Tacswap is a great new marketplace that is growing rapidly. It uses a "classified ad" approach like Armslist, but with a clean and modern interface that is much nicer than Armslist. It's also cheaper to use than Armslist (and GunBroker), with just a $5 signup fee. But don't follow Tacswap's guidance on payments, because it puts your money at serious risk. There is a much safer way.
Tacswap is purely a marketplace. It helps buyers and sellers find each other, but leaves the actual transactions up to the users. To quote Tacswap from their FAQ page:
Once you have contacted a user through the messaging system it is up to the two parties to arrange their trusted method of payment and transaction exchange. Tacswap advises using only secured method of payments and does not provide any payment protection between transactions.
That's good advice. Most firearm-friendly payment methods are not secured methods, which is why there is so much fraud with online firearm transactions.
However, not all of Tacswap's advice is good. On their "Best Practices" page, they suggest using PayPal for payments. That's a big mistake. PayPal explicitly prohibits transactions for firearms, ammunition, and many accessories. It will seize funds that are related to such transactions. That is why Tacswap offers guidance on how to violate PayPal's terms without being detected:
Always use a secure payment method with purchase protection/guarantee such as PayPal Goods & Services. ... If using PayPal we suggest you NOT write anything gun related in PayPal payments. If you absolutely must write a comment, say something generic like "outdoor equipment". Anything gun related can get the seller's PayPal account banned. It does not matter if it's Friends and Family or Goods & Services or if you don't file a claim, they will consider it a violation of their TOS.
Yes, it is possible to violate PayPal's terms without being detected. But even if you do, there are other risks to worry about. For example, the buyer can still be ripped off. If the seller is a scammer, PayPal won't help the buyer recover the funds. PayPal is clear that "PayPal Buyer Protection does not cover ... Products that violate PayPal policies". Also, if the buyer or seller ends up disgruntled about the transaction, they can take the nuclear option and deliberately report the transaction to PayPal as a violation. PayPal will suspend both accounts and seize the funds. Basically, using PayPal for guns or ammo is quite dangerous.
Tacswap suggests using PayPal because that was a common choice years ago, before there was an alternative. Yes, it was dangerous back then too. But many people were willing to take the risk because there was no better way. Since 2015 there has been a much better way.
GunTab is the only safe way to pay for firearms, ammunition, and accessories online. It costs 2.9% per transaction – just like PayPal. But it is much better than PayPal. First, GunTab is safer because it is escrow – it holds the funds until the merchandise has been delivered. So unlike PayPal, there is never a question of whether a buyer qualifies for buyer protection – all buyers are protected, and sellers too. Second, GunTab is more helpful because it includes features like FFL search, shipment tracking, and regulatory guidance. Most importantly, GunTab is better because it is a member of the gun community, not the California anti-gun mob like PayPal.
Tacswap is aware of GunTab. Back in March of 2021, GunTab reached out to the founders of Tacswap and offered to add Tacswap as a compatible marketplace for GunTab Checkout. Given that friendly background, it's not clear why Tacswap is still promoting a dangerous anti-gun option like PayPal. It would be great to see Tacswap update their "Best Practices" page with a more modern perspective.
In short, Tacswap's "Best Practices" for payments are NOT best practices. They promote a dangerous approach that was common years ago, before there was a better alternative. To make matters worse, it's an approach that enriches anti-gunners. But the choice is yours. If you want to put your money at risk with PayPal, you can. Or you can pay the same amount to be safer and happier with GunTab.
It's completely free to open an account with GunTab – try it now.