Saturday, July 23, 2005

Another eBay Ass....

Ok, so I'm bidding on this Blue 390E and the guy says it's a Lionel Classic. He has the box and the condition looks nice. I figured I missed one of these in the last Ralston Auction and I'd love to have a 390E in Comet Colors....

Since I've about had my fill of being shafted on eBay, I decided to take a second look at the pics after I bid. There on the bottom of the tender and engine are refurb stickers. This thing has been painted after the fact. I spoke to a few buddy's of mine and they told me Lionel only cataloged the 390E in black but there were a few folks that repainted them. Whenever a description and the items don't match up, I've always had problems, so I retracted my bid. Here's the note I got from the guy:

"You have to many negatives and to many bid retractions. Please do not bid on my auctions again. You are a disgrace to eBay."

I have three negatives, they were on things that were hotly contested by me. I am a strong believer in the old adage of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". But the above message served absolutely zero purpose and frankly, ticked me off. Here's my response:

"Fascinating message. Don't worry, I won't bid on diddly. By the way, if you are a TCA member or ever think about joining, here is something to consider; your auction says nothing about the loco being repainted or containing repro parts, yet you have refurb stickers on the bottom of the engine.

Upon closer examination, a call to a few expert collectors and Lionel, your loco is a repaint, a fake and is not remotely original. The part # on the side of the box does not match the contents, the part # is a BLACK 390-E engine cataloged in 1990. There is a discrepancy between your engine and the original, which for any collector is a big deal because it takes the worth of your loco from $600 down to about $250. So now who is the disgrace? I cancelled my bid because your description and the reality don't jibe. Don't believe me? Go pick up the phone and call Lionel and ask them how many Blue Comet 390E's were cataloged and built by Mike's Train House. That would be zero. By the way, the buyer (especially another TCA member) will be getting a note from me outlining my findings as well. Thanks for the note."

I dropped a note to the other bidders, not something I would normally do but in this case, being a TCA member and spotting a clear forgery being represented as something else, I felt as though I had a responsibility to mention something, especially with someone that clearly understands very little about collectors and how we work....

Any thoughts? How many of you have had to deal with an eBay ass? I'm done, unless it's something spectacular, I just can't handle eBay any more. One of the things I like about Train Shows and auctions is that once it's done, it's done. No emails and a definite limit on how much nonsense can be transacted.

As a postscript, the seller sent me back a message stating that they were selling trains for someone else and had to take the "other people" that gave them the train to sell on eBay at their word. Funny, I missed that part of the description. You know, the part where you said you don't actually own the item and are just spewing garbage out to up the sale. There are reputable third party sellers on eBay. I have used them for purchases and sales. They always clearly define who they are and what they are doing beforehand.

By the way, the reason I use the above pic is that next time, I am going to look for those 32 points before I hit that bid button...



Standard Gauge Blogger said...

The auction is up to $560! $560 for a repaint! I could buy a %100 original Lionel 390E from the 30's for less than that!

Here's the really funny thing: the 390E cataloged by Lionel in the 1990's was clearly built and constructed by Mike Wolf. There is a %95 chance that MTH will re-catalog this in an assortment of colors (specifically green & orange and/or Comet Colors) in an upcoming catalog.

I'd rather get one brand new and at least put the cash into a reputable pocket!


Clint said...

You did the right thing, Marc. I looked at that 390E last night, and you're right: the guy's an ass!