VOGONS


Retro Hardware Collecting rants

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Reply 240 of 928, by Miphee

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NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-06-20, 21:38:

3. Sellers that cancel your order with the reason "buyer requested to cancel order" when zero messages have been exchanged. They then go on to relist the same item for a much higher price 🤦‍♂️

Is this shit legal?
On our local auction site once the bidding is over the buyer and the seller are obliged by law to complete the transaction. You can actually go to court if the seller doesn't want to sell or the buyer refuses to buy. You can only cancel an auction if there are no bids on it. If the starting bid is 1 (insert lowest unit of local currency) and somebody wins the item for 1 then the seller has to sell it for 1.
This "buyer requested to cancel order" is the biggest BS I've ever heard because it gives the seller the opportunity to cancel a transaction if the selling price isn't high enough.

Reply 241 of 928, by NScaleTransitModels

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Miphee wrote on 2020-06-22, 07:17:

Is this shit legal?
On our local auction site once the bidding is over the buyer and the seller are obliged by law to complete the transaction. You can actually go to court if the seller doesn't want to sell or the buyer refuses to buy. You can only cancel an auction if there are no bids on it. If the starting bid is 1 (insert lowest unit of local currency) and somebody wins the item for 1 then the seller has to sell it for 1.
This "buyer requested to cancel order" is the biggest BS I've ever heard because it gives the seller the opportunity to cancel a transaction if the selling price isn't high enough.

It technically ain't, but Ebay and the courts over here will brush it off as a "minor inconvenience" to the buyer if the buyer was refunded, while the seller could easily claim he made a "listing mistake". Even if the buyer isn't refunded, the court fees (and time cost) would completely dwarf the sale price, and so few, if any, buyers would bother. The most buyers can really do is leave negative feedback and start an "investigation" with the FTC (our consumer protection agency).

These dishonest sellers seem to be getting out of hand as of late. Apparently Ebay won't do anything about them, not even giving them a defect, if they use the "buyer asked to cancel order" BS. To top it all off, sellers can even remove negative/ neutral feedback from buyers by cancelling with that excuse. And more sellers are catching on to these loopholes to cancel as they please with no repercussions whatsoever.
(see both pages) https://community.ebay.com/t5/Archive-Bidding … e/td-p/25406861

In the case that I mentioned, I left a neutral (should've left a neg 😈) but my feedback was gone the next day. Doesn't seem to be an isolated incident either:

wiretap wrote on 2020-06-09, 22:03:

It's very hard to tell what the reason or motive is, and seller feedback doesn't always tell the story. I'd say 75% of the time I leave negative feedback, it is gone and removed from their feedback score within a few hours or the next day. They call up the marketplace and call you a scammer, then it gets removed.

So in conclusion: total bull, but Ebay doesn't want to do anything about it, and it's probably not worth taking to court.

Reply 242 of 928, by devius

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x0zm_ wrote on 2020-06-21, 22:38:

I don't want to lie to people - I tell them I collect and archive it for future generations and hobbyists to be able to access something that might otherwise be lost to time. As soon as they hear collect, it's like a switch goes off and something that was listed for $5-$30 is now worth $200+ in their eyes.

(...)

Do I just have to make up bullshit to be able to buy items at their advertised price from some people? I hope not.

Not necessarily. I usually give no reasons or explain anything other than "I'm interested" until the transaction has been completed. Afterwards I may explain my interest in the item, or tell them I collect this stuff or that I was really happy to find it, but never before precisely to avoid these types of situations.

If people ask directly why I'm interested I will not lie, and so far haven't had a single situation of sellers increasing the price after being contacted.

Reply 243 of 928, by babtras

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Talking about shitty sellers, a few years ago I had purchased an item on eBay and the seller promptly marked it as "shipped" but without any tracking information. I waited a little over a week, allowing for typical shipping time plus a few days. Then I asked the seller for the tracking information so I could see where it was at. He responded that he hasn't shipped it and decided to keep the item. So I politely reminded him that the proper thing to do would have been to NOT falsely mark the item as shipped and immediately communicate that fact to me and provide a full refund. I requested the refund and he replied that he already moved the money from his paypal account and would not refund, suggesting I open a dispute with eBay to get my money back. (memory is a bit hazy on his exact excuse)

So I went ahead to start that, but eBay refused to open the dispute until the shipping window had expired, and the guy had set it to something like 8 weeks shipping. Had to wait another month and a half to open a dispute with eBay despite having clear communication using eBay messaging that the seller had not shipped and had no intention of shipping or refunding.

Finally got my money back 2 months later but still angers me to this day. Both the seller behaviour and the lack of concern from eBay.

Reply 244 of 928, by NScaleTransitModels

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babtras wrote on 2020-06-22, 15:49:

Talking about shitty sellers, a few years ago I had purchased an item on eBay and the seller promptly marked it as "shipped" but without any tracking information. I waited a little over a week, allowing for typical shipping time plus a few days. Then I asked the seller for the tracking information so I could see where it was at. He responded that he hasn't shipped it and decided to keep the item. So I politely reminded him that the proper thing to do would have been to NOT falsely mark the item as shipped and immediately communicate that fact to me and provide a full refund. I requested the refund and he replied that he already moved the money from his paypal account and would not refund, suggesting I open a dispute with eBay to get my money back. (memory is a bit hazy on his exact excuse)

So I went ahead to start that, but eBay refused to open the dispute until the shipping window had expired, and the guy had set it to something like 8 weeks shipping. Had to wait another month and a half to open a dispute with eBay despite having clear communication using eBay messaging that the seller had not shipped and had no intention of shipping or refunding.

Finally got my money back 2 months later but still angers me to this day. Both the seller behaviour and the lack of concern from eBay.

Grade A scumbag. Did you call Ebay, or file a fraudulent seller report from Paypal? You had damn well enough evidence to get the seller in trouble for taking both your item and money (and time). In my experience there's usually a human on the other end when calling Ebay.

8 weeks handling time makes no sense whatsoever without explanation. No idea why Ebay would even allow that setting. Sellers could easily use it to scam buyers, hoping they forget about their items and money 8 weeks later. Got me wondering what his feedback score was (sounds like he's set up to scam on the regular)... not that it matters when sellers can easily remove feedback these days.

Reply 246 of 928, by babtras

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NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-06-22, 22:45:

Grade A scumbag. Did you call Ebay, or file a fraudulent seller report from Paypal? You had damn well enough evidence to get the seller in trouble for taking both your item and money (and time). In my experience there's usually a human on the other end when calling Ebay.

8 weeks handling time makes no sense whatsoever without explanation. No idea why Ebay would even allow that setting. Sellers could easily use it to scam buyers, hoping they forget about their items and money 8 weeks later. Got me wondering what his feedback score was (sounds like he's set up to scam on the regular)... not that it matters when sellers can easily remove feedback these days.

To jog my memory I found the exchange in my e-mail. It was 4 years ago. My memory was faulty and it was not 8 weeks - just seemed like it. It was 4 weeks. I did indeed speak with someone at eBay who told me I had to wait until the shipping window was expired. I spoke with someone again when the time expired and opened a dispute. I also insisted that it be investigated as fraud. I never followed up after the refund, but I looked up the seller on eBay just now and it shows the last activity was 4 years ago, 2 days after I got my refund from eBay, and it shows "No longer a registered user". So it looks like they did shut down his account.

Reply 247 of 928, by cyclone3d

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imi wrote on 2020-06-22, 23:05:

in what universe can you call ebay? x3

thing is, ebay really doesn't care about fraud as long as they make money off it.

eBay does have customer support numbers you can call... just have to get down far enough in their support page or know where to go to get the number you need.

Same for Paypal.

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Reply 248 of 928, by darry

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-06-23, 00:08:
imi wrote on 2020-06-22, 23:05:

in what universe can you call ebay? x3

thing is, ebay really doesn't care about fraud as long as they make money off it.

eBay does have customer support numbers you can call... just have to get down far enough in their support page or know where to go to get the number you need.

Same for Paypal.

Amazon does as well . I have dealt with them twice and was very satisfied . I have also dealt once with either Ebay or Paypal on the phone (I forget which, it was while back) and that went well too .

Reply 249 of 928, by Ozzuneoj

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Here's a good one. This in regard to a sale on a different (non ebay) marketplace.

I had some fairly unusual early-90s PC speakers that worked but weren't in great condition. I did not receive them with a power adapter but I used one from another device to test them. On this selling platform things either sell quickly or they sit there forever. It's much simpler and less problematic than ebay, so I'm slightly more inclined to sell odd old junk on there that is normally not worth the hassle of selling online.

I had clearly written in my listing the condition of the item. Here is the meat of my description:

... they have been tested and are working, but will require a 12v or 14v power supply (I don’t have a spare on hand but if you are genuinely interested I may be able to get one for you). They are in fair condition with several blemishes, a dent in the front grill of one speaker and the balance knob is missing it’s cover (but it can still be turned if needed). These are fairly uncommon items and have a great retro vibe and a surprisingly good sound for their age. Due to their condition I am selling them cheaply in hopes that they’ll find a good home where someone can get some use out of them or even restore them a bit.

Several months later someone sends me an offer for them out of the blue... it's under $10 (plus shipping). As a general rule, I basically never bother selling anything under $10 unless it's incredibly simple and guaranteed to be problem free... otherwise it's hardly worth the time and risk of possible bad feedback or other irritations. I do this as a side thing that is fairly low-stress afterall... so, I didn't accept the offer right away, but it really was only like $4 lower than my listed price (I had reduced it several times). I instead sent the person the following message:

Me: thanks for the offer, I just wanted to be sure you've checked the item description and understand the condition of the speakers and what is included.
Them: I do
Me: Okay, just wanted to check first. Thank you!

... So, I just decide to go for it and accept the offer. At this point they're already boxed up. I just need to print a label and put it out for pickup.

The item is delivered, the person "rates" me and I get my money. I didn't think anything of it because there was no complaint. On this platform, the transaction is now complete... no refunds, end of story.

A few months later I'm going back through my feedback score and I see that of my 72 positive ratings, I have 71 5 star and one 4 star. I was baffled that any of the reasonable people I'd dealt with would knock a star off without saying anything. Many are repeat customers and I've chatted with them extensively.

Lo and behold, I see the review the person left for the cheap, beat up, vintage computer speakers...

"Great. One speaker has a small dent in it, no big deal. But there was no power cord provided to make sure they work. So I will have to get one somewhere."

..............

Thank you. Thank you so much person. For, apparently, not bothering to look at the photos (dent? yes... power cord? no) or read the description, even after I asked if they had read it. And then giving me the only non-perfect rating I've ever had on a sale transaction on any platform in over 15 years of selling, without saying a word to me.

I know, its 4 stars, but... come on. I've dealt with some absurd situations over the years and managed to have positive (or at least NO) feedback from each buyer in the end. What a stupid way to break a 15+ year feedback streak. 🤣

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 250 of 928, by darry

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2020-06-23, 02:58:
Here's a good one. This in regard to a sale on a different (non ebay) marketplace. […]
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Here's a good one. This in regard to a sale on a different (non ebay) marketplace.

I had some fairly unusual early-90s PC speakers that worked but weren't in great condition. I did not receive them with a power adapter but I used one from another device to test them. On this selling platform things either sell quickly or they sit there forever. It's much simpler and less problematic than ebay, so I'm slightly more inclined to sell odd old junk on there that is normally not worth the hassle of selling online.

I had clearly written in my listing the condition of the item. Here is the meat of my description:

... they have been tested and are working, but will require a 12v or 14v power supply (I don’t have a spare on hand but if you are genuinely interested I may be able to get one for you). They are in fair condition with several blemishes, a dent in the front grill of one speaker and the balance knob is missing it’s cover (but it can still be turned if needed). These are fairly uncommon items and have a great retro vibe and a surprisingly good sound for their age. Due to their condition I am selling them cheaply in hopes that they’ll find a good home where someone can get some use out of them or even restore them a bit.

Several months later someone sends me an offer for them out of the blue... it's under $10 (plus shipping). As a general rule, I basically never bother selling anything under $10 unless it's incredibly simple and guaranteed to be problem free... otherwise it's hardly worth the time and risk of possible bad feedback or other irritations. I do this as a side thing that is fairly low-stress afterall... so, I didn't accept the offer right away, but it really was only like $4 lower than my listed price (I had reduced it several times). I instead sent the person the following message:

Me: thanks for the offer, I just wanted to be sure you've checked the item description and understand the condition of the speakers and what is included.
Them: I do
Me: Okay, just wanted to check first. Thank you!

... So, I just decide to go for it and accept the offer. At this point they're already boxed up. I just need to print a label and put it out for pickup.

The item is delivered, the person "rates" me and I get my money. I didn't think anything of it because there was no complaint. On this platform, the transaction is now complete... no refunds, end of story.

A few months later I'm going back through my feedback score and I see that of my 72 positive ratings, I have 71 5 star and one 4 star. I was baffled that any of the reasonable people I'd dealt with would knock a star off without saying anything. Many are repeat customers and I've chatted with them extensively.

Lo and behold, I see the review the person left for the cheap, beat up, vintage computer speakers...

"Great. One speaker has a small dent in it, no big deal. But there was no power cord provided to make sure they work. So I will have to get one somewhere."

..............

Thank you. Thank you so much person. For, apparently, not bothering to look at the photos (dent? yes... power cord? no) or read the description, even after I asked if they had read it. And then giving me the only non-perfect rating I've ever had on a sale transaction on any platform in over 15 years of selling, without saying a word to me.

I know, its 4 stars, but... come on. I've dealt with some absurd situations over the years and managed to have positive (or at least NO) feedback from each buyer in the end. What a stupid way to break a 15+ year feedback streak. 🤣

Ah yes, this reminds me of the product reviews on sites like amazon where, between the pertinent or at least plausible "reviews" are nearly always a few gems left by "people" (term used loosely) complaining about things that a product cannot possibly do by its design or purpose, things that are simply impossible to do yet were somehow expected, things that could have been checked by a quick Google search, things that are unrelated to the product or, my favourite, complaining and rating at 1 star because they admit they bought the wrong product (i.e. wanted an a to b converter but bought a b to a converter or wanted a feature that was not in the description) while the product description clearly and unequivocally states how the product is meant to work .

Admittedly, in some cases, product descriptions may have changed since the reviews were made, but at least some of these reviews are assuredly left by entitled morons, likely frustrated by their own stupidity, but unable to realize this and to learn from their errors .

EDIT: Some of these "people" are probably buyers and sellers on places like Ebay .

Reply 251 of 928, by shamino

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NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-06-22, 01:27:

Yeah I've been to several local Goodwills and Salvation Army's over the years and haven't seen any computer equipment, new or old. A friend of mine used to have an impressive collection of picked monitors and TV's, but his mom made him donate it to Goodwill, who apparently scrapped everything. Might be some law I'm not aware of in California that prevents thrift shops from selling certain electronics 😕

Now on the other hand, used computer shops (at least in the SF Bay Area) can be goldmines. I've come across CRTs, P3s/P4s, an Amdek 386, even a XT clone... 😳

I'm up in the Sacramento region but around here I noticed the Goodwills stopped selling computers several years ago.
The closest thing we had to a used computer shop was pretty decent ~15 years ago. I went in there and found the place stacked with cases and computers for sale. I bought one ATX case (my first - I was late to the ATX party) and later bought a P2B motherboard there. At some point they had a box full of mostly Socket-7 CPUs for $1 each. I bought 5. I should have bought the whole box.

More recently, the place is basically just a repair/reinstall shop. It's obvious they have little interest or expectation to sell parts to anyone. Last time I went in there they didn't even want to sell me a wiring harness from a PSU until I convinced them I wasn't going to blow something up and hold them responsible for my actions. I guess some jackass must have done that to them. After that discussion was resolved, they couldn't find one anyway. They're definitely not what they used to be - but neither is the PC market, sadly.

I have a few CRTs that I thought about getting rid of before moving, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to replace them easily afterward. Up until recently it was easy to get those from Goodwill. I guess Craigslist is still an option but I'm loathe to get involved with that. The nice thing about Goodwill is that you can just browse whenever you feel like showing up and not have to interact with anybody unless you see something you like. Craigslist seems like it would be overly time consuming and tedious, especially since I don't just want any old junker of a TV. The ones I have now are very good.

Horun wrote on 2020-06-22, 01:45:

Oregon and Washington, like Cali, has a recycle rule where ANY CRT donated to a non-profit must be recycled and not sold....so only place to find CRT monitors local is thru Craigslist.

First time I've heard that. Our Goodwill still frequently had CRT televisions until maybe a couple years ago, but I don't think I've seen any since about that time. I just figured they got tired of them sitting unsold. I demand a CRT for playing old game consoles but I never saw anybody else take interest in them. I knew the writing was on the wall when decorative lamps started taking over the space.

I'm going to guess that whatever politicians came up with that law are clinging to the myth that CRTs use tons of electricity, and we dumb commoners no longer have the intelligence or the right to figure that out for ourselves. A Kill-A-Watt can be very educating. What it taught me was to unplug our *LCD* television when not in use, because it's a pig. The 36" CRT it replaced was fine though. It used less power when on than the LCD does when turned off.

There's some funny people out there who think the only reason anybody wants an old computer is to commit identity theft, and think the only way to prevent it is physical destruction. There's also people who don't think anybody should be given the opportunity to run an old version of Windows because Microsoft says it's dangerous.
So I guess my "collecting rant" is the busy nannies who try to get in the way.

===============
I don't have a big complaint with eBay as a buyer, but as a seller it can be frustrating.
I have some computer parts to get rid of but I'm hesitant to get involved with selling that category of items. There's too many ways the transaction can go bad with items like that, even with the best effort expended.

Reply 252 of 928, by dr_st

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NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-06-22, 08:27:

It technically ain't, but Ebay and the courts over here will brush it off as a "minor inconvenience" to the buyer if the buyer was refunded, while the seller could easily claim he made a "listing mistake". Even if the buyer isn't refunded, the court fees (and time cost) would completely dwarf the sale price, and so few, if any, buyers would bother. The most buyers can really do is leave negative feedback and start an "investigation" with the FTC (our consumer protection agency).

You seem to live in a parallel universe... One where a buyer can buy an item, the seller will take the money, cancel the order for a bogus reason, not refund, and the buyer will... do nothing, because it's not worth his time?

You have so many options as a buyer against fraudulent sellers. eBay will refund you 99% of the time if you just send one message explaining the situation. The 1% that eBay won't, PayPal probably will, and if not, you can file a chargeback with your credit card. Once the seller is unable to provide proof that the item has been delivered to you - it's a certain win, and money back in full, without ever having to go through the court system. And if the seller cancelled the transaction, how is he going to provide said proof? The situation you described makes absolutely no sense.

NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-06-22, 08:27:

These dishonest sellers seem to be getting out of hand as of late. Apparently Ebay won't do anything about them, not even giving them a defect, if they use the "buyer asked to cancel order" BS. To top it all off, sellers can even remove negative/ neutral feedback from buyers by cancelling with that excuse. And more sellers are catching on to these loopholes to cancel as they please with no repercussions whatsoever.
(see both pages) https://community.ebay.com/t5/Archive-Bidding … e/td-p/25406861

I don't see anything in that thread that suggests it is "without repercussions", while I see a few messages suggesting that there are repercussions. Of course, this assumes the buyers actually report these things to eBay instead of just leaving angry feedback and fuming at the forums.

NScaleTransitModels wrote on 2020-06-22, 08:27:

In the case that I mentioned, I left a neutral (should've left a neg 😈) but my feedback was gone the next day. Doesn't seem to be an isolated incident either:

Maybe that was your mistake? Did you complain to eBay and reported the seller as fraudulent? That should be done instead of leaving feedback.

I have bough a fair share of things on eBay (not as many as some do, but probably more than a hundred over the years). I have had a few bad experiences, one downright fraud (for which eBay refunded me proactively before I could even be sure it was fraud), and a couple of sellers that cancelled my order (probably because they didn't get high enough bids). However, all the cancelations - I got refunded immediately by the seller, and the reason was "out of stock or the item is broken". I am 95% sure it was bogus, but couldn't prove it (since the sellers were not idiots who relisted immediately), so I did not report it. If I had any proof that it was fraudulent, I would have reported it. And I bet eBay would do something about it. Why I think so? Because every time when I had a problem (as a buyer) and asked eBay to intervene - they replied and they were helpful. There wasn't a single transaction where I ended up feeling cheated in the end.

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Reply 253 of 928, by pixel_workbench

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About raising prices, a few times I had a relatively uncommon item item for sale at a fair price, and there were like 10 watchers but no buyers for months. So I raised the price, and it eventually sold anyways. Why raise the price? Because the hardware is not getting more common by the day, and I'm not going to lower the price just because someone wants to get it as cheaply as possible.

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Reply 254 of 928, by TheMobRules

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pixel_workbench wrote on 2020-06-23, 16:55:

About raising prices, a few times I had a relatively uncommon item item for sale at a fair price, and there were like 10 watchers but no buyers for months. So I raised the price, and it eventually sold anyways. Why raise the price? Because the hardware is not getting more common by the day, and I'm not going to lower the price just because someone wants to get it as cheaply as possible.

I think the concept of "fair price" is very nebulous when it comes to outdated hardware, since there usually isn't a market large enough to get an average price which could be used as a baseline for considering what is "fair" and what isn't.

Maybe for those watchers that didn't buy the item the price was higher than what they considered "fair"? Someone with enough interest ended up buying the item, and that's great, in the same way that there are other listings that remain for YEARS with the same price without any buyers. If you don't mind waiting for months (or years) for it to sell, why not? But someone may want to lower the price in order to get rid of it as soon as as possible, it's no less of a valid case.

And as a buyer, I will ALWAYS try to get things as cheaply as possible within certain parameters (quality, risk, etc.), it would be stupid not to do that! I expect to get as much value for my money as I can, and it obviously doesn't apply only to retro hardware.

Reply 255 of 928, by babtras

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I 'watch' items I have no intent on buying, so I remember to go back and see what it sold for. Sometimes because I have something similar and I'm looking for actual selling prices and not eBay asking prices. Sometimes just plain curiosity.

Reply 256 of 928, by cyclone3d

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babtras wrote on 2020-06-23, 18:23:

I 'watch' items I have no intent on buying, so I remember to go back and see what it sold for. Sometimes because I have something similar and I'm looking for actual selling prices and not eBay asking prices. Sometimes just plain curiosity.

I do the same, especially when the item is horrendously overpriced.

Then the really funny thing is that the seller often sends an offer that is around 20% lower than their listed price but is still a really high price for said item.

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Reply 257 of 928, by imi

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-06-23, 18:35:

Then the really funny thing is that the seller often sends an offer that is around 20% lower than their listed price but is still a really high price for said item.

yeah ^^ ... I often also just watch stuff because it's parts I'm interested in and ebay is sometimes a nice source to find pictures or other info on items not ever intending to buy it.

Reply 258 of 928, by EvieSigma

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I dunno if this really applies to this thread but I can't stand when you throw a build together after gathering all the parts you want and it just...doesn't work, like when I put my Athlon XP build together and then the board blew a mosfet on the first power up.

Reply 259 of 928, by Fujoshi-hime

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x0zm_ wrote on 2020-06-21, 22:38:

I don't want to lie to people - I tell them I collect and archive it for future generations and hobbyists to be able to access something that might otherwise be lost to time. As soon as they hear collect, it's like a switch goes off and something that was listed for $5-$30 is now worth $200+ in their eyes.

Never let a seller know how interested you REALLY are in something. You should just be 'willing to take it off their hands'. You can avoid giving out too much information without lying.