Daniel B.

Level 5 Contributor

Contributor Level

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About Me

Except for the two years at Umass, Amherst, I've lived my life in Maryland. My career was spent in higher ed teaching figurative sculpture and ceramics. Two grown sons and two cute dogs (the one pictured is named Popcorn), plus some exes. I'm very generous with panhandlers and I pick up stray dogs. I am extremely worried about the disparity of wealth and the danger it poses to Democracy and freedom in the US.i.e. our current President. I'm extremely curious.

How I Can Help

I know a great deal about art and ceramics. I'm a trained mediator. I know a fair amount about plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and cooking.


, reading and making things, I'm a sculptor. I really like to travel

55 Reviews by Daniel


My contact with the auction house, New York Showplace, was through the "Invaluable " on-line bidding platform. In on-line auctions, when the auction begins for an item all previous bids are shown and the next highest increment is asked for. In the auction in which I was participating, even though I had placed an advance bid and there had been other advance bids, the item appeared with no bids. The auctioneer called for a opening bid of $100. I assumed there had been a problem with my bid so I bid $100 I was therefore surprised to see the bid rise to $400, my max bid, with none of the previous bids showing; thus there was no $350 bid i. E. the increment before my bid. I immediately considered the possibility that I was not bidding against a real bidder but rather a phantom bidder (the auction house). I refused to complete the purchase and NY Showplace registered a complaint with "Invaluable" to which I responded. Ultimately, I did not complete the purchase. My suggestion: follow some on-line auctions until you are familiar with what to expect. Then if irregularities not in your favor occur and you don't get an adequate explanation, stand your ground and refuse payment.

Tip for consumers:
Use on-line auction sites that have a transparent and consistent process.

Products used:


The real test of a company's integrity happens when there is a problem. I recently had some antique wind-up toys repaired at Randy's. When they were returned one was not working as it should. Long story short: I returned the toy; they made the repair and shipped it to me at no cost. Easy peasy!


If you are interested in purchasing artwork through an auction, this site lists auction houses and their offerings from all over the world. These are live auctions you can "attend" and bid. I've used the site a number of times and have been satisfied with the process, A cautionary note. If you have never attended an auction I suggest you participate in a few and do some mock bidding. This will give you time to become familiar with the prices and more importantly you will reduce the possibility of over-bidding when it's your real money. Only bid on things you really like. Don't forget the dealer's premium and shipping cost have not been added to your bid. Good luck.


I read a number of their reviews before I wrote this one and it appears PayPal may operate in alternate universes. WOW, who knew! To a certain extent, it appears depending on how you use PayPal, you may or may not have a good experience. As a purchaser, mine could not have been better. Using PayPal, I recently made two purchases, from separate companies, one for $450 and one for $30. In each instance, I didn't receive the merchandise. I contacted PayPal and approximately 3-4 weeks later the full amount was credited to my checking account. No proof required; easy-peasy! That said, not being able to speak with someone when there's a problem can be extremely annoying.


This site may not be dangerous to you physically but it certainly might endanger your bank account. I ordered a painting from them a month ago and have not received anything, not even a delivery update. No response from them. Their phone number is constantly busy and when using the link for your order info, you're taken to a page that no longer exists. Need I say more?


The company informed me that their free gift is a holiday tradition, not unsold merchandise
I sent this to Nuts.com:
Congratulations! I always thought nothing is free but it seems I was wrong, I recently purchased some, hard to find, chocolate covered orange peel. They are very, very good. As I was emptying the shipping box,"When what to my wondering eyes did appear..." but a free holiday tin of four different treats, including surprisingly yummy, chocolate-covered gummy bears and tiny white chocolate pretzels! This, I assume was unsold holiday merchandise, which you could have been sold at reduced cost. Instead you added them, free-of-charge, including shipping, to my order. What a company! FYI, I'm going to repost this on Sitejabber.com; you may want to take a look. Have a prosperous New Year!


The site is not easily navigated. Many un-needed items (700+)jumbled within a specified search category. Trying to narrow a search is often pointless.
I had a question. The first product specialist was supposed to call back but didn't. The second prod. Spec. Called back twice but with incorrect info. The third prod. Spec. Knew less than the first two! All were very pleasant but were apparently being given incorrect info. Product range is quite good, thus the four stars.


I received an unsolicited offer to join this free dating site. The pictures that were included seemed somewhat odd for a dating site. Compared to photos usually seen on dating sites, these were in unexpected poses and not even showing some of the faces. I did a little search and found information suggesting this was a phishing and scamming enterprise. While I can't verify that claim, I do know that everything comes with a cost. One has to wonder how does the site benefit from your participation. My suggestion: You usually get what you pay for, so err on the side of caution and look elsewhere. I've used both eHarmony and Match and found them very similar in their effectiveness. Good luck!


Based on my reading of "sitejabber" reviews, it seems that ratings have declined significantly since early 2018. So, my experience may have been the exception rather than the normal company behavior. That said, I ordered 15 blinds at a cost of $800 incl. Shipping, an excellent price. They arrived well packed and in a timely fashion. All parts were included with the exception of a small, non-essential, plastic rail cap. My only complaint is with their website. They offer five different styles of aluminum mini-blinds at very different price points. The difficulty I experienced was determining what the difference in price represented in terms of quality, style etc. I actually made my decision based on the lowest cost blind that came in the color I needed. Having received and installed them, I can say they appear to be equal in quality to a more expensive brand I purchased previously. NOTE: I wrote the review on 11/15'19 and the company responded on 11/20/19. I checked back today 4/2/20; no changes. It seems the company is using the monkeys-in-a-room-with-a-typewriter-approach to provide the information. Suggestion to company: Replace monkeys with a human and typewriter with a computer. Final thought: Having worked in a venetian blind factory as a young man, I have a strong suspicion the quality is the same for all blinds and the differences are only color.

Simas T. – SelectBlinds Rep

Hell Daniel, thank you so much for your review and relaying your issue to us. It's a justifiable one that we are working on to create a clearer explanation of the differences among our similar-looking products. I appreciate your insight. Thanks again!


I received a list of possible companies. They either didn't call or when they did they didn't do what I specifically said I needed. Rather than waste time with this company, I would advise using a simple google search.


I purchased a set of rather expensive sheets from "Cuddledown". By the time I received, opened and washed them, I decided I will look for another company. Why, you ask. The answers: Their internet servers are extremely slow, some time never moving to the next page. That required me to go back and start again... ugh.The shipment, from I think Maine to Maryland took eight days. I'm assuming it came via conestoga wagon! The slow shipping cost was $21.99 for approximately 5 lbs. The US PostalService charges $14.50 for up to 70 lbs for a first-class flat-rate box, which they supply. I suspect Cuddledown's packing, which entailed throwing the sheets in a box, applying a pre-printed label and tape and then placing it on a truck costs, the company no more than $8 including under-paid labor. That leaves a net of $14.99. Apparently shipping is a profit center. Now for the salt-in-the wound. After washing them, I noticed the flat sheet was a King size... again ugh! I spoke to customer service in the Phillippines and there is no need to tell you what that conversation was like. Their solution was for me to return the sheet with a shipping label they would send in 4-10 business days. Again by wagon? Upon receiving the sheet they would then send a replacement. Based on past experience, I estimated it could take as long as a month to receive my replacement. When they finally acknowledged that waiting a month to use newly purchased sheets was ridiculous, they agreed to simply send a new one. Would you be willing to go through that process to buy a set of sheets? I know I won't do it again.


Having used this site a number of times, I can say with confidence that you can be sure of its integrity. That said, the buyer still must always exercise good judgement. In the auction process there is an opportunity for purchasing items at good price.
Suggestion: This site permits live on-line bidding. If you have never attended an auction, it would behoove you to simply watch several auctions and do some pretend practice bidding. For beginners, it's very easy to get caught up in the very fast moving process: only to find you paid more for something than you had intended. Good luck!


FYI, I am a university trained ceramic sculptor with over 50 years experience. If you are reading this you likely already know that Coyote Glazes produces a line of ceramic glazes for a variety of firing temperature. I purchased several of their cone 6 glazes including a shino glaze and they all worked well. Several months later, I went to use them again only to find that the shino glaze ingredients had formed small hexagonal crystals, thus rendering the glaze useless. In all my years in ceramics I had never heard of or seen this happen. I contacted the company about the problem and they explained that it said on the package, (in very small type), not to store below 65 degrees. I pointed out that something that important should have a more highly visible label. The owner agreed and sent me replacement product at no cost. Yet again my faith in humankind is reinforced.
SUGGESTION: The thickness of the liquid glaze in the bucket is very important for consistent and predictable results. If you don't know already, find out what a hydrometer is and learn how to use it. Forget the-glaze -should coat-your -hand business.


I purchased a dozen regular wooden base mouse traps. I then bated six of them with peanut butter. The Mice ate all of the PB but I caught only one mouse! I then bated them with a sticky caramel and added a smear of PB. Still had an 80% failure rate. I contacted the company not looking for replacement but maybe advice. No suggestion but offered to replace them but only if I had a receipt. Really? To be so stingy with an item that retails for about 50 cents each suggests to me that this company cares little about customer satisfaction. One also has to wonder how well they pay their employees. Penny wise pound foolish.


They describe themselves as family owned but it must be the family down the street from you that leaves their dog outside when it's freezing and never cuts their lawn. Simply put, I wrote to them about a problem I was having with one of their products.
No response.


UPDATE: Recently "Match"violated their contract by omitting some of the info they initially agreed to provide. This was done without consulting members. The other complaints mentioned below still apply
The only thing one can count on with this site is getting a list with pics of single people that fit your age requirements. If you are a man, it also seems likely that you will contacted by a very young East European woman attempting a scam. Fortunately they are not very clever. So just be realistic. Using the site is difficult as there are few directions. Also, at times they will ignore all of your preferences including your decision to remove a match from your list of possibilities. In the past, when I used Eharmony I had none of the problems I've experienced here.


This is an unusual review because I am only able to review one aspect of their business. I made an appointment and they showed up and gave an estimate. They said they would return in a couple of weeks to do the job. During the past two months I have been "sincerely" promised on at least 5 different occasions that they would arrive on a particular date, sometime in the future; one time in two days. Never showed up. It's clear they aren't truthful and they are likely cherry-picking jobs for those with the highest return and the least effort. I can't imagine what it would take to get them to come back to fix a problem with their repair/build.


They collect very little data. I suspect one could do better throwing darts at a wall of pictures. I've used eharmony and Match and found both to be superior. Also, when attempting to stop the receipt of their unsatisfactory recommendations I had to google my question to find the procedure. I find it very, very annoying when sites make it so difficult stop receiving their services.


I've been a subscriber, that they call a member, for about 50 years and I have found them to be a reliable source of information and advice on a wide variety of products and services. The information and advice on negotiating the price of a car worked like a charm.The last time I used it and was leaving, two of the salesmen actually applauded! To assure impartiality, they accept no advertising and as a member you have the opportunity to vote for their board of directors. While one might not agree with their rating you are confident they've done their best.


While my comments relate to an in-store experience, the attention I received tells me that the company values their customers. I had dropped off a watch to have it repaired and it was returned to me repaired but the band was not completely reassembled. When I returned to the store, the service manager came out to speak with me. This is the service manager in the largest jewelry company on the East Coast. He apologized for the mistake and then thanked me when I let him know about another problem I had. He said,"Good service is our number one priority because without it people loose confidence in the products you sell. In this business a good reputation is absolutely necessary". If all companies respected their customers as much as Albert Smyth Jewelers. There might not be any need for Sitejabber, but don't get your hopes up.

Daniel Has Earned 174 Votes

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Daniel B.'s review of CarMax earned 3 Very Helpful votes

Daniel B.'s review of Dorco earned a Very Helpful vote

Daniel B.'s review of Apple earned 22 Very Helpful votes

Daniel B.'s review of CuddleDown earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Daniel B.'s review of Victor Pest earned 4 Very Helpful votes

Daniel B.'s review of SelectBlinds earned a Very Helpful vote

Daniel B.'s review of FTD earned a Very Helpful vote

Daniel B.'s review of HomeAdvisor (Powered by Angi) earned 11 Very Helpful votes

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Daniel Has Received 3 Thank Yous

Ivan M. thanked you for your review of Smyth Jewelers

“Son unos estafadores”

Jon K. thanked you for your review of Smyth Jewelers

“Service keeps customers, right? Generates wealth for them and feeling good too, for everyone involved.”

Maxine B. thanked you for your review of SodaStream Official

“Thank you for the review. My sister bought these for Christmas gifts a few years ago. I told her to keep mine are get tefund. We poured the drink out.”

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