Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To EP or Not EP...

...that was my question.

Ignorance is often the reward of trying, particularly on eBay.

Being a nice guy, I used to let eBay sellers know when they've listed something erroneously. I'm a laserdisc fiend, so I often come across people passing CED video discs off as LDs, which is an entirely different format. Of course, this is done out of their not knowing just what darn fangled thing-a-ma-jig they got fer sale. "It says disc. It's a movie disc... with lasers. Shoot! I dunno! Let's put it on eBay and make a damn near forchin!" So, I used to send them a notice educating them on what they're selling and how it should be marketed, so they can sell the damned thing and not piss off their customers. Just a kind gesture on my part, but I stopped doing it long ago, because it's an unending cycle. I guarantee there's at least one such mistaken auction running right now.

But, when I'm interested in purchasing an item and must ask a legitimate question to seal my interest, and the response I get is so off the charts, well, it makes a fella kinda nuts.

I had such a wonderful moment today. I've got a lousy copy of SPYMAKER: THE SECRET LIFE OF IAN FLEMING (an EP release) and am always on the hunt for an SP mode release. So, when I see a VHS at a reasonable rate (it is a rare film) and such information is not supplied, I must ask the quality question.

So, here's a transcript of the encounter...

ME: Do you know what speed the videotape was recorded in, SP or EP/SLP?

SELLER: it is a comercial release vhs not a copy.

ME: I realize it's a commercial release and not a copy. That was not the intent of my question. SPYMAKER was manufactured and released twice by Turner Home Entertainment. Initially, in the superior SP format and later re-issued in the inferior EP mode (lesser quality). If it were EP, the information should be listed on the back of the cover. The actual gate on the videotape itself might be red, rather than black, distinguishing the different releases. If the tape were SP and you had mentioned it in your listing, you surely would have received a higher bid due to it's rarity.

Congratulations! You sold your copy for only $1.25, which, in either mode, the film is worth far more. Good job on your auctioning skills! Schmuck.

Okay, that last bit I added. A blog exclusive!

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