Instagram Folks Aren't Your Friends and Family

I’m relatively new to buying cards directly from sellers off Instagram. Thankfully I have never been “scammed”, yet. But I see a lot of scam warning posts followed by a lengthy story, complete with convo screenshots.

I get 4-10% eBay fees suck. But trying to avoid paying 3% under PayPal “Goods and Services” for even for the highest or lowest end cards is not worth giving up your final layer of protection as a buyer. It’s called “Friends and Family” for a reason. Most of the scams occur after a relationship has been established so buyers get too comfortable with sellers due to the return business.

Although we like to think the best of people, especially considering our hobby of collecting cards with cute animals on them, you still need to protect yourself. Whenever a seller asks for F/F I just request they add the 3% to the agreed price. I also ask for a detailed description of each individual card with PSA cert number on the invoice. If I get any sort of weird vibe from the seller I even ask for them to attach front and back pictures of the cards in the invoice as well. Peace of mind is worth that, all day every day.

This extends to trading as well. There’s no such thing as trading on eBay for a reason. It’s too hard to regulate so just don’t do it.

Anyways just my thoughts! If you’re new to the Instagram game then hopefully this was useful.


Yes totally agree

I agree, if you want to buy off Instagram or anyone else you don’t have an established relationship with (years), always use goods and services. I also include a description in the notes of what it is I am purchasing, just in case. If the seller has any issues with you doing so, even after you offer to cover any fees, simply stay the F away.

Most-all of the individuals we banned for proven scams are on social media.


Would be useful if there was a pinned blackball on banned seller list available to view on the forum.

I really don’t understand what the deal is with people on IG… It seems like EVERYONE on IG is super-concerned about that G&S PayPal Fee! I mean, come-on - it’s only something like 2.5% (forget the exact percentage). I can kind of see where people are coming from when someone comes-along looking to purchase something for like $5.00 (or another small amount). However, if I’m going to be dropping $100.00+, don’t have the nerve to tell me that I also have to cover the PayPal Fee if I want to be protected! That’s RIDICULOUS - try selling on eBay and having to pay-up 12% for every transaction.

I recently inquired about some Aquapolis Blister Packs. The seller and I were close together on pricing - then he tried to throw me this BS about me having to cover the cost of the PayPal Fee and the cost of Shipping - REALLY??? I’m dropping $750.00 and you can’t cover any of that? I actually walked-away from the deal right then and there simply based-off principal - not going to give someone like that my money.


I refuse to pay the 3%.

I walk away from all deals when they try to tack on 3% in the end. When you’re injecting fresh capital into the hobby, the person paying should always have more leverage in the negotiation. It’s an odd culture that plagues Instagram and Facebook. Go work at any company in the world - the seller should always cater the buyer.


It’s not really isolated to instagram, on facebook for pretty much anything high end MTG (I don’t really look at Virbank ever but I assume it’s similar for pokemon) it’s buyer pays the G&S fees otherwise buyer pays F&F or no deal. Almost all sellers I’ve dealt with just look at it as you the buyer either opt in for protection or trust them based on their references.

Some dude was giving me shit on Facebook when I was trying to buy HR zards. He took my offer price and mentioned he’d do the deal if I paid the fees… umm no?!? There was a rant about how 3% adds up over the years, etc. My counter argument was, don’t bring up the 3%; that’s nonnegotiable. You can counter with a higher price say 103% of my asking… I declined off of principle.

In the end, the cards were purchased at my asking price without extra fees from 3 different sellers.

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YES - Exactly!

Last time I tried to deal with someone new on IG I ended up canceling a $100 purchase over a 50 cent disagreement in paypal fees. I was actually willing to pay the fee so I said “yeah w/e just add 2 bucks onto the invoice”… then he hits me with “UM IT ACTUALLY COMES TO $2.**.”

“TRUSTED IG POKESELLER 100% SATISFACTION 13,432 SALES/34,876,238 TRADES” (but you have to pay extra for a bubble mailer)

Has anyone ever gotten scammed using F&F and ever gotten their money back? I’m sort of in that predicament now where I sent F&F to someone who seemed very reputable with tons of sales and not gotten my item. I suppose it’s going to be a learning experience, but damn it going to be a very expensive and painful one.

only way to protect yourself thru ff is if you used a credit card that way you can pull the card. If not then there is nothing you can do.


completely agree with this. There is no reason for someone to say NO to friends and family. Especially if you are willing to pay the fee. Any smart person who is conducting a legitimate business also knows that if PayPal sees you using ff for business purposes over and over again they will close your account or take that feature away.

Also you are very protected buying on Instagram as long as you use PayPal goods and services. best thing to do is have the seller send you an invoice and state what is is that you are paying for. and when he ships the item have him put the tracking number to the invoice. if you do all this there is nothing to worry about.

Ya I’ll have to do that… My first time using F&F and turned out very badly. It was a 1st Edition PSA 8 zard, so you can imagine how much $$ is on the line.

damn… did you use your credit card or no?

Nope, had I know it would have added protection I would have at the time. I’ve already said goodbye to my tax return for this year lol… Lesson learned never trust anyone.

There was a scam I posted on here someone using a PSA 8 1st edition zard on all the local Craigslists (don’t know where else it was posted) all over. It was jkanly’s (user on here) card.

Always search those high priced items on ebay to see if the cert # is listed up there by the legit owner. Sorry man.

Nope it wasn’t any card on Ebay. I even got signed pics of it showing they had it in their possession.

This is the one you are referring to