I am writing this post in the interest of keeping those of my readers who collect maiko items from potentially losing a lot of money, and to also give you a heads up.
Recently, there has been a case of a seller on ebay named hope-kiboutrying to sell darari obi that they do not own.
Those of you who are IG members can view the original discussion thread here.
Basically, this seller claimed to have a ro darari in their possession that they were selling on ebay for a starting price of $1.00 USD. Below are the photos from the auction:
However, these are the exact same photos which the seller Rising Sun Imports had of a darari that they sold several years ago. They are merely flipped, and have had the white background edited to black. (very poorly done too, I might add) Click here to see their listing page on their website, and compare the photos. Furthermore, the one who bought that darari is a member of the IG forums, and along with a friend did a henshin several years ago. You can see the henshin pics in this thread. She came forward on the boards to state that she was definitely not selling the obi, and reported the item to ebay. The seller eventually removed the listing because “the item was no longer available.”
To make a long story short, when questioned about the item by several members of the forum, this seller at first stated that her obi was the exact same as the one in the picture, but that her friend had given her the photos (Although she said that her friend had taken them). However, she claimed that her friend had bought the darari in a flea-market in Japan, and sold it to her (when we knew the people who had bought it, and how they acquired it). She also claimed that her camera was broken, and that she couldn’t take new photos of the obi to prove she had it.
Now, a day later, she has listed this darari, this one looking nothing like the previous listing. However, this listing is highly suspect as well. For one, the pictures have also been edited to have a black background, just like the last listing, which makes the chances of these pictures also being stolen high. Another thing is that in the previous listing, she stated that her hakata darari was not the one in the photos, but a similar one (Which is against ebay policy and technically fraud in and of itself. You must post pictures of the actual item you are selling.) Furthermore, the listing ends on the 13th, and the seller claimed that she will be gone until the 15th, but only after she received several inquiries asking for new pictures of the item. (She later broke her silence to state that she would no longer be answering questions because there were bids on the auction, and, quote: “the obi is almost sold”) She now claims that the ro hakata darari got sold to an antique store in her area after she took down the listing. (Mysteriously, she did not sell the purple one to this alleged antique store at the same time as she supposedly sold the ro hakata darari…..the day after the auction was taken down.) She also claims that all of her auction’s backgrounds are edited, but looking at her other auctions…only the darari photos are.
While it is indeed the most gorgeous darari I have ever seen, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. DO NOT bid on this seller’s items unless you are willing to lose your money. The general consensus is that this seller is a scam artist. They have absolutely no feedback, ratings, or items sold, and have listed false items in the past. She also inflates shipping fees, and refuses to take additional photos of her listings to prove she has the items. I am extremely suspicious of this listing, but if you do want to go after it for kicks and to see what you’ll get instead, please post pictures when the item arrives. I dearly would like to know what it is that she sends, if anything at all.
Right now the search is on to see if anyone can find where the photos she is using in her latest auction came from. No luck so far, but feel free to let me know if you do happen across something! (Edit: A few people remember seeing this obi before, and believe that ryujapan might have sold it a few years ago. However, no one has been able to find the pictures)
Whatever happens, this seller is in for a rude awakening if she doesn’t deliver precisely the item in the pictures. Ebay now holds all money made in a transaction for new sellers until the item has been received and the buyer has left positive feedback. My feeling is that this seller will soon disappear.
EDIT 5/27: The site that the second obi was ripped from has been found! Behold, the second darari obi that this seller claims to have “owned”:
From this this website.
Well, that’s one mystery solved! Hope-kibou is a scam artist who is trying to steal your money.
EDIT 7/20: Hope-kibou is no longer a registered user on ebay. Wonder why…