It is good to be able to trust in a situation / person when exchanging money.
It is becoming more and more difficult to know when you are in that comfort zone .
FWIW, buying from an established seller should be a simple deal . That is , you tell them what you want , they tell you what it costs and then you send them the money.
" Established dealer " definitions are always important, well for this it will be easy to use APS , aka Kirby Allen as an example. Track record says that Kirby sends what you order .
So , with a rep like that all of us are glad to order work by Kirby AND send dollars to begin the process. However in the scheme of things a lot of trust gets misplaced and in the end the trusted seller gets burned by the occasional snake in the grass . This may nort happen often or even rarely but hey ................once is more than enough to hurt , and hurt pretty bad.
I presently have 4 projects in progress . In some of those I have sent dollars at the beginning , in others it is understood that I am good for it .
I would not fault an established smith for requiring a substantial sum up front for work ordered .
It should be pretty clear that the smith has way more to lose than any individual building a rifle .
Well...............all that being said I must ask , Kirby , if I send you all the money now will you fix my stuff before you fix Buffalobobs ?