Tefillin & Mezuzos on Ebay: I’ll Teach You Why You Should Stay Away! 3

Did you ever notice that whatever you google you will see an ad for it on eBay?  Try tefillin and mezuzos and you will probably see something like this:

Visit eBayfor great deals on tefillin and mezuzoth. huge selection of items. Shop eBay

The Question is: Are they really great deals or is there more than what meets the eye when it comes to tefillin and mezuzos? Having spent quite a bit of time studying the tefillin and mezuzah offerings on eBay, I believe I have found some patterns that you should know about.

When You see a price that is lower than my $50.00 Mezuzah, there are three main possiblities:

1) The mezuzah that they are selling is a S’faradi mezuzah. There is nothing wrong with a S’faradi mezuzah, but if you are Ashkenaz, you should not be buying S’faradi mezuzos. There are slight differences in how the letters are made in S’faradi mezuzos. They are also easier to write, hence the less expensive price.

2) The mezuzah that you see in the picture is not a sample of a mezuzah that they are actually selling to you. This is easy to tell when you see the same seller selling two or three sizes of mezuzah, and they use the same sample picture for all the three sizes. Believe me, it wasn’t one sofer who wrote three sizes. Of what use is a picture if it’s not what you are actually getting?

3) The seller is not a sofer. He knows little about safrus and is isn’t qualified to sell tefillin and mezuzos. Take for example this sellers explaination for why he sells mezuzos:

“This mezuzah scroll has a lovely story behind it…
I came across a Sofer Stam teacher who heads a whole school of Sofrei Stam in Bnei Brak, The Teacher recounted that in his school for sofrei stam many students complete their studies and become sofrei stam but find it hard to sell their scribe, I in turn told him of my eBay store, and now we are working together…

Therefore in my store you can find all mezuzah sizes and in all scribe styles: Holy Ari, Ashkenazi and S’faradi…”

He is basically telling you, “I’m not a sofer, but I do know how ebay works, so I decided to add few more items even though I know nothing about safrus.

If you would take a look at his other items you will see what I mean: Cell Phones, Watches, Paintings, etc.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, think about this: Which soferim does he take his mezuzos from? You got it, soferim who can’t find anybody else to take their mezuzos. He said it himself. When I offer you a mezuzah it is because I know, and trust the sofer who wrote it. I choose to offer you that mezuzah because thats the mezuzah I like, and thats the sofer I like, not because some sofer couldn’t find a buyer.

Here is a picture of a mezuzah for sale on Amazon.com. The seller offers this mezuzah for $34.50. Its actual worth is zero because it is not kosher. Unfortunatly I was not able to make this photograph big enough to show you that it is not even a good attempt at selling a kosher mezuzah. While this posel mezuzah is the only mezuzah they sell, they have pages and pages of mezuzah cases, and they even have a cross for sale! How could a person buy a mezuzah from somebody who sells mezuzahs and crosses? It is absolutly absurd!

amazon.com

4) If the price is lower than $39.00 they make up for it with the shipping. My shipping is never any more than the actual fee charged to my by the shipping company plus the price of the packaging.

5) It will take a long time to get your order. Most mezuzah orders for my $39.00 can go out same day.

3 Comments

  1. I know what you mean about people who don’t know the first thing about what they are selling. I sell mainly talleisim and I know from experience that there are a lot of non-observant tallit sellers out there selling high-end, handmade tallits though they don’t know the first thing about the mitzvah of tzitzit (which, of course, is the essence of the tallis). If a customer were to ask them, “Is wool considered better, from a halachic standpoint, than cotton or silk?” they would have no idea what to say, and certainly have no inkling about the machlokes between the Mechaber and the Rema. And although they may have been selling talleisim fulltime for over a decade, if someone’s tzitzis were to come loose they couldn’t tie them to save their life.

    As irksome as this may be, I’m unconvinced that someone must be as conversant as you are in order to be adequately qualified to sell STaM. I could state my own argument, but instead let me bring a proof from the Gemara: כותבי ספרים תפילין ומזוזות הם ותגריהן ותגרי תגריהן וכל העוסקין במלאכת שמים.

    1. Certainly someone could sell tefillin and mezuzos with the help of a trained sofer, but if he is on his own, sooner or later he will make mistakes that an experienced sofer wouldn’t make. If you spend a lot of time on this website you will see that I deal with many many different situations. How is someone who is not a sofer supposed to handle all of them? Lets say you are just selling mezuzos. How do you know what mezuzos are good? Its not like you can find a good mezuzah, and just keep buying it forever. Sometimes a mezuzah from a particular sofer may be available for a few months and then that sofer may start writing a megillah. How will you find a new sofer who writes a similarly priced mezuzah? I can only make a final judgement on the quality of a mezuzah after I have spent time checking several mezuzos from the same sofer. If you are not a sofer, you can’t check mezuzos. That means you have to rely on someone else and you must take his word as to what the real quality that a particular set of tefillin or mezuzos is. Any sofer will tell you what happens to the mezuzos that just are not up to par. They get sold to Judaica stores. There are very few people that I can rely on to check a mezuzah in such a way that I will have the peace of mind to sell that mezuzah to one of my customers. Not only that, but how is a customer supposed to know which non-sofer is following all the correct procedures and which one is not? What it really comes down to is that it’s not that you are wrong, rather, what you are saying is impractical.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. […] Tefillin & Mezuzos on Ebay: I’ll Teach You Why You Should Stay Away! […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 + 3 =

backspace
caps lock enter
shift shift
Virtual keyboard by Loderi.com   « » { } ~