Wes and I got a projector for the wedding for the slideshow we showed there. We figured they aren't that expensive anymore, and renting them's still not that cheap, so why not buy one and sell it back, or keep it depending on how much we like it?

Well, after the wedding, when we returned home, Wes found a projection screen up in the attic, and we have been having a great time projecting our laptops up on the screen. A friend of ours gave us the first season of Dexter in compressed format that could only be played on a computer, so we projected that up, and had a home theater viewing of the great show. And we have friends over and we all share our favorite YouTube videos with each other.

But before I bought this projector at Best Buy, I had won an Ebay auction for another one. The other one was by far the cheapest being sold on Ebay, but was only a little tiny bit cheaper than the one I ended up buying at Best Buy. And it never worked. I'm in the middle of a paypal dispute with the seller. I'll let you know how it goes. It looks pretty grim, though. I don't know if I'll use Ebay again after this, either, to be honest. Even if I do get my $300 back, I don't think that I'll be able to recover the $50 shipping (I paid $40, and think I will have to pay at least $10 to ship it back). Here's my letter I wrote to the paypal people today when they said they needed more info to resolve my dispute:

The item was clearly advertised as being in working condition, as can be seen from simply looking at its title : "Works GREAT."

In fact, the item does not work at all. It cannot recognize any input source. In the seller's response, he says that I should not have waited two weeks to have returned the item. But in actuality, it took over a week for the item to reach me (even though I paid $40 shipping), and when it did, I did not give up on the machine after trying to connect it to my laptop. I usually have good experiences with buying on Ebay, and did not think that someone would so blatantly sell something that so very obviously did not work.

In his advertisement, the seller had numerous pictures that he said were of the projector projecting. I cannot believe that this is true, and this is why: I have tried everything possible to connect the projector with ANYTHING through ALL OF ITS INPUTS with ALL OF ITS SETTINGS and have not been able to have it recognize ANY INPUT SOURCE.

1. I have tried to hook the machine up to my laptop, and the menu on the projector was "searching for a signal".

2. I checked the manual for the projector online, and tried to have them hooked up with any possible computer configurations and projector configuration combinations.

3. I went to Best Buy and bought adapter cords to hook my laptop up to the projector through another input (e.g., I was thinking that perhaps the projector's S-video input did not work. Even though this also would have meant that the seller was fraudulently advertising his projector, I didn't really care. I would have preferred to have had a working projector than to have had to hassle with returning it.)

4. I tried to download more drivers and software to my laptop, after laborious and time-consuming searching on the internet for solutions to similar problems.

5. None of these things worked, so my husband and I tried to connect the projector to his laptop. He has an apple and I have a pc, so we thought that maybe his computer would be able to overcome whatever problems my computer had with the projector. (when in actuality it turns out that the "problems" were not with my computer at all -- this projector simply does not work).

6. We tried to hook it up to our DVD's output through the S-video cable. It did not recognize that anything was hooked up to it.

7. We tried to hook it up to our Tivo's output through the S-video. Again, just like everything else it had been hooked up to, it did not recognize any input.

8. Unwilling to give up, even after all of this, I brought my computer and the projector to Radio Shack. I had the employees there help me try to configure the two so that the projector would recognize an input source, but to no avail. The Radio Shack employee assured me that I had been ripped off in my Ebay purchase.

9. Later that day, I went back to Best Buy. I bought a projector for $395. The projector came with a warranty, the manual, and a carrying case. I brought it home and it was connected to my laptop. Alas, it worked immediately. It also works with my husband's computer, our DVD player, and our Tivo.

What is so frustrating to me is that I didn't go to Best Buy in the first place. This projector came with so many more features, most importantly: IT WORKS! The projector I bought on Ebay, even if it did work, would not have been a bargain at all. But it turns out that it was a fraud, a scam. And to think that the seller is unwilling to settle this dispute without going through the paypal seller dispute is insulting. It is a waste of my time, and yours.

I assure you that the projector absolutely does not work. I am a professional. I present at conferences all over the world on an almost monthly, and sometimes bimonthly basis. I have had many experiences connecting all kinds of sources to all kinds of projectors in all kinds of countries. This projector does not work with any American input source. I suggest having the projector sent back to you guys so you can see for yourself. It powers up, and lights up, and says "searching for input source". If that were the image that I wanted to project with the projector, and if that were the ONLY image that I EVER wanted to project, that would be the only condition under which I would be able to honestly say that this projector "works great". And I assure you that the pictures on the seller's Ebay page for this projector (the ones of TV shows and whatnot) -- I am confident that those did not come from this projector.

I think you should reimburse me my buying costs, and also charge the seller the exorbitant $40 shipping he charged me to ship the machine to me, and have him also incur the charges it will cost me to ship the projector back if a return is necessary. It is sellers like him, and experiences like mine, that make people hesitant to shop on Ebay.

animated gifs from Library of Congress photos

Kevin J Wier makes animated gifs using old photographs from the library of congress flickr account. ...