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So what's with the aliases? (Re: Fake labels)



#26

A few people participating in the Fake Label Maker thread below are not using the names they usually use on this forum. I notice that one person usually posts under a label rather than a name, but when he criticizes Mike, ebay or other ebay dealers, then he posts under various plausible-sounding names. Another guy uses his name on some posts but then switches to vague labels when criticizing ebay or Mike. (At least three in that thread alone.)

Why is this? It makes me think that either you're embarrassed to say these things under your own name, or you want to punish Mike/ebay, but at the same time you want to reserve the option to do business with him/it in the future.

Is there another explanation?

This forum doesn't require you to use your real name but it seems only fair when you're criticizing someone.

Some people may have legitimate complaints against Mike (and/or other ebay dealers) but I'm having trouble sorting out which ones to take seriously in the mess below.


#27

Dave,

It looks like your going to have to add 'fake labels' to your banned list of topics (like death penalty, gun law etc.)

False names do allow strongly held (unpopular, but perhaps correct) views to be expressed without being labelled for the rest of your days as an extremist.

Perhaps Dave you should allow/advise people to use 'ANON1/2/3' etc for those who may fall into this category.

The internet allows many benefits AND pitfalls. This site has provided me with much amusement, information and valued opinion as well as allowing me to pass on my knowledge and vent my frustrations. However, the internet also allows people to hide behind false names, distribute false or corrupting information and commit crimes with little chance of being traced.

From my perspective HP collecting has gone commercial and the worries about tarting up(UK slang) poor quality calcs and selling them fraudulently (i.e. passing them off as original when the buyer does not know the history or knows it not to be true) for a big profit is with us now and won't go away until prices go down a lot.

If one person can make fake labels then it's quite easy for 100's of others to do so. At least this person is minded to put a 'copy' indicator, what about the people who don't?

If people use EBAY to buy top dollar goods then don't be surprised if crooks sneak in and pass off some items as un-restored and perfect when they are not. I AM NOT SAYING ANYONE HERE HAS DONE THAT but it is naive to think that everyone using Ebay is totally honest when such large amounts of money are involved. In my mind this would include tactics like false bidding, being economical with the description etc. Ebay does put 'caveat emptor' (buyer beware) so they perhaps legally absolve themselves (but not the seller).

I do wonder when we will see the first court case involving an Ebay transaction (perhaps it already has happened?)

PS Because the term 'mint' is so over used on Ebay I've even seen one item described as 'better than mint'!

PPS Keep up the good work Dave - edit / move this as you see fit.


#28

Having to ban various subjects like "fake labels". It's actually an interesting discussion even if it gets a little heated. It also got me browsing around other collector sites and I found calls for more regulation in the area of replicas and labeling. I'm not sure I'm for or against yet-another-law but it's interesting to see people in different fields grappling with the same issues.

Thinking back, three "flare ups" come to mind and there have been people posting under aliases in each one. Admittedly people post under aliases on threads that stay perfectly civil so it's not a causal relationship. However, the combination of a personal attack (justified or not - who can tell) and an alias (or several) does seem to be a firecracker.

What would you think about a ban on personal attacks under an alias? Right now I'm having a hard time seeing any potential loss to the forum from such a ban but I'm open to other opinions.

Then again, this doesn't happen frequently and perhaps it's enough to just point out the use of aliases when another flare-up happens.


#29

Dave,

I think that you have chosen the wise path. The discussion is a little heated from time to time but we are all grown ups. Mind you; compared to the Australian parliment it is down right civil. :-)

I too have certainly learnt a lot through the free and frank exchange of views on this topic.

By and large this seems to be a far more civilised discussion forum than many I have seen. If this is the worst then I think we are doing quite well.

#30

Well, there is 1 solution : ID management.... but this is additional work to you or deputees you would nominate...

#31

Dave wrote: "Why is this? It makes me think that either you're embarrassed to say these things under your own name, or you want to punish Mike/ebay, but at the same time you want to reserve the option to do business with him/it in the future."

I can only speak for myself, but in my case is not so much
a matter of embarrassment as simply to avoid any possible
attacks on retaliation. It's always been the case that
telling publicly about something that's wrong brings
the possibility of being attacked in return. That's why
a number of years ago Internet sites such as anon.fi where so popular, you could vent out your feelings on something unjust without getting massacred for it.

Giving a real name and/or e-mail address can mean you're put on a number of "black lists" or subject to spam or other kind of abuse, just for telling the thruth about some wrongs. And given the way he treated me just for asking politely, I don't feel like risking getting harassed by this guy for telling my frank opinion about him. It may seem a bit paranoid but with certain kinds of people such as Mike it's best to play it safe.

As for your comment "but at the same time you want to reserve the option to do business with him/it in the future" I suspect you simply don't know how completely wrong you are on this as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't do business with "Mikesdavis" even if he was the only old-HP seller in the world, and I fully suspect that I'm not the only person to feel that way.


#32

possible attacks or retaliation do you mean doing to you what you did to him or did you have something more sinister in mind like him tracking you down somewhere in the real world? The latter seems unlikely since even your usual ID here doesn't reveal your name or location.

In the US a person has a right to face his accusers in a trial. This is not a court and this website extends well beyond the US but it still strikes me as unfair to attack someone while not even giving him the benefit of knowing who you are. He has no way of knowing if you've ever really contacted him.

This is not like a single powerless individual using anonymity to speak out against a government. This is a few people ganging up on one guy and using anonymity to make the gang appear larger. Another member of the gang accused Mike of having spotty customer relations. However, Mike's ebay feedback is more impressive than that anonymous poster's. The anonymous poster's feedback is excellent, but Mike's at: Praises: 704, neutrals: 0, complaints: 0, is pretty hard to beat. I realize that Ebay's feedback system is far from perfect but not ONE complaint in more than 700 transactions???

Frankly I'm amazed at how much you were able to learn about his motivations from what appears to be a single exchange regarding acceptable forms of payment. I can't tell whether he truly "despises" you as you say or if that is simply your interpretation of his unwillingness to take your preferred form of payment. Mike probably can't answer that either given that he doesn't know who you are. If he knew, he might be able to provide an explanation or an apology but your alias ensures that that won't happen.


#33

Regarding Ebay feedback. Generally, it is ONLY an indication that you received what you paid for, or had a sucessful transaction. Not that you were happy with the price you may have foolishly paid. In many cases, the buyers were people who paid 3-10X the going rate for an HP item that was sniped on Ebay just days earlier. Would you take advice from someone who paid $125 for a 82120A battery?


#34

I wrote this page around 5 or 6 years ago when eBay was still fairly young. I've done my own complaining about ebay and I rarely use it for buying (2 items - not HPs - in the last year.) I do like it for selling though so I really can't blame other sellers for using it. :-)


#35

EBay isn't the only place where buyers seem to over-pay... just check some of the asking prices in the classifieds here... or, if its for best offer, try making them a reasonable offer. I think the asking/going prices are comparable to EBay.

#36

Dave says: "do you mean doing to you what you did to him"

-- I did nothing to him, only asked a polite question before bidding in one of his auctions, but I got unfairly mistreated, period.


Dave goes on: " ... or did you have something more sinister in mind like him tracking you down somewhere in the real world? The latter seems unlikely since even your usual ID here doesn't reveal your name or location."

-- In Internet's Pandora's Box you'll never know, better play it safe.


Dave adds: "...unfair to attack someone while not even giving him the benefit of knowing who you are. He has no way of knowing if you've ever really contacted him."


-- He knows for sure he's done that to a number of people, my just being one of them, so my exact identity is not relevant. Anyway, labelling a opinion as an "attack" seems to me misleading. Else you couldn't ever tell in this forum about a bad experience with something or someone, lest it would be considered 'an attack'. Complaining about any wrong is always bound to be considered an 'attack' by the perpetrator.

Dave further adds: "This is a few people ganging up on one guy and using anonymity to make the gang appear larger."

-- I don't know what 'gang' you're talking about. My words and my opinions are mine own and neither represent nor necessarily agree with the opinions of other people in this thread. Seeing 'gangs' where there are none is misleading, too. No 'conspirations' as far as I'm concerned.

Dave concludes: "I realize that Ebay's feedback system is far from perfect but not ONE complaint in more than 700 transactions???"

-- In my case and many others, the problems began BEFORE any transaction was possible, and eBay has no mechanism to leave feedback when you've been mistreated when trying to enter into one. So you'll agree that if there are a sizable number of people who've been verbally abused by this fellow when trying to enter one of his auctions, eBay's feedback would still show nothing of the sort. That's one of the useful possibilities of your forum, that you can leave some kind of 'feedback' here that wouldn't be possible elsewhere, so that fellow hp lovers can be warned.


And Dave ends: "Frankly I'm amazed at how much you were able to learn about his motivations from what appears to be a single exchange regarding acceptable forms of payment."


-- Well, I'm not used to people mistreating me, much less people who should in theory be specially kind to me, as a potential customer to their business. After the fact I commented it with my many collector friends, and some of them also had similar experiences with this guy, so mine was not an isolated case, but rather it seems yet another case of his 'terminally-ill ego' at work. After reading other opinions in this forum, among them Bruce's, I can clearly see that this is indeed usual in him, and I decided to tell about my experience too.

Perhaps this will prove useful if he sees that he's been misbehaving and amends his ways. I couldn't care less if he will accept PayPal or colour crystals, as I'll never ever buy anything from him, but perhaps others will get better treatment when dealing with this guy.


#37

John said: "Else you couldn't ever tell in this forum about a bad experience with something or someone, lest it would be considered 'an attack'."

In your original posting, only a portion appears to concern your experience with him. Even on that section we see only your version of the events. That section is one-sided but I wouldn't call it "an attack".

You also tell us that he "more or less" told you to go to hell leaving us to wonder exactly how much more or less. You also generalize to tell us how he feels about "each and everyone of his would-be customers" that he's "an extremely greedy guy" (because he wouldn't take your money?) and you also explain his motives for his "pathetic rant". Those are the parts that make me think of the word "attack".

John said: After reading other opinions in this forum, among them Bruce's, I can clearly see that this is indeed usual in him, and I decided to tell about my experience too.

Mike has acknowledged that the exchange between himself and Bruce took place and has explained his reasons for not taking Paypal. I don't take Paypal either by the way. I have been asked to twice and each time I've given up reading part way through the agreement. For me it was a time/endurance issue :-)

As for other opinions in this forum, please keep in mind that several of the opinions that appear to come from multiple people in reality come from one. Are you willing to accept something as truthful because it is repeated by multiple people even after realizing that several of those people are really just one person using multiple names?


#38

Dave, you might consider doing that search on yahoo for "paypal problem". It's quite revealing. Perhaps a new page with "paypal warnings"?

It's a tough world out there.
Gene

#39

My contribution:

1. I've done business once with Mike Davis and found him to be honest and helpful. I gave him positive feedback, of course.

2. Mike Davis has made me "mad as hell" when he buys everything up, such is in the last "dutch" auction. He bought all six HP-71B's instead of just a couple, not allowing the rest to be bought by others. Just when I think I've found something at a decent price, I get sniped. Not JUST by Mike, but often by him.

3. The situation, as I see it, is simply this: There are a number of collectors who want to collect, share ideas, and not spend or make a lot of money in the process. The only reason I can think of that Mike Davis would buy every one of an item he can, would be to make a profit: to resell, unless he's personally hoarding hundreds of items for his own use. As mentioned before, he has this right!!! Still, as a collector only, and not being in the business to buy and resell, several people like Mike on e-bay make it very, very difficult for the vast majority of collectors to get items at a lower (fair?) price. When they are available, these "big dealers" buy them up, then resell at marked-up prices. Why not? He's clearly there to make a profit at this.

4. Since so many people SELLING these items aren't collectors, the solution of simply trading off e-bay won't work very well.

5. I wish some of the big dealers would simply share now and then. But, I UNDERSTAND. It's only wishful thinking in a free market place.

So, in summary, Mike Davis makes me angry that he purchases an item or multiple items to relist, not because he's adding to his own collection. If he were, I wouldn't mind as much. But, as Bruce has pointed out, "Mike cares about Mike". He has every right to. Here's an opportunity to make money, and this is his right. I think the anger I've seen here on the Forum is by trying to judge Mike as one would other collectors.

In an "ideal world", the pond would have basically the same kind of fish. In the real world, there are the little fish, the big fish, and the sharks.

My biggest hope is then in opposite directions of Mike's goals, and I wish only the best to him as a person. My hope is that people will let Mike buy lots and lots of calculators, and when he cannot sell them for elevated prices, maybe he'll quit buying so many. But if he's the only one who has them, he'll probably be able to set the World's prices. It's been done in other markets....(silver?)

I'm guessing this is the source of so many peoples' anger towards Mike. I just wanted to explain how I see the situation. Comments?

Michael


#40

(I've resisted commenting on this thread for as long as possible, but it's really touched a nerve in me.)

I agree with Michael Meyers completely on this, and would like to add one other criticism of the way Mike Davis "collects". He has frequently used this forum to solicit repair advise so that he can fix calculators in order to sell them on ebay. He did this once about a year and a half ago (when he started with ebay sales) with me via private email and I was appalled! In fact, I "talked" him through his first card reader repair; no sooner was it completed than it hit ebay! I've since avoided giving him any further repair information on this forum or elsewhere.

He certainly has the right to do as he wishes with ebay and his "collecting" but his use of the many, many good people on this forum to help him profit is horrible.

-Katie


#41

I have also resisted commenting on this thread for as long as I could stand.

Now I would like just to ad that I fully support Michael Meyer's and Katie's comments.

Unreasonably high prices are the reason for which I do not visit E-bay so often as I did before. It is just the common sense that prevents me to give say 130 EUR for a HP-55 that is presently there in the auction. Is this machine really this useful or not? There are people out there which drive the prices this high. I am personally not taking place in this (neither as a seller, nor as a buyer).

Instead of E-bay, I always prefer Classified Adds in moHP...
and communicating with people in this forum, who are really nice and competent...

#42

I really appreciate Michael and Katie posting detailed grievances under their own names. I think this is much preferable to innuendo posted under aliases.

To give an example of my concern over aliases consider that a post made under an alias alleged that Mike would be getting a 1000% markup on these HP-71s. However, the next day in an email that person, under his own name, estimated that Mike's potential markup was along the lines of 57%.

I think it's also fair to look at the dutch auction in question from the seller's view point. Prior to Mike's bid the seller would have made three separate transactions totaling $120. Mike's bid gave him a single transaction totaling $282. The seller has got to be pretty happy about that.

I've seen these collector vs. dealer debates on other forums in different collectible spaces. I don't think that they'll ever end. I think they've become more common in recent years because the Internet is giving markets a transparency that they never had before. In other words you never knew where your dealer was getting his stuff before and how much he was ripping you er ah marking up his stuff. :-)

I first experienced this in the early 1990s. I had this clever idea of grepping an entire news server (this predates dejanews) for HP calculators for sale in every existing newsgroup. I turned up many cheap calculators for sale in odd-ball news groups. Unexpectedly, I also turned up many wanted posts by one of the biggest HP dealers of the time (not Mike by the way.) So that's where he was getting his stuff! It was a pretty amazing business model. Buy "old junk" cheap in one newsgroup and sell it for more simply by advertising it in another just a few keystrokes away! Cool!

So my clever idea put me in direct competition with a dealer but I figured that the advantage was mine. After all, all I had to do was guess a number between his offer price and his sales price and I'd get it, the seller would get more, and everyone would be happy except the dealer. (And it worked very well.)

The situation is similar on the auction mentioned but people took the risk of bidding too low. They were hoping that they could all walk away with $20 calculators, which typically sell for $75. Well, sometimes you can and sometimes you can't. One of the effects of a transparent market is that dealer spreads tend to decrease. Thinking a dealer wouldn't offer more than 25% of a typical selling price in such a market proved to be too optimistic in this case.

All that said, there could be a benefit to Mike to appear less competitive with his potential customers. I can think of at least one antique dealer who specifically claims that in the interest of good will, he does not bid against his customers. (Being cynical for a moment - it also helps him avoid the transparency problem - by not bidding on ebay no one knows what he pays for his stuff.) This approach is most practical if Mike's current supply is larger than his current demand. Otherwise, he could be loved out of business.

It's harder for me to comment on Katie's post because I'm not sure if her concern is that profit is bad, that she didn't get part of it, that Mike deceived her, or some combination of those.

Dave


#43

Dave. Please tell me that you did know that my comments about a 1000% markup were a deliberate exaggeration. NO ONE would try to say that an HP71 would sell for $470!! The point intended is a valid one.


#44

without false names, innuendo, exaggeration, hyperbole etc.

"The point intended is a valid one."

Once the exageration is removed, it is not clear to me what point is intended.

For example, you could make a similar comment about ebay such as: Why buy and sell on ebay when the ebay service takes 50% of the final price for themselves? Well that sounds like an excellent question, however, once you check the facts and realize that ebay's cut is much smaller than that, then "the point" is not nearly so interesting or clear. Still, if just the idea of ebay or a dealer getting a cut offends you, then you are certainly free to shop and sell elsewhere.

#45

And I admire your courage to post your comments.


#46

if it is really that offensive to her to help someone who eventually might make a profit.

What she said is mostly true. However, I did not mislead or deceive her. I had no idea that she only helps certain people and only under certain conditions. I cannot read her mind. I asked a couple of questions and she answered. Simple as that.

Others have given me help and advice, knowing full well that I will apply that to my calculators and don't have a problem with giving the advice.

If she gives out help conditionally she really should have a disclaimer that lets people know that she only helps certain people. And she should let them know up front.

I give advice and help to people all the time and don't give a hoot if they use the info to sell something.


#47

Mike,

You have interpreted my comments correctly. What bothered me is/was your use of free advise to help turn a profit with. I'm a computer consultant by trade and get paid to give advise that people profit from. But I also do "pro bono" work for people that do not intend to profit from my advise. My expectations of posting on this forum and helping collectors in private email is that this is "pro bono" work -- meaning "for the good" but implying for the good of all, not the good of one making a profit.

I agree that you did not mislead me during our email conversation (way back when), it was not my intent to imply that you were. Furthermore, I know that you help other collectors as do many of us here. But most of us do not look upon "collecting" as a money making activity -- in fact, I suspect most of us spend a high percentage of our discretionary income on it. It is a "hobby" and one does expect that it should cost something. I think that seeing you make a profit on an activity that most of us expect to spend quite a lot of money on is what's really created this heated debate.

-Katie

#48

You have given an honest appraisal of the situation, from your perspective. But it is only what you see. It's like listening to a phone conversation and not knowing what is going on on the other side.

I'd like to pose a simple question. Why should it be wrong for me to bid on below market value items, same as you or anyone else? It is irrelevant, what I wish to do with them. But I can tell you that I have in my personal collection, anything that I sell.

I would also like to point out that I am not bidding against anyone who bids $50 on something that is worth $200. Their bid is not serious. If you go back and look at every auction that I have ever won (larger auctions), you will find that all the descenters here were outbid by two, three or four other people; not just myself.

Sure, I buy items on eBay, when the prices are low or when they are part of a large package. I'm just like you in that respect. If people don't want to pay fair market price, then they have nothing to complain about when they lose. No desireable item can be won without sniping, unless it is "buy-it-now" and is spotted by someone early.

How do you you support your collection? You buy items that are low priced, right. Well that's only one way.

I support my collection by buying below market prices; repairing them (if broken); adding value to some items (by including extra items like RAM); fully testing and reselling some. By repairing them; by adding other items to package; I offer additional value to other collectors OR more likely someone who just wants a nice calculator.

My items are only high quality. New collectors or users don't have to buy 3 or 4 items to get a calculator that works. They are not deceived and can always elect not to purchase. All of my calculators work and are tested. That's why I still have no problem selling items on eBay. That is why I have over 200 repeat customers.

Further, if you were to sell one of yours, you would ask high price as well. You wouldn't sell it below the going market value, would you?

The six 71b in question cost $47.00. That is below market value. Almost any 71b will go for upwards of $75, in just average condition. Why should I not bid on the item?

I bid on all 6 items but did not expect to win all six. How was I to know that others would not bid anywhwere near market value. Gees... the cases alone are worth $20 each. The last two 71B cases I saw on eBay (in the past 2 weeks) went for more than that. I had no way of knowing that someone else would not bid higher. If anyone bid $48, I would not have gotten all 6, would I?

Also, had I bid on only 3 items, the 3rd and 4th bidders still would not have won. They only bid $20 on something clearly worth more. Who's to blame for that? Not I. The only one that has a right to complain is mlmeyermd. He was the only one that did not win, when he might have. If he wants a couple at $40, I'll be glad to give them to him at his price (not mine). All he has to do is ask.

I also purchased 17 32K RAM Modules for $28 each. That's a bargain. The 71bs were to go with the 32K RAM modules that I purchased. So, there was a need for the calculators. Some will be back on eBay with lots of RAM. Some will not.

There is nothing unethical about bidding on these two auctions. Nothing that warrants any personal attacks at all.

I'd also like to point out that often, when I outbid someone at the last second on multiple items, I often offer the other serious bidders the option to buy some at the bid price (with no markup). I recently did that on some 64K RAM modules. I made nothing on the offer to the 2nd high bidder. It was simply a courtesy. I could have easily made use of all of the RAM.

Another thing you don't know. I have outbid someone from time to time and when they complain, I send the item to them FREE. One of the complainers in this very thread received a MINT HP-27S manual FREE from me in just such a transaction. I asked for his address, sent him the manual, dnd I didn't even get a thank you from him.

Many people contact me to repair their calculators. I do it for free. I repaired 3 just this week and didn't charge a nickle.

Lots of people know what kind of things I bid on. Many contact me and say that they are planning to bid on the item. When this happens I tell them that I will not bid against them, so long as they are high bidder. I respect people who act with civility.

If I don't care about other collectors, why would I go to the bother to photograph and write articles on repairing the 67 and 97 and post it to the Museum site? I give free tubing and materials to people all the time, for free, to make these repairs.

I also find it interesting that some question my ethics for adding value and then marking something up to reflect that value (10X by the way, as some have suggested, is laughable; you couldn't possibly mark something up 10X and sell it) while at the same time they don't find an ethical problem with taking something from someone that is worth 10X what they have asked. If they are so ethically pure, why don't they inform the seller that a MIB HP-70 is worth more than $20?

I post this only because you responded in an honest and civil manner. I respect that but have no time for other people who only want to spew negativity. This is not meant to convince any of them. They have their agenda. They are in the minority anyway.

What they don't realize is with all their complaining, it has sparked the number of positive emails that I am getting and many are asking for advice and help with finding things they need or help with repairing their calculators. People can spot the negative ones from the ones that help.

I am always available to anyone who needs help or advice. All anyone needs to do is ask.


#49

Mike,

I appreciate your response very much, as well as Dave's comments. I'm impressed with your even tone. Thank you.

I guess I was trying to point out that there are two sides to this, but I cannot deny that my tone reflected some frustration, surely from my point of view only. The points you make are all valid, especially about your sales of re-assembled, clean, and functional equipment saving people time and being very reasonable. Certainly it does for those who want to collect without the risk of getting non-functional equipment in need of restoration or worse.

I, too, like to find bargains at "below market value" and repair them. And you're right: if I ever were to sell parts of my collection, I'd want to make more than I spent. (I haven't, though, and instead have traded nicely with others, striving for equal deals.)

There's no doubt that I was expressing that frustration, but I'm glad you could see that I was trying to see your motives and point of view as well.

Thank you, again, for your level-headed and decent response to my post.

I will say again: I wouldn't hesitate to do business with you at any time; I think you have been fair, honest, and helpful. I'm only hoping I don't have to....and only in the sense that I hope I can get some "bargains" again from time-to-time. I still want to buy the "unknowns" and have the fun of learning and fixing.

I didn't start this thread, or the comments, but I hope I can help end it by having shown both sides of the issues discussed. Thanks to Dave, as well, for his (as usual) excellent mediation.

Your "competing" friend,
Michael

#50

I concur with your HP buying habits 100%, and I know dozens of others who feel the same way.


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