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Another Another Interesting eBay Seller


Charles Hansen
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Hello All,

 

If you look at this eBay store:

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/mariam94/m.html

 

there are fiddles priced as high as $600,000. Either these are valuable instruments or they are a huge rip-off. If the former, then, how can Jacob Saunders say that everything on eBay is trash? If the latter, why is everybody always picking Pahdah_Hound?

 

Thanks,

Charlie Hansen

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I see nothing wrong.  This is simply a cheap way of gaining exposure and of showcasing these items.  After all, there's worldwide exposure and premium placement on search engines. I would assume that this seller, nor her/his buyers would transact thru eBay.  It all makes sense to me.

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Hello All,

 

If you look at this eBay store:

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/mariam94/m.html

 

there are fiddles priced as high as $600,000. Either these are valuable instruments or they are a huge rip-off. If the former, then, how can Jacob Saunders say that everything on eBay is trash? If the latter, why is everybody always picking Pahdah_Hound?

 

Thanks,

Charlie Hansen

This has come up before several times. http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/319810-ebay-seller-mariam94/

 

It's well known here that "Mariam94" is Alex Gartsman http://www.agartsmanviolins.com/

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Hello Violadamore and CCM,

 

Thanks for clarifying. I actually lived in Newport News during my high school years. Of course back then I was more into collectible solid body electric guitars. The problem was that I only had enough money to own one at a time. Had I been able to keep them all, I could have probably sold them five years ago (at their peak) and bought several top Cremonese instruments while they were still going for under $1 million each...  Les Pauls, Stratocasters, Telecasters, Broadcasters, SG Les Pauls, Flying Vs (including a prototype with a very odd headstock, ES-335s, ES-345s, ES-355s.... I guess it's kind of like fiddles. That's all I was familiar with was solid-body electrics by Fender and Gibson. I'm sure that if had taken an interest in Martins, Gibson acoustics, Rickenbackers, hollow-body archtops, and the like, I could have made a few more million dollars... And then there were the amplifiers....20-20 hindsight :)

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Either these are valuable instruments or they are a huge rip-off. If the former, then, how can Jacob Saunders say that everything on eBay is trash? If the latter, why is everybody always picking Pahdah_Hound?

You ask why “everybody is picking P Hound” which is nonsense, since we were discussing a violin, which is what this Forum is for, and not a person.

VdA seriously annoyed me recently for much the same reason, insinuating that there was a hidden agenda etc. against this person, just because we were discussing a gypsy fake “Italian” violin he had listed for sale. Far from having any “hidden agenda,” I do not even know this “person”, and who knows, if we met, we might get on fine (or not). I do have a serious issue with offering such junk as if it were an Italian master instrument though. I asked her the following question (post #30) http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/329166-who-is-marco-alberti/page-2#entry599699 which she has assiduously avoided answering, and would ask you the same (and her again!).

To your question about Gartsmann: He has many items with paper from Raffin or Rampal, who are the bow/violin experts respectively at the sales in Vichy, where he presumably buys much of his stuff. These are generally ok, although offered at a multiple of any sober retail price. When he veers off the Raffin/Rampal area of expertise, e.g. the German & Austrian stuff, he offers “certified” instruments, where your average Joe Bloggs wouldn’t realise that the “certificates” are merely bum-wipes he wrote himself. Any nice old Austrian violin tends to become an “Albani” and any better 19th C. German bows a “Knopf”. So you have the choice: you can either believe me that ebay is where to buy trash, or you can learn through your pocket book. See if I care!

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Hello Violadamore and CCM,

 

Thanks for clarifying. I actually lived in Newport News during my high school years. Of course back then I was more into collectible solid body electric guitars. The problem was that I only had enough money to own one at a time. Had I been able to keep them all, I could have probably sold them five years ago (at their peak) and bought several top Cremonese instruments while they were still going for under $1 million each...  Les Pauls, Stratocasters, Telecasters, Broadcasters, SG Les Pauls, Flying Vs (including a prototype with a very odd headstock, ES-335s, ES-345s, ES-355s.... I guess it's kind of like fiddles. That's all I was familiar with was solid-body electrics by Fender and Gibson. I'm sure that if had taken an interest in Martins, Gibson acoustics, Rickenbackers, hollow-body archtops, and the like, I could have made a few more million dollars... And then there were the amplifiers....20-20 hindsight :)

I'm in the same 'hindsight' position as you having owned Les Pauls, Stratocasters, Flying Vs, Gretch Rock Jet....and then sold them twenty years ago. :(

 

My belief has always been that there are a number of decent people on EBay in the market for violins up to about £400 (say student Grade5/6). These instruments are likely to be either Chinese or 'dozenmade'....but imo they are better value than new Chinese stuff in shops if you are careful. Jacob Saunders thinks I have an allotment full of them.

 

In the top end you start to wonder why someone has chosen EBay as their sales channel. So...Caveat Emptor.

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My belief has always been that there are a number of decent people on EBay in the market for violins up to about £400 (say student Grade5/6). These instruments are likely to be either Chinese or 'dozenmade'....but imo they are better value than new Chinese stuff in shops if you are careful.

 

In the top end you start to wonder why someone has chosen EBay as their sales channel. So...Caveat Emptor.

Amen.

 

In response to Jacob, my "hidden agenda" comment was emphatically not aimed at him, but at those who began and who have continued the practice of initiating Pahdah roasts, rather than going through a rotary of obvious offenders besides Jesse.  I will note that the range has been widened somewhat since certain people were booted or squelched, but that Pahdah's offerings are still rooted out with monotonous regularity for public ridicule.  The answer of "Why not?" to my "why?" is rhetorical rubbish.

 

As to his question, of course my answer is "There is no difference", but that is not the point which i was trying to make at the time, and Jacob's question is a "discussion killer". i would like to see more restraint used by those digging up offerings for discussion, as well as by those commenting after the fact.  The claim that we were strictly discussing the violin in the thread cited strikes me as disingenuous in the extreme, as does the practice of tossing a turd in the Forum punchbowl with minimal comment  and then going, "Who, me????".  One should not forget that in several threads, some people have eventually had to reverse their original positions, however grudgingly and grumpily, or that a number of these threads are either locked or "spurlos versenkt".

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My belief has always been that there are a number of decent people on EBay in the market for violins up to about £400 (say student Grade5/6). These instruments are likely to be either Chinese or 'dozenmade'....but imo they are better value than new Chinese stuff in shops if you are careful.

 

Would Bassclef's dustbin-ready "Heidegger" be a good or a poor example in this price range? (Amen pending, but unlikely)

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Amen.

 

In response to Jacob, my "hidden agenda" comment was emphatically not aimed at him, but at those who began and who have continued the practice of initiating Pahdah roasts, rather than going through a rotary of obvious offenders besides Jesse.  I will note that the range has been widened somewhat since certain people were booted or squelched, but that Pahdah's offerings are still rooted out with monotonous regularity for public ridicule.  The answer of "Why not?" to my "why?" is rhetorical rubbish.

 

As to his question, of course my answer is "There is no difference", but that is not the point which i was trying to make at the time, and Jacob's question is a "discussion killer". i would like to see more restraint used by those digging up offerings for discussion, as well as by those commenting after the fact.  The claim that we were strictly discussing the violin in the thread cited strikes me as disingenuous in the extreme, as does the practice of tossing a turd in the Forum punchbowl with minimal comment  and then going, "Who, me????".  One should not forget that in several threads, some people have eventually had to reverse their original positions, however grudgingly and grumpily, or that a number of these threads are either locked or "spurlos versenkt".

 
I had been afraid that you don’t get it, and am now convinced of the fact. The heading of this thread says “The Auction Scroll....A great place to discuss current Ebay instrument listings”. That is what this forum is for. In the previous thread, I don’t believe I mentioned the vendor once.  In fact it was you who introduced the subject of his sensitivities. The obvious way to avoid anything you might interpret as “public ridicule”, would be to stop listing faked or misattributed instruments. After all you have now belatedly confirmed that preying on clueless 3rd parties like this is morally little different to the infamous Nigerian lottery scams. You are welcome to add variety and start threads on previously unknown (here) vendors, but I have no time (or nerves) to spend my evening scrolling through pages of crap to choose one.
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Amen.

 

In response to Jacob, my "hidden agenda" comment was emphatically not aimed at him, but at those who began and who have continued the practice of initiating Pahdah roasts, rather than going through a rotary of obvious offenders besides Jesse.  I will note that the range has been widened somewhat since certain people were booted or squelched, but that Pahdah's offerings are still rooted out with monotonous regularity for public ridicule.  The answer of "Why not?" to my "why?" is rhetorical rubbish.

 

As to his question, of course my answer is "There is no difference", but that is not the point which i was trying to make at the time, and Jacob's question is a "discussion killer". i would like to see more restraint used by those digging up offerings for discussion, as well as by those commenting after the fact.  The claim that we were strictly discussing the violin in the thread cited strikes me as disingenuous in the extreme, as does the practice of tossing a turd in the Forum punchbowl with minimal comment  and then going, "Who, me????".  One should not forget that in several threads, some people have eventually had to reverse their original positions, however grudgingly and grumpily, or that a number of these threads are either locked or "spurlos versenkt".

 

By accusing people of having “hidden agenda” you're the one dropping the turd in the punch bowl. You're still stuck in that meme “by eBay standards...” The only standard is the legal and ethical one, and your meme has already been debunked here on this forum.

 

You also seem to think that MN moderators are suitable arbiters of correct behavior for the market. That couldn't be further from the truth. (For one, this site is supported by advertisers.) You might want to look up “futile” in Whitney v. California, a Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Brandeis in 1925:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0274_0357_ZC.html

 

That Brandeis opinion, plus this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

should allow you to figure out who the real turds are.

 

Incidentally, you're welcome to cite specific examples of these contentious threads where I have “reversed their (my) original positions.” I'm confident you wouldn't be able to come up with any. Go ahead, make my day.

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I had been afraid that you don’t get it, and am now convinced of the fact. The heading of this thread says “The Auction Scroll....A great place to discuss current Ebay instrument listings”. That is what this forum is for. In the previous thread, I don’t believe I mentioned the vendor once.  In fact it was you who introduced the subject of his sensitivities. The obvious way to avoid anything you might interpret as “public ridicule”, would be to stop listing faked or misattributed instruments. After all you have now belatedly confirmed that preying on clueless 3rd parties like this is morally little different to the infamous Nigerian lottery scams. You are welcome to add variety and start threads on previously unknown (here) vendors, but I have no time (or nerves) to spend my evening scrolling through pages of crap to choose one.

 

(Sighs)  Jacob, I feel that there's something here that you aren't getting.  Public professional censure within limits is constructive.  Continual sensational indulgence of one's schadenfreude is not, and there is a difference, that between a respectable forum and a scurrilous tabloid.  As I noted elsewhere, "Whatever".  Back to topic, hopefully :) 

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Read the OP. It IS the Topic of this thread

Oh.  Well.  In answer to the OP's question, IMHO, Jacob can say anything he wants to, arguable or not, and "everybody" seems to be, like movie studios which produce endless "sequels" and "remakes", somewhat lacking in imagination.  smiley60.gif

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I bought a bow from Mariam94 years ago.  Tourte copy that is supposed to be by Francois Lotte.  It's certainly early 20th and fine wood and workmanship.  A good deal, and I still have it.  Only bow I ever bought on eBay; they are so much more tricky than violins.

 

I’m very pleased you like your bow and expect that you will still have it the day you die. I think I already said that the french bows mostly have a Raffin certificate and are alright, just outrageously expensive
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By accusing people of having “hidden agenda” you're the one dropping the turd in the punch bowl. You're still stuck in that meme “by eBay standards...” The only standard is the legal and ethical one, and your meme has already been debunked here on this forum.

 

You also seem to think that MN moderators are suitable arbiters of correct behavior for the market. That couldn't be further from the truth. (For one, this site is supported by advertisers.) You might want to look up “futile” in Whitney v. California, a Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Brandeis in 1925:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0274_0357_ZC.html

 

That Brandeis opinion, plus this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

should allow you to figure out who the real turds are.

 

Incidentally, you're welcome to cite specific examples of these contentious threads where I have “reversed their (my) original positions.” I'm confident you wouldn't be able to come up with any. Go ahead, make my day.

 

 

Please read this first: http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/forum-5/announcement-4-read-the-rules-at-the-top-of-this-page-before-posting/

 

Then:

 

If these guidelines are followed, I'd have little to complain about and little editing to do.  In essence, Jacob is correct and therefore this whole thread does not comply (it's discussing a seller and not a specific instrument), but since a group of instruments were included in the inquiry, I figured it might be safe to let it stand.

 

I still tend to err on the soft side of moderation, and if I were to follow "the book" in a harder manner, more stuff might be subject to evaluation and edit... but that's who I am.  If participants actually want a hard ass here, I'm sure that can be arranged.

 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I am seeing several here (including Flyboy) pushing their own agendas (hidden or not). 

 

For the record, Flyboy, my role as moderator is not to be an arbiter of correct behavior in the market (I wonder if that's even possible when it comes to a place like Ebay anyway)... so I guess I agree with that portion of your statement.  

 

If I do get involved in a market or ethics question, it's my opinion you hear... however I may choose not to go as far as my blood pressure might want me to go because I am painfully aware of my role as moderator...  and I am sensitive to acting in a professional manner (in an industry in which some notable figures have failed to).  Besides, like enyone else here, I am free to share what I wish to, and no one here is entitled to anything further.

 

For the record, Flyboy, while MN does receive support from advertisers, I'd be hard pressed to remember who the advertisers are past myself an a few colleagues...  and I see no economic benefit from that support, as I work here voluntarily.  What really gets my attention is when I am forced to take valuable time to edit endless streams of posturing on this privately held site (which luckily occurs less and less on this forum) by those who feel it should be Hyde Park Corner.  What happens then, is that the thread is edited, locked, or hidden until I can get to the editing (for which I usually take my sweet time.

 

Talk about the instruments.  They hold the story.  Follow the forum rules.

 

Clear?

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Talk about the instruments.  They hold the story.

 

Clear?

While looking at an offering of a $15K Juzek (!) on the OP linked site, I found the following interesting answer to "What's going on in China?" linked to it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Joseph-Guarneri-Del-Gesu-1730-Violin-3928-Rich-tone/271291314370?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D163%26meid%3D1779983138806006184%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D1088%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D290794832990%26

 

Kiddies, that's no shiny VSO..............

 

smiley1969.gif

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You ask why “everybody is picking P Hound” which is nonsense, since we were discussing a violin, which is what this Forum is for, and not a person.

VdA seriously annoyed me recently for much the same reason, insinuating that there was a hidden agenda etc. against this person, just because we were discussing a gypsy fake “Italian” violin he had listed for sale. Far from having any “hidden agenda,” I do not even know this “person”, and who knows, if we met, we might get on fine (or not). I do have a serious issue with offering such junk as if it were an Italian master instrument though. I asked her the following question (post #30) http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/329166-who-is-marco-alberti/page-2#entry599699 which she has assiduously avoided answering, and would ask you the same (and her again!).

To your question about Gartsmann: He has many items with paper from Raffin or Rampal, who are the bow/violin experts respectively at the sales in Vichy, where he presumably buys much of his stuff. These are generally ok, although offered at a multiple of any sober retail price. When he veers off the Raffin/Rampal area of expertise, e.g. the German & Austrian stuff, he offers “certified” instruments, where your average Joe Bloggs wouldn’t realise that the “certificates” are merely bum-wipes he wrote himself. Any nice old Austrian violin tends to become an “Albani” and any better 19th C. German bows a “Knopf”. So you have the choice: you can either believe me that ebay is where to buy trash, or you can learn through your pocket book. See if I care!

Thank you! I had noticed that mariam94 was Gartsman, and that all the certificates that weren't French were self written certificates.  In IT security, for business, we have a rule: never offer a web site with a self-signed cert.  I imagine it's the same here.  And I noticed his prices were beyond even what was offered at full retail in LA, and certianly way beyiond any auction price.  I can't figure out how he stays in business. 

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While looking at an offering of a $15K Juzek (!) on the OP linked site, I found the following interesting answer to "What's going on in China?" linked to it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Joseph-Guarneri-Del-Gesu-1730-Violin-3928-Rich-tone/271291314370?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D163%26meid%3D1779983138806006184%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D1088%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D290794832990%26

 

Kiddies, that's no shiny VSO..............

 

smiley1969.gif

 

This model wholesales out of a CA warehouse  for $80 with case, rosin, & bow, included.

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Extraordinary stuff CCM considering the EBay seller wanted $50 for postage. You wonder what the wages are (or if they get wages).

 

Jacob Saunders recently sent me an article on the history of the area around Markneukirchen and Luby. One point I found very interesting was the way that power shifted from luthiers to merchants/wholesalers leading to the export driven 'by the dozen' approach. It would have been very difficult back in the 1800's for those in the industry to make a living (except the rich merchants). Life would have been very hard. 

 

I appreciate that Chinese production will be on a more 'industrial' scale but there are parallels.

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Jeffrey, there is a simple solution to this which WORKS :

have a non-moderated thread for whomever wants to argue...unmoderated.

And this is based on the experience with forums where both number of members

or actual expertise were FAR FAR FAR above MN. Technical forums.

Otherwise, you will always find yourself between a rock and a hard place, of no

fault of your own. I think you are doing a FANTASTIC job moderating the forum.

Would I have wished you did some things differently ? Sure : Lyndon comes to mind

but in the end it's a private forum and you're in charge. Who doesn't like it is

welcome to stop posting or even make their own forum.

But being a private forum does not mean there isn't a binding contract between the

forum and it's users i.e. the forum DOES have obligations towards the forum members

which ( as it happened on some forums ! ) can be enforced and financially quantified.

In my opinion which this time is not quite incompetent :) it is IMPOSSIBLE to make

mince meat out of an eBay violin, without doing the same with the crook behind it and if

the crook feels wronged, he's welcome to sue.

The problem is ( you'll excuse me for being blunt here ) that there is a perception that

moderation is not being done even handedly. In my case it wasn't - you've been over tolerant. :)

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Hey Carl;

 

Thanks for your suggestion.

 

In the "old days" we had a forum that was open to debate and relatively unrestricted (subject, etc.).  It became so intolerable that it was deleted.

 

If there is a desire to start a wide open forum by those who feel restricted by the present format, they are free to have at it... elsewhere.  I doubt I'd ever notice, as I'd not participate.   :)

 

Frankly, the Auction Scroll is the most most difficult forum to moderate on this board.  If it disappeared, I can't say I'd miss it too much... but it's popular and there are certainly gems to be found in the punchbowl.   :)

 

Cheers!

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