Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bought on Ebay

Okay, I was reading something the other day – a woman buying a vibrator. Well, the vibrator was "out of stock." She mentioned that she could not find one on Ebay, and that statement sent a bad shiver up my spine. Which led to this post.

Things I would never purchase on Ebay:

Vibrator
If the vibrator was "seldom used", my original thought would be, "what is wrong with the thing." Now I have never used a vibrator, but from what I gather, with a couple of AA-batteries (or C-batteries, giggle, are there D batteries – or dreaming, car batteries?), you can replace your man. Well, except for squashing spiders and taking out the garbage, because after a few years of marriage, the after-sex chit-chat is, well, pretty pathetic.

This was the item that made me write this entry.

Automobile
I am not saying that you get good or bad deals on autos. But I know, every time I purchase an auto, I get screwed. And I am not talking about in the backseat during the test drive. To get a good deal on an auto, you need more data than the person selling the car. At an auto dealership, they have a heck of a lot more information than I have. And that is just with new cars. For used cars, which I assume are most of the Ebay cars, you need more information – was the car in a flood? What kind of miles did the car have – mostly city (read: hard) driving? In short, I know I would get the raw end of the deal.

Land
You can actually buy land on Ebay. Okay, I have never bought land, but if I did, I would think that location would be of primary importance. Plus, I have read stories of people purchasing computers on Ebay, and without reading the fine print, they were actually bidding on pictures of computers. Nice. Well, I think this scam would work with land as well. I like a pretty photo, but I don't want to spend a couple of thousand on a picture of land. Unless it was painted by Van Gogh. If that were the case, I would be in.

Paintings
I have actually looked at paintings on Ebay, and they are impressive. You can purchase paintings from the 17th century – with magnificent gold leaf frames – sort of on the cheap. Well, a few hundred dollars. And I can't imagine these paintings selling that cheaply. Plus, I don't trust the pictures. Not that people are deceptive, but I have taking pictures of paintings in the past, and the photos look nothing like the original. Okay, I may be an amateur photographer, but even famous paintings in books look different in museums than in books.

Computers
For those really smart about computers, you probably can pick up some bargains on Ebay. I am not that adept at computers, plus I like purchasing near top of the line computers and holding onto them for years. Never top of the line – because there is generally not good value associated with them, but with near top of the line, a few months on the market, then you can buy something that may have value.

There was a funny computer story about Ebay recently – someone was selling a monitor, and took a pic for Ebay. Well, the monitor was reflective, and the seller was, um, in the buff. Not sure if he was proud of his profile or dim-witted. I did not know what the monitor sold for – or if Ebay made him replace the photo.

Software
I have no pirated software on my home computer (or work computer, but I don't go to jail for stuff on my work computer). Some of the deals on Ebay look like the software is . . . suspect. For instance, "Copy of Windows 2000. For backup purposes only." Seems to me that if I had the original software and for some reason I broke the CD, the company replaces it for a nominal fee. Many companies do this. Why would I spend $50 on a copy that you can't register?

Or why purchase software from someone who probably loaded it on his/her machine, made a copy, and is selling it on Ebay? Seems unethical to me. Now I don't know a lot about licensure – each company has its own rules. It seems to me that if you uninstall, you should be able to sell/give the software away. If I have an audio CD I get tired with, I can simply give it to someone (as long as I don't have it on my iPod). Or a bookcase, I can sell after using it. Software to me doesn't seem too much different, but sometimes is. I prefer to purchase from a large company, register and use. And I have very little software. But the way, I have seen some low-cost software (Gimp, Open Office), and I tell you, it is as good or better than the commercial equivalent. That was not always the case.

Now, I don't hate Ebay – I really don't. I love looking for stuff on Ebay. But there are certain things I just won't buy there. Just like I won't buy drinks at fast food restaurants (for other reasons).

14 comments:

Mike said...

I can't think of anything I would buy on-line. Perhaps a book? But as far as cars, computers, home furnishings...no way. I'm just not trusting enough. I want to personally see and feel what I buy.

~Deb said...

Well now you can sell space on your fricken forehead for advertising and get paid big time. I'm not talking just a temporary ad----we're talking a TATTOO! Oh yeah, just put the big fat Wal*Mart logo on my forehead. That'll get people's attention.

Used vibrators? Slightly used? I mean, that's like saying you're a little pregnant. Ew. No. Why why why??? I didn't think they sold things like that on eBay.

Leesa said...

mike: I have bought quite a few books online, many from Ebay. If you are looking for an out-of-print book, Ebay is a nice source.

~deb: okay, maybe they can't sell used vibrators on Ebay. I did not really look. It is like lingerie. I want to make sure it is new before buying.

Mark said...

There was an article somewhere about used panties on eBay.. you could make some $$ there. Plus, you forgot -- some Vibrators are AC powered for that hum that lasts...

gdtownshende said...

I once bought software on eBay, and before I did so, I communicated with the seller that I wanted to have the license transferred to my name. It was some software by Adobe. I got the appropriate paperwork from Adobe, had the seller complete the necessary information, submitted it to Adobe, and the license is now in my name. If the seller kept the software on his computer and is still using it, he's now in violation of copyright law... not me.

Just about every software company out there will allow the license to be transferred from one user to another, but the person who is giving up the license is required to remove the software from their machine.

Of course, how this sort of law could be practically enforced without Big Brother barging into your house, insisting on perusing the files on your computer, all in the name of protecting their copyright, I've no idea. Who actually has those sorts of resources, except to go after the big pirates, the ones who mass produce software for their own sordid gain?

Leesa said...

mark: I actually know very little about vibrators. I would hate to have a solar-powered one, for sure.

gdtownshende: I believe some versions of Microsoft products actually send information to MS now. So, if they wanted to, they would at least know that more than one active version of the software is being used. Sounds like you are more well-versed than me on this. Thanks for the comment.

gdtownshende said...

I hadn't thought of that. That's probably a far more productive way of enforcing the copyright law, actually.

Thanks for your comment at my blog, too. If you're interested, I've a second blog - http://garrulus-grommeler.blogspot.com/ - where I talk about almost anything else that comes to mind.

Prata said...

MS applications can be stopped from sending information to MS. Also, MS considers pirated software as penetration to market. Which is why if a business is violating copyright, MS has been known to wait in excess of 2 years before calling an audit and allowing the business to get out of the audit (which will be potentially MUCH more expensive than simply taking the deal with MS) by purchasing a particular support and software upgrade package. This keeps the business dependent upon MS and MS pockets money which they weren't receiving before. It also makes it very easy for MS to extort businesses in such a fashion because their entire workforce and workflow is dependent upon MS applications.

Vendor lock-in is the suck. Which is exactly why I do not use MS products other for World of Warcraft.

Grant said...

The next time you stop by a fast food restaurant, just tell them to hold the fecal matter.

Grant said...

That reminds me, in my earlier days when I had to live with a roommate, he walked by as I was using my electric nosehair clippers and remarked "Oh, that's what it's for." I asked what he thought it was and he told me "A vibrator." Seems he had only seen it with the cap on.
Discussion questions:
1) He thought I had a vibrator?
2) A man?
3) And he didn't mind living with me?

Video X said...

well i actually do really hate ebay. i nearly got screwed out of almost $900 for osu - michigan football tix. ebay could care less. western union was who caught the attempted scam. called me at 1am to tell me they were not giving that dude my $$ cuz they knew this dude. they felt that $900 was too much money to lose. hey, i'm really glad at least somebody thought $900 was a significant amt of money! they could've just blown me off...but they did not. so i hate ebay. i dont go there anymore. and even if i didnt hate ebay, i would definitely have to agree with your list of things not to buy on ebay. especially the vibrator. ew.

~Deb said...

Grant's talking dirty again Leesa!

Leesa said...

prata: thanks for the clarification; I knew you would know all about this.

grant: okay, you surprised me. I would not think you would use nose hair clippers.

VX: yeah, Ebay takes no responsibility for anything on their site. Selling organs, as long as they get their percentage. And I got it wrong with the used vibrators. See, I buy used books on Ebay. So I always think used stuff.

~deb: so grant's talking dirty. And you are offended? Hmmmmmmm. Can't quite see that.

Mark said...

I hate to say it, but why would anyone want to buy tickets to an OSU-Michigan football game? Since I live 3 miles from the (M) stadium, I can assure you that it's easier to stay home - watch it on TV and avoid all the drunken OSU fans... ;p