Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Going West, Young Man

Left the East, traveling West last night. Back from whence I came lo one year ago...

It's been a great year and I really enjoyed the "hot seat."

Monday, December 03, 2007

I Smoked Too Many Cigarettes This Weekend

"But you don't smoke," I can imagine you saying. And mostly you'd be right.

After a few years hiatus my Civil War selling partner and I decided to go to the Nashville show this weekend. I guess I haven't gone to one with him since I quit smoking in '02. And riding in a truck for five-plus hours, staying in a hotel room, and riding back with a chain smoker proved to be a little more stressful than I anticipated. I am so congested this morning, I can't quit blowing my nose and coughing. And my jacket smells like smoke. I wonder if I tumble it in the dryer with a static sheet if it will freshen it up?

I didn't buy anything at the show, but selling out of a briefcase turns out to be a pretty good strategy. In the past we'd always set up as dealers. And that makes for a long weekend, driving over, setting up on Friday and then manning the tables for two days, tearing down and driving back on Sunday. This time we decided to be "floor walkers." And I guess it adds a sense of urgency when you're showing someone something in your briefcase and they have minutes to decide about it before you walk off for good. It kind of throws a wrench in the "let me think about it and let you know later" strategy.

So I did fairly well at the show. We did some leisurely junking on the way back and got in about 9:00 last night. The little bride seemed happy to see me, and I surely was happy to see her as well. I think son1 was disappointed that I didn't bring him something to eat...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cranberries - not just a pop band anymore

My little bride looks great right out of the package. I think she's gorgeous dripping wet and straight from the shower. Her blue eyes are magnificent and her smile lights up the room. She doesn't need makeup, but somehow it makes her feel better. So, I abide it.

When she asks me if she looks alright, the answer is yes. But she only asks after she puts on the makeup so maybe she doesn't know that she looks wonderful before. Or maybe she doesn't believe me.

This morning as I was brushing my teeth, I noticed one of the little containers on the cabinet was labeled "concealer." Concealer? What is she trying to hide? I'm going to have to ask her about that when I get home tonight.

On another note, it looks like we're going to be hosting the fambly for Thanksgiving again this year. Yeah, mom and dad sold their house and moved into a retirement high rise, an old folks home of sorts, and they say I'm the only one with room for everybody. I think it's because my house is the closest to their new abode and they don't like to ride any farther.

So, I've got a great tom turkey thawing in my fridge, and most of the "emergency" remodeling done that the bride insisted had to occur before we have guests. I suppose that we're nearly ready. Certainly she will insist on some frenzied last minute house cleaning and life will be at a frantic pace until, oh, noonish on Thursday. When we all sit down together, I'm sure everything will be copacetic.

We thought about possibly putting a table out on the new deck in case some wanted to dine al fresco. The weather has been so nice this week. But the radio says this morning that a cold front is supposed to come through on Thursday so that sounds iffy.

As far as I know, there's still no cure for rabies, so there's that. And my new favorite word in the whole world is YIKES! Just saying or hearing the word yikes puts a smile on my face. How many words can you say that about?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hillary Loves Arkansas Part II

I told you a bit ago about Hillary Rodham's Clinton's headquarters here in Little Rock being in the basement, behind a rubber stamp company. You saw how she is showing us the love. You know, from her living here all those years and being married to the governor.

Today I did a doubletake as I drove by and saw the yard sale signs in front of her headquarters. I slammed on my brakes and ran in to see if they had some of Bill's underwear for sale. You know, some years back he itemized donations of underwear to the local Goodwill store for his income taxes. I think he valued them at $2 a pair or something like that. So I figured they probably need money since Hill's running for president or some office. I forget. And maybe they're selling their old underwear instead of donating it for a tax dodge break.

While I didn't find any of Bill's underwear, there was a pair of combat boots that I think may have been Hillary's. No, wait, she hates the military so scratch that. Probably Chelsea's.

I did see a guy down in front of the homeless shelter, two blocks down, that was wearing a pair of pretty expensive looking underwear on his head...

UPDATE: The LA Times thinks it's a good idea...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

We live in a tough neighborhood...

Apparently these kids weren't trick-or-treating correctly...

...or maybe they didn't say "thank you."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hillary Loves Arkansas

Yeah, right.

I figured ya'll might want to see Hillary's Arkansas Headquarters. You'd think she might want it somewhere a little nicer than the basement in the back of a rubber stamp company. Or maybe that says something...

Oh, and all the cars in the parking lot? The parking lot belongs to the Little Rock School District and those cars are parked there even when the building is vacant.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ten to No

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Snookered Again

Folks are always telling me how great this beer or that beer is, and when it comes to beers with the words "ultra" or "light" in them, no matter how it's spelled, they're really not worth drinking. But when a friend told me that the new light beer by Beck's was really good, he had my attention. The Germans really know how to make beer.

So, I bought some. And it tastes just like your standard watered down American beer. Not that I'm a beer snob or anything, but I do like my beer to actually taste like beer. If I want carbonated water, I'll buy that.

Beck's, stick to what you do best. And making light beer ain't it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood...

You know, certain neighborhoods in town are just more interesting than others. And they make you glad you have your camera with you...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Making Sense

The analogy of God as a father becomes ever so much clearer after you are a parent. Each day I see the Fatherhood of God in my fatherhood of my sons and daughter. You want so badly to protect them from the world and its hurts. Its dangers. And so with God.

How do you explain an untimely death? How can you reason that good people die and evil people live? There's comfort knowing he's in heaven, but how could God let this happen?

And I guess it all comes down to choices. Free will is a wonderful blessing and a terrible burden all at once. And God created us with free will. We choose to love. We choose to worship. Or not. And we choose our paths in life. And maybe a child's split second choice darts them into traffic before you can grab them. We either pay or benefit from our choices depending upon which way we go.

It's not God's fault that bad things happen to us. And it's unrealistic to expect we'd be protected from every reaction to our actions. Yes, God protects us and holds us and he loves us more than we can understand. Even after experiencing the love we have for our children, we can't begin to fathom. And he let's us choose.

A choice. A life cut short. A soul in heaven and a host of those left behind in sorrow. Wondering how this can be. Wishing it weren't true. Hoping for that call saying it was a mistake. Curled up in bed, wanting the escape of sleep, knowing you'll never see your best friend again in this life. Thinking over and over in your mind of the choices you've made and the single devastating choice of one you love.

Pray for my son and the family of his friend. A choice. A life cut short. We can only pray for those left behind.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Keeping Austin Weird

Spent the last few days in Austin Texas, a place with a very discernable attitude. (remember, if you click on the pictures, they get bigger...)

There was a gang of girls on Segways terrorizing the tourists on the sidewalk

And of course we got our drink on. In Texas, it's Mexican beer and tequila

The skyline from our lair

If it ain't hot enough for you there, you can get assistance
The folks were nice and helpful, always looking out for our needs and clearing up any confusion that might overtake us.
No problems to speak of, but had there been...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Galactic Trailer Trash

Is anyone following the civilian space race?

For the last fifty years, space has been the exclusive realm of government agencies. Governments with enough money and clout to pull it off. Granted, a lot of our technological progress has come from the space program. Tang for instance. Oh and those ballpoint pens that write upside down. How cool is that?

But in the last few years we've seen more and more wealthy entrepenours entering their own space programs. And who wants to bet that there's more progress in a year than NASA makes in a decade? Plus, these guys like to party and there won't be that stigma attached to hot extraterrestrial astronaut loving that the government programs have. Just think, no more driving 900 miles in a diaper to straighten out your sex life.

Virgin is planning regularly scheduled galactic flights and claims that soon "every kid will know he can go to orbit in his lifetime." Numerous others are developing their own ideas for cashing in on the concept.

This one guy, Robert Bigelow, has already sent up his own space station. But here's where it starts to bother me. Bigelow's space station is home to some jumping beans and some cockroaches. Cockroaches?

Have you ever had that experience when the nasty people living next door to you move out and the cockroaches they left behind get hungry and start invading your house? You spend hundreds of dollars on exterminators and years cussing those nasty bastards for doing that to you?

Yeah, do we want to be known as the planet that spread cockroaches across the galaxy?

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Education Pill

One of the most provocative bloggers out in the webosphere is La Shawn Barber. I admire her common sense approach to everyday problems. And while many of her posts are directed at improving the black community in America, nearly all of her solutions would be beneficial to all races.

Things like, “Get married and build a nest before you have children to give them the best start in life, take responsibility for your own lives and accept the consequences of your actions, and take responsibility for your children’s education…”

The last one really hits home to me, since I still have a child in school.

Haven’t we become a culture of dependence? I mean, don’t we look for someone else to solve our problems because we are too lazy? No?

How about health? How many Americans would rather take medication for diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity than to alter their diet and exercise habits? Why inconvenience yourself when you can take a little pill or get an operation? The good Lord certainly doesn’t want me to do without anything that gives me pleasure.

And, if the pill for your blood pressure or diabetes makes you impotent? There’s a pill for that too!

Yep, we’d rather not teach our children to take responsibility for their sexuality. You wouldn’t want to make anyone feel bad or foolish for getting pregnant in the ninth grade. No, it’s better to have the schools pass out condoms to our children than to expect them to deprive themselves of that pleasure. Especially since we don’t want to deprive ourselves of the pleasures of extra-marital sex. Right?

Which brings me to the most important one of all. The one that most affects our future and that of our children and grandchildren. The schools.

Bane says you shouldn’t send you kids to any school. Public or private. And I’m sure he has a valid point these days. But it shouldn’t be that way, and I think he would agree with me on that.

We’ve proven through forty years of trial and error that throwing money at the problem won’t fix it. Though the unionized teachers are scheming screaming that it will. “Just pay us more to care about your children…”

Isn’t money the little pill for our children’s education?

If we throw more money at the problem, it will get fixed and our children will receive a great education without inconveniencing ourselves. Lord knows, we don’t have time to make sure our kids learn. That’s what we pay the teachers for. Right?

Or not.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

And so the tradition continues...

Son1 worked his first show yesterday. Bob Seeger. And, I'm not sure who was more excited - me, or him. Probably me.

See, ever since he was born, it has been my hope that he would someday want to do this, just as I did, and my father and his father before him. Grandpa died when I was 13, so I never worked with him, but there were still lots of guys on the crew when I started with plenty of tales to tell about him. I never worked with dad either, he having decided to hang it up after falling from a ramp one night. And since I haven't worked a show since the nineties, I guess it's possible that son1 and I will never work together. I hope that's not the case.

I still keep my hand in, for if I ever want to. When I talked to the steward in January to get my boy on the call list, I checked my seniority. I'm now number five on the list with only four of the old boys still ahead of me.

Since he's the newbie, son1 got cut at 1:00 and back in for the out at eleven. He was pretty pumped when he came home at lunch, telling me about getting the grand piano out of its road case and other assorted trivia. I'm really glad he thinks it's fun, because it is. Hard work, but fun.

He showed me his black finger this afternoon, where a careless drop on the other end of a riser smashed it. Those things happen and you have to watch yourself. But he's looking forward to his next call and hoping it will be someone he likes better than Bob Seeger. Guess I need to start coaching him a bit on stage directions...

Friday, February 02, 2007

destination unknown

I've seen those television shows on the learning channel about the most dangerous jobs, and fishing for crabs is one of the top ones. And I'm grateful to those guys. Because I like crab legs. I've got a friend that tried it one year. They went out for a month, and endured cold and wet with very little sleep for the promise of a portion of the catch. Tales of coming home with thirty, forty, even fifty thousand dollars from a month's work were tossed back like so many beers.

But, alas, they had a terrible catch that month and he wound up with something like eighty dollars for his trouble, and had to have his dad wire him money to get back home. Swore he'd never do that again.

Which makes me even more grateful.

Kroger had a special on snow crab legs and I bought four pounds of them. The little bride and I, finding ourselves in one of those rare evenings without children, steamed them up and ate them with drawn butter. Okay, I didn't really draw it, but I melted it in the microwave and it was good enough. And these particular crab legs are already slit down the sides and cut around the claws and they are ever so easy to get the great, long, slabs of crab flesh out and run them through the butter dipping to the second knuckle. I nearly chewed off two of my fingers in the process.

I topped this off with some good dutch beer (I'm a sucker if it's in a green bottle) and a couple of Bordeaux cookies for dessert. Well, maybe more than a couple. Maybe one whole section of the bag. As far as I'm concerned, Pepperidge Farms has a license to print money with those things.

Now, I've got to go and hide the evidence... I don't like having to explain why I didn't tell the boys that we were having crab legs for dinner before they made plans to go off and do other things. Ha ha.

It's The Economy, Stupid!

Yes, President Bush's tax cuts were aimed at the rich.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yee Haw, I mean, Ahoy!

So, they're building a freeway down the road from me, and I drive past the construction every day. That's why it seemed odd to see a boat parked on an unfinished section. Was it raining a lot the day this guy drove his boat to work? And then he was left stranded at quitting time? (clicky the picky and it gets bigger...)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Take It Back

When I was entering my teen years in the late sixties, there was a great fascination on my part with hippies and the whole anti-establishment idea. I think this is probably pretty normal for kids that age, and I wasn’t much different than most of the kids I went to school with.

And, even though I grew up playing army and watching war movies on television, I fell in lockstep with the anti-war, anti-Viet Nam feelings that were growing stronger and more pervasive each year. I hungrily watched the six o’clock news each day to see the body counts. I devoured the Life Magazines that my grandmother subscribed to each week, pouring over the pictures of Kent State and the protests.

We were unique. We were the first! No one had ever challenged authority. No one had ever had the guts to be against a war. No one had ever dreamed of a world where everyone loved each other and everything was groovy. We were the pioneers that would save the world from ourselves. And we’d do it with love, flowers and music. The drugs were just the icing on the cake.

I know how appealing the whole notion can be. And how easily a young person can be taken in by the great feeling you get of being part of something special and earth shattering. No amount of logic or facts would have dissuaded me from my anti-war stance. I got sent home from school for wearing an American flag with a peace sign on my shirt. I was making a difference! I was trendy, I was cool. My friends and I all thought so.

And, by 1972, people like me had made a difference. You could see that we were winning against stupid, old fashioned, tyrants like Johnson and Nixon. You could see that our country was changing.

You could see that we as a nation had lost our resolve to win a stupid war, forced upon us by stupid people, and un-winnable because the “enemy” had the moral high ground and right always prevails, eventually. Domino effect? Yeah, right.

And right did prevail. We left Viet Nam about a year after I became eligible for the draft. The world was going to become a better place.

It wasn’t until nearly thirty years later that we found out just how close to winning that war militarily we were. It was years later before the government of Viet Nam released documents that showed just how much affect our war protests had. Just how critical it was that we lost our resolve when we did. How dangerously close they came to losing that war. That quagmire.

It was thirty years later before we began to understand how our loss of resolve, our abandonment of our friends and allies, our cutting and running affected the way we as a country are perceived in the real world. How those who hate us and hate our way of life use that information to bolster their attacks on us. On the freedoms we represent.

Meantime, history proved that our government was initially correct. There was a domino effect. Much of Southeast Asia toppled to communist and repressive regimes. Literally millions of human beings, people, and families died and many millions more suffered through the re-education and abuses of prison. Billions of people’s lives changed. For the worse.

We bear a responsibility for that.

I am sorry that I was part of that. I deeply regret my stance against that war. I deeply regret believing that I knew more about a war, a people, a culture on the other side of the world than the men and women who had studied it and brought us to bear on the situation. I am so sorry for the suffering that I caused to the men and women and their families who were honorably serving our country, through my misguided thoughts and actions. They were fighting for my right to think they were wrong.

I wish that I could take it all back.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fun With Ebay!

I'm not sure if I would qualify as a pioneer with eBay, but I did start buying and selling on eBay in 1998, not too long after the site started up. And over the years I've sold a lot of things on eBay, bought a lot of things on eBay and bid a million dollars worth of stuff up even though I didn't win it. I've made a lot of money for eBay and its owners.

Yet, every time I've had a question or a problem, eBay is little or no help. I'm convinced that the customer service people just scan the messages, pick out a key word and focus on that. Normally the answer has nothing to do with the question or the problem. And once they start pointing you in a certain direction, no amount of prodding will get them to reverse course.

As an example of just how bad the customer service is at eBay, I will present you the following email exchange, unedited except for deleting unnecessary headers and text. As a sort of background on this exchange, I had bought a small collection of Zippo cigarette lighters with the intention of selling them on eBay. Now, eBay is rife with fake Viet Nam engraved Zippos, most actually coming from Viet Nam. But these are just regular lighters with no Viet Nam related engraving, so what's the problem?

Well, eBay lets me list one and then tells me that I have to be paypal verified (read as "link my bank account to an unregulated financial institution" - no thanks!)in order to list a second lighter. So, trying to figure out what the problem is, I send a message to eBay asking why it's doing this. I mean, really, I've listed lots of other stuff that has horrible fakes on eBay including a collection of authentic Egyptian artifacts. Try finding ones that AREN'T fake on eBay!

Without further ado, here's the exchange:

December 8, 2006
Message: I am trying to list an item (Zippo Lighter) and I get an error message that tells me that I must be verified through Paypal to list this item. I don't have a paypal account and I do NOT WANT a Paypal account, I do NOT wish to link my bank account information with anything on the internet. So what do I do to fix this? I was able to list another lighter earlier without any problems. Please let me know soon.


Dear Greg,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to the difficulty you are experiencing while listing you item on the eBay site.

We would like to provide as much assistance as possible to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. However, in order to do this, we would require some more information before proceeding in this matter.

1. The exact steps that you are taking while listing the item.

2. Any error message that are getting while listing the item.

3. The item description and the category that you are selecting while listing the item.

4. Any other information that you can provide to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Okay, my response:
1. The exact steps that you are taking while listing the item. Answer: I was at the “submit listing” point.

2. Any error message that are getting while listing the item. Answer: Attention Seller:

In order to maintain a safe trading environment, selling limits are occasionally placed on accounts. Your eBay account has been restricted from listing this item at this time until you have verified through PayPal.

1) To verify your PayPal account, click on your country of eBay registration below to understand how to complete that process.

2) If you already have a verified PayPal account, and are still receiving this message, you need to link it to your eBay account.

For instructions on how to become PayPal Verified or how to link your PayPal account to your eBay account, please click on the site of your eBay registration below:

Australia | Austria | Belgium - French | Belgium - Dutch | Canada | France | Germany | India | Ireland | Italy | Malaysia | Netherlands | Philippines | Poland | Singapore | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | United Kingdom | United States

We sincerely value you as a member of our trading community and look forward to a continued successful relationship.

Click here for a window with eBay's policy on replica or counterfeit items

3. The item description and the category that you are selecting while

listing the item. Answer:

A decent used lighter showing wear on the high spots. Date code on the bottom puts it made in 1966.

Scratches and wear as indicated in scans, this is not an "as new" lighter. But it is all there and operable.

Shipping to anywhere in the United States by Priority Mail/Delivery Confirmation is only $5.00. I can stick it into a padded bag and mail it to you that way for only $3.00 if you specify.

Category: Collectibles > Tobacciana > Lighters > Zippo > Other (#952)

4. Any other information that you can provide to resolve the issue as

quickly as possible.

Then, on December 27 (3 weeks later) I emailed again:
I responded to this email several weeks ago and have heard nothing more from you. Is this what you consider customer service?


And, their response:
Dear Greg,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to trouble you're having when listing your item on eBay.

First, please allow me to apologize for the delay in response time and any inconvenience this may have caused. We appreciate your patience and understanding. I do see that we received your previous email and I have reviewed the information you sent at that time.

In order to resolve the issue you are having you will need to become PayPal Verified. eBay members who have taken the step to be PayPal Verified have confirmed their identity by completing the required steps to become Verified. The Verification process is a way for PayPal to gain additional proof of a member's identity in conjunction with our own eBay authentication methods. This higher level of verification is designed to reduce fraud and will make it more difficult for counterfeiters to list those items on eBay.

Note: eBay does not require sellers to offer PayPal for these items.

There are two ways to get PayPal Verified:

- Add and confirm a bank account
- Get approved for a PayPal Plus Credit Card

***Add and confirm a back account***
1. Log In to your PayPal account.
2. Go to your profile and add and confirm your bank account.
3. Once you have completed the process, please update your PayPal account by selecting "My Account", then "Profile", then "Selling Preferences" and choose "Auctions".
4. Click on "Add" and enter your eBay User ID.

***Get approved for a PayPal Plus Credit Card*** To apply for a PayPal Plus Credit Card, click the "Plus Card" link at the bottom of any PayPal page.

I understand your frustration regarding this matter and apologize for the inconvenience it caused you.

Christina C. A.

eBay Customer Support

To which I replied:
Why do I need to be paypal verified to sell certain items on eBay? I know there are a lot of fake viet nam Zippos on eBay, this hasn't stopped that, but the Zippos I'm trying to sell aren't even close. I cannot link my bank account information to an unregulated financial entity and do not want one of their credit cards. I've never had a problem listing any other item, have flawless feed back, have been a seller on eBay longer than most of you have worked there (since '98) and should be able to list more than one Zippo lighter at a time without having to give my financial information.
Please help me resolve this problem. Thanks


To which they finally replied:
Dear Greg,

Thank you for writing back to eBay regarding the Paypal Verified requirements for certain brands and types of items.

Please again understand that only the verification process is required.
You do not have to accept Paypal on these items, nor ever use your Paypal account for any reason. However if you fail to go through this verification process, you will not be able to list the items.

I have provided the steps for you below for both options. Only one of those would be required.

***Add and confirm a back account***
1. Log In to your PayPal account.
2. Go to your profile and add and confirm your bank account.
3. Once you have completed the process, please update your PayPal account by selecting "My Account", then "Profile", then "Selling Preferences" and choose "Auctions".
4. Click on "Add" and enter your eBay User ID.

***Get approved for a PayPal Plus Credit Card*** To apply for a PayPal Plus Credit Card, click the "Plus Card" link at the bottom of any PayPal page.

Again, if you do not complete either of those two requirements, you will not be able to list the items at this time.

Thank you again for writing to us and for giving me this opportunity to further address your concerns. Best of luck with your future transactions on eBay!

Matthew M.

eBay Customer Support

Notice that they only tell me how to link my bank account information to their scam unregulated paypal account. So, now I really want an answer. A real answer.
From: Circa Bellum
To: eBay Customer Support
Subject: RE: GS=C11008 The problem you're having with registering isn't
listed [ 05019T ?01 ] (KMM66397419V47377L0KM)

You did not answer my question about why you are requiring this for this particular item. In fact none of you have responded to any of my questions other than to tell me that I have to link my bank account info to list these items. I want to know what the reason is. Can you send my question to someone higher up who knows something?

I've been selling on ebay since 1998 and have never encountered this. I sell a lot of items (real ones, I might add) that are in categories rife with fakes. I realize that viet nam Zippos are faked and sold on eBay a LOT. These are not pretending to be those. I recently sold a collection of Egyptian artifacts. Talk about a category that is crawling with fakes, yet I was able to list 20 and 30 items at a time.

Only being able to list one item at a time is hurting both me and ebay on the income aspect since having multiple items out at once lends credibility and gets more bids.

Again, I will not furnish my bank account information to ebay (paypal) or anyone else on the internet. I have a credit card on file with ebay, that should be enough.

Now, will you please give me the courtesy of an answer to my question?

Getting more than irritated...

One would think that at this point a real person would answer my email with something other than the party line about getting verified with paypal.

Dear Greg,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to being PayPal verified to sell items on eBay.

To help you as quickly and efficiently as possible, I've forwarded your email directly to a PayPal representative. We do this to ensure the security of your PayPal account information.

When you have PayPal inquiries, you'll get answers faster if you contact PayPal Customer Service directly. To reach PayPal Customer Service, log into your account and send a secure email through the following Web


Please understand that you need to get your PayPal account verify that is currently linked to eBay. Once you do this you will certainly be able to list your item without further problems.

To which I tersely replied:
From: Circa Bellum
To: eBay Customer Support
Subject: RE: GS=C11008 The problem you're having with registering isn't
listed [ 05019T ?01 ] (KMM66604172V10318L0KM)

You don't even read the questions, do you?

Which elicited the following response, proving once again, that they don't even read the questions, do they?
Dear Greg,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to being PayPal verified.

Firstly, please accept my apology for the delay in sending the response.

In an effort to help you as quickly and efficiently as possible, I've forwarded your email directly to a PayPal representative. We do this to ensure the security of your PayPal account information.

When you have PayPal inquiries, you'll get answers faster if you contact PayPal Customer Service directly. To reach PayPal Customer Service, log into your account and send a secure email through the following Web


We are committed to making your eBay experiences pleasant and fulfilling.

Claire Z.

eBay Customer Support

So, I have to see how far this goes, and I reply:
OKAY, let me say this as simply as I can possibly state this. You don't seem to understand the question. I know how to get paypal verified.
explained that to me 3 times and it was very clear before I ever asked the question in the first place. I repeat: I will not link my bank account info to eBay (paypal) not now, not ever.
HERE'S THE QUESTION: why does a zippo lighter require paypal
verification to list and other objects don't. I WANT MY QUESTION ANSWERED , YOU OWE ME THAT MUCH.
I'M GETTING MORE THAN A LITTLE PERTURBED WITH YOUR STUPID RESPONSES THAT DO NOT ADDRESS THE QUESTION. If you do not have a sufficient grasp of the English language to understand the question, please, for God's sake, send the question to someone higher up in your organization who can actually give something beyond a canned response. No more robots...

Which finally elicited a response from someone who actually read the question. hey, it only took a month!
Dear Greg,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to your concerns selling your Zippo Lighter item(s).

The reason you've been required to become PayPal verified is because eBay is committed to reducing fraud and negative buying experiences on the site, and the sale of counterfeits on eBay is wrong, violates our business ethics, and results in negative buying experiences. Be assured that you do not need to use PayPal as an payment method to sell your item; this is for verification only.

The problem of counterfeits is not just an eBay problem. Counterfeits plague the brick-and-mortar retail industry, as well as the rest of e-commerce in general. Counterfeits are illegal. It is a criminal act to manufacture them, and it is a criminal act to knowingly sell them. Every time a buyer on eBay purchases a counterfeit item, the whole eBay marketplace pays a price. Trust is the fuel that powers trade on our site. Counterfeits erode the trust that is so essential  and this hurts all of us.

Reducing negative buying experiences from counterfeits and other fraud will help increase buyer trust, resulting in greater loyalty and purchasing activity for legitimate sellers. We know that initiatives to combat fraud will cause inconveniences for legitimate sellers, but you will also benefit from increased buyer demand for legitimate goods.

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing eBay.

William L.

eBay Customer Support