A week or so ago, I wrote about trading manga and the website Mangatude. While, as some have mentioned, this doesn’t actually reduce the number of manga you have. It just switched them. But, if they were books you wanted and would have spent money on, well, it’s a good deal. But only if both players are playing by the same rules.
For trading to work, there has to be some trust. When a deal is struck, you have to trust that the other person will send the book, just as they trust that you will do the same. Of course, when you make that trade, you don’t know if the person will or not. Mangatude has a rating system, so before you accept a trade, you can see what experience others have had, and this can help measure whether you’re will to make the deal. But, there is a way to beat this system, though it takes time. It’s appeared on eBay, and now it seems on Mangatude.
The way the scheme works is, you build up a good rating; fast shipping, items in good condition, etc., and then, once you have a lot of deals made, you don’t fulfill your side of the bargain, take the money/items and run!
There was a trader on Mangatude that made a lot of trades in November and December that also had something to this effect on her front page; “You must send your items first, as I’ve been cheated many times. If you won’t, we don’t have a deal.”(red flag) She also had 36 good ratings, and not neutral or bad. Around Christmas, she had a vacation notification that should would be back in January and would ship after that. About a week after her message said she would ship, it was seen that she was checking the site, but nothing was going out, and she was not responding to messages. That’s when the negatives started flooding in. All with the same story; they had sent their items per the deal, but she hadn’t sent anything and wasn’t replying to messages. This person kept checking the site, and the bad ratings came coming in. Finally over this last weekend, she deleted her wish/want list, all her “friends”, and changed her name and address to gibberish. Not the actions of an honest, responsible person, it appeared.
In a seeming “change of heart”, she returned today, promising to send back the books, or something else in exchange. This sounds more like she’s a kid, and someone got in contact with her parents, and she got busted big time. She says she won’t be on the site anymore.
And how do I know all this? I was one of the people she got manga from. Mine was just one volume, unlike a lot of other people, and I was willing to wait until she changed her contact information to gibberish.
The moral of this is, if you’re going to trade, be careful who you trade with. Not everyone is honest and trusting. And it’s almost instinctive for humans to want to trust one another. It’s how we build communities and societies. And trust isn’t just given, it must be earned. But sometimes, that earned trust can be a deception.
I’m not telling this story to ward anyone away from trading. It still stand behind it, and there are a lot more honest people than deceptive ones. This is just a reminder to be careful in your trading. Ratings are still a good way to gage to people. But you may get cheated at some point. The best way to avoid this is communication. This is the most important thing you can do in an active trade. Always keep in touch once you’ve agreed on the trade. Let them know if you have a problem. People will be understanding and patient if you explain your situation. A few words can go a long way.