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Buyer beware - eBay

spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 17, 2022 5:45PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I'm sending a shout out for those newer at the game... Buyer beware on eBay.

I just bought a coin not listed as cleaned and it was obviously cleaned. So obvious I saw it with my naked eye. So unfortunate because otherwise it was a great looking coin.

Fortunately he had a return policy so I used it and left a neutral feedback that the coin was cleaned and I was returning it. The owner got really testy with me and asked why the 'bad' feedback and he tried to tell me that his coins are listed as may be cleaned, however this listing did not. If he had simply apologized because he didn't think it was or similar I would have altered my feedback.

So in short, always make sure you have a return ability when buying on eBay, unless you are willing to throw the money away. Be ready to at least lose the shipping costs tho. Even the good high Def pictures can hide cleaning marks. And if you leave anything but positive be ready to be blasted.

Good luck out there, it's the wild west.

Comments

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    Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    eBay has always been Caveat Emptor . Glad you caught it and were able to return it.
    Sometimes I understand the seller can be a little difficult but at least you’re able to return it. 😉🙀🦫

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,112 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First, if the coin is not as described, the seller must pay the return shipping, per eBay's policy.
    Second, I agree it shouldn't be so, yet most consider neutral unfavorable under eBay's climate.

    peacockcoins

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jzyskowski1 said:
    eBay has always been Caveat Emptor . Glad you caught it and were able to return it.
    Sometimes I understand the seller can be a little difficult but at least you’re able to return it. 😉🙀🦫

    OH this seller was off the hook. I looked at his other neutral feedbacks and from now on I will review those too not just the negative before purchase. I never thought before to look at the neutrals.

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    milbrocomilbroco Posts: 2,709 ✭✭✭

    Hi I am new to this buy why is coin cleaning frowned upon?
    Thanks,
    Bob

    ebay seller name milbroco
    email bcmiller7@comcast.net
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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @milbroco said:
    Hi I am new to this buy why is coin cleaning frowned upon?
    Thanks,
    Bob

    Improper cleaning is frowned upon and will got get you a straight grade at the coin graders. They will get cleaned, unc details or something of the like. There are appropriate cleaning methods but they are best left to the professionals. Details grades hurt the coins value as well as among collectors.

    This coin look like it had micro scratcher type scratches all in the same direction (so definitely not just incidental impacts from other coins etc).

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    milbrocomilbroco Posts: 2,709 ✭✭✭

    Like I said in other posts............boy do I have a lot to learn.
    Thanks for the info.
    Bob

    ebay seller name milbroco
    email bcmiller7@comcast.net
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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @milbroco said:
    Like I said in other posts............boy do I have a lot to learn.
    Thanks for the info.
    Bob

    Indeed. I still have a lot to learn and am happy to share what I have learned so far!

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For the curious: https://www.ebay.com/itm/363904786539

    The incidental marks were fine it's the fine scratches (like a scratcher) to the right of the obverse that I could see with the naked eye, but not noted in the ad.

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,730 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not clear on something, and perhaps it is more than one thing. Did you notice the strong scratches on the obverse before you placed a best offer? I have placed an oval/circle around the two main patches. Or, are there other patches of fine lines you are writing about that you did not see and that made you return the coin? Thank you for clearing this up for me.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I'm not clear on something, and perhaps it is more than one thing. Did you notice the strong scratches on the obverse before you placed a best offer? I have placed an oval/circle around the two main patches. Or, are there other patches of fine lines you are writing about that you did not see and that made you return the coin? Thank you for clearing this up for me.

    The fine scratches are under the circle on the right of the obverse and stretch nearly top to bottom. Those other marks didn't bother me.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB part of me thinks perhaps he never even took it out of the cardboard/plastic holder he shipped it in. I didn't see the scratches without magnification until I took it out.

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    AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,536 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Two comments: Ebay used to require that any issues or problems be in the description on all coins up for auction/sale. Any coin received with problems not listed can be returned regardless of seller's wishes.
    And collectors like originality. Cleaning, polishing or any messing with a coin will ruin that originality. Coins were used in commerce and should generally show evidence of circulation which is very acceptable. (MS of course may not show any evidence of circulation).
    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), bobinvegas1989@yahoo.com
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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    @TomB part of me thinks perhaps he never even took it out of the cardboard/plastic holder he shipped it in. I didn't see the scratches without magnification until I took it out.

    Do you have any pictures of the coin that show the obvious cleaning? That's a pretty deceptive photo from the way you describe it.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl I was so disappointed I immediately put it back in the mail. It was deceiving. I should have tried to photograph it for an example for others... It would have been tough even for my camera and setup I think. In some angles they didn't show but in others it lit up like a Christmas tree... Dozens of fine scratch marks vertically down the right side, like a real fine scratcher or sandpaper or something.

    Oh and they barely were even visible in the plastic surrounded by cardboard it was sent in. If I didn't take it out I might not have even noticed (except it was visible through the plastic under magnification and light).

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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    @FlyingAl I was so disappointed I immediately put it back in the mail. It was deceiving. I should have tried to photograph it for an example for others... It would have been tough even for my camera and setup I think. In some angles they didn't show but in others it lit up like a Christmas tree... Dozens of fine scratch marks vertically down the right side, like a real fine scratcher or sandpaper or something.

    Oh and they barely were even visible in the plastic surrounded by cardboard it was sent in. If I didn't take it out I might not have even noticed (except it was visible through the plastic under magnification and light).

    Are you sure they weren’t die polish by any chance? I suppose my question is how similar was the coin to the picture posted above?

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl if die polish goes in a mostly straight line only on one side of a coin, then maybe. It was similar to the photos except for what I've described. It was nowhere else on the coin. Wouldn't you think if it was that, it would show in more than just one area? Even minimally?

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It didn't look anything like this picture. It was more inconsistent... Kinda like someone used sandpaper or a fine scratcher on it.

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,730 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    @FlyingAl if die polish goes in a mostly straight line only on one side of a coin, then maybe. It was similar to the photos except for what I've described. It was nowhere else on the coin. Wouldn't you think if it was that, it would show in more than just one area? Even minimally?

    Die polish lines can really go in any direction or directions, can be on one or both sides of a coin and can be all over the surfaces or in more discrete patches. So, they can be pretty much all over or barely there. However, I have no idea if the coin you received had die polish lines on it or not.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 17, 2022 8:30PM

    @TomB said:

    @spyglassdesign said:
    @FlyingAl if die polish goes in a mostly straight line only on one side of a coin, then maybe. It was similar to the photos except for what I've described. It was nowhere else on the coin. Wouldn't you think if it was that, it would show in more than just one area? Even minimally?

    Die polish lines can really go in any direction or directions, can be on one or both sides of a coin and can be all over the surfaces or in more discrete patches. So, they can be pretty much all over or barely there. However, I have no idea if the coin you received had die polish lines on it or not.

    I hope not cause then I'd feel like a real ass. I posted a picture I found above of a die polish mark coin and it didn't look anything like that it was one vertical spot that it showed, looked like real fine scratch marks. It looked way too intentional imo... Sad face I didn't try to photo it first.

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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here’s a coin with die polish on the obverse and reverse. Did the lines look like this?

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl said:
    Here’s a coin with die polish on the obverse and reverse. Did the lines look like this?

    Crap. It did kinds look like the obverse if I'm not mistaken. 😬

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl do they only reflect at certain angles? Or be non visible for the most part with the naked eye and only really show with magnification?

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:

    @TomB said:

    @spyglassdesign said:
    @FlyingAl if die polish goes in a mostly straight line only on one side of a coin, then maybe. It was similar to the photos except for what I've described. It was nowhere else on the coin. Wouldn't you think if it was that, it would show in more than just one area? Even minimally?

    Die polish lines can really go in any direction or directions, can be on one or both sides of a coin and can be all over the surfaces or in more discrete patches. So, they can be pretty much all over or barely there. However, I have no idea if the coin you received had die polish lines on it or not.

    I hope not cause then I'd feel like a real ass. I posted a picture I found above of a die polish mark coin and it didn't look anything like that it was one vertical spot that it showed, looked like real fine scratch marks. It looked way too intentional imo... Sad face I didn't try to photo it first.

    you could post images from the seller. there are nuances and caveats (although auag makes a good point about disclosure) about whether or not the coin was listed in such a way to as to appear to making it look better that it is. looking at other listings can confirm this as well.

    learning numismatics is a steep curve and not buying problem coins and paying too much is as bad as returning coins because you aren't familiar enough with variations of surfaces/striking etc like mentioned above. there is also a caveat about just because you buy a coin, the standard isn't that it is gradable at the tpgs. a HUUUUUUUGE amount of coins have cleaning, filied rims, scratches, dings, corrosion, pvc etc so it is a seller's responsibility but also a buyers not to expect perfection from the majority of the coin market but avoid coins that don't meet their standards for the price, so long as a seller isn't being deceptive.

    i personally would recommend to NOT get into a lot of back n forth for returns, specifically because it usually starts a chain of events. i usually prefer to not engage during returns unless i think the customer is in the wrong and will be returning something they would actually want if they were thinking straight but even then, things usually can go sideways pretty quick. the easy and quality of life solution, is just to return and accept returns and move on unless you have thick skin/great people skills. people return stuff to stores all the time and that stuff is NIB. so long as someone isn't abusing returns, ticking off customers for whatever reason usually just results in less sales and sellers can and do block buyers, so there is that one as well.

    you will find (case by case) that sometimes, it is better for the long haul to eat things from time to time, right or wrong. some people would rather miss out over years/decades worth of opportunities over some minor things and that is their choice. i'm not in that camp. life isn't perfect, we all need forgiveness for crap we do, miss etc. leaving a negative or neutral w/o some communication will cause you a lot of grief over the long haul. at least a basic chance should be given to see how a seller/handles reacts to a possible return.

    ok, i'm rambling.

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    TomBTomB Posts: 20,730 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In my experience, you are more likely to see obvious die polish lines on proof or specimen coinage than you are on business strikes, but they can appear on both.

    I've included images from three coins I own that have various types of die polish. The Franklin half is a proof and we see the die polish most obviously on the portrait in concentrated areas.

    The Newfoundland (NFLD) cent has its most prominent die polish lines within the field around the lettering.

    Lastly, the NFLD twenty-cent piece has die polish all over the place. It is smothered in them. Both obverse and reverse, on raised devices and within the fields, as straight lines or arcs. This coin has them all over. Please note that what you may think is signs of cleaning is actually die polish and this coin is about the highest graded that PCGS has ever seen.


    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
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    MS66MS66 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    So it wasn't apparent without magnification, it might have been die polishing lines, and rather than asking for a courtesy return you ripped the guy a (permanent) new one because you didn't like his attitude.

    I can't say I blame him. The vast majority of old coins have been cleaned at one time or another. It's often a matter of degree. I'd say sellers aren't the only people to watch out for, on eBay or elsewhere.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MS66 said:
    So it wasn't apparent without magnification, it might have been die polishing lines, and rather than asking for a courtesy return you ripped the guy a (permanent) new one because you didn't like his attitude.

    I can't say I blame him. The vast majority of old coins have been cleaned at one time or another. It's often a matter of degree. I'd say sellers aren't the only people to watch out for, on eBay or elsewhere.

    It was apparent without magnification, but not until I removed it from the cardboard/plastic holder it was in

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is a Russian type that's notorious for die polish that's often mistaken for cleaning damage.

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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign

    Die polish lines only often show up in good light with magnification, except in extreme cases. The reason I asked if you knew they were die polish lines is because that 1877-S quarter shows no signs of cleaning - the toning looks to be quite original to my eyes. Usually with a cleaned coin where hairlines are present you'd get these "halo" patches of white around the stars.

    If it is die polish, don't beat yourself up over it. It's an easy mistake to make when you're new. At least now you know what you're looking at for the future. I bet there's more than a few of us that made a similar mistake at some point.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    charlesf20charlesf20 Posts: 384 ✭✭✭

    Oops.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,495 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 17, 2022 9:39PM

    Well I'm not too proud of this... I've already closed the return and offered to revise the feedback and take the coin back.

    Let this be a lesson for others... Both in being wary and being willing to ask those more knowledgeable before making rash decisions.

    If it does end up being a cleaning mark afterall I'll just eat it.

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    tcollectstcollects Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    Well I'm not too proud of this... I've already closed the return and offered to revise the feedback and take the coin back.

    Let this be a lesson for others... Both in being wary and being willing to ask those more knowledgeable before making rash decisions.

    If it does end up being a cleaning mark afterall I'll just eat it.

    Huh? First, it's rookie to buy a scratched up coin that was beat with the ugly stick. Second, everything on eBay is pro buyer - you could/should have SNADed that in a second and seller would have to pay for the return. Then you shouldn't have left any feedback, because all sellers will see that feedback and will forever be hesitant to negotiate with you because you leave unreasonable bad feedback. The whole premise of this thread is backwards - it's sellers, not buyers, who have to beware on eBay. You may as well start a fresh ebay account for your own good. You're sharing misinformation, not wisdom.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign .... If you do get the coin back, please post good pictures of the area in question. That will be informative and put closure to the discussion. Cheers, RickO

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