Cautionary Tale of Trust

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.

5 thoughts on “Cautionary Tale of Trust”

  1. There was someone I recently saw who had tons of negatives recently. I wonder if it was the same person, since it looked like she was doing well before then. It certainly dissuaded me from trading with them!

  2. Wow, sorry to hear you ended up on the bad end of this type of deal. I am guessing she was a teenager that got overwhelmed with the situation and hopefully learned her lesson. Over 30 manga exchanges in 8 weeks is incredibly high in my book. This system offers an incredible opprotunity to many manga lovers that just cannot afford every title, but it does come with a respondsibility. I do hope things get settled eventually, but it is nice to see the good and the bad side of this exchange. I have a HUGE collection and would love to share, but the few friends I have done so have lost or marred my books. This website might be the answer to cautiously try out.

  3. That was my impression too, after her apology. It’s easy to just say “I want that, and that, and that…”, but you have to know when to say enough. I’ve done pretty well with just keeping to 2-3 trades at a time.

    I would recommend Mangatude. All the people I’ve met and traded with, or had to refuse have been really nice, and the books have all been exactly as described. You can try a trade or two to start and see if works for you.

  4. While this is some years ago, I ended up trading with her too. I believe, I may have been one of the very first trades as I was watching her account like a hawk. I really didn’t want to leave her neg. feedback unless necessary (and then wrote my issue after seeing the bad reviews come in). After her change of heart, she said out of all the people she scammed, she did have the manga I asked for in the trade. While my case worked out, I was really discouraged knowing that there was people doing this and it has carried over in how I handle trades today.

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