Safety and security

General information Examples of fraud Information for buyers Information for sellers

General information


In the past 20 years audio-markt has developed into one of the leading online marketplaces for used hi-fi components. We can almost speak of a community of music lovers who use this market to experiment and get even closer to the perfect listening experience. But like everywhere where a lot of money is involved, some black sheep try to take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet and the good faith of people to enrich themselves unjustly. In recent years, some of our customers have been damaged by such fraudsters, who usually stay outside Germany and are therefore difficult to investigate by the police. For this reason we want to sensitize our customers and point out common scams of fraudsters.

Personal delivery is the best way

If the travel costs of a personal delivery of the device are in an acceptable relation to the price of the device, this is to be preferred in any case.

Fraud cannot be completely ruled out during delivery

In principle, fraud cannot be completely ruled out when buying or selling, so you should read our safety instructions for buyers and sellers. Special care should be taken with apparent bargains, especially if they are offered abroad. Otherwise: Try to get a good picture of the other. Make phone calls, discuss about the devices and their features, get further pictures and e.g. a copy of your identity card, try to check them and make a purchase contract. A fraudster often has neither the device itself nor detailed knowledge of it.

audio-markt does not assume any liability

audio-markt makes the platform available against a small fee, with whose assistance offerers and prospective customers can come together. However audio-markt is not involved in the purchase process, payment, shipping or any possible corrections of defect items. Therefore also no claims for damages can be made valid.

Should you have the suspicion on a fraudulent advertisement, please mail it immediately to, so that we can remove the advertisement.

Examples of fraud


The fraudsters' approach: The criminals - located abroad - advertise a high-quality device for a reasonable price, shipping after prepayment is no problem. If then a partial amount or even the entire purchase price was transferred, the device is not sent out. The account connection is then the only trace to the fraudster and the lethargy of the foreign authorities and banks with requests makes investigations difficult.

Therefore: Be careful with bargains.

Requests in audio-markt

A new scam has emerged in the last few months.

Customers, who are looking for devices and have published a search ad in the market, receive an offer about the devices they are looking for. After agreement the purchase price is transferred to a German bank account. The devices will never be sent because they are not in the possession of the offerer.

The devices do not reach the customer.

Therefore: Caution with requests.

Cash transfer risk

Unfortunately, cash transfers can be used fraudulently - even by apparent buyers. They want you to compensate an overpayment by cash transfer (e.g. via WesternUnion, MoneyGram, etc.). Your money will then be picked up with forged papers, the cheque turns out to be forged afterwards. Neither the bank nor an insurance company pays for this loss - your money is gone! Cash transfer companies are therefore not appropiate for carrying out transactions with unknowns. Even if you carry out the cash transfer in favour of a relative/friend, this cannot protect you from fraud!

Therefore: No cash transfer.

Purchase via freight forwarder or shipping companies

Be careful if the purchase is handled by a freight forwarder or shipping company. The fraudsters' approach: A device located abroad is offered at a very low price. Since the ostensively seller is also located abroad, a forwarding agent or shipping company will be proposed to you who will handle the purchase on a fiduciary basis. The internet presence of the proposed company looks serious, but is a forgery, or the company does not exist at all. These pages disappear after a short time from the net. You receive neither the offered device nor the already transferred money back.

Therefore: Do not handle trustee service through unknown companies.

Information for buyers

Beware of bargains

Basically, most sellers of high-quality components are aware of the value of their devices, so 'real bargains' should always be taken with caution. Be sure to get as much information as possible about the seller (e.g. a copy of your ID card) and try to check it. Offer the seller - even and especially if he lives abroad - to collect the device personally. If you then immediately get a rejection or no answer at all, the transaction is over. If the seller is ready, you should actually consider whether the price you save justifies the travel price.

Caution when buying through a freight forwarder or trustee company

If the seller proposes the handling through a forwarding or trust company unknown to you, caution is advised. Some websites of seemingly trust companies are very well forged. If you transfer money to a fraudulent bogus company or hand over your device to such a company for collection, you will not see the money or device again. On the other hand, the processing via a reputable trustee company is certainly the safest variant of the trade besides the personal pick-up.

For shipping within Germany or Austria: see further information above.

Personal purchase

A personal purchase is, of course, ideal. You as the buyer drive to the seller and can listen to the device, look at it and examine it for defects. You can also get a picture of the seller and take delivery of the device personally and pay cash. For larger sums, you should of course not travel alone. You can take the device with you, so that transport damages and misunderstandings are excluded. Nevertheless, a purchase contract should also be concluded for a personal purchase.

If the travel costs are in proportion to the price of the device, the device should be collected personally.

Processing and shipping

There is always a risk of fraud during the shipping process. It is therefore important to minimise this risk.

Important: Get a picture of the seller.

  • Can you reach him by phone and does he have knowledge of the device?
  • Have more photos sent to you, including the serial number
  • If necessary, have the serial number checked by the manufacturer / sales department.
  • Have a copy of the identity card / passport sent to you. But even this can be forged. Try to check the personal data
  • Is the seller flexible in the choice of payment and shipping method?
  • Make a printout of the offer
  • Make a purchase contract (form here)

Further action

Clarify with the seller who will pay the shipping costs. The device should only be shipped insured. Pay the purchase price if possible by PayPal. This does not bring absolute security against fraud, but the employees of PayPal are very anxious to prevent fraud e.g. by account closures. Please note the terms and conditions of PayPal. Have the shipping document faxed to you and ask the transport company if necessary. If something seems strange to you, contact PayPal immediately. In case of a bank transfer, a chargeback is generally not possible.

Information for sellers

Complete and honest information

The device should be described as precisely as possible. No false expectations should be raised with the buyer. Furthermore, no copyrighted photos of the devices may be used, so if possible only upload photos taken by yourself.

A seller should not accept cheques as means of payment, since the authenticity can usually not be clarified immediately. If excessive cheques were issued, then this is almost certainly a fraud attempt. See above for further information.

Purchase via forwarding agent or shipping company

Beware, if the buyer wants to use a certain - unknown to you - forwarding agency, which comes to collect the device from you. See above for more information.

Do not accept partial payment

As a seller, you should not ship your device if you have received only a partial amount of the purchase price. Once the device has been shipped abroad, it is difficult to claim the rest of the purchase price.

Personal sale

A personal sale is, of course, ideal. The buyer comes to the seller, can listen to and view the device as well as examine it for defects. You can also get a picture of the seller and receive the purchase amount in cash. Since the buyer already owns the device after the purchase and takes it directly with him, transport damages are unlikely and if they happen, then no longer the seller's business. Nevertheless, a sales contract should also be concluded for a personal purchase.

If the travel costs are in proportion to the equipment price, the transaction should be carried out personally.

Processing and shipping

There is always a risk of fraud during the shipping process. It is therefore important to minimise this risk.

Important: Make yourself a picture of the prospective customer.

  • Can you reach him by telephone and is he aware of the device / interest?
  • Have a copy of the identity card sent to you.
  • Try to verify the personal data.
  • Print out your advertisement
  • Make a purchase contract (form here)
  • It is advisable for private sellers to contractually exclude warranty claims. If you fail to do so, you will be subject to the statutory two-year warranty obligation.
  • Is the buyer willing to pick up high-priced equipment in person if you contribute to the travel costs?

Further action

  • Clarify with the prospective customer, who is responsible fort he shipping costs and always send the equipment insured
  • If the buyer prefers PayPal, accept this payment method as it provides some security for the buyer
  • Send the device either by surname or only when you have received the purchase price (or the required information from PayPal)
  • Send the seller a copy of the shipping document