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eBay nonsense

I have bought myself a replacement keyboard from an eBay vendor, thanks to Mick for locating it. Certainly, it was a much better price than the Swedish site. I have done this because, every so often, the unwanted-Q problem returns, which is a big PITA when MPlayer accepts the Q keypress to mean quit. Kinda hard to watch "Attack Girls Swim Team Versus The Undead" when the player quits erratically. And besides, patching up the keyboard was more a proof of concept than a real repair. You know when it starts getting rust issues inside that it's best to eventually replace it...

So I register with eBay. A fairly effortless performance, although eBay tries to be smart and when I give my address to the BRITISH eBay as France, it switches to French eBay and starts speaking in French. Kudos to FaceBook (I can't believe I just said that!) but it allows location and language to be separate entities rather than assumptions.

So I click to buy the keyboard. Nope, I have no credit card on file. So I click the link to register a credit card, and it sends me to a page to create an eBay vendor account. WTF? That's a bit insipid, guys. At which point did I say I wanted to become a vendor? I'm quite fond of my useless crap, thank you very much...

I create a virtual credit card for a euro, register with eBay (which involves a machine phoning me to speak a series of numbers), then delete the virtual card.

And click to buy.

WTF? Now I need a PayPal account! WHY? I have purchased in the past using PayPal as an intermediary and just gave payment details. I don't really want a PayPal account as, well... You've seen pictures of me and you've seen pictures of my eeePC. How far do you think I could throw my eeePC? Maybe ten metres if I frisbee it? Well, that's ten metres further than I trust PayPal.

So, finally, with an unwanted eBay vendor account and an unwanted PayPal account, I'm able to buy the keyboard...
It is in the post, I'll let you know more in due course.


Oh, and yes. I am aware of the connection between eBay and PayPal. Partners in crime, if you ask me... ☺


Virtual credit card?

Mick thought I was referring to a pay-as-you-go card. No, it is a service provided by the bank. My proper MasterCard is blocked. If I cannot put in the PIN myself, it won't work - period. Annoyingly the error message for this is "security code invalid", you know, that three-digit code on the back. Anyway, instead I have a little bit of software (or a Flash widget on their website) which allow me to create credit cards.

After signing in, I can define an amount and a validity period:

Defining a credit amount.
The amount can be exact, as in the case of on-line purchases, or it can be "about" which is useful if paying from a euro account for something in another currency. Then, up to the defined amount can be withdrawn.

Then it will contact the bank to demand a number:

Requesting a number.

And finally, the virtual credit card is ready:

The card is ready.
The card number is a valid credit card (MasterCard, immediate debit), along with an expiry date and the three-digit security code that many (non-American) sites ask for.

The benefit? Up to the defined amount can be withdrawn. Once used, the virtual card cannot be used again (unless, I guess, there is remaining credit, and again up to the originally defined amount in total). You can snarf the details and send them to Thailand if you want - once the defined credit limit is reached, the virtual card is useless. Actually, each virtual card lists the associated vendor, so it might be that once virtual card has been linked to someplace, it is useless elsewhere? And, finally, there are several layers of abstraction between said virtual card and my bank account. So in essence this is like the convenience of a credit card without the risks of using one on-line.


Your comments:

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Mick, 18th October 2010, 17:12
I like this idea. Would sign up to this if available, hovever I have had no problems with paypal. I know some have, especially those that receive money this way.

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