Friday, October 28, 2005

Don't go messing with me on eBay -- I'll get you kicked off!

And yes, I have been known to do it. See, I've been using eBay for selling and buying for over 6 years, and I've seen it all. I can totally be one of those people who tell the youngins "when I was a kid, I had to walk up a hill in a snow storm just to get to school -- you kids these days with your fancy cars and cell phones! Bah!"

I'm one eBay user who is not afraid to stir up some trouble and report people who annoy me. I haven't done it in a long time because I just got nicer, I guess, but the other day I felt so used and abused that I had to report a seller for selling something in a misleading fashion.

I love Laurie Notaro (author) -- I can identify with her on so many levels that it's really spooky sometimes. She has a new xmas book coming out in a week or two, and I thought, hmmm...I wonder if anyone is selling the advance reader's copy on eBay? So I searched, and low and behold -- there it was! I could get it before it was released. What a sweet deal.

The bidding was at about 3 bucks, so, I figured in what the book would cost from plus shipping vs. what this person was charging for shipping to get my max bid, and I plugged my bid in for $8.00. I was the high bidder. Life was good.

That was when I decided I should probably read the description (I tend not to do that, like an idiot, and I hate people like me who bid on my auctions and don't read anything and then mail me a check to pay for their auction.). So I'm reading it, and that's when I realized I just bid $8.00 on a magnet. A stupid magnet. Hello?

I went back to the top of the listing, and sure enough, this person has listed a stupid magnet in the books category. I went back down to the details, and this person even used the prefilled book information (which I did see, by the way, so I can't blame myself fully for not reading the description). And, to top it off, while selling her stupid magnet (which, I'm sorry, is not even worth the $3 it was at before I got involved), she was advertising the signed book copy she has, which she'll be putting up at a later date.

I had to think about this. Do I do the right thing in this situation, and just suck it up and pay possibly $8 for a dumb magnet I don't even want, or do I retract my bid and list an incorrect reason for doing so? Because you know, there are only three reasons, according to eBay, for retracting your bid: placed wrong bid amount, cannot contact seller, and seller changed the item description (or something like that, I can't remember). Yup, that's it. Hmm. Not too much thought had to go into this one. I retracted my bid using the infamous "placed wrong bid amount" reason. Well, yes, I did place a wrong bid amount; it really should have been 5 cents, not 8 bucks.

After that was done, I just got mad. And you don't want to be getting me mad while on eBay. After many wrong turns in eBay's land of help (which I've never thought was very helpful), I finally found the place for misrepresenting an item. Was my item listed in an incorrect category? Yes! I typed in the item number, submitted it and a few hours later the listing was mysteriously gone.

Now, this won't get you kicked off eBay unless you start doing it all the time and people report you. And eBay rarely does spot checks anymore (I've had a few of my listings moved or removed because of this -- but that was years ago and I've learned my lessons). But it's always nice to know that I continue to have the power of destroying other people's dreams.

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