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Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

Here is couple of things that some ebay sellers and collectors (NMMA member included) do that are could be described as deceptive or sharp practices to say the least;

1) Advertise in regional newspapers for tallies giving a list of really rare checks they want to add to their collections, often ones they already have, which they then offer the seller a pittance for only to sell on (often for massive profit) or use as swaps.
2) Insist in listing any check that comes into their possession that has not got NCB embossed on (for example Seaham, Eppleton etc.) as a pre 47 check in the hope they can kid a newbie collector out of a couple more quid.

Out of interest would anyone condone such practices or do we all agree this is not the way to do business? What is the NMMAs official take on this kind of dealing – At one time dealers were banned from their membership now every other collector could be classed as a small time dealer if not more. Don’t get me wrong I think selling on spare checks has definite advantages in helping new collectors and keeps surplus material moving onto the market. Similarly the bulk of collectors play and sell fairly its just what should be done to expose the ones that dont?

Comments welcome.

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

Hi Midlands Collector,
I do know a very few collectors who advertise in the way you describe, and I think that maybe it is wrong if they don't pay the proper rate for what they find. However I don't condemn it out of hand, because at least their efforts are digging out of the woodwork checks that need to be brought into the light of day.
I also know collectors who sell more than others. A collector I know very well is very active in travelling all over the place to buy lamps and checks, doing what a lot of others should, if you don't spend the time, you don't make the dime. He collects Yorkshire, so anything that comes his way, not Yorkshire or duplicates, he sells - nowt wrong with that. Moving items to other collectors that maybe would not see the light of day otherwise.
I, myself, ocassionally have a slurge of selling surplus items I have aquired in buying collections for the items I want. I am currently selling a 1000 badges surplus, that I have advertised on this forum and elsewhere for swop, sent lists out to all known major collectors and had no response. So they are for sale on e-bay. I have sold 150 so far in just over a week, all at market dictated prices less e-bays 20% scandalous charges. What else do you do? The collectors who have bought and will buy my badges are doing that of their free will, and adding to their collections.
Last year I sold over 2000 surplus spare checks, with the help of two friends (too big a job for me alone). Those checks have added to other collectors displays and not noticeably come back on the market. They must be all happy.
AND in most cases I have sold checks & badges, less e-bay fees, at a loss, just to turn them back into money. At least I acquired the checks and badges I needed in what I bought.
What other answer is there? Unfortuneatly E-Bay is an Evil we have to live with.
As far as descibing checks as pre 47, there are a lot of checks that were used pre 47 and through into NCB days, who knows where the cut off is? I think a buyer buys because he has not got the check, rather than on the fact it is "pre 47"

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

Hi Charles

Fair comments which I would not argue about. Its just a pitty a few rotten eggs can spoil things for genuine and fair collectors. I know a couple of the local papers near me (Stoke and Derby) will no longer publish articles in the body of their papers due to complaints that their readers could be getting ripped off by some of these begging letters given the possible high cost of some of the items being requested.

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

i think we know who you mean by the chap in the west midlands sending out begging letters,also a chap in south yorkshire, but good luck to them i say, but its very time consuming, ive done it myself and had a few good hits, at the end of the day we all want them as cheap as possible, same as collectors of corgi & dinky cars, war medals, pre war football programmes,etc, they all advertise wanting something good and as cheap as possible, i know they advertise wanting checks for free!!! but will return postage costs, try it yourself you might drop on. as for selling on ebay, so i buy 500 checks, i only want 200 of them, what do you expect to do with the remaining, give em away.

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

Hi Max

I fully agree that if you buy a collection one of the best things you can do with the surplus is to sell it on ebay where the market forces will dictate the price. I would do the same. That way like, Charles said, you are giving the rest of the collecting world the chance of picking something up as well so everyone wins. This is far better than one collector from Wales I’ve been told about that criticised a friend of mine for selling checks from a hoard of what till then had been a very rare tally. The Welsh collector said if he had found the hoard he would have kept one for his collection, a few for good swaps, and destroyed the rest to ensure that his swaps were always going to be sort after and that the check he had kept for his own collection would always fetch a good price if he ever wanted to sell up. Each to his own but I can’t understand anyone deliberately destroying a find of tallies?

Reading the replies above the only thing I would argue about is the morals involved. It would appear that from comments like “good look to them” certain NMMA members are happy to condone the begging letter approach and potentially ripping off unwary members of the public. Similarly when NMMA members knowingly try and sell none colliery related tallies (i.e. factort time or pay check etc) as pit checks or NCB checks as being pre 47s just because they havnt got NCB embossed on them – who are they kidding? The answer is the same people that Mulliner is trying to kid - the newbie collectors that haven’t as yet build up their collecting experience. The intent is the same – te seller is trying it on their attempting to sell something that is reporting to be something its not to an unsuspecting collector for as much profit as possible.

So my advice to the NMMA and certain of its membership is that if you want to take the moral high ground on the issue of sharp and deceptive selling and trading practices sort out your own constitution and membership before directing all your scorn at the likes of Mulliner.

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

Hi Midlands Man,
Interesting reverse shadow scenario with your friend with the bucketfull. If its the one I am thinking about, then he "mislead" to some degree Collectors. What happened was the person trickled one, two then more out for sale and being rarer, they sold for £125-150-ish. Now later when the rest are trickling out onto the market they are going to drop in price gradually to £10-20. Just like the Blidworth S, the Pope & Pearson,the Thrislington, etc etc. Now the people who bought at the £125-150 level and the reducing levels are not going to be very pleased when they reach £10. Collecting is an enjoyment but also an investment, at least not to lose money. So which is the best scenario - sell a few at "rare" price to recoup your outlay, then destroy the rest to maintain the rareness and everyones investment (nobody loses money in this scenario) OR sell some at a high price, then allow the price to drift down to the common level by flooding the market and there are losers here - those who have bought at the higher prices. I, luckily, have not been in that scenario of finding a bucketfull of rare checks, however I have been in the other scenario of buying rare checks at high prices and then seeing their value drop to diddly squat by a hidden hoard find.

Now I don't practice and don't agree with deliberately under buying from the "Old Lady" scenario, nor do I agree with or practice selling checks with the wrong description. I stand by the fact that most people buy because they don't have the check, rather than Pre/Post 47. However since it is mainly myself and a few others who try to deter new collectors from buying Mully's FAKES, then it is a bit of your last paragraph on moral high ground which could reflect on me!! Which is unfair and untrue.

Your advice to the NMMA and certain of its membership that if some of them want to take the moral high ground on the issue of sharp and deceptive selling and trading practices, then We should sort out our own constitution and membership before directing all our scorn at the likes of Mulliner. I am sure You mean this well intentioned.
However there is no constitution as far as I am aware and it is a £10-ish annual membership fee for a loosely connected group of enthusiasts and Collectors who share knowledge and experiences, swop, buy, sell and donate. I cannot dictate to rest of the Membership what to say, think or act, they are free individuals and will act as they think fit within the Law and accepted practice I hope. I suppose if someone acted like Mulliner and his antics, then there would be a groudswell of feeling from numerous people, that would result in a call for his membership to be refused, if he was a Member.

As for the likes of Mully, he does act criminally by making FAKE CHECKS and persuading people to purchase them with LIES and MISLEADING FACTS. And you don't need a lot of moral high ground to condemn that.

Just on the subject of the commoner checks which a lot of collectors end up with surplus. Rather than selling them to car booters for a couple of quid each in bulk, why not do as I have done recently with 200 I had (I managed to sell the other 1800 on E-Bay) - which is give them to the Justice for Mineworkers people or Banner Creation/Restoration Charities for sale on their stalls, this helps them and starts off new collectors if we are lucky.

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

Hello again Charles

Firstly my critical comments are not directed at you but at those that dabble in the doubious behavior discussed above so do not take offense.

Secondly, looking at the aims of the NMMA, as reproduced on the Our Aims page of this web site I would have expected these to have reflected the groups agreed aims and constitution. I think you will find that the NMMA, like any other independant group or society will have a formal written consitution somewhere. This has been a pre-requesit of most banks for the past 15 years in order for them to agree to any club or group setting up a cheque account with them. The consitution should follow a standard proforma and shoud list the elected officers or officials of the club and should include details about the publisicing the groups annual statement of accounts. This is important for a group such as yours as if you have 100 members each paying in £10 a year then the group has an significant income that should be accounted for to its members. Maybe this should be raised at your group's AGM.

Lastly your actions regarding the donation of common surplus checks to charitable groups is exteemly lordable and is the sort of think that should be publisised about groups like yours better rather than the negative press that gets bounced back from certain sources about the odd bad apples, particularly about advertising scams in local newspaper. Although not not an NMMA member this sort of action effects me and other independant collectors directly as blanket bans from news paper editors (in response to un-happy readers)stopping the publishing adverts for tallies effects us all - those prepared to offer the markets rates as well as those that request rare named checks as freebie handouts.

Charles Birdsall

However there is no constitution as far as I am aware

Just on the subject of the commoner checks which a lot of collectors end up with surplus. Rather than selling them to car booters for a couple of quid each in bulk, why not do as I have done recently with 200 I had (I managed to sell the other 1800 on E-Bay) - which is give them to the Justice for Mineworkers people or Banner Creation/Restoration Charities for sale on their stalls, this helps them and starts off new collectors if we are lucky.

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

Hi Midlands Collector
Thanks for the details of how the NMMA should be set up. I joined purely to meet other collectors and gain knowledge, swop/sell/buy etc. And it has been beneficial for this. I know the Secretary (to whom I send my fee) and the owner/maintainer of the web-site (and strangely enough, it does not belong to NMMA) and other members. I don't know any other officials or really want to know, unless I bump into them at a meeting. I don't know about bank accounts or any other details - £10-ish a year is not something I want to know the ins and outs of, nor do I want to know, I have not the spare time to go into it. I am gratefull that someone gives up their time to make the meetings and other services available. I, and most other members conduct themselves in a proper manner and get enjoyment from collecting Mining Memorabilia. I am concerned about the future of this collecting and the investment. We need new collectors to get interested in this small circle to have a future of collecting, and getting ripped off by the likes of Mully is not conducive to that.
The website, including this forum, is free access to anyone strangely enough again, however the site owner, having done an excellent job of setting it up,finds that his work/travel commitments no longer allow him the time to input much time to it. It was set up at his expense and is maintained at his expense. Thank you to him for that.
So as you can see, it is a loosely knit gathering of like minded collectors and I don't know anyone who has the time and inclination to really gather it into a tightly managed club, and I don't think the members would take kindly to it either.
You could always join and take up any available position and get it whipped into shape.
And the points above are all intended constructively and are not in any way criticising or attacking you, or anyone else, other than the Master Faker Mully of course, whose posts on this part of the forum should be ignored as the ramblings of a nutter.

And thanks for the original post, as it is the longest series of posts to appear on a subject other that Mullys Fakes for the last two years.

Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?


Re: Sharp practices or acceptable deaing?

nobodys targiting anybody, your only jealous, as has been said