Ebay idiots galore!

By Justin Rybinski

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As many of you know, I haven't had a job since I graduated from college this past May. I've been surviving and surviving well selling various crap on eBay. I'm sick of capitalizing the "B." From now on, it's "ebay." Recently, I noticed that most of the stuff I sell is designed for a juvenile market. Most intelligent people aren't bidding on Garbage Pail Kids VCDs, shitty NES games or episodes of Beavis and Butthead. Maybe I'm not giving people who are fans of these items enough credit (which I really should, seeing as I enjoy two of the three products I mentioned), but either way, I deal with many, many, many idiots on ebay. My friend Nate is also into selling, but he doesn't run into the same issues I deal with, mostly because he sells higher-class items, like Cosmos episodes and VCD sets of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. I don't think people who can't read/write/formulate ideas are interested in old PBS shows and '60s sci-fi. Today, I will show you a sampling of what I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

As is true for similar articles on this website, this is a work in progress. There will almost certainly be a second edition of this article. At the pace I'm going on, it won't be too long before that happens.

Here is an email I received from someone looking to purchase one of my Nirvana: Live and Loud VCDs. Apparently, he already won this item from me in an earlier auction, but I had no idea, since he didn't say that and was using a different email than his official ebay address.

Subj: HEY 
Date: 12/9/02 7:04:51 PM !!!First Boot!!!
From: MARVIN622


Wow. Okay. Sure. Really, it's your first time using ebay? Get out. It's your first time expressing your ideas in written form? No kidding. For some reason, he didn't notice he had his CAPS on, but was kind enough to press the "shift" key for writing some of his "I"s and his last sentence. So the thought was there, but not the execution. There's many other problems here, so let's not be picky about CAPS. This person provides no info whatsoever. I didn't even know he won an auction from me. Okay, he said it's his first time using ebay, so let's give him a break. I ask several dozen questions in my response, and I get this in return a few hours later:

Subj: Re: HEY 
Date: 12/9/02 11:34:49 PM !!!First Boot!!!
From: MARVIN622

I have a e mail saying that i bought this item but i tryed a credit card it did not work, but sure i'll buy it the preice was 7.99 $ plus  shiping

"Tryed"? "Preice"? "Shiping"? Where exactly did this guy "try" his credit card? And since when do they issue credit cards to the criminally insane? Damn you, MasterCard. "But sure i'll buy it"? You damn well better, since you bid on and won my auction! I replied with a short email telling him to try his card again using Paypal only and if that didn't work, to just send me a check. Here was his response:

Subj: Re: HEY 
Date: 12/10/02 1:15:25 AM !!!First Boot!!!
From: MARVIN622

okay i will send the check, one question your adrees is 74 grandview left???? or just 74 grandview, kenmore, ny 14223, thanks. also u mencioned its was a vcd can i play that in a dvd player or computer?????

Really now, why would I say Grandview Left if I didn't mean it? That's like ordering a sub with extra mayo, but only receiving the ordinary amount because the clerk didn't think you really meant it. Or maybe it's nothing like that. Damn I'm hungry. Time for some mayo on toast with heavy scallions. Oh, and I only "mencioned" it was a VCD? It IS a VCD! It says so about a hundred times on the auction page! I also answer his final question a hundred times on the same page. Clearly, MARVIN622 is not one to read contracts before signing them. I should have charged this joker $20 shipping, or "shiping" as he knows it. His response to whatever I said:

Subj: HELLO 
Date: 12/11/02 3:59:08 PM !!!First Boot!!!
From: MARVIN622


Sigh... Again, I had just answered this question in my previous email, and it is also answered on the auction page. Good thing he said "CALIFORNIA" or else I would have thought he lived in "LOS ANGELES DELAWARE." The thought of sending the VCD before I get his check (which I imagine will bounce three times over, which, yes, is now possible) is laughable. After spewing a few words at him, I received this:

Date: 12/12/02 12:44:07 AM !!!First Boot!!!
From: MARVIN622

hey justin just to let u know the check is at my wife's name i live in south gate california, los angeles, can u do me a favor when u recive the payment let me know, and also when the vcd was sent , it means a lot to me thanks justin

You know, it really was nice of him to tell me that the check was not going to be in his name. It would have been even nicer if I had the slightest inkling of what his or his wife's name was. I predict his name will be Marvin. Sick of dealing with this sorry individual, I decided to move on in life. Ten days later, I get a random check in the mail for $11.99. There was no information included with payment AT ALL, and if I didn't notice the South Gate, CA address, I wouldn't have known what to do with it. Surprisingly, the check cleared and I soon shipping his VCD off. In a few more days, I get this email from MARVIN:

Subj: (no subject) 
Date: 12/29/02 1:52:29 AM !!!First Boot!!!
From: MARVIN622

Hi Justin, I barely got the live and loud vcd today and it's pretty cool.  Thanks, I really appreciate it.

HOW DO YOU BARELY RECEIVE SOMETHING IN THE MAIL!??!?!? Either it shows up at your house or it doesn't! The VCD is not a marathon runner, panting and sweating his way slowly across the finish line. Holy hell. In all honesty, this wasn't much of a hassle to deal with like some people are. It was more amusing than anything. This obviously isn't always the case, as shown in this email:

Subj: Police Squad 
Date: 11/26/02 10:23:41 PM !!!First Boot!!!
From: sib37@hotmail.com
To: zapzapzapx@aol.com
Sent from the Internet

I bought all of the Police Squad episodes from you on Ebay 2 weeks ago

I got the cds today in the mail and I don't think this what it is suppost to
be.  Both Cds have 6 folders and no police squad episodes...I am confussed

Scott Sibley

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About an hour later, I get almost the exact same email from the same guy. Here:

Date: 11/26/02 11:35:49 PM !!!First Boot!!!
From: sib37@hotmail.com
To: zapzapzapx@aol.com
Sent from the Internet

yeah this is definelty not the police squad episodes.  The two disks both
contain folders without anything inside of them and this is obviously not
what I paid for.  I would appreciate my money back the $17.99 to my paypal
account patburrell5@hotmail.com but if you don't want to do that then I will
settle for the real disks.  I am moving and will no longer have a computer
that is why I would rather have the money.  PLEASE respond to this email
whatever you decided to do.  PLEASE RESPOND

Scott Sibley

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I'll respond all right. I don't know how you are confussed, Scott. The episodes are definelty what they are suppost to be. For those who don't know, you can't just plop the VCDs into your computer and double click on random files. You need to either upgrade to a modern version of Windows Media Player or some other VCD player at www.vcdhelp.com. Of course, I say this in my item description, right at the top, but apparently, Scotty boy didn't feel like reading that part. I also say that I do not give refunds for any VCDs. Why? They are all on easily recordable media, so if someone wanted to, they could make a copy of my VCDs, say they didn't work, ship them back and get a refund, all while keeping a copy of the discs. Is this likely to happen? Probably not, but I want to protect my business.

Oh, and he'll settle for the real "disks"? Like I tell so many of my customers, THERE ARE NO REAL DISCS. This is a home-made set. You can't walk into your local Best Buy and pick up a DVD or VCD set of Police Squad, or many other VCD sets I sell. Also, how does moving make him lose his computer? Is he moving to a homeless shelter? That's what happens when you bet all of your money against the Harlem Globetrotters (the Simpsons taught me that).

Some emails are just confusing. Try to make sense of this mess:

Subj: dunno 
Date: 12/14/02 7:48:25 AM !!!First Boot!!!
From: Grimlocke42@hotmail.com
To: tattvakula@aol.com
Sent from the Internet

I was informed before I could get back to the race that my boyfriends dvd wont play this type, so I dont think I and going to buy these episodes - sorry for the inconvenience

What? Back to the race? What the loving fuck are you talking about? What race? Is that a metaphor for ebay? If so, that is the most retarded thing I have ever heard anyone say. Our pals Marvin and Scott couldn't write or think to save their lives, but at least I kind of understood what they were saying. I assume this person is referring to "VCD" when she says "type" and "DVD player" when she says "dvd." Even she doesn't know what she's talking about; her subject was "dunno." Thanks for not buying my item when you bid on it. Apology not acceptable. Asshole.

Some people REALLY want to get their item, so they think paying me twice will make the post office ship it faster. I don't know if that's true or not, but I've had four people double-pay me in the past 45 days. This email is a classic:

Subj: Re: Congratulations! You won "Official HOUSTON OILERS mouse pad SEALED NEW!". 
Date: 12/3/02 6:11:35 AM !!!First Boot!!!
From: Itsaboutme9999

Just so you know, I am new to Ebay, and, I somehow paid for this item using paypal including the insurance, and, I also sent you a money order today via U.S.P.S. Priority mail for 11.45.  Just blame it on inexperience I guess.  Consider it a tip.  I wanted to advise you of this issue before the mail arrived.  Contact me at (800)489-7446; Ext. #279, or, reply via E-mail to phillip.hughes@cummings-sign.com with any questions.   

Hmmm... So, because you're new to ebay, you paid twice? I'm not following this logic. If I had never been to a professional baseball game, does this mean I would pay double at the ticket counter because the experience is new to me? Come on. I love how this guy "somehow" paid for his item, as if paying with Paypal is some daunting task only America's finest can accomplish.

Let's figure out exactly how much this guy spent on a Houston Oilers mouse pad. Bid price: $7.45. Priority Mail shipping: $4. He sent both together via Paypal. Then he spent another $7.45, plus another $4 shipping. Also, he paid this amount with a US Post Office money order, which cost him $.90. Then he shipped that money order via Priority Mail, which was another $4. Ladies and gentlemen, his total is: $27.80. For a fucking mouse pad that I originally paid a dime for. Some people have way too much money on their hands. You know, if this guy had asked for his Paypal money back, I would have sent it to him. Probably.

Here is another double-paying email:

Subj: Re: Item #926432432 - Notification of an Instant Purchase Payment Received 
Date: 12/6/02 5:38:16 PM !!!First Boot!!!
From: jcapstick@ns.sympatico.ca
To: ZAPZAPZAPx@aol.com
Sent from the Internet

Hi , I paid you twice by mistake, please credit my Paypal

Josep Capstick

Notice how this user not only paid me twice, he also MISSPELLED HIS OWN FREAKIN' NAME!! JosepH Capstick, you blockhead. This isn't some European spelling of Joe, either. It says Joseph on his ebay and Paypal accounts.

Finally, this email just hurts my head a lot:

Subj: Question for seller -- Item #1981105511 
Date: 12/11/02 6:03:09 AM !!!First Boot!!!
From: chilli021677@aol.com
To: tattvakula@aol.com
Sent from the Internet

did u notice that your bidding starts at an american penny? just asking.

Question from:           chaoticfury19
Title of item:           INVADER ZIM Complete! All 36 Episodes VCD/DVD
Seller:                  hartfordwhalers
Starts:                  Dec-10-02 18:19:09 PST
Ends:                    Dec-13-02 18:19:09 PST
Price:                   Starts at $0.01
To view the item, go to: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1981105511

    Visit eBay, The World's Online Marketplace TM at http://www.ebay.com

WOW! YOU'RE RIGHT! My bidding DOES start at an American penny! Thanks for the update, chilli021677! I originally wanted my auction to start at $219.05. Now, thanks to your email, I will make much more money! I can't believe what I fool I was. You are a true gentleman, chilli021677.

Of course my bidding starts at a penny, you cretin!
I start every single item I sell at the lowest price imaginable to get more bids. If you're bidding on an item that is readily available, are you going to bid on the one that's starting at $24.99 or $.01? That's right. I always thought this was common sense, but chilli021677 proves me wrong, as chilli021677 is apt to do.

Well, that does it for this installment of ebay's finest idiots. I have many more emails just waiting to be posted, so be on the lookout for volume two. Ta!


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