Top 10 Reasons Ebay Will Drive You Nuts

by Peter Zack


  1. The thing you have been looking for the past 3 years is in another country. The seller will not ship it to your location no matter how much you offer to pay. All your friends living in that country return from vacation 2 days after it closes.
  2. An auction for a Canon 50mm lens. The seller is a professional photographer but can only provide 3 photos, One is a stock photo and the other 2 are so fuzzy that they look like balls of yarn. The word “Minty” is used 18 times to describe said ball of yarn that appears to be a Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L USM with a BIN of $1299. Do you go for it?
  3. The seller claims he knows nothing about the lens but declares it takes great pictures and will work fine on your camera. He says he can’t offer any details on the condition other than it looks like new but will not be around during the auction to answer emails.
  4. The seller has the dream lens that is so rare you’d sell your car to get it but doesn’t know the mount. There are 6 pictures of the front of the lens and 2 close ups of the rear with a generic rear cap firmly in place.
  5. The seller answers your critical questions 3 minutes after the auction closes even though you emailed 6 times over 3 days.
  6. The seller Lists the item at a reasonable ‘Buy it now’ with $137 in shipping plus a $25 handling charge and he lives in a state close enough that it would cost you $65 in gas and tolls to pick it up.
  7. The seller has the rarest camera body from Leica and wants a reasonable price but refuses to post or email pictures. You just know it was run over by a truck.
  8. The auction arrives and the Vivitar series 1 135mm f1.8 macro is actually an Albinar 135mm f8.
  9. The Canon L 70-200mm f2.8 EF USM shows a picture the size of a pencil eraser and the sellers comments are stock off the site. You email asking condition and get “sory dont spek Engrish” in response 2 minutes before closing… The lens sells for $329.
  10. The best deal since Ansel Adams shot pictures, arrives in your auto search emails. It’s spelled “Nikkon Camrea” in the title. You are so excited that you’ll be the only one who will see this one. You click on the link and one of 2 things happen 1) It’s sold as a BIN 2 minutes before, while you were cleaning the toilet 2) You bookmark the auction to place that last minute bid and 2 hours before the end of the auction, the listing is pulled with the price at $124 on a D3.


Bonus: “5 More Nuts”

  1. You have a great item to sell and there have been none listed for months. The day you list, 6 others suddenly appear and 3 have ridiculously low BIN’s.
  2. You’re not a sports fan. You list your great lens for sale. The listing took hours to get just right and it’s going to do well. You can just feel it. On the morning it closes, you realize that the close time is going to happen with 2 minutes to go at the end of the Superbowl.
  3. You’ve been watching that great auction for the Sony A900. You’ve got the bid ready to go. 2 windows open on the computer, one to watch the time and the other with the bid ready. 15 seconds to go, you hit ‘Confirm’ and the browser hangs for 16 seconds.
  4. You grab a great estate auction for $12 and list it on Ebay. When it closes at $14, You scratch your head at the closing price until you discover that Pentex is spelled Pentax.
  5. You just bought and paid for a Pentax Takumar SMC 85mm f1.8. You are really excited to be finally getting a great new portrait lens. You spent every dime you had left this month. A couple days later you decide to check 85mm lenses to be sure the price was fair and there’s a ‘Mint’ Pentax FA*85mm f1.4 with a BIN @ $599.


Let’s hear yours! Go to the contact page and e-mail us your reasons why Ebay drives you nuts (or just leave a comment to this article). We’d love to hear what you think and make some additions to this list. With enough good ones we’ll create a new list with the appropriate credit back to you!



13 Responses to “Top 10 Reasons Ebay Will Drive You Nuts”

  1. That was a good laugh. 🙂 And all of them true, in one way or another.

  2. I don’t shop on ebay much anymore – and this is reminding me that I’m not missing it. 🙂

    A Good read, Peter.

  3. LOL, Simple truths are always great…Thanks for the laugh, I have been working 12-16 hour days and I needed the laugh…

  4. LOL! Pretty much covered it–except the part when your 12yo daughter says no, she thinks she might really want to go to college and won’t agree to helping you pay for that once-in-a-lifetime $4K deal out of her anticipated earnings as a waitress.

  5. Seller describes the lens as “clean, no dust or fungus” – you go ahead and buy it and find, technically, the description is accurate but the HAZE is so thick you can hardly see through the lens!! The last three (3!!!) lenses I’ve purchased (2 off eBay, 1 off another auction site) have been crap!! Getting depressing.

  6. Sorry to hear that Chip, this was supposed to be lighthearted. But I guess there is a kernel of truth to it.

    Thanks for comments everyone.

  7. Peter, I started my comment in that vein and drifted to reality! 😎 Didn’t mean to post a “downer”!!

    By the by – y’all are doing some great work with this blog – it’s MUCH appreciated.

    • Chip, these humorous Top 10s wouldn’t be funny if they weren’t based on truth. Both Peter and I have been in your position at one time or another and we can understand your frustration. Ebay and PayPal have systems in place to help buyers when they are misled by sellers; we would encourage you to take action and demand a refund from these sellers.

      Good luck in the future!

  8. Is there room on this list for the lens containing a dead spider?

    • Andrew, that should become a classic. I just wish the guy had taken a photo of it. And let’s remember that said lens was described as being “clean” and in “excellent condition” 😀

  9. Or how about the painted purple lens?
    Or the Tokina I got that was taped together?

  10. Oh I bet the possibilities are endless. Purple lenses, spiders under glass, we are only talking one Ebay category! I can imagine the stories from Ebay motors!

  11. Deepu Mukundan Says:

    ebay was never been my option. I baught all lenses from only reputed stores. Yeah it did burn a hole in, but the scare of all the rogue posts and experiences is something I anticipated beforehand. But this means I have only a handful of lenses, which I can afford to. Nice article Peter.

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