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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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Posts: 484

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 4:09 pm    Post subject: Buying, Selling, and Trusting.         Reply with quote

Sort of a rant.

If this turns ugly I will expect the Mods to delete this so keep responses calm and clean please.


Ours is a hobby that is fairly 'small' even considering the number of people belonging to this forum and the others like it. In fact most of us belong to those other forums and there are very few people that only post or belong to 'one forum'. It is very troubling when you take a risk though with money, either selling or buying. The risk of buying is pretty simple, internet transfer with someone 'new' and the slight prick in the back of your brain that you may not get a sword at all or get one that is not what was described. That has happend to me several times over the years. One of my first buys was like that, some one saw my interest in Migration pieces and contacted me by privet message. the 'Albion Migration Prototype' I got was nothing of the kind and not even the blade was Albion. That was the most egregious, others were more in terms of quality or the person thinking they had one thing and it was not. Any how I went with buyer beware and took my lumps and called it biscuits

(American biscuits with out lumps are bad, biscuits need a nice golden brown lumpy top, then you split them and fill them with sausage gravy) To my friends that have not had American biscuits and gravy you have missed a fine treat but honestly your doctor will be less upset with you.

Here is what I am upset about, I sell a piece, I know what it is and then get an email back saying "it is not X" or " it is not as you described". I know what is going on and I know for a fact I am being played by someone either with buyers remorse or "buyers spouse". Buyers Spouse is defined as "You bought another sword? What were you thinking, you KNOW we had other plans for that money". It can apply to shoes, purses and other things as well.

So as a seller you get stuck with some choices. Refund the money to keep a good reputation is one. Sometimes it is just worth it to take the hit on shipping, tell the person send it back and protect yourself from internet 'slander'. You can as I do take photos before hand and tell the persons that we had an agreement, I have the shipping tracker, the photos etc and then it can turn any which way.

What really annoys me is not the money. It is the betrayal of trust. I meet very few of my internet friends in real life, but they are important to me whether I meet them in real life or not. I love collecting, and when something like this happens it really dampens my fervor. I trust people to be honest and a subtle betrayal is far worse than an out and out theft to me.

Anyhow, Neithon Roberson if you feel this thread will turn ugly and it has the potential please delete it. I would like to think that I and a few others with out naming anyone and with out mud slinging can discuss ways to protect oneself at both ends of the deal.

Right now I am just bummed out and depressed about the whole thing. I am angry but that is minor compared to the bummed out and depressed.

David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have only had one sale go bad, and I've bought and sold a lot on this forum. It was a person who did just as you described except that it was downright weird how it happened. I sold him something for a great price, and all I heard was that he received it. About 2 months later I got a pm ranting and calling me a crook and a fraud and that he wanted his money back. I told him to go _ _ _ _ himself. Sales happen between two people, building a reputation is not just one sided. I was more than willing to have him slander me all over the internet, my good sales far outweighed his one perceived bad sale. I'm also not willing to be threatened or insulted by someone online. Hopefully you didn't have it as bad as I did. I'd like to say I learned a valuable lesson, or some piece of wisdom from the experience, but I didn't. It was just unpleasant and irritating.

This community is remarkably honest. As I said, I've only had one sale go bad, out of many. Maybe because it is such a tight community, or maybe because the people that participate in this hobby are simply more honest, I don't know which. I am glad to have access to the marketplace on this forum as I've been able to do far more with my collection than I ever could have without it. Three cheers for myArmoury once again!!!
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Aaron Hoard




Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
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Posts: 153

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bought something once and it never arrived. You sure you sent it? Yeah, my girlfriend sent it for me. Did she get a tracking number for it? No, she didn't. So, it just got lost in the mail? (this is a full-length spear we're talking about) Yes.

The guy ended up refunding me the money (PayPal) and I've never figured out what happened. Maybe he decided to keep it and didn't send it? Maybe it really got lost in the mail? I don't know. He didn't drag his feet once I asked for a refund. Maybe he really lost his item and I didn't lose my money? Who knows.

Buying international always feels like a crap-shoot because shipping times can vary wildly and sometimes tracking numbers don't tell very much. Normally, things sent here from England take maybe a week or so. I bought something from one maker and it took five weeks to get here. When it got here, it did ship when he said (so, it wasn't a problem at his end) - just got delayed somewhere in the mail. S-happens, as they say. He was a respected maker, so it was easier to wait it out because of his reputation.

Things I do as a buyer (I've never sold anything on here):

1) I generally avoid people with low/no post counts.
2) I ask lots of questions about condition and for pictures, if they have them. (if they don't have pics, that always makes me leery)
3) I like using PayPal because there's some backstop (theoretically) there in case the transaction goes bad. That probably isn't the case if you are using the "friend" option to send money.
4) Always get a tracking number for shipping.
5) Accept that sometimes, things aren't perfect, and I probably got a good deal on them anyway.
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Æthelmearc
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 11:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seems like a lot selling & buying troubles could be avoided had the seller insisted on shipping insurance as a condition of sale.

I never understood why a seller would ship something without insurance, even if the buyer insisted.
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Tyler Keich




Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 16 Sep 2010

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 12:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Hoard wrote:
I bought something once and it never arrived. You sure you sent it? Yeah, my girlfriend sent it for me. Did she get a tracking number for it? No, she didn't. So, it just got lost in the mail? (this is a full-length spear we're talking about) Yes.


That's the one thing I hate about purchasing online. When people say something didn't have a tracking number (within the United States), I know they are lying. I work the retail counter at a post office, and all packages come with tracking.

Other things that bother me are when people with low post counts have tried to give me a shipping quote far above what it would actually cost to ship and fully insure the package. It makes me wonder how many people have been taken for a ride.

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Seems like a lot selling & buying troubles could be avoided had the seller insisted on shipping insurance as a condition of sale.

I never understood why a seller would ship something without insurance, even if the buyer insisted.


Agreed. The shipping insurance isn't a whole lot compared to what the loss of the item would be, and it amazes me when people send things without it when they're supposed to be something very valuable.
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Lancelot Chan
Industry Professional



Location: Hong Kong
Joined: 24 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 2:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had some bad buys. Two famous makers took my friends and my money and never delivered the products or refunding, one in 5 to 6 years range while the other is 2 to 3 years range.

I ended up sending my friends some gift swords (not of the same value) to compensate for their loss. They made the orders because of my recommendation and their trust on me. The famous makers made me in a trouble spot.

For those who want to know who the makers are, just PM me.

Ancient Combat Association —http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons — http://www.rsw.com.hk
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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Posts: 484

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 3:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I take photos of everything, packing, shipping receipt that has the tracking number on it.

Paypal troubles me these days because of the scam that was run on Ebay where people would order and then say they never received their package and take the sellers for a ride.

I made the mistake this time of selling to someone with a low post count, that will not happen again. My final answer was return it and I will refund your money but if there is one bit of damage other than what he claimed I am going to post the photos of the receipt ect to Paypal, not refund a dime and donate the sword to a local museum. He can take comfort that his efforts at least went to something and I do not have the ethical dilemma of him sending it back with further damage and then reselling the sword.

I am honestly about as angry as I get

David L Smith
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Julien M




Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 3:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Mark's topic refers to trades or exchange of goods between members, rather than buyers/makers issues.
It's rather hard to generalize on such matters - it's down to drawing a bad card from the deck really...but they are a few things you can do to tip the odds in the right direction.
I must have traded/sold a dozen items over the years, and still do. I would echo the fact that the myArmoury community is well behaved and reliable. I only had pleasant and trouble free transactions. Of course it is mandatory to ask for a signed for delivery with proof and tracking number. Insurance is a must, but is often costly. I never had a lost or damaged item so far, so I tend not to cover the full value of the item (just stick to the basic package to keep cost down). I may regret this one day but so far so good.
I also check a member profile and basic stats, and would be cautious of people with no activity here, recent membership etc. The rest is down to how the conversation goes. I would have no issues walking out of a sale or purchase if I don't feel confident about my interlocutor (in a polite fashion of course Happy )


Last edited by Julien M on Wed 19 Oct, 2016 8:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Julien M




Location: London
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 3:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Lewis Smith wrote:
I made the mistake this time of selling to someone with a low post count, that will not happen again.


Bang on.
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Carl W.




Location: usa
Joined: 07 Aug 2008

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've bought 2 spearheads & a seax here from (longtime or semi-longtime) members. Absolutely no problems, A-ok.

Perhaps too much trouble & few would bother, but seller asking buyer if buyer wanted positive feedback in the topic might be useful to the community (if permitted after the change a few years ago).

It never occurred to me there was much risk or annoyance with selling. I assumed only buying had risk. Sorry to hear about your problem David but thanks for posting it, I learned something.

Agreed - good biscuits & gravy taste almost as good as bacon!
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carl W. wrote:


Agreed - good biscuits & gravy taste almost as good as bacon!


Why not have both ?

David L Smith
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 660

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been very fortunate to have had all of my Marketplace sales go smoothly over the years. Perhaps the only bad experience I've had is potential buyers pulling out after their promise to buy, but in fairness even I have had financial mishaps sabotage a couple of my promised purchases (emergency dental bills, car wrecks, etc.). All in all, I am very grateful for the Marketplace feature on this site. It has greatly helped my sword collecting hobby, and made me a few friends in the process. Hopefully, the honesty and courtesy of myArmoury members will continue to be a hallmark of this site.

Oh, and I always include insurance when I sell an item. Protects me and my buyer.

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I was in the business of selling swords and accessories I encountered some of the same problems David described. I had the small advantage of disclaimers on the web site regarding our returns policy and posted in our tent at festivals but, being the old softy I am, I frequently violated my own policies. However, eventually the proverbial straw hit the camel's back and I got tough.

An attorney in a major city ordered an expensive dirk, sgian and a Denix Scottish pistol replica. The cost was almost $500. Four months after buying it, he called asking to send back the dirk and pistol. Said it was a bit too much - not cost-wise - just not something he wanted to use/display. I agreed to take them back. When they arrived they had clearly been handled quite a bit and had been thrown into a box without packing or protective wrap. No damage was done and I easily sold the pieces. However, from that point on I had a "no return unless it is broken" policy and never had that problem again. I also instituted a policy at festivals of no returns and no swaps. I had to enforce that a few times, especially among young people who spent all the money they had with them on the item then got buyer's remorse.

Selling stuff to someone you do not know can be a risk. So can buying it that way. Most people are fundamentally honest but a few will attempt to take advantage of you. Being tough and published policies about returns is the only way to handle this. I have bought three swords and a long gun on this forum and am glad there is a market place section. My experience with all four purchases was excellent.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Mercer L. Blaire




Location: Ohio
Joined: 27 Sep 2013

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ive been in the business of buying and selling swords for many years now, its pretty rare that ive experienced the nightmarish customer, what HAS been a huge problem for me is people who commission a blade, hound you day and night until its done, and then when its time to pay they stop responding and ghost you, leaving you high and dry. Its rare but sickening when it happens.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a seller I find it's beneficial to do several things:

Provide an adequate description of the item with good photos, so it's well described and documented.
Clearly specify methods of payment. I prefer PayPal since it provides a nice level of protection for both parties.
Clearly specify no returns and the item is being sold as-is.
Always, ALWAYS, insure for the items full amount.

If a buyer later contacts me with buyers remorse that's their problem, not mine. We're all grown ups here, if you can't handle your impulses or your spouse again, your problem. Especially if the buyer contacts me an extended period of time later, I really have no patience for that kind of behavior. If a buyer implies that the item wasn't as described I'll simply call falsehood on that because it was. I honestly have little concern over whatever reputation I have with strangers in cyberspace.

It boggles the mind that some people won't ship with insurance. If you're that stupid you deserve the worst possible outcome. I can honestly say that I've never had any troubles post sale, after years of selling items on line. I've terminated a few sales before they happened, because the person couldn't seem to get with the program. Like insisting on a form of payment I didn't specify, or wanting to negotiate the price. (In the vast majority of circumstances neither of these applies with me,) I've honestly had more troubles over the years in buying from established companies rather than from individuals.

In a community like this people all too often let their emotions get involved. Just because you're buying from a smith doesn't mean that you're now friends and that you now have some kind of relationship. Just because you've done business with a production company for years doesn't mean you should expect special consideration. Likewise, when you choose to do business on a sale forum like this, it's all business and should be treated as such.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So far...no issues. I sell mainly, bought a cup le of times. I've found I prefer to sell t established people on myArmoury.they are geerally a trustworthy bunch and give the weapons a good home. Even random deals like the one I jus dud where I worked out a payment plan with a member here.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Victor R.




Location: Spring, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First and most importantly, biscuits and gravy may be South's finest culinary contribution - and that's saying something, given I'm a Southeast Texas guy with ready access to great barbeque, gumbo, TexMex, AUTHENTIC chili (beans are a condiment, not an ingredient) and other regional delights. Laughing Out Loud

I've made at least a dozen purchases from the market section of this site, and one from the maker's & manufacturers, have done two sales, and have had a "combo platter" purchase/trade transaction. To date, I've only had any disappointment on my end with the maker/manufacturer purchase (received the wrong item, and the right item had already been sold to someone else). I know my trade ended up being fairly quickly resold - not due to any problem, but due to my trade partner getting the item and deciding it didn't really fit his collecting desires as expected. And I think one person may be cursing the item I sold them as a project piece simply because it turned out to be a nightmare to disassemble - that's been several years, and I don't think the project has progressed (sorry, Sean!).

Except for the maker transaction, I've primarily done business with established site members (the maker had been on the site, at least as a maker, for less than three months as of that time). For most, I'd seen them making sales before and hadn't seen any bad feedback or re-listing of items, so I didn't fear the transaction too much. In all my time, I've only identified one high-volume lister that I won't do business with - not because of a transaction we had together, but because I saw that he purchased an item and, less than two weeks later, listed the item for sale at a rate about $50 higher than the stated price in the previous seller's listing. I just thought it was a d__k move and lost any respect I might have otherwise had for the individual.

Something I do have a problem with is people requesting "plus fees" when they say they prefer a transaction via Paypal - not only is this a violation of their Paypal agreement, but it is also a d__k move to tell people you prefer a method of payment, but that you are unwilling to bear the cost of that method. If you want the "safety" of the method, price your item to account for it, or just accept the haircut - your buyer shouldn't have to pay an extra 3% over the stated price to give YOU warm fuzzies. This would be a deal breaker for me in any transaction. I've actually PM'd several individuals (most are first-timers) to draw their attention to this issue, and have received positive feedback and thanks from a couple of them.

All-in-all, I've had very good experiences with this site, and my collection is much larger than it would have otherwise been had the market section not been available - whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends upon how the finances look on any given day!

As others have said, get the pictures and documentation (as a buyer), don't hide the blemishes (as a seller) and be careful when dealing with someone too new. I'm not saying you shouldn't be willing to make a sale to someone new to the site and the hobby - just make sure you've had a decent conversation with them first to assure that you feel comfortable that they won't completely flake out on you after they get the item and have to pay their credit card bill or see what their bank account looks like after the transaction. And, yeah, insurance is a must to protect both parties.

I don't know if any of the site administrators would have an appetite for it, but if one was willing to take reports on bad transactions, perhaps (as in the makers section) a ban-hammer could be applied to those sellers that have numerous unremedied sales issues (I doubt this would be frequent). I don't know what could be done about bad "purchasers", other than sellers publicly calling them out, but we tend to be a more civil group and that is a little beyond what we tend to consider "proper".

I'm glad the market function is available here, and while I cannot be a purchaser again anytime soon, I'll readily take advantage of it for a couple of items I have that are extraneous to my collection (an A&A Durer and an A-B Cluny XVIIIb interpretation) once I can get access to good sword packing materials.
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 10:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As for paypal and the 3% fee, I just eat that cost, and when sending money if someone has not asked I try to add that in. If I am buying a thousand dollar sword throwing 30 more at it is not a big deal. I always insist on the business and goods even when receiving money. I do that so that the buyer feels comfortable knowing he has recourse.

Of my collection which as many of you know is well over 180 pieces at this point almost all of them have been from privet sales and trades.

This is the second time this has happend to me. The first time I was deployed, had some stuff up for sale as a bulk buy and clearly stated the scabbards were trashed. I had bought them face to face from a friend who just had them laying in a back bedroom with all his army gear. They were scuffed up and the stitching one one was dry rotted. A guy contacted me and I explained I was not at home, he said that was fine but then offered me half. I sort of told him to get bent and he could buy elsewhere. He apologized and then sent the money, I had my wife send him the items. He sent her a nasty message about "These Scabbards are Totally Destroyed and I want my money back. She sent it to me, and I wrote him and again told him to get bent that the scabbards were trashed to begin with and I had been clear on that in the posting. You could probably find the posting here if you went back 10 years or so.

What has me hacked off this time is I know I am getting a sword back that went out undamaged and now I am going to have to adjust the price based on what happend either in transit or was done. Like I said I am mostly disappointed.

I have sold swords at a profit and when offered lowball offers because the sword is 'old' or 'used'. Mostly I just thank people for their kind offer and move on. There was a very young man that did that once and I explained appreciation do to scarcity, he honestly thought swords that were not cut with were sort of like cars, that they were used and therefor worth much less. I also bought one sword for the scabbard and turned around and sold the sword with in a month when someone liked it.

Disappointed as if a friend invited me for Chili and when I got to his home there were beans in the chili (Sigh)

I am from just north of Mexico in Arizona and lived on Green Chili Enchiladas, with refried beans on the side and rice. I am in NC now but am blessed with a large hispanic and Mexican population. I had Mexican for lunch and there is a Colombian place around the corner where the women obviously are trying to make me fat. The meals are Huge and really inexpensive and very very good.

I am so glad people are keeping this positive, seeing the humor in things as well.

David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I personally don't have a problem in requiring a slight price increase for PayPal. I don't always do it, it depends on the price of the piece, but I don't have a problem with it. Nor do I consider it a "dick" move because I graduated from highschool just a while back. I always offer more than one method of payment. If a customer chooses PayPal due to convenience in speed of transaction, the ability to use a credit card, etc., then they can pay for that convenience. In any other business this is the way it is. I'm selling an item not handing out favors or rebates.

The things that really frost my ass concern customers inability to follow simple instructions. If I give you two payment options don't tell me you want to use a third. If I specify the price is firm look that word up in the dictionary, because too many people don't seem to know what it means. If you read that, then waste my time with a PM offering a lower amount, you're likely to find the transaction has ended at that point. I don't spend a lot of time on line these days because I've found better things to do with my life. As such, my time has value so don't waste it by ignoring the simple guidelines I've set down.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Oct, 2016 7:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:


. If I specify the price is firm look that word up in the dictionary, because too many people don't seem to know what it means.


I am a Dealer Broker registered with FINRA. For those that do not know "firm" means that is the price and not to be negotiated. It the stock market if I give you a firm quote on stocks that is what the price IS.

David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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