Web Scam: Slow Buyer / No Buyer

The internet offers many novel ways to do business, and increasing potential for clever people to support themselves via new models of work.

Unfortunately, some people use online / electronic systems for scams.

It's important to be careful with unknown counterparts about whom you've little or no information. What is their reputation or past performance?

You are not alone. Some businesses provide assurance in online transactions. Ecop.com and escrow.com have developed excellent systems as neutral arbiters, assisting businesses on both sides of a transaction. Ebay has expended great effort developing reputational rankings for buyers and sellers. These niche tools can still leave the unwary exposed to fraud, but they can be very helpful for moderate-size transactions.

It's also necessary to investigate scams specific to your own business field.

In domain name sales, for example, some people pose as buyers, contract for a name, but delay payment - they seek to sell the name onward before they've paid for it. Their 'sale' is secured by an unpaid but legally binding contract. If unsuccessful selling, they simply fail to purchase and disappear. Some sellers will keep a transaction open for weeks (even reportedly months) in hope 'buyer' finalizes the transaction. Domain name broker Sedo, for example, requires payment & remittance confirmation within six (6) days. But the seller's on the hook more than a supposed buyer - seller has some stable online presence, with capital tied-up as inventory. Until buyer actually pays, nobody truly knows who they are, or their level of commitment. The buyer can use an internet cafĂ© and anonymity to cloak true intent. From the seller's perspective, a binding contract is time-sensitive. Price depends on quick completion. Those requiring longer to pay must negotiate terms, and likely must pay more.