Greg Greg's eBay auction experiences with west1255
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Last update: $Date: 2006/05/27 02:56:52 $


This page describes the problems I have had with an eBay auction from west1255.

On 17 April 2006 I won a camera on eBay. If the original auction information is gone, here is a copy. It took two weeks for the camera to arrive, packed only in a light padded envelope, and with the lens in a second envelope:

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index

Despite the packaging it wasn't obviously damaged, but it didn't have a strap, lens cap or batteries. The original auction clearly showed both lens cap and strap, and stated:

Pictures: That's right, What you see is what you get. I do not use stock photos of similar items, each one is for the exact item up for bid (Only exception is with the rare 2nd chance offer when I have multiples of some items). I do NOT enhance, color correct or touch up my pics in anyway. I do enlarge them to show you some detail, but that's it.

The following day I got some batteries for the camera. They cost nearly 25% of what I paid for the camera. When I put them in, I discovered that the electronics are defective: it transported the film one frame every time it was turned on or off, or when I pressed the shutter—without taking a photo.

In summary, then:

I sent a message to the seller asking what to do, but as of 3 May 2006, the date I set for a reply, I did not get any reply. I fear I will have to take legal action. I obviously can't give the seller anything except a very negative valuation. I started doing that, but the web site suggested to take my time, and also offered me the contact details of the seller. The email looked less then informative:

335/335   +     eBay User Information Request                                              -- (all)
Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 00:56:14 -0700
Subject: eBay User Information Request


It proved to be a defective multipart/alternative message; the entire message is in HTML. And I don't have a functional web browser. sigh. Called the number and got voice mail. Left a message, of course; I wonder if he'll call back.

On 4 May I called again and left another, more forcible message. I then left for the USA for a planned trip, and got Yvonne to give the camera to Yana for checking.

On 6 May, after arrival in Cupertino, I sent a final message via the eBay mail system, on the off chance that the vendor was not reading any other mail, asking “Please contact me immediately to avoid legal action and negative feedback.”. I also got a message from Yana stating:

I've also had a look at the MZ-50. The lens works just fine, I pretty quickly came to the conclusion that it was definitely something with the shutter. I found a camera repair place on Hindmarsh Square, and they told me that what has happened is that the little gear on the motor for the shutter is cracked. It's a specific MZ-50 glitch, as it turns out. They use a plastic gear on that little motor, and eventually, it will inevitably crack, which leaves the motor spinning uselessly, and the broken gear doing nothing to actually open and close the shutter. The bloke who fixes them actually gets that request all the time, and replaces the plastic gear with a brass one, so it doesn't happen again. For some reason which is beyond me though, he imports the things from the US, and the repair costs $140 plus $14 GST. So the options are, either get the thing repaired and pay more for it than for the camera itself, or get a different model. Apparently the MZ-60 and Mz-70 are crap compared to the MZ- 50. I do feel a lot of affection for that camera, but I suppose I could have a look for another one which suits me. Wah. Boo-hiss. Tanty.

So I can only assume that the vendor is deliberately not answering my attempts to contact him. I won't try again; when I get back to Australia, I'll take up legal proceedings.

Tuesday, 9 May 2006


It looks like I'm not the only person to have problems with this vendor:

Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 15:45:32 +1000 (EST)
Subject: ****attention Greg Lehey re- ebay west1255...

hi mate,
i had similar probs with west1255 as you.  530bucks i spent...  4weeks to
get goods and lucky they actually were as advertised.  only 1 email
response(which was BS) blaming transport company for non delivery - turns
out of course he had not sent it at all.  I lodged complaint with paypal,
which brought action.maybe will work for you??

hes a tosser and should be removed from ebay.
At least he got his goods.

Saturday, 13 May 2006


I've just discovered that the camera was paid for using PayPal, who offer a dispute resolution service. Filled out a form and sent it to them. Received a reply suggesting that things won't happen fast.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006


Another message about the vendor:

Hi, I too have 'bought and paid' for an item off this person and have not received it nor
does he reply to emails.  He is also no longer registered on ebay.  I like many others after
the 23.4 have not received our items or able to contact him, which says everything about
his motive, please if you have any information on this person (location) I would very much
appreciate your help.  Ebay does not do much in these cases and people are left to help
themselves.  If you could help it would be very much appreciated!
Unfortunately, eBay won't let me reply:
eBay sent this message on behalf of an eBay member via My Messages.  Responses sent using
email will not reach the eBay member.  Use the Respond link below to respond to this

Monday, 22 May 2006


PayPal has responded to my complaint, requiring me to do considerable work:

In order to continue with the investigation of your complaint, we must request documentation to support your claim that the item is damaged or significantly not as described. Please obtain a document (such as an estimate or invoice) from an unbiased third-party, such as a dealer, repair shop, appraiser, or another individual or organization that is qualified in the area of the item in question (other than yourself). This document should detail the extent of the damage or clearly explain how the item received significantly differs from the item advertised. Please do not proceed with any repairs or alterations to the item, as doing so will limit PayPal^Zs ability to successfully resolve your claim, and may result in the cancellation of your dispute. If possible, the document should include a serial number and description of the item, and the dollar amount required to complete the repairs necessary to correct the damage. This document must be on letterhead that includes the name, address, and phone number of the individual, business, or organization so that PayPal may contact them if necessary.

The documents should be faxed to PayPal at (402) 537-5760 (please note this is a United States phone number, if you are faxing from outside the United States, you will generally need to dial 00 1 before the number). Please include a cover sheet with your fax that includes the email address registered on your PayPal account and the ID number of your claim so we may attach the document to your claim as quickly as possible.

We must receive your fax within ten days from the date of this message in order to proceed with the investigation of your claim. If we do not receive your fax within ten days, your claim will be cancelled. We are unable to grant extensions to this time period. PayPal is unable to reimburse you for any costs or fees that may be incurred in obtaining the requested documents. Any documents you provide may also be supplied to the seller in your dispute.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience. We regret any inconvenience this request may cause.

What a pain! In addition, note that ^Z in “Paypal^Zs”. That causes file(1), and thus apparently a2ps, to consider it a binary file and refuse to print it.

Tuesday, 23 May 2006


Called the South Australian Office of Consumer and Business Affairs this morning. They were able to get on to Simon and spoke to him and me alternately. He made all sorts of claims:

As far as I can tell, it seems that PayPal had indeed taken back the money pending the enquiry. Called Simon back and spoke with him directly. I asked him how he could have tested the camera without batteries; he responded that he had taken the batteries out to put in his “new” Nikon 801, and that he had previously run a number of films through the camera. I wonder if the Nikon takes the same kind of batteries. He was completely uncooperative, so it looks as if the PayPal complaint will have to run its course.

Yana went into town today and got the confirmation of the condition of the camera that PayPal wanted. Spoke to the repairer on the phone, who confirmed that the Nikon F-801 takes different batteries from the Pentax MZ-50. So it's fairly clear that west1255 was lying. Oh well. Let's see what happens.

Friday, 26 May 2006


Got the quotation for PayPal from Yana:

Click on the picture to see a medium-size version in the index

That should make things clear enough. It's probably not legible until you follow through twice to the biggest version of the document.

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