Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Get'em While They're HOT...

When the shifty salesman/manager at AT&T told me he had someone that might buy my old Blackberry, I knew it worth way more than the 44 bucks he said it was worth to him. So I held onto it, thinking I'd put it on eBay someday and that day came yesterday. 

First I had to figure out how to be a seller on eBay and that in itself was no easy feat. It appears that I tried to sell a car on eBay one time in 2005 or 6 and they told me I already had an account associated with my email address and what are the answers to my secret security questions? Well, my mother's maiden name never changed to my knowledge and my first pet has always been Snoopy and all I needed to know after that was what my phone number was in 2005. Evidently, I screwed it up so many times, eBay was about to call the cops on me, when I finally gave up and slammed down the cover of the laptop. An hour later I had relaxed enough to start over using an old email address and all new information. I GOT IN!

 I was welcomed and I actually heard a band playing, but it turned out to be in my head. Now all I had to do was find the old phone and take a picture layout of it and send it to my computer, then think of some lovely things to say about it, that might appeal to someone looking for a damned good phone that I wish I'd never abandoned. Just for the record, I miss it already.

After accomplishing all of that, I got an email congratulating me and welcoming me to eBay, along with a bunch of other advertising. Finally, after what seemed like hours, I sank into my old reclining chair and turned on the TV. About 10 minutes later the computer made the noise that it makes when an email is coming in. Then, shortly after, even before I got up, it dinged 3 more times. I've got 4 emails from eBay, already! Now I priced my phone at $135, after their information told me that the lowest one like mine had sold for $132.50. I didn't want to make a career out of this, I just wanted to sell it for more than $44.

The first email was from a man named Tracy that wanted to know if it had any dings or scratches. I wanted to reply, yes, that it has been in a telephone accident, but no one was injured. However I refrained from doing so and was quite civil. The second email was from eBay telling me that my item has sold and to follow their instructions for getting paid, huh??? How could it sell already? Wasn't there supposed to be an auction? Evidently Tracy bought it for the "Buy it Now" price I was asking. Next was an email from Tracy saying that the phone is for his grandson in Nigeria and he is currently out of the country and can I mail it directly to the grandson and then he supplied me with the address and a carrier that goes to Nigeria. He also said to add what it costs to ship it to Nigeria into my price and he'd be happy to pay the extra charges.

To say that the red flags were popping up faster than I could count them was an understatement. Having zero experience with this venue was also a disadvantage. I made some phone calls, but no one that knew had any experience on eBay either. Then after giving it some thought, I realized that Paypal guarantees payment to be good and I replied that I cannot ship anything out of the U.S. and still guarantee delivery, so according to the rules of eBay, I'll be happy to ship to the listed address of the buyer and yours is San Jose, CA. I was expecting a reply canceling the purchase, but so far nothing. Then I looked up the buyers history and he's purchased in the last 12 months, 418 items and every seller says the same thing, prompt payment, good buyer! I now suspect the story about the grandson is for unsuspecting sellers and that Tracy is shipping used Blackberry's to Nigeria, period. If he is, God bless him, he's getting a good one.

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