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Suspicious Seller(s)??


fiddler2

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Hi everyone,

I am fairly new to this forum, so please forgive if this has already been discussed. There have been (and are) some "Italian (lab.)" violins offered on eBay. Obviously, this has been a selling ploy for many in the past. These particular ones are very nice-looking and displayed in exceptional photos in the ads. But what is weird is that the person offering them uses several different "aliases" as his/her Seller Name. I can understand that this would be a shrewd way of minimizing any negative feedback he/she might receive. I was not real troubled by that, but something they did recently sent up red flags. One of the digits in the date on the label of one of the violins was blotted out. I know it was done recently because I received pics from him/her of this violin several weeks ago with the full date! I have e-mailed this person about that a couple of times, but he will not reply. I certainly do not want to defame anyone without justification, therefore I will not divulge the seller's name(s) . But it all smells kinda fishy to me. Comments please????????????

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I think you have answered your own question. Sound advise is if it looks too good to be true, then it is probably false. Rich has it right, ebay is a great forum for huksters. You are buying sight unseen, usually on as-is terms, with innacurate if not fraudulent descriptions, and otherwise without any recourse against an unscrupulous seller. Don't let your lust for that deal too good to pass up get in the way of your better judgment. If in doubt, pass on it. It was never real.

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...what do you expect. I am always reading you all complaining that the superbargain you are hoping for is not real. And that german sellers do best in selling the stuff you still hope are bargains. Of course are the violins not authentic, as 95% of the fiddles on earth aren't, you know that, so please don't complain. Look at those faked labelled or unlabelled violins which are still a bargain in a way, although their italian labels might be faked, you can get them for under $600 and find equivalent violins in your shop at $2000 - $3000.

I am selling such violins on eBay (well, not faked labelled italian ones. Usually they are unlabelled.). Never had a complain because italian-superbargain-hopers are not my customers.

Please stop complaining that the old italian master you would like to see on eBay is indeed a saxon violin. We did not build your hopes.

Thanks.

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+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I know it was done recently because I received pics from him/her of this violin several weeks ago with the full date! I have e-mailed this person about that a couple of times, but he will not reply.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A person (seller) can only tell you what he knows. No answer is not all so bad.

PS. Once upon a time, I witnessed in a master class that the teacher spotted an advanced student playing a bad sounding (his back-up)instruement.

Without looking she said " Wait a minute, what is wrong with your violin?" out of the blue.

The teacher is a famous violinist who sensed something wrong.

She plays and gets use to very expensive violin. Some people just have sharp ears. They don't have to read labels. They hear them. /yuen/

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Thanks for your openness geigen. But you seem to be missing the point. I think most people who are familiar with eBay now realize that there are NO "superbargains" there. Ebay benefits the seller, but seldom the buyer. There is too much competition out there to get a "real deal." A buyer only benefits by buying an item that is NOT in great demand, or maybe hard for him to buy locally. Anyway, the point is that few people want to buy from someone who is dishonest or lacks integrity (especially on a high-priced item). If someone will misrepresent an item, they may be dishonest enough to take your money and not deliver. All I want to see is a seller call an item what it really is. If he must misrepresent to make a few dollars, then I for one am determined not to patronize him. If you don't think you can be honest and successful, look at padah hound. He does very well on eBay and is completely trustworthy. Maybe you should re-think your philosophy. Have a good day!

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Well, I'm sure the Ebay hunters are thrilled to hear so many people have given up on it as a venue for hidden treasure. It's true, it is a very competetive arena, but there are still plenty of bargains to be found. I think Jesse might vouch for that. The trick is learning how to see them. You can't find what you can't see.

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...actually in my case, eBay benefits a lot to my buyers since my violins are unlabelled and not advertised as "italian" ones, I can rarely sell them at reasonable prices. I continue selling them on eBay because there is no local market here and I can buy most of them at even lower prices.

Sometimes it hurts when I have to sell a great sounding unlabelled violin for less than 300 dollars while others get hundreds for their rubbish.

By the way, isn't your favorite eBay seller padah-hound taking pictures of obviously faked labels? Is that okay in your eyes? I don't know. Aren't sometimes his/her violins terribly revarnished? Do you read a word about this in the description? Now who has to reconsider whos philosophy.

Feel free to check my past auctions and feedback for eBay user "Ingbergers"

I do tell people if my violins are student quality or revarnished and I do not take pics of faked labels. I usually don't have labelled violins. I do not photograph labels and post them as pic #1.

Thanks.

Anne.

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How did Geigen get highlighted for this abuse?

I've always thought that the Geigen meister was meticulous about her violin descriptions and from time to time had some beautiful stuff that are professionally presented.

And she's pretty fiesty! You go Girl!

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Hallo Anne. I took a quick look at some of your recent auctions, and your descriptions and photos are great. I cannot believe that my reply to fiddler2 was relevant to you. Neither were my comments directed at German Ebayers in general. There are dishonest sellers on Ebay for sure -- not many, but enough to be careful. And there are a few clear warning signs to learn, and a few wellknown sellers to avoid (including a couple wellknown German sellers). But my personal experience from Ebay and from living in Germany is that Germans are very very honest and a great pleasure to work with. I would never dismiss an Ebay sale just because the seller was in Germany -- just the opposite, I probably would give it a second look for just that reason. (Even though the German mail is very slow, would you agree?) Now, may I resume my search for that great Italian violin at a bargain price? Schoenen Gruessen,

Richard

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  • 2 weeks later...

My experience with Annette (Ingbergers) was bittersweet. I purchased a violin from her that was BIN, but was obviously not as described. She said it was Labelled Jusek, but it was not. Fingerboard was so badly glued there was an 1/16" of overhang. At first she was a 100% BIT** about it and said "What do you think, you should always get a good deal on eBay?" I wanted to send it back and after a number of emails she finally said she would relist it and I could then mail it to the buyer. The buyer ended up from Australia, so I had a very expensive postal charge. I lost about $120 on the deal. I normally would not quibble, but it was totally misadvertised and misrepresented. So I think that honesty is on a sliding scale, especially with the German sellers. I come from German family, so I don't say that easily.

Then to my shock, PKNORR purchased the violin from the Australian. So you see, what comes round, goes round.

BTW, Annette said that she was a Biochemist PhD student and sold violins to afford school. Was this a way to get some sympathy?

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Of course do I remember that "person".

The quality of the violin was not very high and I did not _explicitly state_ that is was a simple, low quality violin. This person bid high and wanted to return the violin as soon as he noticed that he made a mistake and that he did not made the bargain he expected (in fact he expected an authentic violin while I was selling a labelled violin). At that time I did not offer returns.

He kept threatening with negative feedback and contacting future bidders etc. so that I finally agreed.

He wanted me to pay everything and for the return shipping, too (i.e. to make a loss).

...I paid out what I got, not more.

(there was shipping, there were bank fees, currency conversion etc.)

I did not see why I should be nice to such an uncomfortable person who is now calling me BI*** if I understood that right.

I realized at that time that is perhaps more accurate not to highlight and present obv. faked labels, or just to give them only a short note. It also helps to prevent yourself from problems with such bidders.

because:

-- people do not understand the difference between labelled and authentic. They expect and authentic Stainer when buying a labelled Stainer.

So, better not to photograph those labels, right? What for? It is in any case misleading. Everybody knows that.

Thanks. Anne.

By the way, Rich, will you share your eBay hunting experiences? What were your best buys?

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I think the readership will see through all of your gibberish. You advertised the violin labelled as a John Juzek and it was neither labelled as such nor a real Jusuk. The label actually said Jesek and was not a Czech but from some other Eastern European country. As an experienced seller you knew better. This is what many are experiencing from the German sellers. They tend to be misleading and then get hot under the collar when challenged. I, as many others in this form, will no longer consider buying from a German seller. Why am I not alone in this sentiment?

I really planned to forget this case, but given so much attention to you in this form, I thought it important to issue a caviot emptor. Good luck with your studies, however!

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I don't think this board is a productive place to air grievances. There is something about web communications that amplifies discontent and makes resolution difficult. I agree that if the seller claimed that the label says "xxx," then the label should say "xxx." But I don't believe the violin has to be made by "xxx" unless the seller said it was. In any case, you should expect incomplete information and miscommunication. It is after all a jungle out there. Even the smart sellers may let a good deal slip by them, and even the smart buyers will trip up now and then.

Personally, I don't complain about bad purchases. I try to cut my losses by reselling the item with a more accurate description and count the difference towards the cost of my education. (The most embarrassing fiddles get carried out to the trash, late at night when noone can see.) It has been an expensive education so far, but I have indeed learned a few things.

But not enough. Just this week I grabbed a Virzi with the Buy-It-Now. When it arrived, I could see that the pegbox needed a lot of work. Should the seller have mentioned that -- probably. Should I have told him that a Virzi in good shape could be worth many multiples of his asking price -- of course not. Should I complain about the damage -- for me, not so long as I thought I was getting it for a steal.

Also, I expect to suffer thru several bad purchases for every good one. The good ones have been an Asa White, a Dolling Jr., a couple other American makers, an old English violin, and some very nice Markneukirchens, Tyrolean, and other anonymous German instruments. The best deals have invariably come from individuals or general antique sellers, mainly here and in Germany. Don't ask about my "educational" purchases -- they are too numerous to count.

Could I have taken all the money that I've lost on ebay and put it towards one great violin. Probably. But without my ebay experience (and Maestronet experience), I wouldn't know why it was great (and it would probably turn out to be a not-so-great Chinese).

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Is it possible that buyers or sellers with a grievance against a specific Maestronetter could use the private message option to try first to settle a dispute? It seems to me that there is too much PERSONAL mudslinging going on here. And it does NOT solve the probelms, it just puts all parties on the defensive in front of the other readers. There IS a place for warnings against someone with a pattern of fraud, but I don't personally think that should be the FIRST course of action, before a pattern is established.

Just my feeling after seeing some of the very personal attacks lately.

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Maestramusica,

I agree. I am not sure what prompted me to write my initial comment. However, if you read Geigen's comments in this thread, perhaps it would have also gotten under your skin if you had a similar experience that I had. It's much better to stick to the productive side of things so I will get out of this form and go back to the Pegbox where real and useful information can be had.

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