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Yeah, all that is correct. If they don't have any feedback, ask if they have anyone who can vouch for their legitness, someone who lives near them, get their phone/name/address, and use PayPal for that extra security. I'm pretty sure if you don't receive the item within 45 days you can file a claim and get your money back which is sweet. Also search their NS SN for any callout threads on them. Make sure you use advanced search to search, the Google bar sucks.
not automatically, but if you are a good buyer chances are the seller will give you +k along with positive feedback. dont worry about karma though, im not sure i have ever noticed anyones K, the only thing you need to look at is feedback.
here is a prime example of what i mean:
shredtillurdead has tons of K but is also a huge douche who has scammed many people on this site