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A Honest Look at Ebay

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  #1  
Old May 9th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default A Honest Look at Ebay

A Honest Look at Ebay

I doubt that anyone interested in the wonderful world of narghiles and mu'essel hasnít spent some time bargain hunting on ebay. Yet the pitfalls are many and caution should be your prime concern. I have lots of friends from my club with tons of experiences over the last couple of years which I hope a few of the readers here can benefit from.

One thing you need to remember when prowling around ebay is that tobacco products are forbidden and that ebay seems to be totally unpredictable in itís enforcement of itís own rules. I know of a recent deal in which a friend of mine bought a gorgeous narghile for 300 USD from an overseas seller which a day or so afer the sale was declared in violation of ebay policy which means that buyer protection and the ability to leave feedback vanished. In the three months since the supposed shipment the item never arrived and the item is in dispute with paypal.

Everyone should know that paypal doesnít allow itís service to be used for anything that the company doesnít approve of, like buying tobacco as well as lots of other things, so if you have a problem with a purchase of tobacco based mu'essel your chances of getting any help from paypal or ebay are about zero. The most common problems with buying shisha on ebay is getting a brand other then what you paid for, getting far less then what you paid for and getting some unknown, stale product in a sandwich bag. So only spend as much on shisha (not made by Soex or Black Label) as you are willing to flush down the toilet.

Anther thing to keep in mind is that itís a really bad idea to purchase used narghiles on ebay because you have no way of knowing how they have been used. Misuse has resulted in two cases of legal trouble for fellow club members of mine which resulted in jail time for one of them.

Some of the big sellers on ebay are very problematic. In part itís because several of them know very little about our passion other then how much money they are making and fraud is rampant.
Instances of purchases taking weeks or even months to arrive (if ever) are legion. As are incomplete, damaged and unusable goods and sellers that ignore customer complaints.

I know of more cases then I care to remember of poorly made (but nice looking) narghiles and related merchandise advertised as being of Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese or Jordanian manufacture
in fact being nothing more then slave labor made Chinese junk. These sorts of narghiles rarely fit together properly and almost never are usable for over a year.

The bargain hunter should also know that many supposedly Japanese silver coals and Three Kings are not what they claim to be. Itís common to get such products in genuine boxes but the actual product is clearly something inferior in obviously faked/re-used packaging.

When looking at a sellerís feedback note carefully not just the negative responses but also retractions as these are often a product of ďfeedback blackmailĒ. Typically, sleazy sellers will threaten unhappy customers with negative feedback or worse in response to complaints resulting in both sides retracting feedback. You should also know that sometimes unhappy buyers leave feedback that while marked as positive have very negative comments. Lastly, a lot of feedback is from sock puppets, former members and for items not related to narghiles so be extremely careful which sellers you deal with.

So far, my comments about ebay have been very negative but some good points need to be mentioned as well.

Honest sellers do exist on ebay and good deals can be had occasionally. In terms of major sellers I can only recommend Caravansarai as having functional products at very good prices. The owner and his wife are very nice and give first rate service. The construction quality doesnít look too good upon close inspection but his products give fine service for several years and are a great value.

Almost all antique narghiles offered on ebay are in poor condition and wildly over priced. Still, I know of two genuinely fantastic bargains in antique narghiles that have popped up this year so it is possible to make a real score if you know what to look for in that market segment. If you do buy an antique in need work take it to a professional craftsmen with experience in narghile construction and be ready to spend several hundred or more dollars or donít bother.

Lastly, the occasional beauty brought home by some American soldier shows up but such events are so rare that itís almost not worth mentioning.

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  #2  
Old May 10th, 2007, 12:31 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

If anyone wants specific sellers to avoid or buy from on ebay just drop me a line and i'll give you hard won knowledge of a lot of people.
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  #3  
Old May 12th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

Tasqeem on ebay is a good and reputable seller.

caravan imports? is a decent seller.

As for habibihookah stay away..... BEWARE... pure evil... will screw you.
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  #4  
Old May 12th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

i wont buy anything hookah related off of ebay. not that the 2 u posted arent reputable kitty, i would just rather buy from one of the websites that is supporting the forums.
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  #5  
Old May 12th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

Well sometimes they have some pretty cool stuff on eBay! Antique, hard to find, etc..

So I am not opposed to buying off eBay!

non-hookah related, that reminds me, I gotta order a pair of reef sandals from eBay that I can't find anymore, and they are super comfortable! Thanks for the reminder!
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  #6  
Old May 12th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

lol, glad i could help
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  #7  
Old May 12th, 2007, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

I have had a alot of realy bad experiences with ebay. Ovr chargeing on shipping. recieveing broken Merch. Six months before recived package. Not returning calls or emails. Selling Crapy products. Watch out for Ebay
Smiley
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  #8  
Old May 12th, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by angemonkwj
i wont buy anything hookah related off of ebay. not that the 2 u posted arent reputable kitty, i would just rather buy from one of the websites that is supporting the forums.

tasqeem is present on the other board (the maker of the Stargate). but i dont think to many people know of this one yet lol
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  #9  
Old May 12th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

i forgot about the stargate.
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  #10  
Old May 12th, 2007, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

got a Stargate Rotator. Its seals like a champ. The only draw back is that where it screws together you need to keep it lubed lightly with Olive Oil to keep from locking up from water deposits. Calcium. but other than that. Very Shrap and Smoke like a Beast.
Smiley
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  #11  
Old May 14th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

I posted this article or whatever you want to call it because I know almost everyone finds the lure of great bargains irresistible. Still yet the chance of having a horrible experience and getting ripped off is something Iíd like others to avoid. While itís true that Tasqeem, Caravansarai and other ebays are good suppliers they are very much the exception. Also, ebay and paypal are at best disinterested in our hobby and often hostile so problems can arise irregardless of the seller.

If I can provide some guidelines about minimizing the risk of doing business on ebay I will.

Basically, angemonkwj is right that itís better to work with the numerous well respected companies not on ebay. We should especially support those that support this forum.
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  #12  
Old May 14th, 2007, 03:13 PM
Johnny_D
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

I've allways been afraid of e-bay. Some of the stories above reinforce my fear.

I'd rather deal with an online seller that has been recommended from vital resource's like
this forum.

JD
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  #13  
Old May 15th, 2007, 02:47 PM
nofrendo
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

YESSS vital resources... classic

I reccommend that all hookah smokers pierce their balls.
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  #14  
Old May 15th, 2007, 03:20 PM
Smiley
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by nofrendo
YESSS vital resources... classic

I reccommend that all hookah smokers pierce their balls.
What does that mean?
Besides I really am very happy with my balls. Thank you
Smiley
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  #15  
Old May 15th, 2007, 03:25 PM
nofrendo
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

"A vital hookah resource reccommends that all hookah smokers pierce their balls"

hehe
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  #16  
Old May 15th, 2007, 03:26 PM
Smiley
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

Ouch I really have to say. Ouch
Smiley
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  #17  
Old May 15th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

Hrm... I was VERY close to picking up a qt for Genuine Hookahs off of ebay. After hearing about the feedback and the lousy customer service, needless to say I would rather pick mine up from say MNH or HC.
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  #18  
Old May 16th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

im not so sure about this vital resource of yours...sounds very painfull.
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  #19  
Old May 31st, 2007, 12:46 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerodynamic
Hrm... I was VERY close to picking up a qt for Genuine Hookahs off of ebay. After hearing about the feedback and the lousy customer service, needless to say I would rather pick mine up from say MNH or HC.
Good call ZD. That guy at GH rips off people all the time. I can't understand why you'd want a QT but what ever you'd want you can do much better then GH. I think that bith MNH and HC are good good companies but i'd like suggest that you look into the brass cored Syrians that Hookah ETC has. I got one for an excellent price a few months back and it's awesome.

Anyway, I think that the bottom line line is that ebay is not a place to buy any tobacco products and as far as narghiles go it's very risky. I think everyone is far better staying with retailers that support this forum.
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  #20  
Old May 31st, 2007, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: A Honest Look at Ebay

remarkable, the only two hookah related items I bought from ebay worked out - my very first pipe and my latest pipe. both very good deals and as promised. I knew from long PayPal use that I couldn't get tobacco stuff, so always looked elsewhere. I also know Paypal is as picky with it's policies as it wants - more so now that it's owned by Ebay.

But, I do understand about Ebay... I've both bought and sold there and boy do I have some stories to tell... including one prime unmenchtionable idiot that bought and paid for an item, then complained - threatened to sue me if I didn't return their money ASAP or if I emailed them again. WTHeck? All over a $10 video game?!

Ebay, both the best and worst place on earth to buy/sell things.
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