I recently decided that I needed a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. Never really liked typing on screen as I have more or less grown up with ‘proper’ physical keyboard. So I scoured eBay and found one that looked to be just what I wanted. Not the cheapest and not the most expensive either. It was about the price I was willing to pay so I ordered one. It duly arrived on time and I quickly read the instructions for setting up and pairing with my iPad. That done, I began to look at the features of the keyboard and its basic operating procedures. The first thing I needed to do was to charge it with the ‘ … enclosed micro USB to USB cable …’ and here was a problem. There was no cable! I was not worried as I seem to have more than my fair share of these cable which seem to come with everything. But, I thought, if there is one supposed to be included then there should be one. I decided to message the seller and advise them that the cable had not been included. I told them that I did not need a cable and that I was just letting them know so that they could contact their supplier in case there was a problem. After a few days I received a very polite reply, apologising for the delay and asking me what I wanted to do. Did I want a full refund or did I want a replacement? The caveat was that I would have to dispose the first unit myself. I emailed back and explained again, that it was only the cable, that I didn’t need another and wasn’t seeking a refund or replacement.
The email had only just been sent, when I had one of those “Doh!” moments. What had I done? The guy was going to either send a second unit or refund my payment. He didn’t want the first one back. So I would have had either a free unit or two units, and I turned him down! What can I say? Either getting soft or getting too old.
I’m always up for a bargain, so when I decided that I needed to buy some ink for my printer, I turned as usual to the internet. To be exact, I nearly always go though EBay and this occasion was no different. I ran a search and the price for a twin-pack (colour and black) seemed to be between £17.00 an £20.00, with the average price falling in at £18.49. A little more than I expected, so I sorted the list by price. Amazingly the price of £7.99 was listed for the same twin-pack size. A ‘bargain’ I thought and delved a little deeper into the product and seller. That is when I began to smell a rat!
A quick look at the seven reviews of the ink, showed that they were reviews for ink sold by a different seller. The reviews also had been made within 10 minutes of each other. Unusual to say the least. I then had a quick look at the sellers profile, which stated that they had been a member of EBay since August 7th 2017. The same day that I was looking. That rat smell was getting stronger. How could a seller have seven reviews (all showing 100%) for sales on the same day that they had started trading?
Unusually for me, I reported it to EBay, and was pleased to see that the following day, the listing had been removed. But what’s this? Further down the search was a new listing, from another new seller, selling the same pack at the same price, with even the same reviews! Another reporting to EBay. I look the next day (today) and once again the fraudulent listing has been removed, only to be replaced by two new listings for the same product, this time at £10.49. I will leave you to guess what I did next.
Now I would say that I’m quite a savvy shopper, so I wasn’t really taken in by this confidence trick, but there are many people that would see this is a real bargain. What seems to happening here is one of four things:
- they are selling fakes – possible
- they are selling stolen goods – more likely or
- they are just stealing peoples money – which is my favourite
- they are genuine
If number 4 was correct, and I have been mistaken, then why does EBay remove the listings?
The old adage seems to apply here – “If it looks too good to be true, then it probably isn’t”
I simply have to blog this. Tonight, Mathew I’m ….. no no no, that’s the wrong thing. Tonight I won my first eBay auction. Not such a big deal some may say, but this one has been. You see, I’ve been after an expanding briefcase, and this one person has been selling them with a starting bid of 99p. He has been adding them to his ‘store’ at the rate of one per day for the past few weeks. I’ve been bidding on the all up to a maximum, but have been out bid everytime …. until tonight. So I’m sat there, with eBay open, whilst watching QI on the TV. I suddenly turned around to see I had only 9 seconds to place my bid !!! Panic or what !! I placed and confirmed my bid and watched as the times counted down …… 4 seconds ….. 3 seconds ….. 2 seconds …… 1 second ..…. “You have won this auction!!” Giddy was not the word. Just hope it is as good as the blurb says it is ……
For sometime now, I have wanted a propelling pencil. I wanted one of the so called ‘old fashioned’ type, that you have to twist to move the lead out. I have a number of the more modern ‘clutch’ type, the ones that you click to move the lead. Whilst these have their uses, I often find that too much lead is ‘propelled’ with each click. This means that you only need to put the slightest over-pressure on the pencil and the lead will break. With the twist type, you twist out only as much lead as you need.
I looked in the two main high street stores and a couple of specialist writing shops. The high street stores only had the clutch type, and the specialist shops had some, but they were ridiculously overpriced. I then found one on Ebay at a very competitive price indeed. It was just what I wanted. I then realised that I would need some spare leads. Again a trip to the high street proved a waste of time. One did not have any 0.7mm (not good Theo) and the other wanted £4.99 for a pack of 24. As this was more than the price of the pencil itself, I left empty handed. It was back to Ebay!!
There were many sellers offering the type I wanted at various prices. I settled on one from Hong Kong who was selling the leads at £1.88 for a pack of 40 with free postage. As they the same make as I could buy in the high street, I bought them. Granted, it took about ten days to arrive, but at that price, it was too good to miss. They arrived this morning, by air-mail, well packed with a postage of $2.50HKD. A quick check with the currency calculator, showed that the postage converted to …………just over 20p !!!!
Are we being ripped off ?????? Twenty pence postage from Hong Kong !!!! £1.88 against £4.99 !!!! I agree, there is always a risk with buying over the internet, but anyone with an unusable gift voucher for HMV, might think it’s a risk worth taking.