Confessions of a fraudulent eBay user, Or: Corresponding with incorrigibles on the Internet


I posted last night about some goofy haunted shit I was going to buy for my mom on eBay. A couple of haunted dolls and a poltergeist crucifix (whatever that is). I saw today that I had been outbid on the crucifix and, after a brief investigation, became concerned that the seller was simply trying to bait me into paying more money for the piece of crap than I had already committed to. Unfortunately for that person, my competitive side is virtually nonexistent.

My snarky asshole side, though? Well, that’s there pretty much all the time.

Immediately after losing the auction, I get this email from the seller of the crucifix:

It reads:

Dear ,

Greetings , the person who bid on the poltergeist crucifix has lost their nerve. If you want it for $8 all in with a full incense cones and candle and charging bag kit plus personalized certificate and free shipping please send $8 via paypal to the email address of and please also let me have your full name and full address thank you.

– vonstreppledjinncorpamerica
Sweet deal, eh? My response:
Dear vonstreppledjinncorpamerica,Greetings!Please let me start by saying that I know your products are an absolute sham (Yes, I can recognize flea market charms when I see them. Pity, isn’t it?). That, however, doesn’t bother me. I was attempting to purchase your HORRID POLTERGEIST CRUCIFIX FROM ALASKAN SPOOKY HAUNTED HOME as a gag gift.When I received this message from you, at first I was like “what the hell? Eight bucks? Sure, I’ll buy it.” But then I remembered why I stopped bidding on the item in the first place. My competition in that particular auction, one “lionstarheavenlymagick,” has a whopping 87% of her purchase history tied up in your inventory. That’s a lot of poltergeists! Logically, I thought that “lionstarheavenlymagick” might be you, “vonstreppledjinncorpamerica,” just baiting me to bid higher. So I decided to walk away. People gotta eat, after all. No harm; no foul.

But this message (sorry about the digression there- I thought it relevant) raised the stakes a bit. You claim in said message that “lionstarheavenlymagick” “lost their nerve”! Spooky, indeed! Well, being the intrusive bastard that I am, I checked on the item listing to see who won the item. I found that, in fact, “lionstarheavenlymagick” did win and was very happy with the product! Talk about fast shipping! You got it to “them” in less than an hour! The service, it baffles the mind!

This information, of course, only made my interest swell. I really like lightspeed shipping. But then I gave your feedback history a look and saw that “lionstarheavenlymagick” very frequently buys your merchandise. Do “they” often back out on the purchase, pay you, and leave you good feedback? That, my friend, is a sweet deal. You could write a book about it and sell it on eBay. 

eBay tells me I’ve run out of characters. I’ll send a second message. BRB. 

As promised: the second message:
Dear vonstreppledjinncorpamerica,Greetings!Where were we? Oh, yes.As likely as it sounds, though, that little discovery didn’t deter me, either. You have a 100% positive feedback history, with thousands of sales. That’s a pretty good track record, I’ll admit. But there’s one ugly little blemish there that I couldn’t ignore: a neutral comment. I have a look at it and it’s a simple comment about an order cancellation. No biggie, right? But how did you respond again? Oh, yes:


Very harsh, indeed. Tsk, tsk.

And that, dearest “vonstreppledjinncorpamerica” is why I am not going to take you up on your offer to sell me the HORRID POLTERGEIST CRUCIFIX FROM ALASKAN SPOOKY HAUNTED HOME for $8 (shipping included). Not because you sell low-quality, non-haunted merchandise (everyone does that!!). Not because you fake out-bidded me in an attempt to pry more money from my sadly empty wallet. Not because you lied and said that your puppet account was too scared of the HORRID POLTERGEIST CRUCIFIX FROM ALASKAN SPOOKY HAUNTED HOME to follow through. I am not going to buy your product because you were a dick to some lady whose order got cancelled by eBay.



To which I received this response:
It reads:
Dear ,Listen to me very very closely because I will speak only once and need to make my point only once. Lionstar heavenly magic is a good buyer who buys a lot of our items. What she does with them is her business. Not yours, and not mine. Now, let’s move on to your vitriol filled inuendo riddled angst wracked message. We get good feedback because we sell haunted AND djinn bound items AND because we raise hundreds of dollars through our listings to end animal cruelty in China and Vietnam where dogs are skinned alive and where bears are imprisoned in crush cages and kept in painful agony for decades. You, however, did not see fit to bid on our charity listings. Nor, clearly, have you educated yourself to our website which is a POLITICAL and MAGICAL website that is, like my listings, literate and oriented towards social issues. People like you who wish to play cheap tricks on your friends bore me. People like you who do not bid on any of the dozens of items we donate free to our charity listings each year bore me. To put it another way, you bore me. Lastly, there was another bidder above you, his ebay id is wickedclown55. Had I wanted MORE money then I would have offered the crucifix to him, but because he is young and not over 18, unlike you since you seem very old indeed, then I offered it to you out of consideration for the fact that I had not seen your name before but then as I said, that is probably because I have NOT seen you bidding on any of our ALL MONEY GOES TO CHARITY listings. Next, since you enjoy reading and have nothing better to do go through all our feedback with a very fine toothcomb, if you have one, and find your way back to our charity listings end educate yourself. Lastly, you bore me terribly, now go away and stop trying to get your kicks writing to your intellectual betters. HANS VON STREPPLE

– vonstreppledjinncorpamerica
To which I replied:
Thank you for taking the time to respond. You’ve convinced me to not report you.
Buying a birthday gift for one’s mother is much harder than it once was. I think I might try going to a store. I do apologize for the spacing of this post; I do believe the Von Strepple poltergeist has inhabited my web browser.
Off to send eBay an email…

9 thoughts on “Confessions of a fraudulent eBay user, Or: Corresponding with incorrigibles on the Internet

  1. This was hilarious. I don’t even care if it is true or not. But having an auction won and then the shipping in an hour is kind of spooky. Hahahaa. Going to my shrine to say some mantras now.

  2. So you do stuff like this too? I occasionally write loooooong emails (that will undoubtedly never be read by anyone) back to those Nigerian email scams. I can’t help myself. (I even bore myself.)

    1. Yeah, I do. It does depend on the level of boredom I’m experiencing at the moment of opportunity. This, of course, had the added benefit of an audience. He personally responded to my message, which made the whole thing worth it. Especially since he was very seriously arguing over the validity of a metal crucifix containing a $5 genie.

  3. Some people are inspired by the person Hans Von Strepple is, as well as by the items he sells- which are beautiful even if you don’t believe in magic. Whether or not that makes a person crazy or mad reminds me of a quote from Alice In Wonderland:

    “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
    “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
    “You must be,” said the Cat, “otherwise you wouldn’t have come here.”
    Alice didn’t think that proved it at all: however she went on. “And how do you know that you’re mad?”
    “To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?”
    “I suppose so,” said Alice
    “Well, then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
    “I call it purring, not growling,” said Alice.
    “Call it what you like,” said the Cat.

    1. I don’t know about that. The Internet is of the opinion that HANS VON STREPPLE is a fake identity created by some guy looking to pull a fast one on unsuspecting victims (as noted in Of course, I suppose some folks would find that inspirational.

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