Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 64

Thread: Caveat Emptor--a Beginner's Guide to buying swords on eBay--WITH EXAMPLES!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Cascadia, closer to Canada than anywhere else!
    Posts
    1,263

    Lightbulb Caveat Emptor--a Beginner's Guide to buying swords on eBay--WITH EXAMPLES!

    eBay has become the default choice for browsing and purchasing items not readily available closer to home. Unfortunately, this makes it a magnet for unscrupulous individuals trying to bilk people out of their money. And many of these vultures are getting very slick at dressing up their listings so as to lull the uninformed buyer into a false sense of security.

    How can fledgling--and experienced--sword enthusiasts avoid getting ripped off?

    The following are a few guidelines I use, and I hope others will add to this list:


    1) Beware ANYTHING being sold from China or Hong Kong, especially "Japanese" swords. Sadly, most of it is fake and these "merchants" think nothing of outright lying in their descriptions:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...726123050&rd=1


    2) Be very leery of any seller who does not have a proven track record. (Like the example above) Read the feedback of those with feedback--are ALL of the supposedly purchased items listed as "private"? as in the following example:

    http://cgi2.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAP...rid=findkatana

    These are not real buyers or items at all--they have been contrived to lend an air of legitimacy to the seller's wares!

    This particular ad is a classic example. The main page of this ad is here:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...246416116&rd=1

    I have seen a lot of swords listed by this seller--I know it because the headings all say something on the variation of "Samurai Sword for Japanese Katana."


    3) If an item looks and sounds too good to be true and does NOT have a lot of bids, be suspicious. And even if it DOES have a lot of bids, check them out. One sword I investigated was supposedly up to $400 and 23 bids--but when I clicked on "Bid History," all the bidders were listed as "Private"--again, same example as in 2) and also the the following:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...245882274&rd=1


    4) If you are determined to buy on eBay, at least stick with the reputable dealers. See what swords have a lively and varied bid history and what dealers have an open feedback record, and check their offerings regularly:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...244813532&rd=1

    To be continued--
    In Sangha,
    Diane Mirro
    SFI Moderator

    "In wildness is the preservation of the world."--Thoreau

  2. #2
    Methinks this would be a really good candidate for a sticky, particularly in the beginner's forum.

    Best regards to all,

    Robert Marks
    Robert Marks
    Darksword Armory, Inc.
    www.darksword-armory.com

    "I'm not asking you to trade food for swords all the time, just food for THESE swords."

    "Sir, if we accepted your swords, then we'd have to accept EVERYBODY's swords..."
    - Home Movies

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    2,545
    Second to Robert's request.

    This is good info, and I wish I could have shown it to a few people before I had to tell them that the 'samurai swords' that they bought off of ebay were fakes..

    josh
    The smith also sitteth by the anvil,
    And fighteth with the heat of the furnace,
    And the noise of the hammer and the anvil is ever in his ears,
    And his eyes look still upon the pattern of the thing that he maketh.
    He setteth his mind to finish his work,
    And waiteth to polish it perfectly.

  4. #4
    I have also noticed in my review of these ads that they will sometimes have good feedback; from other ID's in the same city in China that they are from. Likely this is the same dealer registering under different names and giving himself feedback.

    Also, try this: email the dealer and ask them if they are willing to use ebay's escrow service. This service allows you to send the money to ebay. The seller sends the product to ebay. Ebay brokers the transaction between the parties. I was turned down flat with this offer and told that I should "trust me". Right......

    dwj

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Milton keynes, Great Britain
    Posts
    1,103
    now is it just me or do these "smiths" and i use that term in the loosest sense, very rarely get the kissaki right. There's something just not right about them ?
    "...Theres nothing like all your friends turning up with loads of swords." Duc De Breton.
    British Officer Class Abroad
    Master of the Rum and Uncanny
    Chief Marmiteer
    " I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed debriefed or numbered...my life is my own" Number 6

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Maryland (metro D.C.)
    Posts
    6,708
    I agree with 99% of the statements in the original part of this thread. However, as someone who buys and sells swords on Ebay, I do feel that it is a good marketplace for price-conscious shoppers. Stick to the precautions noted previously, but also realize that there are plenty of responsible sword traders, and they tend to outnumber the scoundrels.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Posts
    474
    Diane,

    I am posting this link in the hopes that it prevents people from making the mistake of purchasing a questionable *sword*.

    Recognizing Fake Japanese Swords - Nihon-T˘ Messageboard

    Regards,

    Matthew

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    284
    Thanks for starting this thread!

    I am mainly into Euro and Chinese style swords and mainly Angus Trim. But I'd like to have an inexpensive Kat that I can still cut with, may a PK, PPK, or something similar.

    I noticed there are lots of these on sale at Ebay for what appear very reasonable prices. I've never bought anything through an online auction, so the idea of doing so makes me very, very nervous.

    (let me just emphasize that I'm not trying to buy an antique from Asia, so I'm not worried about being defrauded in that way)

    I was wondering if there were certain sellers that people had good luck with?

    Oh well, I'll probably just have to take my chances........

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    Posts
    42
    eBay unfortunately, is not the only source for bad swords.

    You can also get sets (Daisho) for $99 off certain sites. I knew they'd be low quality blades.

    I emailed the dealer and asked simply, if they were functional.

    He replied they are functional, but to note they are stainless. (As it says).

    I then asked about tang and haven't heard back from him.

    Also, I got a gift for my birthday, I got one of these sets. It was from my girlfriend at the time. They are "Carbon steel" but alas, have rat tail tang, and who knows how badly the sword is forged. All she knew was that "carbon is better than stainless" -- Not good.

    I'm going to rewrap these daisho, and mail them to my friend for free, with a big fat warning label to "Not swing these in any way, shape or form" and elaborate on the horrible tang.

    I want nothing to do with owning these personally, but they'll make an ok gift once I apply my tsukamaki skill to it, and inform my friend they are strictly for display.

    That's just my story and advice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    31
    Thanks for that link Mathew,
    have just emailed my "respectable, honest... with reputation" chinese dealer and told him to put em back on the market.

    Every email i sent was replied with.. "trust me my friend", "quality is best" etc etc

    I saw two swords i was about to purchase in the link site... as fakes.

    Still.. i thought it strange right from the start that i was paying more for postage than the actual blade.

    Thanks again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3
    Thanks! Very useful information...appreciated.
    Pete Johnston

    ExamonLyf@aol.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    106
    We are just trying to push steel and iron to perform their best with traditional methods and techniques, not magically changing the law of physics.

    ZhengWuTang.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Milpitas, CA
    Posts
    185
    Hi Barry,

    Interesting links you have there. It's amazing to see how much the seller is asking for these swords. For the same price you could easily get a nice sword from Bugei. I really do feel sorry for those people who would buy formthis seller.

    Josh

  14. #14
    http://cgi.earthlink.ebay.com/ws/eBa...775777696&rd=1

    Here's one that sends up flags. A gunto. Seller located in Japan. Who has left him all his positive feedback is kept private. We can't tell if it is all of his Chinese friends leaving positive feedback for him. I say Chinese because I doubt he is really in Japan. Gunto are weapons of war. If I understand correctly, it is either a piece of art that was later mounted in Gunto and should be registered, or it is a weapon of war and therefore illegal in Japan. He doesn't mention registration.

    dwj

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Palo Alto Ca
    Posts
    622
    Too bad most of the Ebay auctions provided as examples have passed the 90 day limit of still holding information....
    "Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid,
    Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.
    Good! Said the baron, while sitting in his hall,
    But Iron, Cold Iron, is master of them all." - Kipling

    SCIURI VOBISCUM -Live the squirrels!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SW Oklahoma
    Posts
    70
    This guy is back if you want to see an updated version of eBay problems with sword sellers.

    russ_r2002
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Japanese-WWII-Of...QQcmdZViewItem

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ístersund, Sweden
    Posts
    42
    This is a good topic. Unfortunetly none of the above ebay-links work anymore as they are far too old. :P
    Fredrik Hall
    "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." /Confucius

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Milton keynes, Great Britain
    Posts
    1,103
    go to ebay put in "swords" you see that "rare WWII Katana" sold from China with a starting price of $0.99 and shipping of $200 its a fake
    "...Theres nothing like all your friends turning up with loads of swords." Duc De Breton.
    British Officer Class Abroad
    Master of the Rum and Uncanny
    Chief Marmiteer
    " I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed debriefed or numbered...my life is my own" Number 6

  19. #19
    Here are few fresher suspicious auctions:

    "Gunto"
    Starting an item at a ridiculously low price, but jacking the shipping is a common practice, not just for swords, and can often be an indication o general dishonesty on the sellers part. in addition to questions on shipping honesty, the suspiciously low cost, the lack of identifying pictures, and no description of specs beyond "edge made of pure steel" plugged into a form paragraph, his profile shows that he was accused of selling a production forgery once before, and he has yet to deny it.

    "Claymore"
    The term "battle ready" should set off alarms- few reputable seller use this term. It's especiall suspicious when it's used to describe a 440 stainless steel blade. Also notice that the funiture has a chintzy look to it. Although most of his feedback is positive, the begatives have an alarmly high number of accusations of false descriptions. Remeber when reading reviews that most people can't tell a sword from an SLO, so most people will be satisfied with this.

    "Flamberge"
    There is almost no description, and what is there uses faulty terminology ("flamberge" and "Kris style blade" instead of "flambard"). Also be suspicious of anything targeted at SCA or, even worse, LARP. It seems to, for some reason, go hand in hand with SLOs.

    Pop Quiz

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ístersund, Sweden
    Posts
    42
    I blame Mel Gibson for the number of available (crappy) claymores. Other than that I find it very disturbing that some people are selling sharp katanas that barely holds up as a wallhanger.
    Fredrik Hall
    "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." /Confucius

  21. #21
    What about buying from this boards' CLASSIFIED section? Is there anything we can do to find out if a seller is legit? Or more importantly, is there any recourse if the sale goes 'south'? Thanks!

  22. #22
    If it's a trusted member of the community who's selling, you can be fairly confident. If nothing else, snoop around.

    If it does go bad, SFI will not take responsibility. You would have to pursue the guy legally. They will, however, put suspicious threads under quarentine and blacklist an obusive user (it's only been necesary once that I know of).

  23. #23
    Yes, I find members here to be most honourable and known, so my question was more rhetorical than anything else....thanks for the response, though!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    174
    I second that and give it a kind bump!
    One becomes a true samurai when you need not unsheath your blade in order to win a battle, that is the way of bushido...........

  25. #25

    Ebay WWII swords

    There are a Canadian & an Australian based seller on Ebay selling very similar WWII Officer's and Non Coms swords.
    To my untrained eye they look very real with folded wood burl patterns and beat up saya; I think that's how you spell it?
    Anyway, my real question is if these are authentic is it better to get an old sword like this or to buy a non-folded Hanwei or one of the Katans from "Ye Old Armory" for $225. or so?
    Thanks
    Ghandarvan

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •