? Question

Money orders vs GunTab

Money orders are how scammers prefer to be paid.

What is a money order?

Money orders are an alternative to GunTab. They are a "cash equivalent", meaning they are effectively the same as cash. They are most commonly purchased from USPS or Western Union for a small fee. Money orders must be purchased in-person using cash or a debit card, then must be physically mailed to the seller.

Do scammers use money orders?

Yes, money orders are a preferred payment method for scammers because they do not protect buyers and leave very little paper trail. As indicated by StopGunScams.com, money orders are one of the most commonly accepted payment methods for gun scams.

Side-by-side comparison

GunTab Money orders
Guns/ammo/parts allowed
Online X
Accepted everywhere
Bank payments X
Card payments X
Buyers safe X
Sellers safe
Automations X
Unlimited payments X
Service fee 2.9% ~ $1
Fee on success only X
Guaranteed X

How good is a money order?

Money orders were a common way to pay for online transactions before payment platforms like PayPal existed. They are still a fairly common way for people to handle payments online, because they offer sellers full protection from chargebacks. However, money orders don't do anything to protect buyers. In fact, money orders are how scammers prefer to get paid. Money orders have come to be seen as a "red flag" in ecommerce, indicating a scam is likely.

Buyers extremely vulnerable

Paying by money order is like mailing cash to a stranger. It is incredibly easy to get scammed. Plus, money orders require the physical footwork of purchasing and mailing. For buyers, money orders are one of the worst options.

Sellers minimally vulnerable

Where money orders are maximum risk for buyers, they are minimum risk for sellers. As a cash equivalent, money orders are not subject to any kind of chargeback process. However, there is an ongoing problem with money order forgery. To protect yourself from forged money orders, see the USPS instructions for "how to spot a fake".

Which is better?

In short, using money orders for online transactions is a terrible idea. While sellers might like them, for buyers they are an absolute non-starter. Not only do have no protection from scams, you have to physically go purchase something in person and then put it in the mail. GunTab is totally safe, and allows you to complete your transactions entirely online. GunTab is clearly the better choice.