Suggestions for not getting ripped off.....
Having seen the way certain traders are operating on gardenweb has inspired me to post a few guidelines. I've had relatively few trades go bad in the years I've been here, but I've learned a few things I'd like to pass along, especially to newcomers on the board:
1) Ask politely for references. Nobody should be offended by a polite request for people you've had successful trades with. If they are - be suspicious.
2) If you post an offer, and someone answers you privately instead of posting a response publicly - be suspicious. Scam artists avoid posting in the forums so their victims can't be warned.
3)If you just get a bad feeling about a trade, pass it up. This is a mistake I made recently.
4) Keep records of your trades, good and bad (mine go back to 1999). You'll learn who to avoid, and which members are great traders.
This board has been a great resource for information, and a wonderful source for seeds and plants for me over the last few years. It's been great trading again and again with reliable traders you come to know. But with the increasing numbers of people who seem to look at these forums as their personal free landscaping service, more and more people are going the "I'm not sending til I get mine route".
I can't fault them for that, and honestly I wouldn't trade plants (only seeds) any longer with people I don't know. I'm hoping by posting this I can prevent a few people from getting scammed. If anyone has any other suggestions, please add below!