Collecting Japanese Antiques,Pro's and Con's

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As a collector of Japanese items for over forty years and an e.bayer for five with a positive feedback of arounf 500. I am worried about the current problems buying things Japanese not just on e.bay.

I am sure you are well aware of what will follow but as a friend has just lost £3000 on a fake sale, read this and be cautious. {These apply to e.bay sale/Purchase}

(1) Befor bidding ask for "Better pictures" to be sent to you,check the sellers feedback,  even mail some of the buyers who have given positive feedback for their opinion, I say this as often a buyer will be afraid to give a negative  in case the seller retaliates.  If an expensive item ask if the seller will accept Escrow.

(2)Be Very cautious befor making payment by cash,postal order or Western Union,once this form of payment is made no trace can be made. PayPal is a good method as the seller has to besigned up and some cover is agreed.

(3) Recently I bought an item that was described as being Antique,Japanese,Original and all the detail was in Japanese terminology, also the address was in the USA with 100% positive feedback although only around 30.  When the invoice came through it was from ShangHi....Sadly virtually all Japanese items coming out of China are copies.

(4) With reference to No3, Putting aside the reference to China but assuming they are not 100% genuine,but,you still like the item.  Aske the seller to confirm to you it is of Japanese origin,it's age and structure. I have spent some time in China, a wonderfull country,make the seller aware that you have some expertise.

(5) Just because the country that the sale states,E.G, UK, this may not be so,many items offered from Europe or Nth America may well be from the far east. Recently I bought a set of camera lense from Poland but they were shipped from Hong Kong,excellent that they are this is very missleading.

(6) Private auctions, this may protect the buyer....why?. My experience is that this allows some sellers to hide feedback that may{Both positive & Negative} but will tell potential buyers  that the item is not genuine or as described.

Finally my friends, it is not all negative, stick to the suggestions above,ask advice from old collectors like me and enjoy this world market. Some of my collection is now spread across the world, I built a web site and put a "Happy Buyer" section that can be viewed by all. Just be sensible when buying expensive items and when you are caught, kick up a stink, dont let e.bay be tainted by these people.

Since this was written I have added a "Anti Fraud" visitors book to my web site. In a small attempt to protect the web comunity from the now vast fraud/.miss described items in my field of collection,Japanese, and as ebay cannot filter out even with our help, these people,I ask that you visit and apply some information on sellers that you have had a "Bad" but also "Good" experience with.

Inform the vendor what will happen, give the web site address if you wish,objective comments with detail please, but we have to protect our comunity from people who seem to have no moral problem with "Stealing" from us.

Non selling sellers,Sellers who blatently miss described an item as Japanese while fully aware it is a copy from China,sellers who give  a UK or US  address while the item is in fact from China{The address gives an initial feeling of security if Europe or US, while if we see China we are pretty sure it will be wrong!}...........let us know by adding your story free but may save some poor soul from these chaps.

I have been warned that this will do me "NoGood"  so be it.


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