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Despicably Uncool: eBay Gremlins

August 10th, 2009 1 comment
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In what I’m sure is soon to become a regular series on Three Little Fonzies, I’d like to take a detour from my stated theme of “cool” to focus on something that I find despicably uncool…because what’s a blog for if not bitching about your problems, right? I had hoped to reserve this first “uncool” post for something with grand geopolitical implications – something so profound, timely and/or relevant that Bono himself would email me with a hearty “right on!” – but something happened to me this morning that pissed me off so much that global crises will have to wait. What got me into such a tizzy, you ask? I became the victim of an eBay gremlin.

From Wikipedia:

Eek! An eBay Gremlin!Gremlin is an English folkloric creature, commonly depicted as mischievous and mechanically oriented, with a specific interest in aircraft. Although their origin is found in myths among airmen, claiming that the gremlins were responsible for sabotaging aircraft, John W. Hazen states that “some people” derive the name from the Old English word gremian, “to vex”. Since World War II, different fantastical creatures have been referred to as gremlins, bearing varying degrees of resemblance to the originals.

Last night I sold an old Mac Mini on eBay…or so I thought. As it turns out, I hadn’t sold anything, because an eBay gremlin snatched that sale from me like a thief in the night. When I woke up this morning, an email was waiting for me with the following message from the winning bidder: “Hello, there seems to be some confusion in my household regarding this purchase. My 8 yr old son made this bid and I am sorry to say, this item won’t be purchased. He is very much grounded until school year begins and I hope we can work this out. Please let me know.”

Right…this is all the work of a phantom 8-year-old who has nothing better to do on a Sunday night than bid on used computers half as old as he is. And even if this bullshit story is true (it’s not), the kid is still an eBay gremlin. But hey, at least he’s grounded…what a relief. All this grief for a bid that was only $2.50 higher than the previous high bidder, who one assumes is not a gremlin (they don’t travel in packs). I offered the Mini to the previous high bidder as a second-chance offer, but he’s not likely to take it, and I don’t blame him. My perfectly good Mac Mini is now dripping with gremlin taint.

Worse yet, I took the coward’s way out, canceling the sale as opposed to reporting her as the deadbeat gremlin she is. I did it because even if I fought back, she’s still not likely to pay, and at least if I cancel the sale she can’t post negative feedback against me. So she’s still out there with a 100% feedback rating, ready to strike another unsuspecting seller with her dirty gremlin tricks. Her or her filthy gremlin son (who I still say doesn’t exist). Either way, it sucks.

Oh, one more thing before I put a lid on my seething rage: my gremlin friend is currently selling a couple of massage tables. In the item description, she put the following text: “All bids are final. Serious bidders only please.” Hmmmmmmmm.

Have you had a run-in with an eBay gremlin? Share your story in the comments!

  1. August 13th, 2009 at 16:44 | #1

    UPDATE TO THIS POST: I managed to sell the Mac Mini to one of the former high-bidders for only $7.50 less than my gremlin’s false bid. All’s well that ends well, though I still long for sweet revenge against the dirty rotten gremlin.

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