I've just had my second transaction with Rolf. This one ended up outside of eBay (although that's where I saw the pens I wanted, and had contacted him about combined shipping). There was a bit of communication issues about which pens I actually wanted (he had one correct, but one incorrect, which took a bit of emailing back and forth -- I chalk that up to language barriers, and frankly, he was cheating himself in the process because the pen I wanted was a lot more expensive); and then the next got found out that he didn't have any of the complete Rhodium plated nibs in a broad for the M405 Stresemann and would I take a different size. I said yes, but then rethought it an hour later and said I'd rather have a B. So my nib is two toned, and also the EF on the M405 in Blue-Black. But that's okay.
But in spite of the hiccups, I got the pens really quickly (they didn't take as long at US Customs in NYC as with the M200 Café Crème I got from him (the one that got lost in Bowling Green Oh) and had them I think just over a week after ordering. Oh, I only got one of the fancy boxes, but that's kinda okay, too.
Because the pens were being shipped to the US, I didn't have to pay the VAT charge. So, while there were a couple of pens from eBay venders in Japan and Singapore that were a bit cheaper, I didn't know whether I'd get hit with duty charges or have to pay more for expedited shipping. With Rolf, I had the Deutsche Post tracking number right away, and could follow the package's on USPS's website once it got into US hands at Franfort airport. For a book I ordered on Amazon a day or two later, I got notification that it had shipped (it was coming from a seller in the UK). And then nothing -- until it arrived yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon (and I wasn't expecting it until the 15th at the earliest).
With Rolf, the most shocking part was that right after I hit the send button on the PayPal transaction, I got an automated phone call from PayPal checking to see if this was a legitimate transaction -- after all it was a pretty large sum (the most I've ever paid on pens, and possibly the most I've ever spend that was through PayPal; plus it was going overseas...). And of course the answer was "Yes, it's real, ; and yes I DID just pay that much money...."
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."