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For the OP and anybody else who's been ripped off, I feel your pain. This is why I don't use Reverb or eBay. I don't even use this forum. I will not buy anything from an individual without holding it in my hands first. It is my personal policy and I will not deviate from it. It became my policy after being burned a couple of times.
Ita funny, I would whole heartedly agree with what you say other than this forum. For reasons I cannot comprehend I dont even batt an eye at sending money to members on the hope and a prayer something comes back :)
Before eBay and PayPal, I did about 5 transactions by money order with perfect strangers for hard-to-find items and I only got burned once on a $200 drum that was damaged and not as advertised (I was able to re-coup some of it on re-sale). On eBay, I did about 150 transactions and only got slightly burned on one item that had damage not in the description (which I was able to fix). I think that the eBay and PayPal infrastructures provide good protection for buyers, but I never bought anything over $600 and never sold anything at all.

As for this Forum, I had 2 good interactions as a seller but I did so in person, which I think is safer for both parties. I think that without any outside protection or arbitration, that is the best way to go. You still need to use some common sense and judgement. I had another ad where someone contacted me the day they signed up and only had 3 posts (and none since), so I chose to ignore it. If they had been a long-time member with a verifiable history, I would have responded without hesitation. Long-time members on this forum are stand-up people.
 
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