Anyone mind if I criticize one ad?



Before I criticize an unmentionable auction website listing, I just wanted to make sure it's not against any new rules. One listing really kind of upset me.


Must you?


Publicly criticizing auctions and sending warnings to other buyers is "auction interference"
It is definitely a violation of eBay policy, could be grounds for closing your account, and is illegal (against US LAW) under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). So in that regards, I also propose that some discussions of auctions are also against the policies of MoHP website when they become auction interference.

I suggest you contact the seller if you are that upset. In any case, Please do not put Dave in the situation of being a party to illegal activity.


It's illegal to warn someone they may get ripped off? But OK to complain after the fact (feedback)? Now that makes a lot of sense.

"Auction interference" aside,

Lots of ebay auctions annoy me, or amuse me. Like the sellers who always put the word "rare" in the auction title, regardless of what they are selling. Who are they trying to fool? A true collector already knows what's rare and what's not in their area of interest. Would an unknowledgeable person, so to speak, suddenly rush to buy something that he has no interest in just because it is "rare"?

Then there's the sellers who list something with say, a starting bid of $249 and Buy It Now for $299, when there are 10 identical items currently running that sell for $ 80. Then when they get no bids, they re-list at the same prices! One wonders if they do even the most basic research before listing.

Finally, there's the sellers who try to deceive by saying something like "I have no batteries, can't test it so am selling as-is". What, they can't go to the trouble to put some batteries in it? Or "for condition, see pictures", which are so small and blurry, you can't see the big dent on the front of the calculator.

It's definitely "caveat emptor", but ebay is still the source, if you "have" to have it, whether for a business (like my HP purchases), or as a collector. Unless you just get lucky.


You are welcome to ask the seller and take his pulse. If you don't like the answer or get none, then the math is easy--DON'T BID.

I recently saw an auction for the HP-17BII+ with the picture posted for the new version. I asked the seller who honestly told me he had no control of which version of the HP-17BII+ he gets. He described the last unit he sold which was the first version of the HP-17BII+. That was honest and I decided to wait for another seller who is certain that he is selling the new HP-17BII+ version.

Moral of the story, ask the seller and try to remove your perception of misrepresentation.



There was one COMPLETED auction that was a listing for NEW 41CV's, and not in box or anything.

How on earth could that seller list it is NEW???? When it is not in box??? C'mon, a newbie would likely be confused. NEW means never used. It could be MINT. It could even be Like New. But NEW??? C'mon.

Edited: 7 Feb 2008, 1:35 p.m.


I just bought a new WD Passport external hard drive from Amazon that was described as new but out of the bubble pack. Of course when something is in the original box or bubble pack it's new no question about it. The rest, like with my purchase, is a matter of trusting the seller.

You have a point MD. If I was selling a new calculator out of the box I would say ... "I am saying that the calculator is Like New, because it does not come with the original box/bubble back. Otherwise, it is new" ....


Edited: 7 Feb 2008, 2:23 p.m.



Do you think that the seller pulled a 41CV out of the box themselves just to list on ebay? A calculator that has not been made in way over a decade?

And no manuals included! Why if it is "NEW" would they not include nice "NEW" manuals?

Edited: 8 Feb 2008, 10:04 a.m. after one or more responses were posted



You have a point!



I thought of a physical example: "PURITY" versus "MASS". You can split a MASS pure aluminum in half, and you will still have 1/2 M of the same alloy. Changing the amount does not change the aluminum into an alloy: it is still PURE aluminum.

In the same manner, selling a complete set of two NEW things or selling two NEW things separately does not make them used...only incomplete.


Namir wrote:

"I am saying that the calculator is Like New, because it does not come with the original box/bubble back. Otherwise, it is new"

There is a difference between the adjectives NEW and COMPLETE. There is no need to use a
Simile in a listing to say "like new", just as you would not say "like complete". It is new or it isn't; it is complete or it isn't.

A thing can be new but incomplete for many reasons, it does not make it less new- the concepts are not related in English or any other language I know of. For example, surplus books may be sold without the dust jacket, but they are not sold as "USED books" or "LIKE NEW books"- the Amazon seller simply states: NEW book for sale, without Dust Jacket.

I also have 100 NEW Hp 48g manuals that I am selling WITHOUT A CALCULATOR! Oh my!! How Can I possibly have NEW manuals without a NEW 48g calculator!!!! I should say: "Like new.. no calculator included, but otherwise new." :-)


Publicly criticizing auctions and sending warnings to other buyers is "auction interference"
It is definitely a violation of eBay policy, could be grounds for closing your account, and is illegal (against US LAW) under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). So in that regards, I also propose that some discussions of auctions are also against the policies of MoHP website when they become auction interference.

I wonder if you could cite a reference that supports your claim that the action discussed here would be "illegal (against US LAW) under the UCC."



The UCC: uniform commercial code is not a part of US law. It has been adopted in some form by all US states as part of state laws.

A quick search of the UCC doesn't reveal any obvious prohibition on third parties making statements about the nature of auction lots or the character of the seller, though such statements, if false, would be actionable for defamation.

Don't depend on my interpretation, though. Hire an attorney.

Edited: 7 Feb 2008, 1:23 p.m.


It was a completed auction. Does eBay have a problem with that? You really seem to have a problem with me.


If it was "completed" I don't see how you can "interfere" with it, which seems to be ebay's (overly!) concern. As somebody else noted, that's EXACTLY what ebay feedback is - commentary after the fact.


I did not think it is illegal to tell the truth.

Maybe unless I am giving away secrets not publicly available, which is not the case here at all....

Edited: 7 Feb 2008, 2:07 p.m.


There are people who get upset about snipers too, despite the lack of any rule violation. Those who get upset are creating their own, unwritten rules for auctions. And then they're upset when other people don't follow their unwritten, private rules while completely conforming to the auction sites' rules.

Don't like "rare" or "new" or another word, or in the context used? Don't bid. Don't like the listed price? Don't bid. Don't like the seller's handle? Don't bid.

It doesn't seem all that complicated to me.


It doesn't seem all that complicated to me.

Absolutely right! It isn't complicated, and your advice is spot-on! This Mad Dog Ebaycalcnut sells calculators on ebay, and comes to the Museum of HP calculators to argue, complain, and belly ache anonymously about other sellers. He tries to police both ebay and this forum in his quest for attention. (see previously deleted posts)

It is an underhanded way to try to get a competitive advantage, and probably the only way he ever will get ahead, because as far as HP calculators go, I suggest that he does not know his 41c PORT COVER from a hole in the ground.


"NEW" pretty much implies never used or owned by someone else and in original packaging. What is wrong about seeing things advertised like this and being frustrated?

Edited: 8 Feb 2008, 10:02 a.m.


Okay, I have to put my 2 cents in here. I've bought several HP calculators (two HP-97s, HP-41CX, HP-42, HP-28 and a 48S and 48SX) and accessories (books, program cards for the 97s, HP-IL peripherals like two tape drives, printers, HP-IL to RS-232 I/F, 41C video display, etc) over the last year from eBay. I have been very satisfied with the honesty and helpful attitude that I've received from eBay sellers. I even met a guy that repaired my 41C card reader and he did such a good job, I had him repair my damaged original 41C (my baby had a battery leak), 41 printer, both HP-97s for card reader and printer gear repair and he did an excellent job. Of course, I know what I want when I go looking on eBay and I check out that I'm getting what I expect. I ask questions and I've sent emails to sellers if the pictures in their auction don't match the description.

I have never experienced someone trying to deceive me or rip me off. Everyone I have dealt with has bent over backwards to make sure I'm satisfied. If I'm not sure about something, I don't bid. I think the prices are a little high but I'm willing to pay them if it's something I want. I also don't like snipers that come in at the last minute and buy an item out from under me, but that's life at eBay.

In dealing with a seller on eBay, I read what they have written in their auction with a large grain of salt as many are ignorant of the calculator item(s) they are selling. Using words like 'mint', 'rare' and 'new' don't mean much to me as it appears to be a way to jack up the prices even more. If something is in good shape, works and has a few dings, that's fine with me as it will have a more reasonable price and I will USE it.

MadDog ebay, I appreciate you bringing up these questions, but as an adult, I am responsible for what I do. Don't go off the deep end and get all offended that a seller is over-hyping his product. He's just trying to differentiate it from the crowd and get our attention.

So, post your warnings and let me know if you see something weird about an eBay HP calculator auction. I will read it and check it out. It helps me learn what to watch out for. Just, please tone down the rhetoric. If someone pokes a jab at you, laugh along with the rest of us and take a friendly jab back. I know you want to help the rest of us so, thank you and keep it up.



The calculators you are asking about are in near-consecutive serial order, and were purchased directly from HP by a vendor, but never sold retail or used. The BOX and manuals were discarded to allow for easier storage during a business relocation several years ago. The absence of box and manuals is stated plainly in the listing, sorry to burst your bubble. There is no hype: they are neither "like new", nor "near mint". In all respects the calculator itself is NEW and unused.

Any of the previous 60 (yes sixty!) buyers of identical items over the past few months could have EASILY and PUBLICLY refuted the accuracy of the listing in their feedback or follow on comments, but NOT ONE has. Gee, I WONDER WHY!!!!!!


I've got one of those "New" HP-41CV calculators, and I can
tell the only thing missing about new is the smell.

The unit I received works perfectly, doesn't have even a
minimal scratch or ding, if somebody used it probably she/he
didn't even breathe close to the calculator.

I allways loved the HP-41 but when I was at school I could
not afford it and later HP didn't make them anymore.

I probably paid big money for it, but I've got what I was
looking for and I'm 110% satisfied by the service provided
by Allen and the quality of his listings.

MadDog I understand and respect your opinion but if you
really want to make a point come out with a real name.



What is wrong about seeing things advertised like this and being frustrated?

It simply means you should have asked the seller...

As Allen indicated in another post, even new things are not always sold in their boxes.

Some years ago, I also bought some HP calculators from our distributor of that time, TomTech.

They sold them as new and remaining stock, but without their boxes,
and some units even came without their manuals.

Actually those units were held on stock as warranty replacements, but they were simply new.

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