eBay – Buyer Beware!

eBay – Buyer Beware!

It was recently brought to my attention that a seller is using a picture of mine to sell kangaroo leather.  I know many sellers use one picture to represent a batch of leather and I really don’t have a problem with that.  However this particular seller is selling a single kangaroo skin and using a picture that I took of 4 skins…and in this day with everyone having a camera on their phone how hard is it to take your own picture of the actual product you are selling?

Also with leather, this is veg tanned and these are pretty good looking skins, no scars, etc.  They are also kangaroo skins from Packer which are  drum stuffed.  If I was expecting a good looking skin and they ended up sending  me a chrome tanned skin that had tons or scars or holes I’d be very mad.  This is why it’s important to deal with a reputable seller of kangaroo.  They are going to pull you a good skin.  For example when I need natural tan kangaroo I drive up to visit David Morgan and I always get an awesome skin from them.  In fact I was just up there on Monday getting a kangaroo skin for an 8 foot bullwhip.

Here’s the picture they used:

bullwhip making  kangaroo

Here’s a screen shot of the ebay listing and you can view the auction by clicking here.
kangaroo leather

What get’s me is that the slug with my website is still at the bottom.  What that does is if whoever buys this ends up getting the skin and it’s junk they may think it’s from me and then it reflects poorly on me.  Honestly I have no problem if someone has a bad opinion about me…as long as it’s based on ME, not someone representing something as mine through pure laziness on their part.

While I was on ebay I did a quick search for the term “Kangaroo Leather” and the listing below came up:

kangaroo leather

 

 

 

So based on the picture I’m 99.9999% sure that’s not a kangaroo skin.   I’ve never seen a kangaroo skin shaped like that, but I have seen every side of cow leather I’ve ever bought shaped like that.  The description part of the listing is below:

kangaroo leather

As if my mind wasn’t made up before reading the description my opinion that this isn’t kangaroo was confirmed by the dimensions being 96 inches long!  That’s 9 feel long (and there’s no tail on that piece of leather)!  Can you imagine coming across a kangaroo that’s almost 9 feet tall!

So what I’m saying is when it comes to buying kangaroo for a whip be sure to deal with a known seller you’ll end up with a better skin and a better whip!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

 

 

Finished 8 foot Bullwhip

Finished 8 foot Bullwhip

I finished this bullwhip last week and got it shipped out Thursday.  Here’s the finished whip:
how-to-make-indiana-jones-bullwhip_1_110514

One thing I did on this whip was make it with the upper knot a darker color.  Most whip makers when they do this they use leather that is dyed a different color at the tannery.  The whip is made from natural tan kangaroo and the  upper knot is also made from natural tan kangaroo that I had aged.

I always think it’s neat to see the color of the leather now, and the color of the leather that it will eventually become!

Also I’ve got another whip that I made as a fun project for me on ebay right now.  It’s a 6.5 foot two tone bullwhip.  It’s a steal at the starting price!  You can view the auction at:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-1-2-foot-BULLWHIP-12-plait-two-tone-kangaroo-handmade-bull-whip-/221435788210

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

5 foot stock whip

5 foot stock whip

I’m doing some spring cleaning over here and I found a stock whip that I made a long time ago and never used.

stock whip

This stock whip has a 5 foot lash and a 20 inch handle.  The lash is 12 plait kangaroo and the handle is 24 plait kangaroo.

I just listed this on eBay and you can get this at an amazing price: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221427874368

Louie

 

Plaiting Project, a Great Book and Ebay Bullwhip

Plaiting Project, a Great Book and Ebay Bullwhip

I got a phone call from someone that wanted a bit of braiding done, but in a fake leather fabric.  It sounded like an interesting challenge and I (and the customer) learned a lot!    First of all the fabric had a fake leather top, but a fabric backing.  This backing when cut shed little hairs and fur into the seams between the braids.  This pretty much made this unusable and the finished product hurt my eyes as a result.

However we’re going to try to give it another go in the future.

Great Deal on a Great Book

Right now U-Briad-It is having a 10% off sale.  If you make whips or would like to make whips and don’t already own Tom Hall’s book Introduction to Turk’s Head Knots, order it now and use the coupon code OCTOBER and save a few bucks.  In my opinion this book is probably the best resource for knot tying around!

Great Deal on a Great Bullwhip

Right now I’ve  bullwhip for sale on ebay, you can view the auction at: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221295536515

Bid or use the Buy It Now for a great deal!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org

Indy Style Bullwhip

Indy Style Bullwhip

This 8 foot bullwhip that I’m working on is being made in the style of the bull whip used by Indiana Jones.  I’m pretty rigid with what a bullwhip has to have to be considered an Indiana Jones Bullwhip. I think the minimum exterior must meet the following conditions:

  1. 12 plait ending at a 6 plait point
  2. Whitehide fall
  3. 5 X 4  3 pass turkshead knot on butt of handle
  4. 5 X 4  2 pass turkshead knot on the handle to lash transition
  5. 6 plait wrist loop
  6. Single diamond (checkerboard) plait on handle
  7. 4 seam plait on lash.
  8. natural tan or aged natural tan in color

All of the bullwhips in the first 3 movies had those qualities.  Now if it’s a fourth movie, the conditions are a little bit different. If you don’t understand what any of those conditions mean, feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll clarify a bit for you.

I’m amazed how every whip on Ebay is INDIANA JONES BULLWHIP, however it you look at them the are simply a whip…not an Indiana Jones Bullwhip!

Here’s a progress report on the Indiana Jones Style Bull Whip that I’m working on now.

Right now I have the plaiting finished:

indy bullwhip

 

Later today I should have the the knots and wrist loop put on.  After that there is still all the finishing that needs to happen before it’s complete.

Louie
P.S.

P.S. From night now until I wake up on Tuesday morning (5/28/13) all:

In Stock Whips are 20% off

Made to Order Bullwhips are 15% off

Steal of the Week!

Steal of the Week!

Every  now and then I pop by ebay and see what’s for sale.  Normally that leads me to writing a rant about someone selling junk for way to much money.

Not today.

This is potentially the best deal on a whip right now you can view the auction at http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Foot-12-Plait-Kangaroo-Bullwhip-/110974847072.  It’s for a 10 foot 12 plait Indy Bullwhip that the buyer got from Western Stage Props.  Here’s the rub the strands are all jacked up  and broken at the fall hitch.   Plus the fall is gone.

Here’s where it gets awesome, based on the picture the whip is in good looking shape aside from the broken strands at the fall hitch.  It also looks like a whip that was made by Joe Strain.  So for probably about $100 you can get the whip fixed by having the point replaited and a new fall put on.  Sure the whip will end up a few inches shorter, but that’s no bid deal.

Currently the bid is  at $280 and in my opinion if you can get this whip for $300-$350 you’ve gotten an awesome deal!  Especially if you know how to fix this yourself and don’t have to pay someone to fix it. I’m half tempted to bid on this fix it myself and resell it and make a quick hundred bucks!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Bullwhip Buyers Beware!

Bullwhip Buyers Beware!

Every now and then I do a quick search on Ebay to see what whips are being sold and one caught my eye a few minutes ago.  Not because it’s an excellent deal, but how uneducated the seller is!  There is so much wrong with this listing, it’s making my head spin!

Does the seller not know who they bought it from?  I’m assuming it’s the original buyer because they are saying it’s only been cracked twice.  If they got it second hand you really couldn’t say that.

Ok, first here’s a link to the listing:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-12-Plait-Australian-Kangaroo-Hide-Bullwhip-Beautiful-/271055846007

Take a look at the pictures on the listing, this is supposed to be a 12 plait 10 foot Terry Jacka bullwhip.  Here’s the description from the ebay listing:

YOU ARE BIDDING “THE AUSTRALIAN BULLWHIP BY TERRY JACKA”; A BEAUTFUL PRE-OWNED (LIKE NEW) 10 FOOT 12 PLAIT KANGAROO HIDE BROWN BULLWHIP.

Description:  This is a beautifully crafted 10 foot 12 plait Australian Bullwhip hand crafted by Terry Jacka.  Made from the finest kangaroo leather this is a true work of art and one of a kind item.  The crack is truly thunderous!!

Condition:  This whip has been excellently cared for and is like new.  I’ve only cracked it twice and it has been mostly displayed in a temperature cooled cabinet.  I still have regularly treated it with Pecard’s leather dressing; as recently as last month.  The fall is brand new.

I’ve included PICS that I personally took which are completely accurate. (NOTE: I increased the sharpness to deliver clear images.)

Normally if you were to buy this whip new it would cost $800.00 USD.  I am starting the listing at nearly half that cost.  Buyer assumes all costs for shipping and handling.

Alright, so here’s my little list of what’s wrong with this listing:

1.  It’s not a Terry Jacka Bullwhip, it’s from EM-Brands Bullwhips (Bernie Wojcicki)

2. It’s not LIKE NEW.  The seller claims it’s only been cracked twice, but recently put a new fall on it.  Why would you put a new fall on a whip that’s only been cracked twice?  Did they crack it once, then change the fall?

Also look at the knot in the cracker after only one or two cracks you should be able to get it out pretty easily.  The knot in the cracker makes it not like new because no reputable whip maker would ship a whip with a cracker with a knot in it.  When a cracker has a knot in it you should change it out just like a windshield of a car that has a crack.  You wouldn’t sell a car with broken windshield as new…and you shouldn’t sell a bullwhip with broken cracker as new either.

3. If it’s a Jacka it’s got the wrong cracker on it, unless Terry Jacka has recently changed this he ships with Polypro crackers.  So by it not having the original cracker it’s got a replacment part and not like new.

4.  The listing says it’s 12 plait, it’s 16 plait…count the strands, there are 4 going under each strand in the four seam part of the lash right after the handle.

5. The listing says this bullwhip new would be $800.  I just checked and a 10 foot bullwhip from EM Brand Whips is $590 for 12 plait or $680 for 16plait.  Either way it’s over $100 below the price the seller is saying it would cost new.

Wait, maybe the seller actually thinks it’s a Jacka, what are his prices for a new 10 foot bullwhip.  I thought of that and from Terry Jacka a 10 foot bullwhip is $600 for 12 plait and $650 for 16 plait, or $150 below what the seller thinks it would cost new.

###

OK those are my main issues with this bullwhip’s listing.  Now it’s not a bad bullwhip, but if someone were to try sell you a used VW Bug and tell you it’s a Porsche and tried to tell you that it was worth more than a new Porsche you’d probably stay away from the seller because the seller doesn’t know what they are talking about.  If they don’t know what make / model of what they have and they are the original owner how can you believe anything they tell you about condition?

Another thing is the seller took a lot of pictures and made sure to make sure they are clear pictures so the buyer knows what they are getting.  However there’s one thing they didn’t take a picture of, the piece of metal on the end of the handle of the whip.  Why wouldn’t you show that?  It’s a decorative piece that Bernie personally hand engraves and the ones that I’ve personally seen look really cool.   I also know that some of them say something like “handmade by Bernie Wojcicki for______” and a whip number.  I wonder if this one is simply decorated or has an engraving with Bernie’s name and the whip number?

All I can say is if you are going to buy or sell a whip do your research and know what you are buying or selling.   An honest description will sell a bullwhip much faster than a misleading one especially from a “known maker” and you’ll end up with the other person on the other end of the transaction much happier!

Louie
http://bullwhips.org 

Quick Ebay Whip Rant…

Quick Ebay Whip Rant…

I was just poking on the ebay and notice a whip being sold that’s made by a maker that I’ve done a few posts about in the past.  He’s been gone from ebay for a while, but reappeared recently and if I’m not mistaken he’s using an new/different user name.  How do I know it’s the same person if they are using a different name?  Well I don’t, however based on the way the bullwhip looks and how the listing is written I’m guessing it’s the same person.  If I’m wrong I apologize to both people, however my personal issues with the listing are still valid.

Here’s the listing:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/11-pro-built-nylon-bullwhip?item=270959893407

Issue #1:  There are gaps or a misplait (possibly both) a few inches off the top of the transition knot.

Issue #2:  The title says 11′ pro built nylon bullwhip.  While what makes someone a professional is debatable.  Are you a pro if you sell one whip a year to sell,  make over 50% of your income, make over a certain dollar a mount?  I don’t know your definition of “professional” but the listing says it took over “24 working hours” to make this whip and they are selling it for $285.  Let’s assume between ebay fees and paypal fees the seller is out 4% and has $43.60 in material (I picked that amount to give me a nice round number for my math, I was going to figure in $50 in material) into the whip.   That nets them $9.59 1/3 an  hour making the whip to put that into prospective the state I live in (Washington) has a minimum wage of $9.04 and hour.  So this “professional” maker is barely making more than minimum wage which is a safety net for unskilled labor.

Keep in mind that hourly wage doesn’t take into consideration things like state and federal taxes the maker would pay (I’m assuming they are a legitimate business) which is typically somewhere between 5 – 15% depending on how much they make, and since they are a professional maker I”m going to assume they make enough to have to file federally.  That means that if this professional maker were to hire an unskilled laborer to sweep up after him (for the purposes of comparison) the unskilled laborer would be making the same wage as the professional that employed them!

Why did I tie the sellers use of the work professional with an hourly wage?  Simple in my opinion I think that this person is either inflating their skill level or the amount of time put into the whip.

Issue #3:  The description of the internal construction,  here’s what the seller says: “Inner layers are a 12 strand plaited half length bolster to give better taper, 10 strand plaited full layer and an 8 strand plaited layer…..all over a bb filled paracord core“.

Everything seems pretty standard except for the “12 strand plaited half length bolster”, I can’t imagine what that is.  OK, I can imagine, what I see in my head is the 2nd half of a bolster (the half towards the point of the whip) that at the halfway point it’s split to 12 strands which are then plaited backwards towards the handle.  Sort of like how I cut bellies with a yoke, but backwards?! That’s possible to make out of leather, but wouldn’t give you any advantage over plaiting a certain distance then leaving the strand loose as filler strands…but here’s the amazing part is how you’d do that with paracord!

Also the seller goes into detail telling how far the 12 and 10 plait layers are braided, but the 8 plait layer is just that.  Why would you over emphasize those two layers and be very vague with one?  I don’t know.

Issue #4:  Classic over hyping in the listing, the seller says, “loud cracking man sized monster bullwhip“.  First of all the loudness of a bullwhip has more to do with the person cracking the whip than the whip itself.   A good whip cracker can make loud or quiet cracks and pretty much anyone with a basic level of whip cracking abilities can get a solid loud crack out of a overhead crack with the crappiest of whips.

Here’s my favorite part of over hyping, the seller calls the whip “man sized”!   What does that mean?  The whip is 11 feet long, I don’t know anyone that’s 11 feet tall!  Oh wait, they are referring to the plaited part not the whole whip.  Wait a minute the whip has a plaited length of 8 1/2 feet, or 3 inches longer than the worlds tallest living person (according to the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records)!

What do all these issues mean?  Well it depends on you and your goals.   For me in my own personal opinion they would add up to someone trying do a sell a whip, not someone trying to make a nice whip to sell.

Louie

Finished Bullwhip

Finished Bullwhip

Here’s the finished bullwhip that was made for the Choose Your Own Bullwhip auction on ebay: bullwhip

This bullwhip is 12 plait kangaroo and 8 feet long.  Here’s a quick test cracking video:

This auction ends tomorrow morning and you can bid on it at: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220965764135 Louie http://bullwhips.org 

Choose Your Own Bullwhip and Emails…

Choose Your Own Bullwhip and Emails…

My ebay experiment where I make a bullwhip to the spec’s of the current highest bidder is still going on..  For me one of the biggest challenges is making this whip over 7-10 days.  Normally I can do an 8 foot 12 plait bullwhip in about 1 1/2 to 2 days.

I just updated the ebay listing with the bullwhip in its current state of construction.  You can view the auction at: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220965764135

While this auction is going on I’m going to answer some emails that have come in:

Question:  How can i get those bullwhips? I’m from philippines.

Answer:   Simply order whatever you want from my online bullwhip store and choose the International Shipping option.  You can  view the online catalog at: http://bullwhips.org/bullwhip_store/

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Question:  I have a question when it a good time to call you?

Answer:  Anytime!  I have an irregular schedule so no time is better than any other.  If I don’t answer leave a message.

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Question: I just bought a leather rounder on Ebay and I was hoping you could tell me how I should use it?

Answer:  Basically you pull leather through it.  I’ll try over the next couple of days to make a little video of how to use a leather rounder and post it here on my blog.

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Question:  Regarding the spring steel, I tied on a core to one of the spring steel rods the other day, and it was quite difficult to get it secure! What I’ll do next time is use a file or something similar to rough the steel up…the file thing would be much quicker. You’ve mentioned before gluing the core on, do you just use leather cement like you can get at Tandy or something else?

Answer:  When securing the core to a smooth steel handle foundation I currently use artificial sinew only.  I pull it very tight!  I’ve heard I have a fairly unique way that I pull my string tight and I talk about this briefly on the DVD that comes with my Stock Whip Kit.  However my string pulling method isn’t necessary, just pull very tight!

You can try using leather cement and I used to do that and occasionally still do.

As for roughing up the steel, I would advise against it.  Inside no matter how tightly you bind it there will slight bits of movement inside the whip and the roughed up steel will wear away at the leather. Over time the amount sanded off the leather could then lead to what was once tightly bound to be loosely bound do to the sanded down material.  Is this a realistic concern?  Depends.  If you intend a whip to  be used for 3 year or so then no, it’s not a big deal.  However if you want to think ahead to a whip that might be around and still in use for 30 years then it is.

Louie
http://bullwhips.org