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Draiman (Gavin Choo)

KyuZo

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
1,553
Hi everyone,
It looks like i am having the honor to post Gavin's first review and to start out his review thread.

First off, from talking to Gavin through what seems like a hundred emails, he was very patient, very kind, and was happy to answer all of my questions in a timely manner. If you're wondering why I sent out so many email, it's because this is an oversea order and I wanted to make sure that I can trust him. From there, I developed a trust and I decided to throw in a big order, and Gavin was very generous, he gave me a very sweet discount on the amount of pedes that I was ordering. The price that he offered was even lower than the price that I've suggested. When the shipment went out, Gavin immediately provided me with the tracking number. When the package came he... well, let just say that I was in for a surprise, because he threw in a pretty handsome over count :D!

What matters the most in the end are the final products of this transaction. All the pedes arrived in an excellent condition. They are all active and have no injure or missing part :clap:. I highly recommend Gavin to everyone and I look forward to deal with him again :).

I just wanted to say, thank you, Gavin. You did an EXCELLENT job!!!

:worship::worship::worship:
jason
 

chyguy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
160
positive A++++++++++++++

i also ordered some pedes from gavin and they arrived in perfect condition considering their long journey here they arrived with a suprise as well one less pede than i ordered ( must have escaped ) but what i did end up with i am very gracious to have received and he said he will take care of me thanks again gavin .
cheyenne dryden
 

EMWhite

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
55
After a week-long process, and dozens of emails back and forth, the shipments from Gavin have arrived and the animals all look fantastic. Though there was some initial trouble with the first order, Gavin made sure he covered my losses and replaced what didn't arrive. I never felt as though I was going to be ripped off or in any way scammed, even though it was an international order, and his willingness to make the situation right after the first order is proof of that. Good guy definitely, buy with confidence. :)


Evan
 

x Mr Awesome x

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
449
Pleasantly surprised

A+++

I had never placed an international order before and admit that I was almost certain something would go wrong. I trusted Gavin to deliver on everything that he'd promised and he did just that. He has a considerable presence on these boards and has always struck me as a very knowledgeable fellow. Considering the long wait and delivery process I was shocked to see two VERY VERY lively pedes! No joke, these little guys were wired with energy! I can't say enough good things about the whole process. These animals are something I'm very proud to have in my collection. Communication was excellent, packing was great, and I am one super satisfied customer. Thanks again Gavin!


-ben
 

stingray

Arachnobaron
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
340
2 thumbs up!

This was my first international order ever. I have always been leary of doing business with anyone overseas. But I have watched the classifieds for so long trying to snag a Hardwickei for sale. But to no prevail I just gave up looking for one. The only reason I chanced buying from Gavin was his great reviews that others have left in the past. After countless emails back and forth with Gavin he reassured me everything including my cold temps would be ok. My temps here were lows in the 30's and highs in the 40's. Gavin shipped them december 29 and to my surprise I received them december 31. IMO...that was super quick from singapore all the way to St. Louis, MO. Honestly when the box got here I was expecting them to be dead. But all of them were alive and well. They were all packed with such care and the whole box was professionally done. Each one ate an entire mealworm that night.

Gavin...2 THUMBS UP to you sir and a job well done. Thanks for eveything!
 

Kayv

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 11, 2003
Messages
375
Bad

After giving this a LOT of thought and discussing the issue with a few people on here, including some who have purchased from him, I decided to write my review. I will not name any names but a couple of them weren't too happy with their transaction with him. I think this is one of the reasons that made me write this review. From my join date you can see that I have been in the hobby for a while now. In my 9+ years of being in the hobby, I have communicated and bought/sold to MANY people. The overall majority of them were good honest people and I believe that since our hobby is fairly small, everyone tries to be friednly and honest with each other. This is why I had a very hard time deciding if I should write this review.

We comunicated through PM on here at first, and then after not hearing from him for a couple weeks, I e-mailed him. It took a while but he finally got back to me. He set his price and I told him I would send the money via pay-pal as soon as the money was sent from my bank account, into my paypal. This process takes 3-5 business days.

I sent him the money, e-mailed him letting him know, and again waited many days to hear back. In his defense he said he is in the army and only has access to a computer on saturdays. With that said there were times where he still failed to e-mail me. After sending the money and not hearing from him for a couple weeks, I e-mailed him again telling him I sent the money and to please provide me with a tracking number.

He finally responded and said he sent the package the previous week and that I should have it within 1 week. He didn't include a tracking number and I had to e-mail him a few times asking for one before he finally sent it. The thing is he sends the tracking number without letting me know what carrier he used. I was extremely annoyed at this but figured I could just input the tracking number in the top 5 carriers. I input the tracking number into DHL, USPS, UPS, etc. and none of them work. I e-mail him about this and yet again it takes more than 1 week to hear back. He finally replied, telling me the carrier he used (I had already tried that carrier several times.) and his answer was to just "try again."

It obviously doesn't work and by this time a month had passed by. I paid $290 for a non working tracking number. He didn't seem like he cared much. He told me he clearly states he isn't in control of the package once he sends it, which I knew of, but the thing is the tracking number didn't work. I don't have proof that he sent it and I told him this. It has been 2 months and nothing has been resolved. He told me he went to the post office on a Monday to see what happened and according to him, he said nothing seemed out of the normal.

Bad communication, paid money for a possibly fake tracking number, didn't try to resolve anything, doesn't seem to care about the issue. I don't know what to do at this point; take it up as a loss or contact PayPal.
 

Comatose

Arachnobaron
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
445
HORRIBLE, Unprofessional, Terrible Packing & Communication and Not Capable of Playing by The Rules

Before I start I need to make it very clear my primary goal in dealing with Gavin was to import S. hardwickei legally, I believe for the first time. I know that Gavin has brown boxed in the past and while I understand some people would disapprove of dealing with someone like that at all, I was hoping that Gavin could take part in a professional, legal export/import. I realize that my dealing with someone who has brownboxed in the past will generate some controversy, but I’d rather have it be known and have people avoid this situation in the future.

Secondly, I’ve been working on this review for almost a month. The situation was resolved several hours ago, and I’m just noticing that another use has left a negative review. While I feel for that person, I feel inclined to make it clear I did not discuss this transaction with anyone but Gavin and several importers I reached out to during the process.

Lastly, I want to make it clear that I did this with the intention of making this species readily available within the hobby and to curb brownboxing and international scamming. Anyone that reads this and is left with any questions can email me at PatBugs@gmail.com/

I can’t say enough how much I regret having to do this, but my experience with Gavin Choo, ‘Draiman’ was extremely negative throughout. His communication, packing skills and respect for my desire to carry out the transaction legally was as bad as anything I’ve ever dealt with. When I brought these issues up with him he dropped off the face of the earth completely and didn’t respond to a single email, but had no problem communicating with PayPal dispute resolution.

I reached out to Gavin mid December and inquired if he’d be interested in wholesaling the rest of his S. hardwickei to me and helping me import them legally. My initial contact was via PM, but we quickly moved to email. He indicated that he would be interested, and I started the process on my end. I’ve worked with imports twice, but never completed the entire process by myself (in 2010 I travelled to Trinidad to collect S. gigantea and had made all the arrangements for the export/import on both ends but wasn’t able to find any specimens, and in December of 2010 I brought in two Enchelycore anatina but found a fish importer/broker who did all the leg work for me) so I called a few brokers to help get the ball rolling. Two were interested, but both required the shipment come in freight. I brought this up with Gavin and he said he could only ship express. We had some back and forth here, and it became apparent that Gavin could/would not use any other method of shipping, so I told him I could not do the deal. Below is our first exchange:

Patrick Corcoran
12/27/11




to hercrenvie.gv



I figured I'd take our dialog to your preferred method of communication. I am interested, what would you be willing to do for the rest you have available? Is the only added cost on your end shipping? I have two friends that could bring them through customs, I'll reach out to them today.

Best,
Pat Corcoran


Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
12/27/11




to me



Shipping is the only additional cost, yes. I'm not sure I understand your other question though. Let me know how many you're interested in.

Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
12/27/11




to me



I was reading your email on my phone; now that I've gone on the computer to look at the PM you sent me on AB I'm a bit clearer on what you meant. The total clutch size is 63, 6 are spoken for, and I want to keep another 6, which leaves 51, plus or minus one or two. You can take all 51 of them if you like, it makes things easier for me haha, and then you can distribute them in the US to everyone else. If you do take all of them the price will of course be closer to wholesale rates. Let me know how many you want and we can go from there.


patbugs@gmail.com
12/27/11




to Gavin



Wholesale rates depending, I'd like to do all 51. From there I'd just need to find out what the cost to land them here would be, which I can do tomorrow.


Best regards,
Pat Corcoran
Spiders, Scorpions and 'Pedes


Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
12/27/11




to me



I've never done this before though, and I don't really have an idea how to price these at wholesale rates. Considering I'm selling them at $65 retail, which you'd probably use as a guide when you sell them over there, would $40 each be a good price?

Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
12/27/11




to me



If it's too much then just let me know what you think is appropriate, because I really have no idea.

patbugs@gmail.com
12/27/11




to Gavin



Hey Gavin,

It's a little high, but no worries, I know there are considerations for conversion rates and such too.

I am going to get estimates on costs on my end, I will be in touch tomorrow, hopefully before it's very late there. Sound good?


Best regards,
Pat Corcoran
Spiders, Scorpions and 'Pedes


Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
12/27/11




to me



No problem, just let me know. I'm sure we can work things out.


Patrick Corcoran
12/28/11




to Gavin



Gavin,

I may have some trouble using express mail. Are you near an airport by chance? We'd have more luck using an airport to airport service.

Please let me know,

Pat Corcoran

Patrick Corcoran
12/28/11




to Gavin



Last question - what country are you shipping from?


Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
12/28/11




to me



For the airport thing you're referring to air freight I think? That's not an option for me unfortunately, probably for the same reason that you can't use express.

I just realised I forgot to mention anywhere on AB where I am located lol - it's Singapore.


patbugs@gmail.com
12/28/11




to Gavin



That could make things difficult, both in the risk of DOA and getting them through customs. Let me research other ways I can get them through.


Best regards,
Pat Corcoran
Spiders, Scorpions and 'Pedes


Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
12/28/11




to me



Regarding the risk of DOA - last year when I shipped to the US I did not have a single pedeling arrive dead. I did have one parcel that had one or two escape and which I later replaced for the customer for free, but no deaths, and the weather that time was pretty cold as well, it was October. The customs thing is certainly the bigger issue though.

Patrick Corcoran
12/28/11




to Gavin



Hey Gavin,

So I've done some research and I just can't find any way to land these guys unless they come in freight. If anything changes on your end please let me know; otherwise I hope to have the opportunity to do business with you in the future.

Best,
Pat Corcoran


Please note that he clearly understands my concern regarding Customs, and sees that it IS an issue for me! Read on…


At any rate that was the last I heard from Gavin regarding that initial exchange. Both people I talked to originally said they needed imports to come freight and wouldn’t do Express. A week or two later I brought this issue up with another importer who said he could indeed bring them in through a port via Express so long as they properly declared and labeled for broker fees and a percentage of the import. I contacted Gavin and ran the idea past him. It took two weeks for him to get back to me, but he said he would, and agreed to properly label the shipment.

Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
Jan 13




to me



Sorry for the reeeally late reply. I should have mentioned this before but I am currently serving in the military and I do not have internet access on weekdays except fridays when I get to go home (the only reason I could respond to emails on weekdays during that period in December was the fact I was on holiday leave). So I'm back now but for the immediate future I will only be able to ship on Saturdays. I still have about 40 left available, I have only shipped out one box so far and sold some locally. I am definitely still open to a deal. Let me know what would be a good price for 40 pedelings.

patbugs@gmail.com
Jan 13




to Gavin



Not a problem... Would you go $$ (amount removed) each?


Best regards,
Pat Corcoran
Spiders, Scorpions and 'Pedes
Gavin Choo hercrenvie.gv@gmail.com
Jan 13




to me



That is a bit lower than I'd go. What do you think about $$?


patbugs@gmail.com
Jan 13




to Gavin



I think I can make that work. What forms of payment do you accept?


Best regards,
Pat Corcoran
Spiders, Scorpions and 'Pedes



At this point we negotiated price, settled, and moved on with the order. I paypalled him the full amount and we began discussing a shipping date. During this time communication wasn’t great – Gavin indicated that he’s in the Singapore military so I gave him a pass on that. We mutually agreed that Friday the 20th of Saturday the 21st of January would be the shipping date. It took some time for Gavin to let me know, which lead to the first major issue we had.

On Saturday I got an email from Gavin – Sent them yesterday. Sorry for the delay, Chinese New Year.

It didn’t strike me as a huge issue, but after several days of tracking the package, it became apparent that it wasn’t moving. It was sitting in a warehouse in Singapore. I researched the issue, and found that The Chinese New Year is a holiday that lasts almost a week. A close inspection of the Singapore Postal Website revealed that no mail was being shipped during that time, and that this notice was posted not only on the site, but at Post Offices as well!

I expressed my concerns to Gavin and heard nothing back. Finally, on Wednesday, after several emails I received a short reply that for whatever reason I can’t seem to find in my inbox – it was something to the effect of “Don’t worry, it will be fine." This is the last email I ever received directly from Gavin.

I continued my wait, tracking the package almost every hour, until finally it began to move. Over the course of two days it moved from Singapore to DHL Global (the mail service that handles Express between our two countries), to two intermediates, and finally wound up in Customs on Saturday, over a week after it had been shipped. It then took several hours for the broker to clear it… why you might ask? Because Gavin labeled it ‘Plastic Action Figure’ with NOTHING written on the box. I had been VERY clear that these were to be cleared with Fish & Wildlife and Customs LEGALLY, but smuggling is so ingrained in this guy that he couldn’t even follow these simple directions, and put me, AND the importer in legal jeopardy by mislabeling the shipment.

I was left waiting to hear the outcome while the broker worked on getting the ‘pedes cleared. All of this would have been worth it, the stress of waiting and dealing with customs if we had just a few hardwickei that survived the shipping. Not so. Not a single damn centipede survived because GAVIN PACKED 40 CENTIPEDES LOOSELY IN A SINGLE DELI CUP!! The box arrived looking mangled and damaged, contained no heat/cool pack and no insulation. It was the single worst packing job I’ve ever seen!!

Check out the pictures below – only two of the centipedes even look like hardwickei, the rest of them were black, rotten and moldy.

Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3
Pic 4
Pic 5

I sent Gavin no less than 5 emails demanding to know why he ignored our instructions and letting him know that not a single centipede has survived. Nothing. I sent the final email through whoreadme, a tracking service that notifies you when an email has been clicked, opened or downloaded. He clicked over it almost immediately, but nothing else, indicating he deleted it.

At this point I opened a paypal dispute. As luck would have it, he just happened to be sitting right there, and responded to the paypal dispute immediately:

1) I am serving my national service. My unit has been involved in an exercise for the past 2 weeks, which is why I could not book out of camp for 2 consecutive weekends and therefore had no internet access. Today (Friday) is the first day I've been out of camp since Chinese New Year. 2) When I went to the post office on the 21st to ship the package I was told the box, with the label "specimens for scientific research", would be refused. Thus I decided to change it there and then, to what I normally write when I ship internationally. 3) I stated explicitly on my ad on Arachnoboards that I provide NO live arrival guarantee. The way I packed the pedelings is the same as what I did for everyone else who has posted on my review thread. Please go ahead and ask them if you do not believe me. I never had problems shipping pedelings in a single container, until now. 4) You claim non-receipt, but clearly the box did arrive and you did receive the pedelings. Also, you have given me very little information. How many pedelings arrived alive?

A few key points in his response – his unavailability is always in hindsight – he never once told me ‘oh, I might not be available because of X’ or ‘I won’t be available because of the Chinese New Year, and over a thousand dollars worth of livestock will sit in a 90 degree warehouse for 6 days’. He tells us that he was unable to label the package properly well after it’s arrived – HE NEVER SHOULD HAVE SHIPPED IT! My PRIMARY goal throughout this transaction was to carry this out legally, and he knew that! I made it VERY clear to him that he needed to properly label the package, or it wasn’t worth it to me. Finally, he does indeed state that he offers no live arrival guarantee, but I figured that meant for the packages he smuggles. I guess I should have been more clear, because being a criminal is clearly something Gavin has trouble moving away from. Finally, he asks how many centipedes arrived alive – he didn’t bother to read ANY of my emails, or he would know that NONE of them had.

I responded via paypal, urged him to email me, told him I was open to an amicable resolution, and emailed this to him as well. Nothing.

I waited four days and escalated to a claim. That was on the fourth. Finally, today I called paypal, and while I’m inclined not to share details on public forum lest Gavin use them to his advantage, I found that he had promptly responded to all of their communications while summarily ignoring mine. Long story short, I got my refund.

This was supposed to be an incredible event… I was incredibly excited about the prospect of bringing this species in, I believe for the first time legally (if someone already did let me know and I’ll delete that part). Since then Gavin has racked up one other negative review.

If you don’t care about the law, fine, and if you don’t want to heed my warning, ok, but know this – I’ve notified F&W and US Customs about Gavin (I’m also looking into agencies to notify in Singapore) – they WILL be watching for this scamming smuggler – DON’T be the guy that finally gets nailed because of Gavin.
 
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