eBayer driven to edge by email quippery
Web wags target defenceless car vendor
It's a simple enough prospect: you've got a second-hand silver Ford Galaxy Ghia automatic you want to offload, so where better to get rid of it than on eBay? Here's the plan - set up auction, post nice pictures, include full details and wait for the bids to roll in.
Or rather, wait for the emails to roll in. Hundreds of 'em, as every muppet and wag in the land jumps on the "bait the vendor" bandwagon.
That's what happened to the seller of this fine automobile...
...who was subjected to a barrage of queries and quips which might well have unhinged the mind of a lesser mortal. The full transcript of his struggle to hold back the tide of insanity makes fine Friday afternoon reading. Enjoy while thanking reader Steve Powell for the tip-off:
On 22-Apr-06 at 13:49:33 BST, seller added the following information:
Ok for the person who came to test drive it and exclaimed "Oh it's Silver - I don't want a Silver one!" Yes it's Silver. Just so that there is no error here The title says it's Silver, the description confirms this and guess what? When you look at the photo's what do you see? Yup you got it. It is indeed Silver. I am so glad that you came to view it, thanks for brightening my day.
On 22-Apr-06 at 13:58:42 BST, seller added the following information:
Had 4 or 5 people asking what the reserve is....I can't see a reserve price on it...can you? ...er there isn't one. This is selling all the way. When the hammer falls the highest bidder wins regardless.
On 22-Apr-06 at 14:45:39 BST, seller added the following information:
Ok a round up of the latest emails:
- Sorry no swaps or trade-ins - I'm not a garage! Not even a very nice garden shed painted red that I have to dismantle myself, but thanks for the offer.
- Being registered in 2000 makes it 6 years old...I have never heard of a warranty this long so no it is not under warranty.
- Yes it is road legal - it's got an Mot!
- Nope no tax
- Yes it has a spare wheel. (Have I landed on a different planet or something?)
- No faults that I know of beyond what's in the description however that's not a promise as I'm not a mechanic and no there is no trial period. Come and try it make your own mind up. If you win you buy.
- No I don't think that I'm your long lost husband George from Arbroath regardless of how sarcastic I appear to be. It's called humour where I'm from. Personally I think George did the right thing where ever he is.
- The only finance is: you pay me I give you the car, I'm not a bank!
- I can't vouch for the other owners but no accidents that I am aware of.
- Yes you can look at it but no you can't take it for a two day test drive. (I am sure April 1st has gone).
- Ha ha very funny, no it's not made out of chocolate. (Why me. I get on a train / bus and I get the nutter. I even land the nutty taxi drivers who have just had Paris Hilton in the cab 'honest' - yeh right.). Get a life and start bidding.
- How do you place a bid?...sorry if this is too complicated for you I tend to think that driving might just be a stretch too far.
- No it's not left hand drive and your holiday in france and the precise route sounds wonderful. send me a postcard.
On 22-Apr-06 at 19:45:14 BST, seller added the following information:
Ok I think I have become email capital of ebay...a real magnet for wonderful questions:
- All the seats are present and work, I know that you have counted them in the pictures and can only see 7. There is a very good reason for this...it's a 7 seater.
- No it's never been raced ...sorry am I missing something here, Auto Galaxy racing???? May be it'll be be a new class at Imola this year - Auto F1 MPV trials.
- There are no rips or tears to the head lining
- How the hell do I know if anyone has ever eaten in it. I assume no four course meals but may be the odd hippo pastie. Get a grip.
- It's not an off road vehicle so I assume it hasn't been used as such...this is an assumption mind you.
- Oh I see, no dear, 7 seater includes the driver.
- I can't speak for previous owners, I'm not aware of animals being in it. I suppose a previous owner could have been a zoo keeper or a werewolf.
Keep up the emails as there is nothing else I'd rather be doing with my time. have fun and happy bidding. Is it a full moon tonight?
On 22-Apr-06 at 23:00:22 BST, seller added the following information:
Come on guys give it a rest it's saturday night...get a life...
- Why does it make any difference how many people are watching this? Just bid.
- You might have a large family and can't afford very much, I am sorry on both accounts but I'm not a charity.
- Again no swaps, not even if your car is really nice.
- I'm glad that you are enjoying this Sheryl, watch telly or something, haven't you got a boy friend or something?... no better still bid - now!
On 23-Apr-06 at 12:00:55 BST, seller added the following information:
Sunday the day of rest...yeah right...more gems from ebay land...
Thought this might interest you - On one of my last auctions the guy who won it said that he had hooked himself up to a blood pressure monitor in the closing minutes of the bidding and his pressure went up to some ridiculous level. I do wonder some people on the net at times. Must get out more and interact with more carbon based life forms (humanoid) springs to mind.
- The reason Jerry, that the gear stick is a funny shape is because it's an A U T O M A T I C gear box. Which means that if you do come to look you will find that there is no clutch. It's not missing by the way they just don't need three pedals. Should be just perfect for some as it's just like a pedal car - only two pedals.
- No it's not like new, Fran, it's 6 years old and done 67,000 + miles with kids.
- The seats are all fine, except the drivers arm rest as mentioned before.
- The exhaust appears to be fine. Whilst we are on the subject of expelling waste gas....
Ok guys enough for today. I'm off to do some things as I have a life. More tomorrow no doubt.
On 24-Apr-06 at 09:35:52 BST, seller added the following information:
Well stuff me sideways with a large mexican cactus...a mail box crammed with 100's of emails...thanks just what I want to be doing on my Birthday. Yes Happy birthday to me, oh the joys of age...Ok another and possibly the last round up as ebay won't let me add anything I think within 24 hours of the end. The end is nigh.
- Again no swaps. What is it with people, when I say no swaps please don't take it as a challange. I have been offfered a caravan, 12 cars, 1 lorry, to have my garden landscaped, some rare fish, and I'm sorry but the very kind gent (Donald) who offered me a weekend with his wife (and him it would appear) I have a special message for you. The pictures you sent me of your wife did not, in all honesty help. Some of them looked more like a traffic accident than something that I might remotely find alluring. I am sure that if you set up your own website (assuming that it's not illegal) there will be plenty of sad sacks (many from ebay land going by this experience) who will indulge your (and your wifes) desires.
- The tyres on the right hand side of the vehicle are not flat. The reason the picture of the rear seats is 'wonky' as you put it, has an awful lot to do with the fact that I was trying to perch myself between the two front seats facing backwards. There was a very interesting hand brake and gear stick threatening to change my gender at that moment. Additionally at the same time, fending off a small child wearing an eye patch and a pirates bandana who was in the process of trying to hack my left leg off with a large plastic knife; a generous donation to family harmony from Santa.
- The bar you can see in the back is to handcuff the children to.(Joke - don't report me to the RSPCC altough at times....) Its the parcel shelf and can be removed easily.
- Yes it has privacy glass in the back and your eyes do not deceive you. It's really handy - people can't see inside the back as you transport your clan arround. They should make such glass complusory. Stops you getting a fright on the motorway when you glance sideways into a car as see .... I do wonder about some families.
- Whimp. Lancaster is not too far to come to look. Try this...bid, win collect. Simple really and it's a lovely train ride. You think writing replies to a zillion questions about this makes car buying fun????? Woha Lisa I think you need to change your friends.
- Yet again no it's not like new Gavin. Let me put it this way...what would you be like if you have run over 67,000 miles in six years carrying a load of kids (or werewolves)? Got a picture? Good well this car is a miracle. It looks bloody good and far far better than you would after such an event. However new implies without a mark, pristine, no wear...no it's not like new. It's good and it doesn't appear to have been abused like I sense you should be....may be I should introduce you to Donald (see above).
- For the 34 people who are interested in the tyres. Firstly I am sure that your interest in rubber ...no I can't be bothered, I'm sure Donald and his wife would like to meet you (see above). The tyres are very good. They all look reasonably new. On the subject of tires....
Thankfully not long to go now so bid.
Thanks for the many messages of appreciation and yes for those that asked try this http://multiversity.blogspot.com/.
Have fun bid high. I'm off to blow out far too many candles.
On 24-Apr-06 at 10:04:28 BST, seller added the following information:
No I don't live in Lancaster??? I live in Oxford.
On 24-Apr-06 at 10:42:55 BST, seller added the following information:
Heaven help us...
Another is it left hand drive?
- Don't you read or something? If not then I guess this isn't going make a lot of sense then. In which case I guess I can call you anything and you won't know! Nit.
- Do you think that I have cunningly turned the photo's around to make it just look like a right hand drive vehicle just to fool you???? Give me strength. NO ITS A BLOODY RIGHT HAND DRIVE MPV.
On 24-Apr-06 at 13:35:55 BST, seller added the following information:
- How fast does it go? Depends on what's in front of you I suppose. It will sit very happily at 90 without even stressing the engine. (On the autobhaan of course, officer).
- Yes I am a nice bloke really - not had many complaints anyway, why do you ask Amy?
- Yes it runs on petrol, I am tempted to say I've tried gin and tonics but someone will actually think I mean it. I now understand why car adverts have to include warnings like 'Does not include people and scenery' in them. How do such people get by in life? Do they buy a ticket for the train and think they have a share in the rolling stock??
- Yes I like it (The car that is). What sort of question was that Ruth??
- It's very stable in cornering. In fact I wish most people were as stable as this MPV. It sits on the road really really well. It really is just like a big car. It is great to drive.
- Yes Bob the cup holders work.
On 24-Apr-06 at 13:38:39 BST, seller added the following information:
No Bob the cup holders are not broken or damaged in any way. As I said they work.
On 24-Apr-06 at 13:41:05 BST, seller added the following information:
Well Bob I just suppose that depends on how big your cups are doesn't it. No I haven't tried them with tins. I Don't drink and drive Bob.
On 24-Apr-06 at 13:47:14 BST, seller added the following information:
Bob haven't you got work to do or do you find that you have a problem relating to the rest of the human race? What is it with the cup holders? My suggestion is that rather than buying a car you go out and buy a cup holder. It's much safer - trust me.
On 24-Apr-06 at 13:51:15 BST, seller added the following information:
Thanks Bob and I hope that you have a nice day too. Oh by the way Bob you are now barred from bidding. I figure that the motoring and pedestrian population of Great Britain are safer that way.
On 24-Apr-06 at 15:10:48 BST, seller added the following information:
Bob sending me an email under a different name won't work either. You are the only person in the world who is even remotely interested in the cup holders and you have misspelled the swear words in exactly the same way as you did in your last email. Nobody and I mean nobody cares about cup holders. Now let me make some predictions Bob and you tell me if I'm right.
- You collect the numbers of trains at Crew railway station.
- You live with your mum even though you are 45.
- You don't have a girl friend - indeed you might even be a virgin (not that there's anything wrong with that at 45 of course).
- Your favourite programme on TV is mmmm this is a hard one....got to be one of these inane outake / blooper type programmes or a practical joke programme that darken our culture. You know the kind of thing where a comic pretends to leave you with 15 dogs in the park whilst they go to the loo. That's funny isn't it Bob?
- You button your shirts right up to the neck even though you don't wear a tie.
How am I doing?
On 24-Apr-06 at 15:20:42 BST, seller added the following information:
Thanks for your prompt reply. How did I know about the trainspotting, the telly thing and the shirts? Just a wild crazy guess I suppose. Even though you are not a virgin are only living with your mum temporarily you are still barred. Hey tell you what, there is a chap who would love to swap emails with you. He's not doing much at the moment, he's just tending some land in the middle east and buggering up a few million peoples lives. He would be delighted to have a friend. How about you send him an email on email@example.com . All the best.
On 24-Apr-06 at 22:32:49 BST, seller added the following information:
Ahhh back on! I would like to thank all the people who have sent me e-birthday cards and greetings. Thank you.
*Jamie I am sooo pleased that you have been in tears reading this. Me too - the bidding is slow!
Thanks to everyone (except Bob and Donald). Bid now please.