I'm sorry you had a bad experience on eBay, Leonid. The seller ID you
gave is not listing anything at the moment, which could simply mean
that he or she is now selling under another ID.
It can be difficult to see into that grey area between buyer and
seller on eBay. My experience buying cabbing material has shown me
that the ratings should guide my purchases: I now deal only with
those who have had a large number of sales (in the hundreds at least)
and a rating above about 99.7 percent. For some material, I now deal
only with US sellers. For other material, like Spectrolite from
Finland, the buying experience has been just fine.
As Barbara noted, I occasionally suspect that a seller is logging on
under another ID and bidding against me. It's hard to explain why an
item I give up bidding on turns up for sale again within a few days.
The only solution I know for this possibility is to decide what I
want to pay, put that amount in as my bid, then not worry about
whether I win.
Here's a twist that's interesting: About a year ago, the same slab
of Krzemien I didn't win -- or so I thought -- was offered by another
seller in the same state within a few days. A year or so later, I
learned from another very reputable seller, who goes out of his way
to be honest, and offers great items, that he and his buddy go in
together on rough, cut it on his slab saw, and split up the slabs. I
immediately recognized his buddy's eBay ID as the seller of the
'traveling slab' from a year ago: What I was seeing for sale were two
The worst experience I've had so far is having the wrong rough
shipped. In both cases, the sellers made good, either with a credit
or by researching who got the wrong shipment and redirecting it.
Fortunately eBay keeps the sales data, along with pics, for 3 years,
and slabs are easy to identify by plain sight, unlike a mechanical
item or a piece of faceting rough. But one vendor made this mistake
twice in one year. I no longer buy from her, beautiful though her eye
for rocks is.
The flip side are the honest sellers who include lots of photos from
all angles with zoom, who disclose all fractures, vugs, etc. One chap
on eBay marks fractures in his slabs with a black Sharpie!
There are a lot of honest folks out there, just like us, trying to