I hate to be the proverbial wet blanket...

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Posted by graml from user-2ivevbh.dialup.mindspring.com ( on Friday, March 14, 2003 at 7:25am :

In Reply to: "It belongs in a museum!" Collecting REAL artifacts on Ebay as a hobby posted by Darth Indy from ? ( on Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 11:21pm :

But the number of stars an Ebay seller possesses does not necessarily indicate that he or she is a reputable dealer of antiquities. It simply means that they are willing to complete the transaction and get their money. The true mark of a reputable seller (whether it's "greek god statue heads" or a Hawaiian Punch bobbing head doll) is openness. Are they willing to answer an email inquiry before you bid? Are they forthcoming with details on how they acquired the item? If they ignore your questions or become oddly defensive, it's a may be a matter for the authorities.
I recall looking at auctions from a seller who seemed to have the Midas touch when it came to finding pre-Columbian artifacts from Mexico. The numerous emails from Maya-nuts like me went unanswered and it was eventually revealed that the guy was a college professor/archaeologist/grave robber who was pinching small stuff from his own digs. The police and the Customs Service got after him and I would imagine the university he worked for gave him the gate. I feel compelled to quote forum member Operator Jake: "Let's be careful out there."
That being said, I still think Ebay is a great source for old Atari 2600 games and unusual tiki mugs.

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