Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by revhtree, Mar 11, 2019.
Oh it needs a few years to heal from the fragging...
My experience was purchasing a coral in the sales forum here and the seller not honoring a clear DOA due to their lack of shipping competence.
Might not be a scam necessarily, but not honoring a DOA agreement left me out some serious $$. On top of that...PayPal sided with him as I could not prove the ‘death’ of a melted mushroom.
What I learned -
Obtain clear written terms of the sale.
PayPal resolution is difficult as you can’t talk to a real person.
On a side note, like those polyps in the op... I've thought ifi ever actually did introduce a coral strain/morph into the hobby I'd intentionally give them the most ridiculous names imaginable. Maybe use a random word generator. Lol
That or the most mundane name possible for a crazy colorful coral. Like "pink and green Zoa."
CALL THEM, that's the only way to convey the circumstances.
I got scammed trying selling a 72 gallon Oceanic bow front aquarium a couple years ago. The guy told me if we could load it on to his car to see if it'll fit, then he got in to his car and gave me some fake bills and stomped on the gas and hauled out of there like the road runner... Don't trust in anybody.
I'm sorry but that is pretty funny!
Oh I got scammed big time for what was too Zoas. More like junk crap.
All in all I've always felt our LFSs are well intentioned and honest people. Although, what does irk me is walking into a store with no prices on any of the corals or livestock and getting responses on the price like ''"well, its $x.xx" or "I can do $x.xx for that piece...". I often go to these stores after work and I feel being in my work attire (tie and all) gets me a higher quote than if I stop by in my weekend clothes! Luckily, I'm a bit more seasoned now; so now I know what a good price is for various corals and livestock but as a former newbie I would have gladly paid $15 per head for that ultra rare purple pulsating xenia!
Yeah, I kinda laughed about it a bit afterward also...
I have one that just made me sad....
Was selling off my fragging system and looking to get rid of the corals in it. Posted my chalice collection on the local forum. Well known member responds and comes to look at the corals. Agrees to purchase all of my remaining chalice. We agree on $600 which was a steal. He give me $300 cash and says he will be back to cover the rest the next weekend and pick the corals up then. after chatting for awhile I offer to let him take them with him and just send me the money. (I wanted to break the tank down anyway)…. Sure enough I never hear from him again. Nor does he ever post on the site again. He had a couple thousand posts on the forum... Who knows.
When I was younger and first got into this hobby, I would say almost every piece of equipment I was sold from a shady LFS when I got into reef keeping was equipment I should not have been recommended...and I learned that the hard way pretty quickly.
Do your own research, confirm the information you are getting with people who are well respected and have been in this hobby for years, and take everything you hear/read with a grain of salt!
I can't say that I've ever been scammed and I've bought and sold from a lot of people on the forums and Craigslist. That said, I've been in the hobby for decades and am VERY careful who I buy from and almost never buy used equipment.
As far as livestock, I only buy from very well known folks on the forum or locals whom I have actually seen their tank. I can count at least a dozen times over the decades that I've shown up to a house only to see their shady tank and talk myself back out. A clean and healthy tank speaks for itself! I also don't buy from online sellers who only show blue photos, and I know enough to recognize a sham photo.
I've had a few issues over the years buying corals from folks online or through the forum where the corals arrived dead or in questionable condition. But in every case the sellers either refunded my money or sent replacements. In my opinion, the vast majority of folks in the hobby are great people and not out to scam others.
I made a purchase (WYSIWIG) of a special invert for my tank.
A very specific color and priced accordingly.
The specimen currently resides in my tank. Very healthy and growing which is my #1 concern, so for that I am happy.
I was, and still am to a degree, very upset with the color.
Even at 20K, I don’t even see a hint of the color I “purchased”.
Upon more research and asking questions, I now believe this place grossly over saturates photos.
My fault, but deceitful none the less.
I bought some Haitian live rock from a well known vendor. 44 lb box. From the online picture it looked like "lively" rock. I've only bought uncured or properly cured rock before so I expected lots of things and macro algaes.
First...the box was damaged.
Second....the rock was packaged terribly, it was at least in a styro, but the bag the rock was in wasn't taped or tied closed. The rock was pretty much rolling around half in the bag. This is more than likely why the box was damaged.
Third...44 lbs meant they were show pieces, like 5 big pieces. I was really hoping for more pieces.
Fourth...I don't think the rock had been in the water for a long time, maybe a very long time. Not a speck of macro algae, sponge, dead clams, etc. It didn't even smell that bad. The only life that was on it were fruit flies.
I didn't bother making a claim since I didn't want another clunky box of rock from the same company and I needed to use this rock. I still have the rock, one piece looks really nice grown out with coralline and mushrooms.
One of the first aquariums I bought when getting into the hobby was a 90g from somebody local. It was only $50, but when I got there it was missing a brace.
I asked why it was missing a brace and the seller said it was an old school style that didn't require one. Needless to say, I did a water test in the garage when I got home and the thing split like a banana peel.
Truer word have never been spoken!
I haven't been scammed with anything reefing related, other than sick fish , which is another story for another day I guess.
I did lose well into five figures on a planned trip of a lifetime vacation about eighteen months ago. That still really stings.
That's a bummer. Along those lines about 14 years ago I stayed at a Cay Club hotel in Florida. Nice place, affordable, worked for my needs. A few years ago I did a search on the place for a future trip. The owners were in the news about some Ponzi scheme type dealings with all the Cay Clubs...guess I'll go elsewhere.
I must admit, I have been scammed in the past. I have been in this hobby for 30 plus years. Whether it is a piece of coral or livestock, or a piece of used equipment... or even the latest and greatest solution to a reefing problem. I have chased fads, and paid dearly for corals from unscrupulous sellers... "No we never had problems with AEFWs!" "I have never had any flatworms in my tanks!". "thats not Dinos......." "oh that fish has been here for weeks and is eating like a pig!" Ugh! I have dozens of pieces of reef equipment in the basement that I just won't sell to anyone else. Mainly because they didn't work for me and I would have a hard time selling something that didn't work for my tanks...and have a good conscience. I have seen people selling little tiny nubs of SPS for stupid $$s that they just got from me.... I have given big chunks of stuff.... that have then been put up for sale as tiny frags within hours.... Needless to say I don't give away much to those I don't know well anymore.
My rule of thumb is that you can only truly be scammed by one person...and that is yourself. If you are too lazy to do your homework and educate yourself or ask experts you can rely on or just do some basic stuff... like dipping and doing visual inspections... If the deal you are getting is "too good to be true!" and you do it without doing your own due diligence, then you have only yourself to blame. Am I jaded....? yeah! Over the years... I have had to become reliant on my own wisdom, or perhaps lac there of at times... and my own ability to critically think through the "pros and cons"! If I am going to add something to my systems.... I need to take responsibility for it and not rely on what some else has told me. There is no one to blame but myself.
This is not an indictment on all hobbyists and dealers at all. If you are going to make a commitment to this hobby... you need to educate yourself and stop relying on others. That doesn't mean that you don't ask.... If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck and feels like a duck... then it is not likey a new real cool LPS coral.... Sorry.... I couldn't help myself.
All this said, I think R2R is one of the best resources! I wish it was around years ago when I went and followed others blindly... and when I made the majority of my mistakes. The people in this community are awesome. That said, we need to make sure though that we shift the burden of knowledge to the individual... I see so many people out there that are setting up tanks without taking the time to read and learn. That are dosing without ever knowing how to test. That are buying fish and corals and putting them in tanks .... without really understanding if that would be a good idea or not.
Sorry... my rant is over...
I have had pretty good luck so far BUT I do think its a scam anytime someone is altering a photo to make something look better for purposes of selling the item, when its not going to look like that when you get it home in your tank.
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