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Author Topic: Thinking about creating an escrow service...  (Read 1419 times)
SgtSpike
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May 23, 2011, 04:05:51 PM
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This would be put on my list of "websites to create", probably won't get to it for a few weeks as I already have two other sites in progress.

Anyway, I'm thinking about setting up an escrow service website.  Biggest problem I have right now is the resolution of conflict.  If I take the paypal route, anyone with a tracking # showing proof of shipment would be awarded the bitcoins.  However, I know sellers are known to rip people off by sending bricks, notebooks, etc to buyers in place of the actual items.

Is there any way that anyone can see to prevent this?  Obviously, taking pictures doesn't help, as the buyer could have just as easily filled the box with his own bricks.  I thought about unboxing videos, but the buyer could have also used his own bricks, then resealed the box.  Aside from videoing nonstop from the point of the mailman delivering the package, I can't think of any way for the buyer or seller to really verify with 100% proof that they did indeed uphold their end of the deal.

Another option is to "hook in" to my feedback website, to where any complaints against a buyer or seller result in a negative feedback against that person.  However, I know that many people may want to use an escrow service anonymously, so I'd want to be sure to be able to service their requests as well.

I could always go the clearcoin route of having coins donated to a charity if the seller doesn't produce the goods.  But that still poses a significant risk to the seller.  I would like to alleviate the risk to both parties.

Also, this is not "just another escrow service".  I have a twist on it that will definitely help buyers and sellers.  I'm excited to reveal the completed site down the road.  Smiley

What would the community like to see out of an escrow service?
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tomcollins
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May 23, 2011, 04:47:36 PM
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This would be put on my list of "websites to create", probably won't get to it for a few weeks as I already have two other sites in progress.

Anyway, I'm thinking about setting up an escrow service website.  Biggest problem I have right now is the resolution of conflict.  If I take the paypal route, anyone with a tracking # showing proof of shipment would be awarded the bitcoins.  However, I know sellers are known to rip people off by sending bricks, notebooks, etc to buyers in place of the actual items.

Is there any way that anyone can see to prevent this?  Obviously, taking pictures doesn't help, as the buyer could have just as easily filled the box with his own bricks.  I thought about unboxing videos, but the buyer could have also used his own bricks, then resealed the box.  Aside from videoing nonstop from the point of the mailman delivering the package, I can't think of any way for the buyer or seller to really verify with 100% proof that they did indeed uphold their end of the deal.

Another option is to "hook in" to my feedback website, to where any complaints against a buyer or seller result in a negative feedback against that person.  However, I know that many people may want to use an escrow service anonymously, so I'd want to be sure to be able to service their requests as well.

I could always go the clearcoin route of having coins donated to a charity if the seller doesn't produce the goods.  But that still poses a significant risk to the seller.  I would like to alleviate the risk to both parties.

Also, this is not "just another escrow service".  I have a twist on it that will definitely help buyers and sellers.  I'm excited to reveal the completed site down the road.  Smiley

What would the community like to see out of an escrow service?

That's the trouble.  There's always a way to scam.  Reputation has to be a big part of it.  Either that or actually having them ship the boxes to you first.
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May 23, 2011, 07:08:54 PM
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My extreme idea for dealing with buyers who attempt to scam by claiming a brick was in the box when it contained the actual item was for the seller (me) to create a boxing video, i.e. a single uncut, unedited video showing the item going into the box, being taped up and the shipping label being applied.

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SgtSpike
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May 23, 2011, 07:55:59 PM
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My extreme idea for dealing with buyers who attempt to scam by claiming a brick was in the box when it contained the actual item was for the seller (me) to create a boxing video, i.e. a single uncut, unedited video showing the item going into the box, being taped up and the shipping label being applied.
Haha, I thought the same thing.  But then they could cut the tape, take the item out, put in some bricks, and re-tape it.  If you said that there couldn't be two pieces of tape on the box to help prevent this, the buyer could just add a piece of tape to the box before filming their video.

I suppose you could involve a professional recipient of the package (i.e. doing the whole thing at the UPS Store, then handing it directly to the clerk, all while videotaping), but whose to say that the seller didn't bribe the clerk, and the clerk hands the package right back after the videotaping is finished?

The more I think about it, the more I think a rating system is the way to go.  But with a rating system, why would there be any need for an escrow service?

New question:  What are some existing and successful USD-based escrow services?  I'd like to take a look at their models for resolving conflicts.
graingert
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May 23, 2011, 10:43:49 PM
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Try using tamper evident seals

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SgtSpike
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May 23, 2011, 10:50:12 PM
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Try using tamper evident seals
That's the only reasonable thing I could think of.  But impractical for the small-time seller who is just selling extra stuff around the house here and there.
CannyInvestor
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May 29, 2011, 08:11:35 AM
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Why not use an existing low cost online escrow service, such as Transpact.com.

Transpact.com has an easy to integrate, industry standard API to allow website integration and automation to allow escrow services to be offered to users, or those wishing for security can use the Transpact.com web-site with a simple process to get fully secured.

And all for a matter of pennies.
SgtSpike
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May 29, 2011, 08:25:45 AM
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1 post to advertise a website?

I'd think you were a bot if it wasn't for the fact that the information you present is actually semi-relevant to this thread.
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