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View Full Version : Have you ever been ripped off in a cue auction?



tateuts
05-03-2005, 03:48 PM
So far, I've had had good luck. My worst one was a kid selling me a "Talisman" case that was just a copycat import without a logo.

I've had some stinker cues. So far, I've managed to return the expensive ones for a refund. A few "straight" cues that were warped, that sort of thing - but no rip off's.

Have you ever been ripped off in a cue auction?

Chris

JimS
05-04-2005, 04:53 AM
No.

I've never been ripped off in any auction. I did get a couple of pretty bad South West cues when I was buying them but the sellers were very willing to work with me. One was sent to Laurie Franklin to get an idea of what was wrong and the seller paid for the shipping, for her diagnosis of the cue problem and for the shipping back to me. Then he gave me a refund when it was proven that the cue was damaged beyond reasonable repair.

I've had remarkably good experiences on eBay.

hondo
05-04-2005, 05:19 AM
I've had good luck, too. i got a leather case
that was cheaply made and I bought a Pechauer
cue from a dealer with a warped shaft that they
replaced so I've been lucky so far.

cueball1950
05-04-2005, 11:25 AM
well the only bad experience i had was a recent one. I like the old mohawk cues. so when i saw a few on ebay i started to bid on 1 of them. got it pretty cheap, but it took a month to finally get here. and it was warped. sent several emails to the seller and got no replies. when he sent me the 1 cue he also sent me 4 others that i had bid on. he stated all the cues had problems. 1 needed a new pin, 2 were warped, and 1 had a small chip. well he was right about the condition of the cues except that ALL ARE WARPED> never stated that in his description. Mike Webb tells me that it would cost about 200.00 to straighten just 1 of them and that is if he does not have to finish it also. I know, i know. it was a stupid thing to do. If he had said ALL were warped i would never have gone near them. I figured i could maybe get 2 good ones out of the bunch. not gonna happen. btw, did i mention that he sent me all the cues i had bid on before getting paid for them. real smart. but i am an honest man and i am going to pay him anyway. he offers no warranty. but i think i have decided to mail them all back to him for him to dispose of along with a nice little note and i will also tell him about the negative feed back i am going to leave about the condition of the cues that was not in his description and about not returning emails or phone calls that have been left for him by me...oh well,,,live and learn i guess.....mike

Mike H
05-04-2005, 12:36 PM
Ripped off? No. But I did purchase a cue that was very misadvertised. A couple of years ago, I picked up a custom cue from a guy who was just getting started in cuemaking. I bought the cue for $200 plus shipping, and it seemed like a steal....birdseye maple forearm, four ebony points, ivory joint, etc. Well, I received it, the shaft was warped badly and not even smooth to the touch, the joint was ivorine, and the points WERE PAINTED ON! Not only that, they were very poorly painted. Luckily, the guy was pretty easy to deal with, and I got a refund rather quickly.

Wait, just remembered....I won another auction about 2 years ago for a used 2x4 Talisman case. The auction details clearly stated that shipping was $15. I received an email from the seller stating that the shipping would be $20. I'm not really one to split hairs over $5, but terms are terms. I replied to him politely reminding him of that detail, to which he curtly replied, "Shipping will be $20. Thanks." So I decided to not pay. He sends me an e-mail a week or so later, threatening to bring eBay into it if I do not pay. I sent copies of all the emails to eBay support, and they notified him that he was bound by the terms stated. He sends me an email apologizing, saying he just misunderstood, and we can complete the transaction the way it was supposed to be. Before I replied, I was browsing through looking at more cases, and saw the exact same case (same picture of the case against a door) from a different seller in the same town with almost no feedback. Needless to say, I decided to call off the transaction.

Popcorn
05-04-2005, 12:52 PM
I have never bought a cue from ebay but have sold a lot of them. People if it is a nice cue seem to over pay. I had one cue on there a Birds eye cue with a delrin joint I had hoped to get about $200. for. It sold for $425.00. I emailed the bidders early in the auction that the cue was not a Burton Spain but was made by an amateur cue maker who came in my pool room who had copied a Burton Spain cue and that they were over bidding for the cue, they ignored me and continued to bid. I could not believe the winning bidder sent me an email after getting the cue thanking me and he was very happy with the cue. It was kind of like when I used to be on the road. I stopped trying to figure people out. They throw away their money without any thought. I sold a set of wood scoring beads new in the bag. They were worth about $10. 00 or $15.00 if that. Some guy paid $40.00 for them. Go figure, I started the auction at $1.00. Some of these people who say they got ripped off are just bidding too much without thinking. I honestly considered telling the guy who bid $425. for the Birds eye cue to just pay me $225.00 because he had so badly over bid. One thing that worried me afterwards was the cue may be passed off as a Burton Spain cue and someone else getting ripped off.

tateuts
05-04-2005, 01:02 PM
My scariest experience was I bid at the last second on a very rare Palmer model "L" from the 2nd catalog. The price was $1500, I was the only bidder, and it came with the original case. It is one of the all rosewood Palmers with lots of MOP inlays.

The description on E-Bay was excellent condition etc. etc. and at this price I expected a pretty decent example. The seller was a collector and knew his stuff - he was selling it because he owned two "L"'s and he was cleaning up his collection.

The cue came in and I was in disbelief. Neither shaft was original to this cue (it was a 1970 cue and one shaft was from the 1980's), the wrap needed replacing. Both shafts were warped and so was the handle. A "chip" in the buttcap was really big missing chunk, etc. etc.

I was getting ready to leave on an international trip the next day. I e-mailed the seller letting him know I didn't want the cue.

I was in kind of a panic because I was pissed off and I guess it showed up in my e-mail. A seller as knowledgeable as he was should have been more upfront. It's one thing when Aunt Mable finds gramp's old Palmer in the attic and doesn't know anything about cues, but this guy knows his stuff. I wasn't sure if he would take it back - I was pumped up at the idea I might be in for a fight, and stressed out at the fact I was leaving the next day. Plus when I paid, by oversight I paidhim in a direct bank account transfer through Paypal instead of paying by credit card, (which I normally do for protection) so I had no recourse to reverse the charge.

I got an e-mail back right away expecting the worse. I read it "Chris, I am sorry you don't like the cue. I am a little surprised how much you dislike it. Of course, send it back and I'll refund you in full"

I did and he did, but neither one of us had the guts to leave feedback first!

He was a good guy. I bet he won't sell me another cue!

Chris

tateuts
05-04-2005, 01:20 PM
As a buyer and seller on E-Bay, overall I would say it evens out. Sometimes you take it in the pants, and other times you get more than you expect.

One of my friends had a Schon he bought for $660 and hated it. It was just a run of the mill older Schon (not spliced) I figured it was worth $550 or $600 tops and he overpaid. He listed it on E-Bay and accidentally set a reserve of $700. When he wasn't getting bids, he asked me how to lower the reserve and I told him to just let the auction run out and relist at a lower price. So he did and guess what? Before the auction ran out, someone bid $700 and won it!

I see these "unknown vintage" cues come up all the time and people drastically overpay for them. Most are copies of known designs and are imports. There were hundreds of thousands of imported cues since the 1990's and brought in -there is no way to recognize all the designs. Someone would take a Schon and send it to Taiwan, and they would get a crate of Schon look alikes back. A lot of the E-Bayers think they're finding a custom but they're gettin an import and spend months looking for the maker. I loved the ones that had the litle red dot stuck on them. Nobody ever said they were Bludworth's and they weren't!

You are probably right. I would venture to say you will see your "Burton Spain" cue sell for a few thousand.

Popcorn, did you just sell an old JW on E-bay?

Chris

tateuts
05-04-2005, 01:25 PM
I forgot about this one. On a custom cue, right in the ad I said "this cue has a retail value of $900".

It ended up selling for $1100. What can you do?

Chris

Popcorn
05-04-2005, 02:14 PM
No wasn't me. I sold one about a year ago for a friend and got him $2100.00 for it. He stiffed me on the ebay fee.

Rackin_Zack
05-04-2005, 02:17 PM
How come this never happens to me?! I've taken a loss on every single cue I've sold! /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Voodoo Daddy
05-04-2005, 02:20 PM
Didnt see that coming Popcorn? Pool player pay his end and I know its just the fee but it dont matter to them... Geez. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif <shakes head>

Popcorn
05-04-2005, 02:31 PM
The bad part is on a cue like that, it was a Joss West, you answer like 50 emails with questions, plus it takes time to make a nice ad with good pictures. I bet I had 3 or 4 hours invested in dealing with that one auction just answering emails. It takes a few minutes to answer an email. Thats why I won't sell stuff for people, there is more to it then just placing an ad.

tateuts
05-04-2005, 02:45 PM
I sold new customs for a maker for awhile and took a couple of cues in trade, but it was a lot of work. I think I sold $20,000 worth of cues and it was a royal pain in the ass. Plus there's the risk of taking a fraudulent credit card or counterfeit check, then what do you do?

If you think selling cues is tough, try selling jewelry.

My wife has a very sweet aunt who asked me to sell her jewelry for her. I couldn't say "no" so I took it on - nice artisan type stuff, but out of style. She was probably into it for $10,000.

We had to work to just to sell it for 20 cents on the dollar. You go into the jewelry category and type in "ring" and there are 87,000 of them listed! Evcerything just gets lost in the mess.

Where my hit counter on a cue would usually register 500 to 1,000 on a decent auction, selling jewelry I was lucky to get 25 hits, and 10 of them were mine.

Chris

DickLeonard
05-05-2005, 05:57 AM
Mike was it the butt or shaft that was warped?####

bustah360
05-05-2005, 11:24 AM
what if you have a ordinary custom cue (ray schuler) you wanna get rid off. is it even worth bothering to setup a whole registration on ebay just for one cue?

tateuts
05-05-2005, 03:46 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bustah360:</font><hr> what if you have a ordinary custom cue (ray schuler) you wanna get rid off. is it even worth bothering to setup a whole registration on ebay just for one cue? <hr /></blockquote>

The first answer is no - you can go to Powersellers or some similar operation who will list for you for a commission.

Also, on A-Z Billiards there is a section in their forums where you can offer items for sale. It's free and sometimes it works - you can even post photos.

However, you might want to try to list your Schuler on E-Bay to gain some experience. It's a great way to sell some things, especially collectibles and antiques. It might prove to be a nice hobby like it is for me, or even a sideline business.

Chris

Regulator
05-05-2005, 10:20 PM
I've bought about 8 cues on eBay over the last 2 months. Every cue has been exactly as described - either new or only faults that were noted.

Every seller except one has been great at communicating and that one sent a perfect new cue (don't know why he won't respond to my e-mails). Bill Grassley at Cornerstone is the best guy to deal with.

BTW. I decided to try selling a item for the first time - a used compact zoom film camera. I got more than I thought and the woman was really happy to get it. Go figure.

SpiderMan
05-09-2005, 08:48 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Mike H:</font><hr> Wait, just remembered....I won another auction about 2 years ago for a used 2x4 Talisman case. The auction details clearly stated that shipping was $15. I received an email from the seller stating that the shipping would be $20. I'm not really one to split hairs over $5, but terms are terms. I replied to him politely reminding him of that detail, to which he curtly replied, "Shipping will be $20. Thanks." So I decided to not pay. He sends me an e-mail a week or so later, threatening to bring eBay into it if I do not pay. I sent copies of all the emails to eBay support, and they notified him that he was bound by the terms stated. He sends me an email apologizing, saying he just misunderstood, and we can complete the transaction the way it was supposed to be. Before I replied, I was browsing through looking at more cases, and saw the exact same case (same picture of the case against a door) from a different seller in the same town with almost no feedback. Needless to say, I decided to call off the transaction. <hr /></blockquote>

If you thought it was because the case had already gone to someone else, or some other "bogus" thing because of the identical picture, that may not be true. There is a lot of plagiarism of photos on Ebay. Someone lists a common item, and someone else selling the same item steals their photo rather than taking one of their own. On used stuff, it's not a bad idea to ask the seller whether the photo is of the ACTUAL item being offered.

SpiderMan

tateuts
05-09-2005, 09:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> If you thought it was because the case had already gone to someone else, or some other "bogus" thing because of the identical picture, that may not be true. There is a lot of plagiarism of photos on Ebay. Someone lists a common item, and someone else selling the same item steals their photo rather than taking one of their own. On used stuff, it's not a bad idea to ask the seller whether the photo is of the ACTUAL item being offered.

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

I sold a guy a fancy, expensive "one of a kind" show cue on E-Bay. A week later one of those copycat guys copied my photos and ran a fraudulent auction.

Well, the next thing I know is the original buyer freaked out and sent me an e-mail, called the cuemaker in a panic etc etc. thinking there were more than one of his cues. Even after I explained it was a fraud, the guy was still pretty shaken.

We used to have a standing joke about show cues. My buddy the cuemaker would say "It's One of a Kind!". And I would put my hands together and say "thank God!"

Chris

Popcorn
05-09-2005, 04:11 PM
Would it be possible when you make the photo to put some kind of overlay on the photos using your photo software with your ebay name so it can't be copied?

Barbara
05-09-2005, 04:15 PM
Yeah, I would like to hear how to do this.

I'm not putting anything out there until I can make sure some schmuck won't copy it and give me a headache.

Barbara

tateuts
05-09-2005, 04:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Would it be possible when you make the photo to put some kind of overlay on the photos using your photo software with your ebay name so it can't be copied? <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, and that's a really good idea.

I have seen others do this, but even that doesn't always stop the psychos. One was hilarious - it was a copycat fraud auction and they just used the photos anyway with another persons screen name plastered across it!

Chris

Rich R.
05-09-2005, 07:38 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Would it be possible when you make the photo to put some kind of overlay on the photos using your photo software with your ebay name so it can't be copied? <hr /></blockquote>
I believe it is definitely possible to do what you suggest, but it may also be possible for someone else to remove your name, using the same software. I'm not sure about that end of it.

Popcorn
05-09-2005, 10:09 PM
I don't see how if it is part of the picture. Like anything though, you just want to discourage the lazy thief. They will move on to someone else but at least will leave you alone.

Rackin_Zack
05-09-2005, 10:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I don't see how if it is part of the picture. Like anything though, you just want to discourage the lazy thief. They will move on to someone else but at least will leave you alone. <hr /></blockquote>

The "layers" are combined when the file is saved as a jpeg or whatever, but any decent graphics designer can easily take it out and touch up the cue behind the name. Not saying that I can do it, but I know people who can. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

SpiderMan
05-10-2005, 06:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> Would it be possible when you make the photo to put some kind of overlay on the photos using your photo software with your ebay name so it can't be copied? <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, that's a very good approach and I'm surprised that more people don't use it. You can use almost any photo-editing software to overlay text with a specified amount of transparency. Once the text object is merged with the base image, it would require extensive retouching labor to edit it back to original, if you could even do it at all.

SpiderMan