Checks don't really "clear" in the sense that you're thinking.
When you present it to your bank, they may honor it right away. Or they may honor part of it right away and the rest in a few days. And by "honor," all I mean is that they'll pretend that the check is legit by extending you credit for its face value. But they'll still take a few days (or weeks, in some cases) to present it to the originating bank.
When the First National Bank of Nigeria says "Oops, that account doesn't actually exist" to your bank, then your bank claws the money right back out of your account.
For that reason, I never accept checks, ever. Not even cashier's checks or certified checks, for the same reason. And I won't take money orders to my bank. I cash them first.
In theory, if you get sent a USPS money order, the USPS can confirm validity and cash it out for you at the counter, which is why I'll sometimes accept them (and will definitely cash them at the post office prior to shipping the goods.). In practice, I've had postal clerks tell me that a USPS MO is valid but that they can't cash it, usually because they don't have any cash in the till.
(As for the FBI and the postal inspectors, the amount that they find interesting is generally somewhere in the mid five figures.)
Gomar wrote in post #14568565
If the guy's check does arrive, and it clears, what's the problem? Just deposit it, wait for confirmation, get your bank statement, and you are good to go.
However, you do risk bounced check fee; but that's better than losing your gear.
So, ask for a money order, or cashier's check, or whatever it is called in your country.
or why not paypal?
Any time you start thinking that you're a big shot, try giving commands to someone else's dog.
Direct and blunt C&C wanted, please.