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Mike's Coins/Walrus Coins / Fraudulent Business Practice

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Contact information:
Mike's Coins/Walrus Coins
146 Forrest Dr
Phone: (609) 882-8287
I purchased advertised UNC Walker Half Dollars and a BU Peace Dollar on Dec. 2nd 2008.

After 2 weeks I hadn't received the items and contacted Michael A Lavanga (eBay ID mikescoins1). No response to several emails and I was using the eBay contact tool.

I had to file a non-receipt claim with PayPal and finally got a response. They said they shipped the items and provided tracking. I received the coins 1 week later, not in time for Christmas because I needed to ship them.

The coins were not UNC or BU and I again contacted mikescoins1. He replied and offered to refund my money only if I dropped the claim with PayPal. I requested the return shipping address because his eBay contact information and the item shipping information were in 2 different states. He stopped responding.

A few days later he provided the tracking information to PayPal, pressumably to close the non-receipt case and recover his money. I had to call PayPal, they were very nice and closed the non-receipt case and opened an item not as described case. The case is still pending.

In my opinion, I think that Mr. Lavanga tried to pull a fast one; by not shipping the items he forced me to open a non-receipt claim. Then, he shipped coins that were not up to grade. He could prove that items were shipped and received. I am sure it was his intention to have the case closed in his favor. PayPal states that once the buyer closes a claim it cannot be reopened.

I don't think he was counting on me making a simple phone call to PayPal to have the claim changed from non-receipt to not as described.

Once this is all over, I am also filing a complaint with the local BBB. If I do not receive my refund, I will be filing a report with my local police department and with the police department in Mr. Lavanga's town.


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N  7th of Dec, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I purchased $2000 worth of Morgan Silver Dollars from this seller on eBay and the coins were not up to advertised grade and also they had been "cleaned", which is an absolute negative. I returned the coins immediately and still have no refund, almost 2 months later. Paypal no help. He says he will refund, but will take 4-6 weeks - baloney! I have filed a dispute with my CC Co. and will be filing a complaint with IC3.gov tomorrow. Never buy from this fellow!!
A  13th of Jan, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I hope that you returned the items using some sort of tracking and delivery confirmation.

I also bought coins sold as BU and UNC, they weren't. I am currently looking into filing a complaint with the BBB.
A  13th of Jan, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I want to add that if Mr. Lavanga would have simply provided the return shipping information everything could have be resolved. But his refusal to respond forced the escalation of the dispute to a claim.

He has many policies on his items and emails stating what he will do about non-paying bidders. But nothing about his commitment, integrity and responsibility as a seller.

I have bought items from him before, I don't understand his attitude on this transaction.
A  13th of Jan, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I had similar experience. On dec 1 '08 I bought UNC Walker Half Dollars and a BU Peace Dollar. I paid on the very same moment using PayPal.

Soon I received an e-mail from Mike' Coins which notified me that my purchase was sent to wrong address (there was a tracking number that was confirmed that there is a delivery to some other person at the given address). I tried to contact Mike's Coins (AKA Walrus Coins) several times trough e-mails and e-bay messages. I didn't get response. After a week later I initiated a dispute via PayPal. It was left unattended by Mike's Coins as well. After all I escalated my case to claim and eventually won it.

Almost two weeks later I was notified that there is a claim against me from Mike's Coins in which Mike's coins [fraudulently] accuses me that:
1/ I have no paid the items mentioned above.
2/ I did not respond to Mike's coin's message. Actually I have never received any message from them.

So if the case is not decide soon in my favor I would ask for my rights trough a lawyer. it will include the way that I have been treated

PS Before that case I had bought another Item and I was very happy from the service (I left an excellent feedback in e-bay) too. I think there are more people me that are really mistreated and we could coordinate our efforts to get adequate answer from Mike's Coins.
N  25th of May, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Mike Lavanga claims on his website to be a top ebay seller, but the truth is he has been permanently banned from selling on ebay because of his scams. His website also claims membership in the American Numismatic Association which is also untrue because I called them and asked. Based on his wide spread reputation as a scammer and thief, I am guessing his claim to belong to the Better Business Bureau is also a lie.

Notice his ebay feedback excuses and his excuses here are all the same - "competitor trying to ruin my good name", "tried to claim item not received, but delivery was signed for", "using false name and has made these claims before" - all ring untrue. Anyone that spends this much time defending his name has little left to defend.

Mike scammed me for nearly $900 on silver dollars that were never even shipped, since he provided a fraudulent tracking number. If you are reading and wondering if you were cheated after dealing with him, I suggest you weigh the volume of victims against the thin excuses of the scam artist as you decide how to proceed. Once I got an attorney involved, he folded. You should do the same.
A  1st of Dec, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I would like to fall in line with the other victims of this bafoon. I had a late shipment/not as discribed episode with lavanga. After I finally recieved my coins, I decided to keep them and cut my losses. I posted a negative feedback and he threatend to sue me for slander. I told him I had nothing better to do and would be proud to lay out the scenario in any court at anytime and that was that. This kind of guy takes the fun out of EBAY and coin collecting.

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