Forums: BASE Jumping: General BASE:
Minor attempting to buy BASE gear
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bluhdow

Jan 22, 2019, 10:40 AM
Post #1 of 7 (1417 views)
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Minor attempting to buy BASE gear Can't Post

Apex BASE recently received an order for a Summit container that was ultimately declined and refunded. The order was placed by, we believe, a minor. After seeing BFL #361 last month this is troubling, and we hope it's not the start of a new trend.

https://www.blincmagazine.com/...ex.php?title=bfl-361

I am posting to notify everyone with used gear for sale. In most cases it's very easy to verify the experience of a prospective buyer. Check them out on FB, look for mutual connections, ask for a reference. Here's how this order unfolded, which is pretty common among our "rejected" orders:

1. Customer places order for a container with adequate experience. 263 skydives, 52 BASE jumps.

2. We follow up with customer. Their weight (170 lbs.) didn't jive with the stated canopy (size 210). We also inquired about canopy construction and fabric to get a better idea of the canopy volume we're building for.

3. Customer replied with a less-than-knowledgeable reply regarding his current canopy, and a request to build a canopy that is appropriate for his size.

4. We followed up with the following e-mail:

In reply to:
Thank you for your order, and thank you for providing the additional information requested.

I want to preface the next statement by saying that Apex BASE always does everything we can to be a responsible vendor of BASE equipment. BASE jumping is extremely dangerous and requires a lot of training, skill, and a conservative approach. Most of our customers are known to us and/or share a lot of mutual contacts. In some cases we have no mutual connections and ask customers for a reference to verify parachuting experience.

I see you have 263 skydives and 52 BASE jumps. If you don’t mind, would you please provide us with a reference or two? Ideally we would like to chat with an instructor from your Local DZ and/or your BASE FJC instructor. Please provide contact information and we will contact them before proceeding with your order.

My apologies for the inconvenience, and I hope you understand that no offense is intended here. We just want to make sure we’re being thorough and vetting all of our customers before sending out parachute equipment.

5. The "customer" then called into the shop, exposing both his very young age and a confession that he has exactly ZERO parachute experience.

6. Customer's order was cancelled and his money was refunded.

After the order was cancelled I discussed with this young man his best path forward: Dropzone, 150+ skydives, BASE FJC, etc. I am posting here because I am not convinced that he took my advice seriously. I told him, word-for-word: "If you try to BASE jump with no experience or instruction you will die." I am not confident that message was well received.

We have sent an e-mail to our manufacturer contacts with this person's e-mail address and full name. I don't want to make that information public, but if you're dealing with someone on a used gear sale and would like to confirm that they are not this individual, please PM me and I will verify whether or not your buyer's e-mail matches this one. I will say that our "customer" is from Canada and if you FB his name you will see a profile that is telling of his age and experience.

He was obviously clever enough to figure out some of the right things to say to get his order through. Maybe he's clever enough to put together an even more thoroughly convincing story now. Sellers, please help protect our sport by asking a few questions before shipping gear.

nickgreen

Jan 22, 2019, 10:56 AM
Post #2 of 7 (1402 views)
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Re: [bluhdow] Minor attempting to buy BASE gear [In reply to] Can't Post

Good to see these checks are being made and appear to be working too, good job Apex

BodeyM

Jan 22, 2019, 11:40 AM
Post #3 of 7 (1380 views)
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Re: [bluhdow] Minor attempting to buy BASE gear [In reply to] Can't Post

Would it maybe be worth it to spin up a basic website for people like this and as an effort to prevent incidents like #362 and #348? Something that briefly explains the key differences between sky gear and base gear, and points out the main things that are going to fuck you up?

We've all been ignoring warning labels our whole lives, at least for me I know the feeling of having more balls than brains and thinking "yeah, maybe those people couldn't figure it out themselves but I'm different."

I'm sure there are people who are hellbent on jumping off shit with whatever piece of nylon they can pick up soonest strapped to their back, but for me, having actual information is a lot more effective at getting me to avoid something, versus vague warnings from people on the internet.

bluhdow

Jan 22, 2019, 11:58 AM
Post #4 of 7 (1372 views)
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Re: [BodeyM] Minor attempting to buy BASE gear [In reply to] Can't Post

I think there are already a lot of websites and information sources like that. This forum is an example.

People who want to do this the right way have an abundance of information and resources to do so. The buyers that we have to be on the lookout for are people who know that they are trying to shortcut the proper progression. In this case, the minor knew at least some of the correct lies to tell us.

In reply to:
I'm sure there are people who are hellbent on jumping off shit with whatever piece of nylon they can pick up soonest strapped to their back, but for me, having actual information is a lot more effective at getting me to avoid something, versus vague warnings from people on the internet.

I think for the vast majority of people doing their homework and progressing responsibly is their goal. Of course a lot of times the definition of a "responsible" progression can be muddied, but I do believe that most people think they are going about things the right way. Some of these outlier cases may be related to naivety, but I would hazard a guess that most of the "hellbent" cases that you're thinking of might be more in the realm of mental health issues. It usually takes very little effort, in the way of a phone call, e-mail, or a little FB investigating to indicate if that's potentially the case.

kaustik

Jan 25, 2019, 10:47 AM
Post #5 of 7 (1040 views)
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Re: [BodeyM] Minor attempting to buy BASE gear [In reply to] Can't Post

BodeyM wrote:
Would it maybe be worth it to spin up a basic website for people like this and as an effort to prevent incidents like #362 and #348? Something that briefly explains the key differences between sky gear and base gear, and points out the main things that are going to fuck you up?

We've all been ignoring warning labels our whole lives, at least for me I know the feeling of having more balls than brains and thinking "yeah, maybe those people couldn't figure it out themselves but I'm different."

I'm sure there are people who are hellbent on jumping off shit with whatever piece of nylon they can pick up soonest strapped to their back, but for me, having actual information is a lot more effective at getting me to avoid something, versus vague warnings from people on the internet.

#347, FTFY

BodeyM

Jan 25, 2019, 12:33 PM
Post #6 of 7 (1009 views)
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Re: [kaustik] Minor attempting to buy BASE gear [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't they all shift forward, due to confirming #231 recently?

MBA-PATTO

Jan 25, 2019, 5:04 PM
Post #7 of 7 (954 views)
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Re: [BodeyM] Minor attempting to buy BASE gear [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes.

Blinc magazine will take a long while to reconfig names and numbers with photos.


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