[meteorite-list] New Tool for addressing meteorite wannabe's onEBay

From: Mark <mam602_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue Sep 12 23:46:25 2006
Message-ID: <001201c6d6e7$2baee730$6401a8c0_at_dce05032006>

Been through it in court and the disclaimers I run in my auctions
ARE legal in all 50 states.

Go to any auction house in the states and the bid card/number card or
contract you will sign or receive will state something to this effect, this
one happens to be in our auctions:

"Every effort is made to describe items as accurately as possible, keeping
in mind most are antique or used, some we simply have no background
information on and others we have researched to the best of our ability. It
is the bidders/buyers responsibility to know what they are bidding on and
its value. Desert Crystals Emporium makes no guarantee to the value of any
item. "

Now as far as ebay policing the auctions, they simply do not have the
resources, they can barely keep the knock offs and rights ownership
violations in check. I do not think our text violates any ebay policy. We
are still responsible for any statements we make, and claims or guarantees,
and in court you better be sure your description of the item is accurate,
you can sell as sows ear for a purse, but in court you better be able to
show that the ear is actually a purse.

In our case, a lady bought a piece of cut crystal, a huge centerpiece bowl,
Waterford Crystal. The bowl, when produced retailed for about $500.00, and
it has been out of production a long time. It was nearly perfect, all the
little dings were described in the auction and shown in photos. On ebay at
the right time of year Waterford collectors are willing to pay more than
retail to get this piece, it is not terribly rare, but very hard to come by,
it was made when not alot of people could afford them. This lady bid the
item up to $696.00 and won, the got buyers remorse and asked us to sell it
for the original retail price. Of course we told her no. She paid for the
item and then lost her freaking mind and took us to court for fraud. She
claimed that our prior knowledge of the items original price meant that we
should have stated that information about the item and since we did not we
were acting in bad faith. She claimed that it was our responsibility to
disclose the original price. The judge actually called that part alot of

We went to court, the judge looked at the book that showed the piece, and
where we got our information. Then he wanted to see the bill of sale, we
told him it was an auction and we had the actual auction, so he looked at
that. Then he reviewed the payment and asked the lady what the problem was.
When she explained that she did not know that the item originally retailed
for alot less than she paid and that we knowingly allowed her to pay to more
than its original price that we were guilty of fraud. He called that alot of
hooeee, he immediately pointed out our disclaimer, and the similar
disclaimers from other auction houses that we had from our buying the items
we sell....they all say the same thing. The judge told her though he
sympathized with her that she paid more than she felt she should, we did
nothing wrong, and showed her the disclaimer, our statement to ask us
questions prior to bidding, which she never did, and her user agreement that
says she agreed to the terms, which are lawful, when she placed her bid. He
said we did nothing to represent the item in a fraudulent manner and made no
claims to its authenticity or REAL Value. Our ad was honest, accurate and
our terms and conditions are lawful as stated. He pointed out that everyone
that ever sells anything is expecting to make a profit and that limiting
that profit, without any fraudulant act involved would be unlawful. So case
closed, she ended up paying a whole lot more for that bowl in court fees and
our attorney fees. In our court case the judge also said if it isn't stated,
proclaimed or part of the auction when the bidder BID on the auction to win,
then you can not add any terms, conditions or statements after the auction.
In other words the auction is your contract, like ANY other contract, the
bidder agrees to the terms that are stated in that contract when they bid.
As long as it is in the auction it is part of the contract, ebay can not
interfere once the auction is over. Their own user agreement states that if
you bid on an auction you agree to enter into a legally binding contract to
complete that auction, that contract is the auction. If you do not protect
yourself going into the sale you can not expect to be protected at the end
of the sale.

Ebay was meant to be fun and the bad apples have spoiled it, when we started
selling 7 years ago we had no legal jargon or disclaimers, then along came
those occaisional bad apples and they slowly started to accumulate in
reaction to our taking it in the ass for not having our asses covered. Now
we have legal jargon and disclaimers, and if ebay is going to stop us from
protecting our asses then they have to do a 10,000% better job of enforcing
the rules. With a bizillion users and 10 times that many (Gizillion?) items,
they will never be able to do that and never will from a
legal/financial/liability standpoint

Now that I have rambled on, the point is, say what is true, protect yourself
from the cheats out there and if you do not feel right about what is in your
auction it probably does not belong there. I hope that helps. I am sure ebay
could find something wrong about every auction they have running, hell
everyone is guilty of keyword spamming in their titles, who dosen't try to
get as many descriptive words in their titles to draw searches? I think ebay
is more concerned with claims that something is real in the description and
then a disclaimer in the auction that says otherwise, contradicting one
another. In the case of meteorites, I guess saying it is a real meteorite in
the description and then saying that you are not an expert and could be
wrong about the meteorite would not be kosher.


Mark M.
Phoenix AZ
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Barford" <pbarford_at_pro.onet.pl>
To: <meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:27 AM
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] New Tool for addressing meteorite wannabe's

>> For addressing the hard core meteorwrong seller, I
>> chanced across this on ebay which basically says that
>> the seller is responsible for insuring the
>> Authenticity of their item.
> Interesting, thanks for that Elton. Does this mean they will remove items
> using this type of phrasing every time it is reported? Or are they just
> trying to cover themselves? Has anyone any experience of this?
> Paul Barford
> ______________________________________________
> Meteorite-list mailing list
> Meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com
> http://six.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/meteorite-list
Received on Tue 12 Sep 2006 11:46:17 PM PDT

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