Archive for May, 2005

Adventures on EvilBay

Monday, May 16th, 2005

So I had my Gibson SG supreme on ebay for a 3-day auction. I was selling it b/c I didn’t use it and b/c I wanted to buy something I would use with the money (A Melancon strat). The auction was going nicely. I had a $1350. BIN set, with a $1200. reserve and the bids were getting up towards $900. with about 6-7 hours left. Then I get this email from some clown in Philly saying:
“Philadelphia here if you can call me before the auctions end I may be able to offer you cash for the guitar”
I write him back saying words to the effect that I’d prefer to let the auction run its course. By this time I looked him up on ebay’s “find member” search function (something I highly recommend). His feedback was high (333) with a good percentage of positive. However, in reading through his feedback (another thing I can’t recommend highly enough) I started to see he had quite a good number of disconcerting arguments with people, and not of the “slow shipping” variety, but stuff like “Only placed the bid to stop the auction.Thenchanged his mind and refused his bid”, and “rude buyer, not happy with purchase, offered refund, kept it and left neg fd bk”, or “Overcharged shipping; horrible packing caused damage to item; very inconsiderate“, but this one I liked the best: “Speaks in a monotone, lazy person dose not answer phone ,overcharged shipping”.

So anyway, I’m starting to get the feeling that not only do I not even want to meet this person, but I don’t even want to allow him to bid on my guitar. The thought crosses my mind to block his UID from bidding on my auction. At just about that time I see I’ve received 2 emails. The gmail preview quotes one of the messages from this jerkoff as saying:
“can you please call me I hit the wrong button…???”
The other email was ebay telling me my auction had ended with this prick using BIN.

So this fucker ended my auction with BIN, claiming he hit the wrong button. (?!) I have 39 feedback on ebay and there’s no way in hell I’d ever use BIN by mistake. There’s at least one additional confirmation you must go through before actually commiting to BIN. This guy’s got about 1000% more experience on ebay than I do and he’s making errors like this? No way!

Anyway, at this stage I’m just pissed off b/c this dickhead ended the auction that was going so nicely. I’m also pissed b/c I don’t like talking to people I know on the phone, and I really hate the idea of having to use the phone to call some troll who’s playing games on ebay.

I call the guy and he seems reasonable and apologetic, but he’s also asking what my reserve was and saying shit like “I was really trying to leave a bid for $1200.” etc. Obviously he was trying to haggle me down to my reserve price. And in addition to that, I figured this fucker would try to pull some shit if I ever did meet him in person. So I tell him “I’m not interested in playing any games here, you commited to the BIN price of $1350. and you ended my auction…”. He cuts me off, cursing about how I better not say “another piece of shit” to him like that, then he says “You know what, I’m not going to pay. Fuck you.” and hangs up on me.

After demolishing a Microsoft optical mouse by slamming it with my fist against my work table, I start to collect myself and think about recourse. I calmly file a non-payment claim saying we mutually agreed not to go through with the transaction. Then I re-list the item with no BIN. But before doing so, I make sure to ban “MrGoldenRule” (The Golden Rule only applies to you, not him) from bidding in any of my auctions. I attempt to contact all the previous bidder, but ebay starts dicking me around with the “next highest offer” interface, which I don’t want to do b/c bidding had only gotten up to just under $900 – so in my mind I had no leverage to ask for more. I decide to let the bidders figure it out and I leave with my fiancee’ to go watch The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (while trying to keep my mind off this horse shit). It was hard though b/c before I left I see that ebay’s assessed a FVF of $35. in addition to the $17. and some other miscellaneous nickel and dime charges, so I’m looking at possibly losing around $60. b/c some selfish fucking troglodyte wanted to haggle for my guitar.


When I got home I saw that the troll had replied to my unpaid item charge and didn’t try pulling any other fast ones (I was sure he would – and was surprised he didn’t). I got my $55. back, and only got stiffed the $4.80 insertion fee. It sucks, but losing $5. doesn’t hurt as much as $60. It was quite a relief. As much as I still wanted to mess with this guy, I was glad it seemed to be behind me. I can leave him feedback I guess, but my feedback’s sure to take a hit, so I’m not sure if I will — at least not until 5 minutes before the 90 days are up — if ebay actually allows that. I get the feeling they dick you over and let the guy leave feedback after then too.

Within 6 hours I had agreed to sell the guitar to another bidder from the first auction, had Paypal $ in hand, and the guitar’s shipping within 24 hours of the whole sordid incident. Cost of this week’s “don’t use BIN and a reserve anymore b/c some fucker can ruin your auction” lesson? $4.80

Zogg is Coming!

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

I got this forwarded to me the other day. It’s quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve read all year. I was really laughing out loud at work when I read this. Anyway, enough hype, learn about Zogg

5-String Fender Jazz Bass!

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

I impulsively bought a bass on ebay last night. I can’t wait for it to arrive. I’ll need to get a cheap bass amp right away too, but for the time being I’m pretty psyched to check out playing some bass. I’ll post pics in the gallery once it arrives and I’ve had a chance to give it the once over. w00h00!

WordPress Troubleshooting 101

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Spent a couple days chasing my tail after a WP upgrade (1.5.0 to 1.5.1). First off, it wasn’t WordPress’s fault, it was my own. I stupidly deleted everything and started over, which actually worked the first time. But then I saw that WP’s site had different instructions (I typically read the instructions after flying blind). So I tried their instructions, overwrote my wp-config.php file and used one from backup, but apparently that one had the wrong DB username.

The symptons were: blank pages throughout…even calls to specific files like upgrade.php/install.php would produce blank pages. I tried reverting to 1.5.0 again (took forever to find a working copy buried in a thread on wp’s support forum), then I started getting database connection errors, which led me to the solution: use the right db username in your wp-config.php. (Though oddly I did try using MySQL’s root uid/pwd briefly and that failed too, but maybe I didnt’ do a hard refresh….I dunno). Anyway, it appears to be working now. I’m glad it wasn’t permanent. (Which reminds me that I have to back up my database.)