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Discussion Starter #1
I will summarize my experience in this post. The next post is the full conversation we had. The third post will feature photos / videos showing the problem.

I purchased a Sinn 857 UTC Testaf from rlewisk ( Richard Kaplan of San Rafael, CA) he had advertised on WUS under the post "FS..... Sinn 857 UTC VFR Testaf.....NM" for $1735US on Aug 12, 2018 using paypal. Richard advertised the watch as near mint (NM) and specifically stated:
"The 857 would be mint but there is a fine hairline on the aluminum bezel btwn. the 19 and 20 minute mark, (as seen in the photos), and there are no other marks anywhere. The photos were taken today by me and are an accurate representation on the condition of the watch."

I received the watch on Aug 16 2018 at 11:10am (EST). I was very excited to get the watch, unpacked it, and tried to set the time. As I was setting the time I noticed the watch had a substantial material mechanical defect. Every time the minute hand went past the hour hand it would hit the hour hand and proceed to rub over the hour hand. This puts excessive wear and strain on the mechanical gear train and caused black paint to rub off from the minute hand to the hour hand (looks like a crescent shape). In the worst case the minute hand would catch on the hour hand and get bound up while the gear train kept moving causing the watch to bind up and need costly repair. This problem was VERY obvious and I noticed it right away.

I quickly contacted Richard on WUS by private message to his rlewisk account on the same day. I sent the message at 11:30am EST (20 minutes to unbox the watch, notice the problem, and write him a message). I told him about the problem, that I wasn't happy with the watch and wanted to send it back to him for a full refund. I offered to pay to ship it back to him safely if he would give me a full refund.

After several hours he replied back and said he would NOT accept the watch back for a refund. He then proceeded to personally attack me, belittle me, and brush off any problems I had. (Note: the full conversations we had in chronological order are in the next post). He told me to never PM him again.

I replied back by PM and told him I could take a video of the problem to prove it. I again asked to return the watch if he would issue a prompt full refund. If he wouldn't do this I would have to proceed to file a Paypal claim against Richard.

I was very unhappy with this. I did my part as the buyer. I promptly paid for the watch and Richard had my money, but all I had was a defective watch. It would cost a lot of money to ship this watch to get it repaired and frankly I didn't want to do this. I bought the watch because it was advertised as near mint, which it wasn't. I didn't hear back from Richard over WUS PM. That was NOT right, so I started to pursue a paypal claim against Richard. My first course of action was to directly e-mail Richard.

I directly e-mailed Richard again telling him about the problem, offering to take a high quality video of it, and asked to return the watch for a full immediate refund.

He replied back saying he would NOT accept the watch back for a refund and it was my problem. He suggested I sell the watch myself. This is WRONG because I received a defective watch that was not advertised as being defective. I am ethical and honest and I could not resell the watch for anywhere near what I paid for it. Nor should this be my problem. I did not buy a near mint watch only to have to get it repaired or turn around and sell someone a defective watch. So I escalated the paypal claim against Richard.

Richard contacted me directly to try and scam me. He said I could send the watch back to him and he would refund my money on the condition he sold it. This is not only wrong, but this is completely idiotic! Had I done this, not only would Richard have had my money, but he would also have the watch back. The fact that Richard would be willing to receive the watch and turn around and sell it to someone else after he knew it was defective is terrible. I would NEVER buy anything from Richard! I told him I would not send the watch back under a condition of him selling it. I told him to please stop contacting me and instead he should contact paypal to get this resolved. I tried many times to work things out with Richard before issuing a paypal claim. Even after issuing a paypal claim I tried to work with him. Richard did not want to help and completely did the wrong thing. Once I escalated the claim with paypal I was done dealing with Richard and let paypal handle the rest. From that point I would act only on the request of paypal.

Paypal made numerous attempts to contact Richard to try and resolve this problem. Richard ignored all requests from paypal just like he ignored my numerous requests. The case was resolved in my favor and I received a full refund from paypal. Paypal notified me and told me no further action was needed on my part.


**********************************************

Everything above is documented, verifiable, and can be used as proof against Richard.
 

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Admin edit: 3. Private Messages (PM), along with other private correspondence, are not to be posted to the open forum without the permission of their original authors. If someone is concerned about the content of a PM that they receive, they should report it to the Moderators who will consider what action is to be taken.
 

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In a few of the seller's photos there are clear signs on the left corner of the hour hand that it's rubbing. So the issue was obviously there before the sale.

As a buyer, it's very hard to notice everything looking at the photos so I understand how this could be missed initially. Most wouldn't notice it if they weren't looking for the defect.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I made two high detail close up videos showing the problem.
I am very sorry about my tone and volume in this video; when I made these two videos I was very upset over how I had been treated by Richard.

They can be seen on youtube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLv53_Xv03s
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78AL9-wRnF0

Furthermore, after I noticed the problem I went back to the photos Richard used in his for sale ad on WUS. In two of the photos I can see the aforementioned rubbing on the hour hand (black crescent shape). I included the photos below for reference.
IMG_1968_1.jpg
IMG_1991_1.jpg
It's extremely hard to notice this in the photos for three reasons: 1) the resolution of his posted photos are low, 2) the photos are very grainy and 3) it appears this problem had just started to happen.

I will never be able to prove it, but my hunch says the watch was dropped or hit with enough force that the hour/minute hand went out of alignment. Instead of paying to mail the watch back to Germany for repair, he tried to sell it to someone who wouldn't notice until it was too late. Even if they did notice, he would respond in the same way he did to me by completely ignoring the problem and refusing to refund the money.

However I have a very critical eye (used to work as a quality control supervisor in scientific equipment assembly for government research projects) and noticed the problem right away. I'm glad too, or I might have had a very costly repair looming on my hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have the defective watch. Since Richard violated paypal's buyer protection policy and refused to contact paypal they found in my favor and told me no further action was needed on my part; returning the watch was not part of paypal's resolution.

I'm going to hold on to the watch in the condition it is in for a few years (for proof if needed again) and then will probably send it to Germany to get it fixed and the hour hand replaced.
It's a shame too because I really wanted to use the watch and enjoy it. I purchased another Sinn 857 UTC from another WUS member that I'm using now and am very happy with it. I'm just very thankful paypal was able to help. When Richard said he didn't have any funds available I was afraid I was out of luck with a defective watch.
 

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While I understand you are technically within your rights, having received a full refund it would be a show of bad faith and IMO moral turpitude to retain the watch as well without at least attempting to return the watch to Richard.

You're providing strong negative feedback for a guy who delivered a watch in not-as-described condition / mentioned on-selling without notifying of the defect, and yet you're comfortable retaining 'his' watch after you've received back in full (or close) all the money you paid for it?

I think if you don't at least attempt to return the watch you risk flipping from victim to villain, frankly.
 

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I think any buyer in this situation would return the watch to the seller if the seller pays for return shipping UP FRONT, or PayPal credits the buyer for the cost of return shipping.

Why should the buyer in this instance be penalized to pay for additional shipping when the item was deemed "not as described"?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
While I understand you are technically within your rights, having received a full refund it would be a show of bad faith and IMO moral turpitude to retain the watch as well without at least attempting to return the watch to Richard.

You're providing strong negative feedback for a guy who delivered a watch in not-as-described condition / mentioned on-selling without notifying of the defect, and yet you're comfortable retaining 'his' watch after you've received back in full (or close) all the money you paid for it?

I think if you don't at least attempt to return the watch you risk flipping from victim to villain, frankly.
I completely understand what you mean. I start off by treating everyone the way I would want to be treated unless they wrong me. It's easy to say return the watch when you didn't have to deal with this guy's terrible behavior, but when you deal with a bad seller in real time with the worry that you are out $1735 every single day, when the seller keeps telling you how wrong you are, completely refusing to take any responsibility, ignoring requests for help, wasting time trying to get a refund (making videos, contacting the seller, contacting paypal, calling paypal, etc.), I frankly loose respect and remorse for the seller. It's a terrible thing to say, but after what I have been through, I have no remorse for the seller.

I know this doesn't make me a very nice Christian, but I don't want to help someone who tried to wrong me so many times. I'm not strong enough.
 

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I'm sorry but justifications aside, you have your funds. You should return the watch back to the original seller.

EDIT: Just because PP refunded you the cash doesn't mean that you get to keep the watch. What PP did was to unwind the transaction so that it never happened. That means you return the watch. With an uncooperative seller, you may need to expend some funds to ship it back to him, unfortunately.
 

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I know this doesn't make me a very nice Christian, but I don't want to help someone who tried to wrong me so many times. I'm not strong enough.
I've not been a practising Christian since I was a young man, but even I remember what 'turn the other cheek' means :)

But you're a grown man, you can make your own decisions.

I guess I just lose sympathy very quick for someone who feels so strongly wronged for one party's poor response to ensuring both parties have a fair and equitable outcome, and yet their response is to keep both watch and funds and leave the other party with neither. Physician, heal thyself?
 

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It would seem the seller got what he wanted,,, unless I'm missing something...

Sent from my K92 using Tapatalk
He got rid of the watch?
 

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I've not been a practising Christian since I was a young man, but even I remember what 'turn the other cheek' means :)

But you're a grown man, you can make your own decisions.

I guess I just lose sympathy very quick for someone who feels so strongly wronged for one party's poor response to ensuring both parties have a fair and equitable outcome, and yet their response is to keep both watch and funds and leave the other party with neither. Physician, heal thyself?
I'm in agreement here. OP, it's unfortunate you had to deal with this person, and we appreciate the feedback. But you got your money back. Once a little time passes and you cool off, consider returning the watch and taking the high road.

That's a beautiful watch btw. Glad you picked one up in good working condition.
 

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I completely understand what you mean. I start off by treating everyone the way I would want to be treated unless they wrong me. It's easy to say return the watch when you didn't have to deal with this guy's terrible behavior, but when you deal with a bad seller in real time with the worry that you are out $1735 every single day, when the seller keeps telling you how wrong you are, completely refusing to take any responsibility, ignoring requests for help, wasting time trying to get a refund (making videos, contacting the seller, contacting paypal, calling paypal, etc.), I frankly loose respect and remorse for the seller. It's a terrible thing to say, but after what I have been through, I have no remorse for the seller.

I know this doesn't make me a very nice Christian, but I don't want to help someone who tried to wrong me so many times. I'm not strong enough.
If it was the other way around theres no way youd get your watch back if what you tell us is true about this guys communication and attitude.

Id personally let things cool down and id send it back to him and be the bigger man, but let him sweat a bit to reflect on his actions and then send id it back.

Having said that ive no doubt he would not send it back to you if it was the other way around.

If you send it back he might pull some sort of stunt and claim it didnt arrive, you might have a another situation on your hands though, but id send it back.

Interesting situation.
 

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If the owner of the watch (the guy who paid for it) sends you a prepaid label, I hope you're "strong enough" to take it to the post office. You don't get a $1700 consolation gift for someone being rude or unhelpful.

I think any competent watchmaker could have corrected the hand issue in 5 minutes. (And most incompetent ones could have done it in 6.)


Personally, I don't think I'd want to do business with either of you.
 

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Playing devil's advocate here, but would returning the defective watch to the original seller put other watch enthusiasts at risk of being scammed by him? Be it here or some other avenue, such as another forum or eBay?

A lesser of two evils type-thing...?
I was thinking along this line too.

Keeping the watch for proof if PP/ insurance/ police ask for it in future is what you are supposed to do, right? Did PP mention this in any way? I thought I have read this somewhere.

Options:
1/ Keep watch, few years as is - for proof.

2/ Send watch back to seller who on the surface of things sounds like the type to on-sell it and repeat the misery but maybe get away with it.

3/ Have the watch repaired. Make sure the defect is very well documented by Sinn/ watchmaker. Write to the seller. Ask for postage and repair price to be paid in full before you will return it. If declined, well he doesn't want it. You could now sell it, gift it whatever. Conscience clear. If offer accepted by low life seller, protect yourself and make sure there is no way this fraud can use PP against you and therefore go PP unprotected or wire transfer etc.

I guess, if you find out PP does have a stance on the matter and it is in the fine print or you ask them straight up, you know what you should do if they say hold onto it for a period. If PP has no definite stance on the matter, your have more to think about.

Good luck. Just trying to summarise options as if it were me in the situation. I don't know what I'd do but I'd probably follow this line of thought to exhaust options and make a decision.

At the end of the day, it makes no difference to me what you do (unless you try and do what the seller tried to do and sell to someone I know- I doubt you are at risk of doing this though!) and realistically I'll probably never really know but.. I am glad things turned out well for the good guy here.

Cheers mate,

B79
 
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