From: Mike Tomlinson on 6 May 2010 08:54
In article <1jhr4l0.1tqci0a1v221fkN%totallydeadmailbox(a)yahoo.co.uk>, The
Older Gentleman <totallydeadmailbox(a)yahoo.co.uk> writes
>Quite. It only activates the autofill if you choose to accept eBay's
>invite and key in the reg number. It says it'll save you time by doing
>it all for you, but what it actually does is provide a woefully
Same thing happens with computer bits, but also with glaring errors. I
don't use the autofill any more.
From: TOG on 20 May 2010 04:18
On 6 May, 13:54, Mike Tomlinson <m...(a)none.invalid> wrote:
> In article <1jhr4l0.1tqci0a1v221fkN%totallydeadmail...(a)yahoo.co.uk>, The
> Older Gentleman <totallydeadmail...(a)yahoo.co.uk> writes
> >Quite. It only activates the autofill if you choose to accept eBay's
> >invite and key in the reg number. It says it'll save you time by doing
> >it all for you, but what it actually does is provide a woefully
> >inadequate description.
> Same thing happens with computer bits, but also with glaring errors. I
> don't use the autofill any more.
Well, and some time later.....
What a shed it turned out to be. The seller had thrown thousands at
it, and completely botched the job. Oh, yeah, there were loads of nice
new shiny parts, but the more I dug into it when I got it home, the
more I realised it needed to be stripped right down to the last nut
and bolt and rebuilt properly.
God,the list was endless, but the key points were:
He'd built it up out of boxes of bits: never a good thing if you don't
know *precisely* what you're doing.
He'd re-used *all* the horrible old nuts and bolts. So you had brand
new chrome or paint held on by fasteners that looked as if they'd been
dredged up from the wreck of the Bismarck. He'd done this everywhere.
He hadn't done up many crucial nuts and bolts properly, so some vital
components were just hanging on. Esewhere, he'd used the wrong
fasteners, omitted washers, failed to locate things like springs and
clips properly, and bolted bits on in the wrong place.
The wiring loom was a mess of ScotchLoks, insulating tape and horrible
cheap crimped connections. Wires had not been routed properly. The
switchgear showed signs of amateur soldering and fell apart as I
removed it.Several warning light bulbs were missing.
He'd re-covered the seat nicely, but had not brazed the crack in the
pan first, so the whole thing needed doing again.
The wrong bolt had been used to hold on the front brake caliper
(really very dangerous indeed). A critical split pin that holds the
rear brake shoes in place hadn't been secured proerly, so they would
just have dropped into the drum and locked the back wheel.
The air filter box hadn't been properly connected to the carburettors.
He'd rechromed and repainted some components without preparing the
surface first. Or even straightening out kinks in them.
And on and on and on...... Oh, and it didn't run either (wiring
problem, I think) despite his assertions that "It was running
perfectly yesterday". And it still needed another grand thrown at it
to replace knackered bits that he hadn't replaced. All the fasteners,
of course, the handlebars, headlight, front forks, warning light
console, fusebox, regulator, rectifier, and loads more.
Well, I've taken the parts I want including the whole brand new
exhaust system, which is now unobtainable. That's already greased up
and hanging in my garage, against the day when I need it. Other bits
are stashed away, too, and there's a raft of stuff on eBay. Some
people have contacted me and asked "Do you have XYZ?" and that's
cleared out more stuff. I calculate that I'll just cover the cost of
buying the thing from the parts sales, and that leaves me with maybe
£600 worth of spares for my existing classic, so I'm happy with that.
Buit it's a salutary warning for anyone hunting for a 'restored
classic' on eBay....
Interestingly, one bloke who turned up to relieve me of some bits, and
who had heard the story of why I was busting it, went over it very
thoroughly and said thoughtfully: "Yes, I see what you mean. It's all
got to come apart again, hasn't it?" He knew his stuff.
From: Mike Tomlinson on 20 May 2010 05:13
In article <bb3c0342-f090-4ac5-8a11-9b1395583432(a)y12g2000vbr.googlegroup
s.com>, TOG(a)Toil <totallydeadmailbox(a)yahoo.co.uk> writes
[snip long tale of woe ending not-so-badly]
>Buit it's a salutary warning for anyone hunting for a 'restored
>classic' on eBay....
A salutary warning indeed. Thanks for posting that, it's always
interesting to hear others' experiences of Ebay.
I don't think I would ever buy a car or bike from Ebay. Unless you're
buying to break for parts, you just don't know what you are getting.
Fracker'll be along soon with some asnine comment about profit-making.
From: TOG on 20 May 2010 07:17
On 20 May, 10:13, Mike Tomlinson <m...(a)none.invalid> wrote:
> In article <bb3c0342-f090-4ac5-8a11-9b1395583...(a)y12g2000vbr.googlegroup
> s.com>, TOG(a)Toil <totallydeadmail...(a)yahoo.co.uk> writes
> [snip long tale of woe ending not-so-badly]
> >Buit it's a salutary warning for anyone hunting for a 'restored
> >classic' on eBay....
> A salutary warning indeed. Thanks for posting that, it's always
> interesting to hear others' experiences of Ebay.
> I don't think I would ever buy a car or bike from Ebay. Unless you're
> buying to break for parts, you just don't know what you are getting.
Oh, I've bought some bikes on eBay quite happily. I've also walked
away from a couple that were SNAD. My attitude is that if there's
something awry with the description, or there are (serious) faults you
haven't listed, then you can't expect me to buy it. In this case, if I
was buying the bike to use, I'd have walked away with a few choice
words about the long journey (400 mile round trip) I made to collect
it, but in the event I knew I was getting it for a helluva lot less
than it was really worth, so I wasn't bothered. And I really, really
wanted those parts.
The little Suzuki 250 I use on my commute came from eBay. Described as
in excellent condition, it had a non-functioning headlight, a broken
clutch lever and a smashed indicator held together with glue. Plus,
and this was the kicker, the exhaust was completely corroded through
and it sounded like a machine-gun being fired down a drain. None of
this was mentioned in the description, of course, nor visible in the
pix. The headlight was just a bulb, the clutch lever was easy and
cheap to replace, and the ditto the indicator, but the exhaust was a
real problem - it was actually illegal. A new one was £260 odd, but
the seller agreed to chop £100 off the price, and I was able to source
a poor quality  Chinese pattern exhaust for £115. The bike's now in
But I know my stuff with bikes and am confident enough to buy. I
certainly don't with cars, and so like you, I'd never buy a car on
eBay. Only ever sold one on eBay: Nissan P12 Primera with a few little
dings and scrapes and a completely blown turbocharger. The bloke who
bought it was off his rocker, I think.
> Fracker'll be along soon with some asnine comment about profit-making.
 Looks fine, but the chrome is as thin as a politician's smile. It
does the job, though.
From: Grimly Curmudgeon on 23 May 2010 11:44
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
drugs began to take hold. I remember "TOG(a)Toil"
<totallydeadmailbox(a)yahoo.co.uk> saying something like:
>God,the list was endless, but the key points were:
<snip disaster area>
Reading between the lines on the sale page, I suspect it lay in bits for
years and he'd spent so much on it in a half-assembled way he bunged the
rest back together in a week to punt it out and keep the missus quiet,
or he needed the money fairly quickly and couldn't wait for the time it
would take to part it out.