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Old 07-03-08, 10:11 AM   #1
viscount
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How to make a fool of yourself in one easy lesson...

Won this 1920s Swift loop-framed bicycle on Sunday evening.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...MEWN:IT&ih=006



Looked a good buy on the face of it.
Went to collect it last night, in Wolverhampton, circa 60 miles away, and picked it up in the pouring rain outside the rail station, and didn't pay too much attention to the machine....
Just threw it in the back of a friends car and came home.
When I had a chance to look at it closely I realised it was not a Swift at all, but a Hercules.
Very nice bicycle, but not the machine listed on ebay!!
This is the machine I came home with.



When you look at the pics the differences are so obvious.
No chain-guard.
The loop has two joins to the lower down-tube on the 'Swift', the Hercules only one.
The Swift looks to have a 3 speed with bar mounted changer!! Hercules is a single speed.

I contact the seller (Who is a Theatrical Props merchant by the look of it) to point this out and she says one of her students did the listing, and that anyway they paid 80 for it originally and I should resell it on ebay and make a profit!!
I reply to this saying 'I bought a Swift, or thought I did, and how about an explaination'...
No reply!

So here's me feeling a little foolish, with a very nice Hercules I have to say, but somehow it doesn't feel right
What to do?
Can't leave negative feedback apparently, and to be honest I don't really want to.
But this sort of incompetence on the part of the seller (if that is really what it is) needs to be addressed?
My own incompetence is another story.....

Caveat emptor.
Especially in the rain


The sellers website is here:
http://www.theactorswardrobe.co.uk/c..._enquiries.htm
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Old 07-03-08, 01:15 PM   #2
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Well I'd say you did alright! Sounds like they used someone else's photo? That's starting to be a trend around here.

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Old 07-03-08, 01:43 PM   #3
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Get a chain guard and lace a 3 speed hub on the back?
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Old 07-03-08, 03:55 PM   #4
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Yes, not as advertised. However, it looks like it's worth it anyhow

And on a serious note, did you really think the listing photo was actually the bike? You can tell it's a scan or something...
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Old 07-03-08, 04:04 PM   #5
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And on a serious note, did you really think the listing photo was actually the bike? You can tell it's a scan or something...
Yep, the student in charge of listing the bike found a bike that "looked like it," and placed the ad.
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Old 07-03-08, 04:07 PM   #6
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Can't leave negative feedback apparently, and to be honest I don't really want to.
Actually, buyers can leave negative feedback. It's the sellers who have been restricted from leaving negative feedback (on the theory that buyers will leave honest feedback about sellers if the threat of retaliatory feedback is removed. This, in turn, will lead to fewer dishonest transactions...).
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Old 07-03-08, 04:58 PM   #7
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I contact the seller (Who is a Theatrical Props merchant by the look of it) to point this out and she says one of her students did the listing, and that anyway they paid 80 for it originally and I should resell it on ebay and make a profit!!
Unacceptable. No better then a scam, IMO. Reminds me Pastor Bob's complaint about the MN seller ripping off a photo of his Super Sport on Craigslist.

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No reply!
I would suggest sending this to eBay, except for the fact that we already know eBay is of no assistance.

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Can't leave negative feedback apparently, and to be honest I don't really want to.
I would most certainly dump negative feedback (what is preventing you from doing so, BTW?) - personally, I'd demand my money back too.

-Kurt

P.S.: I sent them a complaint email (as an unrelated collector/curator) blasting them for their flippant, insulting conduct - by treating you without respect, they have slapped the face of all honest sellers and bicycle collectors (that's right - C&V Critical Anti-Fraud Mass).
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Old 07-03-08, 09:45 PM   #8
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If this person is in the props business they may have several similar bikes and may have given you the wrong one by mistake. Ask them if they have another bike (or recently sold one) like yours. It may be a more politacal way to begin a more progressive discussion..
Then pile on the bad feedback.
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Old 07-03-08, 09:54 PM   #9
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Well, your choices are to keep the bike and go with it, or demand your money back and give the bike back. I don't think it's right to keep the bike and then list negative feedback over it.

As to how this happened...could be somebody was thinking "Well what IS this?", saw that picture, and being of limited discernment, said, "Oh, it's one of THESE!" and there's the ad.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:09 PM   #10
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Viscount, I say keep the nice Herc and don't worry about it. They don't seem to be responding, so if you're happy with what you got and they don't seem to mind... well don't worry about it.

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Old 07-04-08, 01:54 AM   #11
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I do like the Hercules and will probably re sell it for a profit with some good photos and description, but I was wondering if they really do have a Swift stashed away somewhere and that's what I wanted.
I simply assumed the listing photo was in fact a Swift, and had no other knowledge so I was taking a chance anyway!

The only way I can communicate with the woman is via expensive mobile (cell phone) calls at 30 pence per minute so I've had enough of that one.
She told me she had limited access to computer because of marital difficulties...
Takes a week to get a reply via email.

I suppose the charitable view is that they made a simple mistake and I was not as cautious as I should have been when I picked it up....

I'd still like the bike on the listing though and it has crossed my mind that it might well be a Sunbeam, since the play they produced was about them.
A 20s Sunbeam for 35 would have been very nice!

Kurts suggestion re emails is a good one though.
I think I'll just send her one along the lines of her casual, off-hand practices and manner will not help her dealing successfully on ebay.
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Old 07-04-08, 02:34 AM   #12
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I do like the Hercules and will probably re sell it for a profit with some good photos and description, but I was wondering if they really do have a Swift stashed away somewhere and that's what I wanted.
Maybe they do, and she grabbed the wrong bike?
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Old 07-04-08, 01:06 PM   #13
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Maybe they do, and she grabbed the wrong bike?
I do wish you hadn't said that
Now I will just have to sweet talk her to check...
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Old 07-07-08, 06:10 AM   #14
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If you want to keep the bike, that's fine, you paid money for it, it's yours. But let's be clear: you bought the one in the picture, not the one you came home with.

The whole point of ebay feedback is to help potential buyers decide whether an ebay seller --or an ebay listing-- is reliable. Yours isn't. That's the point. I don't really care what the seller is up to; they may mean well, they may be carbon neutral, they may be kind to stray animals, and so on. They may have impressive excuses. You may even believe them. But other ebay'ers have the right to know that this seller is not very good at this ebay thing.

I would certainly leave feedback, and it would probably not be positive. Whether it's neutral or negative now depends on how the seller reacts to the news that she gave you a bike different from the one you bought.
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Old 07-07-08, 10:49 AM   #15
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If it makes you feel any better, I've stood in the rain at the Wolves train station at night and I can understand why you'd want to leave in a hurry!

Just kidding, I've spent a little bit of time in Wolves (my wife is from there) and like it quite a bit.

You ended up with a lovely bike but I'd be tempted to leave the negative feedback anyway, just on principle. Their next customer might not be as lucky as you.
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Old 07-07-08, 12:14 PM   #16
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I bought a frame off Ebay listed as a Torelli, had the same blinders on while I picked up from the seller, then discovered it was a stickered-up Viscount. Not even close. The seller wouldn't budge on any return (and based on something a friend of his told me via message board may have been aware he was burned when he got the frame off CL).

Anyway, I wound up getting reimbursed by my Credit Card company and sending the frame back to Paypal/Ebay of all places. Sure the seller didn't get the turd-stuffed bike frame he deserved in the end, but I recouped most of my money.

Sorry man. Good luck.
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Old 07-07-08, 05:49 PM   #17
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Having had a think about it for a week I think it's only fair to warn other potential buyers about the mis-description and the lack of communication subsequently.
RHM put it succinctly and I have to agree.
Had no response since Monday last.

So the machine is back on ebay with a little tweaking.
Basket and new chain. The chain had been repaired can you believe?
Looking at it now I should maybe have used a conventional chain rather than the rust resistant one pictured!


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...MESE:IT&ih=002
Might get pulled because a friend likes it.
It is a very nice bicycle.
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Old 07-07-08, 06:14 PM   #18
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If it makes you feel any better, I've stood in the rain at the Wolves train station at night and I can understand why you'd want to leave in a hurry!
Just kidding, I've spent a little bit of time in Wolves (my wife is from there) and like it quite a bit.

You ended up with a lovely bike but I'd be tempted to leave the negative feedback anyway, just on principle. Their next customer might not be as lucky as you.
Ha Ha! Wolverhampton station car park is definitely not a pleasant place in heavy rain.
But the people are lovely.
We parked in a car park behind the Multi-story (couldn't work out how to get into the main station car park) and asked a passing lady how to get into the station car park.
She stood there in the rain getting drenched explaining to us how to negotiate the confusing road system... I simply had to walk 150 yards on a footpath, but got soaked in the process.

You are right, the bicycle is lovely but I do agree about the negative feedback.
It's only right, however nice the bike is.
The seller has just ignored my efforts at communication for several days now.
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Old 07-07-08, 11:24 PM   #19
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Well, your choices are to keep the bike and go with it, or demand your money back and give the bike back. I don't think it's right to keep the bike and then list negative feedback over it.
Couldn't disagree less. What Viscount does, as the wronged party, is entirely up to him. Once a seller 'baits & switches' whether intentionally or not, they are leaving them open to the mercy of the victim.

If i was Viscount I would insist on a partial refund as compensation. If the seller was apologetic that would stop me from leaving negative feedback... nothing else.
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Old 07-08-08, 04:38 AM   #20
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....I would insist on a partial refund as compensation. If the seller was apologetic that would stop me from leaving negative feedback... nothing else.
The partial compensation or apology is academic because the seller ignores emails and text messages.
So it's only fair to warn other future potential buyers of her items, and her nonchalant attitude to it all.
Maybe I should send her a link to this thread
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Old 07-08-08, 09:07 AM   #21
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Maybe I should send her a link to this thread
Excellent idea. P.S.: No response to my complaint either:

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To whom it may concern,

Have just recently been advised of your sale and subsequent discussions regarding a 1920's Swift bicycle which ultimately turned out to be a '30s-era Hercules.

As a long-time dealer in this hobby, I have seen more then a number of unscrupulous sellers, and I must protest your conduct as a seller. Such misrepresentation through text and photos is inexcusable and your suggestions to the unlucky purchaser furthermore wholly insulting and demeaning. To even suggest that you are justified in misleading potential buyers because of your supposed purchase price (and ignore further communication with them) shows only your true, lack of honesty or caring for others.

You have slapped the community of bicycle collectors straight in the face, and we do not take kindly to that. Our community sticks together against thieves, con-artists and scams, and we will join together to protect others from you if you do not mend your ways.

Sincerely,

-Kurt K.
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Old 07-08-08, 09:58 AM   #22
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Taking Kurt's lead, I've sent the seller this message:

"Hello.

Your dishonesty in advertising a Swift, taking a buyer's money and then delivering a Hercules and then acting as if you had done nothing wrong is breathtaking in its audacity and is shocking the bicycle community even as far away as here in Japan.

I fear that you will not hear the last of this until you get some moral backbone and do whatever is necessary to make up for your disgraceful behaviour."

Hope it does some good!
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Old 07-08-08, 10:06 AM   #23
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Another thought... I've added wardrobewonder to my favourite seller list so I get a notice informing me of anything they have for sale. Perhaps we could all bid on anything they put up for auction, drive the price really high and then refuse to pay, saying 'Sorry, I thought your were selling a Swift!'. If that's a bit too much for some, we could just bombard them with questions such as, 'Is this item a Swift or a Hercules?'
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Old 07-08-08, 10:18 AM   #24
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Wow, you sure don't f*** with this crowd!
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Old 07-08-08, 10:30 AM   #25
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Wow, you sure don't f*** with this crowd!
Exactly. Time to show that the community doesn't sit still for funny business (one of the many reasons we have Numbskull Of The Day). Action = results.

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Perhaps we could all bid on anything they put up for auction, drive the price really high and then refuse to pay, saying 'Sorry, I thought your were selling a Swift!'.
Nope. Completely violates our own position as advocating honesty.

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If that's a bit too much for some, we could just bombard them with questions such as, 'Is this item a Swift or a Hercules?'
That is more like it.

-Kurt

P.S.: Is there any eBay rules about who is "allowed" to use an account?
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