Do you email ebay sellers that have incorrect information in their listings

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by musicguy, Feb 8, 2017.

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  1. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Jan 12, 2017
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    Every day when I look at watches listed on ebay I see listings with wrong
    facts about watches. Some say 15j when they are obviously 7J others
    for 17j watches that are 15 jewels or 13j
    Some say they are 18 size when they are 12s or 16s (or vice versa)
    and every other type of misinformation including the wrong serial number listed
    for movement, when they have a very clear photo of the movement.
    Even Elgins listed as walthams

    When it comes to jewels, I think if its listed as 13-15 jewels or 15-17 jewels
    in the watch directories they just put the higher jewel count down in their listing(hoping for the best).

    Over the years I have contacted many sellers and have let them know.
    Surprisingly most times they say thank you, and correct their listing.
    Other times they just leave the listing as is.


    Rob
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    Yes i have helped many and some were polite and glad of the help. Some others not so nice and threatened to report me for harrasment.
     
  3. Greg Frauenhoff

    Greg Frauenhoff Registered User
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    It's a two way street. Some sellers are way more knowledgeable about watches than some of the potential buyers who email erroneous "corrections".

    But don't get me wrong, there are sellers who don't know, sellers who do but don't care, and sellers who are playing games. (And you can substitute "buyers" for "sellers" in the foregoing sentence.)
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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  5. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    I have met some great sellers on here and bought from them with no issues at all.
     
  6. Kent

    Kent Registered User
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    I do contact them, but only if they say that they're unsure and ask for input.

    The one exception is if they state that the watch is broken because they can't set the time (and its a railroad watch). Then I'll drop them a note explaining about lever-setting. I almost always receive a polite thank-you note in return.

    For the rest of those stating erroneous information, I figure that most fall into two of Greg's groups; that they know but don't care or that they know but are playing games. Since I can't always distinguish them from his first group, those who honestly don't know, I don't waste my time pointing out their errors.
     
  7. mikelikeswatches

    mikelikeswatches Registered User
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    My favorite is when people say "Not working, needs batteries replaced" when it's obviously a mechanical watch.
     
  8. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    If I am planning to buy but the pics don't match description then of course I will query and hope seller is responsive enough to reply.

    If the seller lists a lever set watch as 'not working, unable to change time' then I keep quiet :)
     
  9. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    The commonest mistake that I will send in a correction for, is when they have listed something as a Waltham when it is clearly no such thing. By coincidence I have just this minute done exactly that, and que sera sera. Like the other posters here, I get a mixed response, and I am fine with that. Maybe if 3 people all point out the same mistake, it will eventually sink in.

    At the end of the day, most of the people seriously bidding on these old watches are collectors like myself, therefore if I can spot the mistake then they can too, therefore the mistake doesn't really matter anyway.
    On the other hand if someone wants to throw large amounts of dosh around on an old watch that they really haven't a clue about, well, a big part of me thinks they get what they deserve.
     
  10. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I sometimes ask them a very specific question that forces them to research or review their description of the item. If they answer with a question or statement for clarification I will explain my concern, but if they don't I drop it.
     
  11. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    The Pound took a beating against the Dollar this Summer so I have been concentrating on the European listings. Whilst we like to think of English as being universal many listing are in native German/French/Spanish and google translate of the descriptions sure brings up some weird and wonderful terminology!
     
  12. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    Come on then, let's see some examples, so we can all join in the fun guessing what it is that they were trying to get across...
     
  13. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    I do send the occasional alert to a seller that has put up the wrong pictures. That kind of thing. When it comes to descriptions, I generally keep to myself, as people sometimes put "questionable" descriptions up because they want them questionable, but not questioned. After being involved in watches on the internet for so many years, I generally know what items, and sellers, I should stay away from, both conversationally and in purchasing.

    The other day I alerted someone to the fact that they had two correct dial pictures up, but two obviously incorrect movement pictures up. The seller thanked me for the alert and took the auction down for a redo.
     
  14. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    A very informative description from a recent purchase.... "Sie befindet sich im getragenem Zustand. lässt sich nicht stellen! Daher Verkauf als Defekt. Uhr läuft, lässt sicht stellen! Ersatzteilspender oder zum herrichten!"
    and Google translates "It is in the worn state. Can not be posed! Therefore, sale as defect. Watch is running, let's see! Spare parts dispenser or to make up!"

    I think the real translation should have been "buyer beware" lol
     
  15. oih82w8

    oih82w8 Registered User

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    Although I am nowhere near as educated in pocket watch correctness, but I have and still do reply to sellers when their description is incorrect, if I am for sure certain. Most of the time my comments are welcomed, however I have been "blocked" by at least one seller who grew weary of my attention to detail.
     
  16. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    This reminds me of a you tube video I ran across:
    A man in the video was supposed to be some sort of expert, showing viewers groups of nice old pocket watches in a given price range.
    He picks up a watch that must have stopped running and began giving it some pretty violent "twists" to get it going again, and he also tapped it into his other palm or on his knuckle.
    I am not about to bother telling the guy he just over banked the watch balance and probably broke the roller jewel :p
     
  17. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    My most recent was regarding a "30 hour 8 day wind up mantel clock" that had an electrical cord coming out the back.

     
  18. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I believe that I saw this same video, and I also thought his behavior was strange.
     
  19. Tom McIntyre

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    I actually own an 8 day wind up tambour that has a cord coming out of the back and it also has an outlet on the back that you can plug your coffee pot or other appliance into. :)
     
  20. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    I gave up a while ago, between snotty answers, no responses, about only 1 in a hundred gives a flying leap what you have to say. The last one I did involved an obviously gold filled case that was advertised as 14K, his response was my jeweler tested it and it was 14K, yeah, on the surface. it isn't worth getting your underwear in a bundle over, let the cards fall where they may and let the buyer beware and deal with PayPal when they are unhappy.
     
  21. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Interesting clock :) - - in this case the seller admitted to a copy a paste job on the item using other people's titles from clock items and that he had no idea what the clock was. When he added pictures of the movement and the inside of the clock case it was clear that someone had put a plug in movement in what used to be a spring wound clock and added those fake winding arbors. It was actually a very nice retro fit job,


     
  22. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I do in several situations.

    I was very interested in and bought a very fine watch at a very low price from a seller with very bad listing and very poor photos and some very wrong information. The listing looked very much like the photos were stolen. I asked the seller for another view. When I got the photo, I was confident the listing was real but eBay pulled it. Long story short ,I got it the third time it was listed and it exceeded my expectations.

    Sometimes I see a listing of a very expensive item which I have no interest in buying, with a very serious error which would likely void the sale and I advise the seller. I have been thanked many times for this. If it is a very nice item, which I want, but with wrong information, I rarely question the seller, and very carefully when I do. In this situation I rely on the photos, even when they are poor.

    I have a few watches I would like to see grow in value so when I see similar examples listed, I will sometimes offer some information to the seller.

    There are so many wrong and stupid listings that I leave the vast majority alone.

    I try to be as polite and non-threatening.
     
  23. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    I did one last week. The guy had advertised it as a 7 jewel watch but it was obviously an 11 jewel one so he was in fact doing himself down. He was very grateful for me contacting him. If I had been interested in buying I doubt I would have said anything!
     
  24. LloydB

    LloydB Registered User

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    When a wrong ID suggests that the
    material offered is significantly more
    valuable / desirable than it is... yes,
    I'll alert the seller.

    Typically the error's been an innocent
    one, followed up with a 'Thank You'.
     
  25. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
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    I recently bought a pocket watch off Ebay. The seller stated in his description the balance staff is fine. I got the watch and the balance wheel wobbles, staff problem. So i told him about his description. He agreed he was wrong and re funded me some money back to me.
     
  26. Marty W

    Marty W Registered User
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    I'll contact sellers who make really bad descriptions in their sale. However, I first approach them and ask if they would accept the help. That saves a lot of time. The honest seller will always ask for guidance while the scammers and shysters will either tell you to bug off or not reply.
     
  27. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Super Moderator
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    We are sellers and we appreciate it very much. Ebay is losing it's luster and we are down to 5 people who post. We teach them, give them lessons and try to monitor things. But 1% of the time glaring errors are made that slip through.

    My wife Katrina who runs our ebay deal would much rather get a "hey your guys messed up a descriptiion" note, rather than what usually happens a) some websight puts up a thread "hess thinks he is an expert and hess clearly is either stupid trying to hoodwink us" or b) a direct note to us saying something like "you guys are scoundrels (or worse) cheats and liars". Jeff
     
  28. Clint Geller

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    #28 Clint Geller, Feb 12, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
    I have done a fair bit of this (though much less, more recently), with watches of types that are being sold about which I especially care and know something about. Unless the seller is obviously a con artist, I always begin by assuming that they are simply uninformed. Some sellers do appreciate the help, whereas others simply ignore the corrections, and a few are combative. I have told several unresponsive and/or nasty sellers that my messages at east deprived them of the excuse that they were simply ignorant, and that therefore, they were then (if not, in fact, probably always) knowingly attempting to perpetrate a fraud. Quite a few have blamed self-serving "errors" in their listings on an allegedly "expert" unidentified third party, usually a "watchmaker."

    Some affect the attitude that there are really no objective facts about any question, just conflicting opinions. Others use their supposed ignorance to their advantage by leaping to convenient conclusions concerning the item they have for sale. For example, they will look in the Booksey and pick out the rarest and most valuable possible variety of any watch that a legally blind, inebriated person might conceivably mistake for their watch, and assume that their watch has all those rare features.

    Other times I get retorts on the theme of: "If I'm not ripping you off, why is this issue your business?" It does not occur to them that I might have an interest in the health of the hobby in which I have an investment.

    I have also congratulated sellers for clear, accurate, honest descriptions since they are so rare. One of these sellers turned out to be Greg Frauenhoff, before I knew what his ebay handle was.
     
  29. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #29 musicguy, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    I saw a very nice condition Elgin in a very clean mint looking B.W. Raymond factory case in an ebay listing.
    I assumed from the title(and the case, and the face of the watch) that it was a B.W. Raymond.
    I was looking at their photos, and the regulator looked wrong to me for the year(and didn't say BW Raymond on the movement).
    I looked it up, and it was still a very nice 17 jewel Elgin, but not a BW Raymond.

    I told the seller, and they said to me "eBay only allows a certain amount of characters and some
    times its hard to fit all of the key words into the title and have them read correctly"

    I still think it's misleading, and the seller knows it was re cased, but doesn't mention that
    in their listing. Maybe I'm just crazy, but I don't like that when the seller leaves
    out just enough information that it's misleading. And not trying to talk about
    values, it was being sold at full BW Raymond cased prices. I think sometimes
    unknowing buyers believe the more expensive it is the more authentic it must be.
     
  30. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    ...in which case, a fool and his money are soon parted, and it serves them right.

    I believe I overpaid somewhat for some of my early watch purchases ; and more recently I have picked up what I believe are some bargains. So it's evened out in the long run.
     
  31. Marty W

    Marty W Registered User
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    Several years ago I spotted a gross error on one of the better known auction sites listing a 6 size Elgin in a scalloped hunting case. The sale stated that the empty case weighed 20.1 dwt of 14k gold. At that time the gold content would have been $850.00+ but the sale had it listed for $350.00 with a buy-it-now.

    What to do...............?

    I contacted the seller and advised them about their error. I received a very big thank you and an offer to buy the watch for $600.00, which I did.

    Was I a fool? Remember, 'caveat' works both ways.

    What did I gain? Much more than I ever hoped for from this auction house, plus the feeling that I did the right thing. I made a few friends and also gained the ability to acquire odd parts and to ask many questions that might not be answered to 'tire kickers'....if you get my drift.

    I consider that some of the best $250.00 that I ever spent.
     
  32. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    I'll admit to having done something like this one more than one occasion. The exception is that I don't inform the seller that they now will be held to a higher standard. I just figure, perhaps with some naivete, that if a cheated buyer complains to the auction site, that the auction site will look into prior messages as part of any investigation. If they do, then mine will be in there giving some notice that the seller's representation(s) may have been false, and likely to defraud. If the seller cannot prove that they made an attempt to prove the new information wrong, and continue with the same description, then they were patently dishonest, and should be sanctioned. But alas, I have learned to doubt that the auction sites would take such steps. And that is sad indeed.
     
  33. darrahg

    darrahg Registered User
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    A couple of days ago I notified an eBay seller that their Rockford 8s 7 jewel watch actually has 11 or 15 jewels. I don't know why I did that.
     
  34. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    RE: Ended listing on Ebay

    I emailed a seller because after reading his description of a watch, it seemed
    like such a shame that he was selling this watch. I do understand
    that I have no idea what the financial situation is of the original
    watch owner, but it still seemed sad. And I know we don't talk about value,
    but the value of this watch is in it's value to future generations of that family,
    not the quality of the watch.

    Ended Ebay Listing


    Rob
     
  35. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    I've done it a couple times, and the response has generally been gratitude. I don't do it much, though, because there's so much wrong with so many listings that it's just too much work!

    And since my approach to Ebay is 'Caveat Emptor', I also believe 'Caveat Vendor' - if you list a solid gold watch as gold filled with a low Buy It Now price, and I can clearly see the solid gold hallmark in your pics, I'm going to grab the bargain.
     
  36. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    This is an interesting subject; I just contacted a Seller who over the years has become a friend, telling him that he had not re-set his Electronic Digital Vernier Caliper and the Size of the movements was wrong. He thanked me and said what you have purchased will be free Post. I also informed a Seller that what he was selling was not a VC but a Gallet; he thanked me. What really gets me about some Sellers, (I sell movements and Watches myself) is "Deception by Omission" if you inform them they play Dumb. A Watch seller with over 3000 to 4000 sales does know what it is about. I rest my Case. Regards Ray
     
  37. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    #37 Omexa, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  38. MrRoundel

    MrRoundel Registered User
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    I hope for your sake, Ray, that it is unmarked solid gold. However, that would be the first of that style case I have seen that was made by an American company. It looks like it would house a Tobias, or other British maker to me. Granted, the Tobias watches that I have seen in the style have been solid karat gold. Cheers.
     
  39. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi, I only paid US$99 for it. Regards Ray
     
  40. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Super Moderator
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    Omexa, you scored.

    My opinion has been very strong on these cases for years. I think they are American treasures. Post-Colonial watces I call them (or Pre-civil war).

    They are indeed often marked with eagles but sometimes just the makers marks. They are not allowed on the American Watch Discussion since they do in fact use imported Liverpudlian movements. Some are incredible pieces of art. Most mundane but never-the-less treasures.

    Many are able to be identified and most are from New York, Philly or Boston but some are from southern states and much rarer. Most are considered to be 18k gold and many are. BUt some are closer to 15k to 16k.

    I think you have a solid gold post colonial (pre-civil war) solid gold case, made in new york. Congrats!

    Jeff
     
  41. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Super Moderator
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    back to original terrific question...

    My wife runs a sizeable online auciton business on three on line platforms and she has 6 people who post on them. I "butt-out" of this aspect of our business and rarely get involved. My wifes deal. I run Ball Watch Co and my two stores, she runs on line stuff. Works that way.

    In spite of constant training, 1 to 5 watches get posted with incorrect or erroneous information each week. We usually catch them and repost but sometimes there are errors. Some small and some major.

    we LOVE it when people let us know we messed up. We can then make changes or stop the auction.

    So we invite it.

    Sadly, two to threetimes per year, we get mentioned on some websight or other with something like "Jeff Hess is supposed to be an expert and look at this huge mistake. The idiot does not even know that...." or worse. "Jeff Hess is tryng to scam people. Jeff Hess said the watch was made in 1892 but it was made in 1933".

    We would much rather be sent and email saying hey guys, you messed up...

    Another funny thing is that when we make a mistake in FAVOR of the buyer, we see gloating....about how they got over on us...lol

    oh well!

    Jeff
     
  42. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Thanks Jeff, I feel really good about you answer. Regards Ray
     
  43. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

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    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
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    I recently bought a watch from a Ebay seller, he made no effort in describing it and he sells watches, if it was a American made watch he looks up the serial number and post what it says in the database, so he should have some idea on sizes of watches.
    Any ways i saw a nice Longines witha Birks dial so i bought it. It was described as a sz 18, well when it arrived i checked and it was a sz 10. I contacted him about the iformation on the auction was not accurate, he replies he was not a expert, and i told him why not take a calliper and measure the movement or case. Any ways its a nice watch and maybe my comments to him helped him be a better seller.
     
  44. topspin

    topspin Registered User

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    I am "not an expert" on ladies clothing but I could still distinguish a size 10 dress from a size 18.
    If he doesn't know the sizing (or indeed any other parameter) he shouldn't just put in a guess.
    I agree, he should just measure it. Even an outer diameter in mm of the case is usually sufficient for me to confirm that the watch is whatever I already think it is.
     
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