I've followed the OP's travails on eBay from Day One and while I sympathize with his difficulties and painful lessons, I can't see how one's likely misjudgment of a situation should lead to a "trust no sellers on eBay" position, unless the goods were misrepresented as being in good working order.
One pen was advertised as in excellent condition though unrestored. Totally untrue. If the seller had actually picked the pen up then the problems would have been evident. I cannot believe that he did not do this, and so I must conclude that it was a deliberate deception. Unfortunately for me I left it too late before I had a chance to send it for repair.
(I wrote more here but deleted it as it was not constructive)
All I can really say is that I wouldn't do it to anyone else. It saddens me that others do not feel the same.
Sorry Northlodge I am a one pen at a time buyer. Funding permitting. Every now and then a generous sponsor puts a few extra coins in my hat and I can get two pens. Doesn't happen often. The shipping though is a joke. Nothing has ever been lost (fingers crossed!) with First Class International to New Zealand. I always ask the seller and assume the risks. Most of the time (we're only talking small numbers over the last year or so) the sellers are accommodating, but sometimes it is nothing more than extortion. <shakes fist at Pitney Bowes>
For the last couple of months I had been searching high and low for a flex-nib pen at an affordable user-grade price. Nothing happening, though I did learn a lot from watching the auctions. In the end I just said to hell with it and bought the cheapest dip nib I could find. Problem solved!
There are good sellers on ebay that are a FPN members.
Apart from Bruce, Teri at Peyton St Pens, and Thomas Bickii, I am in the dark on any other FPN members selling on Ebay (though I have my suspicions on a couple of people). Perhaps a list would be permitted?
EDIT: Original situation now resolved, at least in part.
Edited by Cryptos, 31 July 2014 - 10:13.