Re: Auctions, and the hazzards of buying&selling collectables

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Posted by Steve Santini on July 11, 2001 at 19:27:16:

In Reply to: Re: Auctions, and the hazzards of buying&selling collectables posted by Bruce Thomson on July 11, 2001 at 08:34:31:

Well Bruce, my story is true. If you doubt it, as you seem to do, feel free to ask Dale Browne, the former owner of Central Railway Collectibles. He was the antique dealer who had this encounter with Mr. Gunnarson. I know you know who he is as I was in his shop with you a number of times. I, unlike some others, do not make up stories just to have something "interesting" to say. Steve Santini.: Dear Mr. Santini - I can see your view - many a deal was made in ignorance in the cuff trading arena, but you missed a point that I tried to make, namely that the dealer was told by the original seller that all they needed was a key that could be gotten from a locksmith.
: Now, I had had dealings with the dealer before, in fact I bought a very nice H&R super from him for a great price, and I could not believe he would make up something like that as he has a level of behaviour that suggests he is an adult... So, I believe him when he said that the darbies were sold to him by a knowledgable person who said that a key would work on them. It COULD have been a sin of ommision, after all three of the keys I have did open ONE side - the full length bolt side. But the other was out of key reach and I find it hard to believe that a knowing restraint collector would think it would work. Please remember that the dealer identified the seller to me, and I was aware that this guy was no johnny come lately to the restraint collecting field. No, I can only insist that it was unloaded on a genuine dealer who honestly believed what he was told by a person who saw an opportunity to trade up.
: As for Mr. Gunnarson's assertion that the plug eights were broken and that he told the dealer this, I'll look at it as possible, but since I wasn't there I don't know for sure. Did Dean use a dodge to lower the price? What was the dealer asking? What did he base the price on, your opinion of its worth? I don't know, but if the story comes from you and pertains to Dean Gunnarson many people would understand my caution in accepting it without asking for a little more information.
: Now, a few apologies; sorry Joe for ragging on at an otherwise calm message board, didn't mean to start a bitch up. Also sorry to anyone who is offended by my stance on the issue, but too many potential collectors get turned off by misrepresentation, otherwise darbies would sell for a lot more on ebay! :
: Dear Mr. Thomson,
: : While I understand the point of your article, you should be aware that many antique and gun dealers (and Police for that matter!) know very little about handcuffs and how they work. Instead of "pointing the finger" as you have at unethical collectors and dealers, perhaps you should stop for a moment to consider that perhaps both the original seller as well as perhaps the dealer had no idea that the Darbies you purchased were broken or damaged in the first place. After all, since they were without a key, how was one to know they did not function as they were meant to? The "out to rip off others" scenario is not always what it appears to be. I remember many years ago I sold a LEFT HANDED thread plug 8 minus the plug to a Winnipeg antique dealer. He, in turn, sold them to well known escape artist Dean Gunnarson. Some weeks after the sale, I ran into this same dealer who angrily said to me "The cuffs you sold me were broken!" When I asked him why he thought this, he replies that Dean Gunnarson had been into his shop and had bought the cuffs but offered less than the asking price because, as Dean put it, "they were broken". I have been collecting cuffs as you know for over 20 years and I can personally attest that the cuffs were in perfect working order. In fact, I ended up with the very same cuffs in a trade I did with Dean some years later. My point in bringing all of this up is; just because a collector says a cuff is "broken" , it does not mean that it is necessarily so. That person is just out to convince the dealer of the fact so that they may get a better deal on the item. The same goes for some dealers who may sell an item of which they know practiacally nothing about. It does not necessarilly mean that either the dealer in question, or, for that matter, the persom who sold the cuff to him was out to rip anyone off. I can, in some cases, merely mean that some folks are ignorant as far as restraints are concerned, or, did not have the appropriate resources to test the manacle and see if it indeed was in proper working order. Not everyone is out to rip others off Bruce! Food for thought, Steve Santini.: I was very interested in the debate over e-bay commentaries on the board, and felt that I have to say a few things.
: : : I don't know anyone who collects who hasn't been "burned" at one time or certainly has happened to me more times than I care to think about! I can't criticise those who want to discuss a value durring an auction simply because it only affects the feelings of the auction losers, who feel bad already about not getting thier "prize". I was out of town when an auction closed, I was too confident of having won and got what I deserved - nothing! yes I felt bad about it, but thats how it is. I've paid way too much for some stuff on e-bay because I just had to have it - a momentary loss of common sense that you literaly pay for. I've also won some pretty good deals so I think it eventually averages out.
: : : It is the deliberate deception from buyers or sellers that angers me, as each victim becomes quite bitter and may take some sort of revenge on the next deal.
: : : If not at auctions then at antique/gun/militaria shows, were most damage probably occurs. I bought a nice looking pair of Hiatt darbies that had a bolt cut short so no key would work. Even though I saw this I bought them anyway and shipped them to Ian McCol to see if he could repair them. Why? Because I just didn't want to see them in that state and eventually upset a new collector who might decide that all restraint colectors are dishonest. Ian did a great job on them If I decide to sell them I would need top dollar to break even, but I wont regret it as I stopped one collector who deliberately foisted broken darbies off on his dealer friend (I was told by the dealer WHO sold them to him, along with his comment about how a locksmith could provide a key for them. He reads this message board so I say to him "you should be ashamed!)from ruining the feeling of cameraderie that should be there for anyone entering this or any other collecting area.
: : : Sorry to be so long winded Joe.

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