If you have time, this is worth reading. It shot into my awareness because I have a RSS feed looking for people selling CD Shareware on Ebay. When the feed finds something worthwhile, I buy and then duplicate it onto cd.textfiles.com. Unfortunately, anything with the words “CD” and “Shareware” get picked up, but there’s no other way to do it. I can handle it, and every once in a while something completely off the wall gets trawled into my net. This is one of those cases.
This is for a small collection of Macintosh CD-ROMs, some of which are shareware. It’s not overly important what they are. What’s important is the disclaimer/introduction the seller provides.
It is very long. It gets more hilarious and over the top as it goes. When you are done I will muse about it for a few more paragraphs. Here’s the text from the auction.
READ ME BEFORE BIDDING. Please note: ALL SALES FINAL SALE. No returns, refunds or exchanges.
BE A SAVVY EBAY SHOPPER IF you are unsure about anything, have a question or would like additional photos PLEASE ASK BEFORE bidding, I’m more than happy to show more photos & answer all your questions to the best of my ability! So READ the listings carefully, look closely at photos, measure your OWN clothes to see if MY approximate measurements match up with stuff YOU OWN, to see if it will fit you (no returns due to fit). If an item is pre-loved (used) &/or not in perfect condition, i try to the best of MY visual ability to fully disclose any problems – because – TRUST ME – it’s more of a headache to deal with an upset customer after the fact, than it is to just be honest in the 1st place. Used Clothes are USED, so slight imperfections MAY be present, so unless i somehow missed a HUGE stain, hole, rip or other major damage – All pre-loved items SOLD AS-IS. IF there is a circumstance that a return is necessary i will refund the winning auction amount for item ONLY not shipping & handling AND i will also deduct ALL associated ebay listing fees as well. You will get your paypal refund ONLY after you fill out the ebay Return Item email from them – PERIOD. The item must also be returned in PERFECT condition with all original tags attached (if applicable), and shipping is your financial responsibility. I suggest getting tracking #’s & emailing me the # immediately after you ship it, because if you don’t & then try the old “but i’ll mailed it back routine”, with no physical proof, then its not my problem & you are the one out the money. If you have less than 6 Positive stars, you must CONTACT me before bidding – as it seems those new to ebay don’t quite get “IT” yet – that when you BID it’s a binding contract that means if you win, you PAY. S&H handling charges will be combined for shipping portion ONLY on multiple items, most of the time combined S&H is full price for highest item & then 50% off the S&H fees for each additional item (read my “about me” page for explanation of my S&H fees). payment is by PAYPAL ONLY & winner must pay within 3 days of winning! Rules of ebay you bid you win you buy – period! If there is a problem LET ME KNOW asap so we can figure out a solution otherwise you will be reported to ebay given a strike & negative feedback. If there is no payment or email, the Item gets relisted in 7 days. PLEASE BE AWARE once item is shipped, its gone, out of MY CONTROL! i get confirmation #’s for tracking purposes on everything i send out (customs tracking # for overseas). SO DON’T BLAME ME if the USPS loses your package. Concerned? then take out insurance for the full value of it! I am not a retailer or authorized seller of any of the items, EXCEPT all the leather Goods – which i AM an authorized reseller… so point is that i am just a compulsive shopper. i shop at big department stores, outlets, ebay outlets, sales & off-price department stores. so i’m 99.99% sure that all my items are authentic – as i have this thing against wearing fake stuff – i just don’t do it AND i don’t sell it! So don’t ever try telling me my items are not authentic, cause i know they are! Unless you can fax me documented proof from the manufacturer saying they are not authentic with a managers name, that can be verified by me calling for myself, i WILL NOT REFUND any monies based on your interpretation of whats real & whats not. If you do not agree with this statement – then do not bid on my items. i also cannot guarantee the longevity or the quality of an item, as i just resell, not purchase direct from manufacturer. If you think you are being vindictive by leaving me Negative or neutral feedback… don’t even bother, because that basically just MEANS you get the SAME negative feedback – so contact me 1st if theres a problem. as most parents always teach their children “if you don’t have something nice to say… don’t say it at all”. Ebay & paypal charge HUGE fees for every item that gets listed. If you return something I wind up LOSING money on the original listing fees and sorry… but I’m not in the ebay business to LOSE MONEY. I’ve SOLD TONS of GREAT items to hundreds of very HAPPY EBAY campers, so please don’t be put off my this disclosure. if anything feel secure in knowing that you are dealing with a woman who understands FAIR BUSINESS practice & will treat you with the highest level of respect. Read my ABOUT ME bio for more info on who i am… and since i am a HUMAN, mistakes & typos CAN happen (& i am not responsible for typographical errors) – so if something seems not quite right OR you have a question, ASK BEFORE BIDDING. By you placing your bid on my listing, it means you have READ & AGREE TO MY EBAY seller terms & conditions. So once again… ALL SALES FINAL SALE – meaning no returns, exchanges or refunds! all images, original created composites, text & in-depth item description verbiage… is all COPYRIGHT 2007 Apple Graphics & Advertising Inc. – so don’t STEAL it, copy it, swipe it or borrow it.
When you see something like this, the really fun mind game is to realize that for every condition, term and restriction in this Godzilla of a paragraph, there was likely a situation where “Apple Graphics” encountered it during sales on Ebay. That is, someone DID complain about the quality of the clothes that were used. Someone DID try and get refunds they didn’t deserve. Someone with less than six stars tried to conduct business and was a bit of a dope. All of this likely happened.
Ebay is what we would call a mature web entity. People know it means “Auction”, and specifically “Web Auction”. (Less people know it stands for “East Bay”.) And they know it’s the place to go to when you want to sell something. Everybody knows that. And therefore there’s a lot of people, and a lot of sales and auctions (millions, really), and naturally, there’s fraud.
But I’m fascinated at some of the real interesting terms and conditions they’ve dreamed up. For example, this one:
If you think you are being vindictive by leaving me Negative or neutral feedback… don’t even bother, because that basically just MEANS you get the SAME negative feedback – so contact me 1st if theres a problem. as most parents always teach their children “if you don’t have something nice to say… don’t say it at all”.
That one’s spectacular. It basically says that if you leave negative feedback, you are going to get equivalent negative feedback. Also, neutral feedback is the same as negative feedback. And you should always complain to the seller first, even if you feel truly wronged. Wonderful stuff. This is part of the interesting side-effect of Ebay’s reputation metric and system; people take those feedbacks really seriously, and they want 100% positive feedback, not even neutral feedback, or they will feel truly wronged and mistreated.
This is a rant paragraph/EULA that is years in the making, hundreds of transactions later (they have over 1,300 auctions listed), the result of the sparks that fly when human meets human over the computer and through the postal system. Hard-won knowledge, crafted in pain and wasted time, all about selling online and the inevitable missed communication, lost transactions and desperate situations that arise.
This is the part less discussed, the situations where things can go very wrong, and all the attempts by the seller to head these off at the past beforehand. This is the lesson and the interest for me; to see in all its boldness and glory the reality of online transaction.
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