I tried to buy:
(1) A professional sound card M-Audio Delta 1010 LT PCI - value $200
(2) A 500 GB internal SATA II hard drive for my computer - value $250
(3) A 500 GB external hard drive for Jose's computer - value -$250
(4) A 500 GB internal ATA II hard drive for my Jose's computer -value $250
(5) An SM58 microphone - value $80
Let me explain the debacles one by one:
- Professional sound card M-Audio Delta 1010 LT PCI
The seller had listed a soundcard in mint condition. At Ebay, usually I put my max bid and forget the auction. I did the same. I won the auction by placing a max bid of $116.00. Since it required immediate Paypal payment, I paid immediately only to get a mail 1 hr later that the listing has been removed by ebay since it violated the conditions of ebay. Panic stricken, I contacted the seller only to know that she had goofed up in the auction. She explained that she was new to ebay and she wanted to put a reserve price of $125 on that card but she did not however know how to do it ! So she altered the description of the item and included "I will not accept anything less than $125 for this item" 1 hour before the auction the auction would end. I did not notice this line before I paid and Ebay removed the listing since it violated the conditions. However this was an honest newbie seller and I offered her a chance to rectify herself and she reimbursed me fully. ( I had to walk her through Paypal refunding too ! )
- 500 GB internal SATA II hard drive for my computer
After investigating into my Dell dimension 310, I found that I needed a extra hard drive bracket and an internal SATA 2 hard drive to expand my data storage. I ordered the SATA drive and what I got was an Ultra ATA dirve !!! Disappointed, I contacted the seller, once again a lady, who had not given appropriate description of the item. She apologized and offered me to keep the ATA drive for $25.oo less than the auction price. I would have done that had I not ordered another ATA drive for Jose - the guitarist friend of mine who lives in Atlanta. She asked me if any of my friends would be interested in it. I sent a mail to Indian Students Organization and found no takers. Sent the hard drive back and got the refund.
- A 500 GB external hard drive for Jose's computer
Jose - my friend in Atlanta's profession is music. He was one of the most-wanted guitarists in film industry back in India. Here he composes albums, conducts classes and perfroms live with stalwarts like Yesudas and Chitra. Since his work needed humongous amount of storage and also a similar sized back up, I ordered two drives - an internal ultra ATA 500 GB and an external Firewire 500 GB. The firewire hard drive came and was devoid of firewire ! I got so irrirated I wrote to the seller asking him to explain. He apologized for the wrong description of the item and offered me to sell it for $25 less than the auction price. By that time I was convinced that USB HDD would suffice Jose's requirements but I had just got too peeved with so many sellers sending me wrong stuff. Also my friend Karthik suggested that this was a standard trick on Ebay - wrong description - unwanted product - an offer for less and see if the buyer accepts it - this way they can sell some non-moving products. Though I did not quite think of a conspiracy theory like this, I was irritated. So I wrote to him :
Discussed with my friend. We find that your $25 refund may be insufficient to persuade us to keep the hard drive. You have two options:
(1) You could reimburse $50 and I keep the HDD
(2) You could reimburse $226.76+ $28(shipping) + a $22 fee for shipping the HDD back to you which comes to $276 approx.
The $22 fee is because of the time we have lost in waiting for the HDD and working on its disposal and I am tired of sellers sending me wrong products. I think a fair deal would be for you to send me an amount of $50 as reimbursement which really would be the reduced price sans the shipping.
I am afraid I do not see any other choice as acceptable. I assure you that I will leave a positive comment whatever be the option you choose.
That is, I gave him a choice of losing $50 and getting the HDD back or losing $50 and letting me keep it. He chose the latter and I got a good drive for a good deal. I felt I kind of arm-twisted him. Did not want to do it..but hmm..
- A 500 GB internal ATA II hard drive for Jose's computer
This got to be the most dramatic. I ordered it three weeks back thinking it would reach me before Jose visited me. guess what happened ? The seller's sister died and he had no choice but to leave for the funeral as he was. He wrote a mail saying that he can either re-imburse or ship it delayed. Not wanting to add to his grief, I accepted the delayed shipping. It has been shipped this Monday. Longest delay possible !!!
- An SM58 microphone
I bought this microphone for an awseome deal of $80 (free shipping) thinking that my AKG mic is dead. When the SM58 arrived, it appeared dead too. Sensing that there could be a problem in the cable only then, I went to Radioshack and bought a new mic cable and my heavens - both the mics worked !!! I was wondering why the hell I invested on SM58 and tried convincing myself that it will be useful for my live performances. And then came Swati Kanitkar. She was looking for a mic and she called me and said - "Send it to me - I will pay you". Thus was gone this merchandise !
PS: I did finally "succeed" in buying a SATA 2 500 GB drive for myself. Some storage at last !!!