Hey guys, sorry for your loss. Pleae be careful even if you use paypal to make payments. There are a few gotchas you need to be aware of when making claims for items paid for via paypal.
Check out sections 13.2 and and 13.3 "protection for buyers" in paypal user aggrement for details:
https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd= ... r%20Buyers
Essentially, "Paypal Direct Payments" and "Personal Payments" ARE NOT covered, meaning paying directly to seller's email. These 2 methods of payments are the typical way unsuspecting buyers would pay the sellers, and cheaters/sellers are probably trying to cash in on that.
Truthfully, I personally don't understand everything in the user aggrement so here are a few guidelines I follow when making private purchases.
1) Of course do not send a check. Takes too long for anything (cashing, waiting, dispute etc...).
2) Do not make any direct payment to seller's email.
3) Have the seller create an ebay "buy-it-now" listing or a paypal invoice for the item just for you. The seller should know how to do this, its a very easy process. Then pay the invoice associated with the item instead.
4) Do not use a checking account added to your paypal account, this method directly deducts money from your bank. Add some credit card to your paypal account and use it to pay instead.
Steps 2 and 3 ensure that the item will be covered in case of problems due to “Item Not Received” (INR) or “Significantly Not as Described” (SNAD) as described in paypal user agreement.
Step 4 is the last resort, just in case paypal screws you too, just file a dispute with your credit card company and guarenteed to get your money back fast.
Hope this helps