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What is the Safest Form of Payment?

I sold an item to a person that lives a distance from me. This person wants to pay by cashier's check and also have me pay the shipping company with excess money included in check. I feel this is a scam and called her on it. She is still saying she is on the up and up and doesn't live around here and that is why she is asking me to pay the shipping company for her. I don't trust the situation, and would like to know what is the safest form of payment, other than sending cash through the mail for this type of transaction?

What you have described is probably a scam. You should not release the item until you have had a chance to determine for certain whether her check is good. That may mean you will need to have your bank send it for collection, particularly if the check-paying bank is unwilling to tell you if the check is valid.

Depending on what you have sold, you may be able to obtain protection by shipping the item COD. In such a system, the shipping company requires valid payment for the delivery by the purchaser before completing delivery. Ask the post office, UPS or Fedex if they offer such a service if your item is something that can be shipped by one of those carriers. Also determine how the shipper will pay you the funds it collects.

Published on 2/26/09