An ebay seller to avoid

putterman2004. Bought a CNC mill from him, and what a nightmare it
turned out to be. I'll start off by admitting right up front that I
really really screwed up on this one. I will NEVER buy another machine
from an unknown seller, sight unseen. I frankly deserve the problems I
got here, as it would have only taken me 4-5 hours to go look it over first.
So. Seller had listed a complete Fagor control w/motors, as well as a
complete mill w/Fagor control several times, dropping the BIN each time.
Finally, with the Fagor control at $4000, I started seriously
considering it to replace the Ahha control on my mill. Made up my mind,
and logged in, to find someone beat me to it. Then I started looking at
the mill, with a BIN of only $4500. Wow, no control swap, just plug it
in and go! (that will seem high to some, but machines are not near as
plentiful in the Sierra foothills as they are down south)
Called seller to talk about it. He assured me it was in fine working
condition, and he used it to make brackets for the monster CNC mills he
builds (Supermill in Nevada). He stated clearly it was in good working
condition. I don't take that to mean pristine, but when I look at his
nice big mills and think about motor mount and other brackets for them,
I assume it's in reasonably usable condition. Auction listed spindle as
BT35 though. As I was trying to get seller to tell me who made the mill
(as I couldn't make out the name in the pic), he raises the BIN to
$8000! Well no way in hell I'm paying that much for a used knee mill so
I pass. Seller says he got the money he needed out of selling the
control, so no need to "give away the mill" HAHAHAH! Yeah, remember that
as I progress. Says he's going to strip the control and sell mill.
Some time later, I see the mill, sans control just as he said. I also
see a toolholder on table and see it's an NMTB40. Called again to
confirm and he says he'd been mistaken about BT35, it is NMTB40.
I quickly call Bill Griffin to see if he still has his collection of
NMTB 40 holders for sale. Work out a deal pending purchase of mill.
Run back, and take the mill on BIN based on prior -phone conversation-
where I was assured it was in good working order, then seal the deal
with Bill for the holders.
That was the mill I was looking to have moved some time back. Ended up
borrowing a Dodge and trailer and getting it myself.
Instant I saw it, I knew I'd screwed up. Thought I was getting a 10x50
Chevalier. In retrospect, I screwup up so badly here it makes me sick, I
should have known by the picture and I shoulder full responsibility for
that. Had I gone over with cash instead of being a good little ebayer
and promptly paying via Paypal, I'd have given him $200 to (more than)
cover his list/closing/relisting fees, and driven home empty. But no,
that sucker was mine and there was nothing to do but suck it up, load
the machine, and drive home.
Upon closer inspection of the mill, the Z drive was all screwed up. The
bolts that hold the thrust bearing were loose and turned out two were
broken, allowing bearing block to move at least 1/8 inch vertically! My
ass he was making good parts on this. He'd assured me the motor pulleys
were included. But he couldn't find them... Buried in a storage
container, said he'd ship them later. I figured the Z cover was with the
pulleys too and didn't press for them. He said he'd ship all the misc
bits he had in storage as soon as he got the container moved to the new
shop. That never happened.
My interest was to get a larger, heftier and more rigid machine, that I
could swap my Ahha package over to and be up and running in half a day.
That's why I bought the tool holders at about 2x what I could have done
on ebay buying individually. It was worth it, to get enough holders to
be able to work right away, and FAR cheaper than a comprehensive set of
new holders! No complaints at all there. But a lot of money out of pocket.
Almost 2 months later, the mill sits just barely inside my garage door,
unfinished. Had to pull the quill to helicoil the holes that secure the
Z drive to the quill. Clean up the dinged mating faces on all the
brackets, battered as they were from flopping around. Add support
brackets to prevent it from happening again (and that dings the original
design, not the seller), replace Z axis thrust bearings.
I've called and emailed repeatedly trying to get the Z cover. One Sunday
he calls me to say he found it and will ship. Week later, I call to see
where it is. "Oh, I just found it yesterday, I'll ship it". Week later,
"oh, that was the wrong cover" (how many Z axis covers does he have???)
Finally after more than a month of evasive and vague promises to do
something, I got a bit more forceful in trying to get him to follow
through. I'm perfectly happy emailing and calling someone every day if I
have to. So I call this morning, he says in a mildly pissed voice "I'm
LOOKING for it". Yeah, right. As soon as I don't just happily roll over
and say "Ok", he says "You know what, you can just go F**k yourself!"
I don't respond well to stuff like that, so I advised him to do the same.
Minutes later I'm filing a claim with Paypal, but bummer, it's been more
than 45 days. So I'm down to a claim w/eBay, probably not going to get
any satisfaction out of this.
putterman2004, in my opinion, knew exactly what he had, and
intentionally gave vague and misleading answers to my questions. He
probably outright lied about the machine being in working mechanical
condition. (there is some slim chance he didn't know, but I doubt it)
His word means little if there's a problem, he's has no motivation to
follow through and do the right thing On that basis, I'd really advise
avoiding him.
You all are free to laugh at me for my severe lack of judgment in not
taking the time to go look at it. I richly deserve it.
But this time, to hell with my perfect feedback, he's gonna get a neg.
Just have wait for the ebay claim to run it's course, and work out how
to cram the most info into the allotted space...
Reply to
Jon Anderson
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Jon That deal really sucks. Maybe if we all went to his current and future auction pages and emailed the seller something like "You know, I was going to bid on your ____ but after talking to a previous buyer I think I'll pass".
Thanks for the heads-up.
J> putterman2004. Bought a CNC mill from him, and what a nightmare it
Reply to
Rex B
My two favorite quotes in the whole world:
"Good judgement comes from experience Experience comes from bad judgement."
that's a SIG line for someone here...
"There's no shortage of teachers at the School of Hard Knocks"
Came up with that one myself. Story of my life. There's never less than two ways to learn a new lesson, and I choose the harder one distressingly often.
Reply to
Jon Anderson
What -really- sucks is I should have known better... On the plus side, every time I look at that mill, it's going to be laughing in my face. "HaHaHa! Shoulda looked first" This is one mistake I'll not repeat...
I've thought of doing that myself after reading other ebay sob stories here. But that's confrontational, and perhaps could cause problems w/ebay. Best just to avoid...
Reply to
Jon Anderson
We don't need eBay or PayPal to warn us of Al Babin, he is already a legend. If this guy is in the same class, he will get the same sort of rep. And, yes, a few of us have to get burned before the reputation "sticks". but, when "stuck", the seller is going to get stuck, too!
Well, thanks to putterman for the warning. Really, you have to bid on ANYTHING on eBay with the knowledge there could be a problem, either with the item or the transaction. When I bought my Sheldon lathe eBay sob story, I bid very low, because I trusted the machine tool dealer about as far as I could throw a 3500 Lb lathe with one hand. Yeah, as it turned out, I was giving him too MUCH credit for either honesty or careful evaluation of the machine. I'll never know for sure if the really didn't know the wear condition of the lathe. It was not visibly obvious like on some other lathes that leave a very obvious ridge on the bed. But, it took a month of phone calls to get the chuck, steady rest and coolant tank that were part of the auction. I can't really complain, because I DID factor all that into my bidding limit. And, after extensive reconditioning, I have a truly phenomenal machine.
Reply to
Jon Elson
I agree, but I just hate to see an SOB get away with something with no downstream repercussions. He will never know that any of us have avoided his auctions due to the raw deal he dealt you.
Reply to
Rex B
If you paid by credit card, you may have 90 days to dispute the charge. The credit card company will want you to recover what you can from Ebay, of course, but might cover the rest if you dispute it directly.
J> Minutes later I'm filing a claim with Paypal, but bummer, it's been more
Reply to
Mike Berger
My favorite quote on this very same subject:
"When a man with money meets a man with experience, the man with the experience gets the money and the man with the money gets the experience."
Sad, but often true. Bad deeds foster bad Karhma....he'll get his. -Mike
Reply to
You have my complete sympathy. I got screwed over a magnetic drill recently on eBay (see my previous posts here) and although it was less money it still hurts. People can say all they like about lack of judgement, but sometimes one wants or needs to trust a seller. Perhaps you want a specific item, or need it in a hurry, so you go ahead. Warning signs can be hard to spot, and sometimes false. Initially I've felt uneasy about a couple of transactions which turned out great, and fine about the two where I got screwed. It's easy to kick yourself with hindsight, but the seller is the one at fault. You don't deserve it, even though you didn't go to see the machine.
If I were in your situation I would be tempted to take legal advice on this one. You might be able to take the seller to court, and given the sum of money involved it might be financially worthwhile as well as giving you the satisfaction of paying the guy back for screwing you. Your luck with your credit card company may vary. Mine were totally useless over the magnetic drill affair, but it is worth pushing them hard in this case. eBay and PayPal both suck when anything goes wrong. Now I've been screwed twice on eBay I've made myself a promise that I won't purchase any used machine over £50 in value without inspecting it in person.
And when you leave negative feedback, put "E-mail for details" at the end. That way anyone considering buying from this guy can get the full story from you. Then use the "follow up" feature to squeeze in another line of details.
Sorry to hear about this experience. It's bad luck, and all the worse because it's Christmas.
Best wishes,
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
Interesting that people are so quick to assume an EBAY seller is being honest but will dicker, double check, double check again and give it a third or fourth thought before buying a used car for the same amount of money.
If I had any advice, it would be to assume that any EBAY seller is just a failed used car salesman who found a new trade. Check, double check, and INSPECT anything that costs more than you are willing to lose on a gamble. Better to lose out on that "deal" than to lose out after plunking your money down.
Like used car salesmen, an EBAY seller's goal is to convince you that something is worth more to you than to them..and probably more than it is actually worth. Not all used car salesmen will lie to accomplish their goal but......
Reply to
When he changes his eBay name, (which is what these scum do once they get a bad reputation) - how will we know it's the same guy?
i.e. Can you post his name and address?
Reply to
Bruce Barnett
Yeah, I read your tales of woe over that, you had my sympathies then, and more so now! Well, at least nobody's laughing at me, that makes me feel a bit better.
However, there is an upside. While the last thing I wanted right now was a project, once everything is fixed, I will have a significantly better mill. Well, I hope.... It's a Chevalier 5hp, 40 taper head on an XLO frame. I made the assumption it was all Chevalier as he listed the weight at 4400lbs, and that's ballpark right for the big Chevalier. Well, I'm bummed not to have the extra X travel, which is what I really wanted, but I do pick up an extra 3" in the Y and that will come in handy. Millport uses direct drive steppers. I'd set it up with Ahha and Compumotor drivers when I didn't know as much as I do now. I'd set step res to 1000 microsteps. Well, with Ahha, that worked out to .0002/step, or 1/5 step. Those old motors just won't 1/5 step. I get step, step, step, nothing, doublestep. This shows up in the finish.
The beast (as I'm calling it) has belt drive, and I'm setting up X and Y for 2:1 and going to half stepping on the drivers. This gives me .00025/step resolution and it should do it real consistently.
The head is bolted direct to the ram and, luckily, it's in tram! This should be -vastly- more rigid than the Millport. Everyone that's seen it here, agrees it's a pretty homely machine, but have commented on how hefty it looks. It does have a smaller footprint than the Millport, even with the extra Y travel, but weighs probably 50% more.
In addition, I was going to let a local machinery guy sell the Millport as (really!) CNC ready. He said he'd rather have it as a manual. Well heck fire, why didn't I think of that. I have enough parts to convert it back to manual with an R-8 spindle. That gives me an NMTB30 spindle, Z quill drive, XY direct drive motor mounts, and a pile of 30 taper holders to sell. I've sold manual machines myself, and will get more for it as a manual, at least for my area. So overall, I might actually come out a bit better financially, even considering the time I have to float the money that I hadn't counted on. It's being treated poorly that really gets me, along with this whole thing badly delaying other shop projects I thought I'd be working on right now.
Sure is good to have somewhere to vent, where folks understand. Thanks guys!
Reply to
Jon Anderson
Look at your ebay listing for the mill. Was it listed in the metalworking category? If so, it may be covered by ebay for mis-representation and un-disclosed damage. See:
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I know what you mean about ebay equipment. My ebay Hardinge-Omniturn lathe was "making parts" before I bought it. B.S. - no way! Thanks to Gunner's help and some low cost parts ( and time on my part ) I'll have a working CNC lathe very soon. I'll never spend big $$$ on sight-unseen equipment again.
Reply to
I did a bit of looking to see what he was selling and his listing sez NV but the location info is now CA on the latter sales. There is a relatively new putterman2005 listed as CA. His feedback would have turned me away quick.
Reply to
Interesting. putterman2004 has 119 positive feedbacks, and only 5 negative. Not a great score, but no Al babin-type can get anywhere near that 96% score. He has only one positive feedback for the putterman2005 ID.
Reply to
Jon Elson
Hi Ed,
There's two classes of coverage on ebay for this auction. There's the Business Equipment Purchase Protection plan, this requires minimum $1500 in damages. I read the terms and thought it a real long shot ebay would side with me under the terms. Most here know if I were to hire out the repair, it would probably meet that, but ebay desk jockeys are not likely to buy that.
I've filed under the standard Buyer Protection plan. Seeking $280 credit. Surely doesn't cover the bad parts, labor, stress, but seems a reasonable enough sum I might get it. And I'm sure it's enough to piss him off. I don't want to return it as I'm really afraid I might lose my temper but good and end spending a few days in the Carson City jail for A&B... Also sure don't want the asshole in my driveway picking it up. Too temping to grab the .45 and give him some dancing lessons...
Besides, most of the repairs are done already....
Reply to
Jon Anderson
Putterman2005 does not look to be the same person, though it's possible. As for the appearance putterman2004 is in CA, Carson City is at the base of the mountains that hold back the east side of Tahoe. He might have just selected that as being more recognizable than Carson City. (and I'm surprised how many folks don't realize half the lake is in Nevada...) Until I found out how to override that data, ebay showed me as being in Sacramento, when I'm in Grass Valley. So I don't take the location difference to mean anything devious. He told me on the phone he owns Supermill in Genoa, Nevada, which makes really really large CNC mills. Like big enough I could put my Toyota on the bed. But the few parts I did get with the mill had a packing label for a company called American Putter which is in Minden, NV. The web site for Supermill is so cheap and cheesy, it's a wonder he sells any. Jeez, any local Jr. High kid could do vastly better for a C-note or two. I sure wouldn't buy a new high ticket monster mill from someone that can't cough up for a decent web designer. By contrast, American Putter looks to be a well developed web page. No comparison between the two. Makes me wonder....
I certainly would not have bought the mill sight unseen from a seller with 1 feedback (putterman2005). But putterman2004, at the time I bought the mill, had no negs this year. I failed to check ALL the feedback...
Reply to
Jon Anderson
Call me next time you need a mill.
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch

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