Posted in Stories

Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware

A Latin phrase describing a concept in contract law by which the burden of due diligence is the responsibility of the buyer of goods or services. The principle requires, prior to the purchase, the buyer to exercise due diligence to ensure that the goods be in acceptable order and that it suits his/her needs. If the buyer fails to perform the necessary actions, he or she will not be entitled to any remedies for damages in case the purchased product shows significant defects.

“There’s a sucker born every minute”

I’m sure everyone has heard this phrase and I bet some may associate it with P.T. Barnum, yet he did not actually utter the phrase. In all likelihood it was banker David Hannum referencing to Barnum’s part in the Cardiff Giant hoax. Yes, P.T. Barnum was a scam artist at one point in time.

“Too good to be true”

This principle is particularly relevant when making purchases on eBay. If you have ever made a purchase on eBay you know some sellers are good and some are not. By “not good” I mean some are unscrupulous, providing lousy descriptions, lousy photos, crazy pricing, are lazy and hiding defects. It is always in your best interest to ask questions, to read the description closely, examine the photos carefully and live by the old idiom “too good to be true” really holds true on eBay. The phrase is not a new warning, it makes it’s first appearance in the 1580 Oxford English Dictionary. Sellers have been cheating buyers for centuries if not millenniums.

“Thrill of the chase”

I recently let my excitement in finding “cool” stuff, plus my recent run of good finds made me lazy, and cloud my judgement when evaluating a pen for purchase. Yes I mentioned letting the thrill of the chase get the better of us in my post “Our Personalities, They Determine Our Collections.” What makes this particularly painful, is I bought 2 pens from the same seller and they both turned out to be “lemons” for which the seller clearly covering up the issues – in my opinion – but hey I have good reason to be a Negative Nancy.

“Caveat Emptor” of the snake oil salesman

The reason for this post is not to flame a shady seller (who BTW is a gold star eBay seller with a +99% approval rating) but to warn others. Sharing my experience may save others from making the same mistake. I got caught up in the excitement and thrill of the chase. Complicating the matter…..this was a “great” seller by all accounts. So remember – Caveat Emptor!

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——————————- eBay Horror Stories ————————-


I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

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