Link up directly to a bank? I don't think it's available in SG.
What I usually do is find someone who sells Paypal funds. I'll bank transfer to the person the amount I need after agreeing on the exchange rate, then he/she'll transfer the amount in USD to my Paypal account. Of course, you'll have to do some research and find a reliable seller to do that.
No.1: Some banks don't allow transfers to Paypal... I read it before, it's somewhere in the guidelines.
No. 2: I've heard bad things about Paypal. Link only your card, don't link your bank account, cause it gives them free reign over your money.
No. 3: From what I've read, Paypal protection is only most effective in Ebay. If you're transacting normally (even if it's through goods/service), people have had a hard time getting their money back, even though they are suppose to be covered... Most just end up getting the credit card company to cover for the losses.
yes, paypal offers most protection if done over ebay. it's essentially a payment platform for the auctions. otherwise, it's only useful as a tool to transfer money to reliable sellers.
and yes, link paypal to your credit card, and not bank account if you are a seller. otherwise, paypal can unilaterally withdraw the funds if the buyer files a dispute, and you wont see your money until you jump through countless hoops.
this is a very complex issue of which there is no well documented policy.
The safest way is both seller and buyer meet up - seller with the good and buyer with the cash. Usually I go with another person as witness.
Tracking doesn't mean anything, cause IF the seller isn't honest, they can just place something else into the package.
The safest option is still to go through ebay, get the buyer to set a BNP, and let you know that the listing is there, so that you can buy straight away. At least you'll be covered there. Also, ask the guy whether he has any feedback in any photo forums (Fred Miranda if possible)... that should be a good judge of his character and whether he is honest. I like Fred Miranda, they have a very good feedback system, and most of the guys there are friendly and honest. (Partly cause they've to pay subscription fees to sell items)
Not really... I bought a lens from a guy, paid him with paypal echeck, which won't get cleared until a few days later. He saw my good feedback and decided I'm a nice guy, so he shipped the lens on the day I told him I want to buy the lens from him. Very nice guy