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Ebay Listings Can Really Grind My Gears.


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I sent the seller a message. While I may not be as versed as some of you even I can see this is either an attempt to cheat someone or, more likely, ignorance, willful ignorance.

My message:

Dear gis2015,

These are not "vintage" and they are certainly not "antique". Most of these are jabo brand marbles, nice yes, even collectible but not older than 2000. The only older marbles in that lot are the three torwards the front that are semi translucent white and red.

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I think those are some Budweisers among the Jabos. So, yeah, those are cool.

A few of the cat eyes are older. And along with the "semi translucent white and red" ones that you mention, there is also a vintage Marble King, maybe two.

I wouldn't assume malice on their part.

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They have/had items for sale in many categories. Toys don't seem to be their strong suit.

They listed the marble lot four other times in recent weeks. Maybe your note will let them know that they're not likely to get the figure they hope for them.

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Unfortunately, just putting in lutz or adding an unusual color is kind of like having a secret handshake that the newbies aren't keyed in on.

Scratching something on the very bottom is innocuous in my humble opinion and does not detract at all from the marble.

Intentionally producing a marble that is almost identical to an antique, and that would be indistinguishable from an antique to the lay person, and trying to claim that you're just trying to highlight your skill-set is a cop out. People have been making that argument for 20 years and it just does not ring true. Again, in my humble opinion.

You don't have to put a huge scrawled signature on the bottom. You do like some other artists, Dale Danowski comes to mind, who mimic antique styles, and put a tiny monogram or other indication on the bottom.

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It has been going on for years and years and years. I do not see it not happening in the future. Some of it past and present may be unintentional and some of it may be intentional. The only sure cure i see for the furture is to stop making marbles all together. If enough marbles are produced sooner or later some will resemble old marbles(whatever that is)or marbles made at a earlier time. It happens with machine mades and contemorary. The only remedy that i have found is to stay updated educated and aware of what is what. What can anyone do about marbles already produced that resemble earlier ones,machine made or contemporary ? I have bought Jabos as Alley. I have bought Sammys as a Alley. But it was not the makers fault,it was mine. I should have knew better. I had matches for them later when i got home. Both times the sellers convinced me that it was something i wanted it to be but actually it was not. I bought civil war clays with stars on them until i learned better. I never have and do not buy the theory of using different colors that has not been used. When you produce a million or five million marbles. You are going to use some of the same colors that has been used before. If you never used any color or color combintaion ever used before what is left and who will want them ? Like machine made superman. How many named superman are there. They are all blue/red and yellow. You have to stay up to date to know which superman is which. Contemporary makers some who visit this board have for years refused to mark or sign their marbles for all kinds of reasons or excuses. We have been down this road every year since i started in marbles almost 20 yrs ago. The only cure i have found is my own head and eyes. I could cry about my mistakes but their mine and no one elses. No one would listen anyway or of they did they would get tired of my whining. What is your cure past and present. I think that i have heard them all but i will always listen to anything new.

Below are two marbles made at different times by different companies probably different countries. What is what ?

One is 5/8 size and one is 7/8 size.



Do we blame the makers ?

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Well said Ron. A lot of wisdom to the ongoing struggle of collecting antiques hobby.

Yes, well said Ron, but why do you feel the hobby is a "struggle" Sami?

The key to make any hobby stimulating and entertaining is education, as Ron said.

Most sellers like their items labeled because it increases their customer base - everyone from newbies to seasoned collectors can know what they're buying. An unsigned marble does not usually sell well.

When I used to collect stamps, if some aspect of an expensive stamp was unusual, such as the color, size of perforation, type of paper or printing technique, etc. a red flag was immediately raised. That's not to say the stamp could not be a valuable "error" but much scrutiny was warranted before a knowledgeable collector parted with their money.

With marbles, it's different. Something unusual is automatically deemed "rare" and hence more valuable. To use the above marble as an example, a line of lutz in a marble that is not supposed to have lutz, or a color that was developed long after the marble was supposed to have been made.

A collector with a bit of education, enough to develop a hint of skepticism, would then scrutinize the marble - why does the pontil not look right? Why is the surface so perfect?

An unsuspecting collector should not expect to be educated by unscrupulous dealers, in any hobby.

What happened to the saying "If it's too good to be real, it usually is"?

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