Join Date: Aug 2009
I've been reading this thread with great interest.I am a keris collector,not a dealer although I am mindful of values and asking prices.
I agree with the words in #5,"do not engage in commercially orientated behavior" and 7 'behave in a respectful manner towards other members and their opinions".
I have been collecting antique arms edged weapons for many years,even before the internet and ebay.These are wonderful tools,eg this site exists and is used.However I agree with Alan Maisey's comments on identifying and buying items from internet photos.I don't,and I've read many comments and complaints in magazines and websites from people who are dissatisfied after buying off the net.
In a perfect world we wouldn't be concerned about "covert dealers" etc,but it's not a perfect world.In past years I've believed stories about "rare finds" and provenance,bought something, only to find out later,sometimes several years later that the stories weren't true.In response to queries to dealers I've been told that"Oh,I believed him".
As to options on policy changes:
1 I agree that dealers should be open and transperent,and presume this would be at the initial registration process.Then if there is a problem,their access can be blocked,and perhaps the Forum could have a list of delinquent members.
2Dealers could lodge a deposit which could be forfeited.
3 The Forum could endeavour to organise a return & refund system.Although I appreciate this would be very difficult due to the international nature of the Forum and it's members.
The Forum is successful,it does have a good reputation.I've thought about how the international auction houses build and maintain reputations.Good quality catalogues electronic and paper,eg Herman Historica,who sometimes list keris,Fischers in Luzern,Sothebies & Christies,Bonhams etc.These houses also have carefully set out terms & conditions which include a right of return and refund.Of course they charge fees to the vendor and purchaser.Can similar terms be applied here?
There has been embarasment when auction house have been "outed",and this will affect their business.
This may be difficult due to the international character of the internet,as an item can be listed anywhere in the world,and be available instantly to the world,without being inspected by a representative of the Forum.
Does the Forum want to accept the responsibility of being a "dealer",probably not.
Does this lead to the conclusion that we as members have to be "self regulating", yes I think it does.
I joined to learn,and gather info.The photos and illustrations are very helpful,so are the commentaries.I acknowledge that it is up to me to accept the quality or value of comments.
I hope that the Forum will continue to benefit pure collectors.