This Space for Rent

The majesty of commerce

Since I’ve told my corporate masters to take their job and (politely) shove it, I’ve been selling off a bunch of my old camera and computing hardware on the 800 pound auction site. Most of these transactions have been painfully simple; I put something up for auction, it gets sold, I get paid, I send off the item, the buyer and I are happy with the trade.

But, and there’s always a but, not every transaction is this smooth. One transaction, which should have brought up every screaming warning bell before I let it go through (buyer had high high negative feedback, buyer had made his feedback private so that people couldn’t actually see what the negatives were, buyer was oddly passionate about trivial parts of the transaction,) is in the competition to be the auction world’s equivalent of the stereotypical asshole open source™®© fanboy/programmer.

He won the auction. Last week. But that’s the last thing that went smoothly. First the “I’ll pay in 3 days”, then there was the “did you make a backup of the system for me?”, then there was a long impassioned commentary about why I should pirate a copy of the OS running on the offending auction item instead of doing the system backup (apparently CDs “go bad” during shipment, like floppy disks used to. I’m surprised that the buyer didn’t ask for a WinXP system save on 8" DS/DD diskettes,) THEN there was a short digression into why it’s morally wrong to mail things over the weekend and have them sit in the shipper’s hands until monday rolls around, and then there was a swing back to “you need to make a system save before” (and I’m sure you can guess what it’s going to be here) “I even pay you

Because, yes, despite repeated (and increasingly hostile as the dance of avoidance continued along) reminders that the buyer needs to actually pay for the damned thing they won at auction, payment is apparently not on the menu unless I first strip naked and sing love ballads from the top of Lovejoy Fountain. Because if I don’t do that, I might get “negative feedback” and that would be the most horrible thing in the world.

Or not. It seems like the simple solution would have been the traditional “win the auction/pay for the item” approach, but after this much song and dance a ridiculous bit of “negative feedback” (lemme guess: “seller wanted me to pay for my purchase, the evil cad!!!?!”) doesn’t seem like it counts as anything more than a reason to screen more carefully for cartoonies.