It was late on March 23, 2004 when I decided to surprise my wife with a "just because I love you" gift.
She had a new "passion", the Lord of the Rings. For her birthday, (about a month earlier), I purchased a few Lord of the Rings action figures for her. She was thrilled. I knew I had made her happy, which in turn makes me feel better about myself and the world in general. (If you are married to that special someone - and I hope anyone who is reading this is lucky enough to be - well then you know exactly what I'm talking about).
I don't make much money, (actually my wife makes more than I do), but I had just received a small raise, and I wanted to spend the first of my good fortune on the woman I love.
One of her favorite characters in the Lord of the Rings is a person named Faramir, and after searching on eBay for quite sometime I found a set that not only included Faramir, but three other figures I knew she'd love as well.
The seller had a flawless feedback rating,
(at the time), and although the shipping would be a bit high, (I live in
the US and he in Canada), I thought the auction was one I would be interested
in. I had had good luck with eBay on the whole in the past, and thought
with the seller's flawless feedback that would be another good transaction.
I was so thrilled when I won the set for her. I immediately received the invoice and paid that night, hoping the figures would arrive in 10-15 days, as the seller had promised.
I waited and waited and waited. Several e-mails went unanswered. I got more than a little nervous. Finally I broke down and contacted eBay to get the seller's personal contact information, which I received. I called the seller after three weeks of waiting.
Well the next part of the story is long and I'm sure you've read and heard about many such scams on eBay, where good people are taken advantage of. So I won't bore you with long written details, (it's kind of you to read as much as you have), but I will advise you as to some of the "low lights".
No fewer than 10 phone calls were made, all by me, all to Canada, and all on my phone bill. This seller ran the gambit of lies, from his computer being down, to the business moving, to his wife being in a car crash and having to go to the hospital. As I became more certain that his stories were just that - stories - I began to confront and "call him out on" his many discrepancies. The stories got wilder and more dramatic as I pointed out obvious flaws in his lies.
As the weeks rolled into months, and any semblance of a "surprise" was long since ruined for my wife, the seller informed me that my figures had indeed "shipped" - really this time. (My wife and I joke every so often when the mail arrives, asking if the Lord of the Rings package arrived, and our absolute "shock" when we reveal to the other that it still hasn't arrived).
After the thief ran out of lies he decided his new best course of action was not to answer his cell phone, at least when he saw it was my telephone number that was incoming.
During, and shortly after these events, the seller was barred from eBay for registering 18 negative feedback complaints and stealing money from many honest, hard working eBayers.
I also found out that this person has at least three aliases. I still don't know his real name, but he may respond to any of these.
His address is as follows, and if you are ever asked for payment to be sent to this address, please, please, don't send it.
H3M 1N4, Canada
His old eBay user ID was "bestbuytoyz", and I'm sure like most eBay con artists, he's opened a new account using other aliases and tricks to steal honest eBayer's money. His email address was firstname.lastname@example.org, which still seems to be working, however, who knows if he ever checks it.
You might wonder why I'm taking my time and yours to write all of this down. I would be lying if I stated that I wasn't still foolishly hoping for my money to be returned, but I'm also hoping sometime, somewhere, somebody of nobel character would try to tug at this person's conscious a bit, maybe giving him a push to do the right thing for me and for all the eBayers he stole from. (If he indeed cares about such things like honor and honesty). The amount of money he has stolen from me and from others isn't a lot in the scheme of things, but certainly means a lot to me, as I'm sure it does to all those other people.
We all know that people like this spread distrust and fear wherever they go. I want to fight that. I want the good people to stand up, to let our light outshine their darkness.
If what I've written bothers you in any way, I would hope that you would do more than nod to your computer, or feel bad for me and others in your heart. While we appreciate your thoughts and intentions, these things alone will not send a loud enough message. I'm convinced that for the vast majority of people in the world, we naturally do what we feel is right, without being poked or prodded to do so. Unfortunately people like this seller need more of a tangible presence to do what is right. I've found the saying "evil grows when men (and women) of good conscious do nothing to stop it", is very true when dealing with people like him.
So I urge you all, write letters, write e-mails, or even call this guy, (514) 831-4878. Tell him of what I have written, and urge him to do the right thing.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this letter.