I often send bidders an email to verify that they are aware they are bidding on a photograph and not the item pictured in the photograph. That email goes something like this:
Dear ______,

Thank you for supporting Commodities. I see you are currently the high bidder for Polaroid Type 55 Pos/Neg 4x5 Film Unopened 6/06. I wanted to verify that you understand the nature of this item. As stated in the description, this auction is for a photograph of a box film. The film itself is not up for bid. This is part of an ongoing art project of photographs and drawings. To learn more about the project please visit erikdalzen.com


Here are the most recent responses:
obviously the ebay add is a little miss leading. I was very much expecting to bis [sic] on a box of film. If you would kindly remove my bid I would appreciate it. I re-read your add and see where it leads in both ways. a photo and box of film. I [sic] shows up in the search for film.
Hello, I don't want a picture, I need the film.
Thanks but no!
Does anyone read the item description? I have never purchased something on ebay with out reading the complete description first. Am I the only one that does that? The listing has the word 'photograph' or some other related term in excess of 10 times. I fear that creating any more blatant descriptions will erase the nuances I had hoped to maintain. What makes this so hard to understand? It is interesting to point out that the most misunderstood auctions were the Rollei and currently, the box of Polaroid film.


MegRuth said...

Maybe photographers are trying to score stuff on the cheap and believe more in the "too good to be true" type auctions.

I've been on the verge of bidding but never actually bid without reading. Who knows.

Anonymous said...

Face the sad truth, there are simply too many idiots out there.

Ian Aleksander Adams said...

People are ridiculously stupid on a very regular basis. It's just as bad selling "actual" items, believe me. I sell stuff and get an email asking if it's shipped five minutes later, when it clearly states 3 days handling time. Or people asking again and again about something clearly mentioned in the description.

People just don't read.

Erik Dalzen said...

Ha. I am glad to hear that selling "actual" items can go just as poorly.

MegRuth, my wife says, "these are too good to be true."

Perhaps I should stop asking for verification?

Morta Di Fame said...

I think that the confusion, the anger, the back and forth, the more confusion and the more anger is all a beautiful part of this art project you set up for yourself. And at the same time very hilarious!

Morta Di Fame said...

Oh yeah and like Ian Aleksander said, people are really stupid!
As an aside I have come across a lot of people lately with the name Aleksander spelled like that and I absolutely am enchanted by that spelling!

Ian Aleksander Adams said...

That's the russian in me poking out, I suppose - the rest of my name is closer to my celtic half.