When you are providing something, especially something of considerable value, it is good to know beforehand if the member who will receive it is a responsible trader. By ‘responsible’ we mean someone who is not a ‘taker’ and who gives back to the community more or less the same amount as they receive. It is important to know this because some members are so irresponsible that they have had their accounts blocked. This means that they can receive no more and any attempt to enter a transaction against them will fail. This can happen after the member has already received the service that you provide or has gone off with the goods you provided. It is not pleasant to discover that you can’t credit your account and have to attempt to receive compensation in some other way.

When someone contacts you about something you have advertised, it is always good practice to check their balance before parting with any goods or providing any service. To check a member’s balance, find their account first. Simply type their name or account number in the search box at the top of the page after you have logged in. This will bring up a list of members matching your query. Click on the name of the member, which will bring up their personal profile. At the top left, click View trading record. There you can see their current balance, how many trades they have made, their ratio of sales to purchases, and much more. If the account has been locked, you will see the following:

This account is currently locked because of a breach of the Terms & Conditions of this exchange. Attempts to credit yourself against this user will fail.

If you see the above, simply do not provide anything to the member. Choose instead someone else who might have been interested in your offering.

Sometimes members have exceeded their balance limits. If, when entering a transaction against a buyer, you get a warning not to trade with the member, this does not mean their account has been blocked. You can still go ahead and enter the transaction and your account will be credited. The member, however, will be pushed even further below their debit limit.

So when you are checking member balances, it is not just a question of whether they are blocked or not. If the member is below their debit limit then do not trade with them. In this way members control who can trade and who not, and it is not left entirely to the administrator to decide.