Buying a model on eBay

"A tale of caution!"

Picture this scenario: You are the owner of a model shop or even a dealer in car models. You have an expensive model which has been damaged. What do you do?

This is what you do. You place the model for sale on eBay. You advertise it as in mint condition, receive a decent offer and sell it. That way when the buyer complains that the so-called mint model is damaged, you say: "Sorry mate, it must have been damaged in transit!"

Whilst scouring the pages of eBay, I was delighted to see the model of a Maserati Barchetta by Replicars for sale. I duly posted my bid and was delighted to win the auction. My intention was to add photos of the model in my Galleria Barchetta. I can't afford the real thing so a 1:43rd scale model by Replicars was my cheapest option!

I was happy at paying €86.00 for this model by Replicars of Holland (who produce wonderful models) even though it had one wheel inlay missing. The seller was a German dealer in Senden. The total cost including postage was €96.00. I sent cash in the amount of €100.00, so together with 'International Signed For' postage the total cost of this model was €104.00. When the model arrived it had a price tag of €99.00, so at the end of the day, this was hardly a good buy!


The model as advertised on eBay! Rear spoiler and roll bar look fine!


GERMAN TEXT: "Hersteller Hersteller Replicars. Neu + originalverpackt. Hochwertiges Handarbeitsmodell. Leider fehlt eine Radkappe hinten. Damaliger Preis 199 Euros. PRIVATVERKAUF---KEINE GARANTIE !!!

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: "Manufacturer Replicars. Model and box in mint condition. Exclusive handbuilt modelcar. One wheel inlay is lost. Retail price was 199 Euros." The seller forgot to add "PRIVATE SALE---- NO GUARANTEE !!!"

The model as it arrived! Rear spoiler damaged and METAL roll bar bent!

Was the model damaged in transit?

To be fair to the sender, the item was shipped via Securicor Omega Express and was sealed with an adhesive tape depicting the silhouette of a glass with the words VORSICHT GLAS! (CAUTION GLASS!).

The roll-bar is made of metal and must have received quite a knock (see image below). How could this happen inside a box with foam rubber protection? Impossible, the damage must have been done prior to packing.

The rear spoiler is glued on and could have become disassembled in transit.

Damage to the box could have been suffered in transit but I doubt it as the damage suffered by the roll-bar could only have been done if the box had been crushed, which it wasn't! And besides, there was little evidence of any damage to the package when it arrived. He must have packed a Gremlin inside with the model or he thought I believed in fairies !!!

The damaged box! €99,00 !!!

The bent metal roll-bar!

The damaged rear spoiler!

In his description of the model he states that it had a retail price of €199,00. Could it be that the model was reduced to €99,00 (half its retail price) because it was already damaged ??? Makes you wonder doesn't it.

I e-mailed the seller and complained about the condition of the model and here are his replies:

"Hi Enrico,

Iīm really sorry, but this must be happend during the transport. The model incl the box was in mint condition. I canīt explain, how this could happen. You can see on the photo in ebay, that the model was in mint condition.

Best regards,



"Hi Enrico,

I have told you in my last mail, that the modelcar was in mint condition before I have sent it. What shall I do? I canīt do anything.

Best regards,


Well now you've been warned and if the seller's username sounds as though he might own a Porsche, you know what to expect.

I have purchased over 300 items on eBay and this is the first bad seller I have come across !!! There are many sellers on eBay who are a credit to the site, this guy isn't one of them !!!

To enter Enrico's Maserati Pages CLICK HERE!

Copyright:Enrico's Maserati Pages - © 2004. All rights reserved.