How do I buy tubes?

I would like to know, how should I select a tube? Should I select it by the name printed on it? Or should I buy from a reputable seller, who guarentees, that the tube, will be made by the manufacturer, he claims, regardless, of what is printed on it?
Everyone should know that a tube from one manufacturer can be labeled for another brand and this is indeed just a different print on the tube or different box. 

All information available online, there is a tube asylum forum for tube nerds, an interesting read if you want to get lost for a half year. 

Price for the same tube can be different from different sellers. Those who own a warehouse full of tubes and selling them for 50 years know very well what they are doing. Some of those websites are so old school and not user friendly, but the owners are friendly and available by email for international buyers like me. 

I've noticed that ebay prices almost always higher. But some specific tubes are only available on auctions. 

Old tubes can be tricky and it's nice to buy only tested/matched tubes with guaranteed full refund/return if anything is wrong on arrival.


The guy who wanted his money back probably didn’t like the tubes in his system and used the label as an excuse to return them. I suppose it should be obvious from the pictures, but you could add to the description Made by Siemens, labelled Valvo or whatever. Even that probably won’t help. There’s another thread just started about buyers lying., reputable online sellers, and Viva who are fairly priced and nearby.