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SS/lsb set 11/4

To the Editor:

The October 18th issue of Antiques And The Arts Weekly contained an article entitled: “Another Cautionary Auction Tale Surfaces From The World of eBay,” by W.A. Demers. The article while interesting and informative to read was on a personal level more alarming.

As a highly successful international antiques dealer with over 30 years of experience, I, too, have had an occasional interest in eBay material. The majority of my transactions have placed me in the role of buyer and almost all without incident. The exception, however, has found me currently in a state of complete frustration with the way in which eBay does not support its buyers.

The upstate New York auctioneer referenced in the article, William J. Jenack, describes the online giant in my experience with searing accuracy as “uncontractable.” Our scenario is centered on a purchase valued in excess of $1,000, for which we made and sent payment in good faith, but to date have not received anything. In trying to follow up with eBay through several email requests for support, the only way known to us to reach them, the only response we received was nonsensical. It stated that in order for them to research our query we needed to provide them with the very historical information we were trying to obtain from them. Their response was generic, unhelpful and unrelated to what we had initially inquired about. How distressing to learn that “…This kind of thing happens all the time.”

I would be curious to learn the number and nature of other incidents that may come to light as a result of your article. Perhaps some good may develop from the shared unfortunate experiences of other users struggling with frustration in trying to reach some level of resolution.


Mark Allen

Amherst, N.H.

Comments are open. Be civil.

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