Anyone got any experience of how to buy BTC on Paxful SAFELY...
I'm not inviting horror stories (I know they're out there) but I'm in a location where Paxful is the only platform that operates...
But it's pretty sketchy...
Made a small purchase yesterday, and it's a step of faith to send funds and hope all's good.
Any (helpful) tips to avoid being scammed?
I am going to disclose that I am not really familiar with how Paxful allows you to meet in person because their website seems to be quite sparse with cash-in-person ads, but it seems to have that feature, and I just looked at the website there are no offers in my area.., and I searched a lot of other nearby towns and cities, and there were not too many ads listing to interact in-person. Maybe I should make an account on there... I would prefer that there were some kind of "within x # of miles" selection on their website, too).
I suppose that you were referring to other payment methods using paxful? If you are buying the bitcoin, and you have an ability to reverse your payment, then the one sending you the bitcoin is taking more of the risk. That's part of the reason that if I am selling bitcoin, I prefer cash and in person transactional method.
If you are getting enough ads on the website for your area and you are contemplating meeting in person, then there is nothing wrong with meeting in person and doing trades in person, if the platform is used as a mechanism that facilitates connecting buyers and sellers. You can respond to ads and you can create your own ads with the terms that you want in order to screen out shenanigans... Of course, you might not be able to screen out all shenanigans.
Before Localbitcoin's changed it's platform (in about summer 2019), it used to be a great means for local buyers and sellers to meet up in person, and some of my means for filtering out potential scammers was to set my BTC trade limits pretty low... something like between $300 and $3k, and I would adjust my willingness to negotiate based on my own cashflow, the current market situation (for example there might be a lot of crazies during certain FOMO periods) or even if someone might want to go beyond my limits based on reasons that seemed completely reasonable to me.
I would also frequently tell my counter-parties that I would be more than willing to consider adjusting my buy/sell terms, such as the limit, after I had traded with them for a few times. I may or may not be negotiable on rate, and that might depend on if I had already set high rates or what the terms of any competition might be.. If I am the only game in town or there are not too many other similarly situated buyer/sellers, then I might NOT be as willing to negotiate rate changes.
Once you get to know some buyers and sellers, then sometimes it could be better to set a discount rate for those frequent customers - that might be a case by case assessment, and Paxful does not seem to have a lot of buyers/sellers using the in-person cash feature.
Anyhow, my sense is that once you figure out means to meet, then you can also figure out means to screen out scammers. You can also do your BTC trades in the lobby of a police station or some publicly open space or a space that you choose and set up rather than the other person set it up (that is if you create your own ad).. You have less ability to set the terms of your BTC trade if you are less established on those platforms, so you need to establish a reputation by making several small trades, or you can choose to trade with counter-parties that have already established good reputations within such platforms and that can build your reputation on that platform, too.
If there are bitcoin or crypto meet-ups in your area, then that can be a means to get involved and meet people for BTC trades, even if you might not want to spend a lot of time getting involved in the meetups. I am not currently in a good area for meet-ups but some larger cities will have meet-ups... and maybe there is going to be more needs for meet-ups in the future if there are fewer channels for non-KYC BTC trading but there are members of the community interested in buying/selling bitcoin. Sure, some people are not even going to mind KYC/AML in regards to their BTC trading, if they believe that they do not have a sufficient amount of other non-KYC options available (such as in person cash trades) - and concededly more difficult to accomplish meet-ups or having a lot of people interested in BTC in more rural or small town/city areas...