eBay wathch by Lin Sampson
In an article entitled, eBay watch, in the Sunday Times (South Africa) of 2 April 2006, Lin Sampson relates her disconcerting experience when she purchased a pair of antique earrings described as "Early Georgian Rose Diamond and Teardrop earrings on an eBay auction from one Wendy Lutge. When Sampson received the earrings it was obvious to her that they were, as Sampson put it, no more than what might drop out of a Christmas cracker. She wrote to the seller and told her that she wants her money plus postage refunded. To this Lutge reacted with belligerence; stating that the earrings are indeed Georgian and that she bought them from a reputable dealer, Laurelle Limited Antique and Fine Jewellery in the UK. She accused Sampson of suffering from Buyers Remorse.
When Sampson subsequently approached the antique jewellery expert of Christies for an opinion on the earrings, she received a letter from Christies stating that in their opinion the earrings are of recent manufacture, and not the early Georgian period (18th century).
But Lutge was not impressed with the Christies valuation; told Sampson that she does not believe her nor her valuations; and subsequently sent an email to editors all over the world entitled, Harassment by South African Journalist. Lutge’s conduct is obviously defamatory.
But Sampson wrote the article mention in the opening words of this extract and warned would-be users of eBay against the perils of doing business through that auction enterprise.
In her article Sampson also mentions a case in which the New York basedTiffany & Co is suing eBay for millions that they have lost when buying items from eBay. During 2004 the company purchased 200 Tiffany items from eBay, only to discover that three out of four pieces were fakes. The case goes on trial at the end of this year.
Coen van Wyk