Every day amateur bitcoin sellers post on one of the bitcoin forums about how they were trying to sell bitcoin and got scammed. These amateur sellers are commonly known as “windowlickers“. They lose their money, their bitcoin and still consider themselves smart enough to make money with bitcoin. The fact is most sellers lose more money than they make.
Here is the list of the most common mistakes amateurs make.
- Selling bitcoin they can’t afford to lose. People often come into the forums talking about how they were scammed and now cannot pay bills. If you can’t afford to pay bills you shouldn’t be trading bitcoins. Even the best traders get scammed so plan to lose money.
- Charging to little. Those profits are what keep you in business when prices fluctuate or you get scammed. Lower your prices to undercut your competition and you are cutting your own throat.
- Accepting PayPal as a payment method. Yes, some people accept PayPal but they have a ton of experience and know tricks you don’t. If you accept Paypal you will get scammed, you will lose money and Paypal will come after you. Paypal can even take the money back out of your bank account and send you to collections/ruin your credit
- Thinking PayPal friends and family is not reversible. Yes, it is reversible. If you search the trading forums you will find many windowlickers that have been scammed trying that. Then when you get scammed Paypal will look into your account. Paypal is smart enough to know that you don’t have hundreds of friends and family around the country sending you thousands of dollars. Your account will be frozen and you won’t be able to withdraw any money for 3-6 months. For the record EVERY form of Paypal payments are reversible.
- Believing that anything you can say will help you win a Paypal dispute. Paypal doesn’t care what windowlickers say. The guarantee the buyers will be safe, not the sellers (it is in the Paypal terms that they don’t protect people selling bitcoin or other “digital goods and intagible items”) If the windowlickers were smart enough to win their dispute they wouldn’t have been accepting Paypal in the first place.
- Taking Venmo/Skrill/Neteller. These suffer the same chargeback issues as Paypal but at a MUCH higher rate because they are even more infested with scammers than Paypal is.
- Believing a website/forum can help and/or protect them. Websites like LocalBitcoins and Paxful do what they can but they are understaffed and their primary concern is making money, not settling disputes or answering support tickets. The forums are full of other people just as clueless as you that have no power over the website. Understand you are on your own and expect 2-5 business days for a reply from support. Be prepared that the replies you get may not actually help you.
- Believing reload cards like gift cards or reload cards are safe. They can be reversed and scammers do it all the time. Paypal MyCash cards and Amazon are the worst. There are also a lot of scams that will get your accounts shut down after the card has been loaded, you banned and a mark on your credit. Any money stored in the account will be locked and you will never see it again.
- Trying to get cash off of reloadable or prepaid cards. Reloadable and prepaid cards are made to put cash on and then spend like a credit card. The way the card companies see it is that only idiots and money launderers try to put cash in and then take cash back out. This is one of the more common mistakes of an amateur and often causes accounts to be banned.
- Releasing bitcoins without cash/payment being fully in your possession. Remember, most consumer based payment methods can be reversed.
- Selling out of escrow. Hopefully you don’t really need an explanation why this is stupid.
- Giving out personal information like bank account numbers or their phone number. There are tons of scams that use these. The professional sellers that do give this information out have safety features on their accounts to protect them.
- Believing cash deposits are safe – There are a number of scams that target bank accounts. These often end up with the police investigating the owner of the account and the bank’s banning the owner from their system (regardless of who is at fault).
- Accepting credit cards. These are the easiest scammed of all because credit cards automatically default for the owner of the card and its up to the retailer/seller to prove that the purchase was one the card company approves of.
- Believing that if a seller requires a photo ID they will be protected. Photo IDs that will fool police are easily bought online. Even if it is a real ID, most services do not care when they find out that the transaction involved bitcoin and will chargeback against the seller.
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