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View Full Version : Am I In the Wrong? Am I a Jerk?



justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 04:16 PM
So I was doing my typical ebay search for cool ukuleles and i stumbled upon a vintage banjo ukulele. The seller didn't know anything about his uke. I have owned 2 and restored one of this particular uke. It was a supertone banjolele made by Lange. Thinking I would do the right thing I informed the seller.

Q: "What you have here is a beautiful 1929-30 Supertone Banjo Ukulele made by the William Lange Company for sears and roebuck. The headstock inlay and the decal on the resonator give it away. The only thing it is missing is the paper supertone label on the back of the headstock. The geared tuners will hurt it a little bit but it is in wonderful shape. They are very desired when they have the resonator like yours. If you had the grover champion jr friction tuners it might bring just north of $200. I think you can expect $150-175 as is. Good luck with the sale." May-27-13
A: Thank you!! I am glad for the Information ... Brian

The starting bid for this uke was $100. It sold for $153.50. Keep this in mind.

I get two messages from a bidder that says the following.


"I'm writing to speak out and give you a piece of my mind. This is regarding the auction, "BANJO-UKULELE, may Be AVALON", Ebay item no# 251280193383. I read the comment posted at the bottom of the auction that you felt compelled to send the seller identifying the instrument, commenting on what great shape it was in and how much you thought he could expect to sell it for.
What is it about jerks like you who feel the need to show off their knowledge about an item someone is selling without giving any thought to anyone but yourself. You're like the jerk at a yard sale or garage sale who walks up behind someone about to buy something at a great price and you open up your big mouth and ruin it by telling the seller that what he's selling is worth a lot more than what he's asking for it and everyone within earshot hears you and all of a sudden 5 more people want to pay more for it. I see jerks like you on Ebay who ruin it for potential buyers all the time. -CONTINUED-....

message 2 because he couldn't get it all in one message.

Why can't you just keep it to yourself? You can't stop yourself from notifying the seller and all potential buyers what a great item is available and all you're doing is making it more competitive for everybody which pushes the price up even further. If the seller and many potential buyers don't have this info that you can't keep to yourself then it's more likely that someone can get a good deal. The seller wasn't even aware of it and that happens all the time. So what! He would have been happy just to sell it but you have to put your 2 cents worth in to show how smart you are and push the price up, BIG MOUTH. I'm sick and tired of idiots like you all over Ebay who ruin a potential great deal. KEEP YOUR DAMN COMMENTS TO YOURSELF, MORON! If I ran into you doing that in person I'd spit in your face! Don't waste your time responding and telling me off because you know you're wrong! DAMN JERK!"

His username looked familiar to these forums as well. That made my heart sink a bit. Am I the Jerk here?

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 04:19 PM
my response to his message.

"I'm sorry you didn't win the auction. But im not sorry that I helped the seller to determine what they had. I didn't ask the seller to post my message. The uke still brought a little less than it was worth. It in no way benefited me to inform the seller about the uke. I just wanted to help them out. My apologies. Put yourself in the shoes of the seller. Wouldn't you want to know what you own? Keep looking and you will find one for less. Maybe consider a maxitone or one of the cheaper banjo ukes on ebay. I recently bought one with resonator for around $30...granted it was completely covered with paint but I removed it and polished out the brass and replaced the head. It's a beauty. It should be worth around $150 now. Good luck finding yourself a banjolele. They are neat little instruments."

Chap
06-03-2013, 04:24 PM
My opinion: There is a jerk involved, but it ain't you.

Markr1
06-03-2013, 04:25 PM
You did nothing wrong and I would have and have done the same thing. That guy was a complete idiot!! If he does happen to be a member here then let him speak out but I highly doubt he will unless he wants to expose himself as the one that sent that unbelievable message.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 04:30 PM
My favorite bit was that he thought I informed the seller to benefit myself...absurd.

Markr1
06-03-2013, 04:33 PM
He sounds like what I call a pissed off redneck Nuttball to me.
My favorite bit was that he thought I informed the seller to benefit myself...absurd.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 04:37 PM
I kept him from maybe saving $50 on a uke.

Telperion
06-03-2013, 04:42 PM
I'm actually a bit surprised that this guy was able to see your user ID along with your question. You are right that the seller didn't have to pin the question to the auction, so that really is on them. However, I don't think I've ever seen the user ID attached to a question. I'm wondering how this guy was able to get in contact with you at all. Ebay has made the user ID's of bidders concealed to prevent improper solicitation, and I thought there was also a provision to protect people who ask questions too. Whatever the case, I'm not usually one to raise a stink about things, but if I were you I'd probably report this to ebay. Even if it never gets back to the offender, ebay should be aware that this kind of thing is going on.

-Steve

Markr1
06-03-2013, 04:42 PM
I'm sure that would have broke his bank which caused him to spend so much time sending you that senseless message. It must have made him feel really good about himself.
I kept him from maybe saving $50 on a uke.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 04:51 PM
I was wondering the same thing myself. I checked to see if my username was posted on the question and it wasn't. I reported it to ebay.


I'm actually a bit surprised that this guy was able to see your user ID along with your question. You are right that the seller didn't have to pin the question to the auction, so that really is on them. However, I don't think I've ever seen the user ID attached to a question. I'm wondering how this guy was able to get in contact with you at all. Ebay has made the user ID's of bidders concealed to prevent improper solicitation, and I thought there was also a provision to protect people who ask questions too. Whatever the case, I'm not usually one to raise a stink about things, but if I were you I'd probably report this to ebay. Even if it never gets back to the offender, ebay should be aware that this kind of thing is going on.

-Steve

KoaDependent
06-03-2013, 05:05 PM
I just looked at the listing - I see your question, but nowhere do I see a user id associated with it. How could he have found you out, unless he asked the seller and the seller told him?

Even if you kept your mouth shut, and the bidders went on the seller's suggestion, wouldn't an Avalon be worth at least $150 (except for the gawdawful geared pegs they put on it)?
If anything, the seller could be miffed at you that you capped his action.

The person who messaged you is mentally unbalanced and their comment need not cause you another moment's unrest.

mm stan
06-03-2013, 05:06 PM
So sorry to see this happen to you...You say he/she might be a member here...hmmm I am sure he was one of those who buy on ebay and resells them ...a regular...
that was cutting into his profit margin and provoked him...I cannot believe he said such a thing hiding behind a screen....Well I guess he doesn't know you are 6' 4''
and 300 pounds...I'd like to see him spit in you face that high..... you are not wrong my friend, you were just helping inform the seller and the buyers too....

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 05:15 PM
Two new messages from him just now.

Edited for language*

"-CONTINUED- I don't want to but one and clean paint off of it. KEEP YOUR F*CKING SELF RIGHTEOUS NOSE OUT OF AN AUCTION THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. IT'S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS. IT'S BETWEEN ME & OTHER BIDDERS AND THE SELLER. PERIOD!
PS, I hope I run into you someday at a lawn sale. Let's see how right you are then. I bet you used to get your pip squeek little a*s kicked in school for telling on other kids for not paying attention. FOOL!"

the next message reads

"You stupid hard headed fool. First of all, I never said it benefited you other than you probably did it to make yourself feel important like some sort of authority. You're still a jerk because you believe that you did something positive by helping out the seller but by doing that, you put potential buyers at a disadvantage. Of course I would want to know if something I was selling was valuable but you're too thick to realize that that is not the point. As a seller it's up to me to find these things out and if I don't realize that it's worth a certain amount, and I still want to sell it and it's an open auction, it means that I can accept whatever it sells for. Then a an a*s like you comes along and sticks his nose inside a closed door and gets involved with something that has nothing to do with you. Again, if I saw you do that to me in person, as a potential buyer, the very least I would do is spit in your nerdy face and if you went on talking about not doing anything wrong I'd probably knock you off your feet. Don't you get it now you self righteous a*s?
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. IT'S BETWEEN THE SELLER AND POTENTIAL BUYERS. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN AN AUCTION ITEM ON EBAY AND YOU KNOW IT'S WORTH A CERTAIN AMOUNT, WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO GET IT FOR LESS? YOU KNOW DAMN WELL YOU WOULD. IF YOU GOT IT FOR LESS THAN IT'S WORTH, WOULD YOU CONTACT THE SELLER AND TELL HIM YOU WANT TO PAY MORE? YOU KNOW YOU WOULDN'T. THEN WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S OK TO DO THAT TO SOMEONE ELSE? BY CONTACTING THE SELLER LIKE YOU DID, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING. YOU'RE DOING THAT BY ALERTING EVERY POTENTIAL BUYER WHO DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER THAT IT'S WORTH MORE THAN THEY REALIZED WHICH INCREASES THE CHANCES THAT THE BIDDING WILL GO HIGHER. DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW, YOU SMALL MINDED FOOL?
Don't tell me what instrument to consider other than the one I wanted. I've been collecting banjo ukes for over 35 years you pip squeek little nerdy sh*t. "

Patrick Madsen
06-03-2013, 05:18 PM
I suggest you forward the posts you received to Ebay. This is harrassment for sure and Ebay will have something to say. I'm sure they would like to know also how he got your address.

If he does this too you, he does it to others as well. You did the right thing for both the seller and potential buyer.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 05:23 PM
I have trouble believing that someone collecting banjo ukes for 35 years could be so grumpy. =)

Paul December
06-03-2013, 05:31 PM
I actually agree with the guy...
...in that I dislike when people do stuff like you did. IMO that kind of communication with a seller is better suited to a forum (like this) and not on ebay. Let the sellers (and buyers for that matter) do their own homework. If they really care, they'll join a forum, make some friends, and ask for assistance...
...otherwise it's just business.
Of course his anger went too far.

Markr1
06-03-2013, 05:34 PM
That person is starting to sound scary crazy! It may be to late for even meds to help his obsessive problem.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 05:38 PM
I typically agree with you as well. But i remember when I came across my first supertone. There was absolutely no information to be found on them and it took me days to figure out what it was. I guess I just assumed he couldnt find anything on it as well. He did do some research based on his description. Oddly enough my first supertone was purchased on ebay and the seller didn't know what he had. I paid $240 for it + shipping. I eventually figured out what it was when I found an archive of old sears and roebuck catalogues =)


I actually agree with the guy...
...in that I dislike when people do stuff like you did. IMO that kind of communication with a seller is better suited to a forum (like this) and not on ebay. Let the sellers (and buyers for that matter) do their own homework. If they really care, they'll join a forum, make some friends, and ask for assistance...
...otherwise it's just business.
Of course his anger went too far.

Doc_J
06-03-2013, 05:41 PM
I suggest you forward the posts you received to Ebay. This is harrassment for sure and Ebay will have something to say. I'm sure they would like to know also how he got your address.

If he does this too you, he does it to others as well. You did the right thing for both the seller and potential buyer.

:agree:

I agree, notify eBay of this person's conduct. It is curious how he found out you sent the message. I can't hardly believed the buyer told him, unless he told the buyer a story to get it.

Dan Uke
06-03-2013, 05:56 PM
That guy was a jerk but I don't understand why people have to inform sellers.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 06:01 PM
I guess I was feeling sympathetic and courteous.


That guy was a jerk but I don't understand why people have to inform sellers.

Bill Mc
06-03-2013, 06:10 PM
Justincecil. Let's say the seller only sold the instrument for the starting bid of $100.00. Your opinion is that it was worth upwards of $175.00 - only $75.00 more than the lowest amount the seller would have received if sold at the opening bid. Personally, I would feel no ethical obligation to advise that individual that he was not asking the correct price for the instrument. Given the small amount involved I'd mind my own business. And you are not wrong or a jerk fyour actions but the full circumstances ought to be considered before injecting oneself in a matter of little concern.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 06:23 PM
The price was not advice. It was merely an opinion based on observation. The seller did not adjust his auction. He didn't raise the starting bid or set a reserve. I can see that it would have been best to leave out what I thought it was worth. But if you follow the sale of vintage banjo ukuleles you would know that it would have achieved its selling price with or without my information about the uke. The bottom line. Someone got a cool uke at a great price (despite those horrible geared tuners) and the seller was happy to have the knowledge.

gyosh
06-03-2013, 06:28 PM
I'd search for every auction this nut job is bidding on and do the same over and over to him.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 06:29 PM
Thanks KoaDependent. Yeah if anything I was worried about offending the seller when I sent the message. But he appeared to have no problem with it and posted the message to his listing adding a cap.
I just looked at the listing - I see your question, but nowhere do I see a user id associated with it. How could he have found you out, unless he asked the seller and the seller told him?

Even if you kept your mouth shut, and the bidders went on the seller's suggestion, wouldn't an Avalon be worth at least $150 (except for the gawdawful geared pegs they put on it)?
If anything, the seller could be miffed at you that you capped his action.

The person who messaged you is mentally unbalanced and their comment need not cause you another moment's unrest.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 06:32 PM
I wouldn't stoop to his level. Not to get off track here but you own what I believe to be one of the most beautiful compass rose ukes in existence =) And if you ever decide to sell it on ebay I'll be sure to talk it up in a message :p

I'd search for every auction this nut job is bidding on and do the same over and over to him.

gyosh
06-03-2013, 06:42 PM
I wouldn't stoop to his level. Not to get off track here but you own what I believe to be one of the most beautiful compass rose ukes in existence =) And if you ever decide to sell it on ebay I'll be sure to talk it up in a message :p

:biglaugh: You'll have to make mention that it has a custom inlay that makes it worthless to anyone else looking to resell it in the future:)

Thank you for the compliment. It's sounds better than it looks. Trying to find someone willing to do a really good sound sample for me. My playing isn't that great but the uke is totally inspiring me to work at improving.

Hope that guy goes away soon.

Bill Mc
06-03-2013, 06:50 PM
The price was not advice. It was merely an opinion based on observation. The seller did not adjust his auction. He didn't raise the starting bid or set a reserve. I can see that it would have been best to leave out what I thought it was worth. But if you follow the sale of vintage banjo ukuleles you would know that it would have achieved its selling price with or without my information about the uke. The bottom line. Someone got a cool uke at a great price (despite those horrible geared tuners) and the seller was happy to have the knowledge.

Justincecil. Advise and opinion are used as synonyms. The bottom line is that you became involved in a transaction that was not worth the effort given the circumstances. People other than the seller were effected despite the sellers actions or inactions.

uke552
06-03-2013, 06:52 PM
I have trouble believing that someone collecting banjo ukes for 35 years could be so grumpy. =)

:D Love it!

hawaii 50
06-03-2013, 06:58 PM
:biglaugh: You'll have to make mention that it has a custom inlay that makes it worthless to anyone else looking to resell it in the future:)

Thank you for the compliment. It's sounds better than it looks. Trying to find someone willing to do a really good sound sample for me. My playing isn't that great but the uke is totally inspiring me to work at improving.

Hope that guy goes away soon.


Hey Gary..
take it to Rodney tomorrow night..uke42,Danny and CJ will enjoy it..

the OP is right your CR is nice..

and the guy who sent the all the nasty messages..is a UU member..wow

gyosh
06-03-2013, 06:59 PM
I think he did "the right thing" and it blew up in his face because the seller posted his comments out in the open.

I recently stopped at a garage sale because I saw a uke in a pile of stuff. It had a $10.00 sticker on it right next to the KK on the headstock. Would I have felt good about myself if I lowballed him down to $5.00? Would I have felt proud that I took advantage of someone's ignorance? If you could answer yes with a clear conscience than you're no better than those scum bags cold calling my 90 year old grandmother trying to scam her out of information and money. You can justify it to yourself saying it's the buyers responsibility, and it is, but you're still the person willing to take advantage of another person and I don't agree with that at all.

The OP is my kind of people. He did the right thing for the right reasons. Something I try to instill in my young son every day. Some of you must have forgotten that part of your upbringing.

How sad for you.

justinlcecil
06-03-2013, 07:16 PM
If I didn't do half the kind things I've done just because it wasn't worth the effort I would probably be as big a grump as the guy who sent the messages. Who knows, maybe the seller can use the extra 25-50 bucks he may or may not have gotten because of my info and pay it forward. Maybe the guy or gal who bought the banjolele is going to use it to entertain elderly folks at a retirement home. Who knows. I have no regrets. I saw an opportunity to help someone out and I took it. I don't dwell on kindness.

consitter
06-03-2013, 07:26 PM
I think he did "the right thing" and it blew up in his face because the seller posted his comments out in the open.

I recently stopped at a garage sale because I saw a uke in a pile of stuff. It had a $10.00 sticker on it right next to the KK on the headstock. Would I have felt good about myself if I lowballed him down to $5.00? Would I have felt proud that I took advantage of someone's ignorance? If you could answer yes with a clear conscience than you're no better than those scum bags cold calling my 90 year old grandmother trying to scam her out of information and money. You can justify it to yourself saying it's the buyers responsibility, and it is, but you're still the person willing to take advantage of another person and I don't agree with that at all.

The OP is my kind of people. He did the right thing for the right reasons. Something I try to instill in my young son every day. Some of you must have forgotten that part of your upbringing.

How sad for you.

Honesty, and thoughtfulness for your fellow man. Two traits that are often forgotten in the quest for the almighty dollar.

I compare these people to the "gypsies" that come through town and do half-ass jobs for people to make a quick buck. Same ilk.

bborzell
06-03-2013, 08:26 PM
In a dog eat dog world, you are both wrong and a jerk. In a world where people value helping others out with information, you are just doing unto others as you might want then to do for you. In my view, the primary issue here is that the seller owns the instrument and can set a price by pulling it out of the air, consulting with an expert or by getting some unsolicited input from someone who knows more about the instrument than the seller does. Potential buyers have no right to be involved in setting the asking price. Nor do they have the right to chastise anyone who chooses to advise the seller.

-Emma-
06-03-2013, 09:53 PM
justinlcecil, I don't think you were being a jerk. You were being helpful! You obviously just encountered somebody who has a few loose screws!


I think he did "the right thing" and it blew up in his face because the seller posted his comments out in the open.

I recently stopped at a garage sale because I saw a uke in a pile of stuff. It had a $10.00 sticker on it right next to the KK on the headstock. Would I have felt good about myself if I lowballed him down to $5.00? Would I have felt proud that I took advantage of someone's ignorance? If you could answer yes with a clear conscience than you're no better than those scum bags cold calling my 90 year old grandmother trying to scam her out of information and money. You can justify it to yourself saying it's the buyers responsibility, and it is, but you're still the person willing to take advantage of another person and I don't agree with that at all.

The OP is my kind of people. He did the right thing for the right reasons. Something I try to instill in my young son every day. Some of you must have forgotten that part of your upbringing.

How sad for you.

gyosh, did you end up buying the uke for a normal price? Or did you just let the seller know?

mm stan
06-03-2013, 10:35 PM
Wow 35 years of banjo experience and a UU member eh???? and that nasty language and rant, with no morals wonder who it is man?? wonder if he is man enough to step forward
and defend himself here on the forums now....come on step out from behind the screen....I really wanna see what kind of guy you are with those nasty words and threats.

Roselynne
06-03-2013, 11:34 PM
I've done the same sort of thing as you, OP. Not on eBay (yet) -- there I keep running into misidentified items, and I'll send a friendly suggestion to post a correction. Most sellers actually appreciate this!

Most of the under-priced items I've found were at estate sales.

Sellers can end up with items they didn't buy in the first place, and know absolutely nothing about. Still, they may need to sell fast. They deserve some friendly advice, which they can choose to take or leave.

My only limit is, I'll keep quiet if someone's clearly ready to buy the item, 'cause I'm a coward.

YOU did nothing wrong. I hope The Disgruntled One is not a UU member, but another person with the same name.

Please report this to eBay.

Ambient Doughnut
06-04-2013, 12:12 AM
Sounds like a nutter. Stop communicating him with him directly, report him to Ebay and forget about it.
You've not done anything wrong and shouldn't waste anymore energy fretting about it. :)

consitter
06-04-2013, 12:18 AM
Two new messages from him just now.

Edited for language*

"-CONTINUED- I don't want to but one and clean paint off of it. KEEP YOUR F*CKING SELF RIGHTEOUS NOSE OUT OF AN AUCTION THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. IT'S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS. IT'S BETWEEN ME & OTHER BIDDERS AND THE SELLER. PERIOD!
PS, I hope I run into you someday at a lawn sale. Let's see how right you are then. I bet you used to get your pip squeek little a*s kicked in school for telling on other kids for not paying attention. FOOL!"

the next message reads

"You stupid hard headed fool. First of all, I never said it benefited you other than you probably did it to make yourself feel important like some sort of authority. You're still a jerk because you believe that you did something positive by helping out the seller but by doing that, you put potential buyers at a disadvantage. Of course I would want to know if something I was selling was valuable but you're too thick to realize that that is not the point. As a seller it's up to me to find these things out and if I don't realize that it's worth a certain amount, and I still want to sell it and it's an open auction, it means that I can accept whatever it sells for. Then a an a*s like you comes along and sticks his nose inside a closed door and gets involved with something that has nothing to do with you. Again, if I saw you do that to me in person, as a potential buyer, the very least I would do is spit in your nerdy face and if you went on talking about not doing anything wrong I'd probably knock you off your feet. Don't you get it now you self righteous a*s?
IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. IT'S BETWEEN THE SELLER AND POTENTIAL BUYERS. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN AN AUCTION ITEM ON EBAY AND YOU KNOW IT'S WORTH A CERTAIN AMOUNT, WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO GET IT FOR LESS? YOU KNOW DAMN WELL YOU WOULD. IF YOU GOT IT FOR LESS THAN IT'S WORTH, WOULD YOU CONTACT THE SELLER AND TELL HIM YOU WANT TO PAY MORE? YOU KNOW YOU WOULDN'T. THEN WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S OK TO DO THAT TO SOMEONE ELSE? BY CONTACTING THE SELLER LIKE YOU DID, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING. YOU'RE DOING THAT BY ALERTING EVERY POTENTIAL BUYER WHO DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER THAT IT'S WORTH MORE THAN THEY REALIZED WHICH INCREASES THE CHANCES THAT THE BIDDING WILL GO HIGHER. DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW, YOU SMALL MINDED FOOL?
Don't tell me what instrument to consider other than the one I wanted. I've been collecting banjo ukes for over 35 years you pip squeek little nerdy sh*t. "

Hmmm. Both parts of this email can be construed as threatening statements, which is against federal law. Look at the following link.

http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?id=2064&s=latestnews

Not only is this fellow extremely rude, but he is now a law breaker.

Skinny Money McGee
06-04-2013, 12:53 AM
I think he did "the right thing" and it blew up in his face because the seller posted his comments out in the open.

I recently stopped at a garage sale because I saw a uke in a pile of stuff. It had a $10.00 sticker on it right next to the KK on the headstock. Would I have felt good about myself if I lowballed him down to $5.00? Would I have felt proud that I took advantage of someone's ignorance? If you could answer yes with a clear conscience than you're no better than those scum bags cold calling my 90 year old grandmother trying to scam her out of information and money. You can justify it to yourself saying it's the buyers responsibility, and it is, but you're still the person willing to take advantage of another person and I don't agree with that at all.

The OP is my kind of people. He did the right thing for the right reasons. Something I try to instill in my young son every day. Some of you must have forgotten that part of your upbringing.

How sad for you.


did you buy it or not?

consitter
06-04-2013, 01:12 AM
did you buy it or not?

If you look at his signature, he lists a Kamaka, but this was his first uke that he bought new. So, I would say the answer is no.

ichadwick
06-04-2013, 01:34 AM
Welcome to the wonderful of internet opinions. No matter what you say, or how you say it, someone won't like it and will belittle, humiliate and even threaten you over it.

Hello internet, goodbye civility, mature debate and polite interaction.

strumsilly
06-04-2013, 01:34 AM
Oscar Wild once said ,"No good deed goes unpunished." you tried to be helpful, let it go and play your uke.

Sporin
06-04-2013, 02:09 AM
Welcome to the wonderful of internet opinions. No matter what you say, or how you say it, someone won't like it and will belittle, humiliate and even threaten you over it.

Hello internet, goodbye civility, mature debate and polite interaction.

Sad but true. I'd report him to ebay then ignore him.

If it is a UU member well... that is just a shame. I understand being frustrated about the seller getting the extra info when the buyer thought he might scoop a deal BUT there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for that kind of rude, angry, threatening reaction. That's just the breaks when it comes to internet auctions and such.

mm stan
06-04-2013, 02:14 AM
Sad but true. I'd report him to ebay then ignore him.

If it is a UU member well... that is just a shame. I understand being frustrated about the seller getting the extra info when the buyer thought he might scoop a deal BUT there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for that kind of rude, angry, threatening reaction. That's just the breaks when it comes to internet auctions and such.

I'd file a complaint with ebay and file a threat complaint with the police....this type of behavior needs to be recorded...in case this guy does something to you or others...it will establish
a pattern of violent threating behavior if needed for future reference.....
and maybe send him to anger management for his own good....these days you never know when you approach or say something wrong to the wrong guy....No matter how bad you think you
are, there is always someone more bad a$$...this guy is a loose cannon and totally out of control...

PhilUSAFRet
06-04-2013, 02:47 AM
No, you are not the jerk ...... report him to Ebay....then let him know that you did because he was such a jerk. Let him stew on it for a while. Of course block mail from him after you do.

stevepetergal
06-04-2013, 02:55 AM
I wouldn't call you a jerk, but you did something I wouldn't. Think about it in reverse. You find that once in a lifetime (fill in the blank) ukulele and the seller doesn't know what he has. Someone else, with no intention of bidding, tells the seller "You could sell that for three times what you're asking". Next thing you know, the seller has taken it down. Remember, many of us are perpetually trolling. If the seller gets what he wants and we get a great deal, everybody's happy. But, if people are out there blocking the good deals, well.....

anthonyg
06-04-2013, 03:26 AM
To the original poster I would have done the same thing as you if I was in your position. There's some people around here who would use their knowledge for their own advantage only and not worry about anyone else. That's human nature I guess but the fact that they would publicly admit to it here and chastise you for your actions publicly here as well is unbelievable.

No shame some people. No shame. They will justify their actions forever though. I guess that goes along with no shame.

Anthony

bborzell
06-04-2013, 03:33 AM
The fact that someone does not know the actual value of something they own does not mean that people who do know the value are obligated to let the seller die on the vine. People who troll for good deals have no rights in the setting of prices (is there an echo in here?). It's clear that, for some, where they stand on this issue depends on where they sit.

I hired a guy to help me trim some trees on my property. He asked for $20 per hour. When he showed up with climbing gear and spend most of the day scrambling some 40 feet above the ground with a chain saw strapped to his belt, it became clear to me that what he was doing for me was worth more than the $20 an hour I would pay someone to clear brush. At the end of the day, I doubled his asking rate. The fact that some people don't price their services or property at its true value doesn't mean that I have to take advantage of them. He now charges $40 per hour for his skilled and dangerous work. I guess I should brace myself for the onslaught of anger from bargain hunters who could have hired him for one half the cost had I not come along.

Telperion
06-04-2013, 03:35 AM
Honesty, and thoughtfulness for your fellow man. Two traits that are often forgotten in the quest for the almighty dollar.
I compare these people to the "gypsies" that come through town and do half-ass jobs for people to make a quick buck. Same ilk.

Yes, but the more I think about it, the more I think that justinlcecil should have refrained from pointing out values to the seller. It's one thing to point out item details, especially on old ukes where identification can be difficult. Some sellers will even add lines into their listing like "Any information to help identify this instrument would be appreciated," etc., etc. Valuation, however, is another story. I definitely agree that the other guy was way out of line and nobody should care so much about such a trivial thing, but you have to consider the nature of the venue. Ebay is not some cooperative swap venue, it's an online auction/marketplace. "Honesty and thoughtfulness" have their place, but I see no problem with people hunting for bargains. I'm guessing that most people here have had some instance in their life where they had a stroke of good luck and got a great deal on something (uke or not). That can be a lot of fun, even thrilling at times, to score a bargain. I wouldn't want to take that apportunity away from people, which is sort of what happened here.

And to compare a bargain-hunter to people who "do half-ass jobs for people to make a quick buck," isn't right either. I believe there's a big distinction between a scam artist and someone looking for a good deal - even if they are planning to turn around and sell the item for a profit. What ever happened to accountability? Why are people always trying to blame someone else for outcomes they could have controlled? The seller of the banjo uke had their opportunity to do some due diligence and educate themselves on the value of their item before putting it out into the marketplace. They didn't do it. Just like the people who hire your so-called "gypsies" should do some due dilligence and understand that you get what you pay for. Do some research, have some common sense, and problems like these will go away.

Sheesh, now I'm getting all worked up and I'm going to start quoting John Galt or something.

RichM
06-04-2013, 03:41 AM
"Honesty and thoughtfulness" have their place, but

Yes, as front and center values for how we interact with everyone, every day. If ever there was a sentence that didn't need the word "but," it's that one.

Bill Mc
06-04-2013, 03:48 AM
To the original poster I would have done the same thing as you if I was in your position. There's some people around here who would use their knowledge for their own advantage only and not worry about anyone else. That's human nature I guess but the fact that they would publicly admit to it here and chastise you for your actions publicly here as well is unbelievable.

No shame some people. No shame. They will justify their actions forever though. I guess that goes along with no shame.

Anthony

Anthony, no one here chastised, i.e., scolded or condemned the original poster for what he did. Some disagreed with his actions or thought the situation was not of sufficient import for him to bother to intervene in the auction. The OP freely solicited opinions of the members of UU and opinions is what he got on this public forum. There is no need to exaggerate or misrepresent the measured responses of the members who disagree with the actions of the OP or impute base motives to their responses.

Telperion
06-04-2013, 04:00 AM
Yes, as front and center values for how we interact with everyone, every day. If ever there was a sentence that didn't need the word "but," it's that one.

Come on Rich, that's not what I meant. Maybe I poorly worded my statement, but I think your taking it out of context. I said, "but, I see no problem with people hunting for bargains." This was not meant to be at the expense of honesty and thoughtfulness. I absolutely believe in kindness and honesty. Again, maybe I didn't think it through enough when I wrote it. The other guy was completely and badly out of line, and I don't think Justin had any ill intention whatsoever. If everyone was honest and kind in their actions, we'd all be better for it. I just don't think that hunting for bargains constitutes dishonesty, which is how I interpreted consitter.

mm stan
06-04-2013, 04:16 AM
I believe Ebay should include the three strikes you're out policy to the troublemakers and temporary bans for first and second offenses...
harassing and threating people should have serious consequenses such as a permanent ban...also ones who try to manipulate prices and others..

redpaul1
06-04-2013, 04:34 AM
Justin

You asked "Am I in the wrong? Am I a jerk?" Not knowing you personally, I have no opinion to offer on the 2nd part of your question ;) As to the first part, however, I'm starting to lean to the opinion that you were.

Markets are all about, and always about, information. First thing you learn in Economics 101: "The price system is a mechanism for signalling the optimum allocation of scarce resources among alternative ends." Prices yield information and information yields prices.

Did your frustrated e-Bay bidder go over the top in his response? Over a matter of $50? Absolutely. Does his response make him look like a jerk? Undeniably. Does he have reasonable cause for a gripe? Well, sorry, but I think he probably does.

If you got the plot twist 10 minutes into a 120 minute movie, do you think your fellow movie-goers would be happy if you shared that information with them? Might you imagine that one or two of them might get so irate at your lowering of their anticipated value of their evening's entertainment experience, that they might start telling you there and then exactly what they thought of you and your need to share your knowledge with others?

Normally, I wouldn't bother offering my 2 worth (& why do we call it 2 worth, if not in acknowledgement that information - and expert opinion - has value?), but you did ask. Don't hate me.

Ambient Doughnut
06-04-2013, 04:46 AM
I'm still concerned how he got hold of your ID - I've had a look at the item and can't see any way to tell who posted the question. I can only think the seller must have provided it to him. In which case he's kind of a jerk!

consitter
06-04-2013, 04:52 AM
Come on Rich, that's not what I meant. Maybe I poorly worded my statement, but I think your taking it out of context. I said, "but, I see no problem with people hunting for bargains." This was not meant to be at the expense of honesty and thoughtfulness. I absolutely believe in kindness and honesty. Again, maybe I didn't think it through enough when I wrote it. The other guy was completely and badly out of line, and I don't think Justin had any ill intention whatsoever. If everyone was honest and kind in their actions, we'd all be better for it. I just don't think that hunting for bargains constitutes dishonesty, which is how I interpreted consitter.

Getting something for $10 off some unwitting person when you know it's actually worth hundreds is not "hunting bargains". It's dishonest. There's no other way of putting it.

greenie44
06-04-2013, 04:57 AM
Justin

You asked "Am I in the wrong? Am I a jerk?" Not knowing you personally, I have no opinion to offer on the 2nd part of your question ;) As to the first part, however, I'm starting to lean to the opinion that you were.

Markets are all about, and always about, information. First thing you learn in Economics 101: "The price system is a mechanism for signalling the optimum allocation of scarce resources among alternative ends." Prices yield information and information yields prices.

Did your frustrated e-Bay bidder go over the top in his response? Over a matter of $50? Absolutely. Does his response make him look like a jerk? Undeniably. Does he have reasonable cause for a gripe? Well, sorry, but I think he probably does.

If you got the plot twist 10 minutes into a 120 minute movie, do you think your fellow movie-goers would be happy if you shared that information with them? Might you imagine that one or two of them might get so irate at your lowering of their anticipated value of their evening's entertainment experience, that they might start telling you there and then exactly what they thought of you and your need to share your knowledge with others?

Normally, I wouldn't bother offering my 2 worth (& why do we call it 2 worth, if not in acknowledgement that information - and expert opinion - has value?), but you did ask. Don't hate me.

+1 - I was just about to write something along these lines, with one more addition. An auction is all about establishing value - how much someone is willing to pay for something. At eBay, if a seller really thinks a certain minimum price is required, they can set a reserve. So, if you wanted to weigh in on how much this uke was worth, there is an easy way to do it - bid on it.

I don't think you were a jerk for doing this - and the other person definitely seems to need some counseling, at least - but seems like bidding on this would have been the appropriate way to establish value. And if the seller did not raise the reserve, they were also saying the minimum value they would have accepted. That could be because they did not know how much it was worth, or because they did but needed to sell it, even if it sold for below normal fair value.

My 2c too. Enough of these 2c and we can pool the pennies and bid on a uke.

gyosh
06-04-2013, 05:16 AM
did you buy it or not?

No, I let the guy know what he had and its potential value, because it felt like the right thing to do.

kissing
06-04-2013, 05:24 AM
Justin

You asked "Am I in the wrong? Am I a jerk?" Not knowing you personally, I have no opinion to offer on the 2nd part of your question ;) As to the first part, however, I'm starting to lean to the opinion that you were.

Markets are all about, and always about, information. First thing you learn in Economics 101: "The price system is a mechanism for signalling the optimum allocation of scarce resources among alternative ends." Prices yield information and information yields prices.

Did your frustrated e-Bay bidder go over the top in his response? Over a matter of $50? Absolutely. Does his response make him look like a jerk? Undeniably. Does he have reasonable cause for a gripe? Well, sorry, but I think he probably does.

If you got the plot twist 10 minutes into a 120 minute movie, do you think your fellow movie-goers would be happy if you shared that information with them? Might you imagine that one or two of them might get so irate at your lowering of their anticipated value of their evening's entertainment experience, that they might start telling you there and then exactly what they thought of you and your need to share your knowledge with others?

Normally, I wouldn't bother offering my 2 worth (& why do we call it 2 worth, if not in acknowledgement that information - and expert opinion - has value?), but you did ask. Don't hate me.


+1 - I was just about to write something along these lines, with one more addition. An auction is all about establishing value - how much someone is willing to pay for something. At eBay, if a seller really thinks a certain minimum price is required, they can set a reserve. So, if you wanted to weigh in on how much this uke was worth, there is an easy way to do it - bid on it.

I don't think you were a jerk for doing this - and the other person definitely seems to need some counseling, at least - but seems like bidding on this would have been the appropriate way to establish value. And if the seller did not raise the reserve, they were also saying the minimum value they would have accepted. That could be because they did not know how much it was worth, or because they did but needed to sell it, even if it sold for below normal fair value.

My 2c too. Enough of these 2c and we can pool the pennies and bid on a uke.



Those hate messages you got were truly over-the-top, but I agree with the above opinions.

I acknowledge that to the vast majority that appears to be applauding your actions come from a particular righteous perspective.
However, I don't think the world is that naive when it comes to things related to money. I don't think we need to "feel bad" about finding a bargain. Sometimes you get lucky.

I really don't believe people should feel guilty about finding a bargain.
Sometimes you get lucky and hit the jackpot. The seller may or may not be aware of the true value of something.
They have determined that the object is of no value to them and have not gone into the effort of doing their research.
I'd be pretty annoyed too if someone rained on my chance to grab a real bargain.

However, I would not lose control like that person did to you on eBay. That was an atrocity o.O

sbpark
06-04-2013, 05:26 AM
The answer to this question isn't really a cut and dry, black and white answer, and in trying to be understanding to both sides of this story, I sort of empathize with both parties. Right off the bat though, I will have to admit that I do sort of agree with the disgruntled guy about opening their mouth and 'ruining' a potential score for someone else, but at the same time I'd like someone to do that for me if I was the seller, so it goes both ways here. If I'd like someone to let me know if I have something valuable, I can't really complain if someone more knowledgeable informs a seller of the same thing about an item I want. It's a double standard, and you can't have your cake and eat it too, and then act like a spoiled little turd. One thing is for sure though, that guy's behavior and the way he conducted himself in his emails is absolutely unacceptable, and there's no excuse for that type of behavior. He's giving you a hard time for informing someone else about what they have simply because he wanted to profit from it. His reasoning has nothing to do with ethics or being a better person, he's just a greedy s.o.b. who was beat at his own game!

I once was in the market for a bass guitar. I saw an ad on Craigslist, met with the guy and bought the bass and an amp from him. I have no idea the year of the bass, and it was gross. It reeked of cigars and had grime and corrosion all over it. He said he used to play it in bar bands back in the 80's and hasn't played in years. I took the bass home, took it apart, dated the pots, the neck and serial number. It all came back 100% original to late '75 early '76, and cleaned up to where it looked practically new and is now worth about $1,800. I sold the bass amp that it came with for $60. I was told by people that I was dishonest and should have gone back and told the previous owner, and returned the bass after I discovered it's value. I disagree because the guy was savvy enough with a computer to post an ad on Craigslist, he could have easily typed the serial number into google or taken 5 minutes to look on ebay to see what they are worth, but for whatever reason he did not. That's his fault, not mine.

Today there are so many tools at our disposal that make it so much easier for people to research and find out what things are worth, and for the most part it takes relatively little effort and time. Most people do not want to put in the effort or time to do the research because they are lazy, and I have no sympathy for those people, and if they sell an item for a lot less than it's worth because of laziness, then you can't blame the buyer, you blame the seller.

I think every situation is different. If I was at a garage sale and a little old lady had a vintage uke for sale for like $10 I think I'd be compelled to tell her it's real value. If it was a younger person who is most likely savvy with a computer, I'd be inclined not to, and take advantage of the situation. I know this probably is not morally correct, but I'm just being honest, and I'd dare say that this may be the way a lot of us would approach a situation like this, but are afraid to admit it.

electrauke
06-04-2013, 05:31 AM
You could look at it this way: The guy complaining about you is the jerk. It was the moral and right thing to do in this case to help the seller out. The guy is just angry because he cannot afford the uke he wants.

Or


Maybe he is right and you should have just let the auction go by itself. It is the seller's duty to find out what he has and price it accordingly.

For some reason I am leaning more with the guy that lost the bid, because, like I said, it is the seller's duty to get the price. Not quite sure.

RichM
06-04-2013, 05:31 AM
Without responding to anyone in particular in the thread, I will make the following blanket observations:

1. There is nothing wrong with finding a bargain.
2. Auctions, by their very nature, mean that an item will sell for whatever amount a person will pay for them. Therefore, informing someone as to the value of their item should not impact the auction, since it will still sell for high bid.
3. Any individual who wants to help another individual out by educating them on what they are selling has every right to do that.

Telperion
06-04-2013, 05:55 AM
Getting something for $10 off some unwitting person when you know it's actually worth hundreds is not "hunting bargains". It's dishonest. There's no other way of putting it.

True enough. However, "The starting bid for this uke was $100. It sold for $153.50." That's a lot different from your statement, consitter. Also, this is ebay we're talking about here. This isn't a scam. This isn't someone offering to buy your cubic zirconia when he really knows what you have is a diamond. Seriously, now. The item was available for anyone to view and for anyone to buy. I really doubt that Justin's question being posted had any bearing on the final price at all. As it was said before, the seller didn't raise their reserve or relist the item at a higher price in response to Justin's question. Anyone who wanted to bid could have, and the item was bid up to $153.50. The other guy got so mad over something that probably had no impact on him at all. That's the real tragedy. Justin got ripped a new one for something that was't truly egregious, whether it was right or wrong.

One of my other hobbies is book collecting. I buy and sell a lot of collectible books on ebay. I have sold several in the last year that fetched prices over $1000. Each of those auctions were started with a $0.99 opening bid with no reserve. My strategy is that by starting it lower with no reserve, more people are initially interested and become vested in the auction. I have seen bidding wars that drive my items much higher than I thought was market value, and I have also seen a lack of interest cause me to have to sell a book for 25% of what I thought it was worth. This is the "open market" working as it does. Was I supposed to stop the bidding on my successful auctions once they reached my perceived market value? Was the person who won my $400 book supposed to cough up another $300 when they won the auction for $100? When you put something up for auction, there is risk. Sometimes risk is rewarding, sometimes not. I also just sold a nice ukulele on ebay for a significant loss because I wanted to sell it fast. I listed it as a "buy-it-now with best offer," and I accepted a low offer. That was my decision, and I was ok with it. The buyer was happy to get a good deal, but he certainly didn't offer to cover my loss, and I would never expect him to do that. Instead, I was happy that he was happy with the uke, and I got the fast money I needed.

We can argue all day over the virtues of the free market, but why is this a question of personal integrity?

7warriorlion
06-04-2013, 06:19 AM
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/everyone-ov.html#communicating
Rules about communicating with other eBay members

eBay members:
Can't use our member-to-member contact options to send spam or threats

haole
06-04-2013, 07:06 AM
I can see why other potential buyers might be upset, because sometimes it is awesome to get a really good deal on something because the seller doesn't know what it's really worth, but the nutcase who sent you so many nasty messages and threats needs to take their Haldol and lay down in a quiet room. Even if it was a Martin 5K listed as an "old toy guitar" by a clueless seller, I don't think any kind of intervention would justify the anguish, hatred, and threats directed at you. Your intentions of educating the seller were good, and I doubt you affected the outcome of the auction in any significant way. I probably wouldn't have done what you did, but that doesn't mean you were in the wrong or a jerk. Don't lose sleep over it!

Also kind of strange that your advice was posted publicly, and that knucklehead managed to find you and harass you about it. That was beyond your control. If I were the seller I would've edited the original description and omitted your username for privacy's sake instead. I hope eBay sorts it out and takes action against the person who harassed you.

Patrick Madsen
06-04-2013, 07:07 AM
I feel a point is being missed. Whether it was right or wrong seems is up to interpetation. I think you did right. The big point is the continual harrassment after the fact. That is what needs to be dealt with by Ebay.

electrauke
06-04-2013, 07:12 AM
Without responding to anyone in particular in the thread, I will make the following blanket observations:

1. There is nothing wrong with finding a bargain.
2. Auctions, by their very nature, mean that an item will sell for whatever amount a person will pay for them. Therefore, informing someone as to the value of their item should not impact the auction, since it will still sell for high bid.
3. Any individual who wants to help another individual out by educating them on what they are selling has every right to do that.

Did not look at it that way, good point.

janeray1940
06-04-2013, 07:58 AM
As a veteran eBay seller, in my opinion, the only one hard and fast rule about auctions is this: an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Depending on what I'm selling, I will start bids at 99 cents when I know that I can get well over $100 for an item. Starting low can actually increase bidding momentum - you just never know, and that's part of the game. If someone emailed me to say "Hey, that thing is worth more than a buck you know!" I'd either ignore it or send them a private thank-you - I definitely wouldn't post their message to my listing. I wouldn't go so far as to say the seller was a jerk for doing so, but I find it odd that he did.

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:01 AM
Trust me I have and I am. =)

Oscar Wild once said ,"No good deed goes unpunished." you tried to be helpful, let it go and play your uke.

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:09 AM
I understand that perhaps I shouldn't have given a price. But my estimation based on experience and observation wasn't far from the sellers opening bid. $50 bucks people. I'm a poor college kid and I still think its trivial for someone to get so worked up over losing an auction over $50. If you really want something and you cant afford to spend another $50 on it, then maybe you should reconsider it. My main intention was to point out to the seller that he didnt have an Avalon (Which typically bring more money than supertones by the way).
Yes, but the more I think about it, the more I think that justinlcecil should have refrained from pointing out values to the seller. It's one thing to point out item details, especially on old ukes where identification can be difficult. Some sellers will even add lines into their listing like "Any information to help identify this instrument would be appreciated," etc., etc. Valuation, however, is another story. I definitely agree that the other guy was way out of line and nobody should care so much about such a trivial thing, but you have to consider the nature of the venue. Ebay is not some cooperative swap venue, it's an online auction/marketplace. "Honesty and thoughtfulness" have their place, but I see no problem with people hunting for bargains. I'm guessing that most people here have had some instance in their life where they had a stroke of good luck and got a great deal on something (uke or not). That can be a lot of fun, even thrilling at times, to score a bargain. I wouldn't want to take that apportunity away from people, which is sort of what happened here.

And to compare a bargain-hunter to people who "do half-ass jobs for people to make a quick buck," isn't right either. I believe there's a big distinction between a scam artist and someone looking for a good deal - even if they are planning to turn around and sell the item for a profit. What ever happened to accountability? Why are people always trying to blame someone else for outcomes they could have controlled? The seller of the banjo uke had their opportunity to do some due diligence and educate themselves on the value of their item before putting it out into the marketplace. They didn't do it. Just like the people who hire your so-called "gypsies" should do some due dilligence and understand that you get what you pay for. Do some research, have some common sense, and problems like these will go away.

Sheesh, now I'm getting all worked up and I'm going to start quoting John Galt or something.

hapuna
06-04-2013, 09:16 AM
I think he did "the right thing" and it blew up in his face because the seller posted his comments out in the open.

I recently stopped at a garage sale because I saw a uke in a pile of stuff. It had a $10.00 sticker on it right next to the KK on the headstock. Would I have felt good about myself if I lowballed him down to $5.00?

How much did you pay him for the kamaka?

barefootgypsy
06-04-2013, 09:16 AM
an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

This was going to be my contribution ..... and it's true, whether it's a uke, a car, or a house....

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:17 AM
Haha. I don't hate you. Asking if I was a jerk wasn't to ask it in general but to ask it in reference to the messages he sent me. I'm not sure if you read some of my earlier responses but I basically said that I wouldn't normally offer up information like that to just any seller. But this was a supertone banjolele. Ukes that I own and know how little information there is about them on the internet (At least there used to be back when I was searching for them). More than anything I felt sympathetic to the seller. He made it clear that he researched the uke to find out what it was and came up with the false (but close) Avalon banjolele. In reality pointing out that it was a supertone and not an avalon would help the buyers and not the seller because they bring substantially more $$$ when they have their resonators. I will keep the buyers in mind next time.

Justin

You asked "Am I in the wrong? Am I a jerk?" Not knowing you personally, I have no opinion to offer on the 2nd part of your question ;) As to the first part, however, I'm starting to lean to the opinion that you were.

Markets are all about, and always about, information. First thing you learn in Economics 101: "The price system is a mechanism for signalling the optimum allocation of scarce resources among alternative ends." Prices yield information and information yields prices.

Did your frustrated e-Bay bidder go over the top in his response? Over a matter of $50? Absolutely. Does his response make him look like a jerk? Undeniably. Does he have reasonable cause for a gripe? Well, sorry, but I think he probably does.

If you got the plot twist 10 minutes into a 120 minute movie, do you think your fellow movie-goers would be happy if you shared that information with them? Might you imagine that one or two of them might get so irate at your lowering of their anticipated value of their evening's entertainment experience, that they might start telling you there and then exactly what they thought of you and your need to share your knowledge with others?

Normally, I wouldn't bother offering my 2 worth (& why do we call it 2 worth, if not in acknowledgement that information - and expert opinion - has value?), but you did ask. Don't hate me.

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:22 AM
Nobody should feel guilty about getting a bargain. I think the banjo ukulele in question was a bargain...If only it didn't have those modern geared tuners. I would have paid $200.
Those hate messages you got were truly over-the-top, but I agree with the above opinions.

I acknowledge that to the vast majority that appears to be applauding your actions come from a particular righteous perspective.
However, I don't think the world is that naive when it comes to things related to money. I don't think we need to "feel bad" about finding a bargain. Sometimes you get lucky.

I really don't believe people should feel guilty about finding a bargain.
Sometimes you get lucky and hit the jackpot. The seller may or may not be aware of the true value of something.
They have determined that the object is of no value to them and have not gone into the effort of doing their research.
I'd be pretty annoyed too if someone rained on my chance to grab a real bargain.

However, I would not lose control like that person did to you on eBay. That was an atrocity o.O

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:25 AM
I think you nailed it Rich.
Without responding to anyone in particular in the thread, I will make the following blanket observations:

1. There is nothing wrong with finding a bargain.
2. Auctions, by their very nature, mean that an item will sell for whatever amount a person will pay for them. Therefore, informing someone as to the value of their item should not impact the auction, since it will still sell for high bid.
3. Any individual who wants to help another individual out by educating them on what they are selling has every right to do that.

Skrik
06-04-2013, 09:27 AM
That guy was a jerk but I don't understand why people have to inform sellers.

It's called empathy.

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:29 AM
Couldn't agree more. It was only a question of personal integrity in the sense that the bidder placed mine in to question. So I provided the UU community with his messages and my single response to see if the bidder was right.
True enough. However, "The starting bid for this uke was $100. It sold for $153.50." That's a lot different from your statement, consitter. Also, this is ebay we're talking about here. This isn't a scam. This isn't someone offering to buy your cubic zirconia when he really knows what you have is a diamond. Seriously, now. The item was available for anyone to view and for anyone to buy. I really doubt that Justin's question being posted had any bearing on the final price at all. As it was said before, the seller didn't raise their reserve or relist the item at a higher price in response to Justin's question. Anyone who wanted to bid could have, and the item was bid up to $153.50. The other guy got so mad over something that probably had no impact on him at all. That's the real tragedy. Justin got ripped a new one for something that was't truly egregious, whether it was right or wrong.

One of my other hobbies is book collecting. I buy and sell a lot of collectible books on ebay. I have sold several in the last year that fetched prices over $1000. Each of those auctions were started with a $0.99 opening bid with no reserve. My strategy is that by starting it lower with no reserve, more people are initially interested and become vested in the auction. I have seen bidding wars that drive my items much higher than I thought was market value, and I have also seen a lack of interest cause me to have to sell a book for 25% of what I thought it was worth. This is the "open market" working as it does. Was I supposed to stop the bidding on my successful auctions once they reached my perceived market value? Was the person who won my $400 book supposed to cough up another $300 when they won the auction for $100? When you put something up for auction, there is risk. Sometimes risk is rewarding, sometimes not. I also just sold a nice ukulele on ebay for a significant loss because I wanted to sell it fast. I listed it as a "buy-it-now with best offer," and I accepted a low offer. That was my decision, and I was ok with it. The buyer was happy to get a good deal, but he certainly didn't offer to cover my loss, and I would never expect him to do that. Instead, I was happy that he was happy with the uke, and I got the fast money I needed.

We can argue all day over the virtues of the free market, but why is this a question of personal integrity?

hapuna
06-04-2013, 09:31 AM
One of my other hobbies is book collecting. I buy and sell a lot of collectible books on ebay. I have sold several in the last year that fetched prices over $1000. Each of those auctions were started with a $0.99 opening bid with no reserve. My strategy is that by starting it lower with no reserve, more people are initially interested and become vested in the auction. I have seen bidding wars that drive my items much higher than I thought was market value, and I have also seen a lack of interest cause me to have to sell a book for 25% of what I thought it was worth.
So here is the true test. Would the original poster return the monies received on an item he had for sale if it fetched 50% more that what he thought the value really was? Its the market that actually sets the value and in many cases the audience. It may be that a used Kamaka at a garage sale is worth $10 cause you won't find the right buyer. It appears the one guy that was interested didn't buy it. I wonder what the seller did? Did he raise the price? Did it sell for $500 at the garage sale. I'm guessing no.

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:36 AM
I am only losing sleep because I am horribly sick right now. BAD CONGESTION horrible headaches and sore throat as well =/ And the seller posted my message not my username. I assume the bidder messaged the seller asking for my ID.
I can see why other potential buyers might be upset, because sometimes it is awesome to get a really good deal on something because the seller doesn't know what it's really worth, but the nutcase who sent you so many nasty messages and threats needs to take their Haldol and lay down in a quiet room. Even if it was a Martin 5K listed as an "old toy guitar" by a clueless seller, I don't think any kind of intervention would justify the anguish, hatred, and threats directed at you. Your intentions of educating the seller were good, and I doubt you affected the outcome of the auction in any significant way. I probably wouldn't have done what you did, but that doesn't mean you were in the wrong or a jerk. Don't lose sleep over it!

Also kind of strange that your advice was posted publicly, and that knucklehead managed to find you and harass you about it. That was beyond your control. If I were the seller I would've edited the original description and omitted your username for privacy's sake instead. I hope eBay sorts it out and takes action against the person who harassed you.

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 09:38 AM
I reported each of the 4 messages to Ebay. I doubt anything will come of it. He has over 400 ebay transactions.
I feel a point is being missed. Whether it was right or wrong seems is up to interpetation. I think you did right. The big point is the continual harrassment after the fact. That is what needs to be dealt with by Ebay.

gyosh
06-04-2013, 09:38 AM
How much did you pay him for the kamaka?

I didn't purchase it. I let him know that it was worth much more than $10.00

Telperion
06-04-2013, 09:38 AM
So here is the true test. Would the original poster return the monies received on an item he had for sale if it fetched 50% more that what he thought the value really was? Its the market that actually sets the value and in many cases the audience.

Exactly right, hapuna. When I sell something at auction, I have a price in mind that I hope it will hit, but once I start the auction it's up to the bidders to determine the value. As a seller, you just have to hope the right bidders are there. Even the big auction houses (Sotheby's, etc.) set estimates for what something is expected to sell for, and they are often wrong in their estimate.

redpaul1
06-04-2013, 10:15 AM
My main intention was to point out to the seller that he didnt have an Avalon (Which typically bring more money than supertones by the way).

Ah - the old law of unintended consequences rears its hoary head again :)


I understand that perhaps I shouldn't have given a price. But my estimation based on experience and observation wasn't far from the seller's opening bid. $50 bucks people. I'm a poor college kid and I still think its trivial for someone to get so worked up over losing an auction over $50. If you really want something and you can't afford to spend another $50 on it, then maybe you should reconsider it.

Now while I stand by the observations I made in my earlier post, I am starting to think you and I have both been led astray by Mr Angry of e-Bay. He blamed you for ramping up the price of this banjolele by providing the seller with valuable information. In as we all agree, a very angry manner. The vehemence with which he has levelled his accusations against you has obscured the fact that they are based on the logical fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Yes, you intervened in an e-Bay auction in which you had no interest, and provided the seller with valuable information, information that was previously in the possession of Mr Angry, and which consequently lost all its value for him. Yes the closing price was $53 higher than the starting bid. It's not clear from your OP whether the $100 was what the seller started the bidding at or the first bid placed on the item by an e-Bayer. I'm guessing (or rather hoping for Mr Angry's sake, the sake of his blood-pressure and of his children) that, from his reaction, that it was the latter, but no matter.

What is clear, however, is that it is completely unknowable - to you, to Mr Angry or the vendor - as to whether the successful bidder was not in fact already in possession of the same information that you chose to share. In which case, it wouldn't have mattered if you'd intervened or not. The successful bidder would still have bid up at least to $153 in order to secure the item.

And that is the logical fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc*. You intervened. The price went up. But you, I, Mr Angry, the vendor, have absolutely no way of knowing if the one was the cause of the other. We've all discussed the rights and wrongs of this as if his accusation bore any merit. Even if it had been couched in the most polite and respectful of terms, it doesn't.

I'm sure you're not a jerk, and I still think you did make a mistake; just not the one you've been beating yourself up about. Your real mistake was to put yourself in a position where you could be subject to this unprovable accusation as he vented his frustration on losing this auction. And as we all know, in this world you're innocent until proven guilty.

Janeray has it absolutely right:


As a veteran eBay seller, in my opinion, the only one hard and fast rule about auctions is this: an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Economics 101 all over again: "In a competitive market, prices are determined by what the market will bear."

Just be more careful next time. Take greenie44's advice (post 58 (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?81636-Am-I-In-the-Wrong-Am-I-a-Jerk/page6&p=1288475#post1288475) above). If you want to intervene in an auction on e-Bay, place a bid. Mr Angry wouldn't have been able to say word one to you if you'd pushed the price up by so doing, even if you were only doing it out of kindness to the vendor. Of course, there's always the risk of ending up with the blessed thing (I'm of the school that thinks all banjo ukes are best played with a 4lb. lumphammer), but if you don't want to take that risk, just stick your hands in your pockets and stroll off whistling quietly to yourself.

* "After this, therefore because of this", the logical fallacy of believing that if I sprinkle elephant powder on my front lawn to keep the elephants away, and no elephants ever come dancing on my lawn, that, clearly, the elephant powder is efficacious!

mattydee
06-04-2013, 11:02 AM
redpaul1 said:

What is clear, however, is that it is completely unknowable - to you, to Mr Angry or the vendor - as to whether the successful bidder was not in fact already in possession of the same information that you chose to share. In which case, it wouldn't have mattered if you'd intervened or not. The successful bidder would still have bid up at least to $153 in order to secure the item.

And that is the logical fallacy of post hoc, ergo propter hoc*. You intervened. The price went up. But you, I, Mr Angry, the vendor, have absolutely no way of knowing if the one was the cause of the other. We've all discussed the rights and wrongs of this as if his accusation bore any merit. Even if it had been couched in the most polite and respectful of terms, it doesn't.

Exactly this. I've been reading this thread--sadder than normal about my baldness because I haven't any hair to pull out--for the past twenty minutes waiting for someone to realize this. I actually think the OP meat to imply it in the original post, and many others have danced around it, but thank you for clarifying it so succinctly.

23skidoo
06-04-2013, 11:06 AM
I don't think this discussion has anything to do with markets or economics. Justin wanted to do something helpful and he did. The negative response he got was from somebody who (not surprisingly) thinks of eBay as the impersonal marketplace it is. This is an unfortunate case of human decency finding itself out of context - throw in a person who seems wired to lose his sh*t pretty easily, and you get 9 pages of ukulele players talking about the free market.:)

Kamanaaloha
06-04-2013, 11:36 AM
Of course, there's always the risk of ending up with the blessed thing (I'm of the school that thinks all banjo ukes are best played with a 4lb. lumphammer), but if you don't want to take that risk, just stick your hands in your pockets and stroll off whistling quietly to yourself.


That was absolutely funny!

My view is that meddling can get you into hot water as happened to you. I also believe in doing the right and proper thing...I would likely stroll off whistling...as hands in pockets...mean you are likely doing something other than strolling <facepalm>! :p

Telperion
06-04-2013, 12:56 PM
I just wanted to post one last reply to thank justinlcecil for starting this thread. It's an interesting topic and obviously sparked a spirited debate. I think most can agree that Justin had no ill intention when he contacted the seller. I think he only meant well, and unfortunately it backfired in his face. I'm definitely sorry that had to happen - it wasn't deserved. I also have to say that I am surprised at how sensitive of a subject this is, now that many opinions have been heard. However, the fact that many opinions have been expressed here is great and I have learned a lot from this thread. Personally, I have strong beliefs about people being accountable for the decisions they make, which is all I had tried to express with regard to selling something without educating oneself on the potential value. There's definitely a right and wrong way to conduct oneself in these situations, and so far the only person in this discussion I wouldn't want to encounter is the one Justin had to deal with. I've had the good fortune to have dealt with many class act UU members. I hope that no offense was taken by any of my comments as I honestly respect all the opinions here. I like this kind of debate and enjoy being exposed to all the different perspectives here.

Cheers!

-Steve

anthonyg
06-04-2013, 01:30 PM
Jerks are jerks. They will do whatever it takes to get their own way and if they don't get their own way this time they will reprimand who ever got in their way as strongly as possible in order to make them think twice about doing it again.

Don't give in to jerks. Copping flak for doing the right thing is just part of being a human being.

Anthony

haolejohn
06-04-2013, 01:37 PM
I don't think you did anything wrong, but why intervene. A starting bid of $100 on something that is worth $200 is fair. The guy responding to you is getting a jerk. I've sent emails to Sellers on Ebay if i was interested in their product and it was over priced, been told to shut up too.

justinlcecil
06-04-2013, 02:05 PM
I just wanted to post one last reply to thank justinlcecil for starting this thread. It's an interesting topic and obviously sparked a spirited debate. I think most can agree that Justin had no ill intention when he contacted the seller. I think he only meant well, and unfortunately it backfired in his face. I'm definitely sorry that had to happen - it wasn't deserved. I also have to say that I am surprised at how sensitive of a subject this is, now that many opinions have been heard. However, the fact that many opinions have been expressed here is great and I have learned a lot from this thread. Personally, I have strong beliefs about people being accountable for the decisions they make, which is all I had tried to express with regard to selling something without educating oneself on the potential value. There's definitely a right and wrong way to conduct oneself in these situations, and so far the only person in this discussion I wouldn't want to encounter is the one Justin had to deal with. I've had the good fortune to have dealt with many class act UU members. I hope that no offense was taken by any of my comments as I honestly respect all the opinions here. I like this kind of debate and enjoy being exposed to all the different perspectives here.

Cheers!

-Steve

I have enjoyed all the views as well. Thanks Steve.

Flyinby
06-04-2013, 02:59 PM
It sounds to me like this was the culmination of bad judgment by several.

The absolute worst, of course, was the moron who wrote all the nasty messages. I can't imagine why ebay wouldn't close his account...but then I don't know what their policies are in that regard. He could easily have sent a more polite message that got his point across without the abuse, but no doubt he/she's an abusive person so that's what they do.

But there's a simple principle of "if no one's getting hurt, and it's not something that concerns you or you're not being consulted for information, keep your nose out of it." While I'm sure it made you feel good for being so kind and generous with your information, it was unsolicited, and the seller himself should have put out the effort to research what he was selling. If he wasn't willing to do that, then gets less than it was worth, it's his own fault. You're not his protector.

Then, to top off the unwillingness to do the research (or perhaps he didn't care that much, just wanted to sell it), he posted your message, which was I assume supposed to be a private correspondence. If he made your ID available, or told the "jerk" who you were, that's even worse, but we don't know that.

So I think, at least for your part in the mess, it was bad judgment, maybe wanting to benefit yourself by the good feeling when you thought you helped a poor potential victim. If the seller really cared and needed the money, he was at fault for not doing his research, and either way should not have posted your message. And the only real "jerk" in this was obviously at fault for being one, for which I hope ebay either restricts or closes his account. I doubt if he really collects ukes, he probably is a buyer-reseller looking for profit, and you stepped on his toes.

Since no one was being harmed, your advice was not solicited, and nothing illegal or immoral was going on, I think it would have been better for you to stay out of it, if you weren't bidding.

barefootgypsy
06-04-2013, 10:27 PM
So here is the true test. Would the original poster return the monies received on an item he had for sale if it fetched 50% more that what he thought the value really was? Its the market that actually sets the value and in many cases the audience. It may be that a used Kamaka at a garage sale is worth $10 cause you won't find the right buyer. It appears the one guy that was interested didn't buy it. I wonder what the seller did? Did he raise the price? Did it sell for $500 at the garage sale. I'm guessing no.I agree wholeheartedly here - to get the price for anything, a seller has to try to sell it through the most suitable outlet for that item, where likely interested parties will be most likely to see it. And that market will set the value. There's no way that a garage sale or car-boot sale would secure the best price for a sought-after item in a niche market. "Buyer beware" is sound advice, but so is "seller beware"..... a person who lacks not only the knowledge but the "know-how" will never get best price for his/her goods. In the past I have unwittingly sold things for way below their optimum value because I trusted so-called "valuers" who came to my house at my request to value things - (they then bought them). I did bad deals. Older and wiser now. Those people are scum - they took advantage of my lack of knowledge. That's what dealers do. But when you sell on ebay, you know you're just going to get the top bid. A reserve is a good safety net.

Jon Moody
06-05-2013, 12:37 AM
Wow, ten pages! I didn't read most of them.

To the OP, I think the only thing that might've ticked someone off (and apparently it did) was the fact that you mentioned the price. If your initial email was just the information (which I thought was a nice gesture) about the instrument, it would've been one thing. Granted, it was ultimately upon the seller to post your question with the valuation in it so it rests with them, but as has been said, price is dependent upon the market.

The biggest question would be to find out if in fact your information actually pushed up the selling price. It's nearly impossible to figure that out, and I don't think it really would've. People flock to eBay to get deals, period (or at least they used to).

wendellfiddler
06-05-2013, 01:48 PM
Yeah, it's kind of odd that he could find you - I had someone find me and send me a fake 2nd chance opportunity - he had my user name and was able to send me an email. At any rate, he's the jerk, not you, I agree.

Doug

mm stan
06-05-2013, 02:10 PM
"The Moron was mad at the wrong person" he should have been more pissed the Seller posted the information.....and you should have been pissed at him for passing your information....that said, sometimes good deeds are not worth it..maybe they both were jerks :)

Bill1
06-05-2013, 02:17 PM
It's amazing how many people think a secure Internet connection is actually secure. The rules and security software only keep honest people out. Everything you post or access on the Internet is available to anyone who has the right software.
It is also amazing how many people get bent out of shape over a $150 dollar eBay auction. Here we have at least two protagonists one who thinks they know how much the uke was worth and the other who is just a rude imbecile and sends rude messages. eBay is an auction site. Auctions are about a variable price that is generally set at the instant the auction ends. I recommend that if you are interested in an item on eBay, join the auction and try to buy it. If you are not that interested and there are no legal issues, watch those who do get involved and let them learn their own lessons, I have observed that many people involved in various forms of music are very coy about how much they know and generally, they know a lot more than I ever will, they rarely need my input.

ukegirl
06-05-2013, 06:08 PM
I learned from a fortune cookie "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"!

Bill Mc
06-05-2013, 06:40 PM
I learned from a fortune cookie "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"!

I thought that expression originated in my Catholic grade school long ago !

igorthebarbarian
06-05-2013, 07:25 PM
100 posts on this topic! Awesome. If anyone is taking a legal/ethics class and needs a topic for a essay, BAM, remember this original post.

bbycrts
06-05-2013, 07:27 PM
Be proud of yourself. You helped to clarify a deal for a seller who would've lost out on the true value of his instrument. That's a good thing.

BlueLatitude
06-06-2013, 09:40 AM
Re the seller posting the message -- that might be an eBay automatic setting now. I just sent what was clearly a private message to a seller asking about a layaway (with dates and everything!) on a pricey item, and it showed up in the Q&A section. Now, she may have thought it was a good thing if other bidders knew she'd do a layaway, but the way she worded her response I don't think that's what she meant to do.

The seller used to be prompted if they wanted to make the question public, but that might not be the case any more, and that might be how the OP's message got up there too.

justinlcecil
06-06-2013, 10:42 AM
I think its still an option when you read messages about your item. Just a check box.

ukechuck
06-06-2013, 11:05 AM
Been away from the Ukulele scene for awhile, but it seems the "keyboard tough guys" still abound.

They are everywhere! If possible that kinda flaming post should get them banned from the forum.

Its probably the only power they have, hiding behind a keyboard. Tragic. Anyway, you cannot control them, it kinda like quick onset wet flatulence. It happens.

Keep strummin
CHuck

Flyinby
06-06-2013, 11:31 AM
I went back and re-read the first post (and second), and while I still think the response from the 'unknown ebayer' was inappropriate, it seemed like aside from some mild name-calling, he wasn't being so unreasonable; by the end of the second part of the message he'd worked himself up to being furious, and got more abusive.

But then reading the OP's response, which I think was a big mistake, makes me think that's what really set the guy off. I'm sure there was no bad intentions, just probably not thinking it through before taking action, but it's a very condescending reply. "don't worry, I'm sure you'll find a nice uke, good luck to you, perhaps a .... or a ... might be a nice choice" (paraphrased) was sure to set someone off that was so edgy to begin with.

Sometimes saving an email or post overnight and reviewing it the next day before sending is a good idea. I've done that when irked about something, and often the next day I'm glad I didn't send it. Frankly, that reply would have ticked me off too, but of course that doesn't justify the abusive response after that.

justinlcecil
06-06-2013, 12:00 PM
I meant no harm in the response I assure you. Just trying to be helpful. A mistake I am sure.
I went back and re-read the first post (and second), and while I still think the response from the 'unknown ebayer' was inappropriate, it seemed like aside from some mild name-calling, he wasn't being so unreasonable; by the end of the second part of the message he'd worked himself up to being furious, and got more abusive.

But then reading the OP's response, which I think was a big mistake, makes me think that's what really set the guy off. I'm sure there was no bad intentions, just probably not thinking it through before taking action, but it's a very condescending reply. "don't worry, I'm sure you'll find a nice uke, good luck to you, perhaps a .... or a ... might be a nice choice" (paraphrased) was sure to set someone off that was so edgy to begin with.

Sometimes saving an email or post overnight and reviewing it the next day before sending is a good idea. I've done that when irked about something, and often the next day I'm glad I didn't send it. Frankly, that reply would have ticked me off too, but of course that doesn't justify the abusive response after that.

pakhan
06-06-2013, 03:38 PM
The one thing I will say is that no matter what you do, there will always be people who will dislike what you do or say. Even if you are right, or doing the right thing.

I reckon what you're doing isn't wrong so don't sweat it!

OldePhart
06-08-2013, 02:31 PM
I wouldn't say you were "wrong" or a "jerk" (though the other fella certainly seems to be). That said, I try to avoid putting my oar into an auction unless I see something obviously false or the like - otherwise, it is simply best to mind one's business and "paddle me own canoe" as one old song says. :)

John

stevepetergal
07-20-2013, 06:14 AM
Getting something for $10 off some unwitting person when you know it's actually worth hundreds is not "hunting bargains". It's dishonest. There's no other way of putting it.

I couldn't disagree more.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-20-2013, 06:20 AM
I couldn't disagree more.

And I couldn't disagree more with you!

Paul December
07-20-2013, 06:47 AM
Auctions, garage sales, estate sales, and etc. get traffic because of potential "steals".
IMO, it isn't dishonest, it's a loss leader (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader). People come for a super-bargain, and end up buying some other crap they didn't plan on while they are there.

coolkayaker1
07-20-2013, 07:39 AM
It's wrong if I'm getting ripped off, and right if I'm ripping someone else off.



(just kidding. That's humor to diffuse the rancor)

stevepetergal
07-20-2013, 12:06 PM
I don't get how it can be considered dishonest to buy something for the asking price under any circumstances.

coolkayaker1
07-20-2013, 08:44 PM
I don't get how it can be considered dishonest to buy something for the asking price under any circumstances.

True.

I wonder (and forgive me if this has been mentioned earlier in this long thread) what the law would say. My guess: if they sold it to you, and you gave them the price they asked for, then it's yours. (even if it does turn out to be a Van Gogh).

consitter
07-20-2013, 08:48 PM
I don't get how it can be considered dishonest to buy something for the asking price under any circumstances.

Different peeps have different sets of scruples. It's what makes the world go round. (And gives me a job.)

stevepetergal
07-21-2013, 03:37 AM
Different peeps have different sets of scruples. It's what makes the world go round. (And gives me a job.)

"Dishonest" or "unscrupulous". Same principle applies. It is neither, to pay someone what they ask. I wouldn't say it's unethical to stick your nose in on a deal that someone else likes. I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't call you unscrupulous or dishonest if you did. Like I said in my first post on this thread, the OP did something I wouldn't do by horning in on someone else's good fortune. But that doesn't make him a jerk. On the other side of the coin, is it fair to say I'm dishonest or unscrupulous because I wouldn't stick my nose in where it doesn't belong?

I won't impugn anyone's ethics. Please, don't misunderstand. But, I'll try to cast a light on a different side of this particular incident:

Let's say the seller in this case was perfectly happy to get his low-ball asking price (I'm not saying this is the case, even though it appears it is. Just suggestion for the sake of discussion). Let's further say that the potential buyer not only wants this great deal but feels this is his/her only shot at something he/she desperately wants, even feels like a need (based on this customer's unacceptable behavior this was probably close to right). Is it more honest for an uninterested third party to intentionally break up the deal that would have satisfied the seller and made the buyer very happy? Or is it more scrupulous to stay out and allow the buyer a shot at that special (maybe once in a lifetime) deal?

I say neither is of higher scruples. It's just choosing sides.

The fifty dollar difference obviously was of little to no consequence to this seller, but was clearly a deal breaker for the customer. We must understand that, for some, fifty dollars can be life altering.

Mxyzptik
07-21-2013, 04:40 AM
Auctions, garage sales, estate sales, and etc. get traffic because of potential "steals".
IMO, it isn't dishonest, it's a loss leader (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader). People come for a super-bargain, and end up buying some other crap they didn't plan on while they are there.


I recently attended an estate auction, the person that passed away was like my second father. His daughters were my best friends growing up and he was my fathers hunting and fishing partner. He was a man who had money and liked nice things.

Here's what happened .
There were very expensive tools and equipment that sold for maybe a 1/4 of what they were worth. There were some expensive specialty items that sold for maybe one cent on the dollar or even less. There was a refrigerator that sold for maybe $200 more than the same fridge would cost new ? That's because IT'S AN AUCTION and that's what happens at auctions. The seller received some folding money and everything went, which is exactly what they wanted.

What did I buy ?
I bought his Old Pal fishing box. He and my father were fishing partners and used to take me to a lake way up in Northern Canada to fish for big Char and I wanted it for sentimental reasons. There were a couple of fellows that sensed I wanted it and bid me up a great, great deal but I was determined and took it home. I split the lures up evenly and put them together with ones I had inherited from my father and gave a small box to each of my kids with a note that said . Here is a small box of Karma from two of the finest old fisherman I ever knew.

Here is what didn't happen.

No one shouted out that the items were worth much more than they were selling for.

No one came up to me and said " Hey you imbecile, do you know you just paid over $600 for $40 worth of fishing gear ?

Why ?
Because unsolicited advice is just that unsolicited. In my example the grieving widow got what she needed and I most certainly did as well. ( Closure in both instances I suspect )

My vote in this discussion of behaviour is that unsolicited opinions are best kept to yourself, for you while you may think you have valuable information to share, you actually don't know much about the motivation of the other parties.

**** note *** The OP did solicit our opinions for those of you who may think I'm not following my own advice.

Telperion
07-21-2013, 06:16 AM
Geez. I can't believe this thread is still going.... :deadhorse:

consitter
07-21-2013, 06:39 AM
"Dishonest" or "unscrupulous". Same principle applies. It is neither, to pay someone what they ask. I wouldn't say it's unethical to stick your nose in on a deal that someone else likes. I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't call you unscrupulous or dishonest if you did. Like I said in my first post on this thread, the OP did something I wouldn't do by horning in on someone else's good fortune. But that doesn't make him a jerk. On the other side of the coin, is it fair to say I'm dishonest or unscrupulous because I wouldn't stick my nose in where it doesn't belong?

I won't impugn anyone's ethics. Please, don't misunderstand. But, I'll try to cast a light on a different side of this particular incident:

Let's say the seller in this case was perfectly happy to get his low-ball asking price (I'm not saying this is the case, even though it appears it is. Just suggestion for the sake of discussion). Let's further say that the potential buyer not only wants this great deal but feels this is his/her only shot at something he/she desperately wants, even feels like a need (based on this customer's unacceptable behavior this was probably close to right). Is it more honest for an uninterested third party to intentionally break up the deal that would have satisfied the seller and made the buyer very happy? Or is it more scrupulous to stay out and allow the buyer a shot at that special (maybe once in a lifetime) deal?

I say neither is of higher scruples. It's just choosing sides.

The fifty dollar difference obviously was of little to no consequence to this seller, but was clearly a deal breaker for the customer. We must understand that, for some, fifty dollars can be life altering.

Methinks thou dost protest too much.

mds725
07-21-2013, 06:48 AM
For me, this is sort of simple: How would you feel if you sold something for a lot less than its value and you found out later (a) what its value was and (b) that either the buyer or someone who was watching the transaction, or both of them, knew what its value at the moment you sold it and said nothing? Do unto others....

coolkayaker1
07-21-2013, 06:57 AM
For me, this is sort of simple: How would you feel if you sold something for a lot less than its value and you found out later (a) what its value was and (b) that either the buyer or someone who was watching the transaction, or both of them, knew what its value at the moment you sold it and said nothing? Do unto others....

Or how do you feel when you bought something from one retailer only to find it much cheaper at another? Retailer's fault for not telling you? No.

I think this discussion has little to do with feelings and more to do with the owner takes responsibility for knowing what they're selling.

consitter
07-21-2013, 07:03 AM
For me, this is sort of simple: How would you feel if you sold something for a lot less than its value and you found out later (a) what its value was and (b) that either the buyer or someone who was watching the transaction, or both of them, knew what its value at the moment you sold it and said nothing? Do unto others....
Yup. .

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-21-2013, 07:19 AM
Yup. .

Yup X 2. I'm one of those guys that will give someone a fair price (according to my assessment) at a yard sale. If the price is much too high IMO I'll try to talk them down. Just as often though I'll give them more if there asking price is much too low. To do otherwise is taking advantage of someone. BTW, I do this all the time when buying koa. Some people just don't know the value of what they have. Many times koa will be held in a family for many years. When it comes time to sell for whatever, reason the asking prices are seldom in line with it's real value. People either think it's worth it's weight in gold or they are willing to almost give it away. Since I know the true value I offer them what it's worth. Maybe it's different when you live on an island and you feel connected with people even if you don't know them. But does the size of the "island" really have anything to do with being fair to people? If the person unfamiliar to you at the yard sale was a friend of yours, how would you treat them?

kvehe
07-21-2013, 07:28 AM
Or how do you feel when you bought something from one retailer only to find it much cheaper at another? Retailer's fault for not telling you? No.

I think this discussion has little to do with feelings and more to do with the owner takes responsibility for knowing what they're selling.

This is why corporations are not people (morally, anyway; not legally). (political rant over)

consitter
07-21-2013, 07:33 AM
Yup X 2. I'm one of those guys that will give someone a fair price (according to my assessment) at a yard sale. If the price is much too high IMO I'll try to talk them down. Just as often though I'll give them more if there asking price is much too low. To do otherwise is taking advantage of someone. BTW, I do this all the time when buying koa. Some people just don't know the value of what they have. Many times koa will be held in a family for many years. When it comes time to sell for whatever, reason the asking prices are seldom in line with it's real value. People either think it's worth it's weight in gold or they are willing to almost give it away. Since I know the true value I offer them what it's worth. Maybe it's different when you live on an island and you feel connected with people even if you don't know them. But does the size of the "island" really have anything to do with being fair to people? If the person unfamiliar to you at the yard sale was a friend of yours, how would you treat them?

I just can't be shamed into not having morals. Glad others see it that way too.

consitter
07-21-2013, 07:48 AM
Hmm. Got an idea. Let's start a "Jerk Club"! Who wants to be charter members? The OP can be president.

I'll be in charge of t-shirts and bumper stickers!

:anyone:

OldePhart
07-21-2013, 08:29 AM
Hmm. Got an idea. Let's start a "Jerk Club"! Who wants to be charter members? The OP can be president.

I'll be in charge of t-shirts and bumper stickers!

:anyone:

"I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member." G. Marx

mds725
07-21-2013, 08:29 AM
....... Maybe it's different when you live on an island and you feel connected with people even if you don't know them. But does the size of the "island" really have anything to do with being fair to people? If the person unfamiliar to you at the yard sale was a friend of yours, how would you treat them?

I'm glad you said this, Chuck. For the longest time, I've tried to live life as if I already know the strangers I meet; i.e., as if I DO live on a small island. We've all had an experience where someone we've never met is rude or belligerent or mean to us for no reason at all (or at least no reason having to do with us), and we walk away grumbling about what an a-hole that person was. I decided long ago I didn't want to be that person. It really takes no extra effort to be nice to the people who check out your groceries or who sell you a soda or a newspaper, and I feel so much better if I'm able to say at the end of the day that I haven't contributed negatively to anyone else's life.

On the original point of the thread, I've also told people in the past that they've undervalued something they want to sell to me. I recently sold an ukulele I had barely used at a big discount just because I wanted the person I was selling it to to have it. (I actually offered to give it to him, but he refused to pay nothing for it.) I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I like putting myself in the shoes of the person I'm dealing with and asking myself if I'd want to be treated the way I'm treating him or her. How to behave in those circumstances is really a no-brainer.

andre66
07-21-2013, 09:03 AM
Its never been easier to find out the value of something via the Internet. If someone sells something well below market value they only have themselves to blame.

consitter
07-21-2013, 11:34 AM
Its never been easier to find out the value of something via the Internet. If someone sells something well below market value they only have themselves to blame.

That's a good spin. Blame it them.

bborzell
07-21-2013, 12:57 PM
Is this thread still alive?

So, it looks like the end result reveals that there are folks who would like to do unto others as they would have them do unto them and others who do whatever works for them. Glad that's settled.

Can this thread die now?:p

Flyinby
07-21-2013, 01:02 PM
For me, this is sort of simple: How would you feel if you sold something for a lot less than its value and you found out later (a) what its value was and (b) that either the buyer or someone who was watching the transaction, or both of them, knew what its value at the moment you sold it and said nothing? Do unto others....

I fully agree with you 'do unto others' comment, and I don't even have to think about this one; I would put the blame squarely on where it belongs, on myself for not adequately researching what I was selling. Assuming I care about what it sells for or getting the full value, I have no business expecting others to babysit me because I'm too lazy to find out what it's worth before I sell it.

I must remind those wrapped up in the later posts of this thread, the original post was about someone who was not buying, was not asked to help determine anything's worth, he simply noticed a sale on ebay (which already had a minimum bid of $100) and for some reason, felt it proper to intervene on the sale with his unsolicited information that he must have imagined would rescue the poor ignorant seller from being ripped off. With $100 as a starting bid.

I think it's rather comical that the discussion has deteriorated to the posts dividing those with differing thoughts on this as being moral or immoral. Nobody was being ripped off here to begin with, so was any "help" needed? Ever have someone insist on helping you with something when you don't want his help and didn't ask for it to begin with? Ever wonder if the underlying motive was simply to make himself feel good, save the poor ignorant helpless from exploitation, when nobody was exploiting anybody?

How far does this "morality" go? (I use quotes because what is referred to many times in this thread has nothing to do with morals or right/wrong). Butler Music was selling Gambler's special LU21P ukes for about $30, shipping included. I bought 2 to have a local artist paint, and both were fine, nothing wrong, so was I ripping off Butler? Should I "confess" to them that I got ukes worth 2-3x what I paid and offer to send them the money? If no, why not? And what about stores that sell closeout items for 50-75% off...what if I find a really good item for really cheap, am I being a debased, morality-lacking creep by buying it, instead of calling the manager and pointing out that the guy down the street is selling them for full price, so can I just pay him full price?

This has nothing to do with morality, and I think it's a bit offensive that there are several one-line posts that imply that those who would not feel they should butt in as a self-appointed superhero to a fully functional adult human being are immoral, while those who would go ahead and stick their noses in anyway are the decent, honest and moral ones.

I'm sure the originator of the thread meant no harm to anyone, but there were no favors done here. The minimum bid was $100, it sold for $153, which is fairly normal for ebay, despite the interference from a non-bidding party.

Do unto others...? I fully agree, and should I decide to sell something on ebay, I don't want any "help", I can handle it myself, thanks.

andre66
07-21-2013, 01:25 PM
That's a good spin. Blame it them.

I've edited my post because flyinby said it much better and I can't really add anything to that.

Telperion
07-21-2013, 02:39 PM
Flyinby hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned. I also think the self righteous tone of this thread has at times been a bit offensive.


Is this thread still alive?

Can this thread die now?:p

Also agree with bborzell here. This is really getting old.

....By the way, I was at the grocery this morning and they had boxes of donuts that are usually $3.99, marked down to $1.49!! They were delicious!! ;)

-Steve

coolkayaker1
07-21-2013, 02:47 PM
....By the way, I was at the grocery this morning and they had boxes of donuts that are usually $3.99, marked down to $1.49!! They were delicious!! ;)

-Steve

Did you let the grocery store know they were mispriced before you bought them. Lol.

Telperion
07-21-2013, 02:55 PM
Did you let the grocery store know they were mispriced before you bought them. Lol.

Nope. Donuts were on sale, but the grocer should have known they were worth at least $2.79!

Ukeplayer2013
07-21-2013, 03:04 PM
Zing!!! Telperion. LoL!!:o

coolkayaker1
07-21-2013, 03:29 PM
Nope. Donuts were on sale, but the grocer should have known they were worth at least $2.79!true, T.

You got him, alright. Dumb grocer. Lol.:D

justinlcecil
07-21-2013, 03:58 PM
The seller was misinformed about what he/she had. I set them straight. Also, I encourage you to try and find a decent amount of information on supertone banjo ukuleles. You will spend countless hours with little to no knowledge gained. The seller was not "lazy". They sought out experts in the field and came up with a maker that was in fact not responsible for building their banjo uke.



I fully agree with you 'do unto others' comment, and I don't even have to think about this one; I would put the blame squarely on where it belongs, on myself for not adequately researching what I was selling. Assuming I care about what it sells for or getting the full value, I have no business expecting others to babysit me because I'm too lazy to find out what it's worth before I sell it.

I must remind those wrapped up in the later posts of this thread, the original post was about someone who was not buying, was not asked to help determine anything's worth, he simply noticed a sale on ebay (which already had a minimum bid of $100) and for some reason, felt it proper to intervene on the sale with his unsolicited information that he must have imagined would rescue the poor ignorant seller from being ripped off. With $100 as a starting bid.

I think it's rather comical that the discussion has deteriorated to the posts dividing those with differing thoughts on this as being moral or immoral. Nobody was being ripped off here to begin with, so was any "help" needed? Ever have someone insist on helping you with something when you don't want his help and didn't ask for it to begin with? Ever wonder if the underlying motive was simply to make himself feel good, save the poor ignorant helpless from exploitation, when nobody was exploiting anybody?

How far does this "morality" go? (I use quotes because what is referred to many times in this thread has nothing to do with morals or right/wrong). Butler Music was selling Gambler's special LU21P ukes for about $30, shipping included. I bought 2 to have a local artist paint, and both were fine, nothing wrong, so was I ripping off Butler? Should I "confess" to them that I got ukes worth 2-3x what I paid and offer to send them the money? If no, why not? And what about stores that sell closeout items for 50-75% off...what if I find a really good item for really cheap, am I being a debased, morality-lacking creep by buying it, instead of calling the manager and pointing out that the guy down the street is selling them for full price, so can I just pay him full price?

This has nothing to do with morality, and I think it's a bit offensive that there are several one-line posts that imply that those who would not feel they should butt in as a self-appointed superhero to a fully functional adult human being are immoral, while those who would go ahead and stick their noses in anyway are the decent, honest and moral ones.

I'm sure the originator of the thread meant no harm to anyone, but there were no favors done here. The minimum bid was $100, it sold for $153, which is fairly normal for ebay, despite the interference from a non-bidding party.

Do unto others...? I fully agree, and should I decide to sell something on ebay, I don't want any "help", I can handle it myself, thanks.

Telperion
07-21-2013, 04:12 PM
true, T.

You got him, alright. Dumb grocer. Lol.:D

They had Alaskan salmon on sale for $5.99/lb, normally $12.99. It looked about two weeks past its prime though. Might have made a good meal for the raccoons in the woods behind my house, but I wasn't risking that one. Sometimes a good deal is too good to be true.

Speaking of which.... What do rotten salmon and this thread have in common?

-Steve

justinlcecil
07-21-2013, 05:22 PM
It is about time to close it down. Nearly all possible viewpoints have been expressed.

Kanaka916
07-21-2013, 05:56 PM
As requested by the OP . . . Locked!