Al Babin on eBay?

He's "rjjansen" in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Has 5 machines listed.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 230&itemu05278922&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

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Don't imagine so, not in CT, no upper case...
James McAllister wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 230&itemu05278922&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
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I though I read here at one time that he was "MARJEN MACHINES" is that true?
--

Dan


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I've bought two things from "MARJEN MACHINES", a clausing drill press and a big belt sander. I had to bug them for like 3 months and threaten litigation to get them to ship the sander, though the drill press came easily enough. Both things were _extremely_ beat though, almost to the point of being worthless. So far I've replace belts and bearings, cleaned the socket, and tried to straighten the spindle of the drill, but it still has wicked bad runout.
Don't know if its Babin, but in the same league.
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snipped-for-privacy@eink.com wrote in

Reason I ask, is that I remember reading a few disparaging things about MARJEN and then I read where someone claimed it was Babin. I made an interesting purchase from MARJEN, the whole deal was very wierd but I made out like a bandit. Same deal as you though, it took forever to ship and the item was damaged. It was easily fixed and today I could sell it quick at a $2,000.00 profit. More if I wait for the right buyer to come along. It was funny as I had the impression that he thought he was pulling a fast one on me, yet he didn't know the value of what he had. I talked to him on the phone so I had a good chance to size up the deal. I don't know if anyone is really interested in the details so I'll leave it at that for now.
--

Dan


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Please, continue! ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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All right, but I'm warning you it ain't that interesting. I was shopping around for a used toolmakers microscope, and not being in any real hurry, I was checking with dealers and watching Ebay. I wanted to spend less than $1500.00 and get a good one with a DRO. Like I said I was in no real hurry. So along comes a listing on Ebay for a decent Nikon and I decide to bid $1500.00 for it. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to win but WTF, you've got to try. It's on the first day of a long list time. A couple of days later another scope turns up. It's a Gaertner, a much nicer scope than the Nikon, and it's a real toolmakers scope. The Nikon is really a measuring scope IMO. So I add it to my watch list. Ironicaly, it has a "Buy it Now" price of $1500.00. The pictures are dim and a little fuzzy, and there's piles of crap around the thing. The listing says it includes everything in the picture. I can see a DRO some wooden boxes and some other junk that I can't make out. So I send the guy an e- mail and ask him what's included and does it work. He e-mails back a couple of days later saying it includes whats in the picture and he bought it at an auction and doesn't know anything about it. The bitch of it is, the auction for the Nikon ends one hour after his auction. So I wait to get outbid. It's not happening. I'm sitting in the office and the auction ends for the Gaertner with no bids. I'm winning the Nikon and I figure it's a decent scope at a great price so what the hell. I get sniped at the last minute on the Nikon. Ten friggin people must have tried to win that thing at the last minute as the bid went from around $1,000.00 to $2500.00 in the blink of an eye. I'm pissed as this is about the fifth auction I've lost on a scope. So I send the guy with the Gaertner an e-mail and I tell him I wanted to buy the thing at the "Buy it Now" price but I was already bidding on another that I lost. So if your interested here's my phone number. He calls me at 10:00 PM the next night my time, so it's 11:00 his time. I'm in my car driving to Indianapolis. I have a weird conversation with him. It's like I'm talking and he's not listening. I'm trying to get a feel for the condition and he's being evasive. I got some questions and he knows nothing. So I say I'll buy the thing for your asking price. He says I'll put it up on Ebay as a "Buy it Now" for $500.00 in a couple of minutes. I'm thinking WTF, he was asking $1500.00. I wonder if it's a basket case or something. Then I figure it's a microscope for chrissakes, what could be wrong that couldn't be fixed? I tell him he called my cell phone, I'm on the road and I'm two hours from my hotel. He says you better hurry before someone else buys it. Dickhead. So I call my wife and have her get on Ebay and buy the thing. Explaining to my wife how to get on the internet, get to Ebay, and find the listing is akin to teaching someone to land a 747 that's never been in an airplane before. To make a long story even longer... After several rounds of e-mails along the lines of "Are you ever going to ship the friggin thing?" It shows up. Badly packaged in five boxes. I fish the microscope out of the remains of the flimsy box and it's got issues. But it has a sticker on it from a big defense contractor, and it's got every accesory that you could buy for it and then some. The table wasn't clamped and it slid to the ends of it's travel hard during shipping and it's bound up. After looking it over I say the hell with it and I take it apart to see what the damage is, and what it's going to take to get it going. I ended up having to machine a brass plate, make a new anvil for one of the the micrometer whirlgigs, and fix both clocksprings and the cables, replace a switch, and some other stuff. I cleaned it all up and calibrated it. It's perfect. The optics are crystal clear and it's accurate and repeats. I probably put twenty hours in it though. *But* it came with tilting column, three reticles, a goniometer, filters, three lenses, mitutoyo light source, it's own light source, underlit table with filters, bench centers, V- block, table square, spare bulbs, fuses, printer, Quadracheck II Dro, a bunch of misc stuff, and a bunch of plastic vials. I open the vials and they each have one Starret Croblox AAA gage block in them. All totaled from .010-.0119 in .0001" increments. All perfect, not a scratch on them. For 500 bucks I'm thinking I got the best of the deal, seeing how I've yet to see a nice Gaertner sell for less than $2,000.00 and that's without a DRO and accesories.
--

Dan


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I bought a tool post grinder from him and it was a good deal. The grinder worked well, but it had been sitting for probably 30 years (a little rusty). It cleaned up well though, and now I have a fairly presentable grinder for little money. I don't have any issues with Marjen Machines.
Dave

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James McAllister wrote:

Why do you say this? This guy's descriptions are very terse, but no misspellings (Did I misspell that?) Babin tended to rattle on 3-5 lines about a machine, and rife with errors and misspellings. This seller has a 100% rating that dates from July 2002. Unless Babin has just recently hijacked this guy's account, it seems unlikely.
I did a bit of "spot the Babin" a couple years ago, and his eBay style is pretty easy to identify.
Jon
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Babin has been identified, he's operating out of CT using two ebay accounts. I've purchased a few small items with no problems. Since I can't personally verify it's him and have no direct knowledge of his past dealings, I'm not going to name the accounts. They have been mentioned here if anyone wants to do a google search. It seems like he's tending more toward fixed price buy it now items than no reserve auctions.
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It's me again. Using one of my aliases ;-)
To my mind these auctions have the "look and feel" of the Babin. The pastel backgrounds on his photos, done with a paint program. Machine tools look like they're suspended in air. The milling machine looks like he took a gallon of silver paint and hosed it down but I think I see rust peeking through where something touched the paint. Some of his feedbacks looks suspicious.
I know - this guy's been on eBay for a long time with not much activity. But that's like the Babin. Create an account and let it age. Make a few small purchases to get some positive feedback. Then use the account to sell a bunch of garbage before bidders get wise and the scheme collapses.
Maybe he's evolved a little after reading some of the posts here. Maybe he learned to use a spellchecker. You must learn to think like the Babin to catch the Babin.
James
Jon Elson wrote:

dates
style

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