Selling presses

Not sure if this is ok to post here or not but I’m going to give it a try. I have a press I’m selling and am wondering how people handle the sales of such a big ticket item. Obviously I’d never accept a personal check but I’ve heard that now there are even scams regarding cashier’s checks. Often due to rarity of items you may get someone coming from out of town to buy something so do you get a partial deposit beforehand? Anyone had an issues of being scammed? How do you handle the financial transactions when selling items worth several thousand dollars?

And does anyone happen to know how long it takes to get items posted to the classified ads here? I submitted a post but it has been several days and it hasn’t been posted so I’ve had to use craigslist instead. Hoping it will post here soon but wasn’t sure of the usual turn around time for the ads.

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Tell the potential purchaser that you will only accept gold nuggets. :-)

Most of the scams I am aware of are to do with invalid checks, sometimes for more than the amount, and the victim ends up losing the item and money.

So, only accept payment for the agreed amount. If you can arrange payment in advance so that it has been cashed before the item is handed over, great. But make sure it really has gone through.

Something like a press isn’t going to be easy to transport, or easy to resell so you are probably relatively safe.

You could always use an escrow service to secure the transaction, but you would have to agree how they were going to manage it, and who was paying.

The deposit is more for the buyer’s protection than the seller. As a buyer, I’ve offered a deposit; if I’m going to travel hundreds of kilometres and rent trucks and trailers, I do not want to show up and be told “oops someone else bought it first”. Avoiding that situation is worth the risk to me.

Speak to the buyer on the phone. Get a feel for them. Real humans are quite easy to detect when it comes to esoteric things like printing presses.

Of course the item should not leave your possession until the full amount is in hand. Cash.

Classifieds approvals — your guess is as good as mine. For the most part, this site is on autopilot.

In spite of keelan’s continued digs at the operation of this donation-based and otherwise free resource, the two people running Briarpress tend to be very responsive when it comes to classifieds. In my experience, having posted between half a dozen and a dozen of them over the years, it takes anywhere between fifteen minutes to 12 hours for a new one to be approved.

Unsurprisingly, since it is manual approval, it’ll go faster around regular business hours monday through friday.

As for scams, be especially aware of people who say they cannot meet you in person and will pay extra via some form of transfer “for the inconvenience” of dealing with a friend of theirs who lives nearby. It is all bullcrap, the “friend” is an excuse to not hand over cash when you give them the press, and the payment and extra money transferred will all bounce. They’ll offer several hundred dollars, but do not feel tempted.

It is a very, very common scam, and one I’ve seen many times when listing letterpress goods. Luckily it is easy to spot.

In general, deal in cash if possible. When making large press purchases, I’ve used an escrow service and eaten the fee, it is worth the peace-of-mind. I sadly cannot recommend any US services.

Good luck!


My ad was posted this am. Took 5 days from submission to approval/posting. Now I know.

Well luckily a press is pretty huge so no one can just walk off with it. So two of you say deal with cash. Do you mean literal greenbacks or a cashier’s check. I’ll be dealing with over $10,000 so seems kind of odd to deal with cash in that large of an amount, though maybe I could pretend I was a bank robber for a bit.

This person hasn’t referred a friend or that type of thing and I have googled their name and also contacted them via their website to verify that they did indeed contact me through craigslist and all is well. They live in a city 3-4 hours away so no reason they shouldn’t show up.

Never used an escrow service since I’ve never purchased a house or other expensive item. I guess I could look into that. I plan on contacting my bank tomorrow to see what they advise in handling this. I want to find a way to make it work for both me and the purchaser. I know I’d feel a little strange if I were them sending a check for several thousands to a stranger. I can write up some contract and send it via email to reassure them or give them some proof that they will indeed get the press.

Open to hearing anyone else’s experiences or input.

It is my understanding cashier’s cheques can still bounce, but if this is someone with a business address you can verify, and they aren’t across the world in case you need to get a hold of them, that would certainly be an easy way to do things.

In most of the world, a bank transfer is a trivial and non-refundable transaction that means this is mostly a non-issue. Here in Norway, any major bank will transfer funds to any of the others instantly, but I know that in the states that isn’t the case. Hopefully the US banking system will catch up soon and make the fraudsters’ lives a bit harder.

kimaboe said: In spite of keelan’s continued digs…

I think my statement would be more accurately characterized as a lament. The folks that run this site have an opportunity to actively build a community with Briar Press, but instead they let it stagnate. The Facebook letterpress groups are much more active than this forum. Sure, some of that can be attributed to major trends in platforms, but it can also be attributed to the fact that this site feels like a ghost town. I don’t have to rename my files to remove spaces from the filenames before posting them to Facebook.

Maybe its inevitable, maybe this is all part of FaceBook and Google’s plan to take over the internet with their walled garden of social media platforms. But if that is the case, I haven’t seen the owners of BP do anything to stem the tide of defectors.

Sent an email to my bank about all this and they said a wire transfer is the most secure but I’d have to give the seller my account number and routing number which isn’t so great. Asked a few more clarifying questions about cashier’s checks and how to verify if funds were available.

As far as this website goes I like it. I find a wealth of information on here. I don’t often post, usually read other’s comments on various topics and drool over equipment I can’t afford in the classifieds. I don’t have facebook, never have, and would prefer not to, so I hope this site doesn’t disappear. Maybe if more people were handling the site it could offer more. I know that unfortunately I don’t have any tech skills to contribute and am not a huge fan of computers hence my setting lead type. Don’t really know computer design programs to do polymer, and I know this may cause a riot but I like lead better, think it looks better than polymer.

I also don’t think it is in anyone’s best interest that google and facebook take over things. People lose control that way. Was printing some political flyers on my press yesterday and was thinking that owning a press really does meet the definition of freedom of the press. I printed what I want with no interference or any control from anyone else. As long as the power stays on I can print. That is the problem with computers and the internet, they are great tools and have changed the world in some great ways but the power and knowledge in many respects is really in the hands of the few. Sure you can start a website but you’re using someone else’s server, someone else made the computer etc. The technology is someone else’s not really 100% your own. Even instagram and twitter try and say what you post to their site really belongs to them. I printed on my press and my work belongs to me, although I will be giving much of this particular project away for free, what I made had no interference or control from any outside party. Ok I’ll step down off my soap box now.

Quickly leaps onto the vacant soap box.

Not only that but depending on your press you can print without power. My presswork has been limited to human powered presses.

I do however have computer skills. While Facebook and Google have huge amounts of control and data, there are alternatives.

There is a social media platform called diaspora which is not centralised. There are also various platforms like librarybox/piratebox/… That aim to provide decentralised access to local resources. Piratebox is named after pirate radio, but is legal. These are small, unconnected, wifi stations full of media for sharing legally.

I do find that searching through briar press answers a lot of my questions without having to answer them. It isn’t as busy as some forums I am a member of, but it is busy enough.

I find Briar Press incredibly helpful through the discussion forums. I don’t see the same kind of problem solving on the FB letterpress pages. Maybe I’m missing some. But whenever I’ve had difficulty on press, this is the first place I come and I can count on experienced pressman helping me resolve my problems (well, printing problems).

I’ve only bought from others with cash or paying them via PayPal before picking up items. So if you feel uneasy about accepting checks and want to ask for cash/PayPal/money order/whatever only, there’s a precedent there. Hope that helps.

Have you buyer show up, during banking hours, with a certified or cashier’s check (or cash). Let them inspect the press. Then BOTH of you go to your bank and confirm that the check is valid (or the cash is real) - then let the buyer have the press. You are protected and the buyer is protected. Everybody is happy!

As a buyer, I would not be comfortable giving you the money before I can see the press and satisfy myself that the seller is legit and the press is not damage somehow.

Enjoy your money and the extra space that the press now occupies!


Thanks everyone for your feedback. Unfortunately the person who was going to buy it flaked out so the press is still on the market.