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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:42 am 
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As a service to members, we are drawing your attention to the actions, as far as we know them, of a recent member of this site, now deactivated, who went by the username Cholbroo17, registered with us under the email address: piperholbrook@sbcglobal.net, an email address used on other websites by Chris Holbrook.

Within the last week as I write (10th July 2018) Cholbroo17 posted two for sale notices in the Used Instruments Exchange, both now removed by the Moderators. The instruments concerned in both of these listings have been reported as having been purchased by him using a credit card belonging to a third party, who has, we are told, reported the transactions as fraudulent.

We have given Cholbroo17 the chance to answer the reports about his activity, as his account was about to be deactivated. His response was “Deactivate it don’t care.”

We are taking the unusual step in posting this in the hopes, firstly that Cholbroo17 may either answer the complaints against him satisfactorily or, failing that, see the error of his ways, and secondly, in order to forewarn members about the activities reportedly carried on by this individual.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:50 am 
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Thanks for the 'heads up'.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:39 am 
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Interesting because I was considering starting a thread about what seem to be an unusual number of people lately joining the board seemingly just to list instruments for sale.

I’m of the opinion that the items for sale should be limited to forum contributors, not simply anyone who registers, and certainly not people who’s first few posts are for sale items.

Of course I also believe that Commercial Posters who have repeatedly broken the rules, and/or have actively skirted them should be banned as well......

I absolutely do appreciate the work the mods do, even if I don’t always agree with the rules or the enforcement of same. Nice catch in this case, thanks for looking out for us :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:40 am 
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FYI on one of the tinwhistle facebook groups I'm on, there was a post back in January about a Chris Holbrook who offered to sell an Abell and never delivered to the person who paid.

It's a closed group, or I'd link to the post.

Edit: Similar post on a public group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/4046819 ... 662753229/

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Last edited by Wanderer on Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:46 am 
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Wanderer wrote:
FYI on one of the tinwhistle facebook groups I'm on, there was a post back in January about a Chris Holbrook who offered to sell an Abell and never delivered to the person who paid.

It's a closed group, or I'd link to the post.

As it should happen, we're already aware of this particular affair, and have a link to the post in question. Thanks for bringing it up, though; any bit of pertinent or useful information from the membership is always appreciated.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:49 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Wanderer wrote:
FYI on one of the tinwhistle facebook groups I'm on, there was a post back in January about a Chris Holbrook who offered to sell an Abell and never delivered to the person who paid.

It's a closed group, or I'd link to the post.

As it should happen, we're already aware of this particular affair, and have a link to the post in question. Thanks for bringing it up, though; any bit of pertinent or useful information from the membership is always appreciated.


I figured you did. I was mostly posting for educational purposes for the rest of the forum :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:58 am 
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I did a search of my archived email messages, and it turns out Chris contacted me in January of 2017 trying to unload some Milligan whistles.

I already had more than my fair share at that point, so I didn't take him up on his offer. Guess I dodged a bullet.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:01 pm 
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Wanderer wrote:
I did a search of my archived email messages, and it turns out Chris contacted me in January of 2017 trying to unload some Milligan whistles.

I already had more than my fair share at that point, so I didn't take him up on his offer. Guess I dodged a bullet.

That's the thing - at this point we have no idea how much of his prior selling activity was similarly fraudulent.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:10 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Wanderer wrote:
I did a search of my archived email messages, and it turns out Chris contacted me in January of 2017 trying to unload some Milligan whistles.

I already had more than my fair share at that point, so I didn't take him up on his offer. Guess I dodged a bullet.

That's the thing - at this point we have no idea how much of his prior selling activity was similarly fraudulent.


Understood. And I don't want to paint with a broad brush without knowing the facts.

I'm just glad that every exchange I've had through C&F (and they've been numerous over the years) have been very positive. I always get nervous when I hear about members or makers who start getting a little squirrelly with the money.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Interesting that a person with the same name has been offering a ton of whistles, mostly about a year ago, on thesession.org . I am not saying those are/were fraudulent, I have no idea, but it is the same name and that seems to be the persons only contribution to that forum as well.
https://thesession.org/members/106517/d ... ons?page=1

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Thanks for keeping an eye on things for all of us! I am one of those folks who has happily purchased things from the used instrument exchange and have periodically tossed hundreds of dollars into the wind expecting the item to appear because I trust the folks on the forum. My husband has asked how I can trust the people are going to follow through. And I've replied, it's a niche group of nice folks with a particular interest. It's worked so far. I know the Ceolas page shut down their selling page after some bad actors found it a good spot to commit fraud. I am hoping that does not happen here. The person mentioned here contacted me regarding some Water Weasels I was thinking about selling a few years ago, but in my ambivalently hoarder-ish way I never did part with them. Perhaps he was buying and selling and got over his head at some point.


Again, thanks for keeping up on issues like this!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:20 pm 
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We wouldn't have known but for the heads-up from an instrument supplier (who is also a member here - we'll leave him anonymous for now until he decides otherwise) whose instruments were bought with the stolen card, and HE wouldn't have known but for the rightful owner reporting it. Suffice it to say there was a lot of money involved.

The so-called "grey market" (a nonstandard, no-stock business model of buying things solely to quickly resell them at a profit; one might call it "fly-by-night") isn't illegal or particularly unethical, strictly speaking, whatever our personal feelings about the practice. How those things are gotten is another matter, though, and the legal ramifications for all parties is a matter of concern.

Prohibiting open commercial activity didn't even cross my mind until busterbill brought up Ceolas. Here, one bad incident (that we know of) out of countless other good ones is not enough to justify it. That said, Admin takes a very dim view indeed of C&F members who are only here to engage in grey market activity and nothing else. This a social site first and foremost, and we expect social activity from our participating members. Even if done above board, commerce-only grey market activity is grounds for dismissal.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:18 pm 
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You mean like the Uilleann Obsession guy who only ever posts here listing pipes for sale via his website? Or like that JD person who advertises flutes for sale here a lot and only really socializes to support maker's products whom he might sell? (Meanwhile soliciting members here privately trying to buy their instruments -not listed for sale- at unreasonably low prices? I'm not the only person who has had this sort of thing happen)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:12 pm 
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awildman wrote:
You mean like the Uilleann Obsession guy who only ever posts here listing pipes for sale via his website?

Let me just say that Patrick D'arcy is a fine piper (sometime flute & whistle player), local contributor to the Los Angeles session & performance scene, and internationally known & appreciated. While true that he maintains his own site as a resource focusing on the pipes, he is quite a social fellow. I think his contributions on the C&F board are limited because of his available free time, and not that he is choosing to exploit this forum.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:28 am 
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awildman wrote:
You mean like the Uilleann Obsession guy...?

No. Not even close.

You seem to have missed that I said grey market. Go back and read my explanation of it. Uilleann Obsession is a venue where legitimate owners and makers can sell their own stuff. Patrick's site simply provides the space. He's not selling it himself, nor for himself - which you also seem to have missed. Posting here what's available there is not Pat trying to line his pockets; he's letting us know in case we're interested. It's a service, and in good faith. When sales there are completed he receives a small commission for having provided the space, but that's entirely fair and above-board. If he ever sells anything there that he owns personally, he would say so, but that's going to be quite a small percentage of the whole.

As kkrell says, Pat's a busy man what with performing, recording, and teaching workshops, not to mention a family - or his own website for that matter, plus a day job - filling his time. He used to be quite active here socially, but there comes a point where you realize that there are plenty of C&F members qualified to give the same basic advice you would, so given life's pressures and the knowledge that the Board's in good hands, you feel less urgency than you used to about lending input. By contrast, a sell-only person is just that, who from the beginning has no interest in the Board other than the money he can get out of it. That's not Pat one bit. If it helps any, as it happens I recently exchanged a series of PMs with him only just the other day, and not a word of commerce was uttered. Strictly friendly catching-up stuff, and I think I even made him spit out his coffee at one point. At least I hope I did. :twisted:

awildman wrote:
Or like that JD person who advertises flutes for sale here a lot and only really socializes to support maker's products whom he might sell? (Meanwhile soliciting members here privately trying to buy their instruments -not listed for sale- at unreasonably low prices? I'm not the only person who has had this sort of thing happen)

I don't know offhand who you mean by "JD", because a member search turns up nothing for me on the username. As you no doubt can imagine, member names become something of a blur, and here two letters have proven not enough to jog my memory, much less narrow the search. If you've known of a problem you should have contacted a mod instead of belatedly airing public accusations about some vague someone. If your purpose is mainly to suggest that Admin have been remiss, 1) Unfortunately we can't catch everything, and 2) You've said nothing about it to us before, which lack of teamwork spreads the culpability around, don't you think? It's no secret that we rely on the membership to help from time to time, because we're all in this boat together. You need to do better if you intend to make any kind of case. Be careful, here.

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