Peter Clatworthy, a 19-year-old in the UK, has been saving his pounds to buy an Xbox One console for his young son. In particular, he had his sights aimed at the special and hard-to-find Day One edition. Day One editions on eBay UK have been selling for upwards of $800, so Clatworthy thought he had gotten a deal when he found one for $735.
There was one big red flag on the listing. The description noted the item up for auction was a photo. However, since it was listed in the consoles category and the seller had good feedback, Clatworthy went ahead with the purchase. "It said 'photo' and I was in two minds, but I looked at the description and the fact it was in the right category made me think it was genuine," he explained to the Nottingham Post.
Clatworthy's package showed up looking a lot flatter and smaller than he expected. It was, indeed, merely a photo of a Day One Xbox with the words, "Thank you for your purchase" written on the back.
To add insult to injury, the photo wasn't even of a high quality. It looks to have been printed off from an inkjet with failing cartridges. Definitely not suitable for framing.
All is not lost. Clatworthy is working with eBay to get his money back. He has been told he will get a full refund due to the misleading nature of the listing.
A look at completed listings on eBay UK shows several listings with 450 pound ($735) buy-it-now prices with the title "Xbox One Fifa 14 Day One Edition, Photo Brand New UK 2013." The links to the actual listings and descriptions are no longer active.
Clatworthy's disappointing experience should stand as another eBay cautionary tale about reading the fine print and being wary of deals that seem too good to be true, but it's hard to blame him for trying to make his Xbox dreams come true. A quick question asking for clarification might have saved some grief, but the scummy seller is really the heart of the problem.