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can i trust all sellers on mindat auctions

Posted by Anonymous User  
Anonymous User June 06, 2011 02:19AM
hi i want to know if someone supervise the items offered in this auctions and if the honesty of the sellers was verified or if it's like on ebay where everyone can sell minerals without be sure of what they sold.i see a seller than i have no need to name who's asking help to identify his minerals but he offered the same minerals at big price without have a perfect id of this minerals. that's doesn't make really always think than mindat was a really more secured place to buy minerals than ebay but now im not very sure.sorry for my bad english but i hope you will be able to understand the main idea of my topic cause if anyone can sell is bullshit here what the interest to try to make something better than the ebay formula.bye
Peter Andresen June 06, 2011 04:26PM
I suspect you think about this specimen:

As long as Sajjad Shakir can't document analysis of this material being hambergite, it should not be posted as being it!
I think this auction should be removed until identification is propperly done.

Alfredo Petrov June 06, 2011 04:52PM
Peter, what makes you doubt that it is hambergite?
Peter Andresen June 06, 2011 05:16PM
I don't say it's not, but there is not good enough documentation that it is. So why do you think it's hambergite - we have the photo of the crystal, an idea about hardnes +/- 7 and the locality. Is that enough? I must say the sample could look like a odd shaped spodumen as well, couldn't it? The description of hardness are within range, and locality is possible too.
I know the same does for hambergite, but how sure is the identification? And, like Yanick, I feel it a little strange to se the same sample on the auction just days after it was on the identification help message board - for a high prize - if it's not hambergite, but spodumene.
Alfredo Petrov June 06, 2011 05:34PM
Well, like everything else put up for auction here with high starting price, it probably won't get any bids, and then the discussion is moot :)

While I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, Peter, I think we should consider this action carefully because it will be setting precedents for the future. Should Mindat demand analyses for all unusual specimens put up for auction? Personally I tend to believe the IDs given by sellers unless there is some specific reason to doubt it (wrong appearance, wrong associations, unlikely locality, history of misrepresentation by seller, etc). Whatever demands we make should be applied to all such cases in future.

Furthermore, I would not like Mindat to be put into the position of appearing to guarantee correct ID of specimens put up for auction here. That is something Mindat cannot do. Mindat does have one feature that E-bay doesn't have: peer review of auctions. There is a comment box where users can express doubts and other users can then be forewarned. Why don't you use that feature to express your desire to see analyses? Actually, I can't recall seeing that anyone has used this feature of Mindat auctions yet!
Rob Woodside June 06, 2011 05:52PM
The seller posted pictures of this specimen over and over again pleading for an identification, even hijacking a thread in desperation. Suggestions were possibly Hambergite, Pollucite, and Spodumene and met with various criticisms. (Apatite?) Presumably buyers are familiar with the message board postings and realize this but just in case I posted a caveat on the listing.

Alfredo I agree with you about not certifying identities, trusting labels, and the saleability of pieces at these prices. However I think this is over the top.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2011 06:50PM by Rob Woodside.
Anonymous User June 07, 2011 12:38AM
hi .i know it's could be a hard job to check and approuved all minerals offered in auctions but i think it's possible to create a kind of level to obtains before to be able to put auctions on mindat.if the sellers must wait at least a years and post certain numbers of messages than we be able to learn more about this persons and be able to make our own idea about them.and after that the manager of the auction part of mindat can add a number between 0 and 10 who's described the knowledge of this persons than everyone can know if the sellers are able to recognize what he offered. it's just an idea i dont say that's must be like that .i think we must just discuss about that to find the better idea approuved by the majority.i think than the objectives of mindat auctions is to create a safer place to buy our minerals by auction than on ebay.many peoples i know than they think than they cannot be scam on mindat cause he had there many mineralogist to find if a specimen whas offered with a wrong labels ?
Rob Woodside June 07, 2011 12:46AM
This seller is passionate about minerals and eager to get things happening. We have seen this before in other dealers and collectors. He is doing the right thing by getting it analysed and will report the results.
Anonymous User June 07, 2011 01:03AM
hi.i want to add than i dont think than Sajjad Shakir hijack voluntarily topics i think he just dont know the difference between a message board and a chat room cause already someone posted a message or answer to a topic he post again and again the same topics cause he think than he had someone online to answered is questions .i think someone must explain him the difference.he must posted is topics and wait sometimes many days for the answers and not take the first anwser than he receive for id of minerals for a 100% sure id it's just a possibility . you cannot sell something under this name if you are not sure.except if your only interest in minerals it's to make money and it's this case your place are not here.go on ebay you will find many fishes in the sea to buy your wrong labeled minerals cause here it's the worst place to try to scam peoples .just takes a look at the frauds , fakes minerals and marketing ploys message board and you will see what we think here of peoples who's act like that?bye
Keven Semple June 07, 2011 03:03AM
People - as with all things on offer - Caveat Emptor!!
Peter Andresen June 08, 2011 09:35PM
Alfredo, you are as usual wise, convincing and right. Of course we can't demand analytical identification for every mineral put out on the auction. And I was throwing stones in glass-house... All my hambergites are visualy identified, and lots have been swaped, some even sold, and all I can say is that I think I'm right about them to be hambergites - I've learnd how to id them and most other minerals from more knowledgeable collectors sharing their wisdom, and they have often looked at my samples and confirmed my id'es.

Like Rob says, this seller is eager and entusiastic, and I'm sure he will learn too, how to do the trade and to identify better. I have to learn to post coments in the auctions, and to keep my head cool. :)
David Bruno June 08, 2011 11:16PM
Erm ...
The Mindat listings have various specimens listed as being "Cool" and "Rare" surely if Mindat wishes to be a cut above ebay this kind of listing should be edited? Such things as "Rare" "Cool" and "Fantastic" are really not necessary on here (Are they?) Im sort of playing Devils advocate here because I dont care either way, but I do think it is a relevant point: either Mindat wants its auctions to be taken seriously by its membership (who I think its safe to say have sufficient technical knowledge to determine what is "Rare" or "Cool" without being told it in the listing title), or, it wants to make money out of selling stuff to anyone who wants to buy it, (including people who are more likely to buy a "Cool" specimen than an ordinary one).
Bernie Millington June 17, 2011 05:02PM
I have read this thread with interest and generally concur with most of what has been said. I certainly agree that there should be a longer membership time limit before anyone can sell minerals to give that person time to build their online profile for others to see . I think the majority of people are honest but where big money is concerned there is always going to be those that will try and deceive others to gain a better percuniary advantage.
Just a suggestion here but for most of these sales on this site I suspect Paypal is used as a method of payment. Paypal offers protection and payments can be reversed offering the buyer some protection. Not being a great advocate of paypal but being left with no other decent money handling facilities perhaps the use of this will diminish the risk. If using a credit card then purchases of over £100 by the card holder are protected against fraud in certain circumstances. Perhaps a condition to sellers is that they have to offer a full money refund if buyer is not satisfied with identification once they have received the specimen as long as the buyer is responsible for the return postage? Too many " wrong identifications" by a seller could mean them being banned from selling!
As with life generally there is always an element of risk in everything we do, it is down to you to reduce that risk to yourself. The simple answer is if in any doubt don't buy!

"Tom Trevorrow! Tom Trevorrow!
Leave some of thy 'Fuggan' for Bucca,
or bad luck to thee to-morrow!"
Kristopher Dingfield June 17, 2011 06:48PM
Some of us do not want to build an extensive profile here on mindat as we have done this on social networking sites such as facebook. I myself would be in this catagory. Also I have had trouble uploading pictures to the site off auction of specimens in my collection that I would just want to share with fellow mindaters. As far as trusting sellers, well what about sellers trusting buyers? I have had issues with buyers never paying for there order and wasting my time trying to convince me if there trustworthyness and trying to talk me into a trade for there purchase. Fortunately I don't generally operate in this manner and declined any form of trade. I bet that I would have gotten nothing in return. Also if we want to compare mindat to ebay, well isn't it funny that someone on here will put $1 bids on valuable cabinet pieces just to see if you set a reserve or if they can steal your item for nothing. Would you consider an action like this as honest? or is it like trying to sneak a last minute bid on an ebay item ending in the middle of the night when no one is paying attention. That being said, I have met some good people because they bought from me on mindat and we kept in touch on facebook or by e-mail. While I have friends off mindat that bid on mindat auctions I generally try to trust both the sellers on here and the buyers. I have only been a buyer once on here and was very happy with what I won and if the buyer listed again I would probably bid.

P.s. I have also worked with other buyers and sellers on here to save a buyer on his international shipping when hee had won an item from each of us. We can't even see who is bidding on our items to try and give them a price break or shipping break.
Peter Andresen June 17, 2011 07:24PM

I think you have misunderstod some issues about auctions. If you put a valuable cabinet sample out for 1$, and that's the price it's get, it's 100% honest - the same would be if it caught interest and sold for 100$ more than you excpected, that is 100% honest too - it's the nature of an auction. What I've always found confusing is the hidden reserve, and when I detect this hidden recerves it wery often makes my interest in bidding on items from same seller decline to 0...
Paul Brandes June 17, 2011 10:12PM
Personally, I would trust the folks selling on the Mindat auctions over eBay anyday; at least people here have a clue as to what they are selling, in most cases, and not using grandious descriptions or their "appeal" to sell specimens......
Anonymous User July 01, 2011 08:30AM
hi ,honestly i found mindat auctions too hard to understand.i saw many specimens i was interested in since i was member but i always change my mind cause that look too complicated.i dont want the auction end been many times reported cause someone bid in the last minute.he have some moderated message board where you cannot posted topics like you want but nothing to sell a's not not a member since long time but im already able to recognize by his answers if a member know something abouts minerals or he dont even able to recognize a simple quartz need to build up his home page .if the seller must wait a years before to sell minerals that's will make runaway all the bullshit can also add title near the name like amateur .new-comer professional or if the person study or not about the subject.i will trust more a physician doctor than a guy asking help for id 10 times a week each time he have something new to sell.bye

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2011 02:50PM by Yanick Beaudet.
Anonymous User July 01, 2011 08:58AM
hi. you can also make a test to know the knowlegde of the member who's want to offered something to begin with easy question and you continue harder and harder.after you give a note to the member than everyone can see .if the guy obtain the lowest result i will think about it twice when this seller tell than is quartz point was natural and not glass especially for cut gem or specimen not on matrix.i think that can be easy to do .you show a picture and you put answers choices under .more commons minerals picture to much rarer.and i want to add i saw the jolyon idea the orther day to make tee-shirt for mindat support fund .i dont know for you but something who's can interest was a kind of large minerals guide something like a atlas series with a book for minerals of all alphabet letters.something you change only all tens years with a good hard covers.i never found a guide with more than 400 minerals .i want something i can put on the shelf of my office like 20 big book in row .
Anonymous User July 01, 2011 09:15AM
i know it's probably something too expensive for many members to afford but if you take pre-order you can know how much make or only make them on order.only one provide more money to mindat than many tee-shirts .you only print the mindat page (if the owner of the rights for the picture accept naturally) for each minerals and if the author agree you can insert some of the best mindat articles too.i know many members will prefer take a free look at mindat than pay for a book but me im more old school, i better like book than computer .every ten years you can make a new edition to ad new IMA approuved and discovered minerals.i think that can became a really famous minerals sure i will buy one if you do it.bye

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2011 09:21AM by Yanick Beaudet.
Anonymous User July 01, 2011 03:01PM
i think finally than make a test or wait long time for sell general minerals can be exaggerate but at least for rare minerals.when i want to buy a rare minerals than i see only a time in my life i want to be sure of what im buying and i want to be able to trust the's why i dont buy them on ebay .i try some of the shop who's paid for announcement on mindat and i aready been scam too or i paid ten time to high for it.if i cannot trust mindat auctions who i can trust.bye
Mark & Linda Mahlum July 29, 2011 05:46PM
How can we check feedback on both buyers and sellers? That is a tool to use.

Tim Jokela Jr September 13, 2012 08:15PM
Yanick, if you're looking for good mineral literature, there's lots out there. The six volume Handbook of Mineralogy is essential. Dana's New Mineralogy is good. A full set of Mineralogical Record is invaluable, even Rocks and Minerals is good. Encyclopedia of Minerals by Roberts, Campbell and Rapp is good, some like Hey's Mineral Index.

And of course there are thousands more, from general like my favorite Mineralogy by Sinkankas to specific like Zeolites by Tschernich. All of the above are basic starting points that should be found in any good mineral collectors library.
Anonymous User September 15, 2012 09:17PM
h tim .i have around 5000 books and magazines about mineral. i use a entire room to keep my books . some are in language than i can't even read. some are old and have only an historical dream are to find a book including all mineral accept by ima in the same encyclopedia.something easy to update too. but i know it's a dream.i found something near. a dvd with more than 3000 minerals with all the infos. i try to contact the maker to obtain the copy.bye
Trevor Dart September 16, 2012 01:45AM
Ebay has just put up it fees for "shop" sellers. So I expect a lot more of the smaller sellers to now take advantage of the mindat auctions. I also agree that there should be a waiting period between when you join mindat and when you can use the auction page to sell. This already occurs with other aspects of mindat, so why not the auctions as well. Mindat is the most comprehensive database on minerals on the internet and it is constantly updated by mineral collectors around world who are willing to share their local knowledge. These auctions are for mineral collectors, not fly by night profiteers, so the expectation that the mineral has been correctly identified has to apply.

A little story... I was selling a Broken Hill rhodonite in sphalerite sample on ebay when I was challenged with a mis-identification. The buyer queried my ID as it was too dark to be a rhodonite, Apparently rhodonite is pink not red, according to the samples they had seen. Obviously they had not seen any of the deep red rhodonites from Broken Hill nor had they visited mindat, When I replied to their comment and pointed out my background knowledge they didn't bother to answer me back... A little knowledge is sometimes too much knowledge...

Cheers, from my little piece of the Sunny Australian Outback...
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