eBay - Customer protection (Rating: 4)

I made the mistake of not looking closely enough at an old Stanley 39 plough plane. The title said "Plane" and "wood cutter". It looked just another old well used plane that would need bit of cleaning up but would make a user. A lot of finish still on it and a little rust. I had seen a lot of them selling for $25-40. The seller had 100% positive feed back, so I didn't spend a lot of time studying the pictures looking for a scam or what they were trying to pull over on someone. The blade holder was open and the area had a sharp edge at a glance; easily mistaken for a blade if you weren't looking carefully and specifically to see if it were there.

I wondered why no one bid against me. When it arrived, no blade! Not a $25 -40 plane, a $10 casting; just a handle or a jig. The seller said the listing said as pictured. I said it is misrepresented because a "plane" or "wood cuter" as the title said has to have a blade or cutting edge by definition. Can I sell a knife handle as a knife without a blade?

Customer protection agreed with my first statement. I probably got lucky;-) About 5 years ago, a seller sold me a lens compatible with all Nikon FT-2 cameras. Mine was older without the external connection bracket. I did not know there were newer models without it. For months, the seller said he would send the part, but never did. EBay consumer protection at that time required $50 or $75 to open a case on a $100 lens that I might win or loose.

Caveat Emptor is the best policy. I feel lucky. Look carefully over the pictures for every piece. Just because they have 100% positive doesn't mean they are really honest. In my brief communications with the seller, I came to believe he knew what he was trying to pull off.

I would give eBay Customer Protection 5 stars instead of 4 if I felt they were acting out of a concern for honesty and ethics on the site. Considering, all my previous dealings with them, I believe they finally had to man the consumer protection division to keep a customer base in this economy.