SHILL BIDDING: I once ALMOST bought a violin on E-bay from a seller in Vancouver, B.C. I noticed this seller had LOTS of bids placed by zero-rated or a max. of 3-star rated E-bay users. Suspicious. Also, ALL of their violins were bid on by the same group of people (who, interestingly, only bid near the end of the auction, and hardly every won the auction, thus maintaining their low ratings!). These were the SHILL bidders who pushed up the bidding near the end of the auction. The violin I almost bought increased in price by over $250 in the last 15 minutes! I became very suspicious & asked to forfeit the required buying of the violin. I thought I would rather get a negative feedback than be "screwed" out of over $500! Interestingly, the seller didn't put up a fuss at all! Why? Because she knew that I caught onto her shilling game, and decided NOT to leave me a feedback, because I would have left a negative one for her & exposed her shill bidding practices.
DECEPTION: I bought a violin on E-bay in September that came from
Germany. Turns out the Szepessy Bela label was a fake, and when I left a negative feedback for the cretin, she, of course, left a negative one for me, claiming that the violin WAS described as "....German violin.....". Such was NOT the case however, because her Ebay description did NOT state that the violin was a German one. If she had, I would NOT have bid on it. I was looking for a Hungarian violin. The fake label was very, very well done, according to the luthier I took it to. He showed it to 2 other luthiers that were in his shop when I arrived, and they each, independently said it was a German factory violin. The 2 bows that came with the fake violin were, as the luthier said, "antiqued", to look old. He thought that was disturbing. I sent the crap back to Germany. I lost $220 in U.P.S. and insurance fees and $250 in Escrow fees ( the seller did NOT pay any portion of the Escrow fees) thanks to this unscrupulous German woman, selling violins with fake labels in it. This person lied when she claimed her E-bay add stated it was a German violin (I caught her lie however, and threw it back in her face but it makes no difference to E-bay), she lied when she initially wrote that she bought the violin from an antique dealer, then, after she discovered that I knew of her deceipt. she wrote that she was given the violin by some friends who knew she liked to play the cello as a hobby. (Hey, sis, make up your mind!!) Interestingly enough, this deceiptful seller, is now making her E-bay feedbacks private! You can no longer read them! Also, since I sent the fake violin & bows back to her, she hasn't had anything up on E-bay. She's probably changed her name and is now selling under a different name. IF YOU EVER SEE A BELA SZEPESSY VIOLIN ON E-BAY FROM GERMANY, DO NOT BUY IT!!!!!