As soon as we spied the engsi that afternoon we called mr robert emry and, as we had done one other time in the past, asked him how much he wanted for it.
After hemming and hawing a bit emry said:
"Well, I was thinking about 400 dollars."
RK knew emry was basically lost in the sauce when it comes to correctly identifying a Turkmen weaving, or as he has demonstrated any old oriental rug, but at least we expected him to say a price that was vaguely commensurate with the history and beauty this engsi exhibits.
We, of course, said OK and after emry said the shipping cost would be 11 dollar additional we agreed and duly sent emry the 411 dollar payment.
After almost two days of not hearing from him, RK emailed and got this reply:
I did receive the ***payment. I have not yet sent the engsi.
Instead of sending the engsi, I intend to refund the ***payment, and take the engsi out of circulation for the time being. I will try to explain why.
Yesterday morning I had emails from several ebay watchers, including one who had already bid on the engsi, saying they were disappointed that it was withdrawn and that they had expected to have a chance to compete fairly for it. So I spent the day yesterday trying to decide the right course to take---who should be disappointed, you or the bidder who had already committed to buy it? And I realized once again why it has been my policy not to stop auctions and sell directly. You might recall that the previous time you called, wanting me to stop an ebay auction and sell directly to you (an old Tekke engsi), I insisted that you had to use the buy-it-now option (which I had on that listing), the same option that was available to everyone else, and thus fair to everyone. It was improper for me to agree to sell this engsi to you on the phone, and it was also improper for you to call and ask me to sell it, or for you (or your scout---I still dont know who *** is) to email and ask to buy it directly. But in this case it was especially improper to sell it directly, because this auction had no reserve, and thus I already had committed to sell it to that ebay bidder, or to whoever bid more. The proper procedure for buying things listed on ebay, is to bid on ebay. I have, so far, a very good reputation on ebay, and a number of collectors/dealers who buy from me regularly, whom I respect for their knowledge and support, and who respect me for being fair. Stopping auctions that they have bid on, or intend to, undermines that respect.
I hope you will understand that voiding my oral phone agreement to sell it to you is also done in the interest of fairness, and stopping that agreement is not worse than stopping the ebay auction that already had bidders, and thus already an agreement to sell. So, I let my guard down and compromised my principles, twice, and now I have to make amends. I intend to continue selling things on ebay, and I dont want to get the reputation stopping auctions and sellingdirectly. If I list something on ebay that interests you, you are welcome to bid on it.
I am sorry that I agreed to sell this engsi to you, but I will like myself better for undoing it. It isnt about money---I dont really care what I sell the engsi for or even whether I sell it---it is about principle.
To which we instantly replied:
this is really silly
why are you letting some low-rider ebay bidderbamboozle you
auctions are stopped EVERY DAY100's or them probably thousands
please do not allow someone to tell you what to do orto make you go back on what you have arranged with me
you made an agreement with me - right or wrong you diditand i carried thru on my end
i really expect you to think this out better and sendme the piece
returning the money nonsense
what more do i have to say to impress you with thereality of this
if you have good pieces on ebay anyone will bid,regardless of whether or not you stop this auction, ordozens of others
please now, Robert, be fair to me and my client whohas now been assured we have the engis
and send it
i will not ask you to ever stop another auction but iexpect you will honor your word and agreement and sendus the engsi
After some hours and no reply from emry we sent him this second email:
I would jsut like to add one thought:
We made an agreement and your emails confirm thatfact.
Our agreement is far more binding than your takingdown the auction.
I will not let you, or anyone, abrogate an agreementfor the nonsensical reasons you have stated.
I am no stranger to the court system and promise you Iwill not allow you, or anyone, to treat an agreementunilaterally as if it did not exist.
Please consider what I have written carefully -- yournot doing so could have consequences you will notenjoy.
This is my last word and unless I hear back from youthat you are sending the engsi to me, and honoringyour agreement to do so, I will be glad to take thissituation to the next level.
Again emry did not reply so we sent him this third email that afternoon:
Let's cut the shit here
you made an agreement to sell me the engsiand i fulfilled my end of the bargain
i expect and insist you do the same
if you don't i will haul you into a court of law andwin hands dowm -- you have no defense, morally oractually -you made an agreement and must hold to it
and this is not a threat, it is a principle of goodbusiness and community
By the way: the deal with *** was another exampleof your inability to honor both good business andcommunity
if the positions had been reversed i would havesupported your problem with *** and insisted hesend you the piece you wonbefore I paid him for mine
but you selfishly went to get your piece and left mehanging out to dry
not very nice
so unless you agree to honor our agreement and send usthe engsi, i will be forced to do what i said -- sueyou and get not only the rug but damages as well
whatever excuses you want to use now will be laughedat in court and you will loseand lose more than you will be pleased to lose
got it now, my friend??
Again, and after no reply from emry, we contacted our attorney and had him send emry a letter explaining our position -- that he should send the engsi immediately. If emry did not reply in 7 days, the letter said we would begin court action.
Another week and no reply from emry, so we instituted a complaint and served him with it.
This got dead-eye emrys attention and not to make this boring story any longer, emry saw the writing on the wall and finally after more hemming and hawing agreed to send the engsi to us for free in exchange for a release from the court action.
End of the story: After paying all the court fees, etc, and the attorney, the engsi cost almost 5 times what it would have.
Like many in rugdumb, who do not really know us, emry believed RK was just talking. Well hes learned we do talk, but we also walk.
We are also sure, if you would ask emry for his side of this tale, he would issue forth a mouthful of excuse and bluster but in the end he would have to admit what is written here is 100 percent true and accurate.
And just for the record, had emry not dragged his feet and kept emailing the attorney about the release, and not directly to us, the attorney fee would have been less than half, and RK would have never bothered to publicize this waste of time episode.
However, since emry deemed it necessary to waste our attorneys time over the release, and add to our bill, we felt he deserved to be called out publicly for refusing to keep our agreement and to honor his word.
We also believe we let him off lightly by offering to stop the case in exchange for the engsi.
We now believe that was a mistake and emrys failure to act honestly should have cost him far more.
But pompous greedy slobs like emry, no matter what their social or educational status, always believe they are right.
Regardless he got off lightly this time, we are sure mr emry might have been dished a good lesson here when you give your word, you must honor it, no matter what the excuse or circumstance. At least when youre dealing with RK that is..