Monday, July 22, 2002

eBay and the Den of Thieves

  I hate to admit it, but I've been ripped off on eBay again.  For the same type of item, no less.  It all started back in January 2002, when I won the "Complete Sailor Moon collection" on VCD! Now, I've never been the show's BIGGEST fan, I have to admit I did enjoy the series.  The prospect of owning the entire series, the entire Sailor Stars series, and all movies for $120 CDN was appealing.  I knew for a fact that my DVD player could play VCDs, so I went for it.

  I don't think I've been more disappointed in my life.  The entire series (and I DID get everything) was NOT on VCD, but on computer CDRs, and in RealMedia format.  Completely unusable on my DVD player.  The eBay ad said explicitly "These are NOT the video clips you download off the net".  Well, yeah, they were... and therefore of little use to me.
 
Why? I'll tell you.  I don't normally watch anime alone, I usually have a few friends over to watch with me, and do you know how hard it is to cram several people into my office to watch bad quality video in a 300x300 Realplayer window on a 17 inch monitor??  Maybe the moron who sold them to me ASSUMED I knew that they were in Realmedia format, that I spent my life in front of my computer screen like some fat, friendless, bespectacled loser with no social skills, but in all cases, his assumptions were incorrect (heh, I'm a tall, muscular, sociable loser with contact lenses).  When I read VCD, I ASSUMED they were in VCD format, as would anyone with half a brain...
 
   You think I woulda learned... I have since bought several VCDs from people off eBay and actually RECEIVED VCDs.  So it came as quite a shock when, two months ago,  I won the entire Martian Successor Nadesico series on VCD, only to have it arrive on two CDRs, in Realmedia format.
 
   Pride got the better of me, and I kept them.  I can honestly say I've been watching them, now that I have a bit of time to spare.  It would have been better if they'd actually BEEN on VCDs, so I could be sitting in my living room, watching one of my favourite series' on my home theatre center.
 
   So, my advice to anyone reading this is: Don't trust ANYONE selling movies on eBay!  A real VCD (that's Video CD, for those of you who aren't in the know) can hold at MOST an HOUR's worth of video...so when someone claims to have the entire 26 episode series of Slayers Try on two VCDs, chances are good they're in RealMedia format, or low quality mpeg or AVI clips...So make DAMN sure you ASK if the individual is selling true VCDs or CDRs filled with Realmedia clips....


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