eBay Lowlights

A selection of life’s low points in buying records through eBay.

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  • Another ebay seller with a different understanding of “VG+” vinyl grade (added 14th Dececember 2012)

Wilen Ballads Side 2 scratch last trackThat deep scratch across the last track clicked loudly for about 3 – 4 minutes. The surface showed a previous owner who took no care with his records. I hesitate to say it but its French. It went back.

E bay Seller WLTM  naïve buyer

An Ebay seller is offering a copy of Lee Morgan “Indeed!”:

“I am going to tell you a lot of things that don’t matter, like the track listing, which artists plays on it, where it was recorded, and such like. Everything you would get buying a CD. I a NOT going to tell you anything important  for buying a record that would allow you to put a value on it, like when it was manufactured and by whom. I am also not going to show you anything that would enable you to value it, like letting you see the label or jacket detail. I’ll use a generic cover photo, trimmed-off edges.”

“Its in near mint condition!” And it is “Used” apparently. I bet if you were to ask you would get: ” I don’t know much about records, I’m selling it for a friend” Here is the value of auctions for the “real thing”:

Amazingly, three bids, standing at £10, and seven minutes to go. By the time you have added the postage, you have paid twice more than the shop price of a Scorpio, which is almost certainly what it is: a digital to vinyl transfer. The seller has not said anything wrong, all factually correct. They have just omitted to tell you it is a reissue.

Extraordinarily, Ebay do not consider this misleading or fraud.

Lee Morgan Indeed! Mona Lisa, painted in Florence by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1506, in beautiful condition!” opening bid £10m.

On the same basis as the Lee Morgan, you could sell a copy of the Mona Lisa. As long as you don’t say whether it is a copy or the original. ” Sorry, I don’t know much about art, I’m selling for a friend”.

"Bringing a whole new meaning to VG+"                          

(posted 2nd August 2012)

In many ways this has been a good week,  but the experimental return to buying records from the US has just crashed and burned. This was the baby – Roy Haynes Cracklin’ on New Jazz (1962 original) – and this was the lure:

Conoisseurs of exclamation marks and hype will say: Watch out!. But it is very rare and an incredible record. The promise of VG+, despite “light scratches that do not affect play” was too strong – note 12 bidders felt the same. So this morning, the postman knocked twice and moment of truth arrived:

Track One, Side one, “Scoochie” – what you see above is what you hear below

I’ll let you judge for yourself how you would grade and describe this record, after use of the word “RARE!!!” ofcourse. I think the grade is “FAIR” – significant surface noise and not well cared for. 1950s owner with heavy tracking weight radiogram arm and propensity to jogging it, or early onset of Parkinsons at a guess.  It prompted me to ponder the meaning of “Does not affect play” and “sounds great”. . I fear this one will have to fly all the way home to the US, leaving me out of pocket to the tune of UK-US both ways. I really don’t understand why US sellers chance this kind of selling.

UPDATE (15/8/12): Seller issued a full refund on return of the record, but he’s a game lad, it’s gone straight back on eBay with a new photo and quietly amended mis-description that owns up only to light crackling. You have to admit, its an appropriately named record. The search for a decent copy continues.

"Damaged in transit"

The inglorious end of a fantastic ebay score, damaged in transit as a result of the seller’s careless packing. A very rare record just got rarer, with one less in circulation.

The seller packed the record with the bare unprotected vinyl surface against the surface of an old dirty polythene jacket which had probably an old office metal staple loose in side it. The damage was fatal, resulting in needle sticks and multiple deep scratches, rendering this previously excellent copy of Tubby Hayes “Down in the Village” worthless. So sad.

Tubby Hayes “But Beautiful”, complete with needle-stick finale at 5:25 – perfect for repeating breakbeats

 

Sellers overgrading  vinyl condition

Not this sellers finest moment. He claims to adhere to  Record Collector grading standards, sort of. “Would be Ex but for the scratches”.  One of the “this puppy would make a happy and lively family pet were it not dead” school of seller. Perfect but for the faults.

Communications with Sellers

Or this aspiring eBay seller making his first sale. Zero feedback, no reputation score, a newbie. We’ve all been there, you have to start somewhere, it’s coming up to Christmas, perhaps he needs the money, so I took pity on him and decided to give him his first big break into the glamorous world of big-time jazz selling:

He took the big break, and fell flat on his face. Some people you just can’t help. First basic principle of selling records is do not break them, especially not after you have just sold them to someone else. An eBay auction is a legally binding contract, to buy and to sell.

One day I hope to sell on eBay, but all my friends who have done it give just one word of advice only. “Don’t” The consensus seems to be that buyers are awful. Who, me

 

Taxing Experience  

customs charges – what is a used record worth?

Its just a lump of old plastic. Is it an original pressing holy grail collectors item? Or just a scratched and dusty disc to hang on a wall as a little retro chic. You know what you paid for it, but what is it worth? Most ebay sellers are content to enter a nominal amount – it means nothing to them but can mean a lot to the buyer in another country, at the mercy of customs officials employed in the postal distribution depot. However one new York seller casually declared the auction price, $170.

The UK threshold for tax on imports is £18 – around $25  declared value. Any more than that and state-sponsored robbery starts – 20% of the declared value “Value Added Tax” (adding value to who exactly?) plus an outrageous £8 /$12 “administration charge” by the Royal Mail for collecting the tax on behalf of the government. Your record is held hostage until you pay

The ugly face of petty administration, chasing pennies.This package from Japan was held up for a week in order to levy a few pounds of “Value Added Tax”. I wrote to them these were second hand records on which VAT did not apply, and value added to whom exactly?

The bureaucracy eventually replied negatively, but I got some small satisfaction knowing they had spent more money collecting and corresponding with me than it was worth.

UPDATE

Ebay now operate a tax imposition practice on final auction prices for cross-border sales, and authorities are known to insist copies of the auction result accompany item posted. An increasing number of sellers say they will declare the full auction price on the customs declaration, to protect their position. One must suspect there is a trade off here, with tax authorities leaning on Ebay with regard to undeclared trader earnings, or sale of counterfeit or stolen property. Why else would Ebay elect to operate as an arm of government Tax Collection Sevices?

 

"Shill bidding"?

A shill bidder is a second account controlled by a seller, used for the purpose of pushing up an auction price, or to insure a record does not sell too cheaply, by winning it for themselves. It is technically against Ebay rules, and Ebay claim to have sophisticated algorithms to detect it, but we all experience it not infrequently.

The telltale marks of shilling is anomalous feedback pattern on a “controlled” account, or a disproportionate percentage of 30-day purchase history  lodged with just the one seller.

Delving into seller feedback can throw up some surprising buying history.

Vinyl House UK buyer h3starso

Buyer h***o (322) has extraordinarily diverse musical taste – high end jazz, low end jazz, all manner of classical, something hard to credit. Hank Mobley AND Handel’s Messiah? The suspicion of second-account “shill bidding” is difficult to avoid.

A winners purchase history indicated they placed 50% of their numerous last 30 days bids with the same seller.. There may be a perfectly simple explanation for all of this, but shilling is the most likely.

If you think you have been a victim of shilling, you can report your suspicion to Ebay, but my experience is this is a waste of time, they will do nothing and advise you not to pay, which you have to then risk being declared in default.

Suspicious trades

In another case, a while back I came across an apparently reputable US seller of jazz records, who in the closing days of December suddenly sold a large number of jazz  LPs- 30 or 40 –  at  many multiples of their market rate, for example,  $300 for a commonly available Jimmy Smith that usually sells for $30. The only possible explanations are some form of money-laundering or year-end tax arrangements or a ruse to artificially inflate their  turnover, the possibilities are endless.

Outright fraud

Then there is the famous case of seller Nautiluso, an outwardly respectable trusted seller with many years of good feedback, who one day  disappeared after taking in a few hundred thousand dollars for a collection of ultra-rare and desirable records, which never existed. Many weeks and months passed before the awaited records failed to arrive in the post, and red flags  raised. At times like this you are grateful for the guarantees offered by Ebay, Paypal, and your Credit Card companies.

Most Ebay buyers and sellers are honest, straightforward, and simply enjoying the huge benefits of a worldwide marketplace. But every now and then, not everything is necessarily as it appears. None of these problems should put you off  being a buyer or seller, because there is often no alternative for scarce high value items, where an auction is the only way to realise maximum value for the seller.

 

 

50 thoughts on “eBay Lowlights

  1. For international buyers our friends at EBay have developed a shipment scheme full of risks.

    Let me explain: until now, as a European or Japanese buyer, one had to convince the average U.S. seller that it is perfectly legitimate to put a value of say, $ 7.50, or less, or slightly more, on an album which originally had a list price of $ 4.98. They had to understand that putting the collectors value (up to $ 5500 as we witnessed) on the green customs sticker would entail serious problems upon import here (VAT and import duties, together some 25 % of the declared value). I have had the experience that a mid-western pop & mom shop type seller, who would not comply, threatened to denounce me at our Embassy in Washington for tax evasion!).

    As a rule though these problems could be managed in good intelligence.

    What has EBay in the can now? An all inclusive shipment formula including tracking, insurance and pre-paid import duties in the country of destination! There is no escape, the seller, through the EBay system, has no choice but to declare the sales price which will be the base of the VAT and import duty calculation in the country of destination and they will pay on behalf of the importing buyer. If this system becomes generally accepted (like the tracking which is now the rule), we are in for some great trouble. Any thoughts, experience?

    • I have stopped buying from the US due to cost of post and tracking, often more than the cost of the record. Now add tax? With high value items I see the day when it is cheaper to hop on a plane to collect it personally from the seller. Perhaps some enterprising individual will provide a bespoke concierge service within the US, as a workaround.
      .

      • true, the “handling/postage” costs are often higher than the record itself. But, you, living in a megapolis, can afford not to buy in the US. What should a poor montagnard do, living far away from supply centres?
        I notice that you have grasped the problem, these dumbheads are sawing off the limb on which they are sitting. The problem is that the average American seller thinks it is a marvelous idea. It may become standard, like the tracking folly.
        I for one, don’t see a problem to put $ 3 for a used record when I am selling a $ 1000 item to Japan.

        • As a buyer I agree 100% but problems arise with this scheme as a seller. For example you sell a record for $500, claim $10 on the customs form and the buyer claims they never received it. Ebay will side with the buyer and you will be out $500 plus shipping. With the USPS if you want to protect against loss, damage or scams and go the route to insure the package there is no way to declare a lower cost than the insured amount.

          • as a seller, esp. for expensive items paid via Paypal, I only ship with registered mail and tracking. So there is proof of delivery. If the parcerl gets lost, the customs declaration (the green sticker) is also lost and the declared amount becomes irrelevant. If I insure at the request of buyer, the insured amount is not visible to the customls guys, only to me, the buyer of the insurance at the P.O. The only risk is the P.O. itself, they know the insured amount and they see the customs declaration. Fortunately I have never been in the situation of claiming under the insurance policy.

  2. Well, Someone is selling an LP with a 1 inch crack on the outer edge. LMFAO! What happens if you have a couple of bottles of wine in you and you forget about the crack????

    • Unbelievable – its a “filler copy” I expect.

      I was once offered an ex-library record, which had “CAMDEN DISTRICT LIBRARY” in large raised-up letters stamped in the trail off, I reckoned there was a fair chance it would trash your cartridge if you hit it.

  3. I know this thread is old but this information may help others avoid getting scammed. Most buyers don’t like to leave negative feedback. But one can often find negative comments buried in the positive feedback. Here’s an other important thing to check: The star ratings are completely anonymous. Look at the first category, “Item as described.” If that number is significantly lower than the other categories, there’s your tip off.

    Unfortunately, eBay has become filled with fakers and charlatans. The honest sellers are in the minority. The company hides behind their attorneys. As a US citizen, I’m ashamed that our regulatory agencies don’t take this kind of behavior seriously. But there is a more serious matter at hand. We are sending a message to our citizens that dissimulation in business is morally justified. In the 16th century, Montaigne wrote about this issue in one of his essays. He complained that it’s starting to take root as a normal business practice. And if one is inclined to have a hearty laugh, read the section of Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” on lawyers. It is, perhaps, the greatest novel written in the English language.

  4. Either I have the worst Luck or this is Common practice. I think I’m done buying from Ebay for awhile. I need a rest. A Week ago I emailed Andy about an odd “Duke Jordan Flight to Jordan” United Artist Lp. What was so weird about it was that the Label read Microgroove Long Play meaning it was a MONO and it also had a BST catalog description on the Label meaning Stereo. The used description reads this:
    “the production on this lp has a fault. the tenor sax solos are reduced volume, so only order this record if you have a mono switch on your amp/preamp.”

    production fault? O.K. i have acouple of those. I’ve never been satisifed with the bass on Speak no Evil by Wayner Shorter. Awfully Low for my liking.or Depending on your system, maybe something is off.

    I received the Lp yesterday. And My first impression was F**K not again. There is the most distinguishable tell tell of anyone who has ever tried to flatten an Lp using the Oven. The LP has that evenly shiny sheen on both side of the LP that glitters where you can’t read the grooves anymore. It obvious that the Lp was warped because it still has the Bowl effect. So its not a production fault but the evenly melting of the grooves. God damn right you would benefit from a Mono Switch!!

    Same thing happened with the Freddie Hubbard Lp on my other post. The seller of that record was “ArtisteJazz” french? The seller of this Lp “nouvelledujazz” French? Coincidence? and Both from California. Both claimed to be in MINT condition…. I’m tired of this crap.

    • I wouldn’t call your LP “weird” or “uncommon”: there was a huge round of budget reissues done in recent times where the LP’s are stereo but the labels read “microgroove”. I just went on ebay and found your completed listing. Personally, if I ever saw a listing with someone talking that crazy talk I would run in the opposite direction. This is not to mention that it’s a budget modern reissue so you can’t expect much to begin with. I dunno, I wouldn’t put this entirely on the seller. You can return it though, right, so what’ the problem?

      What are your other horror stories with ebay?

      • I have over 350+ blue note Lp’s and none are like this one. Call me crazy but I wouldn’t call something pressed 40 years ago recent and the fact that the lp was OVEN-BAKED to get rid of a warp and the seller claimed it was a manufacturer defect…. is who’s fault exactly? Mine? So what’s the problem? Quit wasting my Fucking Time! When I purchased something. I pay 100% of the currency. Not 95% real currency and the other 5% in Monopoly Board money and than claim it as real. In return I expect 100% honestly and what’s advertised. And i’m extremely lenient on Condition and don’t have a problem with Waterdamage cover. Maybe this deserves a Video on my youtube page along with Ebay seller name, Ebay item Number, Date, Time, descriptions given, along with the messages sent and received and ofcourse playback of the vinyl. Along with the otheer ebay horror stories. Good day from Fort Eustis Military Post, Viriginia.

        • Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t this round of reissues been released within the last five or ten years? I’m under the impression that all of the budget new/sealed reissues currently out there have these labels. I used to have a copy of BLP 4146 like this if I’m not mistaken; I bought it new and sealed. They’re also packaged with a download code…are these the ones? Maybe not if there was what I think you’re describing as significant groove wear.

          IMO, the seller is obviously not trustworthy nor knowledgeable based on that description (http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUKE-JORDAN-FLIGHT-TO-JORDAN-UNITED-ARTISTS-MONO-STEREO-LP-/111022262382?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item19d971486e&nma=true&si=gwrCcLe8IQ8er2mf6vHy8JnRvy0%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557) and I wouldn’t even buy from them in the first place. That being said, why are you so angry? The seller offers returns.

          I also don’t understand how you can identify a “baked” LP. Have you ever tried that before yourself? Are you sure you can rule out the possibility that it’s just a crappy reissue that was always warped (if there’s significant groove wear though maybe I’m wrong and it is a vintage 70’s reissue–but that doesn’t mean it didn’t always have the warp).

          I apologize if you take this as criticism but even if I had been wanting a copy of this title on vinyl for a long time, I probably would have passed on this one based on the shady description. Don’t get me wrong: no lie I return over half of the LPs I buy on ebay. I’m used to the fact that the majority of sellers try to slither around important imperfections and details. It comes with the territory; where else are you gonna get these records? I’ve been digging for a while in places including New York City on a regular basis and it’s rare if these vintage jazz records show up in a store nowadays.

          ebay: can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

          • Everyone has different lives, Honestly A year ago, I wouldn’t be so upset. Right Now? My wife is has been deployed in a warzone for the last 10 months. I’m raising my boys holding a full Time Plus+++ job, I cook, clean, homework, Laundry, dishes, Pta Meetings, soccer coach and everything else that comes with the “LIFE” baggage and to top it off. daily worries that something dreadful doesn’t happen to my life companion. The only joy I have beside my kids ofcourse is at night when I sit down and engulf myself to my Blue note records. Does it seem like I have time to run to the post office and chase down shady people? and yes, Absolutely 100% certain the Lp is oven baked. I tried it years ago with an Alice in Chains Unplugged Lp. As we speak, A friend on the Vinly Community has a device called “The VinylFlat”, He has my lee Morgan Search and Art Blakely Free for all. Both warped and being repaired hopefully. This Duke jordan Lp was pressed between 1970-73 according to this blog’s Label guide along with another I like to use. I have pressings with the Liberty label on one side and New York on the other. I also have a Paul Chambers Bass on Top with a United Artists stereo on one side and a Liberty label on a second. Anyone ever seen that before? So no, there is nothing shady about the listing of this Duke Jordan. I know the difference between groove wear, Bad pressings and any other blue note denomination. And I can absolutely tell when Someone is trying to pull a fast one.

            • IMO, the description is shady: “the production on this lp has a fault. the tenor sax solos are reduced volume, so only orderthis record if you have a mono switch on your amp/preamp.” What the #$%& is this guy talking about?? haha How much can one possibly trust a seller spouting nonsense like this? My belief is the trustworthiness of a seller is proportional to their ability to demonstrate that they are intelligent, knowledgeable, have a good grasp on grammar, and have the sensibility to clearly indicate the condition of their item while taking good, clear photos of the front of the jacket, the back of the jacket, and both labels. If a seller can’t do all of these things, they’re suspect in my book.

              • My Wayne shorter Speak No Evil on liberty has reduced volume on the bass. My Japanese King Pressing, the bass is alittle better and I’ve heard that the Bass on the Music matter 45rpm is even better. My Curtis Fuller The Opener on United Artists MONO sounds better with the Mono Switch on my Cornet 2 Phonostage. So yeah, I know what he’s talking about.

                • Ok, so he believes that summing the channels improves the balance. Not only is this unnecessary but making this the bulk of the item description is suspect. In addition, it’s a stereo mastering so why write “mono” in the title, because THE SELLER thinks it should be listened to in mono?? The whole listing just feels a bit suspect to me. That’s my closing statement, over and out.

                  • Just by looking at the label. You can’t tell if its a Mono or Stereo. The label “MICROGROOVE LONG PLAY” Means MONO. The BST catalog Number says Stereo. By looking at the deadwax, it has BNST meaning a stereo mastering. The Mono switch makes sense if its a Mono master but what happened was that with the Oven-bake, what ever channel the Sax tenors solos were on got melted so ofcourse by summing up the channels you would get slightly better sound.

                    • I just dropped the needle on this Duke jordan and the constant background crackle noise is apparent. its a damn shame. You can tell it had very good fidelity. On a better note, The seller offered a full refund. Its a waste really. All he did was waste 4 dollars in shipping and destroy a blue note record. Another one bites the dust. I rather he sent me a warped record than an Oven baked. You’ll be amazed on how some tonearms can track. My lee morgan and art blakey had no mention of it being warped but my tonearm tracks it and it was cheap.Fantastic transaction. I’ll post my finding on this VINYLFLAT device when I get my records back.

        • Sad tale. When I got royally screwed over by a trickster from Portugal, I was warned off putting eBay disputes into the public domain. Apparently it’s contrary to the small print somewhere, and can get you thrown out. The guy went through 850 pages here trying to find something. Scary. I have a picture of his apartment from Google Earth, as I know where he lives. Stalemate.

  5. Well, Here is another. I only paid 10 bucks for it but OMG!!! Freddie Hubbard Night Of The Cookers Vol. 1 LP. This Record was advertised as MINT Condition.

    Know we all know what surafce noise is but this LP is Gone!! First the LP is warped and the Grooves are completely distorted on Side 1.

    Sellers Response:
    “I am sorry about that. I do not play-test every record due to volume/time considerations, and my posts do not say that I do. So, naturally, I can’t guarantee or be responsible of how a record sounds beyond it’s physical appearance. Ebay has no policy stipulating that a record seller has to listen to records first. Most often when you buy records form a real store or other venues you do not listen to them, only look at the vinyl as the best indicator of the LP’s condition. If there is some noise, which the appearance of the record didn’t indicate, then that’s what it is. After all, these are used LPs. Beyond that, all of us have different notions of what a surface noise is, and how much of it we can easily tolerate, just like we have different notions of the visual condition of records. I just had someone tell me that a MINT LP they bought form me had scratches…(!?), when the vinyl actually looked like a resplendent shiny mirror!”

    Does he want to issue a refund and have me return this? Hell NO!! LOL.

    • Ebay requires a proper description. It may “look perfect”, but In the case of a record, you don’t buy a record to look at, you buy it to play. Its like saying a car looks perfect (but the engine is completely knackered – I haven’t time to test drive it) When he says it “looks mint”, that is an implied description of what it will sound like. Raise a misrepresentation case.Its not about what the seller would like, thats obvious, its about what an Ebay adjudicator makes of it.I lost my case on a misleading description, but you may be luckier.

      • I won the case. This seller also received a negative Feedback from another buyer today. This buyer claimed it was heated and Warped which make sense because Side one on my Lp was completely distorted.

  6. “One of the “this puppy would make a happy and lively family pet were it not dead” school of seller. Perfect but for the faults.”

    LMAO…I’m so grateful for LJC because he makes record collecting funny!

    I stopped wasting my time with VG for the most part. Every now and then a VG copy without distortion from groove wear would squeak through, but IMO if it’s graded as VG I really don’t have a right to return it. But I personally think a VG+ record should be virtually free of groove wear and if it’s not it’s going back. That being said, I would say I return about half the VG+ records I buy on ebay; people don’t seem to know what groove wear sounds like! Would any of you list a record as VG+ with audible groove wear?? Someday I will move up to VG++ and NM, in which case I will DEFINITELY be justified returning records with groove wear.

    Even with all the returns I have made, I have never had to deal with a nasty or difficult seller (honestly, never). This might be due to the fact that I come across as knowledgeable in my emails, that I take time to describe my dissatisfaction clearly to them, and/or that I’m picking good sellers based on the fact that they take care with their photos and descriptions.

    As for your complaint about sellers not willing to lie about the value of an item for the sake of customs fees, as an international seller myself I would say I’m willing to do that *provided you ask me to do so*. Otherwise, I think it’s the buyer’s responsibility to know what the tax will be and factor that into their bid accordingly.

  7. I had two strikes this week from online sellers. First was a Fredddie redd’s Shades of Redd. Was advertised as a 200 gr Classic Records Pressing, I received a 304 park pressing. Refund given, Second was a Hank Mobley Workout stereo New york advertised with picture. Recieved a French sacem copy. Would have kept it but for 34 Dollars shipped? I would buy a Japanese presssing or used that money to invest in another one. The third one I ordered was advertised as:

    “1966-70 mono microgroove labels with RVG and WB in the dead wax. VG++ vinyl with clean labels. Cover sleeve is also in VG++ condition but has a small clipped corner. Liberty records, INC is also in the corner confirming this is a re-press although still an early repress.”

    Can the WB in the deadwax be a “9M?”.. Hopefully this one will be as advertised. Fingers crossed, paid 30 bucks shipped.

    • Tough call on those first two misrepresentations – you wonder if the seller wasn’t just trying it on, hoping you wouldn’t notice. A South Park indeed! The French pressings by Pathe Marconi re-edition 1982-4 are actually quite good, as long as you get in before the Direct Metal Mastering DMM came in. Not quite the true Blue Note but PM did a creditable job remastering them.
      The WB is of course the 9M.. Quite a few of the very early 1500 series Plastylite stampers carry that engraving with RVG hand written initials I expect, in which case the press is off an original stamper and should sound top notch. I have a couple of such Liberty pressings and you won’t be disappointed.

      • Patience is King. Just won a Hank Mobley Workout Liberty Pressing with RVG Stereo in the DW in Excellent Condition. 39usd Shipped! I got 38 dollars back from the Pathe Marconi pressing. I also got Hank Mobley Caddy for Daddy in vg+ for 10 Bucks. Very Happy!!

            • Whoa! That’s seriously unusual, mixing a Div of Lib label with an NY, never seen that before. Quite a curiosity, right on the cusp. The first wave Liberty pressings are great – not significantly diffferent from stuff on the “right side of the blanket” ie very good. Have a couple of Wayne Shorter 1965 releases on Div Lib in the post, and have high expectations – a fifth of the price of the ones with the ear, (though it remains to be heard how Liberty handled the stereo). We’ll know soon enough.

  8. Drinking my coffee this morning. I came across this listing on ebay for a Dexter Gordon Doin’ Allright.

    “VG- to VG (main problem is slight 1/2 ” warp on beginning of record, plays ok, high end system may pick it up, there are other scratches, most of album plays ok, some noise on playback, may skip, NOT for a collector who is condition conscious, just to be played)”

    I couldn’t stop laughing. So its warped, scratched. skips, noisy background and all for $45usd..wooohoo.. sign me up..lol

    • You wonder if at the end of your alloted time you arrive at the Pearly Gates and join the very short queue signposted “Vinyl Collectors“( the queue for downloaders is twenty times round the block!) St Peter inspects your past life: “skipped a lot, quite noisy, definitely a bit warped”. I could be heading for a VG minus grading myself!

    • The only other copy (complete with cover) sold went for half that sum: 1738 euro nine months previously and one without a cover for 382 euro. .Assuming its not the same copy being resold – the covers have remarkably similar wear but that cut is unmistakable, then the explanation is either
      1.collector insanity caused by sheer rarity – never any intention of playing it, or
      2. less prosaic, international money-laundering in some form – it’s Italy – someone shifts $4k through Paypal nominally for a record.
      .
      Very interesting.

  9. The seller “(name removed-LJC)” operates just next door to my current location of New Haven, CT so I went somewhat aggressively after a stereo copy of Blue Train with ear. His description of that record had virtually the same wording, including his personal zest for MINTTTTT labels. I ended up losing and I’m glad I did…while local pickup would have been free, I wouldn’t have looked forward to returning a record in person!

  10. I just got hit for the first time in 11 years of buying Blue Note’s on Ebay. Seller’s description? VG Vinyl “Has spots of very light surface noise here and there”. OMG! The record was warped and the cartridge I had on my TT tracks @ 1.5 Grams, would not go forward and the snap, crackle and Pop overwhelms the music so bad that I want to pull my hair out . The seller’s response? “that record is an original pressing that would go for almost $1000 if it was NM and you paid $34 for it”. Now, I don’t ask for much. I can handle SCP but I at least want a record I can play and not have to start it in the middle of the first track because of the warp. Japanese King, here I come!!

    • Yeah, I guess we all have one which is better decribed as “Surface noise, with very light spots of music here and there”. You have a case of overgrading, as Good or maybe Fair, not Very Good.. Think of it as buying an original cover.

      • I’m not so pissed off because of the condition. Let’s face it, These Lp’s are hard to come by at a decent price. I’m pissed off about the deception. Another seller, Sold the exact same copy in G+ condition, he listed all the surface noise and pops and even stated “Not for Audiophiles” basically, A Filler Copy. Sold his copy 5 days ago for $79 bucks. Honesty rules. What’s the saying? Under promise and over deliver.. This seller even threaten me and accused me of trying to get over. Whatever, its 34 bucks, feed your family man. Customer service at its best!

  11. This thread could go on for pages and pages if you’re not careful… So I was looking up info on the Fletcher Henderson/Rex Stewart LP that i have on the Jazztone label to figure out when it was pressed. Absent from the unreliable Discogs database, oddly enough has a listing on Amazon as an LP, and of course there are a few on Ebay. Perhaps I’m missing something but doesn’t this record look, er, BROKEN?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLETCHER-HENDERSON-ALL-STARS-Big-Reunion-HI-FI-58-JAZZ-LP-RECORD-/300514602059?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item45f810ec4b

    Description says: “Vinyl is in Near MInt condition”, then a few lines down “PLEASE VIEW PHOTO FOR THE ACTUAL CONDITION OF THE RECORD”…
    ???
    The guys has massive positive feedback score, is it possible this is just a bizarrely horrible photo?

    • Hilarious! Brings a whole new meaning to the expression “cracked record”. Internet folklore, there was a kid sold a photo of an X-Box console. That was it. No console, just a photo of a console. Three hundred bucks for a photo. Ebay is a gene-pool selection vehicle.

      • By looking carefully you can see, that the impression of the record being damaged, comes from the inner sleeve. These thin sleeves were used pretty early and the seller put the record halfway out – and one might get the impression of a damaged record.

        • On closer inspection of the photo, you are quite right, it is merely the ripped innersleeve that gives the impression of a broken record – not the most advantageous way to display what you are selling. May be we need a competition for the poorest photo provided by an eBay seller. I love the ones that show you the whole record. Yes, its a big black disc, like you didn’t know that. What you want to see – the label – is however just a blur.

  12. Hey LJC! As soon as I’ve seen this seller records, your “lowlights” section came up to my mind, so…why not to share!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Charles-Mingus-Mingus-Dynasty-6-EYE-COLUMBIA-CL-1440-JAZZ-LP-/170829250439?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item27c6377f87

    …and also this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thelonious-Monk-Thelonious-Alone-in-San-Francisco-RIVERSIDE-312-Jazz-/170829268837?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item27c637c765

    Every record of this guy is “near mint minus”….let’s be clear about the “near” and the “minus” though!!!

    Good night from Italy!

    • Nice catch, “near mint minus” covers a lot of bases. Funnily, the seller’s negative feedback is only about his postage. I guess the more savy buyers avoid him altogether. Have a better than near-VG minus week!

  13. Phew… So far I haven’t experienced any damaged records coming in from eBay and given the looks of your Tubby Hayes above I hope it won’t happen either. What a nightmare…

    The obscene import duties you discuss here are the same in The Netherlands. For you it’s 18 quid, for us it’s 20 Euros. A record, used of course, that I once bought for a reasonable price instantly got a lot more expensive.

    If I now buy something on eBay, I immediately contact the seller and ask, no: urge him to put something below 15 dollars on that green import slip. So far it’s worked fine 😉

  14. Pingback: Bill Evans “Waltz For Debby” (1961) | LondonJazzCollector

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