Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Very odd experience - eBay = Big Brother?

Okay, so I'm prepping the last batch of cards from Lot 3 that I wanted to get up tonight, some cards from the Eighth (8th) Edition. I had the one uncommon card (Hibernation) and several Rare cards typed up, in the upload queue in Turbolister (which, by the way, I HIGHLY recommend for anyone who sells a lot on eBay, Store or no Store).

When I clicked on "Upload All", they all went up fine, except for Hibernation. When I clicked on the alert icon for this item, it said that it appeared I was offering a method of payment not acceptable to eBay.


I didn't change the payment options on this file at all! It was identical to the others. This made no sense. I tried clicking a few things off then back on to see if that fixed it. Nope. I deleted that file and made a new one for Hibernation. Still no luck. Finally I tried to list the thing directly at the eBay web site, instead of through Turbolister. When I got to the final page, I got the same message.

Okay - think, Don. Where are the two places that payment options are listed? In the Payment Options section (which was the same for all of these items tonight) or in the Item Description. What was different in the Description? The first two paragraphs - where I list the card's name (with my sometimes snarky adjective) in the first paragraph and the card's text in the second.

Okay, so one of those two paragraphs is probably causing the issue. I delete the second paragraph. Same message.

I return the second paragraph and delete the first. Message goes away.

OKAY - this means that the snarky adjective must be the culprit (since the card's title shows up in the second paragraph as well - plus I have a version of Hibernation from Urza's Saga already up with no problem).

The adjective? "Green-zapping". I now know (thanks to Google) that GreenZap is another web-based money-transfer something-or-other. In other words, competition of PayPal. Since PayPal is an eBay company - well, of course they don't want you using GreenZap! And my snarky adjective was just close enough that their alarms went off.

I'm not sure what bothers me the most about this - that it took me so blasted long to figure out and fix the problem (the listing now says "Green-hosing" instead), or that eBay is so Big Brotherish that they actually can analyze the text of my item description and find objectionable material that quickly. Rather frightening, really!

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