Upload & Sell: On
Obviously, this is just for arguments' sake- nobody here can speak for why and how this private site is run a certain way.
The only liability I can see is having that information be subject to subpoena or warrant in a lawsuit for fraud or theft, which would be its intended purpose. It just needs to be disclosed in the terms of service.
Holding personal information does not make any material change in the nature of the business that I can see from a cost standpoint. Feel free to be more specific. Fred does not become a party to any transaction by holding personal information. He already holds CC information right now. He would simply have information that can obtained through lawful subpoena or...Show more →
Right now, the personal info that Fred holds is related to payment of fees for services that he provides, such as the subscription to upload and sell. It simply gives you access to a forum, which you agree to participate in at your own risk.
Expanding the scope to include becoming a party to the transaction means increased liability, which means increased insurance costs, possible legal costs, etc.
It is actually rather commonplace to do this for individuals and businesses involved in trade and credit. Mortgage brokers, real estate brokers, marketplaces, even grandma and grandpa landlords do this. It is actually much more unusual to be doing business with counterparties (essentially extending credit to each other) and NOT having any recourse or credit information. Paypal is actually acting as the extender of credit here, but as has been pointed out many times, there are ways to commit fraud through Paypal as well.
The difference between this site and those that you cite above is that they collect a fee for facilitating the service. A mortgage broker gets a commission based on the size of the loan that he acquires for you. A real estate broker gets a commission based on sales price for lining up buyer and seller. Does this site take a cut based on the dollar amount of your B/S transaction? Similarly, Paypal provides payment clearing services and derives income that way. Each of those entities, by virtue of being a party to the transaction, incurs a certain liability- including financial. You must be aware of the hundreds of millions in fines banks and brokerages paid to settle lending lawsuits over the past few years.
The reality is that the B&S forum is under attack by criminals on a regular basis. I'm just saying maybe we could all brainstorm about systemic things that could be implemented that would reduce these attacks. Maybe my idea isn't perfect but doing nothing doesn't seem like a solution either. Eventually, some fraudsters will decide its worth their time to get past the 25 post count, and then what?
Nobody is saying let's do nothing- I'm just looking at it from the perspective of why would the website owner want to get in the business of validating a user? Then, if a transaction goes wrong, he's got some culpability because he verified a user?
A good start to defending the B/S is for users to adopt some of the best practices that have been discussed so often. Of the recent scams, people who used insured payment methods got their money back. That's just a starting point, but one that newer members sometimes forget.