pen

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Well, I'm just thinking about something but...

If you paid via PayPal with F&F and used your Visa/Amex/Discover/etc and got scammed, would you be able to dispute this with your credit card company?

If you could, then perhaps that avoids the ill-intentioned-organizer threat.

(However, the lost package threat+no insurance may be still exist.)

From a buyer's perspective, it's far better to pay for isurance than PP fees. And, (although sometimes I am slower than I like!) I refund money when people send F&F, and sometimes this can be a meaningful 10 bucks.
 

jyreene

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I think there is some misunderstanding about this feature. It is nothing strange.

There are two ways to pay using PayPal. Merchandise payment and F & F, both of them offer the same options for the source of funds to make the payment with. A Payer can have one or more credit cards set up. They can have PayPal access their bank account and they can use their PayPal balance.

Buyer Protection applies only if the payer uses their PayPal balance as the source of funds and only if used in payment for merchandise. It gives the payer only the same recourse using their PayPal Balance that they have if they use a credit card as the source of funds. Nothing more.

If the payer uses a credit card their recourse is via the credit card bank rather than PayPal but they do have it.

The charge back always goes first to the Payees funds but in some cases if the payees funds don't cover an allowed charge back the credit card bank must bear the loss. PayPal buyer protection seems to work the same way. If they can they will charge back to the Payee, if for some reason they can't do that they will still make good the charge back.

Whether or not the Payer initiates a dispute is entirely up to them, because they can doesn't mean they have to. I've had a couple started against me because of slow delivery to Canada then dropped when the package arrived - they were initiated only to protect the buyer in case of loss in the mail.

You can't dispute a F & F transfer from PayPal under normal circumstances because you are saying you're not paying for anything.

The reason I would not use F & F for Group Buys is because it does not connect to the mailing label if the coordinator is going to use USPS and I'm not sure maybe FedEx or UPS as well. If you have 50 participants this can mean a ton of extra work for the coordinator.
I'll wade into this because I've done a group buy and because this is getting ridiculous.

I have done a group buy and used both F & F and merchant service because some of the buyers were unable to get F & F to work. I hand typed all the labels for it. The difference between typing them in and using the print label from PayPal was maybe all of a few minutes total. I had already volunteered my time to run the buy so I was willing to use that time.

You seem to be A) thinking that the buyers shouldn't have the option to get insurance because they don't truly understand what they would be losing B) thinking that the group buy coordinator should be treated as a vendor no matter what C) thinking that the difference between typing a label in USPS, going the the brick and mortar, or using PayPal's shipping print capability is your decision to make. If the group buy coordinator and Monty are all good with the options decided then it's up to them.

On my group buy I asked if anyone wanted insurance. No one did. They all got the insurance that comes with the shipping. $50 for domestic and $25 for international. Let's say someone didn't get their package. What's the recourse? I have to pay them back? I have to get them another set? Let's say I have to get them another set. That would mean buy one offs of something in many cases (except the CSUSA buys) and would not just be out a little but a lot.

PayPal F & F did not let me print shipping labels. The only time I got addresses with that function was if they put it in the notes. PayPal assumes you have the addresses of your friends and family. So that answers that question. The only way to print a label from PayPal is using the merchant option and only if you have it set up that way and the buyer has their address set up.
 

KenV

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This is a "policy development" discussion. IAP is running more group buys and doing it on a regular basis. While the purpose is to save some money on the part of the group, the IAP interest is to keep peace and harmony and generate good feelings on the part of the participants.

So the outcome policies that the IAP Management team put into place will be the rules that govern. You participate in a group buy through IAP - you accept and follow the rules. The policies should provide clarity about roles, responsibility, and risks.

For example -- a policy about insurance for shipments from the Coordinator.

Participants in Group Buys will have the opportunity to add payment for insurance on the package(s) from the Coordinator to the Participant. Should the Participant decline to pay for insurance, the Participant accepts the risks of loss of the parcel in shipment and has no recourse except for the insurance generally offered with the shipment ($50 domestic shippment with USPS for example). The Coordinator agrees to file claims for lost packages to the extent of insurance coverage and value of the contents should loss occur.


This gets sticky only when there is loss of a package off the doorstep or delivery of packages to the wrong address (been there recently with a USPS package - but the party it was delivered to sent it back and I got it on the bounce).
 

Smitty37

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Regarding "buyer protection" and shipping insurance - from a coordinators perspective, if someone insists on buyer protection, I'd want to insist on shipping insurance. The buyers have to trust the coordinators, otherwise the coordinators aren't going to be there. The same is true that the coordinators have to trust the buyers. Now that we know that F&F is a legal option in PP, I would tend to encourage it (as it seems most buyers want it). That being said, I would go with what I said above - if F&F is openly available (and encouraged, maybe), and a buyer insists they want to use G&S in PP (for the buyer protection), I would insist that they opt for insurance (and possibly for the non-discounted goods price, if I'll be expected to provide the goods again).

Let's just trust that we (both buyers and coordinators) are there to try our best to help out each other.

Ed
Why? If they are keeping track of expenses using the G & S payment gives them a better paper trail for their taxes than F & F in case of Audit. In either case insurance should be required - not an option. Insurance is the only way to protect both the buyer and seller.

As I said earlier, if the buyer protection is nothing special - 75 % of my customers pay with a credit card they have "buyer protection" via their credit card company - PayPal buyer protection does not apply to those customers, only to customers who use their paypal balance as their source of funds.

Why would you ever want to deny them the same protections that those using credit cards have?
 

The Penguin

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Regarding "buyer protection" and shipping insurance - from a coordinators perspective, if someone insists on buyer protection, I'd want to insist on shipping insurance. The buyers have to trust the coordinators, otherwise the coordinators aren't going to be there. The same is true that the coordinators have to trust the buyers. Now that we know that F&F is a legal option in PP, I would tend to encourage it (as it seems most buyers want it). That being said, I would go with what I said above - if F&F is openly available (and encouraged, maybe), and a buyer insists they want to use G&S in PP (for the buyer protection), I would insist that they opt for insurance (and possibly for the non-discounted goods price, if I'll be expected to provide the goods again).

Let's just trust that we (both buyers and coordinators) are there to try our best to help out each other.

Ed
Why? If they are keeping track of expenses using the G & S payment gives them a better paper trail for their taxes than F & F in case of Audit. In either case insurance should be required - not an option. Insurance is the only way to protect both the buyer and seller.

As I said earlier, if the buyer protection is nothing special - 75 % of my customers pay with a credit card they have "buyer protection" via their credit card company - PayPal buyer protection does not apply to those customers, only to customers who use their paypal balance as their source of funds.

Why would you ever want to deny them the same protections that those using credit cards have?
stop looking at group buys and the group buy coordinator as a "business" - because we are not.

as a group buy coordinator - I am not profiting off of the "sale" of any merchandise to the end user - in fact we volunteer our time to conduct the buy. So you could say we are "losing" money by spending our time to coordinate.
 

magier412

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Smitty....I think that the huge difference here is as Penguin says...you seem to be looking at this from the perspective of a vendor, when this really isn't anything like that at all. It's totally volunteer project, done for the good of the community - and to be fair, they also benefit from the effort of the discount, but that's about it. I don't think that we can think of this as anything close to a vendor/buyer relationship. It truly is a group of friends pooling their resources to get a better deal on a purchase by volume.
 

GDGeorge

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Hi folks,

I'll chime in here as I've coordinated one of these and am putting together another. I guess that I'm fine with the system the way it is. Having said that, it seems to me that there are very few actual protections for either side should a package fail to arrive and that the insurance is probably the best of those.

Other semi-random thoughts:

Hold harmless agreements, Individual Buy policies, and IAP rules may or may not have any legal standing depending upon where the buyer and coordinator is located but let's remember that legal recourse against a coordinator would be expensive and probably not worth it for a participant.

The buyer has the opportunity to purchase insurance over and above that provided but currently has the option of rolling dice that are, frankly, loaded in his or her favor, assuming that everyone has good-intentions. The Coordinator provides proof of shipping receives proof of delivery and thus both sides are covered. Again, assuming everyone is reasonable.

I won't speak for everyone, but in my case, I want to give back to the community and this is a good way to do it. This forum is a great resource and is one of two forums that I hang out on. Yes, there is recompense in the form of the discount and the Frequent Buyer points, but I'll be honest they don't even begin to cover my time. FYI, I just checked and I received $90 in "instant cash" on the last one. My actual costs over and above my time included supplies such as tape, labels, toner, and fuel. My time was probably about four to six hours, maybe a bit more. The majority of it was sorting orders and modifying the spreadsheet to make settlement sheets. I'll actually keep track this time but I'm guessing it will be on the order of 5 hours total.

I'm not too worried about an ill-intentioned buyer as I "knew" most of the buyer from my last one. I also could have not permitted someones' participation had I not been comfortable with them.

Likewise, I didn't twist any arms to get perticipants. People who weren't comfortable with the risks could choose not to participate.

Even assuming that someone got that far in assembling a buy, I can't imagine that it would be worth it for a coordinator to take the money and run. It's just not that much money for the risk.
 

Smitty37

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Regarding "buyer protection" and shipping insurance - from a coordinators perspective, if someone insists on buyer protection, I'd want to insist on shipping insurance. The buyers have to trust the coordinators, otherwise the coordinators aren't going to be there. The same is true that the coordinators have to trust the buyers. Now that we know that F&F is a legal option in PP, I would tend to encourage it (as it seems most buyers want it). That being said, I would go with what I said above - if F&F is openly available (and encouraged, maybe), and a buyer insists they want to use G&S in PP (for the buyer protection), I would insist that they opt for insurance (and possibly for the non-discounted goods price, if I'll be expected to provide the goods again).

Let's just trust that we (both buyers and coordinators) are there to try our best to help out each other.

Ed
Why? If they are keeping track of expenses using the G & S payment gives them a better paper trail for their taxes than F & F in case of Audit. In either case insurance should be required - not an option. Insurance is the only way to protect both the buyer and seller.

As I said earlier, if the buyer protection is nothing special - 75 % of my customers pay with a credit card they have "buyer protection" via their credit card company - PayPal buyer protection does not apply to those customers, only to customers who use their paypal balance as their source of funds.

Why would you ever want to deny them the same protections that those using credit cards have?
stop looking at group buys and the group buy coordinator as a "business" - because we are not.

as a group buy coordinator - I am not profiting off of the "sale" of any merchandise to the end user - in fact we volunteer our time to conduct the buy. So you could say we are "losing" money by spending our time to coordinate.
It has nothing to do with whether it is a "business" or not. If you don't like buyer and seller call it payer and payee.

What we are talking about with PayPal is whether or not there is more or less risk of loss using F & F or G & S for payment. That is why we also talked about shipping insurance, which also concerns risk of loss.

A payer using a credit card as the source of funds has a recourse available by using charge back. That is there whether the payer chooses F & F or G & S.

A payer using their PayPal balance as a source of funds has no recourse if they use F & F, but they do have the same recourse using G & S they'd have if they used their credit card.

All of that has nothing to do with trust, profit motive or anything else. It has only to do with risk of loss and who is assuming the risk of loss.

The PayPal mailing label issue is not related to business either, it is related to the amount of work the coordinator needs to do to accomplish their task...which we all know is volunteer work.
 

Smitty37

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Regarding "buyer protection" and shipping insurance - from a coordinators perspective, if someone insists on buyer protection, I'd want to insist on shipping insurance. The buyers have to trust the coordinators, otherwise the coordinators aren't going to be there. The same is true that the coordinators have to trust the buyers. Now that we know that F&F is a legal option in PP, I would tend to encourage it (as it seems most buyers want it). That being said, I would go with what I said above - if F&F is openly available (and encouraged, maybe), and a buyer insists they want to use G&S in PP (for the buyer protection), I would insist that they opt for insurance (and possibly for the non-discounted goods price, if I'll be expected to provide the goods again).

Let's just trust that we (both buyers and coordinators) are there to try our best to help out each other.

Ed
Why? If they are keeping track of expenses using the G & S payment gives them a better paper trail for their taxes than F & F in case of Audit. In either case insurance should be required - not an option. Insurance is the only way to protect both the buyer and seller.

As I said earlier, if the buyer protection is nothing special - 75 % of my customers pay with a credit card they have "buyer protection" via their credit card company - PayPal buyer protection does not apply to those customers, only to customers who use their paypal balance as their source of funds.

Why would you ever want to deny them the same protections that those using credit cards have?
stop looking at group buys and the group buy coordinator as a "business" - because we are not.

as a group buy coordinator - I am not profiting off of the "sale" of any merchandise to the end user - in fact we volunteer our time to conduct the buy. So you could say we are "losing" money by spending our time to coordinate.
It has nothing to do with whether it is a "business" or not. If you don't like buyer and seller call it payer and payee.

What we are talking about with PayPal is whether or not there is more or less risk of loss using F & F or G & S for payment. That is why we also talked about shipping insurance, which also concerns risk of loss.

A payer using a credit card as the source of funds has a recourse available by using charge back. That is there whether the payer chooses F & F or G & S.

A payer using their PayPal balance as a source of funds has no recourse if they use F & F, but they do have the same recourse using G & S they'd have if they used their credit card.

All of that has nothing to do with trust, profit motive or anything else. It has only to do with risk of loss and who is assuming the risk of loss.

The PayPal mailing label issue is not related to business either, it is related to the amount of work the coordinator needs to do to accomplish their task...which we all know is volunteer work.

While the group buy coordinator is not a business, I suspect that a lot of participants are. They are buying kits to turn into pens that they will sell. Hence, you have purchases that are either non-business related or business related. A business person can't claim something is not business related simply because they buy it from a private individual rather than another business.
 

The Penguin

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why should a participant need to have any "recourse" against a group buy coordinator?

if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several. Perhaps the "vetting" process here at IAP should be stiffened. But then, people change, and someone previously vetted could fall on hard times and take advantage.

if the coordinator gets the order wrong - he should man up and fix it with the participant - again, no "recourse" should be required.
 

Monty

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...if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several....
Something similar to this happened over 5 years ago. Not a GB, but the person collected money in advance and then abruptly vanished. It was said he had fallen on hard times and lost everything.

A payer using their PayPal balance as a source of funds has no recourse if they use F & F, but they do have the same recourse using G & S they'd have if they used their credit card.
The reason given for wanting to use F&F is to avoid paying the PP fee. If one used their CC or DC in F&F, then they are charged the PP fee, where in G&S the recipient pays the fees and we have been adding in the approximate amount of this fee.
 

Smitty37

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why should a participant need to have any "recourse" against a group buy coordinator?

if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several. Perhaps the "vetting" process here at IAP should be stiffened. But then, people change, and someone previously vetted could fall on hard times and take advantage.

if the coordinator gets the order wrong - he should man up and fix it with the participant - again, no "recourse" should be required.
Recourse is not against anyone per se. There are any number of things that can happen where something doesn't get delivered and if it involves enough money the participant is going to want either the goods or his/her money back.

What if a $500 package is lost? Assuming neither the coordinator nor the participant are rich enough to absorb the loss...who should get the loss?

Without insurance one of them is going to eat the loss and quite a few are saying insurance should be optional to save the participant a couple of dollars.

If the participant paid with buyer protection, or a credit card, you can make book that the coordinator will eat the loss.

If the participant paid with his paypal balance you can make book that the participant will eat the loss.

This discussion becomes academic if insurance is required or if priority mail is used and the value is less than $50.00.

IAP in no longer a small tight knit organization. It now has almost 20,000 members and will probably reach that milestone in very short order. So Group buys are going to involve all kinds of people, and expecting everyone to act toward each other like they might have a few years ago is living in a dream world.
 

Smitty37

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...if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several....
Something similar to this happened over 5 years ago. Not a GB, but the person collected money in advance and then abruptly vanished. It was said he had fallen on hard times and lost everything.

A payer using their PayPal balance as a source of funds has no recourse if they use F & F, but they do have the same recourse using G & S they'd have if they used their credit card.
The reason given for wanting to use F&F is to avoid paying the PP fee. If one used their CC or DC in F&F, then they are charged the PP fee, where in G&S the recipient pays the fees and we have been adding in the approximate amount of this fee.
Agreed but I believe it is a Pass through fee going to the credit card bank. In a normal credit card transaction the merchant pays that fee and has it built into their price structure.

Was it that long ago that the advance payments disappeared. Time flys when you are getting old.
 
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The Penguin

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why should a participant need to have any "recourse" against a group buy coordinator?

if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several. Perhaps the "vetting" process here at IAP should be stiffened. But then, people change, and someone previously vetted could fall on hard times and take advantage.

if the coordinator gets the order wrong - he should man up and fix it with the participant - again, no "recourse" should be required.
Recourse is not against anyone per se. There are any number of things that can happen where something doesn't get delivered and if it involves enough money the participant is going to want either the goods or his/her money back.

What if a $500 package is lost? Assuming neither the coordinator nor the participant are rich enough to absorb the loss...who should get the loss?

Without insurance one of them is going to eat the loss and quite a few are saying insurance should be optional to save the participant a couple of dollars.

If the participant paid with buyer protection, or a credit card, you can make book that the coordinator will eat the loss.

If the participant paid with his paypal balance you can make book that the participant will eat the loss.

This discussion becomes academic if insurance is required or if priority mail is used and the value is less than $50.00.

IAP in no longer a small tight knit organization. It now has almost 20,000 members and will probably reach that milestone in very short order. So Group buys are going to involve all kinds of people, and expecting everyone to act toward each other like they might have a few years ago is living in a dream world.
If the buyer (participant) can't afford the loss - he damn well should have bought insurance then right? Why should the coordinator be held responsible for a cheap buyer that doesn't want to buy insurance?
 

Monty

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...Agreed but I believe it is a Pass through fee going to the credit card bank. In a normal credit card transaction the merchant pays that fee and has it built into their price structure.
Same with a GB, however the G&S fee is added to the purchasers bill. If a CC is used in F&F the purchaser would pay the fee upfront and it would not be added to their bill. The only way the purchaser avoids the fee is to pay through F&F with their PP balance or from their bank account and therefore would have no buyer protection.
 

ed4copies

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why should a participant need to have any "recourse" against a group buy coordinator?

if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several. Perhaps the "vetting" process here at IAP should be stiffened. But then, people change, and someone previously vetted could fall on hard times and take advantage.

if the coordinator gets the order wrong - he should man up and fix it with the participant - again, no "recourse" should be required.
Recourse is not against anyone per se. There are any number of things that can happen where something doesn't get delivered and if it involves enough money the participant is going to want either the goods or his/her money back.

What if a $500 package is lost? Assuming neither the coordinator nor the participant are rich enough to absorb the loss...who should get the loss?

Without insurance one of them is going to eat the loss and quite a few are saying insurance should be optional to save the participant a couple of dollars.

If the participant paid with buyer protection, or a credit card, you can make book that the coordinator will eat the loss.

If the participant paid with his paypal balance you can make book that the participant will eat the loss.

This discussion becomes academic if insurance is required or if priority mail is used and the value is less than $50.00.

IAP in no longer a small tight knit organization. It now has almost 20,000 members and will probably reach that milestone in very short order. So Group buys are going to involve all kinds of people, and expecting everyone to act toward each other like they might have a few years ago is living in a dream world.
If the buyer (participant) can't afford the loss - he damn well should have bought insurance then right? Why should the coordinator be held responsible for a cheap buyer that doesn't want to buy insurance?
What SHOULD happen has little bearing on the decision a credit card company or PayPal will make. Also IAP would have no control over the decision made by the credit card or Paypal.

"HE" (the buyer) paid YOU (the coordinator) for goods and services. HE did not get them, YOU are likely out the money. Yes, this would not happen on IAP---everybody trusts everybody, usually with good reason. LET me tell you about a scam pulled on the auctions-----"nice young man" tried to pull a fast one--GREAT work by Jeff and Curtis stymied the plan---he could just as easily have said he did not receive the goods on a group buy---even if they were in his hands----would PayPal support the coordinator???
 
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Smitty37

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why should a participant need to have any "recourse" against a group buy coordinator?

if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several. Perhaps the "vetting" process here at IAP should be stiffened. But then, people change, and someone previously vetted could fall on hard times and take advantage.

if the coordinator gets the order wrong - he should man up and fix it with the participant - again, no "recourse" should be required.
Recourse is not against anyone per se. There are any number of things that can happen where something doesn't get delivered and if it involves enough money the participant is going to want either the goods or his/her money back.

What if a $500 package is lost? Assuming neither the coordinator nor the participant are rich enough to absorb the loss...who should get the loss?

Without insurance one of them is going to eat the loss and quite a few are saying insurance should be optional to save the participant a couple of dollars.

If the participant paid with buyer protection, or a credit card, you can make book that the coordinator will eat the loss.

If the participant paid with his paypal balance you can make book that the participant will eat the loss.

This discussion becomes academic if insurance is required or if priority mail is used and the value is less than $50.00.

IAP in no longer a small tight knit organization. It now has almost 20,000 members and will probably reach that milestone in very short order. So Group buys are going to involve all kinds of people, and expecting everyone to act toward each other like they might have a few years ago is living in a dream world.
If the buyer (participant) can't afford the loss - he damn well should have bought insurance then right? Why should the coordinator be held responsible for a cheap buyer that doesn't want to buy insurance?
In the eyes of the Credit Card Bank or PayPal the seller (coordinator) is responsible for the shipment until it is delivered and found to be in perfect condition and complete. Up until that time the coordinator is responsible in PayPal's eyes whether you think he/she should be or not. And, they do not care if the payer was offered insurance and was too cheap to pay for it or not.

If you have ever disputed a payment for nondelivery or had one disputed at PayPal (I have had both) you know that already.

You are (in my opinion) making the mistake of thinking that because it is a group buy the buyer will not enter a dispute if the goods are not delivered, We might agree that in this case the participant should not do so and to this point no one has done so but that in no way guarantees that no one in the future will.
 

Smitty37

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why should a participant need to have any "recourse" against a group buy coordinator?

if it's straight up malfeasance and the coordinator steals the money - then sure - but it would likely not be just one participant, but several. Perhaps the "vetting" process here at IAP should be stiffened. But then, people change, and someone previously vetted could fall on hard times and take advantage.

if the coordinator gets the order wrong - he should man up and fix it with the participant - again, no "recourse" should be required.
Recourse is not against anyone per se. There are any number of things that can happen where something doesn't get delivered and if it involves enough money the participant is going to want either the goods or his/her money back.

What if a $500 package is lost? Assuming neither the coordinator nor the participant are rich enough to absorb the loss...who should get the loss?

Without insurance one of them is going to eat the loss and quite a few are saying insurance should be optional to save the participant a couple of dollars.

If the participant paid with buyer protection, or a credit card, you can make book that the coordinator will eat the loss.

If the participant paid with his paypal balance you can make book that the participant will eat the loss.

This discussion becomes academic if insurance is required or if priority mail is used and the value is less than $50.00.

IAP in no longer a small tight knit organization. It now has almost 20,000 members and will probably reach that milestone in very short order. So Group buys are going to involve all kinds of people, and expecting everyone to act toward each other like they might have a few years ago is living in a dream world.
If the buyer (participant) can't afford the loss - he damn well should have bought insurance then right? Why should the coordinator be held responsible for a cheap buyer that doesn't want to buy insurance?
What SHOULD happen has little bearing on the decision a credit card company or PayPal will make. Also IAP would have no control over the decision made by the credit card or Paypal.

"HE" (the buyer) paid YOU (the coordinator) for goods and services. HE did not get them, YOU are likely out the money. Yes, this would not happen on IAP---everybody trusts everybody, usually with good reason. LET me tell you about a scam pulled on the auctions-----"nice young man" tried to pull a fast one--GREAT work by Jeff and Curtis stymied the plan---he could just as easily have said he did not receive the goods on a group buy---even if they were in his hands----would PayPal support the coordinator???
If I'm not mistaken that was just last year or maybe it was 2013 but not long ago.
 

KenV

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The other aspect -- because the activity is done under the umbrella of Penturners.org. LLC; there are some who would see IAP having some responsibility. Especially as IAP develops guidelines and policies, should those policies not be followed, the probability of responsibility increases. Policy monitoring and "enforcement" become important for IAP.
 

Smitty37

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...Agreed but I believe it is a Pass through fee going to the credit card bank. In a normal credit card transaction the merchant pays that fee and has it built into their price structure.
Same with a GB, however the G&S fee is added to the purchasers bill. If a CC is used in F&F the purchaser would pay the fee upfront and it would not be added to their bill. The only way the purchaser avoids the fee is to pay through F&F with their PP balance or from their bank account and therefore would have no buyer protection.
Agreed...but that is my point. The purchaser who pays with PayPal funds (or bank transfer) is exposed to a risk that a purchaser who uses a credit card in F & F is not exposed to. If they use G & S both are treated the same. Different players but the same protection.

I personally believe that requiring shipping insurance is the correct solution. Barring that I think that allowing F & F is not the best course of action unless the buy is as Dawn suggested a small one with few participants and the amount of money is lost.

BTW You have a good memory, the guy who absconded was not much over 5 years ago because I was a relatively new member and I've not been here quite 5 1/2 years yet.
 

The Penguin

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So Smitty - you've changed your mind since the last CSUSA goup buy that I did - and you participated in...

you paid (I believe, and to the best I can figure out from my spreadsheet) using F&F, and refused insurance on your shipping.

I also recall that it was likely you that took me to task via PM or email about our ability to use F&F rather than G&S and that it should have been offered in the original buy.
 

jyreene

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Wow, this is a bunch of going no where.

TL;DR - We are good using F & F but it doesn't give an address unless entered into the notes section. Insurance should be offered but not required to be purchased.

Monty, it seems the second question has been answered. Unless PayPal changes their software you don't get the address using F & F unless the member enters their address in the comments. For that one I believe it should be up to the Group Buy Coordinator on which option to use. We are within the bounds of PayPal's rules for using F & F but if they don't want to hand type/write everyone's mailing address then they should be the ones to choose G & S or F & F and the Group Buy Rules should state that.

As to the first question, a Group Buy Coordinator should be required to offer, only offer, insurance up to the full value of the package. If a member declines it they should be required to state that in the thread itself so all can see that the member understands that if there is a problem with shipping then they are the ones that are out of the money since they chose not to get insurance. To caveat that it should be required to be sent with a service that offers tracking. USPS, FedEx, and UPS all offer this. The Group Buy I coordinated was all USPS and I had all the tracking numbers. Not all members wanted them but I sent them to all that did.
 

Smitty37

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So Smitty - you've changed your mind since the last CSUSA goup buy that I did - and you participated in...

you paid (I believe, and to the best I can figure out from my spreadsheet) using F&F, and refused insurance on your shipping.

I also recall that it was likely you that took me to task via PM or email about our ability to use F&F rather than G&S and that it should have been offered in the original buy.
You could be right about how I paid and that if you offered insurance I refused it. If it is an option I will refuse Insurance now. If you were charging extra for G & S I probably would have used F & F to eliminate the charge.

I think you are wrong that I "took you to task" because you didn't offer F & F in the original buy offer.

What does that have to do with this discussion? What you allowed in the past, and what I chose to do in the past is not related to the way it should be done.

If any shipper "offers" insurance and disclaims responsibility if I refuse it. I will refuse it. I know the shipper is on the hook. As does Ed from exotics.

If coordinators want to assume risk with their money that is certainly their business - I do for packages valued less the $200 myself. But I fully understand that if the shipment is lost I am going to make the receiver whole.
 
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Smitty37

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There is one thing to note here - I think but I could be wrong - that Credit Card providers MUST BY LAW have the charge back feature, I think it goes along with their responsibility for lost, stolen or unauthorized use of credit cards and identity theft and all that can of worms. I believe that Buyer Protection offered by PayPal might come under that same kind of law so the fact that is is only offered to people who use their paypal balance might be related to that.
 

ed4copies

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Wow, this is a bunch of going no where.

TL;DR - We are good using F & F but it doesn't give an address unless entered into the notes section. Insurance should be offered but not required to be purchased.

Monty, it seems the second question has been answered. Unless PayPal changes their software you don't get the address using F & F unless the member enters their address in the comments. For that one I believe it should be up to the Group Buy Coordinator on which option to use. We are within the bounds of PayPal's rules for using F & F but if they don't want to hand type/write everyone's mailing address then they should be the ones to choose G & S or F & F and the Group Buy Rules should state that.

As to the first question, a Group Buy Coordinator should be required to offer, only offer, insurance up to the full value of the package. If a member declines it they should be required to state that in the thread itself so all can see that the member understands that if there is a problem with shipping then they are the ones that are out of the money since they chose not to get insurance. To caveat that it should be required to be sent with a service that offers tracking. USPS, FedEx, and UPS all offer this. The Group Buy I coordinated was all USPS and I had all the tracking numbers. Not all members wanted them but I sent them to all that did.
The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??

This IS a RARE occurrence--maybe one in a thousand, but it DOES happen. We have been fortunate, our customers cooperated completely. Only one was never found and we replaced it.
 
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jyreene

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The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??
I'm not arguing that the USPS can be wrong. I know they have had that exact scenario with something you shipped me. But was found and delivered. It's something I expect from time to time at my local post office. I did not expect you to be charged but that USPS insurance would cover it up to the amount entered if the package was lost.

All I'm getting at is if the member refuses insurance, which should be publicly stated in the thread when they so refuse, then that is their choice. Forcing members to insure packages even if they are willing to take the risk of items not being received is telling them they don't have any true freedom to choose what risks they take.
 

Smitty37

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Wow, this is a bunch of going no where.

TL;DR - We are good using F & F but it doesn't give an address unless entered into the notes section. Insurance should be offered but not required to be purchased.

Monty, it seems the second question has been answered. Unless PayPal changes their software you don't get the address using F & F unless the member enters their address in the comments. For that one I believe it should be up to the Group Buy Coordinator on which option to use. We are within the bounds of PayPal's rules for using F & F but if they don't want to hand type/write everyone's mailing address then they should be the ones to choose G & S or F & F and the Group Buy Rules should state that.

As to the first question, a Group Buy Coordinator should be required to offer, only offer, insurance up to the full value of the package. If a member declines it they should be required to state that in the thread itself so all can see that the member understands that if there is a problem with shipping then they are the ones that are out of the money since they chose not to get insurance. To caveat that it should be required to be sent with a service that offers tracking. USPS, FedEx, and UPS all offer this. The Group Buy I coordinated was all USPS and I had all the tracking numbers. Not all members wanted them but I sent them to all that did.
The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??

This IS a RARE occurrence--maybe one in a thousand, but it DOES happen. We have been fortunate, our customers cooperated completely. Only one was never found and we replaced it.
I have experienced the "lost in the post office" myself. We were away for a few days and had our mail held - a package arrived and was scanned into the post office but never delivered when we restarted the mail. It took three days, several calls to the post office and my carrier carrying out a search before they found it (pushed behind something).
 

Smitty37

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The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??
I'm not arguing that the USPS can be wrong. I know they have had that exact scenario with something you shipped me. But was found and delivered. It's something I expect from time to time at my local post office. I did not expect you to be charged but that USPS insurance would cover it up to the amount entered if the package was lost.

All I'm getting at is if the member refuses insurance, which should be publicly stated in the thread when they so refuse, then that is their choice. Forcing members to insure packages even if they are willing to take the risk of items not being received is telling them they don't have any true freedom to choose what risks they take.
Ty, what you seem to be missing is that the 'members' are not choosing to take the risk. They are putting that risk on the coordinator. The fact that they were given the option to insure and refused to insure a package that someone else is responsible for until it is delivered will not cut a bit of water with PayPal or a credit card company.

eBay about 4 or 5 years ago halted what was at that time a common practice of sellers offering shipping insurance and no longer allow it. The reason - the shipper is responsible for the shipment until it is delivered. That applied to businesses selling on eBay and individuals selling personal items.
 

Smitty37

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Awhile back some one posted that IAP might have some responsibility if a seller does not deliver in a group buy. I will almost guarantee that if someone initiates litigation due to a group buy IAP would be a defendant, along with anyone else they can find with an even remote connection to the transaction. Heck, they'll name someone who was walking their dog past the house at the time the order was sent in.....
 

The Penguin

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I have experienced the "lost in the post office" myself. We were away for a few days and had our mail held - a package arrived and was scanned into the post office but never delivered when we restarted the mail. It took three days, several calls to the post office and my carrier carrying out a search before they found it (pushed behind something).
I once did a group buy for Ruth Niles bottle stoppers.

USPS "lost" the box.

a MFRB that weighed 40# (no, I'm not exaggerating)

they ended up finding it in the dead letter box at my post office - it was one day away from being sent back to Ruth.
 

jyreene

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The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??
I'm not arguing that the USPS can be wrong. I know they have had that exact scenario with something you shipped me. But was found and delivered. It's something I expect from time to time at my local post office. I did not expect you to be charged but that USPS insurance would cover it up to the amount entered if the package was lost.

All I'm getting at is if the member refuses insurance, which should be publicly stated in the thread when they so refuse, then that is their choice. Forcing members to insure packages even if they are willing to take the risk of items not being received is telling them they don't have any true freedom to choose what risks they take.
Ty, what you seem to be missing is that the 'members' are not choosing to take the risk. They are putting that risk on the coordinator. The fact that they were given the option to insure and refused to insure a package that someone else is responsible for until it is delivered will not cut a bit of water with PayPal or a credit card company.

eBay about 4 or 5 years ago halted what was at that time a common practice of sellers offering shipping insurance and no longer allow it. The reason - the shipper is responsible for the shipment until it is delivered. That applied to businesses selling on eBay and individuals selling personal items.
I'm not missing a thing Smitty. Trust me. That attitude will lead to no one volunteering for Group Buy Coordinator. Which is not best practice. End of the day I know I won't convince you to change your mind and am not trying. I am putting my two cents in for Monty and the rest of the IAP leadership to make what they feel is the best choice for this site.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,269
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NJ, USA.
Wow, this is a bunch of going no where.

TL;DR - We are good using F & F but it doesn't give an address unless entered into the notes section. Insurance should be offered but not required to be purchased.

Monty, it seems the second question has been answered. Unless PayPal changes their software you don't get the address using F & F unless the member enters their address in the comments. For that one I believe it should be up to the Group Buy Coordinator on which option to use. We are within the bounds of PayPal's rules for using F & F but if they don't want to hand type/write everyone's mailing address then they should be the ones to choose G & S or F & F and the Group Buy Rules should state that.

As to the first question, a Group Buy Coordinator should be required to offer, only offer, insurance up to the full value of the package. If a member declines it they should be required to state that in the thread itself so all can see that the member understands that if there is a problem with shipping then they are the ones that are out of the money since they chose not to get insurance. To caveat that it should be required to be sent with a service that offers tracking. USPS, FedEx, and UPS all offer this. The Group Buy I coordinated was all USPS and I had all the tracking numbers. Not all members wanted them but I sent them to all that did.
The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??

This IS a RARE occurrence--maybe one in a thousand, but it DOES happen. We have been fortunate, our customers cooperated completely. Only one was never found and we replaced it.



Not as rare as you think. I had this happen twice last year (summer)within one month of each other. I was going to file a report and the Post office told me it would take up to a month to get results. They could not tell me how it would turn out. I then went to the seller and they were gracious enough to reimburse me my entire amount. Now we were not talking alot of money but it was the point of it. Not sure how those computer scans work. But how can you show something was delivered but it wasn't. The only thing I can think of is that the packages went to a wrong house and they kept them. This can occur because it is not the same person delivering the mail everyday.

So many of the questions being asked are in the hands of the postal system and that is the scarey part. Maybe we as a group should look into some sort of umbrella policy for group buys. Don't ask me how but just a thought.

One other thought, not all credit cards will reimburse you for lost items so stop making that assumption.
 

Smitty37

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The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??
I'm not arguing that the USPS can be wrong. I know they have had that exact scenario with something you shipped me. But was found and delivered. It's something I expect from time to time at my local post office. I did not expect you to be charged but that USPS insurance would cover it up to the amount entered if the package was lost.

All I'm getting at is if the member refuses insurance, which should be publicly stated in the thread when they so refuse, then that is their choice. Forcing members to insure packages even if they are willing to take the risk of items not being received is telling them they don't have any true freedom to choose what risks they take.
Ty, what you seem to be missing is that the 'members' are not choosing to take the risk. They are putting that risk on the coordinator. The fact that they were given the option to insure and refused to insure a package that someone else is responsible for until it is delivered will not cut a bit of water with PayPal or a credit card company.

eBay about 4 or 5 years ago halted what was at that time a common practice of sellers offering shipping insurance and no longer allow it. The reason - the shipper is responsible for the shipment until it is delivered. That applied to businesses selling on eBay and individuals selling personal items.
I'm not missing a thing Smitty. Trust me. That attitude will lead to no one volunteering for Group Buy Coordinator. Which is not best practice. End of the day I know I won't convince you to change your mind and am not trying. I am putting my two cents in for Monty and the rest of the IAP leadership to make what they feel is the best choice for this site.
Publically stating in the thread that they are refusing insurance will not remove the liability from the group coordinator. You appear to think it will. That being said if group coordinators want to put themselves at risk - that is their choice.
 
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KenV

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On a positive note -- should the worst case event of a lost-in-the-mail package and a charge back occur, I am pretty sure that the IAP member response will take a couple of tracks -- the "low life" that did it will likely be shunned and find little joy in hanging around IAP. I also expect that the Group Buy Coordinator who gets bit by said "low life" will find a Crowd Sourcing thread that will generate the bucks to make the process whole again.

I do not think a specific policy needs to be developed for this worst case situation, but an awareness of the risks is an important part of the semi-informal group buy process.
 
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