As a collector from the UK a lot of the cards and packs I buy will come through eBay. This means I have to put a lot of trust in sellers, whether this trust comes in the form of actually shipping my goods or not searching the packs that I buy from them. I try to buy from those who have hobby shops, which would hopefully mean they would take this seriously and not see it as an opportunity to put one over on a customer. However I sometimes get tempted into buying packs/boxes from those who seem to do it as a one off not as a business. I always make sure I buy from people with a good rating, and mostly positive comments, but I have recently discovered that this doesn't guarantee an honest seller. Two sellers I bought packs/boxes off just before Christmas have deactivated their eBay accounts and won't reply to any emails I have sent them. eBay do seem to be on top of the situation, having refunded some of the disagreements at the time of posting this. I just don't understand why people would do this, I can't see them getting away with the money, and it just causes a lot of unnecessary hassle and me feeling even more suspicious of those I buy from. I will never know whether the packs I buy have been searched, this is blind trust that I will never be able to know is being lived up to.
Whilst this has been going on I have started to discover that collecting isn't merely about the acquisition of cards, it's also a community. A community that I'm more and more starting to feel part of, so I'd like to round off a post about negative experiences with a thank you to those who have made me feel welcome into the collecting community, not just on here but on the sports card radio forum as well.