"schuylerac" - response

On 20 March 2002, after having received emails about his questionable lots, "schuylerac" added the following to some of the listings:

"Recently we have had a unusual rash of complaints from various ebayers. The basic complaint deals with the lots which we sell " AS IS". Somehow, these befuddled few, cannot grasp the meaning of " WE DON'T DARE IMAGINE THIS IS GENUINE, AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU", or " NO IMPLICATION IS MADE OR SUGGESTED THAT THIS IS GENUINE", or " ALL ITEMS SOLD AS IS ARE STRICTLY CONSIDERED TO BE NOTHING MORE THAN REFERENCE AND NOVELTY COPIES", OR "WE WON'T VERIFY THIS TO BE GENUINE" and so on. So in defference to their befuddlement, we will state the following and we apologize in advance for insulting your intelligence. Any and all lots which we sell " AS IS" we strictly consider to be nothing more than reference and novelty copies as we continually state in each description. One disgruntled buyer even stated he read and understood, but didn't believe us. We promise you, we will not offer a stamp which has a value of $45,000, and start it for $9.99, and call it a reference copy, if it isn't. You have our word on it. We are placing this blurb in each lot wherein these befuddled few registered a complaint. If, for some unknown reason, you haven't understood the description on "as is" lots, any "as is" lots, not just these in question, please feel free to withdraw your bids. Thankyou for your patience. And now to those few befuddled of you, who view yourselves as " THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR", you can rest easy, the HOLY GRAIL is still secure."

An email to "schuylerac" on 22 March, suggesting that the auction titles are misleading and should be replaced with something like "US - Fake 80a, "as is" brought the following glib response:

"Thanks for taking the time to write. We don't mind criticism, for that is the only way one learns about his mistakes and then can make a correction. Your comment speaks to how the item is presented. Selling anything, is a matter of presentation. The first step is to get someone to come into your store, in this case to look at the lot. If you want to sell something, you can't attract someone by offering something in an unattractive manner. After the item is actually looked at, in the case we are speaking of, everything is explained. It is explained why the item is being offered as it is. It is explained what our opinion of this item is. It is explained that it is not genuine, in fact 2 times.

Those people who aren't interested will go away and not bid. Those people who are interested will bid. As you can see, each one of these lots where we rec'd a complaint, received bids after the additional information was added. None of these bidders could possibly have been mislead. We have no record of a single bid retraction. The case in point is as follows. Some people think selling reference is abhorrent and as evidenced by the sales in question, others do not. But this isn't Afghanistan and there isn't any Taliban here, or at least not in power. Those people who don't like reference don't bid, and we are sure they wouldn't bid with us on any item, reference or not, and that is their right. Just as those who do bid, are entitled to those same rights.

We don't take your letter to be argumentative, we don't however agree that salesmanship must, or should, stop at philately's doorstep.

Once again we appreciate your interest and input and it is nice to get an email once in awhile that isn't filled with righteous, ranting indignation, refusing to leave room for diverging opinions."

'Fraud on eBay - exposed!' article