Trading Rules

The rules for using AVForums classified advert forums. These are in addition to the standard rules.

Trading Rules

This revision is effective from 19th November 2023 at 18:00. Altered text is highlighted in yellow.

[ General | Trader Eligibility | Goods Eligibility | Placing an Advert | Wanted Threads | Negotiating | Maintaining your Advert | Advert Hijacking | Giveaway Items | Charity Auctions | Completing the Trade | Exchanging Feedback ]

More information: [ Buying Tips | Selling Tips | Mobile Phones | Disputes ]


By posting in the classified forums you agree to abide by all of the rules of this forum, including those below, and agree not to enter into any arguments with moderators, whose decision is final and are empowered to;
a) Issue penalties upon breaking the rules at their discretion varying from warnings to a temporary trading ban to permanent exclusion from the forums
b) remove any posts in any other forums questioning/arguing any decisions made by moderators
c) assist the police with any prosecution following fraudulent actions

AVForums, the moderators and staff cannot accept any liability for any losses incurred from the use of the classifieds forums. If you are a victim of any activity you feel is illegal then please report this to the trading moderators who will endeavour to help you.
Anyone deliberately defrauding other traders will be dealt with severely. We encourage defrauded traders to seek assistance from the police and we actively assist the police to secure a conviction.

Advertising stolen goods or pirated movies/games will result in an instant and permanent forum ban.

Our classified ads forums use threads with prefixes to indicate the type of advert - For Sale, Wanted or For Trade and once a deal has been agreed for all the items in a thread, the owner must change the prefix to Deal Agreed. When a classified advert thread is archived, the prefix is automatically changed to Archived.

Trader Eligibility

  1. You must be over 18 years of age and not have previously been banned from AVForums to trade here.
  2. Pro-traders are prohibited from using our classifieds. These are members who appear to be operating a business with the intent of making a profit. Goods traded here are for, or have been used for personal use. The trading of multiple items may be construed as indicating a business operation and such trades may not be allowed. The decision of the Moderators is final. Members should contact a moderator if you wish an exception to be considered.

Goods Eligibility

  1. The item(s) being traded must
    • be your personal property
    • be in your possession and available for immediate dispatch
    • be legal to sell in your country
    • have transferable ownership according to their terms and conditions
    Sale of property owned by a business is not permitted.
  2. You may not trade:

Placing an Advert

  1. You may have one thread per trading forum. You may list multiple items in one thread.
  2. You must include a price in your for sale or trade post even if you are offering the goods to trade (because people inevitably offer you a price for goods even if they are advertised for trade).
  1. You cannot increase your asking price in a thread from the original asking price in that advert (because we feel it is unfair to do so).
  2. You must include the P&P charge to within your country. If not stated separately it will be assumed that it's included in your asking price. Collection only items are excluded.
  3. Imported goods must have their original country of origin stated (because it will likely affect the warranty).
  4. Describe the goods accurately. Be honest. If you misrepresent the condition or history of the goods, then the purchaser is within their rights to demand a partial refund or a return of the goods at your expense.
  1. If you have put one price for a job lot of items, but later decide to split them, you must edit your advert to price all the individual items.
  1. You must indicate in your advert if items are advertised elsewhere (because members need to be aware that you might withdraw items from sale). Edit your advert if you didn't indicate this initially. You may not link to your advert elsewhere.

Wanted Adverts

  1. Wanted advert threads work differently to For Sale adverts. Goods offered are for the original wanted advertiser only. Others may make an offer, such as if member x doesn't want this, I'll take it for the asking price, but the original poster always has first refusal on the item. The seller offering the item may of course have their own For Sale thread with the same item available.


  1. All discussions including offers, acceptances and refusals should be shown clearly in the thread (not by email or Private Conversation). Once a deal is agreed you may use whatever form of external communication you like to finalise payment details etc. Your general location and details of equipment are not considered to be valid reasons for using off thread communications. We insist on this rule because we need to see all the negotiations to be able to mediate a solution to a dispute.
  2. You may only post messages in classified threads which are pertinent to the adverts. Keep posts on topic.
  3. SELLERS: You should respond to replies to your advert in a timely manner. Given that Watching a thread will alert you when someone replies, there is little reason for not doing so. If we receive a complaint that a thread is neglected, the moderators will likely archive it and issue a warning.
  4. SELLERS: You may only bump your thread 10 hours or more after the last post.
  5. BUYERS: You cannot make a higher offer to gazump after a deal has been agreed.
  6. BUYERS: You should only make an offer for an item when you have the funds to pay for it. The seller may agree to wait for payment but this should be discussed in the thread with the seller and they are entitled to refuse.
  7. BUYERS: Do not edit your posts to secure a deal (e.g. altering your offer price upward to beat a rival buyer). All post edits are recorded so any attempted deception will be found and dealt with severely.
  8. Once a deal has been agreed (meaning an offer has been accepted) you may not withdraw from it without a very good reason. You will need to start a Private Conversation with a moderator with an explanation but the moderators still reserve the right to impose a short trading ban.

Maintaining your Advert

  1. All advertisers must maintain their advert. This involves
    • responding promptly when needed. Tip: Watch your thread to get alerts when someone replies.
    • updating the prefix to Deal Agreed when a deal has been agreed on all the items in the advert. This ensures readers do not unnecessarily read your advert when searching the classifieds. Changing the prefix is easy. You can either press the Deal Agreed button at the top of your thread, or edit the thread, select the Deal Agreed prefix and save. If the deal falls through, you can always change the prefix back by editing your thread again.
    • archiving the advert when the deal is complete and goods have been exchanged. This moves the advert to the classifieds archive forum and changes the prefix to Archived. There is a handy Archive button at the top of your advert to complete this process.

Advert Hijacking

  1. Traders should have their own thread for a deal rather than hijack another person’s thread. Example: person A places an advert wanting an item; person B offers an item but person A declines; then person C offers to buy the item from person B. In this scenario, persons B and C must start their own thread to conduct the deal. Otherwise they will not be able to exchange feedback since the trading feedback system requires one of the two parties to have started the trading thread that the feedback relates to.

Giveaway items

  1. If you want to give items away, then create an advert as normal. If you intend to post the items, then you must specify the postage costs in the advert. To avoid a 'bidding war' between interested parties, they may not offer more than the postage costs you specified.

Charity Auctions

  1. It is permissible to hold an auction for charity, but ONLY with the prior permission of Admin, who will explain on an individual basis the special rules that apply to these events. If you don't want to administer the auction yourself, please ask in the forums and someone may offer to help.

Completing the Trade

  1. Anyone who fails to honour their obligation in a trade will be contacted by a moderator asking for an immediate resolution. If this is not forthcoming then we will treat it as a criminal matter and comply with any requests from the police for information about your activity on AVForums. We will also permanently ban you from AVForums. This action is done to protect the community from deliberately fraudulent traders.
    You are responsible for all trades and sales you take part in. Goods sold remain THE VENDOR'S responsibility until RECEIVED by the buyer.

Exchanging Feedback

  1. AVForums operates a trading feedback system where traders may exchange feedback on the experience of their trades.  This feedback is viewable by all members and so the system is important because it facilitates the build up of trust between traders.
    We therefore strongly encourage members to exchange feedback once their trade is complete.
    Feedback may be exchanged between members when

    • Both members have posted in a thread in the classifieds forums and
    • One of the members started that thread

    We require both members to exchange feedback for positive feedback to be visible. Otherwise it will be private.

    Members must not leave false, retaliatory feedback.
    Honest feedback is vital and it is very important that members feel they can leave negative feedback without the fear of retaliation.  Therefore, if a member leaves false, retaliatory feedback, the moderators will get involved, remove the feedback and likely warn said member.

Buying Tips

Remember: if it sounds too good to be true then it normally is!

Safety tips

  • Do not conduct negotiations via private conversation or email
  • Do not make payment until you have verified the identity of the seller
  • Check trading feedback and the value of seller's past trades
  • Be wary of pushy sellers or being asked to pay a deposit
  • Look out for last minute changes or something unexpected, such as a different payment method or being asked to send payment to a third party
  • Remember that Royal Mail standard first and second class postage offers limited compensation:


  • Collecting an item in person ensures the trade is completed to the satisfaction of both parties
  • Take a friend if meeting in person
  • Do not make payment before seeing the item

Confirming identity

  • Check that the supplied name and details are genuine. Telephone or video chat with the seller
  • Ask for a photo or video of the seller holding the item in a mirror
  • Check that a name matches bank details by paying in branch
  • Only accept verified Paypal addresses

Seller unable or unwilling to follow guidelines

  • Report the matter for Moderator attention
  • Scammers have even pretended to be the opposite sex to gain trust.

Condition and Description
Read the item description carefully to fully understand what is being sold before making an offer in order to avoid disappointment. Before committing to buy:

  • Ask for good clear photographs
  • Ask questions about condition or warranty
  • If possible collect in person to test an item before payment
  • Confirm postage method and tracking

Selling Tips

Selling Basics

The majority of trading problems involve:

  • Description and condition of the item on arrival
  • Courier damage or missing parcels

Top tips to avoid buyer disappointment:

Item description

  • Outline the full ownership and usage history, including repairs
  • Be honest: describe the functionality and aesthetic condition of the item as accurately as possible
  • Post clear photographs of the item
  • Consider taking a video to show an item is working at time of sale, especially if posting a high value item

Other information

Completing the sale

  • If you are selling a fragile or high-value item, insist on collection only
  • Consider giving first preference to buyers who can complete in person even if you are flexible
  • Pack the item well. Inadequate packaging may mean a courier claim is declined
  • Retain proof of postage to claim for lost parcels or courier damage

Mobile Phones

Buying and selling mobile phone handsets comes with certain risks:

  • It is rare to find a second-hand handset in absolutely mint condition as they are used on a daily basis
  • The original owner can potentially IMEI block the handset at any time

AVForums therefore strongly recommend that buyers follow the safety advice outlined within the Trading rules and on the Safety pages, in particular:

  • Obtain and verify the full name, address and telephone number of a seller. Video chat as scammers will always avoid identifying themselves in this way.
    Sellers without a phone number have to contact a Moderator before listing.
  • Obtain good quality photographs of a handset before purchase to ensure you fully understand the condition of the item you are buying.
  • IMPORTANT: You need to be aware that a mobile can be blocked at a future date by the original owner. While this is rare, Moderators are unable to assist should this happen to a mobile you have purchased.
  • Verify that the Seller is the original owner of the mobile phone handset. Particular problems arise because the Seller is not the original owner (they may actually be the second owner or are selling on behalf of a third party)

We recommend completing a trade in person so that you can fully inspect an item before payment. Look out for signs such as pushy sellers or sudden changes in payment or delivery terms.

Useful Links
IMEI search:
Apple Warranty Info:


The moderators are available to resolve trading disputes provided that the negotiation stage of the trade has been conducted publicly in accordance with our trading rules. If there is a dispute over an AVForums trade, please take the following steps:

  • If your thread is archived or closed then use the Post Report button to ask that your thread be moved to the Disputed/Problem Trades forum and reopened.
  • Reply to your thread detailing exactly what has happened which has caused the dispute.
  • Report your new post to the moderators asking for help to resolve the dispute.
  • The moderators will do their best to help bring the dispute to an amicable conclusion.

  • Published
    Sep 13, 2013
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