Oh lord I have so many gripes when it comes to retro stuff being sold at ridiculous prices:
- they use pictures from another auction and you end up with a much worse looking item (especially for yellowed parts this sucks)
- same as above but you end up with a different variant of the hardware (for example, a Sound Blaster with missing OPL3 chips - happened to me twice, seller admitted to not having the OPL3 version)
- as said in the post above, smokers ... even if you get it clean, the smell ... dear lord. It's worse if the item you bought has a fan because you'll get that tobacco smell for months even after you've cleaned it
- "tested working" when it's clearly a lie.
I bought a "tested working) Geforce 4 Ti 4600 - these are NOT cheap (easily €150+) and it immediately showed artifacts. Replacing the fan didn't fix it so clearly the previous owner had let it overheat. Even during boot up the BIOS text had letters corrupted so this was a pretty big failure - when I contacted the seller, they were getting bitchy, saying my system was incompatible (yeah right) and after a lot of trouble they only wanted to refund the card itself, but I had to mail it back which meant I'd be out €50. I had to threaten with Paypal before he just refunded it completely and I didn't have to mail it back.
- How about photoshopped pictures? I bought a keyboard that looked spotless on the image minus a tiny bit of damage. I received it and it was really yellowed. The damage was there so it was not a swapped picture but the seller clearly screwed with the white balance to get it to look new. Worst thing is, you can't even get your money back because it's just cosmetic and not really damage ...
- Hardware that needs specific cables or other accessories to work but the seller puts in some random crap and calls it complete. I had this problem with a hand scanner: it needs a PCI board and the seller had put in some crappy ethernet PCI card instead. Without the card, the scanner is useless! Or how a bout a special power supply needed and they add just any random power supply they have lying around hoping you wouldn't notice it doesn't fit. I had this happen with the MT-32 which uses a very special adapter.
- Mislabelling goods to rarer more expensive versions. Happens a lot for Sound Blaster cards, graphics cards, keyboards, etc. You'll see people selling IBM membrane keyboards as mechanical keyboards for example.
Basically, if you're not careful you get scammed sideways and with the prices they ask for this hardware, it's an expensive mistake if you do get scammed ...
Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870