Very often i get people asking me things like: “But without government, who would prevent scams in business from taking place?”
First of all, the state does not guarantee a world without scams or scammers. This is something that happens even with the state trying (haha) to prevent unethical people from cheating others. And even when they put people in jail, most times they just get a slap on the hand, a fee, and go back outside to do their thing with another name.
In this piece i would like to share an actual example that happened to me just last week to try to elucidate this very point and how things got resolved.
As most of you know, I import kratom from Indonesia and Costa Rica. One of my previous suppliers from the Asian country was trying to get me to do business with him again after several months of me not buying from him. The reason why i stopped buying from him was because the last two shipments of several kilos got stuck in customs and then got sent back to him as he would keep my thousands of dollars…
He messaged me saying that he wanted to do business again and that as a gesture of good will he would send me the kratom BEFORE i paid and i would only pay if it cleared customs. This seemed like a good idea but i told him i could only do 10kg at that time since i had just gotten some and his cost had gone up. He mentioned that we could wait for me to sell some and I could pay him as I sold it. He was being quite reasonable and I thought I would give him one more chance since he said he lost a lot of money and he really needed the business.
Next thing he said was we should try 20kg and I refused since I did not have the money at the time. He assured me I could pay afterwards and I agreed to that. I mean, after all, it seemed like a good deal if he could get his business back on track and I could get fronted a good amount at once. Then, he said he would send 40kg, then 80kg. At this point I really thought he was just kidding… finally he said he would send me 100kg at once and that I needed to pay as soon as it cleared customs. I laughed and told him he was crazy… since I had just bought a lot of kratom and i could not just pay for 100kg at once. Suddenly, the guy sends me a picture of the tracking numbers for 3 packages claiming he sent it all.
Every day I would open the tracking app and see where the packages were and I saw them getting closer and closer to me. One day, the first one arrived to San Francisco and cleared customs… he demanded payment right away and I gently reminded me I did not have all that cash at once and that I would have to withdraw from the crypto vault but that would take several days and I could only get so much money out weekly… he responded very angry saying I tricked him. The next day I received the second package, and the day after the third one.
Here’s the cool part that I really wanted to tell you about, even though it was a bit against me…
He decided I scammed him and he went to an international herbal group where a bunch of us sellers belong and he started making posts against me and convinced two leaders in those groups to approach me and get my version of the story. Naturally, organically, and without state intervention, these two folks tried to gather as much information from the two of us and tried to determine who was in the wrong and we accepted the verdict.
After showing dozens of screenshots of the conversations between the former provider and myself, both arbiters they determined that I was in the right and I could send stuff back, send it to another customer, or make payments on it. I decided to keep the stuff and make payments on it and the former provider deleted the ugly posts about me.
Later, the former provider also agreed to give me a credit for the stuff I paid for before and got sent back to him. We agreed I would only pay for 80kg instead of 100kg…
All of this took place without any tax dollars being (mis)used in lengthy judicial bureaucracy bullshit, without any violence, threats of jail, or any other government idiocy. This goes to show how without a state things can get done, accomplished and the natural order is all around us, if we let it, to create a leaderful society. And on my end I just blocked him on WhatsApp and started sending weekly payments.
Just as I finish this, and for the record, the former provider only sent 60kg and was trying to do dirty business again… yet nobody got killed or caged and was managed by me just sending a text to one of the arbiters letting him know about it.
What’s most important in a voluntary society, as a seller, is your name and your word and the last thing you want is to have bad reviews by buyers or providers and one will go to great lengths to demonstrate one’s good will and action to cooperate. The market will punish shady sellers and will reward great business practices. You can already see this in action on amazon, ebay, etsy, and yelp… people will talk about their experience and this will help others decide if they should try a vendor or not. Obviously nobody has all 5 stars… and that’s understandable, but what we want is someone who is consistent in providing good work.