Friday, October 14, 2005

"DENIED!" - Apples to oranges???

My previous post stated that I made an offer to the seller's in response to the "dare to find it cheaper." And I now have a response from the seller -- Denied. The seller replies with the following:
They do not incurr ebay fees therefore we cannot compare apples to oranges.
Let me be frank and bold to say... bullshit, complete and utter bullshit. The response is less than professional when I got the email. And I am furious as to the person's tone and reasoning in declining my offer.

The auction is completely misleading those like me into believing that I won't be able to find a better deal than what the guy is offering. I have met the dare. And there was nothing to indicate anything that has to be specific regarding to the rules of the dare. It was just a simple and straightforward dare. Being the price-concious buyer that I am, I went ahead and scoured the 'net for a deal that is better. And I found one... at ZipZoomFly.

The offer was submitted with an URL to indicate proof that I have met the dare. However, I only recently got the response that my offer was declined and I am outraged at the reasoning behind it. There was absolutely nothing on the auction listing that indicates there has to be a rule or a limit to that dare. I have rightfully met that dare and was declined wrongfully so.

Now, when you put up an open call/dare for anyone to find an item for less, you are aiming that nobody will ever meet it. As such, you are aiming that nobody will put you at a loss (in $$$). That's the point of a dare... to bolster your superiority of something because you believe nobody can beat you in that something. If no rules are set, anything goes. It's a free-for-all. Dirty tactics will and can be then used.

Apples and oranges are indeed two completely different things. However, nobody said that it has to be restricted to a certain place or to a certain limit. It's wrong to tell me that they're different. It's the same item. And the seller is only selling it through a medium. The seller would then have lost out on two fronts -- not being true to their words and me being a customer. A seller's goal is not to simply profit but to garner as many customers as possible. The more customers you have, the more profits you make. But like any business, there's always a loss somewhere. Sometimes a customer found a typographical error. Without any kind of terms to say that typographical errors cannot be honored, the customer has every right to purchase an item for the misprinted price, despite that it is higher or lower.

I'm truly disappointed in how this turns out. If this is how the seller operates, then they are operating in a deceptive manner. I am frustrated by this and it's only going to reinforce the notion that some items are better off getting from reputable e-tailers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A penny saved

I'm sure that those who ever goes out to buy some fancy stuff would want to save the most money as possible. It's only natural to do so since we'd like to make the most of the dollar. A penny saved is indeed a penny earned. Sometimes people are good at saving money. Others aren't so good.

Perhaps one of the best thing about the online auction site eBay is that people buy stuff up, often at prices that exceeds a person's expected price point. And often I see people bid on some items that I keep tabs on (computer components, toys, DVDs). A lot of those times the amount they bid is beyond the price limit for me. Sure, they may have saved some dollars. But that's just it... they only saved only a few dollars. In the computer world, saving a few dollars means very little when it only takes a week or two for the price to come down by that amount. This is especially true in components that fluctuate a lot, like processors and RAM. For me, I seek out for the best deal possible to ensure that the amount I bid is the amount that'll save me a bunch, not just a few dollars. Factor in shipping costs, and the bidding limit goes even lower.

When Logitech introduced the MX1000 laser mouse, I was anxious to know how it runs with games. However, I soon realized that some people experiences small or minor problems when they run games, particularly when they need to readjust their mouse by lifting it up and setting it down. The supposed delay that they describe made me hold off that hopeful purchase. And then there's the wireless aspect, something I'm not too fond of. Perhaps the one thing that kinda ticks me off about Logitech is how they are not diversed in their offerings when they introduced a new model or product. Lemme explain...

The MX1000 is the first laser mouse from Logitech. It's also wireless. Compare that with Microsoft's introduction of the tilt-wheel mice. Originally it started as wireless but a wired model is soon released. There's also a Bluetooth version as well as a model that includes a fingerprint reader. Microsoft provides more options and all of them came with a tilt-wheel. Look back at Logitech and for months on end their MX1000 was still the only laser mouse in their lineup. And it's still wireless.

Only recently has Logitech finally unveiled two additional mice that uses laser technology, one of interest is the Logitech G5 mouse. This particular model is laser and, at long last, wired. Well, the wait is over... so to speak. The hunt then begins for the bargain to get this mouse into my possession. And so I scour the various price engines and eBay for the best offer. I also check up on the retailers such as Best Buy, Circuit City, and Microcenter for availability and prices although none of them has them in stock nor do they offer a better price than the MSRP.

And so I notice that the price for the mouse is starting to drop slowly, with the lowest found at an old favorite called ZipZoomFly at $54.99 with free shipping. Cross referencing through eBay, and I found one particular entry with a text indicating to the seekers and buyers to dare to find it for a cheaper price. Upon closer inspection of the auction, there sits near the price is a 'Best Offer' link for buyers to make their case to the seller.

The first attempt failed due to my offer seemingly falling on deaf ears. My second attempt ought to be more interesting, as I have included more text to better fill the 500 character limit of my offer message. And with my message archived, I hope that this time the seller will take a look in order to see that I have indeed met the dare and have provided indisputable proof that I can get it for less. However, I will fall into the trap that I mentioned at the beginning, saving only a mere few dollars. If my offer is refused or, again, fall upon deaf ears, then nothing is lost. However, if I do not get this offer accepted, I will then question the seller's credibility. Alas, there is no way to actually comment on the item itself. But I'd like to have something like this more publically known to any buyers out there.

Maybe I'll get it. Maybe I won't. Either way, it matters very little to me. It'll just be an added bonus if I can get it for that much since I would have saved some dollars. A penny saved is a penny earned.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

More than meets the eye

Having grew up in the 1980s where Nintendo, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and other notable mentions ruled the children/parent market, it seems nothing can come close to the attachment that I have to Transformers and anime. When the two worlds collide with the added backings of Japanese designers and writers, things aren't the same anymore when it comes to American "cartoons."

As the current Transformers: Cybertron series airs on the airwaves of the KidsWB network/channel, the toys being brought out by Hasbro is continuing on in batches and waves. Some of these are simple imports of the Japanese versions, while others are new and are simply recolor of an existing design.

A little historical background, if you will... back in the days of Beast Wars animated by Mainframe, the Transformers franchise is starting, albeit little by little, to gain some momentum. It wasn't until I heard about Takara's 15th anniversary celebration ideas that I heard of various reissues, releases, and plans. As part of their celebration, they started designing their next set of figures to be based on the first incarnation idea of Transformers: vehicles and existing machineries. It caught my attention immediately. And from there, that fandom exploded. The toys, or figures, became much more desirable than ever. But the story did not end there...

Upon the arrival of the Micron Legend (AKA Armada in USA) series and toys, something went wrong. It didn't look as interesting. The colors aren't right and the design seem to be lacking in many of the toys. When Super Link (AKA Energon in USA) arrived, it got worse. The design seems to be going backwards. I have no idea as to why. And I do not know who is behind these horrible designs. There were only a select few that were interesting but they are rare. It seems all hope was lost...

News got around that GONZO Studio is going to be heading the animation on the next series, titled as Galaxy Force. Given GONZO's reputations for animations, it seems things would be interesting. It wasn't until a special preview DVD was released that things are looking much more promising, showing transformation sequences of both Galaxy Convoy and Master Megatron. The 3D render is much better than before and my faith in the series in its design is starting to improve.

Back to the current timeframe, Galaxy Force is heading to its 40th episode and I have not been disappointed ever since it started. The anime has been great and the toys are ever so good. The latest addition, GX-02 Soundwave, is a great tribute to one of the most loyal Destron/Decepticon character in Transformers history. And the toy does not disappoint.

With 13 episodes left (40-52) and only a handful of figures to go, I cannot fathom how Takara will ever repeat the great designs that went into both the characters and figures. For any collector, getting these imported from Japan is very costly. But I firmly believe that it is worth every cent spent on getting them. The quality simply cannot compare to Hasbro's version, which they are known to make cosmetic, sexual, and identity changes.