I have a major love/hate relationship with eBay. I love it because it is the best place to buy and sell gear that is used, discontinued, and not available in retail. But a growing number of users are idiots, plain and simple.

After one bad experience, I refuse to ship products outside the USA. I use FedEx exclusively because they generally provide better and easier service than UPS or the Post Office, but they make it very difficult for an individual to send products internationally. So my auctions specifically ban shipments to addresses outside the USA. Yet I continue to get requests to ship products outside the USA. Reading directions is something everyone is supposed to learn in primary school.

This week, I have wasted hours fighting a deadbeat. He won my most expensive auction ever, for my old Cary tube amplifier. To make a long story short, he claims that his son used his eBay account to bid on the auction. I offered to work this out with him, and he countered that we should simply lie and report to eBay that the deal just didn’t work out. I refused to lie, and have now reported him to eBay. Now he is hounding me to retract.

If his story is true, then he is irresponsible to allow others to use his account. I told him that it is his responsibility to protect his account just like he protects his wallet or car keys.

I feel strongly that his punishment is just. If he is honest, he will learn the lesson to protect his account, and one bad mark will quickly be forgotten. And if he is lying, then he is getting what he deserves.

As I get older, I get less patient with people who shirk their personal responsibility.

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