disgusting Scrapper story

Jeff Hess

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As some of you know, I am a quasi-student of post-colonial or pre-civil war cases and watches. About 5 years ago, at the Chattanooga regional, I found a very cool old watch from about 1805 or so. While the 18k case was beat up and English hallmarked and NOT American, the movement was clearly made for the American market. A well known nawcc member had it on his table for 1800 dollars. The member had researched it and found an old newspaper clipping (copy) with an EXACT picture of this watch in 1911 telling the story of how it was worn in the "war" (war of 1812?). The article had a pic of this EXACT watch and a pic of the original owner and then (then 1911) current owner.

The nawcc member and I tried to figure the gold weight and decided on a price of about 1250 if I recall.

I kept it for a few years and decided to thin the herd a bit and put this one on ebay, noting that I thought the gold weight was about 1800 and that was m reserve and that I hoped it would go to a good home and joked that "if you scrap it, send the movement back to me and Iw ill buy ti for 100 dollars."

A new hampshire fellow bought it but had little money and asked if he could buy it on time. (typical). I said sure. He renegged.

I put it up again, raising my reserve to reflect even higher gold prices, this time to 2k.

It sold. and was paid for! End of story? No.

This was about 3 months ago and today, my staff handed me our daily box of packages and one of them contained the movement with a requet for the 100 dollars AND a nice note that GLOATED about scrapping the case for over 2500 dollars.

Sure that case was kind of beat and the dial was cracked but still. And the worst part is the clipping that outlined the history of the watch is no where to be found.

I am going to send the guy the 100 bucks and ask him for the newspaper clipping.

I understand the economics of scrapping cases and we do it every day here. (beatup ladies 6 sizes, ladies wrists from the 60's etc.) but this thing lasted 200 years without anyone scrapping it. and it should have remained intact.

Ticks me off.

Jeff 86100.jpg 86101.jpg 86102.jpg 86103.jpg 86104.jpg
 

Jerry Treiman

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I was just discussing with a friend the irony of it all. I used to think that gold-cased watches were a very safe acquisition if purchased reasonably. Since many of the higher-grade watches I seek came in gold cases this was a good accommodation. Indeed, the gold cased watches ended up being a good "investment", but only if I don't care about their future. I hesitate to sell any watch today on eBay. Even if I get a fair price for it today, tomorrow the case will be melted for a profit. It seems that for collectible watches we are getting back to the pre-eBay days when you sell watches collector to collector. Any other venue is open to the wide world of ignorant scrappers and the watch is doomed. [Yes, we have scrappers in the "collector" community too, but at least they show some judgement, as Jeff has described].
 

GD1

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Forgive my stupidity, but after this stuff is melted what is it converted into for resale. Coinage, bullion, jewelry, etc?
 

Kevin W.

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I agree its a sad thing.I am glad i have no solid gold cased watches.At least they will be less desireable to a scrapper when the time comes i part with them.
 

Roland Ranfft

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Hi ladies,

always when the gold price was high, due to economical depessions, wars,
etc, gold watches were scrapped, and nobody can actually prevent it.
This is no special problem of the world wide ebay market; it ran like this
before ebay as well: Scrappers simply frequented antique fairs, and other
sources for their activities.

Even worse is that collectors buy bare movements for (too) high prices,
because they believe they will find a suitable case anytime in the future.
And when thy find out that all cases were melted, it is too late. The
consequence is that more watches than demanded by the gold price are
scrapped, because the scrapper gets reasonable money for both, the case
and the movement.

I never sell gold watches in such times, and even buy them if they fit into
my collection. My reason is simple: As more watches are scrapped than
due to the gold price alone, the supply for the collectors marked is
remarkably reduced for all times (scrapped watches never come back).
So the value of gold watches has a good chance to rise much more than
for any other.

A pitty that I can't prevent the destruction of these historical values, but
I make my best advantage out of the situation.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

Kevin W.

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I think Roland was refering to us as women, dont know why.
 

Jeff Hess

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Maybe he meant Laddies?

For those who are not familiiar, Mr. Ranfft has one of the MOST terrific web sites for movement info and such.

Truly a horological wonder!

Jeff
 

gruesome

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I recently heard a talk about the Antikythera mechanism (greek astronomical clock for predicting solar and lunar eclipses etc., with a prediction range of several hundred years). The accepted theory seems to be that this was too refined to be a one-off, but that every single one of these clocks, except for one, were scrapped. This one survived because the roman 'scrapper's' ship sunk (at Antikythera) on the way home from their raid/shopping spree.
Nothing like this was built for the next 1500 years.
 

artbissell

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Roland Ranfft;537401 said:
Hi gentlemen,

just wanted to please the few ladies in the collectors community.

They need all the encouragement they can get. Forget the gentlemen crap. Not a lady, but I do not consider myself an especially gentle man either.
 
Last edited:

artbissell

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An enthusiastic post by a young lady with questions about a cheap p.w. she wanted to buy prompted me to send her one after she reported its sale to another. A good 16s S. Bend rr that cost me little. Very appreciative and satisfying to me to encourage her interest as Roland recognizes a need for.
 

Neuron

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At least it looks as if he knew how to extract the movement w/o damaging it....

Jeff Hess;537054 said:
It sold. and was paid for! End of story? No.

This was about 3 months ago and today, my staff handed me our daily box of packages and one of them contained the movement with a requet for the 100 dollars AND a nice note that GLOATED about scrapping the case for over 2500 dollars....
Jeff
 

Jeff Hess

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Actually it looked like it was ripped off of the hinge.

The dial was lifted and the hands were loose.

But it still runs!

Jeff

About a year ago, though, my wife sold a nice 18k case with a hunting dog motif on that site. The buyer totally ruined it, returned it in pieces explaining that it did not weight what he had hoped (obviously gambled that it would scrap for more than he paid). Any way it was ruined. Paypal sided with him.
 

MartyR

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Jeff Hess;537652 said:
About a year ago, though, my wife sold a nice 18k case with a hunting dog motif on that site. The buyer totally ruined it, returned it in pieces explaining that it did not weight what he had hoped (obviously gambled that it would scrap for more than he paid). Any way it was ruined. Paypal sided with him.
It just goes to prove that Paypal know who is willing to lay down quietly while they shaft them, and who isn't :D I find it encouraging that individual consumers now seem more likely to take Paypal to court than dealers - perhaps the worm has finally turned?

The fact is, Jeff, that if your wife were to ignore Paypal's instructions and refuise to repay that buyer, and then Paypal suspended your wife's account, she would have a cast-iron case to sue them (and eBay too) for a huge amount of money including exemplary damages.

Until merchants are willing to do that, they just have to accept Paypal's marketing strategy and take these losses without complaint.

Sad but true :(
 

John Pavlik

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Sue them for large amounts of money..... That attitude is a huge problem in this country... Why anyone feels they should be awarded huge sums of money for a small incident is beyond me.. And really is not a productive way of solving a problem, except if your an attorney.....
 

MartyR

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John Pavlik;537750 said:
Why anyone feels they should be awarded huge sums of money for a small incident is beyond me.. And really is not a productive way of solving a problem, except if your an attorney.....
I think you quite misunderstand the situation, John.

If a merchant refuses to obey Paypal's instructions, Paypal will withdraw that merchant's Paypal account.

If the merchant's Paypal account is withdrawn, Ebay will withdraw the merchant's Ebay account.

That results in the merchant being unable to continue his/her business.

Now that may seem a "small incident" to you, but to someone whose sole or main source of income is Ebay, it is a huge incident.

Now I am advised by legal people that Ebay are in breach of European Law by insisting (substantively or specifically) that merchants accept payment via Paypal. I am also advised by legal people that Paypal are in breach odf European Law in reaching egregious judgements (such as the one quoted by Jeff) in the way that they do, and again in breach of European Law in attempting to enforce such judgements by withdrawal of account facilities.

The reason that both these companies (the same company, actually) get away with breaking the law is that they are so big that no-one will take them to court. You see, being taken to court and suffering extremely severe damages is the only thing that a company like this will understand and respond to.

I fail to understand your repetitive defenses of Ebay and Paypal. It is a source of great puzzlement to me, unless you happen to work for them or do business with them? :confused: Oh, by the way, if we're going to enter the field of full disclosure, I have absolutely no connection of any sort with Ebay or Paypal, and I'm not an attorney :)
 

Dr. Jon

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What prevents most suits is that it usually only available to real losers. You have to give up all the things you like doing and become devote yourself full time to what your lawyer wants you to do. If you have a life this is not viable.

I remind Jeff that there is an alternative which provides some relief. Join Chapter 149, and post the loser's ID on the private board so the rest of can avoid him or her.

Check the 149 board to avoid these cheats.
 

Bratdaddy@mac.com

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Please, go to Chapter 149 and post the name of this .... person. Please! Or PM me and I'll do it.
 

John Pavlik

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Marty, I do not have an interest in bay, other than a satisfied user. With such complete legal opinions, I would think Marty, you should pursue these illegal practices and get yourself huge amounts of Money. You should be the one to put this company in it's place.. :eek:
 

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