Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Are there any real people who work at eBay?

I don't think so. If there are, they are a bit dim. And how do you get to talk to a real person at eBay?

Okay, so I've already written about buying a bootleg Star Trek Voyager dvd from a seller I don't believe knew that it was bootleg. And I was going to give the seller neutral feedback, but after talking to a few people it was decided that positive feedback was okay, as long as I still said that item was not as described and probably bootleg.

Here's what I wrote:
probably BOOTLEG, probably NOT seller's fault, offered refund, early shipping

It's hard to write what I'm trying to say in the limited less than one hundred characters we are given to write feedback, but I think that I got it all in this time, and still managed to say something nice about seller and that it really was supposed to be positive feedback.

This is a message that I got from eBay yesterday, after I had already told the seller that I would keep the item, and after I'd already left positive feedback.

MC015 Security notice: eBay listing removed
From: eBay
Sent: Jul-04-11 01:56 PM

eBay sent this message to (buyer).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay. Learn more.
MC015 Security notice: eBay listing removed

Hello buyer,

We're writing to let you know that this listing for an item you won or bid on is no longer available:


We understand this may be disappointing, but occasionally we need to remove listings. In some cases, the item itself is fine, but was listed in a way that didn't follow eBay's guidelines.

Here's what you can do next:

-- If you already paid, received your item, and you're satisfied, please disregard this notice.
-- If you won the item but haven't paid, don't pay. Since eBay removed the listing, you're no longer obligated to go through with the transaction.
-- If you already paid for this item through eBay, and it's past the estimated delivery time, you can open a case in our Resolution Center. Click the link below, and select the "I haven't received it yet" option. This will guide you through the process of opening a case.

If the seller offers you the item outside of eBay, we strongly discourage you from accepting the offer. These types of transactions are extremely risky and aren't covered by eBay buyer protection programs.

If you didn't pay through eBay or PayPal, and:
-- You paid by Western Union or MoneyGram, contact the company directly (Western Union 800-325-6000 or MoneyGram 800- 926-9400).
-- You paid by check, contact your bank to stop payment.



To learn more about eBay Buyer Protection, please visit:

I can only guess that I set some automated thing in motion when I checked a box that said counterfeit item, or whatever it was. But shouldn't there be some real person somewhere reading the feedback before sending out this stuff?

Wonder if I should write seller an apology?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Great Minds Think Alike

On Buddy's first birthday, I was invited to a party. They made a big deal of it. He was surrounded by just about everyone he knew as the traditional picture of trying to eat cake was taken. He was presented with every age appropriate toy on the market.

The following Christmas, there seemed no point in getting him anything, as he received just about everything I could think of already for his birthday. Still, his grandparents managed to find a few toys that he didn't already have. I don't remember getting him anything.

For his second birthday, I don't remember them doing much of anything, and I don't remember getting him anything. As it turns out, his birthday was celebrated in combination with some other event, to which I was not invited. So that explains why I don't remember it.

The following Christmas, I didn't think that he needed anymore toys, even if I could have found something not already given to him by one of his grandparents. I knit hats for both him and his little sister. I was surprised that he seemed happy with it and wore it the rest of the day in the house.

For his third birthday, I did not expect to be invited to a party, but I thought that I would get him something anyway, if I found something I thought that he'd like. While shopping on eBay, I found just the thing. Benji. I used to like that movie when I was younger. And I found a dvd with three other stories that I don't remember seeing. It sounded like a good deal, and I ordered it.

The week before Buddy's birthday, while I was waiting for the dvd to come in the mail, I get invited to a party put together at the last minute. It isn't going to be the big deal that the first one was, and I would have to miss out on something else that I'd already planned. But, I decided not to miss Buddy's birthday. He doesn't speak a lot of complete sentences, but he does know everyone's name, and he knows who is missing and asks about them. It is usually men who are missing, and we usually tell him "he's at work." I have no such excuse.

The day before the party, the dvd had not yet appeared, and might still not come in the mail for another week. That didn't matter before, when he either wasn't having a party, or wasn't celebrating with a bunch of adults. I'd just give him the gift later.

But now that there was a party, I'd rather be there with something for him to unwrap. And it was too late for me to go in with someone else and buy something nice. Not that I'd know what that should be anyway. He sort of has five grandparents, and they buy him a lot of stuff.

While at a nearby store buying groceries, I found a slip and slide. Okay, not really a slip and slide, some rival company, but you get the idea. Also there were small blow-up pools made to look like turtles and such. I called his mother, and she said that she did not really want a pool that looked like a turtle. They already had something similar, and they didn't use it much because it was such a hassle to empty the pool later, and you can't leave even a small pool with water unattended. But the slip and slide sounded like a good idea.

So I gave him a slip and slide. Just after that was all wrapped up and ready to go, the Benji dvd arrived in the mail. Oh, well. Benji can be a Christmas present.

Yesterday, we all went to dinner. I asked if Buddy'd had a chance to try out the slip and slide.

Out comes his dad's phone, with pictures. "He ended up with two of them, but we decided to keep them both. Everything breaks eventually, and he'll already have a spare."


"It's broke," Buddy said.

"Yes," his dad said. "He gets stuff handed down from cousins who don't need it anymore. Both the other kids used stuff for years, but he gets it and it's broke a week or two later."


His mother then tells me that the thought of the Benji dvd was appreciated, but it turns out that they already have that one. His Aunt K already got it for him.

I think Aunt K must have also got him the other slip and slide. She wasn't at the party, and they were planning to see her somewhere else the next day.

I hope that Aunt K doesn't knit.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Moral dilemmas on eBay

Okay, if you've been reading, you know that I've spent too much money on eBay in the past two or three months, and you know I've had some problems with plants being shipping too late in the season, or just being shipped bad plants, or whatever.

Okay, I'm having another problem and would like to hear opinions from others. I bid on Star Trek Voyager seasons 1 and 7. Not seasons 1 thru 7, but just the first one and the last one. I thought that was an odd combination to have in an auction, but I bid on it anyway. I stopped bidding at seventeen dollars, and someone else won.

I guess the someone else didn't really want it, and I got a second chance offer. So I bought two seasons of Voyager for seventeen dollars plus three dollars shipping. And it arrived two or three days later, sooner than I expected.

The package was smaller than I expected. I've seen Voyager seasons before, and they are in plastic things that take up space. These were in cardboard boxes that had the same artwork.

So that was odd. Either I got really nice looking bootlegs, or there's some sort of new "green" packaging that I wasn't aware of.

I asked the seller about it. Seller didn't know.

I did stuff like Google--Star Trek Voyager cardboard box. I found a lot of unhappy people talking about bootleg copies of Voyager. Not bootleg copies in general, bootleg copies of Voyager in particular, mostly on Amazon. Like, most, if not all, Voyager for sale on Amazon turn out to be fake.

I thought at first I had somehow lucked out and either got a really good fake, or maybe the real disks in a fake box? The first disk was just fine.

Only the second disk, not so much.

Third, fourth, and fifth disks also have problems.

But, I have this used divx player, and I can still watch most of them.

So now I have to decide what to do about feedback on eBay.

Now, I don't really think that this particular seller is a crook. I don't think that seller has boxes and boxes of fake dvds to sell. I haven't seen anything else like this in the past month or so, and I didn't find anything like that listed now. Also, seller would refund my money (shipping was not discussed).

I don't really think that I'll take the refund. Someone, probably me or the seller, is going to get stuck with this copy. I don't think that either of us deserves to be out money, much less any more money for return postage. I at least have the divx player so that I can watch most of the disks.

Still, I think that I should report the bootleg dvds, at least in feedback. I think, just in case I'm wrong and seller has more bootleg Voyager to sell later, I should warn buyers. I don't want to leave negative feedback for someone who a.) probably didn't do this on purpose, and b.) would offer a refund. But I'm also thinking that no one reads the positive feedback, except the seller. Buyers just look at the number of positive feedback and then go read the negative and maybe the neutral.

I'm thinking of leaving neutral feedback, saying it is bootleg, but then giving seller high marks and a nice comment about the shipping.

What do you think I should do?