Ebay Knife Insanity


February 27, 2003, 03:18 AM
I've about given up on people.

Check this ebay auction for a Mark 1 trench knife.


These fools are paying this kind of money for a poor quality REPLICA of a US Mark 1, brass knuckle trench knife with a cheesy tin sheath.

This is just an slightly older Taiwan-made knife you can still buy for $24.95 online.

Don't these people read or do any research?

How much do you bet there's gonna be some complaints when the buyer gets it. (And he's really gonna get it, but self-induced).

Can't blame the seller.

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February 27, 2003, 08:34 AM
It annoys me to find 440 stainless flea market United Cutlery swords in the "Collectibles: Militaria" section. A "Skull-Pommel Barbarian Sword" is neither collectible, nor militaria.

March 1, 2003, 02:34 AM
But it sure gets their attention at the post office.:neener:

March 1, 2003, 09:44 AM

Why do you say that this is a POS knockoff? Some of the knuckeknives did use tin sheaths, so I'm confused.

March 1, 2003, 09:47 AM
'tweren't Okiecruffler that made that statement, but dfariswheel...

Don Gwinn
March 1, 2003, 10:33 AM
It's not the sheath. If I had to guess, I'd say he's referring to the mirror-polished but badly fitted blade. It sure looks like it's made of cheap, high-chrome stainless like 420 or 440. Not C, probably, but J, which stands for "Jeez, what a limp piece of soft Pakistani Ox dung!"

I'm not an expert, but I would tend to agree. Mirror-polish on cheap stainless steel is a dead giveaway. If that thing's original, it's been polished to within an inch of its life recently. If it hasn't been, then there's no way it's original.

March 1, 2003, 06:34 PM
Sorry Okie.


I didn't notice the polish. (I wonder if the bad lighting is intentional.) There's no way that the knife should have that bright of a polish if the brass shows age that way. If it was polished after it was found then the collector value has be knocked way back.

March 1, 2003, 06:50 PM
I used to be an American Combat knife collector, so I'm somewhat an "expert" on Mark I knives.

Here's how I know this is a Taiwan piece of junk:

First, I've seen these pieces of trash before.

Original Mark 1's were marked US 1918 then the makers mark below that:
US 1918
L.F. & C-1918 or HD&S-1918, or (VERY rare) O.C.L.-1918

Only the French-made Mark 1 was marked only 1918, and the French version is easy to recognize by it's different shape.

The blade is ground wrong, it's stainless steel, and it's thinner than an original.
US blades were unmarked gun blued steel, French-made were bright steel with a Lion stamped on it.

The scabbard is totally wrong. Originals were made of two formed and shaped pieces of steel, with double slots at top and bottom, front and rear, to act as springs to hold the knife in.
The clips were riveted on with copper rivets, and the entire scabbard was first copper plated, then chemically blackened.
The US scabbards are stamped on the back:
US 1918
L.F.& C. for Landers, Frary, & Clark.

French versions looked like the standard European tubular-type bayonet/knife scabbards with clips welded on.

These junkers have a "scabbard" made of thin steel or tin pressed togetherand painted. Most of them will literally fall apart into the two halves as soon as you remove it from the box, so it's no surprise this one is separating.

The clips on the back are flat, not round, spot welded on, and break off with no trouble.
These are totally unsuited for actual use as a scabbard.

These things can still be bought online for about $24.95

All I can say is, I hope the seller is braced, because as soon as the doofus who "wins" this one sees it, he's going to be screaming FRAUD.

No where does the seller SAY it's an original, so buyer beware!!

March 1, 2003, 10:10 PM
You gotta love the part about being found in the rafters of a cellar like some treasure that was stashed away. I wonder if the Holy Grail was found with it, or maybe Hoffa's corpse.

March 2, 2003, 07:44 AM
Thanks for the description of the differences. Here's an image of an LFC that was posted over at knifeforums. (http://www.militaryknives.bizland.com/212.jpg) It's easy to see the differences now that you point them out.

March 2, 2003, 03:09 PM
That dfariswheel guy, he's pretty smart... :cool:

(Too bad there's no way to save the poor yobs on ebay from impending doom. :( )

Jim March
March 2, 2003, 05:29 PM
I just sent mail to the high bidder with a link back to this thread :).

That's a start.

Jim March
March 2, 2003, 05:39 PM
It turns out you can't file an "attempted fraud in progress claim" on EBay. But the current high bidder CAN file a fraud claim so when HE sees this, I hope to hell he does.

While the ITEM text doesn't say "this is an actual WW1 item" it's filed in "Militaria 1914-1918" so this really is fraud.

March 2, 2003, 11:34 PM
I honestly don't know if this constitutes fraud or not.

The buyer isn't really misrepresenting it as an original, and I don't know if the area it's listed in makes any difference.

I've only bought a few things on ebay, and I've sold three items.
One buyer threw a fit, claiming some old model tanks I built 30 years ago weren't what he THOUGHT they were. We went through the whole ebay dispute system including him hiring a mediator. It was a mess, even though it was his fault for NOT ASKING ANY QUESTIONS.

Of the few items I've bought I asked MANY questions to insure I AND the seller understood EXACTLY what was for sale.

Needless to say, I probably won't be selling on ebay again.

In this case, I'd have to say it's strictly the buyers problem, if they aren't asking what is being sold, and especially if they don't KNOW anything about what they're buying.
There are good books out there giving full details on these things.

I feel that if you're going to pay big money for something, you should damn well know what you're about!

I don't wish somebody the grief of paying large money for a $25.00 item, but these people have no one to blame but themselves. READ THE AUCTION DETAILS, DUMMIES.

March 2, 2003, 11:43 PM
dfariswheel wrote:Only the French-made Mark 1 was marked only 1918, and the French version is easy to recognize by it's different shape.
Is it a different shape because it has been dropped?


March 3, 2003, 12:02 AM
No, the French made model has a different shape of the knuckles.
Instead of the prominant spike points of the American made version, the French model is slightly rounded instead.

I'll attempt to attach a picture of a French made 1918 knife and French scabbard.

March 3, 2003, 12:37 PM
Guys, you forget one thing:

People are stupid.

This includes the seller.

The last time I read a thread about a "fraudulent" auction (I think on Bladeforums...) I emailed the seller to tell him that the knife he was trying to pass off as a Strider most certainly did NOT look like one.

He emailed back and seemed genuine in believing it was, as the blade was stamped "Strider."

He was just calling it as he saw it.

He really was apologetic, and said that if I insisted it was a fake, that he would stop the auction. I wouldn't want to make him do that without actually seeing the knife, so I let it go...

Go figure.

If you care that much, email the seller and tell him you suspect it is a fraud.

However, he does misrepresent the blade.

Here's his description:

"Up for Auction is this great knife, just pulled from an Estate in Green Island New york. This was in cellar on rafters. I don't know much about this fine piece. It is marked U S. 1918 on the handle. No markings on the blade. Sheath is seperating by the tip/point some discoloration. Please ask questions befor bidding. "

So he makes it sound as if it was original because it supposedly came from a celler in an "Estate."


Buyer beware....

March 5, 2003, 07:47 PM
Somebody wised up.

After the price hit about $252.00, several people retracted their bids, and it went down to about $150.00.

Today the entire auction got pulled.

My faith in people MAY have been restored.........a little.

Seller is probably a nice bright cherry red about now.

I'll be interested to see if he relists it as a replica.

March 5, 2003, 09:21 PM
Me, I would not buy a doughnut on ebay. Bunch
of nits and thieves.:mad: I know to many people that have been screwed:cuss: :banghead: :fire:


Jim March
March 6, 2003, 03:27 AM
Heh. OK, that's it. I'm going to have to show y'all the entire EMail conversation I had with the seller :D.

Me to him:

Would you care to comment on this link?



Comment on what?

Him again (apparantly after reading the thread):

Please tell me where you can buy for 24.95 Thanks, BILL.

Him yet again:

Is this alike a gossip column? What concern is it of yours Really


You're trying to pass off a flea-market Taiwanese reproduction as "WW1 1914-1918 militaria".

That's disgusting.

Him (while CCing EBay Customer Service):

OK Whatever you say! where do I buy them for $24.95? Iam not trying to pass off anything. You are, Are you registered buyer?

Me (retaining the CC to EBay Customer Service):

Notes for EBay's customer service people follow the short "debate"...

----- Original Message -----
From: <seller EMail info deleted>
To: <jmarch@prodigy.net>
Cc: "eBay Customer Support" <cswebform@ebay.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: Question for seller -- Item #2161540912

> OK Whatever you say! where do I buy them for $24.95?

Flea markets.

> Iam not trying to pass
> off anything.

That thing doesn't date to WW1. Not even close. It's *stainless* for God's sake. It's worth $10 or less, now that somebody has "aged" the sheath.

> You are, Are you registered buyer?


I can see you've CCed EBay Customer Service. Good. Here's what's up:

At this auction:


...seller "fortorange" is selling a "model 1918 WW1 trench knife",
starting bid $44, and nine bidders have taken it to over $250 with three days to go.

Problem: it's a fake. It's a recent Taiwanese reproduction with an aged sheath, worth about $25 new, less than that now.

A picture of a genuine example can be viewed here:


Note the differences in blade grind, markings, sheath construction (esp. how the belt connection works), and most importantly the fact that the blade steel from 1918 isn't stainless.

Discussion of this obvious forgery can be viewed on a webforum devoted to combat blades:


Him (STILL CCing EBay CS):

Please advise where I can buy those knives you say for $24.95





Here's another:


Another, this one more expensive:


That one is a "genuine" United Cutlery, which tends to be better than the usual Chinese/Taiwanese/Pakistani knockoffs. Odds are UC came up with the idea of making these first, then others copied that. Which explains the slight variance in grip shapes, etc.

Anyways. Point is, none of the originals had a grip marked with "US 1918" and nothing else, they had maker's marks.

And they damned well didn't have stainless blades.

Him (amazingly, STILL CCing EBay):

Hello, I contacted the bidder., that you contacted, I told him to withdraw the bid, if He was not happy, Iam sending a copy of all mails etc, to Ebay. I don't believe you should be contacting anyone, it basically none of your business. You have not proved to be an Expert!! The copy of that knife is different, sheath is different. I am also letting you know that any other further contact from you is considered Harassment!, and contacting bidders is not your responsibility. Thanks, BILL


Finis :D.

March 6, 2003, 07:35 PM
Bravo, Monsieur March!! Well played!! :D

March 6, 2003, 09:43 PM
Jim March
You should be ASHAMED of yourself, yes ASHAMED for interfering with this poor man's thiev...........ER, AH, SALE, Yes that's it, SALE of this valuable estate item.

I'll have you know that's the exact knife Sgt York used to kill those 12 Iraqi Marines in Nashville in 1935.

Jim March
March 6, 2003, 10:53 PM
Well I guess NOW it's over - just got this from EBay Customer Service:

Hello Jim,

Thank you for writing to us. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

First, we have reviewed the listing # 2161540912
and we have taken the appropriate action. As you will note the auction is no longer available on our site.

As you may know, we are unable to provide specific information regarding the result of our investigation to third party members.

Second, I am sorry that you have received this unwelcome email.
Unfortunately, eBay has no jurisdiction over members' private email correspondence sent via their own Internet service provider (ISP). However, if this message was sent through our Email Forwarding System (EFS), please send a copy of the entire message, with headers, to us using our Rules and Safety web form located at:


Please use the "topic path" below on the web form to ensure the correct department reviews your email:

Member Problems > Spam and Miscellaneous Offenses > A member is abusing the Email Forwarding System (EFS)

I have included instructions on how to get email headers at the bottom of this email just in case you are unsure of where to find these.

If you are having trouble with a fellow member there are several steps you can take. First, the easiest thing to do is block the sender's incoming emails. This is a feature provided by most email programs.

Please consult the help section of your email program on information on how to do this. If you cannot block the emails, simply do not reply or respond. It is always best to not escalate an already tense situation.

Next, report the emails to the sender's ISP or email provider. If the emails are deemed inappropriate, the ISP/email provider has jurisdiction to take appropriate action.

Finally, if you feel unsafe or are afraid for your personal safety due to these emails, you should report this incident to your local law enforcement agency. To find the name of a local law enforcement officer that can help you, please refer to the following link:


The above website will allow you to find the contact information for police officers in your area.

A header will look like a string of "nonsense" characters, similar to the example I have pasted for you below. You can find this by using the "properties" function of your email program.

Return-Path: <sender email address>
Received: from mail-pacbell.net (mail-gw5.pacbell.net []) by
ixmail9.ix.netcom.com (8.8.7-s-4/8.8.7/(NETCOM v1.01)) with ESMTP id;
for <recipient email address>; Mon, 22 Mar 1999 06:34:48 -0800 (PST)

From: <sender email address>
Received: from (ppp-207-214-211-69.sntc01.pacbell.net
[]) by mail-
gw5.pacbell.net (8.8.8/8.7.1) with SMTP id GAA15251;
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 06:34:28 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <36F5D668@pacbell.net>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 06:34:32 +0100
Reply-To: <sender email address>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.03-PBI-N303 (Macintosh; I; 68K)
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: <recipients' email address>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

For security reasons we cannot open attachments sent to us. Therefore, please copy the contents of the message and header, and paste it into the body of your reply.

We thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation, and wish you the best with your future transactions.


eBay SafeHarbor
Investigations Team

Jim again. Obviously, since I'm the one that began the exchange, it'd be ridiculous to file a spam complaint so I have no intention of going there.

It's over :D.

March 7, 2003, 03:07 AM
It is nice to see the good guys win once in a while.


March 7, 2003, 11:36 AM
Nicely done, Jim.

I didn't see the problems with the knife until they were pointed out and I began digging around. For anyone still interested, Don Rearic has a "lump" of information on these knives at (http://www.donrearic.com/brassknuckles.html) that shows some of the variants, both military and commercial.

This exchange certainly helps prove the value of such discussions, but more importantly it shows the value of letting others in on the information.

Perhaps "Caveat Vendor" would be good for some folks out there to remember.

March 7, 2003, 02:41 PM
You know what's sick? This guy's bogus knife reached a higher price before it was pulled than my honest-to-Vishnu German Artillery Saber (a real fighting sword) that didn't make reserve... :rolleyes:

August 14, 2006, 01:38 AM
READ YOUR OLDER REMARKS ON 1918 lf&c KNIFE ON eBAY. do you remember what that 1918 trench knife sold for ???????? no longer listed on Ebay. thanks john

August 14, 2006, 02:35 AM
Way to go!

August 14, 2006, 08:40 AM
Hey, I couldn't find it on ebay either, what gives?:D

August 14, 2006, 10:29 AM
What gives is this thread is over 3 years old :)

August 14, 2006, 11:04 AM
Yes, 3 long years have come and gone.

I love it when people don't realize they're talking to echoes.


August 16, 2006, 10:37 PM
I've sold on ebay for many years now and have done it for the auction gallery, I've worked for. I cant explain why people pay so much for crap, but I can explain the reason why they pick the militaria category....ebay doesnt offer every category, and often hide categories in other not so easily found places. Also people are ignorant and just dont know better. Anyone knowingly selling a copy as real should be hung by their toes, but my suggestion is to ignore the category. Being a seasoned seller, I have had to use categories that were not entirely accurate as there was nothing better. I always will tell the whole truth in the listing, but sometimes have had to use misleading categories. Ebay will never solve the problem because of one lacking principle...they do not collect enough personal information to differentiate one ebay name from another, and allow people to have multiple accounts. I have had several over the years (all have 100%!). Thus, in this instance the ad was removed and the seller suspended. All the seller needs to do is open another account (with a different email address and another credit card) and they are up and running. They've made advances to stop it by tracking IP address and linking accounts this way, but if the theif has a dialup account or DSL and resets their router, they get a new ip address each time. Also with credit card companies, you can get a special credit card number for one use transactions. They issue a "pseudo number" for one use. The theif gets alot on one good card and is able to open many accounts, each with their own number but going to one account. Since they pack up shop(or gets kicked off) before the bill hits and the CC# is invalid, its hard to trace. Lastly, ebay no longer allows free email accounts like yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc...but there are thousands of other free ones they do allow so its only a formality for a crummy seller. I have sold nearly 15,000 items in the past 5 years both home and at work, and have also conducted over 100 ebaylive auctions. I've pretty much seen it all and learned the loopholes by being taken advantage of. Its a sorry time we live in, but the best advice I can give is never buy from someone less than 90 days old, or with less than 10 feedback (and no negatives). Also dont ever pay for an international item with western union or you'll just kiss your payment good bye. Read each description carefully, and ask all questions before bidding . Finally, pay with a credit card or with a credit card through paypal. If you get screwed, paypal may (and I mean MAY protect you), but your CC should regardless. As for categories, pay no attention and focus on the description of the item...if you smell something fishy, walk away, you'll see another on ebay next week that will be just as good a deal and probably not be fishy!

my 2 cents.

August 16, 2006, 11:06 PM
"Can't blame the seller."

Sure you can.
If he knows it's fraud, he's dishonest.
If he's merely ignorant, he should get educated about the subject.

Don Gwinn
August 17, 2006, 02:18 AM

(No Paragraphs; Didn't Read.)

August 17, 2006, 06:50 AM
Well seeing as this thread has emerged from a coma; I like reading some of the "feedback" (and responses from those Hong Kong sellers) of "antique japanese sword" auctions with start bids of $9.99 - and $100.00 shipping. Always good for a laugh. :D

Some of them do look pretty good in the pictures though.



August 17, 2006, 08:17 AM
To be honest, $100 shipping for EMS on a package from Hong Kong and for that weight isnt really too unrealistic. I've bought some small things like vases and when I got them the EMS rate said like $70! Not that a $30 buffer isn't high, but its not really as bad as it looks. And if you dont go EMS...you'll never get it! As for the 'antique' part...most of the swords I've seen are WWII vintage or newer, but some claim to be antiques...what a joke. I've only seen one viable antique... it was a pair of 19thC claw gloves that were leather and steel. They too were 0.99 + 100 S&H. Probably could have made a few bux on them but I wasn t in the mood for dealing with emails full of broken english etc, etc.....

Best advice...Buyer Beware

Jim March
August 17, 2006, 01:44 PM
Not noticing dates, I though this looked familiar until I saw my own stuff in here...:D.

August 18, 2006, 07:40 AM
Glock_10mm To be honest, $100 shipping for EMS on a package from Hong Kong and for that weight isnt really too unrealistic. I've bought some small things like vases and when I got them the EMS rate said like $70! Not that a $30 buffer isn't high, but its not really as bad as it looks. And if you dont go EMS...you'll never get it! As for the 'antique' part...most of the swords I've seen are WWII vintage or newer, but some claim to be antiques...what a joke.
Well, I recently took the incountry slow-boat/air intercontinental rate ("SAL") on a porcelain item from Japan @ $9.80. Estimated two to five weeks shipping; it was at my door in less than a week.

The "antique japanese swords" I see often are not antique nor japanese. Neither are they WW2. They are chinese made copies of various examples. They do look good too, in detail, even in the close up photos.

Even a WW2 Jap sword is worth a good chunk of money these days. If you can find me a genuine Jap officer's sword in tarnished but otherwise pristine condition that starts at 9.99 - and ends at 9.99 (even with $100 shipping) I'll eat crow next post.



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