Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum

Bulbs => Galanthus => Topic started by: Will23 on February 15, 2018, 01:49:39 PM

Title: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on February 15, 2018, 01:49:39 PM
Hi everyone, this is my first post.  I've been reading numerous posts on here for a couple of months now and have found it excellent and extremely informative, so thank you very much  :). 

I am posting to make as many people in the snowdrop community aware of a seller on eBay who is selling numerous rare snowdrop bulbs in volume and then sending young nivalis (or similar) bulbs.  Most people leave feedback within a week or two; 'fast delivery, well packaged' etc., removing the chance of comeback on him when they realise months/years later that they have been conned. 

The username is galanthophilesgreen.  I have been informed that he has previously used similar names which have subsequently been blocked from eBay.  It seems he just opens a new account when this happens and starts again.  It is actually quite a good con model - if you are a fraudster!  Most people will probably cut their losses or give up when eBay say it is too late.  In volume, however, he is making a very good living from it.  He has sold around £4,000 worth of (what I strongly believe are) 'fake' bulbs since November 2017 alone.

I am also looking to contact other people who have been conned by this user who would be willing to make a report to Action Fraud.  I have already made a report detailing my experiences. I spent over £200 on four varieties, all of which were incorrect.  I have been advised that if anyone else makes a report and provides my Crime Reference Number, it would assist in building a case against him.

I don't believe that receiving a refund from him or eBay is enough, as he will continue under a different name.  I will be making a claim in the small claims court if my complaint to eBay doesn't work and am happy to provide details of the outcome and procedure to anyone who would like them, in order to assist them in a similar claim.

I have been in touch with 9 people so far from eBay, most of them have confirmed that they have been duped, the others are waiting for them to flower.  I am sure they will be disappointed.

Please feel free to contact me if you have experienced the same and I will provide you with the information you will need to take it further.

I have attached some photos of the 'Rosemary Burnham' and 'Greenfinch' bulbs I bought, I'm pretty sure they're all nivalis! 

On a more positive note, I have attached some photos I took of some of the flowers of bulbs I have recently bought from some of the more reputable snowdrop nurseries in the UK!

Cheers

Will
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on February 15, 2018, 02:15:38 PM
He lists his location as "Crook, United Kingdom".
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 15, 2018, 04:09:57 PM
Will23 - I have Sent you a PM.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 15, 2018, 04:45:20 PM
Update, there may be some progress as his items are now marked as 'ended by the seller because there was an error in the listing' which may mean he has decided to cut and run!

Further, all the items in his listing have just vanished.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on February 15, 2018, 05:00:09 PM
That's very good news, at least nobody else will be conned.  I think PayPal and/or eBay have shut him down.  I've spoken to both of them this afternoon and I know at least one other person has too.

I have just received this message from him:

".....am away to my new home in the sun soon enjoy your pretty snowdrops"  -  Hopefully the Police catch up with him before his departure!

Some more info for anyone affected - A couple of people have informed me that PayPal offer a money back guarantee on items received which do not match the description.  This obviously falls into that category so, as long as it was within the last 180 days, contact them and they should look after you!  :)
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 15, 2018, 05:02:18 PM
.... It is actually quite a good con model - if you are a fraudster!  Most people will probably cut their losses or give up when eBay say it is too late. 

My sympathies, Will.  We have been reporting instances of this con model for years now on this forum - with quite a good rate of success in getting fake auctions stopped when we spot one.  Unfortunately, many former contributors here now only comment on a members-only Facebook forum so we're not as good as we used to be in alerting everyone to these frauds (although Blonde Ingrid remains very pro-active).  The con also works for other expensive plants, so long as the fraudster sells them out of flower when they cannot be positively identified.

Best of luck with your Action Fraud case.

 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 15, 2018, 05:42:48 PM
New readers may be interested in this old thread- which contains a lot of good advice......
http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=8303.0 (http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=8303.0)

Buyer beware is the first and most important lesson to learn - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
There  ARE perfectly respectable Ebay sellers  - just do your research to find out who they are. 

Alan is correct- Blonde Ingrid has done a large amount of useful  research on these matters - as have I in the past.

It would be good to think people were learning their lesson and being helped by that effort - happily that is often the case.  People do get  het up when their  wallets are threatened.
Sadly, there is not the same  enthusiasm for  pursuing other miscreants in the likes of snowdrop thefts from gardens and this has jaundiced my view rather thoroughly.
 I wish you  success in your  fraud  action against this ebay  cheat - and beware who you  trust.
 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 15, 2018, 05:47:01 PM
I spotted a seller  going by the name of   'petertopping24' the other day who raised my suspicions.  Image searches  by Ingrid  showed that the images this person is using to sell on Ebay are stolen from various other growers- some of them members here - people showing  bulbs or plants with other peoples' photos (  with the rare occasional exception when the permission of the  photographer is  given and stated) are to  be regarded with the utmost suspicion.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 15, 2018, 05:53:14 PM
This thread is another which may be of help : http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=13911.0 (http://www.srgc.net/forum/index.php?topic=13911.0)

 Here is a brief list of those we know to be  honest ....

North Green aka erifis88
Andy Byfield aka bitarla
Blacksmiths Cottage Nursery
Cornovium
Engelsdropje  is  Loes de Groot
Ian Christie is  sgtmajor47
wheelieneily
wirralwave
ombersleyplants
Beth Chatto
farmhouse5000
Anne Wright is   DRYADZNY
groman4444 is Melvyn Jope
mdmcollectables  Michael Myers
Matt Bishop
bruckhills Helen Rushton
Monksilver
exposure8
francis54-2008
0115springer
cpeet31   Carys Thorp 
planthill54 is Hagen Engelmann
Mollythewitch42  is Gail Harland

 - not an exhaustive list of good guys, of course, but a great start!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Hagen Engelmann on February 15, 2018, 06:25:06 PM
for your list: planthill54 is Hagen Engelmann
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 15, 2018, 07:34:50 PM
Sadly, there is not the same  enthusiasm for  pursuing other miscreants in the likes of snowdrop thefts from gardens and this has jaundiced my view rather thoroughly.

I don't think that's true, Maggie.  There was (and is) plenty of enthusiasm but not a lot of strategy.  I understand that somebody was caught red-handed in the act of stealing snowdrops recently, escorted from the premises but not, AFAIK, identified.  Perhaps in the cool light of day that was not the best outcome but it's easy to be wise with the benefit of hindsight and it's up to the victim of the attempted theft if he/she wants to take the matter further.  I do think a strategic approach is needed if this is not to happen again in future but what do you suggest?  One has to stay the right side of the law, even in the case of someone caught in the act.  With those eBay sellers we have suspected of fraud we have always stated why we feel there are grounds to be suspicious and so, I believe, not been guilty of libel - but one has to tread carefully.       
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 15, 2018, 08:01:55 PM
I think you are referring to recent  matters  mentioned on Facebook, Alan, but there is much more to all this than I think you are aware of, over a long period. As stated,  I do not intend to discuss  matters further.

All I know, Maggi, is that an alarming number of people I know, people who have spoken to me directly, have reported the disappearance of snowdrops or other rare plants from their gardens in the last year or two.  This they either know or believe to be as the result of theft.  I don't really know what we, the gardening community, can do to combat this and I would welcome someone taking the lead with some proposals for action.  I'm sorry that that's not going to be you.       
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Nicholson on February 15, 2018, 08:34:34 PM
.............This they either know or believe to be as the result of theft.  I don't really know what we, the gardening community, can do to combat this and I would welcome someone taking the lead with some proposals for action.  I'm sorry that that's not going to be you.       

It's not a job or role for the 'gardening community' other than perhaps setting up some kind of surveillance arrangement (that would be near impossible). If someone has evidence of theft, or indeed suspicion of theft, the Police need to be involved.......... if they can find a Policeman these days!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 15, 2018, 08:56:40 PM
Of course the police should be involved in the event of an actual theft, David.  With plants like bulbs that are dormant for some of the year a suspected theft may be more problematic.  But I was really wondering if there are things we can do to discourage the thieves from attempting theft in the first place. I don't know; if I had any good ideas I would suggest them. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Gail on February 15, 2018, 09:59:20 PM
- not an exhaustive list of good guys, of course, but a great start!
I couldn't claim to be a good guy obviously, but in the interest of full disclosure, I am Mollythewitch42 (with a fondness for peonies obviously!).
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 15, 2018, 10:21:59 PM
in the interest of full disclosure, I am Mollythewitch42

Reference to your book in the auction listings was a bit of a giveaway.
 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: steve owen on February 15, 2018, 10:45:52 PM
But I was really wondering if there are things we can do to discourage the thieves from attempting theft in the first place. I don't know; if I had any good ideas I would suggest them.
We installed CCTV five years ago. A notice announces that. Since then, no more thefts (touchwood). We also have other measures involving infra-red detectors and high pressure water. I would tell you more but then I would have to.......
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 15, 2018, 11:00:28 PM
it's sad that you were forced to take such measures, Steve, but very good that they have been effective.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 16, 2018, 06:55:01 AM
I've just bought £80's worth of Rosemary Burnham 'offsets' from this person.

Words don't begin to describe how I feel - what's your advice?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 16, 2018, 07:48:14 AM
I just checked and he's still there, he hasn't vanished from eBay, just doesn't have anything to sell. 

So eBay hasn't shut him down, and he hasn't shut himself down.  I have known fraudsters to just vanish without trace from eBay.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 16, 2018, 07:55:31 AM
He has his Feedback profile changed to 'Private'.

Once this has been done you cannot trade on Ebay. His items yesterday were taken down early.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 16, 2018, 08:09:23 AM
I've just bought £80's worth of Rosemary Burnham 'offsets' from this person.... - what's your advice?

'Rosemary Burnham' is a Galanthus elewsii.  Elwesiis are easy to recognise because one leaf enfolds the other leaf at the base like those of a tulip.  If what you have is not elwesii then you know immediately it is a fake in which case you can report your purchase as such and seek a refund.  If you are unsure then post pictures here showing the leaves and the base of the leaves.  We did this before many years ago when somebody was trying to pass-off neater examples of nivalis flore pleno as 'Ailwyyn'.

If you find a post by Will23 and click on his name you will see his (?) profile and the opportunity to send a PM - a Personal Message.  You can use this to contact him directly.  I suggest you do this in every case but particularly if you will not be able to prove that your bulbs are fake until they produce 'wrong' flowers next year or later.  He can give you details about how he intends to proceed.   
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Leena on February 16, 2018, 08:16:38 AM
It is good that these fraudsters are discussed here!
I'm not familiar with ebay, I've never bought anything from there, but what I'm wondering is why people don't use their own names or company names to sell there? Then it would not be so easy  for a fraudster just change his/her name!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: zephirine on February 16, 2018, 08:17:04 AM
I had to face a similar problem a few years ago, even though the plants stolen were not expensive (a line of 40 Bergenia along  the street).
 I replaced the plants, and they were stolen again.
I had nightmares about it during weeks... I felt so completely helpless!
And in my dreams, one night, I found a funny solution:
I had been spreading a good layer of Methylene blue on the reverse side of the Bergenia leaves, and I was wandering through the village in search of someone with blue fingers!
The dreams never revealed the face of the thief, alas... ;D
I never tried the methylene blue solution... I just covered the new plants with wire netting, maintained with metallic pegs. It did  work....
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 16, 2018, 08:37:23 AM
I have just received this message from him:

".....am away to my new home in the sun soon enjoy your pretty snowdrops"  -  Hopefully the Police catch up with him before his departure!

In writing my previous post I reminded myself of the "Fake Ailwyn" incident.  The vendor in that instance initially concocted a story about the origin of his bulbs but when challenged further became quite threatening.  The gloating manner in the quote above reminded me a little of him.  Could it be the same man? 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Edgar Wills on February 16, 2018, 01:01:22 PM
I spotted a seller  going by the name of   'petertopping24' the other day who raised my suspicions.  Image searches  by Ingrid  showed that the images this person is using to sell on Ebay are stolen from various other growers- some of them members here - people showing  bulbs or plants with other peoples' photos (  with the rare occasional exception when the permission of the  photographer is  given and stated) are to  be regarded with the utmost suspicion.


Hello, I am a new member, so I guess I might be a bit suspect myself.. However, I would like to say that this seller is real and respectable.

I ordered one flocon de neige from him. To me it looks to be the correct plant, and he sent it from the UK to the Netherlands in a pot! (see attached image)
http://www.ebay.nl/itm/Galanthus-nivalis-Flocon-de-Neige-/273055100415 (http://www.ebay.nl/itm/Galanthus-nivalis-Flocon-de-Neige-/273055100415)
https://feedback.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=petertopping24&ftab=AllFeedback&myworld=true&rt=nc (https://feedback.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=petertopping24&ftab=AllFeedback&myworld=true&rt=nc)

I think it's my favorite galanthus so far and I can only recommend this seller.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 16, 2018, 01:09:35 PM
Siopaos, please forgive my  caution - but we have had  such  recommendations from new members in the past that have proved  uncertain.
I ask again - if this person is so reliable, why must he steal other people's photos to sell his plants?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Edgar Wills on February 16, 2018, 01:16:28 PM
Siopaos, please forgive my  caution - but we have had  such  recommendations from new members in the past that have proved  uncertain.
I ask again - if this person is so reliable, why must he steal other people's photos to sell his plants?

I don't know. I Just know that I received the plant from him that I ordered.. Hopefully someone else can confirm.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on February 16, 2018, 02:03:35 PM
As I said the last time this topic came up a couple of years ago, if people used their real names instead of hiding behind pseudonyms, things would be a lot more transparent. And my advice then, as now, is to never buy a snowdrop on ebay unless you know the true identity of the seller.

Reputable sellers could follow Joe Sharman and drop their "amusing" seller names in favour of their real identity.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 16, 2018, 02:42:50 PM
I could not agree more, Ralph - but we have a note  regarding registration for the Forum to use a "proper" name - but too few people do. 

I would ask all members  using an assumed to  change their  displayed name to their actual name and allay  fears.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on February 16, 2018, 03:32:47 PM
The answer is to remove the facility to use a pseudonym. Real names only.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 16, 2018, 03:39:53 PM
The answer is to remove the facility to use a pseudonym. Real names only.
That would require us to write to anyone  using a pseudonym to ask them to change their application,  which would take a lot of time and  the Club wants to be inclusive - something made  difficult by the numbers of  less than respectable folk around, I'm afraid.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Edgar Wills on February 16, 2018, 03:48:32 PM
Didn't see the note about real names on registering..

changed my display name in any case. i'm in several snowdrop groups on facebook.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on February 16, 2018, 03:54:06 PM
That would require us to write to anyone  using a pseudonym to ask them to change their application,  which would take a lot of time and  the Club wants to be inclusive - something made  difficult by the numbers of  less than respectable folk around, I'm afraid.

Do we want to include the " less than respectable folk"?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 16, 2018, 04:00:36 PM
No, we don't but  the Club wouldn't want to exclude anyone with  good reason for using a pseudonym. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 16, 2018, 04:11:12 PM
[attachimg=1]

My fake 'Rosemary Burnhams' - with apologies for the quality of the photograph. 

But clearly they aren't elwesiis as their leaves are applanate - so I'll be joining Will123 in trying to claim a refund from Paypal.  I'd forgotten to check for this feature in my panic.

Thanks all for advice and comments - what a lovely, helpful group you are. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 16, 2018, 04:16:18 PM
I truncated my surname when I registered with the Forum.  Trends in social media have gone against me since, but I wanted to be able to share my interest in snowdrops and other plants without anyone who chooses being able to cross reference this with everything else that could be found out about me; my address for example.   
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 16, 2018, 04:19:07 PM
Quite so, Alan , there are good reasons for some people preferring a level of anonymity - it's just that  when that is  combined with a person suddenly appearing with a reference to a suspected  fraudster with no provenance, then alarm bells ring - as we have seen before in these matters.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 16, 2018, 04:20:18 PM
...But clearly they aren't elwesiis as their leaves are applanate

Yes, exactly.  Some of these fraudsters really don't try very hard to conceal their misdeeds. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Edgar Wills on February 16, 2018, 04:29:07 PM
Quite so, Alan , there are good reasons for some people preferring a level of anonymity - it's just that  when that is  combined with a person suddenly appearing with a reference to a suspected  fraudster with no provenance, then alarm bells ring - as we have seen before in these matters.

Let's turn things around: what if your accusations are false? Than you are currently doing harm to this seller's reputation, as well as mine.

I'm sorry I cannot alleviate your fears. I have no way to prove my identity online. This is my real name, and you are welcome to contact me for any further personal details that I'll not post here.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 16, 2018, 04:36:02 PM
Paypal's pages say to take it up with eBay first, so since the person still has an eBay presence and it's possible to contact him I've sent him a message outlining the problem and requesting a return, and so the process has been started to obtain a refund.

It even gives his address.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 16, 2018, 04:49:01 PM
It even gives his address.

Is it really "Crook" (County Durham), as the eBay details say?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 16, 2018, 04:53:17 PM
Let's turn things around: what if your accusations are false? Than you are currently doing harm to this seller's reputation, as well as mine.

Maggi has stated that this individual has used photos that have been lifted from other sites, he has, nor has he credited them. Checks with the owner of one of the photographs has confirmed that it is not him.

One of his descriptions of the plant is a direct lift from a catalogue, also not his and not credited.

This type of behaviour we have seen before and it has never worked out well. If anybody is damaging his reputation it is him.

 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 16, 2018, 05:01:16 PM
I was going to post myself, but Blonde Ingrid said it all.  Her final sentence is worth repeating.

If anybody is damaging his reputation it is him.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Edgar Wills on February 16, 2018, 05:02:36 PM
Maggi has stated that this individual has used photos that have been lifted from other sites, he has, nor has he credited them. Checks with the owner of one of the photographs has confirmed that it is not him.

One of his descriptions of the plant is a direct lift from a catalogue, also not his and not credited.

This type of behaviour we have seen before and it has never worked out well. If anybody is damaging his reputation it is him.

Those uncredited images aren't a good idea. It is circumstantial evidence however, doesn't prove anything other than that he was too lazy to make his own pictures.

I can only say I got from him the flocon de neige bulb he promised, and I think that is what counts.

As for the guy who's selling normal g. nivalis as rosemary burnham (and any other fake sellers!)- I hope he ends up in jail.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 16, 2018, 05:05:44 PM
It certainly shows that he was lazy - and dishonest- We have found in the past that a person acting dishonestly in one form is often dishonest in another. We  have pointed out the picture theft - because that's what it is , of this person.  If you  have a correct plant from him, that's very lucky for you - but the doubt remains.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Edgar Wills on February 16, 2018, 05:15:56 PM
It certainly shows that he was lazy - and dishonest- We have found in the past that a person acting dishonestly in one form is often dishonest in another. We  have pointed out the picture theft - because that's what it is , of this person.  If you  have a correct plant from him, that's very lucky for you - but the doubt remains.

I just hope everyone gets a fair deal, buyers and sellers both. It's a shame for all involved that there are sellers that make it difficult to discern which deals are real.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Jacek on February 16, 2018, 07:38:45 PM
Interesting discussion about anonymity.  Whenever I reveal any information it is true. First name, picture and the town where I  live. But no surname, exact address, phone number etc. The same at one rose blog where I am sporadically active.

I am only a hobby gardener. I have job, position. Moreover I do some public activity. I do not want to be easily identified.

But if I were doing business in selling plants, some identification would be necessary. Otherwise we end up in a situation of Dutch Crocus zonatus which does not flower and no one is responsible.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 16, 2018, 07:43:26 PM
If you want to build a collection quickly as I did three years ago you can’t rely on getting to know people and organising swaps. It would take too long. Also, you don’t yet know who the reliable growers are or which events to attend. Ebay is a perfectly reasonable way to help you get started. Initially, I bought many bulbs from eBay and, with one exception, the 20 or so sellers I used were entirely reliable and conscientious.  The exception looks like being galanthophilegreen and I will pursue him if he fails to put things right. I will do this because there is a real friendliness and camaraderie amongst the Snowdrop community and I resent this climate of suspicion that he has created.  Lecture over!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on February 16, 2018, 08:04:59 PM
Happily, for followers of this forum, there are  lots of posts about good ebayers, such as the list shown in this thread, which must be useful for beginners.
 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 19, 2018, 08:36:42 AM
Someone is offering 15 G.elwesii ‘Caroline Elwes’ for £30 (Buy It Now) on eBay. Just thought I’d mention it.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 19, 2018, 08:49:05 AM
Oh yes, David, from "plants_fanatic", eBay member since last Thursday.  And never mind that they are manifestly not yellow.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 19, 2018, 08:54:49 AM
Someone is offering 15 G.elwesii ‘Caroline Elwes’ for £30 (Buy It Now) on eBay. Just thought I’d mention it.

I saw that David, he is listed as 'plant_fanatic'. He is certainly no 'economics_fanatic' selling conservatively, if legit, £1500 worth of drops for £30! Barge-pole in order I think!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 19, 2018, 09:03:38 AM
Also worth noting that 'galanthophilesgreen' has now changed his name again (third time) to '1bestof1'.

His feedback is still shown as 'Private' which means he cannot sell on Ebay, but he still seems intent on doing do if Ebay don't delete his account.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 19, 2018, 09:24:37 AM
I REALLY HOPE NOBODY IS FOOLED!
Sorry for shouting.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 19, 2018, 09:42:21 AM
I sent an Ebay message to 'galanthophilesgreen/1bestof1' pointing out we had noted his new ID and circulated it!

This is the response I got: "ha ha ha sorry am using a new account on other websites thank you for your email address i will be seeing you"

Total low-life, naturally I am quaking in my boots!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 19, 2018, 11:38:36 AM
If I haven’t had a response by the end of today I will be opening a complaint with Action Fraud. He’s welcome to come and see me. He has my address. I can’t help laughing though - he lives in somewhere called Crook!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Palustris on February 19, 2018, 03:43:03 PM
Crook is a historic market town in County Durham, in the North East of England. Located a couple of miles north of the River Wear, Crook lies about 9 miles south-west of the historic city of Durham.

"ha ha ha sorry am using a new account on other websites thank you for your email address i will be seeing you"
To me that constitutes an implied threat. You could report that to the police.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 20, 2018, 07:05:28 AM
If you were down at a street market and found a stall selling Rolex watches for £20 you might wonder if they were genuine.  To my mind eBay is a similar environment to a street market, yet people don't seem to approach it with the same degree of caution and scepticism that they would apply to the real world.

(I have edited this post to remove an inappropriate quote as I intended only to make a general observation)
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 20, 2018, 07:08:33 AM
eBay seller to add to the list of legitimate vendors:  Roger Harvey (Harvey's Garden Plants in Suffolk) sells from two shops: 'dorasnowdrops' and 'simplysnowdrops'. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 20, 2018, 07:40:28 AM
If you were down at a street market and found a stall selling Rolex watches for £20 you might wonder if they were genuine.  To my mind eBay is a similar environment to a street market, yet people don't seem to approach it with the same degree of caution and scepticism that they would apply to the real world.
Galanthophilesgreen was offering small numbers of small bulbs as different lots. The price wasn’t set, they were for auction. So, it wasn’t possible to a)see what you were buying, b)know what the final price might be. To my mind not the same as a street market. In some cases the final price was within the range of what you might expect for the varieties offered.
This hasn’t happened because of poor caution or scepticism on the part of sellers, it has happened because someone has committed fraud. Generalisations about the judgement of buyers are divisive.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 20, 2018, 08:45:23 AM
Ebay have said that they have closed both of his accounts and that their system is well able to track any subsequent attempts to sell again and prevent them.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: steve owen on February 20, 2018, 09:01:06 AM
David, so do you happen to know whether Ebay have said that they will reimburse those who have been defrauded and lodged claims?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 20, 2018, 09:11:40 AM
Hi Steve
They have offered me 20% of my total loss as a good will gesture. They do not reimburse after 30 days - I did point out that this didn’t work for bulbs. PayPal are worse. They offered nothing even though two purchases were within their 180 days reimbursement period. It doesn’t apply to bulbs apparently. They suggested talking to my card issuer. I have made a complaint against them on the grounds that their reimbursement policy is discriminatory and that they do not make the bulb exemption clear anywhere. I will be contacting Action Fraud later today.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 20, 2018, 10:15:11 AM
Couple more to beware:
 Currently offering Elizabeth Harrison 'tropicalfactory' using a photo taken from another site and with dire reviews.

Currently offering a number of varieties 'Zim.13', at least one photo taken from Judy's Snowdrops, others appear elsewhere on the net!

Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 20, 2018, 11:15:10 AM
... Generalisations about the judgement of buyers are divisive.

Sorry, I had primarily intended to make a generalisation about eBay.  I see it as a cut-and-thrust environment that manages to get around much of the legal protection offered to online shoppers by virtue of its origin as an auction site.  My only intended generalisation about the judgement of buyers is that it seems manifest that think they don't all share my view of eBay.   
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Nicholson on February 20, 2018, 02:58:55 PM
A few months ago I was looking for a new guitar and found there were (possible) bargains to be had on EBay. I watched for a while to see what kinds of prices were to be had for the model I was interested in and eventually took the plunge. I chose a seller who operated a music shop and got my bargain paying £161 for the model I wanted (£265 RRP). I paid by PayPal my credit card. I worried for a while what could go wrong but eventually it arrived by courier, very well packed and a brand new model as stated.

So I suppose you do your research into what you want and, as far as possible into the seller and take the plunge and hope. luckily my transaction went extremely well.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 20, 2018, 03:15:59 PM
I buy almost everything on eBay apart from groceries (and then sometimes) - a brand new piano, a splendid plan chest, an equally splendid and huge apple/fruit press, computer printer, books, supplements, clothes, fabrics, knitting yarn & patterns, CDs, garden machinery and equipment and tons of plants.  It's the first place I look, and have only had one problem before this in over 10 years.  I rarely look at auction purchases as I'm not competitive, preferring the secure option of 'Buy it Now'. So, I would certainly recommend buying through them, as often the sellers also operate high street shops - but not always with 2nd hand goods.  Often they are charities - just bought office supplies from some Carmelite nuns :-)
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 20, 2018, 04:54:36 PM
I think most purchases go well.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 20, 2018, 06:32:49 PM
An update, I wrote to this individual (tropicalfactory) and asked whether the photo was of the plant on sale. He told me it was his sister's photo! I pointed out it was not, it had been taken from another site. As you can see the item was then removed, three days early!!! Next!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 20, 2018, 06:53:37 PM
An update, I wrote to this individual (tropicalfactory) and asked whether the photo was of the plant on sale. He told me it was his sister's photo! I pointed out it was not, it had been taken from another site. As you can see the item was then removed, three days early!!! Next!
Shocking! But they don’t know about the galanthophile avenger (you).
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on February 20, 2018, 07:22:14 PM
Please could somebody confirm that I'm correct in thinking:
Rosemary Burnham is elwesii and,
South Hayes and Greenfinch are both plicatus

Would anyone have any thoughts on the photos in the following posts and whether they believe them to be the correct varieties, as per the file names?  If not as named, what varieties do you believe them to be (from the leaves?).

Many thanks

Will
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on February 20, 2018, 07:46:40 PM
These are the 'Greenfinch' leaves.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on February 20, 2018, 07:47:43 PM
These are the 'Rosemary Burnham' leaves.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on February 20, 2018, 07:48:54 PM
Finally, these are the 'South Hayes' leaves.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Ian Lumsden on February 21, 2018, 07:58:21 AM
Hi there. I'm new to the forum although I always read your articles and forum. I joined after reading about Will's experience buying fake snowdrops from a seller on eBay. I promise not to be a one subject member but thought my most recent post on my, somewhat less than technical, gardening blog may be of interest. It develops Will's account plus the experience of others. Reading the two comments I have allowed on the blog entry is educative. I told the fraudster to read the blog last night and lo and behold ....
http://mygalanthusgarden.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/how-to-make-money-from-fraud-using-ebay.html (http://mygalanthusgarden.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/how-to-make-money-from-fraud-using-ebay.html)
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 21, 2018, 09:18:21 AM
Please could somebody confirm that I'm correct in thinking:
Rosemary Burnham is elwesii and,
South Hayes and Greenfinch are both plicatus

'Rosemary Burnham' is an elwesii.  'South Hayes' is plicatus.  I don't grow 'Greenfinch' and cannot remember what the leaves look like.  But see https://www.avonbulbs.co.uk/spring-planted-bulbs-and-snowdrops/galanthus-snowdrops/galanthus-greenfinch (https://www.avonbulbs.co.uk/spring-planted-bulbs-and-snowdrops/galanthus-snowdrops/galanthus-greenfinch) for example

Would anyone have any thoughts on the photos in the following posts and whether they believe them to be the correct varieties, as per the file names?  If not as named, what varieties do you believe them to be (from the leaves?).

Thin applanate leaves, certainly neither elwesii or plicatus by any stretch of the imagination.  They'll be Galanthus nivalis which has leaves like this and is cheap and readily-available.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 21, 2018, 10:23:45 AM
I agree with Alan except that South Hayes, although a Trym seedling, is considered a hybrid by Bishop et al.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: SteveC2 on February 21, 2018, 10:37:51 AM
I truncated my surname when I registered with the Forum.  Trends in social media have gone against me since, but I wanted to be able to share my interest in snowdrops and other plants without anyone who chooses being able to cross reference this with everything else that could be found out about me; my address for example.

Alan's reason is exactly why I do not use my full name either here or on eBay.  I have two greenhouses of potted orchids which have been raided once, albeit by kids, plus hundreds of others potted in the garden, so giving away too much detail seems like asking for trouble.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 21, 2018, 01:04:22 PM
I agree with Alan except that South Hayes, although a Trym seedling, is considered a hybrid by Bishop et al.

Any snowdrop of garden origin is quite likely to be a hybrid.  I imagine we have more hybrids than we know of and until we can do cheap and easy genetic testing then we won't know any better.  Nonetheless 'South Hayes' has much broader leaves than a nivalis and much broader leaves than the snowdrop shown in the photograph.

Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 21, 2018, 03:21:28 PM
... my, somewhat less than technical, gardening blog may be of interest.

I enjoyed reading this blog, insofar as one can when reading about fraud.  I wonder if this particular fraudster took a strange delight in leaving little clues that he was not genuine?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Ian Lumsden on February 21, 2018, 03:34:11 PM
He is glorying in it, Alan. The money is an irrelevance for me - though my wife does not think so! It's the principle of a rogue being supported by PayPal and eBay. Yes he has left clues. I suspect the fraud arm of the eBay empire would have been quick to jump in had they been deprived of their fees.

The point is that there are several long serving, knowledgeable members on these boards who sell on eBay. I have their snowdrops flourishing in the garden now - although I'm going to have a wade in to the pages here on the narcissus fly.....
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 26, 2018, 01:12:26 PM
Have just received a full refund from eBay, thanks in large part to all the advice received on here, so this is a big thank you to all who helped - especially Will23 who alerted me to look at the bulbs.  I think I was luckier than most because I had only just bought the 'offsets', knew about leaf types and could clearly ID mine as NOT elwesii.  I mentioned this in my messages to the seller, with photos of my horticulture certificates, and I think this stood up well against his incoherent babblings, story-switchings and idiot excuses ('they're dead', 'in the wrong soil' those aren't the ones I sent' 'don't bother me anymore, my health's suffered' (to eBay) in response.  I lodged a fraud complaint and referenced Will123's and ANOther's. I was disconcerted that it took eBay 48 hours to reach their decision, because mine was a 'unique case' (really?!) but very relieved they refunded me.  Lesson learned.  Thank again, all, and good luck to anyone still waiting.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 26, 2018, 02:11:02 PM
Well done.  Paypal and Ebay are taking my claim more seriously now.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 27, 2018, 08:05:46 AM
Today's nomination for Ebay avoid of the year....

the well known variety 'Galanthus Gold Yellow Ribbon Bullion Spindlestone???' which has been on all our wish lists for ever!!

Barge-pole time!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 27, 2018, 08:17:22 AM
'Galanthus Gold Yellow Ribbon Bullion Spindlestone???'

The vendor seems to be saying: "I don't know what it is but it might be an expensive one".  This looks like an attempt to sell inexpensive snowdrops for big money whilst not quite committing fraud.  Particularly suspicious is that someone has bid £19.99 for it! 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on February 27, 2018, 10:58:39 AM
Have just received a full refund from eBay

Very good to hear that Burhinus.  I have received an email from PayPal this morning saying that they will refund me once I have returned the bulbs to him.  I am annoyed that they want me to return them, (at my own expense), but will do so. 

I'm going to video myself uprooting them and packing them up on my phone and take extensive photos of the bulbs before sending.  It's quite sad that I feel the need to do that, but I have no doubt he is going to try and dispute what I send him!  I have been informed that I will receive my refund a few days after they arrive.  I'll let you know once received.

It sounds like eBay were a lot more efficient than PayPal, maybe I should've continued my claim with them instead!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 27, 2018, 11:34:54 AM
Very glad to hear things are moving in the right direction at last, but so stupid that you have to return them - I haven't had to. 
(What if he refuses to sign for them?  Does the PO record that they attempted delivery and he wouldn't or wasn't in etc?  I'd ask Paypal and PO about that, given what a slippery customer he is.)
Very wise to video record the whole process from start to finish (up to and including the post office if I were you) as he'll make all kinds of spurious claims to wriggle out of it.  You could send a copy to Paypal to cover yourself.
Let me know how it goes, fingers crossed!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 27, 2018, 11:58:06 AM
(What if he refuses to sign for them?  Does the PO record that they attempted delivery and he wouldn't or wasn't in etc?  I'd ask Paypal and PO about that, given what a slippery customer he is.)

This will be vital! We heard on the FB Group that articles sent to him were not signed for and delivery could not be made. Paypal and Ebay need to commit to what they will do when he tries this. This guy is low-life and will try anything.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 27, 2018, 12:03:29 PM
Given that he behaves as I'd anticipated, I'd advise Will123 to return to Paypal with this issue and demand that he doesn't have to return them in order to achieve a refund. Especially as I didn't have to, with eBay - and they're essentially the same company (aren't they?).
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 27, 2018, 02:11:55 PM
Given that he behaves as I'd anticipated, I'd advise Will123 to return to Paypal with this issue and demand that he doesn't have to return them in order to achieve a refund. Especially as I didn't have to, with eBay - and they're essentially the same company (aren't they?).
I completely agree. That’s what I will do when I get my ruling, well, that or appeal! PayPal changed their tune with me once I became more assertive. They can be very reasonable. Why should Will go to all that trouble after the massive inconvenience of having to claim in any case. Claiming from them is worse than dealing with BT and I had my own individual contact allocated for that (I think they thought I needed a counsellor!). Perhaps Paypal should ask galanthophileidiot if he wants them back. Who knows what else might find its way into the parcel by way of an extra surprise...
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on February 27, 2018, 02:33:32 PM
And, given that one can buy 1,000 nivalis for £70, what's the point in returning them?  It would cost more than they were worth, I'm assuming.  Even less reason to return them.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Shauney on March 01, 2018, 08:35:59 PM
Today's nomination for Ebay avoid of the year....

the well known variety 'Galanthus Gold Yellow Ribbon Bullion Spindlestone???' which has been on all our wish lists for ever!!

Barge-pole time!

I see this bulb went for £34 in the end CRAZY!!!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on March 01, 2018, 09:58:40 PM
And, given that one can buy 1,000 nivalis for £70, what's the point in returning them?  It would cost more than they were worth, I'm assuming.  Even less reason to return them.

PayPal have agreed my first refund but I’ve had to send the bulbs back using tracked postage. £7.50! Ridiculous.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on March 02, 2018, 11:03:30 AM
PayPal have agreed my first refund but I’ve had to send the bulbs back using tracked postage. £7.50! Ridiculous.

I spoke to PayPal yesterday and they sent me £15 straight away to cover the return postage.  I then returned the snowdrops, Special Delivery, and they should be delivered (or attempted to be delivered) today.  The guy I spoke to said that they would issue my refund as soon as delivery, (or attempted delivery), has been confirmed on the Royal Mail tracking site.  If you ring PayPal and insist that they refund you for your postage, I am sure that they will.  Presumably they will just add these costs to galanthophilegreens' bill!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on March 02, 2018, 09:12:19 PM
Thanks Will. In Spain right now but will get onto it when we return.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Ian Lumsden on March 10, 2018, 10:14:53 AM
I never got the postage, like Will, but I did obtain a full refund for one of my two purchases, the far more expensive one at that. Beware, there is a time period which one has to respond within. Mine was only three days. I lost the first case because I was away for the weekend and simply missed the email until the case was 'Closed'. They did say there was an appeal process but then the reality of PayPal's hideous 'Resolution' system kicked in and all I received were statements from a statement bank. The evidence I supplied for one case was more or less the same as the other but there seems no intelligent overview. I suspect they were carried out by different people. Nor does there appear to be any overall response to the number of cases of fraud. Certainly PayPal has not reimbursed all Bulmer's victims because they accept a case of fraud was perpetrated. Unless you press, PayPal will not do it for you.

PayPal and eBay are separate but linked companies. The former deals with the money. I was directed to a section of the PayPal site dealing with fraud and how to avoid it. I doubt Bulmer has been stopped trading for good though.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on April 19, 2018, 07:18:07 AM
Looks like the low-life '1Bestof1' AKA 'Galanthophilesgreen' et al has finally left Ebay!

[attachimg=1]

He will return undoubtedly so vigilance continues to be required. I understand that many refunds were received by those who purchased from him.

The general principle remains, don't purchase via Ebay unless you are sure of the identity of the seller.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on April 19, 2018, 07:40:54 AM
Great news, but let's hope eBay has the necessary means to block his reregistering under a false name and address.

Next up: Avoid Gardening Express - sold me lovely snowdrops - but sent me sickly Daphnes which I promptly returned and will clearly never see the refund, given the gadgillion negative reviews online and their lack of response to messages. 

I bet they'll give him a job... 

Live and learn. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on April 19, 2018, 09:17:36 AM
Great news, but let's hope eBay has the necessary means to block his reregistering under a false name and address.

Next up: Avoid Gardening Express - sold me lovely snowdrops - but sent me sickly Daphnes which I promptly returned and will clearly never see the refund, given the gadgillion negative reviews online and their lack of response to messages. 

I bet they'll give him a job... 

Live and learn.

Very useful post, I notice they have awful reviews and are selling Beluga and Polar Bear. One to avoid.

It is always better to highlight these issues rather than tacitly enabling by saying nothing. This forum has been a driving force in ensuring that members and users are fully aware of potential problems.  Long may it continue.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on April 29, 2018, 08:29:52 PM


Next up: Avoid Gardening Express - sold me lovely snowdrops - but sent me sickly Daphnes which I promptly returned and will clearly never see the refund, given the gadgillion negative reviews online and their lack of response to messages. 


I just posted a picture on the Rhododendron thread of a plant which came to me as Rhododendron groenlandicum. It clearly isnt, and guess what, it came from Gardening Express.

They will be hearing from me!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Burhinus on April 30, 2018, 06:29:13 AM
I badgered Gardening Express repeatedly via email and Facebook for my refund (telephone number's a dud):    emails completely unsuccessfully, but Facebook claimed they reply to messages promptly - well, yes, but the replies are automated and all the same.  I think someone takes a look at them, maybe...once a week, as I did receive replies from a human a couple of times, each time on a Friday afternoon: one week asking for my tracking number (why?!) and the second, which courier I'd used, which can only have been of use to me, I'd have thought.  I'd used the post office and paid for 'signed for', so knew they'd arrived promptly.  I kept up relentless barrage, yes, even madly conversing with the automated messages asking the computer to find me a human.  3 weeks after returning the plants I received a Facebook message to say they were 'inspecting the plants' (which by now must have been in very poor shape) and a refund would follow, which it did on 26th, after returning 9th.  Still nothing via email, other than repeated requests for feedback.  Avoid, everyone, and good luck with refund JRC.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on May 01, 2018, 08:46:11 AM
Well done. Top marks for perseverance. The notion of ‘conversing madly with the automated messages and demanding to speak to a human resonated with me profoundly.  These systems are designed to destroy your spirit so that in the end NOT getting the refund is preferable to continuing to negotiate with incomprehending people/systems.  I reached this point after a month of negotiations which produced only minor success with PayPal and a EBay and, in disgust, closed my accounts with both. I did this because I didn’t want to deal with cynical, deceitful, Byzantine bureaucracy which behaved like a smiling assassin.

Following therapy from people on this forum and a week on holiday I wrote to the MDs of both companies, not to pursue my claims but to tell them how appalling and discriminatory their customer protection policies are.  This produced an apparently sincere acknowledgement and a promise that policies would be reviewed and maybe take into account the position of people buying bulbs. I did accept the full refund they offered but was more interested in securing better, more consistent treatment for galanthophiles.
We’ll see.

Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on May 08, 2018, 02:11:12 PM
Following therapy from people on this forum and a week on holiday I wrote to the MDs of both companies, not to pursue my claims but to tell them how appalling and discriminatory their customer protection policies are.  This produced an apparently sincere acknowledgement and a promise that policies would be reviewed and maybe take into account the position of people buying bulbs. I did accept the full refund they offered but was more interested in securing better, more consistent treatment for galanthophiles.
We’ll see.

Excellent point and outcome David, we hear many reasons for doing NOTHING concerning Ebay fraud but there is always a compelling reason for confronting the problem, rather than kibitzing about it on the side. Great news you got the refund!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Hannelore on November 05, 2018, 07:48:54 PM
Another question:

On the German ebay someone offers at the moment Galanthus plicatus "Goldspitze" (Gold tip). Does anybody know this snowdrop? 

Best wishes
Hannelore
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on November 05, 2018, 08:57:10 PM
It's being sold by Uwe Stiebritz -   http://www.herald-of-spring.com/kontakt/4/de (http://www.herald-of-spring.com/kontakt/4/de) show how to contact him directly
and this email used to reach him too...     u_stieb@web.de

I don't remember  hearing about this one as far as I can recall.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Hannelore on November 06, 2018, 08:07:28 AM
Thanks! I think that's him on ebay.

BW
Hannelore
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on January 17, 2019, 07:18:26 AM
The usual profile of lifted photos and amazing drops!!!

dany19746

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/dany19746?_trksid=p2047675.l2559 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/dany19746?_trksid=p2047675.l2559)

Bargepole time!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on January 17, 2019, 09:37:32 AM
Worth noting that Anne Wright's drops are a particular target of these fraudsters and they are active!

Another one I wrote to yesterday, seeking clarification of the origin of the offered drop, has withdrawn the item and cancelled their Ebay ID!!!!

Safest bet is to make sure the seller is 'dryadzny' AKA Anne Wright!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Nicholson on January 17, 2019, 12:47:33 PM
The usual profile of lifted photos and amazing drops!!!

dany19746

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/dany19746?_trksid=p2047675.l2559 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/dany19746?_trksid=p2047675.l2559)

Bargepole time!

.....and from a supplier in Romania too!?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: annew on January 17, 2019, 01:07:48 PM
It has been drawn to my attention that some other sellers on ebay have been fraudulently listing Dryad snowdrops, including Dryad Golds and Eilys Elisabeth Hartley. This is particularly upsetting in the case of Eilys’ snowdrop as a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of this snowdrop go to charity.
I do not wish to stop legitimate selling of our plants – as a breeder I am happy that my plants are being offered by other nurseries, as I want them to get into people’s gardens – but I do not want people buying in good faith and then being disappointed because a falsely named plant does not perform as they expect. Please, if you are buying from other sellers – always ask where they obtained their stock and make sure the photographs are true, and not stolen from the internet. If you buy from me, you are assured of correctly named, good quality plants – almost always with multiple noses.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on January 17, 2019, 02:54:54 PM
The Eilys Elizabeth Hartley scammer seems to have taken it down or Ebay have!

Worth keeping an eye on, that's two dodgy sellers of Anne's drops in as many days!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: loes on January 17, 2019, 09:56:28 PM
Well, I feel the need to reply here too.
As I listed Gold Bullion two times on ebay the last weeks I’m a bit upset by the words of Anne Wright and the message on this forum and facebook.
The bulbs I sold are the true Gold Bullion,daughter bulbs of the one I bought directly from Dryad nursery on august 7 2016 on ebay.
I know my name is not mentioned in a bad manner but still...
I hope you all are convinced I only sell snowdrops which are true to name and yes, sometimes a fairly new one like Gold Bullion or last year’s Mother Goose.
I have to sell a few to buy a few!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: annew on January 18, 2019, 01:18:03 PM
Loes, you should not be upset since as I said I am happy for other sellers to sell the true plants. Nobody flagged up your listings as being a problem - rather those which obviously show stolen or incorrect photos.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Brian Ellis on January 22, 2019, 01:20:38 PM
It has been drawn to my attention that some other sellers on ebay have been fraudulently listing Dryad snowdrops, including Dryad Golds and Eilys Elisabeth Hartley. This is particularly upsetting in the case of Eilys’ snowdrop as a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of this snowdrop go to charity.
I do not wish to stop legitimate selling of our plants – as a breeder I am happy that my plants are being offered by other nurseries, as I want them to get into people’s gardens – but I do not want people buying in good faith and then being disappointed because a falsely named plant does not perform as they expect. Please, if you are buying from other sellers – always ask where they obtained their stock and make sure the photographs are true, and not stolen from the internet. If you buy from me, you are assured of correctly named, good quality plants – almost always with multiple noses.

I have heard from the seller!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Brian Ellis on January 22, 2019, 01:53:12 PM
I have also just spent nearly a quarter of an hour explaining fully to eBay what has been going on with this person and I am told that something will be done about his selling of snowdrops - we shall see.  I should explain that I paid for this (not very much) when it was taken down and a bill was sent to me.  I did however get the money refunded when he knew he wouldn't get away with it.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on January 22, 2019, 05:23:09 PM
A salutary lesson in how easy it is to be taken in, if you don't recognise that the photo listed is not the snowdrop advertised, that the title line has been lifted from Anne's listing, and that the alleged owner could not have the drop in question due to limited circulation and availability.

This forum provides an excellent service to protect members.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Brian Ellis on January 22, 2019, 05:26:25 PM
I should also point out that I was not taken in, as I said to Anne a few days ago I thought I'd see what would happen and do something about it instead of just moaning about all these fake sellers.  I didn't risk much money and sold a snowdrop or two at the weekend which easily covered it within the first five minutes or less!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: deee on January 22, 2019, 07:05:25 PM
anyone know about this seller ?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GALANTHUS-DRYAD-GOLD-MEDAL-rare-TOP-yellow-snowdrop-1-FLOWERING-DOUBLE-NOSE-bulb/352572124822?hash=item5216efae96:g:kRcAAOSwMQ1cPgyB:rk:2:pf:0 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GALANTHUS-DRYAD-GOLD-MEDAL-rare-TOP-yellow-snowdrop-1-FLOWERING-DOUBLE-NOSE-bulb/352572124822?hash=item5216efae96:g:kRcAAOSwMQ1cPgyB:rk:2:pf:0)
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on January 22, 2019, 08:41:58 PM
I should explain that I paid for this (not very much) when it was taken down and a bill was sent to me.  I did however get the money refunded when he knew he wouldn't get away with it.

Well done, Brian.  It was very public-spirited of you to take on the responsibility of dealing with this fraudster.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: annew on January 23, 2019, 09:31:17 AM
anyone know about this seller ?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GALANTHUS-DRYAD-GOLD-MEDAL-rare-TOP-yellow-snowdrop-1-FLOWERING-DOUBLE-NOSE-bulb/352572124822?hash=item5216efae96:g:kRcAAOSwMQ1cPgyB:rk:2:pf:0 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GALANTHUS-DRYAD-GOLD-MEDAL-rare-TOP-yellow-snowdrop-1-FLOWERING-DOUBLE-NOSE-bulb/352572124822?hash=item5216efae96:g:kRcAAOSwMQ1cPgyB:rk:2:pf:0)
That seller has bought Dryad Golds from me in the past.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on January 23, 2019, 04:40:28 PM
That’s interesting because I emailed them to ask the source of their bulb.  They replied to say they bought it from Dryad Nursery. What a nerve. Last time I looked nobody was interested.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: deee on January 23, 2019, 06:21:00 PM
Zero feedback is never a good start -- not sure why someone would start selling some of the most expensive drops with a new account.

I presume they purchased the originals through an alternative account
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: deee on January 23, 2019, 06:23:49 PM
They also sold Sarah Dumont for £10 which looks odd --

Really is hard to trust a lot of these new sellers when they dont help themselves look genuine or professional.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on January 23, 2019, 06:28:10 PM
That’s interesting because I emailed them to ask the source of their bulb.  They replied to say they bought it from Dryad Nursery. What a nerve. Last time I looked nobody was interested.
David - Anne Wright is the proprietor of Dryad Nursery and the breeder of the  Dryad Gold  Snowdrops.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: annew on January 23, 2019, 07:01:36 PM
Sorry, I should have made that clearer.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Graeme on January 23, 2019, 08:31:11 PM
Well done, Brian.  It was very public-spirited of you to take on the responsibility of dealing with this fraudster.

'buying' them from a fake e-bay account is much more fun and then just tag them along - they won't report you for not paying

steer clear of anyone with less than 40 feedback and have a look at the feedback if is 40 purchases at 10p avoid
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on January 23, 2019, 09:21:17 PM
I hope you're joking with that  "buying them is more fun.... " comment, Graeme.  Two wrongs don't make a right, and all that.

 There are a number of us here who have  worked very hard - and legally - to combat the  false sellers over the years. A pretty thankless and often unpleasant  task at times, but  something worthwhile to those who value honesty.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on January 23, 2019, 09:53:14 PM
David - Anne Wright is the proprietor of Dryad Nursery and the breeder of the  Dryad Gold  Snowdrops.
Yes Maggi, I have bought from Anne myself, sorry if my comment was ambiguous.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on January 23, 2019, 10:25:37 PM
Yes Maggi, I have bought from Anne myself, sorry if my comment was ambiguous.

Well the seller you were questioning, gwaun_valley_nursery, said they bought the bulb from Dryad Nursery and the owner of Dryad Nursery confirms that she sold snowdrops to that seller.  Therefore no reason, on this basis, to suspect that this seller is not legitimate.   
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on January 24, 2019, 06:05:00 PM
Yes, I need to apologise again.  I misread Anne’s original post.  On holiday at the moment. Brain not working!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Maggi Young on January 24, 2019, 06:42:52 PM
Yes, I need to apologise again.  I misread Anne’s original post.  On holiday at the moment. Brain not working!
"holiday" ??  Whazza holiday??  :D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on January 24, 2019, 07:23:42 PM
21C in villa in Gran Canaria.  Lovely day today in the mountains. Pleasantly surprised by the range and quantity of the native(?) flora but no snowdrops (I know that is obvious, trying for comic effect). Purloined an Aeonium cutting from a restaurant this afternoon. Back in time for Alpine Garden Society Snowdrop study day but missing Myddleton. Holidays during the Snowdrop season a bit dodgy really but needed the sun and had to get away from Brexit.  I’m hoping the cold weather in the UK has slowed my drops down a bit.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on February 05, 2019, 11:08:17 AM
A familiar individual has emerged again on Ebay selling 'snowdrops' ........ 'Zorija' also sells under '2010coco44' and 'ferrari098'

Lots of previous problems with this individual, currently 'offering 'Ronald Mackenzie' and others.

Bargepole time!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: mallthorn on February 24, 2019, 11:08:30 PM
Zorja.!? This guy has 'Mother Goose' available again today. Is he a confirmed scammer.? He now says that he will only post his bulbs once dormant later in the year. Last one sold for £100+ , have they been scammed.,?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 24, 2019, 11:17:54 PM
If you buy a dormant bulb and it turns out not to be the correct bulb that you were promised you will not be able to do anything about it through eBay or Paypal.  This is because the time limit that you have to register a complaint will have expired by the time you see the bulb in flower.  Many eBay scammers rely on this "loophole" so if you buy dormant bulbs on eBay you should only do so from vendors with a rock solid reputation.  And by reputation I do not mean eBay feedback score. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: mallthorn on February 24, 2019, 11:27:35 PM
I will now only buy from reputable Nurseries and their aliases. I know which ones sell quality bulbs/plants and have regrettably suffered with virused plants from others.

I have read this seller is a fake account we need to be wary of.?!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 24, 2019, 11:44:38 PM
I have never bought from ebay seller Zorija and would not consider doing so, therefore I cannot answer from any personal experience.  You can read what has been written about them here and form your own judgement.  It has certainly been alleged that they sell on eBay using more than one ID and if this is true it would be both against eBay rules and grounds for suspicion.  eBay does not publish the IDs of winning bidders so anyone with multiple IDs can buy their own items in order to give themselves a fake reputation.   
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on February 26, 2019, 08:04:24 PM
If you buy a dormant bulb and it turns out not to be the correct bulb that you were promised you will not be able to do anything about it through eBay or Paypal.  This is because the time limit that you have to register a complaint will have expired by the time you see the bulb in flower.  Many eBay scammers rely on this "loophole" so if you buy dormant bulbs on eBay you should only do so from vendors with a rock solid reputation.  And by reputation I do not mean eBay feedback score. 
Not strictly true Alan.  Last year both eBay and Paypal refunded some, but not all, complainants who were caught out by this.  The trouble is that they were highly inconsistent. I was, initially, in the ‘not all’ category and made a formal complaint.  The complaints process for Paypal was labyrinthine, highly inconsistent and contradictory.  It took me nearly three months and I nearly lost the will to live but, eventually, with the help of two forumists here, I got a full refund.  The online and “on phone” procedures were incredibly frustrating so a lot of resilience is needed!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on February 27, 2019, 04:04:36 PM
Well done David.  The online fraudsters rely on people in your position giving up and/or eBay/PayPal refusing to help.  The more trouble eBay/PayPal are put to dealing with issues like this then, hopefully, the more measures they will take to stop it happening in the first place. 
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: deee on March 05, 2019, 07:54:59 AM
quite a collection this zero feedback seller has on offer

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/montop-57/m.html?item=401721271930&hash=item5d8874267a%3Ag%3A1ZIAAOSwVqxcfXSl&siteoverride=3&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/montop-57/m.html?item=401721271930&hash=item5d8874267a%3Ag%3A1ZIAAOSwVqxcfXSl&siteoverride=3&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562)
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: David Lowndes on March 08, 2019, 09:09:46 AM
Blimey!  Barge pole time?
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Alan_b on March 08, 2019, 10:01:57 AM
Blimey!  Barge pole time?

Well all sellers have to start somewhere.  The main reason for steering well clear of new vendor "montop-57" is that it is too late in the season so whatever you get will have finished flowering and therefore it is unverifiable as "correct".
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on March 08, 2019, 01:46:58 PM
Blimey!  Barge pole time?

Hi David, I would agree! The marketing seems to be: "You don't know who I am, I have made no effort to reassure you, I have no feedback to reassure you, the bulb has not flowered to date, probably wont flower next year, but will flower the year after".

As a means of triggering 'desire' it does not pass muster, unlike 'barge-pole time' which has high retention!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on March 24, 2019, 03:25:21 PM
A familiar individual has emerged again on Ebay selling 'snowdrops' ........ 'Zorija' also sells under '2010coco44' and 'ferrari098'

Lots of previous problems with this individual, currently 'offering 'Ronald Mackenzie' and others.

Bargepole time!!!!!!!!

Intersting that 'zorija' is currently offering 'Andrea's fault!

Check out one of the bidders, note the Ebay rating in brackets of the 'second bidder':

[attachimg=1]

Now compare that to the rating of ''2010coco44' above, another of his user names:

[attachimg=2]

Coincidence????

Barge pole squared time!

















Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Gts-gary on May 18, 2019, 08:13:08 AM
Hi just to let people know the snowdrop con-man from crook in Durham is back on eBay trying to sell ‘trymlet’ and ‘south Hayes under his new name glste7628 so avoid at all cause!!!  Just so no one is caught out again !!!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Will23 on May 18, 2019, 09:29:15 AM
Well spotted! It definitely looks like him.  I’ve been keeping my eyes open for him all season. The photo has been taken of the actual computer screen too; probably to stop people searching for the website he nicked it from! First job is to confirm it’s him; then get him banned again! I’ll contact eBay and PayPal.
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on May 18, 2019, 12:09:33 PM
I wrote to this individual and welcomed back 'Galanthophilesgreen' et al and pointed out all the sites and Ebay had been informed. Within 30 mins this:

[attachimg=1]

Oh well!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Gts-gary on May 18, 2019, 01:41:35 PM
We’ll our swift action and he’s removed his listing off eBay! I also contacted him to inform him I’d told eBay that he’s re-listing again under a new name!
I’m vigilant at watching out for him and will hound him every time, thankfully he’s removed before he’s con’s more unsuspecting galanthus collectors!
Title: Re: 'Fake' snowdrop bulbs on eBay.
Post by: Blonde Ingrid on July 14, 2019, 10:54:23 AM
Update on 'glste7628' from 'Crook'  AKA 'Galanthophilesgreen' et al this morning.

Here is his current feedback:

[attachimg=1]

Ho hum!