So, mods ‘n’ sh*te

I mean, it is fun to change out tubes on mic’s and amps and pre’s. I’ve coil-tapped and split and phase-reversed and changed out pickups and tone-caps, I’ve added better or replaced input jacks and pots and trannies and the odd resistor, etc.

I’ve certainly improved the functionality of stuff by, say, replacing tuners or bridges or switches or jacks or removing mesh from a windscreen or death-caps, or adding shielding or ground-wires or even paint, and I fix stuff and even make my own patch cords.

When I think about it tho’, and not too, too much disrespect, I just can’t understand the mod “scene” as a reason for joining it.

I mean, it’s one thing to have a thing and it ain’t quite the thing you want the thing for – so you mod it to make it that thing you want.

I get it.

I just have a problem at this point with the mod “scene” what seems to exists to get you to mod things just for the purpose of modding the things they sell things to mod them with. I mean, it even seems they encourage you to buy a thing that’s a not-so-good-thing to use their things to mod it into a better thing than it was, while all the while it ain’t quite the thing you want it to be and mod it toward.

I mean, I want my Tele to sound like a Tele, not a Strat, and certainly not a Paul, y’know? And that cheap Chinee thing? Use it, abuse it, sell it, purposefully lose it, but don’t try to make it something it ain’t never gonna be.

Like, if I want a “warmer” pre, I’ll change to a “warmer” pre, or the same re a mic, or amp or whatever. I’ll just change guitars.

Mebbe I just have a little too much money, what gives me choices?

But I work hard to be able to have choices, and if I have bad shite, I’ll get rid of it (sometimes) to get good shite, if I just don’t outright just buy more shite, keeping that “bad” shite for the very limited thing(s) the “good” shite can’t do, even if that is only because it’s being used elsewhere.

But mod it?

Especially just to say I mod’d it?

Unless I have a piece of bad shite, and nothing better to do, I’d rather just replace it.

You?
_________________
vlaymanTHDblogTFP

Another E-bog battle …

Posted at TOMB:

So I bid on the E-bog and got a ADK TC mic from ’07, from a music store seller in New Jersey.

Preliminary power-up and it works fine, I think.

But when I take off the body there’s rust on the side rails, rust on the tube holder, the tranny, and various screws. There’s also some fine powder-grey corrosion on some of the solder.

The body itself has water-marks where its edge fits into the headbasket – if the marks are to be believed the mic was mebbe laying sideways in about 1/2″ of water …

I emailed the seller for history, etc., and to ask permission to open it and check the capsule because there’s paint on the headbasket screws and/or corrosion which will make it obvious if I open it.

What risks do you forsee if I keep this?

Is there anything I can do to prevent future problems?

Also, while the “Turbo-Tube” power box seems 100%, there is rust on the welds of the shock-mount and the screws on the pop-screen.

The case seems fine and there’s no smell, as if the thing was caught inna flooded basement, mebbe, and then washed quickly but not quite completely dried, and they failed to take the mic body off or else missed completely cleaning it …
Confused
_________________
vlaymanTHDblogTFP

==========================

Yeah.

I got a good price on it (US$310 shipped) but the seller just responded with some apparent anger, and offensive denial.

Based on that attitude, I’ll wait for response to my reply, and then probably demand a refund.

Then I’ll probably have to fight about who pays return shipping … Rolling Eyes

As requested by the seller, I sent some photo’s as evidence, and here are 2:

Note the rust on the side rails, the tube-holder and glass, the screws, and the powder-corrosion on the solder.


The white stuff is water residue especially visible along the edge where it fit inside the headbasket assembly; the inside of the cover is filthy.

If anyone is interested in the dialogue, I’m happy to post that, altho’ I expect I’ll again get flamed for being mean to the seller. Twisted Evil
_________________

=========================

Further evidence that it’s not natural humidity corrosion, but from immersion:

The seller, tho’, is insistent, “Our qualified electronic technician went over this microphone, with all of its accessories, and everything tested perfectly.”

Glad it/he/she is not my “qualified electronic technician”! Twisted Evil

=========================

After the initial push-back, the seller agreed to a full refund and paid return shipping. Good on him.

Of course, I call his shipper, UPS, and they want US$7 to pick it up, so I had to contact the seller again …

I appreciate his/its situation but for any sellers reading this, please consider why someone in my position is less than thrilled/satisfied:

1. I am not your QC guy to test your item, and I further resent your questioning my immediate report of your self-created problems as tho’ I’m scamming (Other buyers have scammed you? Consider: other sellers have tried to scam me, too – or been so oblivious/incompetent/unconcerned/stupid that they have made mistakes at my cost, like you);
2. It is extra work for me to take and upload photo’s to prove that your “experienced tech doosh” didn’t open your item and check for damage (glad he’s yours, I don’t need another assault charge);
2. Many of us, with larger items, have to arrange add’l transport after receipt; ex., I had to pay for two cabs to get the item from my office to the train, and back (I ain’t carryin’ that un-padded-handle case for a mile thru the city along with my other shite, in my suit and tie).
3. In this instance, since your shipper, UPS initially said I don’t exist, I had to return a long-distance call to you to confirm my Pay-Pal listed address (tho’ you already rec’d my money from that account);
4. I have over an hour involved just in emails/PM’s and posting pic’s to assuage your baseless suspicions that I am the bad guy (when it was you fucked up);
5. You have had the use of my US$300+ (in this case) for about 3 weeks, at a minimum (Who’s the scammer? How about some interest? Go borrow $300 atta check-cash place, see what they charge!);
6. You treat me like the bad guy by refusing to return my money until you receive the defective item you fucked-up in sending in the first place, and I have to wait patiently and trust you to do so (See no. 5, above).

Anywhat, next week? I still want a ADK Tc or like-level tube mic … Twisted Evil
_________________
vlaymanTHDblogTFP

Evilbog issues, again


Bought a Altec 1589b on 8-31-13 after winning the bid, paying within a few hours, deliverable last Friday, the 6th, by priority mail.No response to 3 “Shipped yet?” inquiries, I hadda “open a case”.

Is it just me, or does it seem about 10-15% of purchases of used music equip. fall through?

Someone told me music equip, cars and, I think watches, get the most complaints.

Special thank you to the seller, turkboys who can’t even be bothered to offer an excuse for taking my money without sending the item.
_________________
vlaymanTHDblogTFP

I gotta confess, I kinda hate nice mic’s and guitars

From a thread at TOMB:

I mean, I gotta couple-5 of each, and I am very careful to take care of ’em, not bang ’em around, scratch ’em, let ’em get dusty.

Whadda drag.

I have more fun with my beater guitars and mic’s what I can sweat on, swing around, whack cymbals and the drummer with, risk dropping as I dance …
_________________
vlaymanTHDblogTFP

———————————————————————————

… nice stuff is mebbe less useful, to the extent that I feel I should be careful with it to keep it nice.

Once the guitar is scratched I can bang it on the stage or toss it to someone I’m 90% sure will catch it.

Once a mic is dented (I tipped a stand-mounted MXL V69ME last week and gave the gold screen a souvenir), I somehow feel more free to spit on it and scream, don’t feel totally obligated to case it vs. a toss into the gig bag.

———————————————————————————

When I say “beater”, I’m not referring to “low quality”, but rather “well-used”.

For example, I consider my 80’s Tele or Paul or G&L F100’s to be well-used, beater guitars, and superior to my newish SG, MIJ Strat, Epi Wildkat and Sheraton II, etc.

When I play the dented and chipped and bled-on former, I rock; when I play the shiny latter, I’m careful of the instrument.

When I sing in my old spit-covered, dis-colored and chipped 58’s or 57’s or AKG’s, what I love, I’m more casual with them than any condensor, or even a newish SM7b or RE320 or 421II.

I have two AKG310’s – the old beat one gets used far more, even tho’ they sound the same; likewise, I use the beat-up Shures before the newer ones (yes, I tend to have pairs of mic’s – I guess I see ’em as testicular extensions or sompin’. Laughing )

Mebbe it’s a complex? I always choose the grungier cords or cables for performance, the well-worn picks and loose mic stands and chipped glass slides …

Mebbe it’s ‘cuz my moms always says keep nice things nice, so that I only feel comfortable workin’ the beaters hard.

 

eBogshite foller-up

I posted this in response to another’s comments – you’ll understand the gist of it:

=======================================================

I can see your point, of course I can. The analysis fails, I think, to the extent that I have a 100% record, and am clearly not trying to rip anyone off. As a matter of fact, I chose not to return the item – which is crippled but functional – because I need it, because I don’t want a gap in access to the stuff I use it for, and to make the point that it’s not about the money.

And I understand the point about their lack of QC, altho’ I admit I assumed they had some. But I bet they would handle the sale of a defective new item the same way. That they took my money, don’t want to timely return it, and then want to freeze the same sum on my credit card is, IMNSFHO, outrageous.

Their knee-jerk handling of the issue, IMO, makes ’em jerk-offs.

As far as my tone, you did note that the eBog writer complimented me? Ha! Of course I was sarcastic – I saw where this was going to the extent that I was gonna win it all or lose it all, once the seller’s drone gave me a ultimatum.

I don’t ever accept ultimatums (something I probably encounter more often than most because of my field of business).

And, I s’pose, I prefer to tilt windmills.

In any event, I hope it’s a useful case study of a situation where the consumer will possibly, even likely, get burned.

And so, to that extent and as regards commercial sellers thereon, fuck buying on eBay.

(Amazon is much better, and often cheaper.)

eBogshite redux

Asked some further questions about the last post, I answer:

This particular item was only cheaper because it is “refurb”.  Amazon’s prices are the same as or better, “new”.  I thought that the refurb would be like a used one, re-furb’d and inspected for the few dollars more refurb’d cost vs. used.

The immediate billing is fine – but why can’t I get an immediate refund?  Or at least a simultaneous?  They know by the registered shipping when it’s shipped.  If the argument is they wanna be sure than, 1. they assume I’m a thief, and, 2. they are stalling, and finally, 3. they are operating on my money without paying interest.

The sales tax advantage is mutual – I don’t agree to give up my rights of parity in the sales contract because they are without a physical store.

What should have been done? Immediate payback, a discount, a partial refund and keep the item, etc.  Instead, I got a demand that I pay the return postage for their defect, than an offer to pay that was retracted, a stalling process, the loud implication that I’m a thief, insults to my intelligence and honor, rudeness, and the theft of the use of my money for the time of dispute to resolution.  Did you note my final decision?  I’m not even going to return the item on their terms – it’s the principle.

Bottom line: I mean what I said – it ain’t worth it, never again, and they are taking advantage of the consumer who is gambling that the lower price justifies the risk. IMO, it does not, nor does eBog adequately protect the consumer in this situation – as rare a situation as it might be.

Oh yeah, and screw centrix-intl.com.

My problem with eBay, the evil Bog

This is a compilation of messages on the eBay site. It’s long, but I believe instructive in the risk you take as a buyer, and I hope it’s amusing, because I had fun!

=====================================

So I bought a refurb’ed “Western Digital WD TV Live Plus built in WI-FI Streaming HD Media Player 1080P” from a dealer on the E-Bog, at about a US$20 discount.

It’s defective but not unuseable, in that 1 of 2 USB ports doesn’t work.

Here’s our messages:

Sent Date: Jan-22-13 19:39:39 PST

Dear centrix-intl.com,

Western Digital WD TV Live Plus built in WI-FI Streaming HD Media Player 1080P

USB port 1 does not work

– mmmeeevvv
======================
Sent Date: Jan-23-13 09:12:15 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

Our apologies upon this matter, at this time we can either set up a replacement or a refund for you. Which option would you prefer?

Brandon

– centrix-intl.com
======================
Sent Date: Jan-24-13 04:22:13 PST

Dear centrix-intl.com,

Replacement, please.

– mmmeeevvv
======================
Sent Date: Jan-24-13 10:21:51 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

Please use the below information to send the item back:

Return Number: XXXXX (Please write this on the outside of the package along with your first and last name and make sure the item is packed safely for return).

Return Address:

Centrix International
XXXXXX
La Verne, CA 91750

– centrix-intl.com
======================
Dear centrix-intl.com,

Let me get this straight:
You want me
1. to return the item at my cost; and,
2. then await shipment of a replacement item that I have already paid for?

Unacceptable.

I am not your quality-control agent – which you appear to lack – nor am I spending another dime on your defective product.

I will accept a full refund.

I will return the item – without charging you for packing and bringing to the shipper – if you pay return shipping.

– mmmeeevvv

(Stay toont!  Grin)

===================================

Sent Date: Jan-24-13 16:25:22 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

Give us a email address we can have a return label sent to

– centrix-intl.com
========================================

Dear centrix-intl.com,

I tried and got this message:
For your safety, eBay does not allow the exchange of email addresses in member to member communications . This protects both buyers and sellers by keeping a track record of communications. It also helps ensure that transactions happen on eBay so buyers and sellers are covered by eBay protection programs.

Please remove the email address and resend your message.

If you want to receive photos from another eBay member, you do not need to share your email address. Buyers and sellers can now attach images to messages sent from eBay by using the “Attach Photos” button.

– mmmeeevvv

(I’m just waiting to see how they reply to that!  Grin)
=====================

Sent Date: Jan-24-13 16:25:22 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

Give us a email address we can have a return label sent to

– centrix-intl.com
===============================
Sent Date: Jan-24-13 16:53:50 PST

Dear centrix-intl.com,

I tried and got this message:
For your safety, eBay does not allow the exchange of email addresses in member to member communications . This protects both buyers and sellers by keeping a track record of communications. It also helps ensure that transactions happen on eBay so buyers and sellers are covered by eBay protection programs.

Please remove the email address and resend your message.

If you want to receive photos from another eBay member, you do not need to share your email address. Buyers and sellers can now attach images to messages sent from eBay by using the “Attach Photos” button.

– mmmeeevvv
===============================
Sent Date: Jan-25-13 09:18:22 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

Write it like this:

for example… john dot doe at gmail dot com

– centrix-intl.com
===============================
chuckle

Now, obviously this guy can’t figure me out.  So, do I give my email for the $64, or just use the thing with a crippled USB and give them a shite rating for selling defective merch, trying to con me into paying for the return, refusing to return my money immediately and/or replace the object without my returning first, etc.

That’s the last time I buy refurb offa E-bog!  mad)

==========================

Sent Date: Jan-27-13 22:22:29 PST

Dear centrix-intl.com,

How quickly do I receive refund if I ship this back to you?

– mmmeeevvv
=====================================
Sent Date: Jan-28-13 08:37:03 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

Refund will be done as soon as we receive the returned item

Brandon

– centrix-intl.com
=====================================
Dear centrix-intl.com,

So we are clear, because of your failure to quality-check your refurbished merchandise, my choice – now that you have agreed to pay return shipping – is that I await the refund of my immediately-paid-to-you money until you receive the return of the defective merchandise, or continue to use the defective item (to the extent it is usable) and give you a bad rating.

– mmmeeevvv

=====================================

Sent Date: Jan-28-13 11:05:24 PST
Dear mmmeeevvv,

You can either send the item back and give us your email address to send a pre paid postage label and get the item back so we can refund you, or you can keep the item, your choice. However by 30 days your warranty with us is gone.

Brandon

– centrix-intl.com
========================
Dear centrix-intl.com,

I find that incredibly unfair.

How about you send a replacement item immediately, in that I note that despite my immediate payment, the item was not received for 11 days, and was clearly not quality checked despite being “refurbished”.

To the extent the item works defectively, I can use it until the replacement is received, and will then mail the defective one back immediately.

I do not see why I should be without the item, and/or without my money and therefore ability to replace the item, due to your business practices.

– mmmeeevvv

==================================

Sent Date: Jan-28-13 13:19:52 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

In any store in order to exchange an item you must present the defective merchandise first. Asking us to send you a replacement without a returned item is like walking into a retail store and telling the store you want to exchnage a product but you will return the other one when you go home and test it and then you promise to return it. That is not how things work.

You also say this is because of our “Business Practices” but in reality this can happen to anyone. We do test the players to prevent returns as much as possible, but we are not batting 100% either. No one is. Any store no matter how big or small when working with electronics this kind of thing happens. The item you received comes from Western Digital Direct we don’t buy from 3rd parties we are direct Authorized Resellers.

My staff has offered to provide prepaid postage so the exchange is free of cost. I think that is more than fair. I do see your point of view also tho and am willing to work with you to resolve this. So how about this. Since ebay only protects the buyer and not the seller in returns this is why we have the item come back first, but if your willing to provide us a credit card on file to put on Hold in Case the defective one isn’t returned then I will ship you the replacement today. I will even cover 3 day air shipping to you. If you would like to take this option please contact me at 909-480-3000 ext 107

Thank You

– centrix-intl.com

==============================
Dear mmmeeevvv,

Another option we have is we can do a advanced replacement where we ship the item today, all we request is your CC info in the case that you will return this item. If the item does not arrive to us we will take the funds out of the account. If it does arrive then the hold on the Card will be lifted. Would you like to do that?

Brandon

– centrix-intl.com
==============================
Dear centrix-intl.com,

In any store in order to exchange an item you must present the defective merchandise first.
**You are not “any store”, and your rational illustrates why I do not think buying from you was a good idea.

Asking us to send you a replacement without a returned item is like walking into a retail store and telling the store you want to exchange a product but you will return the other one when you go home and test it and then you promise to return it.
***Asking you, a business already giving me a hard time – starting with expecting me to pay return postage until I called you on that, a 5 day delay to ship so that the item is received 11 days later despite the representation of , “Our goal is to ship the next business day …”  – is not like what you say, but rather is asking you to fulfill your commitment of delivering the not-defective product I bought, and letting me use the defective-but-usable one until the good one arrives. Think of my retaining the first one until the second is received as a loaner, which I feel I am fairly requesting in that you provided a defective item in the first place.  It didn’t occur to me to keep the first until the second arrives and I can test *it* – are you afraid, as I now am, that it will be defective, also?

That is not how things work
***However you think things work is irrelevant to me.  I know how they ought to work, starting with proper quality control and including trust in a paying customer and that customer’s satisfaction.

It is your business practices that are at issue, not mine. You choose to do business on E-Bay, as I did (altho’ I shall no longer buy refurbished anything, nor from you again) and while I understand your perceived need to protect yourself, it is insulting, unfair, and a rip-off to me, the consumer.

Let me note that contrary to E-Bay policies you have not only requested my email – which good sense and privacy concerns restrain me from forwarding – but now want my Credit Card number. Unacceptable.

– mmmeeevvv

============================

Sent Date: Jan-28-13 14:35:52 PST

Dear mmmeeevvv,

Our staff has already provided you all return details already. And provided you prepaid postage.

We are now just awaiting you to return the item. You are right you are not obligated to provide us with a credit card. This was just an option I offered you to get done what you wanted.

We are not getting anywhere arguing back and forth. These are the only options we are presenting you. They are 1 to replace the unit, 2 to refund you fully (In both option we provided you a return label to cover all cost) And we still leave the Advance replacement option on the table.

The choice is yours. If you are not satisfied with these then you may contact ebay and open a resolution center case and let them decide how to proceed

Thank You
Victor Lopez

– centrix-intl.com
==========================
Dear centrix-intl.com,

Just to document my position relative to your inaccurate and slanted statements below:

1. you have *not* provided return postage – you have *offered* to, if I give you my email (in violation of Ebay policy) which I decline to do;

2. “replacing the unit” still results in me being without such unit –  as stated, it’s partially defective as you sold it to me but currently usable – until I receive another questionable item from you, which you won’t ship until you receive the defective unit you so belatedly sent me the first time;

3. “refunding” still results in me being without such unit with you holding onto my money preventing me from purchasing a new non-defective unit elsewhere until you decide to refund me, which you won’t do until you receive the defective unit.

If any of the above is incorrect, please advise immediately.

In light of the ultimatum you present – “These are the only options we are presenting you” – I will make no counter-offer.

Finally, I note that your frustration – so evident in the tone of your last message – is less that 1% of mine, dealing with your “business practices”.

– mmmeeevvv

==================================

From:  eBay
Sent:  Jan-30-13 08:43 AM
Hi mmmeeevvv,

We let the seller know the item wasn’t as described.

The seller has offered you a full refund for the purchase price plus original shipping if you return the item. To get your refund, ship the item back to the seller. You will need to cover the cost of returning the item. Make sure you ship the item by Feb 02, 2013.

Refund information:
Once the item is delivered to the seller, you will receive a full refund of $64.00.The refund will include the purchase price plus original shipping.

You can view the details of this case and learn what you need to do to ship the item back in the Resolution Center.
=================================
The seller’s new offer is worse than their last offer made directly to me re postage and shipping – please read the messages; this offer is refused.

Seller belatedly sent a defective item and now refuses to pay return postage, refuses to refund money until receipt of returned item; refuses to ship replacement until receipt of returned item. This was never agreed to.

Bad business, unscrupulous practice by over-reaching seller who without notice has retracted its offer. I want 100% refund + return postage after which I will return item and leave no feedback.

==============================================

Hello MIchael,
We’re contacting you about the case you opened for Western Digital WD TV Live Plus built in WI-FI Streaming HD Media Player 1080P.
As a courtesy, we’re covering your return shipping costs by providing you a prepaid label to return the item. It’s important that you ship the item back in the next 7 days so you can get a refund.

Be sure to pack the item carefully and securely and to include all parts of the item. The seller must receive the item in the same condition that you received it for you to be eligible for your refund.
To print the label, paste the link below into your browser:
XXXX
Attach the label to the box, and send the item back to the seller using United Parcel Service (UPS) shipping.
We’ll enter the tracking information from the label into the Resolution Center. Once we have confirmation that the item has been delivered, we’ll refund you within 3 days for the cost of the item plus original shipping (as long as the seller hasn’t issued you a refund).
If you decide not to use our prepaid shipping label, you’ll need to pay for shipping and add tracking information to your case. If your transaction is $250.00 or over, you must ship with signature confirmation.
To add tracking information to your case:
1. Go to the Resolution Center:
http://resolutioncenter.ebay.com
2. Click the “Take action” link to the right of the case.
3. Click the blue “Respond to case” button.
4. Select the “Provide a tracking number” option.
5. Enter the tracking number and shipping carrier (such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) into the boxes.
6. Click the “Submit” button.
You can check the status of the case by going to the Resolution Center:
http://resolutioncenter.ebay.com
Here are the details of this case:
Claim ID: XXXX
Item: Western Digital WD TV Live Plus built in WI-FI Streaming HD Media Player 1080P
I hope this helps explain how to use the prepaid shipping label.
If you have any questions, please click “Customer Support” at the top of most eBay pages.
Sincerely,
KimMaris
eBay Customer Service
================================
I feel this is an unfair resolution in that my money is tied up until the seller receives the returned item + up to 3 days to refund me.

This is unacceptable; they delivered 11 days after purchase despite promises and I will again be without the use of the item and with out MY MONEY, as stated above.

If it is the best that you can do, please advise so that I can close my Ebay account; you will have lost an Ebay customer.
===================================

Dear Michael, Thank you for contacting eBay Customer Support in regard to the case XXXXXXX. I understand that you are asking for a full refund for the returned item. I know how frustrating is it when you have done your part and you still have not yet received the requested refund. Let me help you with your concern.Before anything else, I would like to thank you for being loyal to eBay for 551 days now. Please know that the professional manner in which you have handled yourself in this situation is most commendable. We thank you for your trust in our site and we guarantee you that will find eBay as one of the best place to shop online.Upon further review, I notice that we have asked you to return the item for a full a refund as you have received a non working device. As a courtesy, we have issued a shipping label to compensate the return shipping costs in returning the item. We have given you until February 10, 2013 to return the item.Please do understand that for us to hold the seller accountable for issuing you a refund a full refund, we need you to send the item back to the seller. Once we confirm the delivery, we will issue you the full refund which will take effect within 3 days after this claim has been closed. Michael, I’m sorry to hear that you’d like to close your eBay account as you are not satisfied with our service however you are a valued eBay member, so if there’s anything we can do to change your mind please let us know.I trust that this information is helpful. If you have further questions please do reply to this email. Thanks for choosing eBay.Sincerely,Romanina D.eBay Customer Support

===========================================

Once again, Ebay’s response is unacceptable.  This seller was rude, duplicitous, delaying, clearly and repeatedly breached Ebay’s seller’s rules, reneged on a prior offer, and has had the use of my money – immediately paid and collected – for over a month, and Ebay’s best solution is that I wait another two weeks for the refund.

Therefore, be advised that not only will I never purchase from that seller again, I will never purchase from any such commercial seller on Ebay, and will so advise anyone who will listen.

I truly feel that you (Ebay) fell on your face in this matter, I am extremely unhappy with both the dishonesty and gaming of the seller, and Ebay’s enabling of same.

That Ebay does not adequately protect the consumer is indisputable through this example; I am happy it was such a relatively nominal loss I have sustained.

Shame on both of you.

Finally, I wash my hands of this matter. The seller may keep the money and choke on it – I shall do my best to publicize this experience.
==========================

(Smile, and drink heavily!  Grin)