eBay Jeebies

Valley bidders go berserk on Internet's biggest auction house.

"It was so pathetic, we just laughed," says Brandy Kvetko. "The box had been opened, the pieces were all pulled apart and there was a big dent in the cover. We didn't even bother trying to send it back or posting negative feedback. Who's got time?"

eBay caveat emptor: In eBay Nation, one man's mint is another man's poison.

eBay watch: Online auction features 2.5 million items daily.
eBay watch: Online auction features 2.5 million items daily.

"You really have to wonder who's buying all this stuff," says the executive director of a local political group who now spends her spare time peddling household wares, costume jewelry and old clothing over eBay. "It's crazy," she says. "I've had people buy things from me for more than they would have paid new at a store. Where could they live that this possibly makes any kind of economic sense?"

Conceding that eBay selling is no way to get rich, she adds that her customer service department keeps things interesting.

After a customer failed to follow up on a winning bid of $41.32 for a couple of tae-bo tapes, she fired off an e-mail using "the old 'If I don't hear from you, I'll leave negative feedback' ploy."

"Well, I immediately get an e-mail from her: 'My husband was just shipped out, I'm moving out of this house, my child has a severe disease -- how dare you threaten me with negative feedback! If you look at my track record and read my feedback, why would I ruin it over these tae-bo tapes?'

"I wanted to tell her, 'Because you're stupid enough to pay more than you'd pay at Target, you goddamn nitwit.'"

Have a nice day -- and thanks for shopping eBay!

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