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Lies in the TI Realm

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Every once in a while, you see stuff in the TI-Realm that is ludicrous, exasperating, or even just pure unadulterated lies and deceit.  I'm starting off this thread with one I saw for a TI console, on a $50.00 BIN with a $9.99 starting bid...

 

LiesLiesandMoreLies.thumb.PNG.a2525689a95d630452d0f5bfd145e446.PNG  That shipping is ECONOMY?

 

 

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I sold a complete boxed TI Wico trackball on eBay once to a guy that wrote and complained it didn't work properly. Wrote back and told him to ensure his Caps Lock key was depressed. Guy then started a forced return and sent it back to me - to which I had to pay the return shipping on. Guess what? It worked just fine. Just as it did for the last 20 years I owned it. And as it did when I tested it again right before shipping.   

 

Lying liars and the liars that love 'em.   ;)

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Not TI-related, but the only time I've reneged on an Ebay deal was when I sold a few comics, because the price for shipping them would've been more than what the buyer paid for them. Got raged out for it, and I regretted it since (one of the comics was an original X-Men comic that I sold when Marvel was killing off interest in them due to their movie rights war with Fox, so I should've held it for longer, when the comics were picking up again), but I try to make decent deals on anything I sell, and that includes not overcharging for postage.

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I predict there are going to be many, many, many tales of lies and deceit as they relate to eBay experiences.   ;)

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Oh yeah.. I have a nice one (tales from Ebay)..

 

Last month, I purchased a 36" wide large format printer.  The listing said 'Tested, works great!'  Yeaaahh.. Not so much. Took me 3 weeks to get it repaired.

 

Spoiler

What did I get from UPS?  A really REALLY tore up box (with some of the contents hanging out!), that had clearly been dropped, HARD.  While this is not the seller's fault, I inquired if they had used package insurance, because that is what it is for--- Crickets. No response at all.

 

So, I started digging into the clearly damaged printer: Part of the cartridge service area actuator had been brutally damaged. 5 teeth on the actuator gear had been blown off from the sudden torque forces of that side hitting the floor. So, I set up some silicone rubber, cast the good side of the gear, then moved the mold to the bad side of the gear and poured epoxy.  Meanwhile I investigated why the carriage assembly wasn't moving.  Turns out the drive belt was shredded and rat-nested into the far side of the printer. Now, I could see how the chassis was cracked all to heck, and why the service station was inoperable along with all the cosmetic scuffing was from UPS being monkeys-- but not the drive belt. That thing was used and abused. The problems still kept coming though.  To change the drive belt, I had to disassemble the other side of the printer, where I discovered that the pressurized ink system (which should have been fine from a drop) was completely full of air (even tiny air bubbles in this system will ruin the print heads. This thing was completely full of air.), Screws that hold the end-clutch on the carriage slide were missing, the retention clip on the drive pulley tension mechanism was broken off, and the ink-tank holding tray had its mounting tabs shorn off.  To attach the drive belt, I had to disconnect the carriage and remove it (the belt clips into the bottom). That meant having to remove the trailing flat ribbon data cables from the carriage.  Those had mangled contacts on the edge connectors, and needed replacement. 

 

I don't care what universe you live in, this printer would not have been in 'works great!' condition prior to shipping.

 

Considering that the thing weighs over 200lbs, and is quite bulky even when packed up (AND that I would have to spring for proper packaging), I was not about to return it. I was merely curious if the seller had gotten package insurance.  After tearing into the thing though, I could tell that the seller was a filthy liar.

 

~400$ of parts later, A manually bled and reprimed ink system, and lots of cursing later-- the printer now works. 

 

 

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This is only a lie insofar as the implicit promise of something you order arriving undamaged: I am sick and damned tired of people selling 20 year-old and older items and shipping them like letters.

 

Some for-instances:

 

First, I bought a PEB card which was shipped to me in a large bubble envelope.  Of course it arrived having been handled by a 200-pound gorilla (or two) and the plastic shell was in pieces upon arrival.

 

I got a Sega CD-X with games and it arrived in a well-battered box.  Inside it had been packed with a toilet paper roll, some flat news paper, a few (literally) packing peanuts, some flattened bubble wrap, and air... plenty of air surrounding it all and bound only by the box.  Bloody miracle none of it suffered any damage.

 

Two large network switches, originally $800 each but sold as asset retirement.  Each shipped in storage boxes using recyclable trash as packing material, but only enough to occupy one-quarter of the box.

 

A retail-packaged, never opened, complete with tab hanger Atari 7800 game.  Shipped "economy shipping", which was the game, two pieces of cardboard front and back, in a large bubble envelope.  Of course it arrived crushed.

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31 minutes ago, OLD CS1 said:

A retail-packaged, never opened, complete with tab hanger Atari 7800 game.  Shipped "economy shipping", which was the game, two pieces of cardboard front and back, in a large bubble envelope.  Of course it arrived crushed.

Exactly how I received two 7800 games recently from an AA member. Experienced resellers, especially on the forums here, should_know_better.   :mad:

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That's the kind of thing I would first slip into an ESD sleeve, then surround (completely, no dead space inside) with the large-cell air packaging material, in an oversize box. While cartridges should be fine without the ESD sleeve, I simply don't trust these people handling boxes.  My experience with that printer just reinforced my prejudices in that respect.  The large cell air packaging? NOT OPTIONAL. With how light the package is, those nutjobs are sure to be tossing the damn thing around like a football, or stacking stuff on top of it that will crush it. 

 

The printer I got had shredded newspaper, and insufficient quantities at that.  It should have had something like bagged foam done instead. (which is what I would have elected for, had I decided to go through with an ebay return. I decided that such a headache wasn't worth it, and that I could just fix the printer.)

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My favorite so far has been the RAID drive for a dell server that showed up stuffed in a priority mail cardboard envelope..no static protection no bubble wrap.. no bag just the bare drive.. and it was handled so well it was hanging out of the corner of the envelope where it had punctured the cardboard ..  needless to say i didn't try it i just did a eBay return immediately with photos

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I'm getting a graphics card on Ebay. I'm hoping I don't have the horror story you guys are giving...

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16 minutes ago, xabin said:

I'm getting a graphics card on Ebay. I'm hoping I don't have the horror story you guys are giving...

Is it coming from China? Might just be a lower end chipset, packaged as something higher end. See YouTube vids for that brand of silliness. 

 

Bootleg CF and SD Memory cards too are often sold advertised as being a certain size, when in fact, they're half or less. They have a way of showing as full spec when you insert them into your computer, but in real world use, you run out of memory quick and experience corrupt data before long. Don't ask me how I know this. Lesson learned!   :mad:  🤣

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SDCards containg a full fledged microcontroller inside (So do USB flash sticks).  this is how they are able to handle reads and writes at 512kb sector sizes, when the flash media inside them typically has a 2 to 4mb (yes, MB) erase block size.

 

Those cunning people overseas have ways of reprogramming these microcontrollers. This is how they are able to report the incorrect size.. They could also be used to do all manner of unscrupulous things to a computer they are connected to, so I would be very wary of any "Deals" on flash memory of any kind. 

 

Sadly, this "512kb sector is actually emulated" behavior of SDCards makes me a sad panda.  It means that improperly formatted rPis will burn up their storage with write amplification (you can get around this by having the Pi format the card CORRECTLY, but most stock images for the pi make no attempt at this!!), and also means that if you use an SD - CF adapter with a nanoPEB, the sdcard will get burned out. (You really need to write in aligned blocks the same size as the erase block, or the micro controller inside the card will read-erase-modify on every single write, overwriting the same flash cell hundreds of times.)

 

That's a topic for a different thread though.  Just be wary as hell of "shockingly inexpensive" flash media, and of media from China all together.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, save2600 said:

Is it coming from China? Might just be a lower end chipset, packaged as something higher end. See YouTube vids for that brand of silliness. 

 

Bootleg CF and SD Memory cards too are often sold advertised as being a certain size, when in fact, they're half or less. They have a way of showing as full spec when you insert them into your computer, but in real world use, you run out of memory quick and experience corrupt data before long. Don't ask me how I know this. Lesson learned!   :mad:  🤣

Fortunately, no. It's a used video card from a seller in Texas using FedEx.

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Haha, the first beige TI I ever owned came through Ebay. The seller wrapped it in packing paper and shipped it like that. The case was a bit banged up but it amazingly arrived intact.

 

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As it relates to TI items on EBay, I've been very lucky, only 1 item did not work, a TI Disk controller and the guy refunded me the money and said to not bother sending it back.

 

I've had issues with other things, but nothing related to TI stuff

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The Ti I got off ebay about a week ago works just fine.  It was a little skimpy on the packing materials, but WAS shipped in an original OEM box. (which was packed inside another box.)

 

About the only issue I have had with it is that the RF modulator is snowy as all get out, but that is kinda expected.

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I actually found a few good priced ones on Ebay-- for a bare bones system with the hook ups. I could had bought that, but instead found a seller on another forum-- paid a LOT extra-- but it came expanded with 32k and a handmade composite cable that was made by the person selling it to me-- it worked great. (I did not want to mess with that fricken RF box. X3. It looked like a nightmare.) Got a FlashRom99 for it and been having some fun with it- with the pack of roms found on this forum! I'm looking for a cassette cable next. 

 

The BAD part is that my mail carrier has a grudge against me due to a lot of reports of how she handles my packages because she hates getting out of her vehicle and the poor box was manhandled so bad ''keys popped off the TI!'' despite LOTS of bubble wrap! Luckily, they only ''popped off'' and didn't ''break off' so the fix was as easy as just plugging them back on. The system worked great.

 

I did, however, find a lot of stuff on Ebay in the regular 'LOOK, VINTAGE LAUNCH EDITION IN THE BOX!' for way too much and the usual buzzwords and just... blarg. 

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I got mine with power cord, and RF modulator for 40$.  It was a steal.  The RF modulator is snowy as hell, but as I recall from having been a kid in the 80s, they were that way brand new. :P

 

I have a composite cable ordered though. Should get it in a few days.

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My only Ebay dealing with TI stuff was that vintage Atari controller adapter that I found, and I had no problems with it, so I guess I was lucky...

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I've bought over 500+ items from Ebay, and for the most part the purchases have been spot on and exactly what I expected, but there have been a few maybe about .75% that have tried to sell me junk or sent the wrong items, or such, or damaged the item when packaging (had one who dropped the item before boxing and broke it, but put it in a good box and it wasn't damaged in shipping). I generally get my money back, except in one or two situations when I waited too long (due to being overseas) to deal with them.

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I found the biggest lie in the TI ream:

 

"It's cheap to get into the 4a. Systems can be had for pennies on the dollar next to some of the other old computers."

Fast-forward six months and you've bought memory expansion, RS-232 controller, floppy controller some sort of mass storage, a flash cart because you're already sick of swapping between Disk Manager, Editor/Assembler, Extended Basic, and Parsec all the time, and you're wondering where it all went wrong.

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Word.

 

I got my base (no upgrades) system for 40$.  Already spent more than that on cables and Extended basic (though it did come with terminal emulator, though I lack an RS232, and speech editor-- through I lack speech sidecar.)

The 32k sidecar expansion should show up eventually.

My finalgrom 99 should show up sometime before the end of the month.

 

TiPi or nanoPEB will have to wait until next month, when I have allowance again.

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