Board index REPAIR & INFO FROM THE SID DOCTOR! Ask the Sid Doctor? About Repairs... Warning on Ebay User: Merissa919 / Carol Harkness

Warning on Ebay User: Merissa919 / Carol Harkness

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Posts: 2939
WARNING ON EBAY USER MERISSA919, Carol Harkness from Denver Colorado. She is buying up damaged blocks on ebay, repairing them herself, and reselling them in mint condition

I have received several messages from collectors warning me about Merissa919 for a few months now. I didn't want to rush to judgement, in case there was some type of misunderstanding. But, after a little research, it was obvious that Merissa has stepped up her money making schemes in the community.

As most of you know, she is one of the top enemies at the Sid Dickens studio and has defrauded collectors out of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately most her victims, have no clue they were defrauded.

Here is her latest scam.
She buys up damaged blocks, repairs them herself, and resells them on ebay in mint condition.

I checked with Brian "The Sid Doctor" Zinn, and he has never repaired a block for her. So she has learned how to do it herself. Not just the back and sides, she is actually remolding plaster and/or repainting/staining the front.

At first she was buying the damaged blocks under her primary ebay account Merissa919. She would wait a few months, then would list the block in mint condition. About a month or so ago, she created a new PRIVATE ebay account. This account is only used to buy up damaged blocks, and at the same time hide her identity from the Sid Dickens community. With her identity hidden, she no longer has to wait a few months to re-list her repaired blocks. Now they're going back on ebay in a matter of days.

Below is just a small sample of her scams:


WHOEVER JUST BOUGHT THIS BLOCK ON SUNDAY (12-11-2011) FOR $219, YOU WERE SCAMMED!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sid-Dickens-T-2 ... 500wt_1159

SHE BOUGHT THIS BLOCK DAMAGED FOR $82 on 11-26-2011
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sid-Dickens-Ret ... 582wt_1159

As you can see below, she fixed the damaged on the star points, and repainted them black.

Image




WHOEVER BOUGHT THIS BLOCK ON 10-18-2011 FOR $295, YOU WERE SCAMMED!
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sid-Dickens-T-9 ... 500wt_1179

SHE BOUGHT THIS BLOCK DAMAGED FOR $150 on 10-05-2011
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sid-Dickens-Mem ... 2057wt_945

As you can see below, she fixed the damaged and sold it in mint condition.

Image




WHOEVER BOUGHT THIS BLOCK FOR $249.95, YOU WERE SCAMMED!
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sid-Dickens-T-52-GATE-Retired-01-15-2003-/220822623951#ht_500wt_1129

Merissa bought it DAMAGED for $110.07 on May 30, 2011.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&rt=nc&nma=true&item=320705054130#ht_500wt_1286

As you can see below, this block has chips on the top portion of the block. Merissa919 remolding the plaster, and cleaned up the stain.

Image




WHOEVER BOUGHT THIS BLOCK FOR $209.00, YOU WERE SCAMMED!
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sid-Dickens-T-08-Fr ... 500wt_1129

Merissa bought it DAMAGED for $89.99 on May 1, 2011
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... _500wt_895

As you can see below, this block had some minimal damage on the front, that Merissa919 repaired. Including repainting the black paint.

Image



This is just a small sample of all the repaired flips, she has been involved with. I could post a 5 page thread, with all the repaired flips by Merissa919.

Merissa919 will claim these are duplicates, but here is what she doesn't know. No two blocks are the same, especially with these older T series blocks. Yes, the studio uses the same mould, but each block is stained, colored and painted by hand. Take a look at the characteristic comparisons above (blue circles). They are 100% the exact same block.

Merissa919 is from Denver, CO. She has used two different screen names on this site. Carol Harkness and Tommy444. Her real name is Carol Harkness, and her children are Merissa & Tommy. She is not a collector. She is only in it for the money.

I will leave this thread open for discussion. If you were an unknowing victim of Merissa919, feel free to post here, or email me at info@sidcollectors.com. You also need to contact ebay and paypal, and demand your money back.

Robin

PS. This is just one of Merisaa919's scams. She has been involved with many other types over the years.


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Sidcollector - Robin


Posts: 823
Location: Savannah GA
Great,I was reading this and showed hubby and guess what,my hubby just bought me one for Xmas and my 2 birthday tiles were bought from her.SIGH!,,,, I looked at my 2 I got from her,can't see any repairs but mine are recent retires...epic suckfest day I swear.... :devil3:


Posts: 460
Location: Vancouver, BC
If buyers took the minimal effort to look at her feedback, ALL her purchases are laid out for all to see. Since her time frame for churn is basically in and out, you don't even have to look far. Be diligent people!


Posts: 3
Being a relative newbie to collecting tiles, I don't understand the repairing of the tiles. If Brian can do it why can't anyone else? I understand that they should not be represented as mint if they are used and believe me I am not happy about this turn of events as I have purchased a tile from this person. Why has ebay not been notified? or have they? Now I am not sure if I should purchase any tiles from ebay. I have close to 100 now. I am feeling very confused. :kitten:


Posts: 823
Location: Savannah GA
Hubby has no clue when buying or anything Sid related lol.he did email her. I got ripped off on something else on Ebay today !!! 50.00 down the tubes,no gift for hubby,I'm leaving to go to work now.......sucky day :bluefrown:

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Posts: 2939
klevinsohn wrote:
Being a relative newbie to collecting tiles, I don't understand the repairing of the tiles. If Brian can do it why can't anyone else? I understand that they should not be represented as mint if they are used and believe me I am not happy about this turn of events as I have purchased a tile from this person. Why has ebay not been notified? or have they? Now I am not sure if I should purchase any tiles from ebay. I have close to 100 now. I am feeling very confused. :kitten:


Hi klevinsohn, I will try to clear it up. Brian is one of the founders of this site, and is one of the most respected collectors in the community. His only rule is to disclose all repairs, if you decide to sell your block in the future. Nobody using Brian, is trying to flip damaged blocks on ebay. If Brian were to catch them, he would never work on their blocks again. Brian does not do repairs to make a living, he is only trying to help out the community. He normally charges $20, and might spend 20 hours on your block.

Far as Merissa919, she has a long history of defrauding collectors and causing havoc at the Sid Dickens studio. She is not doing repairs to help John Doe, who dropped his block by accident, like Brian Zinn does. She is repairing blocks, to defraud collectors and maximize profits on ebay.

Just look at the first sample above. She bought, repaired, and sold that T28 star in 2 weeks. Just the fact she used a secret ebay account to buy the damaged block, and sold it on another ebay account, proves she was trying to hide her true identity.

Besides the repairs, she has a long list of frauds in the community. Her only motive is MONEY! I am sure before today, very few people knew what she was doing. I am sure ebay will be receiving many email complaints on her now.

Another one of her scams, is on new blocks. Most dealers sell new blocks in the $76 to $85 range. I have seen Merissa919 sell them as high as $119.00 on ebay. Keep in mind, she is NOT A DEALER. In fact, she is an enemy of the Sid Dickens Studio. She takes away business from the legit Sid Dickens dealers, that we need to support.

Outside of Merissa919, ebay is still a very safe place to buy blocks.

Thank you
Robin


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Sidcollector - Robin

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Posts: 2939
zbellasmom wrote:
Great,I was reading this and showed hubby and guess what,my hubby just bought me one for Xmas and my 2 birthday tiles were bought from her.SIGH!,,,, I looked at my 2 I got from her,can't see any repairs but mine are recent retires...epic suckfest day I swear.... :devil3:


Sorry to hear it. I think she duped a lot of collectors. Her feedback is misleading, since nobody knew they were buying repaired blocks when they left positive feedback.

Robin


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Sidcollector - Robin


Posts: 13
I had never sold anything on EBay until recently. About a week ago, I listed a retired Dickens block (Blush, T090) for sale and this Carol Harkness snapped it up quickly. The block was not damaged in any way and she paid a fair price for it--higher than the 6-month average listed on this site. The transaction went smoothly through PayPal. So should Ms. Harkness decide to sell her Blush tile in future, I would assume she's well within her rights to do so. Whether that's two years from now or two weeks shouldn't make any difference, it's her right. And if she makes a profit, well, so did I, since it had appreciated since I bought it new. Okay, so she's in it for the money. We live in a capitalist society and if Ms. Harkness has the skills and the energy to buy and sell for profit, she's within her rights to do so. The fact that she's making a profit is irrelevant. What's disturbing and wrong is her failure to disclose repairs. But as I see it , that's her only transgression.


Posts: 6
I have bought several blocks on ebay, I am now wondering if I have too have bought repaired blocks. I think it is really impossible to know unless it has been stated, which obviously Merissa919 doesn't do. How do we know if she has more than the two accounts. Makes me wonder. I think I will stop buying on ebay, sounds way too risky. I live in Australia and there aren't that many places over here that stock them, especially retired ones. What am I to do????? :crying:


Posts: 6
BEWARE she has several tiles on there now and asking top dollar...
DO NOT BUY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING ITEM NUMBERS:

220895951952 $357 for T-88
320810170870 T-244
220902394448 T-227
320802800521 T-03
220903171335 T-38

these are just a few of what she has listed.

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Posts: 2939
Patricia wrote:
I had never sold anything on EBay until recently. About a week ago, I listed a retired Dickens block (Blush, T090) for sale and this Carol Harkness snapped it up quickly. The block was not damaged in any way and she paid a fair price for it--higher than the 6-month average listed on this site. The transaction went smoothly through PayPal. So should Ms. Harkness decide to sell her Blush tile in future, I would assume she's well within her rights to do so. Whether that's two years from now or two weeks shouldn't make any difference, it's her right. And if she makes a profit, well, so did I, since it had appreciated since I bought it new. Okay, so she's in it for the money. We live in a capitalist society and if Ms. Harkness has the skills and the energy to buy and sell for profit, she's within her rights to do so. The fact that she's making a profit is irrelevant. What's disturbing and wrong is her failure to disclose repairs. But as I see it , that's her only transgression.


Thanks for the email Patricia. Nobody cares if you sell a block for a profit/loss. Regardless if the time frame was 2 days or 2 years.

The problem here is INTENT! It's not like she had Brian fix a block last year and she forgot to mentioned it in her sale. She is buying damaged blocks with the INTENT of committing fraud. She doesn't plan to display these damaged blocks in her home, etc. She plans on ripping off unknowing collectors.

She has committed other transgressions, but it would take way too long to post them all. Bottom line, she is a well known enemy of the Sid Dickens Studio.

Thanks
Robin


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Sidcollector - Robin

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Posts: 2939
ddee60 wrote:
I have bought several blocks on ebay, I am now wondering if I have too have bought repaired blocks. I think it is really impossible to know unless it has been stated, which obviously Merissa919 doesn't do. How do we know if she has more than the two accounts. Makes me wonder. I think I will stop buying on ebay, sounds way too risky. I live in Australia and there aren't that many places over here that stock them, especially retired ones. What am I to do????? :crying:


You know I bought my first blocks on ebay in 2003. In all the years I have been around, this is the only time I can remember somebody purposely buying damaged blocks to flip instantly on ebay. So this is a rare case.

I admit it wasn't me that caught Merissa919 with the second (secret) ebay account. Other members saw the buying pattern similarities, and guessed it was her. Once we saw the first repaired block showing up under Merissa919's name, we knew it was her.

Don't be concerned with ebay. Everybody is looking out for her now. If she shows up again with a different name, we will post it here. Ebay is still the best place to pick up rare/retired blocks.

Robin


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Sidcollector - Robin


Posts: 66
Wow! I'm stunned. I've actually 'spoken' with this person quite a lot by email. I have also bought a great many blocks from her....many. And if memory serves...the blocks that I have purchased from this buyer have all been on the rare/retired side. My purchases were primarily in 2009 when the prices were very, very high....I'm hoping she wasn't engaged in any antics back then.


Posts: 934
Location: BC, Canada
Thanks for the heads up Robin!

Honesty is the best policy. All she needed to do was disclose that the blocks had been repaired.

People are paying top dollar for blocks that they believe to be mint. If they were aware that they actually had been repaired, they may not of purchased them, or not paid as much.

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