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.
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.
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.
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.
Why do you say this? This guy's descriptions are very terse, but no
(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
I did a bit of "spot the Babin" a couple years ago, and his eBay style
easy to identify.
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.
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.
Jon Elson wrote:
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.