How Do You Get Out Of An EBay Auction? Say Killer Bees Attacked The Vehicle

Pat won an auction for an RV on eBay last week. He bid a little over $15,000 for a vehicle that was listed for sale by the RV company for $29,999 on other sites. Pat was worried that Nelson’s RV might try to find a loophole to cancel the auction since he’d scored such a great deal, so he immediately sent his required $250 deposit to them and asked for someone at Nelson’s RV to contact him. Eventually, after some run around, he got the following email—with one of the ballsiest excuses we’ve ever seen.

We are devastated with our discovery this morning of a swarm of Africanized killer bees in the 2007 Sandpiper 325RG 5th wheel that you have a deposit on. We have used multiple poisons in an attempt eradicate them. We have vacuumed up the bees that covered the floors, cabinets, and furniture. We tried to clean the traces of honey on the countertops and cabinet tops as completely as possible. This is one of the terrible acts of Mother Nature we have in Arizona. As best we can determine, the bees entered from the door that had been left opened yesterday morning. The interior of this trailer does have a strong chemical odor from the poison and is TOXIC. Our insurance regulations prohibit us from selling this 5th wheel at this time.

Due to these circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to proceed with the sale of this 2007 Sandpiper 325RG 5th wheel. This vehicle is unsafe for occupancy or use. We are therefore refunding your deposit at this time. We have attached several photos. Watch EBay for other close-outs we will be posting soon.

Pat examined the photos, but they are very small (we’re posting them exactly as he sent them to us) so it’s kind of hard to tell if they’ve been manipulated.

Pat writes,

The two cans of “TOXIC” chemicals pictured in the second picture are indoor household foggers manufactured by Hot Shot and Ortho. Both were designed to be used, and are safe, for indoor use.

Within a few minutes of receiving the e-mail, I received another from PayPal indicating that my deposit had been refunded by Nelson RV.

My attorney advised me that he felt all the elements were in place for a contract and that even if their story were true, it should be my decision as to whether I wanted to accept the trailer in that condition. If a product that has been offered for sale does not turn out to be as advertised, then the buyer can decide to not go through with the sale. He told me that if I wanted it, I should send them an E-mail explaining my position and see how they respond.

So Pat resubmitted his $250 deposit and sent Nelson RV the following email:

After discussions with my attorney today and reviewing material safety data sheets of both the Ortho and Hot Shot brand indoor foggers that you used, I have decided that I will still take the 5th wheel. Thank you for disclosing the unfortunate event.

I would like to send a local representative to your dealership to inspect the unit as my agent. I would also like to resubmit the necessary deposit as required in our contract.

Please call me to arrange a time for closing as I intend on traveling to Arizona to pick up the Sandpiper within the next week.

This seemed to push Nelson RV to the breaking point, because they dropped the killer bees story and have turned to a new tactic, saying Pat was mistaken and never bought a trailer from them, and in fact there is no trailer anymore, so quit bothering them.

I received a call from Jim Nelson. Jim said that he understood that I “think” I have bought a trailer from Nelson RV and that it was just EBay and Bee’s nonsense that I was talking to James Nelson about.[Editor: What?] But that he had the owner there, Angelita Nelson, and that he was going to put her on the phone.

Angelita got on the phone and said “You did not buy a trailer from us and to quit calling and e-mailing us.” I Responded that the trailer was offered to the highest bidder in an auction, and that I was the highest bidder. Therefore I believe we have a contract for the sale. Angelina replied forcefully, “There is no contract! And we don’t even have the trailer anymore.” I responded by saying, that is not what the e-mails I have from you say, and I hope you still have the trailer because we have a deal. She then said in a very angry tone, “We do not have a deal! And we will not allow you to swindle us out of $15,000.” At which point the phone went dead.

Pat sent one more email to the Nelsons—Jim, James, and Angelina—in which he tried to educate them on how eBay works, and urged them to seek legal counsel so that they’d understand their obligation to fulfill the contract. As of Thursday July 24th, they haven’t responded and Pat hasn’t received a refund on his second deposit.

The Nelsons have indicated to him that someone will get back to him today, July 25th. Unless, of course, Africanized killer bees infest their computer and render it unusable. Once killer honey gets all up in your motherboard, you can forget about it.

(Photos: Bee, aussiegall; RV, Beige Alert; Honey Bears, buskuit)


Edit Your Comment

  1. tedyc03 says:

    Liars! All of them! Well, except the OP.

  2. Marshfield says:

    Perhaps the sellers aren’t very familiar with ebay. I see they have a feedback rating of (1).

    Started bidding at $5000.

    First rule of ebay for sellers: you MAY just sell the item for the staring bid, so price it carefully! (I sold some software for a penny, and the buyer lived in town and picked it up. Dang.)

  3. JustThatGuy3 says:

    This is NOT a blame the victim post, but I think I see what happened. These folks are new to eBay, and didn’t understand the whole “reserve price” requirement. They’re shocked to find out they just sold this trailer for a huge discount, and now they’re trying to weasel out of it. It’s an explanation, not an excuse.

    My guess is that OP will have to sue them, which is a royal pain for an out-of-state seller.

    • WNW says:

      @JustThatGuy3: If you are stupid enough to use an unfamiliar system to sell a $30,000 trailer then you can’t blame anyone but yourself when it comes up $15,000 short.

  4. usa_gatekeeper says:

    It was great that the dealership was dumb enough to actually send an e-mail with the killer bee story. Terrific paper trail. Between that and their subsequent denials, I think they could get laughed out of court. Hopefully the dealership would have to pay court costs and Pat’s travel costs. This amounts to an eBay do-over which everyone frowns on, even eBay.

  5. JustThatGuy3 says:


    For something like this, you really need to have a reserve auction.

  6. wgrune says:

    Small claims court?

  7. winstonthorne says:

    I love good excuses; this one makes me all happy inside!

  8. tinky XIII says:

    If that’s the original resolution of the pics, what’d they use to take them? An original TracFone?

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I think the seller deserves a $15K loss as an ebay education. Most people who sell on ebay have one or two “lessons” like that…perhaps not as expensive, but that’s how it works.

  10. temporaryscars says:

    Is it too soon to start nominating for next year’s Worst Company in America?

  11. foxfire235 says:

    but if it’s just an excuse where did they get the bees from?

  12. EyeHeartPie says:

    I love how eBay sellers always assume that their auction will go for more than it is actually worth and will list it way below anything they are willing to accept. Way back when I used to sell stuff on eBay, I would put the starting bid as the absolute minimum I would be willing to take for the item. That way, if it doesn’t sell, I’m out just the listing fees, and if it sells, then I’m not disappointed. I can’t abide making up excuses not to sell just because they didn’t get how much they wanted. If they had wanted a guarantee of more than $15k, they should have listed on Craigslist, since nothing on eBay is certain.

    Back to the issue at hand…best bet is to continue on the vein that you are on. Keep emphasizing the contract side of eBay sales. Good luck!!

  13. ColdNorth says:

    This is too big for small claims court, especially since the apparent retail price is $30,000. IANAL, but it sure seems to me that there was a bona fide contract executed here and the failure of the seller to deliver (coupled with an attempt at defrauding the OP to reneg on the contract) would make for a very simple court case for the buyer.

    Of course, the OP would have to sue in the home state of the seller, but it might still be a great deal, even if it ends up costing the OP a few thousand dollars more in legal fees. ($20 or even $25 thousand is still a pretty decent discount from list and the OP MAY even have grounds for award of court and legal costs, thanks to the attempt to swindle).

    OP – I almost never say this, but CALL A LAWYER!

  14. Ausoleil says:

    Guess these geniuses at the dealership never heard of reserve auctions. That way they would have insured they got the minimum price that they were willing to take for the RV.

    No mention either of where E-Bay stands on this. Guess they will give the seller one strike and leave it at that?

  15. Hawkins says:

    eBay sales contracts are generally held to be legally binding. See this fine blog: [] for a similar story of dealer weaselling.

  16. chrisjames says:

    Looks like Nelson went and sold all it’s Sandpiper 5th wheels already. Or has stopped offering them. Looked like a nice ride, too.

    So, how exactly do you sue for something you didn’t receive and haven’t yet paid for? Can a judge order Nelson RV to honor the sale, even if they don’t have the model you bid on?

    • anduin says:

      they broke a contract, how is that hard to understand ? He won the auction, paid the deposit and they shafted him illegally …sounds like enough evidence to go to court. Its hardly frivalous

  17. EyeHeartPie says:


    Small claims has a max amount you are allowed to sue for (hence the name “small” claims). In Arizona, that limit is $2500. I wonder…would he have to file a suit in small claims court in Arizona (state of the company he bought the RV from), or in his own home state? Depending on his home state, he may be able to sue in small claims for $15,000 (Delaware, Georgia), or even $25,000 (Tennessee).

    Full list of small claims court limits: []

  18. usa_gatekeeper says:

    Interesting – the seller was known as “myrv2002” on eBay from Nov-09-02 thru Jul-10-08 then they changed their handle to “tucsonrv” around when this auction started. Given this, I don’t think these people are new to eBay.

  19. Hawkins says:

    ColdNorth is correct. I am nobody’s lawyer, but there’s strong evidence of fraud here, which greatly strengthens the case.

    Lawyer up, dude.

  20. MeOhMy says:

    Hey wait – he bought this trailer AS-IS! They owe him a trailer PLUS a swarm of killer bees!!!!

  21. chrisjames says:

    @EyeHeartPie: Max amount for damages. But this is about upholding a contract, not damages. He can’t sue for $15,000, because he hasn’t paid it yet. Though, if I’m wrong, and he can, then that would be messed up.

  22. zigziggityzoo says:

    @chrisjames: “Equal or greater value.”

  23. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    @EyeHeartPie: Those limits are irrelevant because the buyer is not going to claim damages of $15,000. There aren’t really any “damages” here, per se (it’s not like he paid the $15,000 and got nothing in return), other than compelling the seller to abide by the contract terms. So he would sue for specific performance.

  24. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    @chrisjames: Ah, beat me to it.

  25. EyeHeartPie says:

    Oh yeah…crap. I forgot about that. Small claims is for damages. If they had sold it to him, accepted the money, then trashed the RV and refused to refund the money, that would be grounds for a small claims action.

    I guess the only action is to continue to use that lawyer of yours to get them to hold up their end of the contract.

  26. SkokieGuy says:

    And how long till HP starts denying laptop warranty repairs based on Evidence of Killer Bee Infestation?

  27. chrisjames says:

    @zigziggityzoo: Equal or greater than what, though? $15,000 or $30,000? Maybe, equal to $30,000, but let him buy it for $15,000? That seems like the only way to honor the spirit of the auction.

  28. Scoobatz says:

    I’m sure the deal should go through and our government will step in to assist the irresponsible seller with the loss. It’s not their fault they do not know how eBay and contracts work.

  29. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    That $15K they’ve “swindled” is going to go a long way towards defraying gas costs!

  30. evslin says:

    A guy I used to work with had to deal with a car dealership who attempted to pull the same thing on him. Not only did the car sell for less on eBay than the dealership paid for it in the first place, when the he went to pick it up (had to drive all the way down to Texas), the car was in need of $500 or so worth of maintenance just to be drivable for the return trip.

    After much going back and forth, the dealership eventually caved and made the repairs – probably only because my coworker was in their office, 12 hours from home, and they couldn’t just hang up the phone on him. They ended up losing some $2000 on the car and never sold on eBay again.

    Either lawyer up or go down there and get in their faces. They could end up spending a lot more money defending their own breach of contract in court if it gets to that, you just need to show them you’re willing to go that far.

  31. mthrndr says:

    It really sucks for this guy, but if I were him I wouldn’t go near that trailer. If they are forced to give it to him, you can be sure that they will do whatever it takes to render that trailer completely useless – break appliances, pee on the floor, etc. They have already shown that they are willing to lie and cheat to get out of the deal.

    Also, why would anyone use EBay? I have never seen a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

  32. mike says:

    I think we should call the dealer like we did the last time a car dealer tried to back out of an ebay auction. Do we have any contact information for this dealership?

  33. zigziggityzoo says:

    @chrisjames: Most likely the judges decision, but I’m sure it would be similar to that. Equal or greater than $30k, and let him buy it for $15k.

    Else, dealer would have to buy out the contract for something like $15k and both parties walk away from the deal.

  34. usa_gatekeeper says:

    dealership contact info, via: []

  35. zigziggityzoo says:

    @mthrndr: then it wouldn’t be as described on the auction, and lawsuit 2 ensues (pun intended).

  36. mike says:

    @linus: HA!!! They have a toll-free number…

    We could seriously rack up bills for them. Not saying we should…but we could.

    (I’m feeling especially devious today.)

  37. mariospants says:

    I second the motion to be wary of whatever they try to settle with. They probably will find a completely fvcked up example high higher mileage as a replacement.

    I’ll bet if the OP reneged on paying for the vehicle if the dealership had found the highest bid acceptable they’d be after him like killer bees on a 2007 Sandpiper 325RG 5th wheel. This company needs to be taught a big lesson.

  38. usa_gatekeeper says:

    From the BBB:

    Name: Nelson RV
    Phone: (520) 293-1010
    Fax: (520) 690-1613
    Address: 4310 N Flowing Wells Rd
    PO Box 35505
    Tucson, AZ 85705-2306
    Principal: Angelita, James Nelson
    Customer Contact: Angelita, James Nelson – (520) 293-1010
    File Open Date: January 2007
    TOB Classification: Auto Dealers-Used Cars
    BBB Accreditation: This organization is not a BBB Accredited business.

    BBB has requested basic information from this company but has not received a response. As a result, BBB may not have current information about the company.

    Customer Experience: The BBB processed a total of 0 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period.

  39. EdnaLegume says:


    Uh, I believe 15K is below your dealer invoice. But you ain’t sellin!

    Killer bees.. that is AWESOME.

  40. EdnaLegume says:

    My email to

    “I really like the style of the above noted RV…

    Can I get Killer Bees included with that?”

  41. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    I live in AZ and amazingly enough just a few blocks away from Nelson RV. I can tell you that it is an older non internet savvy family run establishment. The owners more than likely had no clue what they were doing. I’m not sticking up for them either because they should have read up on ebay and the terms before selling anything on there.

    As for the bee infestation . I had a bee infestation when I lived across the street from that business and it took months for that to be an issue. They don’t just move in over night so they obviously knew they screwed up and its not right that they tried to back out in such a manor.

    I’m ashame that a business in the flowing wells community would pull such a stunt and I for one will never do business with their repair side of the business again.

  42. dmcgrann says:

    OP may get faster and cheaper results with a phone call to the local motor vehicle dealer licensing folks. Some states have mechanisms in place just for things like this (Virginia is one). They can impose hefty fines and/or revoke the dealer or salesperson licenses.

  43. mike says:

    If the killer bee story is true (which I imagine isn’t), why would the dealer “not have the RV”? Shouldn’t it be destroyed or something?

    Also, if it’s true that they can’t sell it, what’s wrong with someone inspecting it?

    Has the OP called the Attorney General of AZ?

  44. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    @EdnaLegume: Honestly they are better off calling them as I doubt most of the folks there even know how to turn on the computer let alone check email. A phone call and certified snail mail would reach them and be more effective in this case.

  45. EdnaLegume says:

    “We tried to clean the traces of honey on the countertops and cabinet tops as completely as possible.”

    That was one hell of an all nighter. Those are some damn efficient bees

  46. @tawni: I’m ashame that a business in the flowing wells community would pull such a stunt and I for one will never do business with their repair side of the business again.

    I think you should go in to the dealership, alert them to this article and the likelihood on the impending lawsuit, and explain to them that you are never doing business with them purely because of the way they’ve seemed to lie and wiggle their way out of this deal.

  47. mike says:

    I justed e-mailed the AG. Hopefully, something will be done.

  48. mike says:

    @heavylee-again: Good advice. I second.

  49. @tawni: Honestly they are better off calling them as I doubt most of the folks there even know how to turn on the computer let alone check email. A phone call and certified snail mail would reach them and be more effective in this case.

    Someone from the dealership sent OP two emails already.

  50. Piedmont says:

    @mariospants: Assuming they listed the correct VIN in the auction, they probably wouldn’t be able to switch it for a different vehicle.

  51. Pixel says:

    @tawni: If you could go down there and see if you can find that RV on the lot (the ebay auction has a pic of it with what appear to be a stock number pasted on the front of the RV) and get some pictures to post here, that would be awesome.

    It would be great to give the OP photos to send to Nelson RV saying “I know you still have the RV, here are pictures of it on your lot, not about the contract we have for me to purchase it…”

  52. This is a tie-in to the new X-Files movie, right? This is incredible … killer bees! Think carefully before pushing this though, do you really want to be dealing with these people at all? What happens if something goes wrong with the vehicle and you have to deal with them on warranty issues? Unlikely, but still something to consider.

  53. shorebird says:

    There was an incident earlier this year of the same theme. Husker BMW put a $67k M3 up for auction. NO RESERVE PRICE WAS LISTED. The winning bid was $60k. Husker then did every thing they could to wiggle out of the deal. They lost. The story is at the forum [] also google “BMW auction Nebraska”. Nelson RV take a lesson from Husker BMW you are going down.

  54. mike says:
  55. EdnaLegume says:

    They could be required to offer a vehicle of similar stats. But yeah, at this point it’s like making McD’s replace your cold fries and you KNOW they’re going to spit in them.

  56. Mr_D says:

    They attempted to clean the honey off the counter tops? I’m no apiologist, but I don’t think bees just spray honey everywhere they go. It’s food, not waste. They aren’t geese.

    These people need to be forwarded the BMW M5(M3?) debacle from earlier this year. This isn’t going to end well for them.

  57. $15k is quite a deal… they obviously didn’t intend to sell it at such a low price (MSRP is $44k, $31 clearance). For a small business like theirs to take a $15k loss could be devastating if they happen to have any other financial issues right now.

  58. SuffolkHouse says:


    Let them know that the killer bees are coming! AHHHH

    TOLL FREE 1-866-929-8527


    CALL NOW. Angelita is standing by!

  59. Eoghann says:

    I’m laughing at the mental image I have of Angelita handing some employee a couple of cans of insecticide and telling them to go put them in the RV infested with the swarm of Africanized killer bees. I see this employee just standing there with the 2 cans, staring at the door, thinking, “can I just open the door and toss them in, then run like hell?” or “I should have kept my job at the carwash…” or “I sure hope the stings don’t hurt too bad…” or “they don’t pay me enough…”

    Then Angelita says, “go check to see if the bees are all dead…” “Huh?”

  60. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    I am passing this along to the local morning paper and if anyone else would like to do the same they can at []

  61. bobosgirl says:

    Report this to Ebay also- call and email. This is called “Seller non-performance”, specifically defined as auctioning an item and then refusing to complete a sale. I would also follow up with a quick certified letter, stating Ebay’s policy, maybe mentioning that they are committing fraud and Cc’ing legal counsel and their state’s consumer fraud office, and giving them a short wondow to reply with what they plan to do.
    Killer bees, sheez. Even if the bee story is remotely true, they’re definitely in the wrong here.

  62. SuffolkHouse says:


    I love this story. This community is far too large to let a story like this just putz out. Let’s really give it to them!

    I like the image of Angelita handing the bug spray to whomever, and saying, “Kill the killerbees, and would you clean the stubborn honey off of the countertops?”

    1-866-929-8527 (Call Angelita!)

  63. mike says:

    @Matthew Hughes: Completely understandable…and it’s even more important for the mom-and-pop shops. But:

    1) they should have read the rules for eBay
    2) they shouldn’t have lied (assuming that this is the case)
    3) they shouldn’t have changed their story

  64. Jbondkicks says:

    I understand that some people aren’t “down” with the internet, but auction reserves exist in the real world as well. I suppose the question ends up being this: Why do you put something worth a lot of money for sale in an auction if you don’t really understand what an auction is?

  65. Jesse says:


    Yeah, bees just don’t establish a home overnight. If they did establish a home magically in one day then the owners’ probably would have had to employ a professional since these bees are prone to be very territorial. I wouldn’t want to go into a hive of Africanized bees with Ortho.

    I’m very interested to see how this turns out. I wonder what their next excuse is: Hanta virus carrying rat infestation?

  66. y2julio says:

    @usa_gatekeeper: Their site says no city sales tax. Is that legal?

  67. picardia says:

    Just when you think you’ve heard it all. Killer bees! More corporations are going to go this way:

    American Airlines: “It will be an additional $25 each way for our no-killer-bees guarantee.”

    Comcast: “Service has been disrupted in your area by killer bees.”

    Countrywide: “The interest rate on your mortgage rises 1%-2% per year every year that your home remains free of killer bees. The rate rises 4% each year that killer bees are found on the premises.”

  68. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    The local news loves stories like this as well so if anyone would like to contact them it’s []

  69. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    @y2julio: yes, it is legal ast they are not in Tucson, AZ but in Pima County. The community is part of the county and really should be incorporated into its own small town but no one has ever bothered

  70. Burgandy says:

    @SuffolkHouse: Right now the only one standing by is a crappy old answering machine. Think the calls have started? The beauty of this is, if they don’t honor the sale, their bill for the 866# is going to skyrocket.

  71. SuffolkHouse says:

    American Airlines:

    We are sorry to inform you that the exit rows have been occupied by killer bees. We’ve not been able to remove the honey stains. Your seats have been reassigned to A through D in row 42.

  72. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    @Burgandy: Well right now it is only 7:40 am so I doubt anyone is in on the sales side.

  73. PinkBox says:

    LOL… so the bees even had time to smear honey on the cabinets? What?

  74. evslin says:

    @picardia: Ha!

    Ticketmaster: “A $4.25 convenience fee will now be applied to all tickets not infested with killer bees.”

  75. SuffolkHouse says:

    1-866-929-8527 (Call Angelita!)

    At 8:00, let’s make the phones BUZZ like Killer Bees!

    bzzzzz, bzzzzzz, bzzzzzz!!!!

  76. DH405 says:

    Reminds me of my encounter with a car dealership here in Oklahoma City. I won a non-ebay auction on a Chevrolet SSR they were offering. The price I ended up with was $12k below their cost. They said they were electing to cancel the sale, and I immediately started quoting the auction terms and then told them that I had a lawyer ready for the case.

    They caved and sold it at a loss. Hell, we didn’t need the SSR.. They had just screwed my uncle out of a few thousand, and I wanted to take a bite out of their ass for it.

  77. KW802 says:

    Funny how the RV that they supposedly no longer even have looks identical to this RV that they are listing as a “New Arrival” prominently on the front page of their website and is for sale for 25K.


  78. Jesse says:


    Someone with a copy of Tommy Boy laying around needs to pull the audio track of the scene where Chris Farley fakes a bee attack to ward off the cops, call them and put that on their answering service.

  79. Jesse says:


    + Watch video

    This is what I’m talking about.

  80. coan_net says:

    When you show up for the RV, he should wear a bee suit as he walks into the dealership…. now that would be funny.

  81. GreatMoose says:



  82. Anonymous says:
  83. Pixel says:

    @KW802: Actually they are different. The OP’s RV is a 2007 and that one is a 2005. They also have different interior fitouts.

  84. AceEdit says:

    Ebay has several ways to protect the seller that were overlooked.
    Seller should have set a reserve price that would have reflected the minimum price they were willing to accept. This costs a little extra, but as you can see, it would have been worth it. The seller could also have set a higher starting price. Instead of 5G, it should have been the minimum price they were willing to accept. If the seller had read page one of how to sell your item, this could have all been avoided.

    As for the buyer, who buys a high ticket item like an RV from a seller with 1 feedback?

  85. cpt.snerd says:

    nice – i love that last picture here with (I’m guessing) the dead bees? They’re so neatly line into an oval… Not much like someone sweeped or the bees flying dead onto the floor – especially with such neat lines…

    Besides as everyone knows… KILLER BEES CANNOT BE KILLED! RAWR!

  86. SuffolkHouse says:

    I just sent the story to all of those media outlets and copied it to Tucson RV. Here are the contents:

    Please check out this story. I believe the fact that what the RV dealer did here between states means this may be felony, if in fact they choose not to honor their air-tight contract between the seller and EBay. Moreover, there is an unwritten contract between Tucson RV and buyer inasmuch as there was a clear agreement between the parties and that the seller had accepted the down-payment (only to return it later, unbeknownst to buyer).

    This might also be an interesting story because of the volume of people who use EBay and make mistakes with reserves and other rules. Reneging, however, is never an option. Many of the lessons learned can be quite expensive.

    This story is also interesting because it is utterly absurd. Just check out the contents of what is posted at about the “killer bees” story. They follow the killer bees story with the claim the RV is no longer in existence.

    There are pictures and claims of sticky honey on the RV. I mean, this thing is RICH!


  87. KW802 says:

    @Pixel: Whoops; correct you are.

  88. AdvocatesDevil says:

    @thbarnes: I wish this site posted this kind of info on EVERY story like this. I like to send the local media and the offending company my two cents! Thank you!

  89. hypnotik_jello says:

    @SuffolkHouse: I doubt it’s a felony, a civil matter, definitely, but I am hard pressed to see the sheriff arresting the dealer for not selling the said item.

  90. Canino says:

    I’m not sure I’d want the RV now. Not only do these people not know how auctions work, they also don’t know how contracts, civil law, acts of God, insurance, bug foggers or killer bees work. What are the chances they know how an RV works?

  91. Cupajo says:

    Killer Honey!?! That’s my roller derby name!

  92. SuffolkHouse says:

    Yeah, you are probably right.

    I went for hyperbole.

    Maybe I overreached. Let’s hope the numerous other emails that go out are more even-tempered.

  93. Trai_Dep says:

    Demand the RV AND the Killer Bees. Because they’ll keep the neighborhood kids out of your honey-drenched RV (and off your damned lawn).

  94. SuffolkHouse says:

    I’m going to start giving email address and phone numbers whenever I can. Yes, I know Consumerist can be very civil. That must be applauded. But there is also much room for civil disobedience (oh, wait. This isn’t civil disobedience. This is ACTIVISM!).

    One problem is that big corporations are insulated from little folks like us. We are able to bully this little shop because they rely on their local reputation for their income.

    Wal-Mart does not.

  95. SharkD says:

    It may be over-reaching, but the OP may also want to contact the United States Senate Interstate Commerce Committee, chaired by Daniel Inouye (D-HI), assuming that the buyer is not located in Arizona.


  96. Hawk07 says:

    Why do I get the feeling that this is one of those situations where if the winning bid was $50,000, the dealership would be taking a dramatically different tune, and africanized killer bees wouldn’t have ever found their way into the RV?

  97. mike says:

    @Hawk07: Sadly, we’ll never know.

  98. midwestkel says:

    @thbarnes: Thanks for doing the research, I sent off an email.

  99. SimonSwegles says:

    I am assuming the images posted here are not EXACTLY as you received them, as they have no EXIF data. I doubt the RV scammers are savvy enough to strip EXIF data from their pictures prior to sending them, and if it is present in the originals the OP was sent it can easily be determined when they were taken, which may or may not give credence to the bee story.

    I see a few possibilities:
    1. They are being honest about the bees, even though it sounds nearly impossible.
    2. They are being honest that there are bees in the RV, but they bought them and killed them in the RV. Buying a couple hundred bees has to be cheaper than taking a $15k loss on an RV. Would buying a bunch of bees for the express purpose of killing them be a criminal offense?
    3. They are being dishonest about the bees, found the images on the internet or they are from an old infestation on an unrelated RV.

  100. ZaerApollo says:

    Hey look, they have a guestbook/feedback page!


  101. pat.idaho says:

    The trailer on their site is not the same one. But this one IS: []

    Your comments are all appreciated. The Consumerist is a great site.

  102. MercuryPDX says:

    @SuffolkHouse: I’m not necessarily against what you’re proposing to do, but what if in a future story the OP has it wrong and you just unleashed the Internet on an innocent party? There’s not exactly a “delete” or “edit” button that would allow you to undo your mistake here.

  103. dustinf36 says:

    The bees look like dog food!!!!!!!

  104. SuffolkHouse says:

    I just received this email. A reporter wants to talk to Pat:

    Thank you all for your emails,

    I have read the blog and while this is interesting and something we would be interested in looking into, it is not a story we could pursue without speaking directly to “Pat”. No contact information was provided.

    Victoria Tinajero
    Assignment Editor
    KGUN 9 News
    Journal Broadcast Group
    newsroom: 520-290-7700

  105. Mmmm, I loves me some africanized bees! I live in Arizona and had a huge infestation in a former apartment. They got into the wall and honeycombed that shit up right! Honey would seep out from around the edge of my one window. But man OH man, the smell, the wonderful smell of rich natural honey would saturate my apartment in the afternoons.

    And as for the dealership’s story, such bull. Poisons don’t kill those bees, they will deter them, but mostly you should remove the hive, or just seal up the hive and they go somewhere else after a few days. Even if you use massive amounts of poison to almost kill the resident bees, once they are gone, a new colony will just move into the hive if you don’t remove or seal it…

  106. Geekybiker says:

    @SimonSwegles: Some image editers, especially cheap ones will strip exif. Especially if you “export for web” as opposed to just resizing and saving.

  107. treesyjo says:

    The claim that honey was all over the countertops is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Like someone said earlier, honey is not pooped out by bees. They store it for food and they certainly don’t store it out in the open, on counters. I really hope we see a followup on this story… preferably one where Nelson RV makes a public plea for all the buzzing phone calls to stop. Hee.

  108. pat.idaho says:

    go to and look up 2007 Forest River Sandpiper 325RG and you will see the exact trailer. They are trying to sell it there instead of their own site. AND they have the guts to actually raise the asking price to $31,900!!

  109. SimonSwegles says:

    @Geekybiker: Yeah, I know how EXIF data gets stripped. I’m just saying that I doubt the RV scammers do, so it is worth checking.

  110. mike says:

    I’m a little surprised that we haven’t heard anything from the OP. OP, where are you? Have you got a follow up for us?

  111. SuffolkHouse says:

    Especially considering the press has expressed interest in the story.

    It would shed light on the screwing this person has taken, and give visibility to

    What gives?

  112. pat.idaho says:

    I can’t seem to post. I have some comments if anyone would like to hear.

  113. mike says:

    @SuffolkHouse: Maybe we have to wait until the CoB…It’s, what, 9am in AZ right now?

  114. pat.idaho says:

    @linus: I would love to respond, but every time I try, the post does not show up!

  115. TVarmy says:

    @foxfire235: Africa. Try to keep up with the class, FoxFire.

  116. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @MercuryPDX: I like the concept of “unleashing the internets”. Its very biblical.

    As far as posting contact info, if it gets to the media, you better believe it will at least get fact checked, so I don’t see how it can be a bad thing. In the end, all will be laid bare.

  117. pat.idaho says:

    can I post now?

  118. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    @SuffolkHouse: perhaps you could contact pat through ebay. It looks like buyers have a way to be contacted through the site. I would do it but I don’t want to sign up for ebay.

  119. pat.idaho says:

    can I post now? I have been trying for half an hour!

  120. pat.idaho says:

    @SuffolkHouse: I have been TRYING to post for half an hour now, what gives?

  121. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Also, as a follow up:

    *beep boop boop beep*… Riiing

    “Nelson RV, this is Angelita”


  122. gmoney says:

    @chrisjames: you sue for specific performance, i.e. come through with the sale. If the seller sold it in the interim, sue for cover, which is the difference between what you would pay for a comparable vehicle less $15K.

    Those would be the most logical damages claims.

  123. aka Cat says:

    @tawni: Good idea! I have an ebay account, I just sent Pat a message.

  124. SuffolkHouse says:

    I give virtual gold to anyone who can get me Angelita’s picture. I will use that as my avatar instead of angry Starbucks lady.

  125. bobosgirl says:

    Hey- I just sent Pat one through my Ebay store, and asked him to update us and contact the news with his info.

  126. SuffolkHouse says:


    I hope you gave him the contact information I provided above. Here it is again:

    Thank you all for your emails,

    I have read the blog and while this is interesting and something we would be interested in looking into, it is not a story we could pursue without speaking directly to “Pat”. No contact information was provided.

    Victoria Tinajero
    Assignment Editor
    KGUN 9 News
    Journal Broadcast Group
    newsroom: 520-290-7700

  127. bobosgirl says:


    I just got a message from Pat that has been trying to post again to update, but that it keeps flashing a message saying his comments were received but can’t be posted until he is “approved,” so I suggested he email Ben directly and let him know what’s going on. I told him we’re all behind him!

  128. bobosgirl says:

    You might be able to get a pic through Google images? I got a picture of an old mayor in my hometown by doing some searching, and finally found one on our hometown newspapers website, in the archives- it was from a ladies garden Club luncheon in 1980, but at least I had the pic. LOL- angry Starbucks lady- you’re a gas!@SuffolkHouse:

  129. belden says:

    Maybe I’m completely off-base here, but I think most of you commenters are completely out of line. Since when has The Consumerist been about ripping people off? This dealership obviously didn’t expect such a low bid on their auction but it sounds like this guy is being a real jerk about it. Its not like he paid them $15,000 and they skipped town and never gave him anything. He paid them a $250 deposit which they returned.

    And suddenly an auction on eBay is an iron-clad contract and if we don’t agree with what happens we sue them? Is that really what our country has become? I’ve bid on items before that I knew I was getting a deal on and I’ve had auctions cancelled at the last second or people email me to refund the money because the price I won for was a mistake. And I didn’t have a problem with that. I may not have been happy, but I understood that people make mistakes and didn’t try to take advantage of that and demand something I felt I was entitled to.

    And now because of this guy’s story there’s an Internet mob already calling and harrassing these people, destroying their websites and coming up with plans to exact revenge. That’s just sad.

  130. StellaSquash says:

    @MercuryPDX: if first the dealership gave a story about killer bees trashing the RV, then said there is NO RV, I think there’s a breach of contract somewhere.

    It seems to me, they thought they’d have quite the bidding war on their hands with their oh so luxurious RV at such a low starting bid. Unfortunately they forgot (or weren’t aware of) to implement that small nugget of insurance called Reserve.

    Bottom line, unless the OP is flat out lying about what the dealership said to him, (sounds like he’s got the emails to back it up), then the dealership may be in some deep doo doo.

    as far as “unleashing the internet”… well what the hell else do we have to do today?

  131. pat.idaho says:

    Can I finally post here?

  132. Tsalagi says:

    D@mn it!! They have to approve feedback left on their guest book. 8( Maybe someone won’t be paying attention and the “Killerbees” post will slip through.


    We’d like to thank Nelson R/V for allowing us to stay in one of their fine automobiles. If it wasn’t for you guys we would have had no where to spread our honey (their counter-tops are the best) and the whole hive might have been lost. We’ll make sure to always swing by Nelson R/V whenever we need a place to call home. On behalf of our queen, you guys are the bbbbbbzzzzeszztt!!!

  133. xwildebeestx says:

    @belden: Well, according to the eBay terms a closed auction is a contract. If somebody is concerned about getting a minimum price for something, they always have the option of setting a reserve or a higher opening bid. This is the way ALL auctions work, online or in person. This guy used a perfectly legal and widely accepted purchasing method that the seller had agreed to (by opening an auction on the item) and he expected the ending price of the closed auction to honored by the other party.

  134. SuffolkHouse says:


    I don’t think it is sad, and I think holding people accountable is quite appropriate.

    I think businesses that survive off of the public have a responsibility to that public to fulfill it’s public agreements.

    I don’t know how Pat “ripped off” this RV retailer. Perhaps you can explain that. It seems to me that the RV retailer agreed to auction the RV to the highest bidder.

    How do you understand this matter?

  135. mike says:

    @belden: No one forced the dealer to have an auction. No one forced the dealer to have no reserve.

    The dealer had the ability to close the auction early if they didn’t like the price.

    When you bid on eBay, you make a contract with the seller. Neither buyer or seller should welch on their deal.

  136. bobosgirl says:

    You obviously don’t buy often on Ebay? Sellers are NOT allowed to cancel an auction after you’ve won/paid- it’s a binding, legal sale when they place an item for auction, and doing that can get them kicked off Ebay. in addition, if they accept money and then refuse to complete the sale, Ebay reposrts them to the USPS and other agencies ( or helps you do it) for wire fraud. I had this happen on a much smaller scale several years ago, and had to fill out an ocean of paperwork for the USPS and Ebay.
    This OP isn’t ripping anyone off, and neither are the people who are rooting for him. He won this auction FAIR AND SQUARE, and the seller is legally bound to complete the sale. It is not Pat’s fault if the seller didn’t put a reserve amount on the auction and didn’t get the price they wanted.
    The next time you win an auction, and the seller refunds your money, saying you won at the wrong price, for God’s sake, report it- they’re not allowed to do that. Otherwise, letting it go allows them to continue to rip off other buyers. @belden:

  137. evslin says:

    @belden: Maybe I’m completely off-base here

    Yes you are. Next please.

  138. mike says:

    Just to be clear, belden, the Consumerist is not about ripping people off. We’re all here to support consumers who were wronged. Sometimes, the companies get it right and admit the mistake and correct it.

    Other times, sadly more often than not, they take the road where they deny, deflect, and “take it seriously” to no avail.

    The problem, as others and myself have pointed out, is that the dealer had an auction. He took a risk of selling it below value by setting the minimum price low. He increased that risk by not setting a reserve price.

    The risk turned into reality and now he has a loss.

    We can’t go to the stock market and say, “Oh, I lost money so I should get it back.” And we don’t go our loan companies and say, “Yeah, my house lost value so I’m not going to pay you” without getting into trouble.

    The dealer took a gamble and they lost. They need to pony up.

  139. hypnotik_jello says:

  140. Tedicles says:

    The real problem here is that Ebay cannot enforce the sale, while it is legally binding. I’ve seen/heard this happen countless times before. In 99% of the cases, the buyer/bidder will lose the case. Only if it is a completely unique, one-of-a-kind vehicle will the buyder be able to sure and be compensated.

    Basically, the court will see the vehicle as a commodity which is not exclusive to the Ebay sale. Hence, if you sue, you would basically have to go out and buy the exact same vehicle, then sue the Ebay seller for the difference between your purchase price and the winning bid.

    It sucks, I know. But that’s pretty much how it works. Here is a link that explains it much better than I did:


  141. SharkD says:

    Grrr… moderated feedback pages are lame.

    I suspect that this “feedback” will never see the light of a CRT:

    Bob I. Smyname – Nigeria – wrote:
    Glorious day, kind sirs and ladies of Nelson RV!

    I wanted to provide sincere thanks and praise for the wonderful use of my Africanized Killer Bees — everyone here in Lagos knows that Bob’s Killer Bees are the highest quality pre-owned Killer Bees in the world, but I have not yet been able to penetrate the large U.S. market for pre-owned Killer Bees. That is, until I read the Consumerist, this glorious evening!

    Thanks to your careful, non-random, arrangement of many hundreds of my Africanized Killer Bees, thousands of American consumers have seen the high-quality pre-owned killer bees that I, Bob I. Smyname, president and CEO of Bob’s Pre-Owned Killer Bee Warehouse and Emporium (locations in Weekapaug and Lagos).

  142. SuffolkHouse says:


    Hey! Bob I.Smyname wrote me last week about winning the Lagos Lottery. I didn’t even know that I’d entered it! Go figure.

    Now, I just have to send him a certified check for $10,000 in taxes to receive my $40,000,000.

    He also told me that his uncle is trying to get out of the country with his fortune. He needs my help transferring the contents of his accounts.

    He seems like a nice fellow.

  143. StellaSquash says:

    @belden: do you honestly think eBay would be the internet whore house it is if it let sellers decide after the auction ended “nope, we changed our mind, sorry”.

    That’s why there’s all that silly stuff called “TERMS AND CONDITIONS” when you sign up as a seller. A user AGREES TO THAT prior to listing an auction. If someone *cough cough* is too busy or lazy to read it and abide by what they agreed to, then … what’s that saying “you made your bed…”

    As far as the mob mentality… it’s Friday.. wtf?

  144. Kishi says:

    Wait, they won’t give him the RV, *and* they stole honey that should be rightfully his? That’s just mean.

  145. belden says:

    @SuffolkHouse: “I don’t know how Pat “ripped off” this RV retailer. Perhaps you can explain that. It seems to me that the RV retailer agreed to auction the RV to the highest bidder.”

    You don’t consider paying $15,000 for a $30,000 RV ripping someone off? Especially when you have done your research and know how much the RV is supposed to cost and your whole point is that you are getting a fantastic deal? The part that really bothers me is this guy’s sense of entitlement. If he was a decent person, he would have realized that destroying someone’s business doesn’t make him a good person. He could have just as easily thanked the RV dealership for returning his deposit and gone on his way. Instead, he seems bound and determined to cheat these people out of their $15,000 by threatening legal action and turning to the Internet for support.

  146. SuffolkHouse says:

    Would someone please forward to Pat the contact information of another news station that has contacted me on this story:

    I am a reporter working on the story re: Nelson RV in Tucson Az.
    Do you know the “Pat” the person who purchased the R-V thru Ebay?
    If so…could you have them call me….at (520)488-7826.
    Lupita Murillo

    Lupita Murillo
    209 W. Elm St.
    Tucson, Az. 85705
    Cell 520-488-7826

  147. TheNerd says:

    I just sent them an ebay message telling them that they are now stars on The Consumerist! I wonder if they’ll bother to contact you guys, and what sort of BS they’ll come up with.

  148. Baires says:

    At no point did this dealership say “Hey, look, we messed up, we forgot to set a reserve price. Please let us off the hook”. Instead, they used fraud and deception to weasel out of a contract. They deserve every bit of negative publicity they get.

  149. mike says:

    @Kishi: I chuckled…

    Seriously, it’s like his RV appreciated in value overnight.

    @belden: He’s not cheating!! That’s the point! Pat is a decent person, who put a bid on an auction! He listed the price he was willing to pay, per eBay’s agreement. The dealer accepted his bid, per eBay’s agreement. They could have nulled his bid at any time prior to the auction closing.

    I would agree with you ONLY if Pat (the auction winner) forced them to sell an RV against their will for a price they didn’t want. The fact is that only one of those conditions is true: they sold the RV on a violatale market, but they still chose to do so.

    Pat is only “bound and determined” to get the seller to produce the merchandise, per the agreement they both agreed to.

    Beldon, are you the RV dealer?

  150. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    I hate the “new” ebay.
    This just reinforces (my disdain).
    Good luck with this. Best story this week!

  151. campredeye says:


    “”We tried to clean the traces of honey on the countertops and cabinet tops as completely as possible.”

    That was one hell of an all nighter. Those are some damn efficient bees”

    True! Bees take a long while to build a nest and start producing honey.

  152. tellen says:

    Those types of bees do not produce honey. If there was any to wipe up, it came from a store

  153. jswilson64 says:

    You cannot be serious!! /mcenroe

    He’s got a sense of entitlement because he’s entitled to the trailer at the price he bid to win the auction. Them’s the rules.

  154. jswilson64 says:

    @tellen: Africanized _honey_ bees definitely do make honey. They just don’t take to spreading it around on countertops.

    Oh, and Consumerist:
    Best. Story. Ever.

  155. KW802 says:

    @belden: You seem to be missing the entire point of an auction. The buyer bid on an auction under the terms set forth by the dealer and he then won the auction. The dealer is now apparently not happy with what the winning bid is and is breaking the terms of service that they agreed to when they put the item up for auction on eBay.

    If the buyer manipulated the auction then that would be wrong. But he didn’t. If the buyer manipulated the dealer that that would be wrong. But he didn’t. If the buyer did something against the eBay terms of service that both he and the seller agreed to then that would be wrong. But he didn’t.

    How exactly is the buyer “ripping someone off” in this case?

  156. Squot says:

    @SimonSwegles: Or, the RV was swarmed by bees some time ago, and they were trying to sell it on Ebay because they didn’t know any other way to get rid of it.

  157. DjDynasty says:

    I speak as someone who has successfully sued in Illinois the local car dealerships over cars they listed on eBay starting at $500.00 and I was the only bidder. These are brand new vehicles which they have tried to back out of the auction after the fact. I’ve won 5 different cars this way of 7 of them I’ve won the auctions. 5 dealerships owned up to it and honored the terms of the auction. The other two gave me 4 times the amount I would have paid in the auction as a settlement towards the purchase of another vehicle.

  158. VeeKaChu says:

    @belden: The buyer and seller both entered willingly into an agreement. I don’t see how the buyer asking the seller to honor that agreement translates into some pernicious “sense of entitlement”.

    Your assertion that the buyer should absolve the seller of honoring the mutually-agreed upon contract out of “decency” is nice in Dick and Jane’s world, but we don’t live there. No matter though, I don’t imagine you’ll be able to hear me from up there on that high, noble horse…

  159. wgrune says:


    You uh, don’t work for Nelson RV by chance, do you?

    Winning something in an auction is by no means ripping someone off, no matter what the final price ends up being. Sometimes auctions garner a better deal for the seller, sometimes a better deal for the buyer. IT’S THE CONCEPT OF AN AUCTION!

  160. jswilson64 says:

    @Squot: You may be right on the money there. Maybe they were hoping it would sell for at least their cost, and let buyer deal with the clean-up.

    Instead, it jumped up and bit, er stung, them in the ass.

  161. KyleOrton says:

    The person here who should really be angry is the maker of the 5th wheel. A whole segment of the population is now learning that the true free market value of their product is 1/3 MSRP!

    This is probably pretty accurate given the economy, HELOC er housing market and gas prices.

    Poor bastards.

  162. belden says:

    @KW802: “How exactly is the buyer “ripping someone off” in this case?”


    If the roles were reversed and Pat was paying $30,000 for a $15,000 RV, I’m sure everyone here would agree that he was ripped off and lost $15,000. So how is the RV dealer losing THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY any less of a rip-off?

  163. MercuryPDX says:

    @m4ximusprim3 : As far as posting contact info, if it gets to the media, you better believe it will at least get fact checked, so I don’t see how it can be a bad thing.

    The RV dealer’s contact info was laid out in this thread before anyone got additional media involved. Even still, suppose the media checks the story and find it to be false. The contact info is still here for people with only half the story to continue to harass whoever is on the other end of that contact information.

    Add to that, what if it’s an old phone number and everyone here is calling some unlucky person as opposed to the business which may (or may not) be the intended target?

    My point is Contact info shouldn’t be posted in a forum like this. Leave it to ill- or prank-intentioned people to find it on their own and act as they. Most will not bother to expend the effort.

    @StellaSquash: as far as “unleashing the internet”… well what the hell else do we have to do today?

    I’m not saying that the dealer in this story told the truth, merely offering up a question as to the legitimacy of posting ANY contact information in a comment thread. There’s enough evidence in this thread that people will heap abuse upon a “target” regardless of guilt or (potentially later proven) innocence.

  164. APFPilot says:

    @belden: If he had entered into a binding contract to buy it for that then he would be just as liable as the seller.

  165. Grabraham says:

    @belden: If made a legal agreement to buy something for $30,000 that was only worth $15,000 there would be 2 pages of posts slamming him ala Blame the OP.

  166. KyleOrton says:

    @belden: If I remember the info correctly, the MSRP was $45,000 and the $30k was the clearance/cost price. So… if anyone bought the trailer for MSRP, they were getting ripped off the same amount you contend the OP is ripping off the dealer.

    Also, any item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. The purpose of an auction is to efficiently find that. It did its job, and the trailer is worth $15k. No rip off.

  167. Kishi says:

    @belden: If the roles were reversed and Pat was paying $30,000 for a $15,000 RV, I’m sure everyone here would agree that he was ripped off and lost $15,000.

    Yeah, I’d agree he was ripped off. I’d also agree that he was foolish to agree to the legally binding contract that said he had to pay that, and that he should have done some research first. I’d also have the same disdain for him that I do for the dealership if he failed to follow through on his legal obligations.

  168. StellaSquash says:

    @belden: Then the seller, AKA Nelson RV should have paid a bit more attention to their AUCTION LISTING, and used a reserve price.

    Pat can’t be held accountable for their lack of eBay skills.

    I personally, upon deciding that I’m going to list a 45K RV on an internet auction site, would check, double check, re-check for the hell of it, then have good ole Angelita give it a once over for good measure before hitting that submit button and potentially SELLING IT FOR 5,000 DOLLARS!

  169. TheHans says:

    @belden: This has been covered several times already in the comments. If the RV company needed to make some sort of minimum amount of money to cover their costs, it is perfectly within their right on eBay to set the minimum bid at that value. Starting the minimum bid so low was, IMHO asking for it. There have been people on eBay for years who spend a great deal of time looking for deals (e.g. mis-listed products, low minimum bids, etc.).
    You must not hang out here often…if Pat had paid $30,000 for a $15,000 RV and tried to obtain sympathy from The Consumerist’s readership, he’d be openly mocked within minutes of the initial post.
    Where’s Eyebrows? We need counsel!

  170. aka Cat says:

    @belden: Mr. or Mrs. Nelson,

    That you were too foolish to read the eBay policies, or too cheap to pony up the additional listing fees for a minimum or reserve bid, is your own fault.

    If you hadn’t made up the hilarious lie about the Africanized bees, you might have gotten through this without too much PR damage.

    Now be a responsible business owner, and fulfill your contracted sale.

  171. 3drage says:

    If anything at least it’s the most entertaining swindle a dealer has tried to make.

  172. SuffolkHouse says:

    It is worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

    You’ve redefined “ripping off” to mean “exploiting a contract that might favor you as opposed to the other person.”

    I just don’t buy that interpretation.

  173. coan_net says:

    @belden: Just a question, do you understand what an auction is?

    The seller had multiple options available to them to make sure they did not sell an item for less then they want.

    1. Set the minimum bid to the lowest amount you are willing to accept

    2. Set a reserve – this is a price, and if the bidding does not get to or above the “reserve price”, then the seller does not have to sell.

    3. Don’t do an auction.

    It looks like the seller took no actions to make sure they did not sell the item at too low of a cost, and it is their own fault.

    If it was like a store and an item is mismarked, then I would tend to agree with the seller that there was an honest mistake.

    But in this case, it looks like the seller was taking a risk by selling an item at a low starting price…. and it backfired on them…. at NO FAULT to the buyer – and since the seller took none of the precautions I talked about above – then they should honor the deal that they made.

    If no one at the dealership understood what an auction was – then they had no business selling items that way. There are clear rules and tips that eBay gives EVERY SELLER – again, if they did not understand how an auction worked…. well now they know. It was an expensive lesson.

  174. GrandizerGo says:

    You are just plain ignorant.

    When you go to a store and buy something on sale, do you pay full price at the counter? NO.

    They chose to have an auction, followed through with it, and are now denying the rightful winner his just deserts.

    And if he did pay 30K for something that only costs 15K, NO ONE here would shed a tear.

    True that might tell him to use a credit card so he could charge back, and he certainly would be blamed for this as it is his fault.

    You on the other hand need to step away from the keyboard and let the grown ups talk now…

  175. Canino says:

    @belden: belden, you forget the concept of the eBay free market.

    It is “worth” what someone will bid for it. It isn’t an RV worth $30K that he’s trying to get for $15K. It’s an RV worth $15K because that’s what the free market has determined the worth to be through the auction process.

    The fact that the seller thinks it is worth $30K is irrelevant. The “worth” is what someone will give you for it in the free market.

  176. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @belden: This is the consumerist. Believe me when I say that if he bought a 15000 dollar rv for 30000 and then bitched about it, he would get the same treatment the dealer is getting.

    Blaming the consumer is somewhat of a pasttime around here :)

  177. bobosgirl says:

    Did you happen to notice that you are the only one on here, of dozens of commenters, that has this opinion.

    The seller is not stupid- they are just acting like they are. It looks like that while they recently changed their contact info, they have been selling on Ebay for quite awhile. The rules are the same for everyone who sells- you take the chance of the auction closing at less than the price you want to get. That is why there is an option to set a reserve price when you list something. The seller chooses the reserve price.They KNOW what can happen all the time the auction is running.Pat didn’t rip anyone off- he just wants the seller to fulfill their end of the auction.

    I bought 2 Glade candles at Walgreens yesterday. After sale price and coupons, I paid 45 cents per candle.I’m pretty sure that that’s pretty close to their price for them. Did I rip Walgreens off? NOOOOOO. I took advantage of an item they advertised on sale, bought and paid for 2, and presented 2 coupons I cut out of the Sunday paper, which I also paid for. Just because I got them at a great price, doesn’t mean I ripped them off, in this or any other lifetime. @belden:

  178. KW802 says:

    @belden: Did the dealer set a reserve price that covered the amount of what they think the item is worth? No. Did they dealer set a starting price that covered the amount of what they think the item is worth? No.

    It is obvious that you do not deal with auctions on a regular basis. As somebody else pointed out, the “worth” of the item is whatever the bidder was willing to pay for it within the terms of the auction. If there was a reserve price that was higher then what the bidder was willing to pay then everybody would have walked away. If there was a starting price higher than what the bidder was willing to pay then he would not have even been able to place a bid.

    The seller specified the terms of the auction and the bidder acted in good faith within those terms. Sometimes the seller gets a good deal and sometimes the buyer gets a good deal. In this case the buyer got a good deal.

  179. m4ximusprim3 says:

    woah, there were some posts between 2:01 and 2:12. All of them apparently saying the same thing as mine.


  180. lakecountrydave says:

    This should be a pretty simple civil case. The RV was sold as “New” with a list of options so the value or an exact replacemnt should easy to find. The auction has a partical VIN # so tracking this vehicle should not be an issue. If they sold the vehicle than this with their e-mails would then be proof that they commited fraud.

    As it has already been pointed out bees do not “spray” honey. It is their food.

  181. pat.idaho says:

    I just got interviewed by a NBC news team that is there at Nelson RV right now.

  182. SuffolkHouse says:

    Has anyone heard from Pat? Is anyone getting him/her in touch with the press outlets that contacted me?

    Is the Consumerist going to follow-up with this story?

    Is anyone as ashamed of Pat as Belden is for ripping off Tucson RV?

    Does everyone agree we should harass bobosgirl for ripping off Walgreens?

  183. pat.idaho says:

    I can also apparently post now! Whahoo. They have the trailer listed at:

    You can probably see Angelita in two of the photo’s.

    Note that they raised the price! I guess the notoriety makes it worth more.

  184. KyleOrton says:

    @SuffolkHouse: That sounds like an end-of episode summary for a soap opera. Well done.

  185. SuffolkHouse says:

    @MercuryPDX: @MercuryPDX:
    Then we should all be careful, shouldn’t we?

    I contacted the press, I’m sure given your concern, that there is no problem with that.

    Moreover, giving people the public and free number of the RV dealer is a cheap and easy way for the dealer to explain its point of view. I’ve just facilitated the communication.

    Note that I never told anyone to call and be mean to Angelita. I just want people to have the opportunity to learn from her, first hand, her perspective. No need to market in second-hand opinions and impressions.

    I’m all about integrity.

    God bless!

  186. slappie says:

    I have to agree with Belden somewhat. If you’ve ever run a small business, you know that a loss like this might possibly put the company out of business. Should they go out of business because of this mistake? Yes- legally they are obligated to make the sale. I think if Nelson RV had called Pat to explain the real problem and offered some type of compromise ($1000-2000 cash or something) this story might be a much different one. HOWEVER- the fact that they apparently lied and then denied is wrong, wrong, wrong.

  187. pat.idaho says:

    I am not looking to harass these people. I just want them to hold up their end of the deal. Perhaps they will call today and we can get this all worked out.

  188. SuffolkHouse says:



    1) Victoria Tinajero
    Assignment Editor
    KGUN 9 News
    Journal Broadcast Group
    newsroom: 520-290-7700

    2) Lupita Murillo
    209 W. Elm St.
    Tucson, Az. 85705
    Cell 520-488-7826

    They are both emailing me wanting your side of the story.

    Where’s Brian Williams?!!!

  189. I am going to be bashed for my comments. Oh well.

    1) There is a difference between an offer and a contract. Ask any lawyer.

    2) Titled property (land, vehicles etc) are specific or exact property in that there is no substitute for the titled property.

    3) All property that is listed “for sale” is subject to prior sale.

    Contract versus Offer.
    In legal terms an offer is when I agree in principal to sell you my property or services for $1 million plus other considerations and you agree to pay $1 million plus other considerations. Then we work up the details of those considerations (a case of beer, a date with your wife, a play to be named later etc) and the contract will be written and signed if we both agree, or we can walk away from the deal/contract. Same thing with a sports contract. The initial “offer” is accepted, but I can back out of the contract.

    (of course my rep is damaged if I back out of each and every contract…. as it should be)

    Ebay “sales” are just offers. Until the contract is signed, both parties can walk away from the deal.

    (I can agree to buy your widget, but then discover a banking account error and can not raise the $ to complete the purchase… the seller can not force me to buy what I can not afford, conversely the buyer can not force a sale when the seller no longer has the item)

    It is for this reason that sellersd require buyers to contact each other with x days of the completion of the auction. Until that contact is made and terms agreed upon there is no contract. Even after a contract is signed, there is usually a 3 day cooling off period for large purchases that allows the parties to recind the deal. Oh, sure they get their rep dinged, that is eBay’s punishment for failing to complete the transaction.

    Since Titled property is exact property, and that property can be sold to any party, ebay does not have the right to hold the property for sale exclusively through ebay. A “good” seller will withdraw the property if they sold it through another venue (and pay the ebay withdrawal fees) prior to the completion of the auction.

    Yep, all in all this is a classic novice ebay seller, and they deserve to be punished by ebay. But the ebay punishment is all that should occur. The buyer was not damaged, the buyer is free to purchase other goods.

  190. Grabraham says:

    @SuffolkHouse: We should refrain from bashing bobosgirl. She is auctioning the candles on Ebay. I have the winning bid right now at $0.50 each. The candles retail at over $3.00 so even though she only paid $0.40 for them the fact that I will hold her to the $0.50 price will be proof that I am RIPPING HER OFF for like 5 times the amount they are worth. When she bails on the auction THEN we can harras her ;)

  191. Grabraham says:

    @Corporate-Shill: Does the fact that the RV company accepted (then refunded) a deposit change it from an offer to a contract?

  192. maines19 says:

    I might have some sympathy for the dealer if they’d said, “Whoops, sorry, we’re new at this internet thingie and we didn’t quite understand how things work. We really can’t sell this RV for so little and stay in business, so we’d like to return your deposit to you and apologize for our mistake.” But no: first they said there were killer bees, then they claimed there was no vehicle at all, then they accused the buyer of trying to con them. That’s what makes the difference between a good-faith mistake and being jerks. A good-faith mistake you might let them off the hook for; when they tried to get out of it with the other crazy machinations, that’s when you dig in your heels and say they should be held to the terms of the auction agreement.

  193. SuffolkHouse says:

    It doesn’t matter if she bails. According to Corporate-Shill, prices are suggestions. The agreed-upon price is actually the starting point.

    See, I can list things at prices just to gauge interest at that price. Once I’m done testing the waters, I can put the real price on the object (of course, I can always bail on that price, because posted prices don’t matter).

    Now, even if you send your money to bobosgirl and she receives this money, there is still no REAL intent to sell it expressed in this. This is, I suppose, just an expression of good will, the desire to show your willingness to fill someone else’s bank account with your money.

    This is all coming together.

    I think Corporate-Shill is Karl Rove.

  194. Grabraham says:

    I want bobosgirl’s candles and I will not give this up until I succeed!!!

  195. jswilson64 says:

    Hmm. I know John Quinones’ girlfriend’s pet-sitter…

  196. Baires says:


    What did the NBC people ask you?

  197. SpitfireM1 says:

    To those saying that no contract was formed, this article on Wikipedia suggests otherwise (including case law:)

    “An auction may be more ambiguous. Generally an auction may be seen as an invitation to treat, with the property owner asking for offers of a certain amount and then selecting which to accept as illustrated in Payne v Cave (1789) 3 TR 148. However, if it is stated by the owner that there is no reserve price or that there is a reserve price beyond which offers will be accepted then the auction is most likely a contractual offer which is accepted by the highest bidder; this was affirmed in the Court of Appeal in Barry v Davies [2000] 1 WLR 1962.”


  198. Jesse says:

    I think the section of Article II in the Uniform Commercial Code (2-328) would provide guidance in this case.

    Read paragraph 3 carefully.

    [] (Full Article)

    [] (Section governing sale by auction):

    Ҥ 2-328. Sale by Auction.

    (1) In a sale by auction, if goods are put up in lots each lot is the subject of a separate sale.

    (2) A sale by auction is complete when the auctioneer so announces by the fall of the hammer or in other customary manner. If a bid is made during the process of completing the sale but before a prior bid is accepted, the auctioneer has discretion to reopen the bidding or to declare the goods sold under the prior bid.

    (3) A sale by auction is subject to the seller’s right to withdraw the goods unless at the time the goods are put up or during the course of the auction it is announced in express terms that the right to withdraw the goods is not reserved. In an auction in which the right to withdraw the goods is reserved, the auctioneer may withdraw the goods at any time until completion of the sale is announced by the auctioneer. In an auction in which the right to withdraw the goods is not reserved, after the auctioneer calls for bids on an article or lot, the article or lot may not be withdrawn unless no bid is made within a reasonable time. In either case a bidder may retract a bid until the auctioneer’s announcement of completion of the sale, but a bidder’s retraction does not revive any previous bid.

    (4) If the auctioneer knowingly receives a bid on the seller’s behalf or the seller makes or procures such a bid, and notice has not been given that liberty for such bidding is reserved, the buyer may at the buyer’s option avoid the sale or take the goods at the price of the last good faith bid prior to the completion of the sale. This subsection shall not apply to any bid at an auction required by law.”

  199. SuffolkHouse says:

    Hey, he’s the guy who no longer sweats profusely from his armpits! His baby-sitter would be perfect for this story!

    Hey, I must not have a life! What have I been doing in this discussion all day?



  200. colinjay says:

    Don’t bother trying to rack up toll calls on the 866 number listed, it is a paid for by RV Trader, not Nelson RVs.

  201. MercuryPDX says:

    @SuffolkHouse: Moreover, giving people the public and free number of the RV dealer is a cheap and easy way for the dealer to explain its point of view. I’ve just facilitated the communication.

    Much like leaving a gun out around school children is ok, because it’s not your fault if one of them shoots somebody. You only left out the gun, you didn’t tell them to use it…. right?

    By all means, do what you feel is best. I was just voicing a concern with your pledge to post contact information for every story you come across. You addressed it, we’re done. :)

  202. jswilson64 says:

    YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!!! /mcenroe (again)
    Too bad the Ebay TOS don’t agree with your concept of offer, price, contract, etc.

    The dealer could’ve canceled the sale before the auction closed. When the auction closes, they and the buyer are bound to the winning price. I really can’t believe there are so many people who don’t understand how eBay and auctions work.

    Wait, let me rephrase. I can’t believe there are so many Consumerist posters who don’t understand how it works.

  203. dragonvpm says:

    Just an observation, but I find it odd how often people mention “well maybe they didn’t know how to use the internet” as a possible reason why someone did something wrong/illegal online.

    Sure, you use all caps and get yelled at, or you don’t know how to configure your network card (or your spyware, ad-aware etc…) then sure, ok you don’t know how to use the internet, but these people either flat out didn’t read the contracts they were entering (and the various warnings from eBay saying “remember this is really really real”) or they belatedly realized that they screwed up and decided to tell the buyer to f-off w/o really understanding how stupid that move could be. This is just old fashioned sleazy business that just happened to take place online.

    I hope the buyer does sue them and if I was in his shoes I’d definitely take that trailer. Anything they do to screw it up or damage it would be actionable and it could get them in a fair bit of trouble. Courts generally frown upon people acting out to lessen the impact of their decisions (i.e. if they burned the trailer down after a judge ruled against them they might be made to go find another one for him or face charges of insurance fraud etc…)

  204. pat.idaho says:

    In a no reserve auction, the highest bid at the end IS the acceptance. It is in the listing agreement. There is a binding contract. Basically, the seller legally COMMITS themselves to accept the highest bid. When the gavel falls, and there is a bid, there is a contract.

    This is not specific to E-Bay, it is all auctions. There are UC Codes that speak to this.

    There is also legal precedence enforcing these English Auctions.

    Offer, Acceptance, and Consideration are indeed three things that are needed in a contract. E-Bay has designed their system to ensure that. The only exception is on real estate which has to be written directly between buyer and seller.

    I am legally able to enter into a contract. (ie. I am not mentally incompetent or a juvenile) Presumably so is Nelson RV. There was an offer, acceptance and consideration. There is indeed a legally binding contract.

  205. SpitfireM1 says:


    I don’t know, they seem pretty juvenile to me. ;)

  206. SexCpotatoes says:

    This probably would be a felony, something along the lines of “attempted theft by deception.”

  207. SuffolkHouse says:


    Um, rhetorically likening a toll-free number to a gun seems a stretch.

    Likening this population to self-destructive kids is insulting.

    If these folks were concerned with naughty phone calls they wouldn’t, A) Crap a big brown turd on a customer, and B) list their toll free phone number at their website.

    Now would they?


  208. sljepi says:

    I would love to see this on Judge Judy…

  209. KW802 says:


    Are there any better pictures available of the dead bees on the floor? In the pic’ shown, those things look huge!

  210. SpitfireM1 says:

    Really, it’s no contest. An offer of sale was made (the offer of the seller to sell to the highest bidder,) the offer was accepted by Pat when he placed the winning bid, and the offer was agreed upon by allowing the auction to close without withdrawal of the offer by either party.

  211. Jesse says:


    But the buyer didn’t lose anything. The issue here right now is that the buyer wants the seller to perform (hold up their end of the deal) and they won’t.

    The only thing they can do is sue the RV dealer for specific performance.


  212. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Uh oh, looks like you don’t understand how an auction works either!

  213. Squot says:

    @jswilson64: Or it could also be a scam. Either or. But I agree. It’s… fishy. But how people mentioned that the ‘bees’ were in a curve – they’re on the linolium.

    Where it’s easy to clean them up.

    Very nice of the bees for them to not fall on the carpet, isn’t it?

  214. Jesse says:

    On another note, if the bees & chemicals used caused a total loss of the 5th wheel, couldn’t the dealership just file a claim with the insurance company and get a suitable replacement?

    After all, it’s the insurance companies “regulations” that is causing the RV dealership to assert they cannot proceed with the sale.

  215. MercuryPDX says:

    @SuffolkHouse: Um, rhetorically likening a toll-free number to a gun seems a stretch.


    Likening this population to self-destructive kids is insulting.

    Not really. We’ve already seen great examples of emails, forum postings, and phone calls from “mature users”

    If these folks were concerned with naughty phone calls they wouldn’t, A) Crap a big brown turd on a customer, and B) list their toll free phone number at their website.

    Well up until today, I’d think they would expect it.

    Like I said… knock yourself out as appointed judge, jury and executioner. At least be fair enough to provide OP contact information when you feel they are out of line too.

  216. lannister80 says:


    Security through obscurity doesn’t work. Someone will find and publish the contact information, it’s just a matter of time. They have a website, they are SO fair game.

  217. MercuryPDX says:

    @MercuryPDX: would = wouldn’t, obvs..

  218. vega480 says:

    I think David Spade and Chris Farley would be proud of the Bee defense attempt. But for the OP I hope he totally schools the dealership eBay and Contracts

  219. mizike says:

    Seems I missed most of the legal talk, but I’m going to chime in anyway. The way a court action would likely work, is that the OP would be seeking the difference between the market value of the RV and the contract price (assuming there is a valid contract), likely assessed at the time of the closing date of the contract. So, in this case the contract price was for $15k, assuming he could get a substantially similar RV on the free market for $25k (for example), he would sue the vendor for $10k, which would put him in the position he would have been in but for the vendor’s breach of contract (he now has an RV for $15k). Courts don’t like to award Specific Performance unless the item is truly unique in some way (even real estate doesn’t always qualify), and there’s basically no way that this RV would make the cut as he can just go buy another one, but at a higher price.

  220. pat.idaho says:

    It keeps being mentioned that the dealer made a listing mistake. And that they didn’t know what they were doing. The dealer only appears to be new to this because they changed their name recently. They have been using e-bay for years. We just can’t see their feedback history because they changed names recently.

    Also, I guess it seems like an obvious mistake to some because of the $15k difference between asking price and my bid. Don’t be distracted. The ONLY reason I won at 15k is because no one bidding against me went any higher. What if I won it for 27k and they wouldn’t sell? Would you be so quick to think it was an honest error on their part? Seriously think about that.

    Finally, there is no reason why they wouldn’t have told me it was a mistake in the last phone call with them. They simply said there is no deal and they are not selling it that cheap.

    I am actually now inclined to believe that they would have happily honored their contract at a price below the buy-it-now price if it was as high as they expected it to be. They were counting on a bidding war and didn’t get one.

    I will remind everyone of two salient facts. 1. I did not bid 15k for that trailer. (that is just where it ended up) 2. They never once asked me if I would consider giving them any more.

    Instead, they let their true colors get in the way of common sense. I am not the bad guy here.

  221. SuffolkHouse says:


    No, you are entirely right. It just seems some CEOs found a few minutes to get on and cheerlead for the for corporatists who slave for the bourgeoisie stock holders. Don’t worry about them.

    Did you contact those two media outlets?

  222. pat.idaho says:

    Picture #1


    please note that this came with the file name:


    presumably taken on July 18 2008 at 9:39am a couple hours before they sent it to me.

  223. pat.idaho says:

    Picture #2


    please note that this came with the file name:


    presumably taken on July 18 2008 at 9:40am

    Or it could be picture number 940 following 939 alternatively

  224. Coelacanth says:

    @belden: Perhaps the fair market value of that RV has declined in recent months. Perhaps other market forces, like the extremely high cost of gasoline drives down demand considerably.

    Rather than take a complete loss on merchandise that refuses to move, the seller may want to cut their losses by selling it – even if the closing price were significantly below cost.

    A $15,000 loss is much better than a $30,000.

    The seller should have read the terms and conditions of the eBay seller’s rules prior to listing. It’s not as though it’s not obvious.

    However, unless there are some very important details that have been omitted thus far, the OP has done nothing wrong to defraud the dealership by placing a bid.

    Some may even say the OP has done the dealership a favour.

  225. pat.idaho says:

    Picture #3


    please note that this came with the file name:


    presumably taken on July 18 2008 at 9:41am

    Or it could be picture number 941 following 940 alternatively

    Anyone see a problem with the time line of these three snapshots?

  226. MillerDorus says:

    Actually, the OP should sue the dealer in his home state and make them come
    to him. Because jurisdiction on the internet is ambiguous at best, he has
    strong arguments that the place of contract is wherever his computer is…

  227. Optimistic Prime says:

    @wgrune: Depends on the state, but usually small claims tops out at $5,000.

  228. clkbj says:

    Good luck Pat! I hope they honor the contract (whether your lawyer forces the issue, or on their own) and you get the RV!

  229. Burgandy says:

    @sljepi: Judy would lay the smackdown on the Nelsons, and they would deserve it. If there was real justice in this world, they would get swarmed by killer bees on the way out of the court room and then they would give Pat a nice jar of their fresh honey.

  230. SockCooker says:


    I can’t look at the picture you posted because it says ‘bandwidth exceeded’.

    I think that a *lot* of people on the net are now following this story; it’s been posted to lots of sites.

    I really hope you’ll tell us of revelopments and the individual outcome.

  231. mike says:

    @pat.idaho: can you reposr? “Bandwidth exceeded.”


  232. mike says:

    Let’s not forget that the seller had the option to close the auction early.

  233. primo.avanti says:

    bandwidth exceeded on the pictures…im all about your cause here…someone offered to sell you something, you made a deposit insinuating an intent to buy and then they backed out with the now-so-famous ‘killer bee’ excuse…auction or not, i believe their allowing the offer/auction to close on a price, accepting a good-faith deposit is acceptance and an agreement to sell…backing out at that point would require a serious reason like an 18 wheeler skidded off the highway and hit the rv or a meteor came out of the sky and blew it up—something out of their control which would totally wreck the item(vehicle) beyond repair or driveability. their leaving the door open allowing the rapid infestation and unprecedented honey-spraying is akin to them parking it in an alley with a can of tuna in the front seat and then wondering why its covered in cat piss…its their fault either way and must honor the selling, maybe even at a reduced agreed-upon price since they screwed up

  234. soulwound says:

    I couldn’t resist.

    I sent this from the page the RV was listed on:

    Name: K. Beasly


    Do Killer Bee’s come with this RV? I was hoping they would because I really enjoy honey. Thanks!

  235. MillerDorus says:

    I’m not an Arizona lawyer and I don’t know where the OP is from but:

    This is almost definitely a case governed by the state’s enactment of the
    UCC. An RV is almost certainly a “good.” Moreover, the RV dealer is almost
    certainly a “merchant dealing in goods of the kind.” OP can take all sorts
    of actions, the coolest of which is going out and buying a “substantially
    similar” substitute RV (but don’t get cute… buy the exact thing if you can
    get it) and then making the dealer pay for the difference between the price
    of the substitute RV and the 15,000 he would have had to pay for the
    original RV. Excellent chance he could also recover the costs associated
    with finding and buying the new RV, as it’s really unlikely that
    consequential losses were waived.

  236. dustinf36 says:

    My question for those saying he is ripping off the innocent rv dealer, how is this any different that a car dealer charging a “market adjustment” on a new vehicle. The Ford dealer down the street from me is “market adjusting” a new Mustang GT 500 by about 10k. Is that ok in you eyes?

  237. dustinf36 says:

    Charging 10k over sticker

  238. coan_net says:

    @dustinf36: Charging 10k over sticker is fine – it is his business, and he can charge what he wants.

    Now if he already auctions the car off at a lower price and THEN wanted 10k more, then there is an issue.

    The dealer can charge 25k more for a car if he wants… good luck finding a buyer.

  239. AngryEwok says:

    I hope this isn’t the last we hear about this story.

  240. bosco643 says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if the local media in Tuscon pick up on the story.

    You can set up a Google alert to receive any articles on this issue.

  241. Haltingpoint says:

    Pat, best of luck to you. If you have a cruel streak, consider wearing a bee suit if you go on TV at the dealer. As a precaution of course…

    Suffolkhouse – While the internet cowboy in me is applauding what you did in terms of outreach to the local media outlets, you may want to consider trying to get in contact with the OP directly and providing them the information to do so themselves (if they so choose) in the future. By doing this on your own you are directly inserting yourself into the middle of an issue that is not yours to deal with, potentially adding further complications to the issue if the OP had continued to try resolving directly with the dealer.

    While it appears that you two were in sync on the approach to resolving (namely alerting media and bringing in the lawyers), I urge you to exercise more discretion in the future in how you approach this. Not saying the dealer is any less at fault or deserves their just rewards any less, but your approach comes off as someone who has way too much free time, and enjoys drama so much that you will actively insert yourself into another persons problems to further stir things up.

    I’m sure your heart was in the right place, but your approach makes me think otherwise.

  242. dustinf36 says:

    @ coan_net: Not what I was meaning. I know the dealer can charge whatever he wants, I was meaning more along the lines of this being a “market adjustment” in a buyers favor for a change.

  243. GrantGannon says:

    Is it just me, or does it look like someone threw some dog food on the floor of the RV and said ‘BEEEEES!’

  244. chicoresch says:


    i completely side with the buyer in this. while i might be a little more understanding (i wouldnt want to put a company out of business due to such a loss), ultimately it is his (buyer) right to demand the contract be fufilled.

    one more thing that i dont think anyone has picked up on. check out the bidding history of the auction. there were 5 unchallenged bids from $9500 to $11000 by a prospective buyer. strange. also, that buyer has no bidding history. you have to ask yourself, would a rookie bidder risk purchasing an item worth over $10k as their first ebay transaction? seems a tad reckless. hmmm… a seller and a bidder being reckless on such an expensive item?

    seems like the seller was doing some constructive bidding (right term?) of his own. jerk.

  245. EyeHeartPie says:


    Looks like the picture with the bug bomb was taken before the picture with all the dead bees all over the tile, but after the picture of all the dead bees all over the carpet. Something in that order seems odd. It seems they placed the bug bomb and took a picture while killer bees were presumably buzzing all around, but only on the tile, since many dead bugs are already all over the carpet. Very fishy picture order.

  246. trujunglist says:


    That would be so insanely excellent. Hopefully tawni could get some pictures.

    As a Tucsonan now living in San Diego, I’ll make sure that these guys don’t get any business from my many relatives and friends still living there.

  247. chicoresch says:

    not sure if my other post was listed…

    but check out the bidding history. seems strange an ebay rookie would bid on a $10k rv as their first auction. even stranger, this rookie bid 5 times, uncontested. seems like perhaps the seller was trying to pump up the price, no?

  248. bagumpity says:

    I’m gonna side against the OP. Yeah, he won the bid, but is it really fair to screw the seller? Even if it were a big-name evil corporation, I’d say: treat them like you would want yourself treated.

    Turn this around: Joe Schmoe lists his own RV worth $30,000 used on ebay, no reserve, $5000 starting bid. A used-RV place wins at $15,000 bid. Joe Schmoe tries to back out of the deal by apologizing for the mistake. Want to bet we’d have a ton of Consumerist posts bashing the dealership?

    How would you react if it were two private individuals, same story? Two businesses, one mom&pop, one big conglomerate?

  249. gmoney says:

    @belden: It would be stupid but not a ripoff actually, if somebody bid 30K for something worth 15K.

    And it would be equally as binding.

  250. Kishi says:

    @bagumpity: I’d feel the same way- Joe Schmoe set the auction, he’s obligated to follow through.

    @Haltingpoint: The bee suit is a good idea- maybe he should get the local TV station to call it a sting operation?

  251. SpitfireM1 says:

    I would say the same thing – the seller made an offer to sell to the highest bidder in a given period of time. Those who bid accepted the offer. Both knew the risks going in – the possibility of selling at a low or a high price and the possibility of being outbid or paying too much. Both parties accepted those terms, and an agreement was made upon completion of the auction.

    Ignorance is not a valid defense, no matter if the seller is a business or another private party.

  252. RabbitDinner says:

    @bagumpity: I see what you’re saying, and while I disagree, consider first Pat’s experience. Even the most understanding individuals, myself included, would have little sympathy if given the runaround like poor Pat

  253. SpitfireM1 says:

    And ESPECIALLY when the seller is the one presenting the offer, as is the case in an auction.

  254. Jesse says:


    If you look at image #1, notice how all the bees are scattered just on the countertop, tabletop and floor, not the chairs.

  255. Grabraham says:

    Once you place an item up for a no reserve auction it is ‘worth’ whatever the highest bid at the close of the action is. It is not worth any more than the bidders will pay for it.

  256. Aisley says:


    This is an easy one. Let’s take a look:

    1. It does not qualify as a felony, at least not yet! This is a Civil/Contractual matter because there are TWO contracts involved.

    2. When Nelson RV posted the RV for auction at EBay they entered into a contract with EBay, where they agree to sell in auction a good that EBay agree to publicize in their site by using the technology they possess for this aim.

    3. Once the post was up and for all to see, Nelson RV entered in one of the most strange contracts you can imagine. It is the one where two parts entered a contract with one of the parts not known at the time.

    4. By agreeing to a contract where they committ themselves to “deliver a good to the highest bidder” they are obligated, since such contract exist, to deliver the good.

    5. The only thing that could have help him get out of this hole, would have been some Contingencies (read, Eventualities, Acts of God or man-made disaster clauses.

    6. Since it looks like they did not thought of a “Reserve Price”, this is one of those cases where they have no defense possible; unless they blame it on the bees, their stupidity that is.

  257. lalatech says:

    (Quote: We are devastated with our discovery this morning of a swarm of Africanized killer bees… We have vacuumed up the bees that covered the floors, cabinets, and furniture. We tried to clean the traces of honey on the countertops and cabinet tops as completely as possible. )

    They didn’t even check a basic wikipedia article about these critters, this is hilarious!

    Since my friend lost her dogs to them, I’ve read up just a bit. (enough to be dangerous?)

    On of the few ways to verify the difference between africanized and european bees is by checking for subtle wing differences. The other identifying factor is their behavior. If there really were bees, they’ve obviously failed on both these methods to identify them properly.

    There’s no way that area of an RV lot could be approached by an amateur if they were africanized. Run a vacuum? Spray anything? IN an enclosed area with an africanized swarm? That person would probably need to be hospitalized before they could press the aerosol can button.

    They use combs for their honey like any other bee. IF they worked all night (exvcept like any other bee they’re not nocturnal), they couldn’t go from 0 to dripping honey all over the tables that fast.

    Any residue on surfaces would likely be, um, bee poop, LOL.

    If this is true, the dealer’s lack of research of both the bees and ebay is really astounding.

  258. RabbitDinner says:

    @bagumpity: And who said they were getting screwed? You don’t have to be an economist to give a second’s though to the market forces that affect a good or service’s price. Other posts have gone into exhaustive detail, so I won’t bother. The only judgment I can make without jumping to conclusions/making value judgments is that Pat got the short end of the stick. Not shafted, as he hasn’t lost the money he put down, but he has been given, as I said, the runaround. Killer bees? Yeah, try to defraud me by making some intelligence insulting story, and then when you realize it’s not working, just deny you ever sold me the vehicle.

  259. mike says:

    @bagumpity: While I understand your point, it still doesn’t answer the fact that the two entered into a contract. Both parties had options of pulling out of the bid BEFORE the auction closed!

    Both had the same time to withdraw the bid; both agreed to the terms of the auction.

    Them the rules. Doesn’t matter if it was an old lady that lived in a shoe selling her car vs. giant conglomerate. Old lady that lived in a shoe had the means to control the risks, which she didn’t take.

  260. mike says:

    I agree that the bigger issue is how the dealer tried to back out. If they were forthright and said, “Look, we sold the RV for far less than we’d thought”, I might be a bit more sympathetic. But they gave a story then gave another story and then decided to welch on the contract.

  261. lalatech says:

    If this is true, the dealer’s lack of research of both the bees and ebay is really astounding.

    “This” being that this is the excuse the dealer made. I don’t believe the bee story, as told, for an instant.

  262. gmoney says:

    @Corporate-Shill: I’m not bashing you, you’re just wrong, plain and simple, so I’m telling you tgo get your facts straight.

    Yes, the listing can be construed as your “offer”. But the completed auction would then be construed as the “acceptance” and completion of the contract. Period. There’s no 3 day cooling off period here – you are thinking of door-to-door and other unsolicited sales situations, which is where those rules generally apply.

    Bottom line is that ebay considers this a completed contract. their official policy states “Seller Non-performance – Sellers must honor the transaction contract. Sellers cannot fail to deliver an item for which payment was accepted, significantly misrepresent an item by not meeting the terms and item description outlined in the listing, or refuse to accept payment for an item at the end of a successful sale.”

    So while the seller is subject to whatever ebay policies apply, he is also subject, by virtue of his own concurrenec to the terms, to contractual equitable remedies. Pure and simple.

  263. gmoney says:

    @bagumpity: “

    I’m gonna side against the OP. Yeah, he won the bid, but is it really fair to screw the seller? Even if it were a big-name evil corporation, I’d say: treat them like you would want yourself treated.

    Turn this around: Joe Schmoe lists his own RV worth $30,000 used on ebay, no reserve, $5000 starting bid. A used-RV place wins at $15,000 bid. Joe Schmoe tries to back out of the deal by apologizing for the mistake. Want to bet we’d have a ton of Consumerist posts bashing the dealership?

    How would you react if it were two private individuals, same story? Two businesses, one mom&pop, one big conglomerate? “

    That’s a classic slippery slope position, however. Allow it and chaos ensues.

  264. SharkD says:

    @pat.idaho: @pat.idaho: It’s also interesting to note that the carpet looks pristine in the “bug bomb” photo, as does the protective plastic applied to it, yet it looks dirty and the plastic covering is missing in the third photo, with the “dead bees.”

  265. pat.idaho says:

    Story airs tonight at 6pm. Angelita wouldn’t talk, but James did. Said that he has 4 attorneys working on it. Said there was bees and the trailer is now on its way to Mexico! It just keeps getting better.

  266. pat.idaho says:

    bandwidth is increased if you want to check out the pics.

  267. Stomper says:

    I’m a lawyer, but I’m not licensed in AZ. Here’s what I would do, though: Sue the auto dealer in my local court. Sue for specific performance, but only as a “back-up” remedy. You don’t really want any vehicle they would sell you, and besides, they claim they don’t have it anymore. You sue them in your home court, so that they have to incur the travel expenses and find an attorney long-distance, not you. They might succeed in challenging jurisdiction, but only after they spent some serious cash to do so.

    Rather than the vehicle, you sue them for damages. If you were supposed to get a vehicle with $41,000 Fair Market Value for $16,000, then your damages are the $25,000 difference. The MSRP probably wouldn’t be the right number — you’d probably have to prove “Fair Market Value” of the vehicle via expert testimony — or by making the dealer cough up the documents showing what they actually got for it.

    In Texas, we have a Deceptive Trade Practices Act that would give you a fair chance to recover triple damages plus attorney fees. AZ and your home state probably have something similar.

  268. lalatech says:

    (Quote: gmoney at 05:02 PM
    @bagumpity: “
    I’m gonna side against the OP. Yeah, he won the bid, but is it really fair to screw the seller? Even if it were a big-name evil corporation, I’d say: treat them like you would want yourself treated.

    Turn this around: Joe Schmoe lists his own RV worth $30,000 used on ebay, no reserve, $5000 starting bid. A used-RV place wins at $15,000 bid. Joe Schmoe tries to back out of the deal by apologizing for the mistake. Want to bet we’d have a ton of Consumerist posts bashing the dealership?)

    In either case, bashing posts or not, there is a binding contract. Unlike a continuing service, such as use of a credit card or a utility, this cannot be unilaterally changed after the fact.

    The buyer should be able to protect his contract rights and doing this does not make him a jerk. It’s not like it’s a 100 page contract with extra fine print where “legally binding” is well buried. It’s a pretty straight forward concept for either a dealership or Joe Blow. I can’t imagine that the expectations for a legal auction anything different.

    If the seller is fraudulently trying to get out of it? Then they would REALLY deserved being bashed.

  269. mike says:

    Image mirrors (hosted on
    picture 1
    picture 2
    picture 3

    Let me know if they need to be reposted.

  270. KW802 says:

    @pat.idaho: Thanks; was able to view them now.

    As others have pointed out, in the small pics the ‘bees’ do indeed look like dog food but in the bigger pictures you posted you can make out what appears to be wings and one pic has a vacuum as well. If the bee story is concocted, they did a good job with it.

    If the bee story is true and if the trailer is now indeed “toxic” and “is unsafe for occupancy or use” then I can’t help but wonder what is it doing on its way to Mexico then? If they somehow sold the trailer quickly to somebody in Mexico, wouldn’t the the Mexican buyers want to know about the fact that the dealer considers it to be unsellable?

  271. mike says:

    @lalatech: I’m going to quote what someone from the SPCA said about Ellen DeGeneres concerning her dog and contract. Paraphrased, “Ms DeGeneres claims that she didn’t know that was in the contract. She deals with millions of dollars in contracts. She knew what she was signing.”

  272. SimonSwegles says:

    It’s too bad that the EXIF data has been stripped from those images. The filenames … they don’t fit with the EXIF data being missing. If the camera created those filenames by default, why would the EXIF data be missing? I can not easily imagine a sequence of events that results in original filenames but no EXIF data.

  273. KW802 says:

    @linus: Check for your file sizes; the ones you linked to at ImageShack are smaller than the ones Pat linked to at FileUpYours.

    @SimonSwegles: Only Pat can confirm if the EXIF data is missing from the original images that he was emailed or if something inbetween, like uploading them to FileUpYours, resulted in the lost EXIF.

  274. wick57 says:

    Pesticides are not needed to eradicate Africanized bees. The professionals use a water and soap solution (commonly 1 cup soap per gallon of water) which when sprayed on the bees clogs their breathing tubes and they die. Had bees actually inhabited the RV and they had used the correct method to remove the bees, the buyer would’ve ended up with a nice clean RV and some really great honey.

  275. pat.idaho says:

    picture one in the sequence = floor full of bees

    picture two in the sequence = no bees on the floor

    picture three in the sequence = floor full of bees

    does anyone think the filenames have been altered, or did they simply put all the bees back for the third picture they took? Hrmmm I don’t know.

  276. SimonSwegles says:

    I just stopped laughing at myself for getting so caught up in stupid technical crap, when the basic facts of the case even outside EXIF data are so obviously against the dealer.

  277. SurotamaKabolla says:

    If you take a close look at the second photo, you can see that the bug
    bombs have not been set off. When you set them off, the tab on the
    cap locks down.

  278. mike says:

    @KW802: I checked the downloaded files. They’re the same. Imageshack must of done some compressing or something.

    The ones on IS are more for historical purposes than actual “evidence”. Still, I’ll load them somewhere else just to be safe.

  279. SimonSwegles says:

    @pat.idaho: I am pretty sure the filenames have been altered. I have owned many digital cameras of many different brands, none of which produced filenames anything like that.

  280. pat.idaho says:

    EXIF data is indeed missing. But It appears obvious to me the file names have been altered anyway.

  281. mike says:

    @linus: Uploaded to my web site

  282. mike says:

    @pat.idaho: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s no way we can prove the filename has been changed. It’s highly suspect.

  283. KW802 says:

    @SimonSwegles: Based upon the quality of the pictures, it may be a cell phone. I just checked my Motorola and it uses MMDDYY_99999 as its naming convention so it’s not unthinkable that somebody else might be using MMDDYY9999 as their convention.

  284. SimonSwegles says:

    @linus: We can speculate based on experience, though.

    So … has anyone here ever used a digital camera that outputs filenames like that (date+sequence)? How about an image editing program that strips EXIF and outputs such filenames?

    Understanding, of course, that none of this really has any bearing on the contract or the dealership’s responsibilities.

  285. bigmike4511 says:

    The dealer is in a bad situation right now. There is a paper trail saying that the RV is damaged and not fit for sale. The V.I.N. is posted on the Ebay listing as 111863. If the RV is later sold, the dealer will have to disclose the “prior damage”. Of course the “damage” will make the RV worth much less. If the “damage” is major, they will ahve to at the very least sell it as a used RV and most likely have to sell it as salvage!

    If they sell the RV without disclosing the documented damage, the buyer can sue and win for fraud. The dealer’s only defense would be to admit that the bee story was fraudulant. Either way they are between a rock and a hard place.

    The dealer needs to suck it up, and take the loss. It is hard to do. Business is tough right now and the RV market is on life support (almost dead). I am a licensed auto dealer. I know the market conditions.

    I also know that this dealer is acting in bad faith. If there is a true problem, you allow it to be inspected, not say that it is now in Mexico.

  286. SimonSwegles says:

    @KW802: I guess that kind of clinches the filename issue, as 640×480 is typical of cell-phone camera resolution as well. And the EXIF data may have been stripped by any of the transport applications along the way. So the pics could be legit.

  287. KW802 says:


    So … has anyone here ever used a digital camera that outputs filenames like that (date+sequence)?

    Some quick digging, and it appears that LG (and likely others) use the MMDDYYHHMM.JPG file naming convention.


  288. Plasmafire says:

    Unleash the lawyers.

    I am sure they can get them for fraud.

    Report them to e-bay for fraud too, maybe they will be banned forever.

  289. EdnaLegume says:

    did anyone go to rvtraderonline??? they’re even using the exact same eBay photos.

  290. EdnaLegume says:

    Has pat chimed in here yet???

  291. bobosgirl says:

    God, the things I miss when I head to work for a few hours!!! Man, if I had known those candles would go for a high price, I would have started them at a higher auction price- oh,well. At least I know that I screwed Walgreens for that 87 cents…..hee hee hee- seriously, the hubby lit them while I was gone, and I came home to find that my whole house smells like strawberry pie. Mmmmmm. You all are too funny!@Grabraham:

  292. EdnaLegume says:

    don’t they totally poop on eBay by backing out, and then listing this same vehicle (same VIN number listed on RVtraderlonline…) on another site?

    Won’t eBay get them for that???

  293. KW802 says:


    Has pat chimed in here yet??? Several times. Check the posts by “pat.idaho” above.

  294. NightSteel says:

    I have to wonder if the ‘bee’ pictures were even taken in the trailer in question. It wouldn’t surprise me if the pics were from another trailer that somehow really did get some sort of infestation, so they just happened to have the pictures and decided to use them as an excuse.

    And another thing.. it’s friggin’ summer, and this unit is for sale in friggin’ Tucson, AZ. Unless the AC is running in that trailer all the time, I’m pretty sure the bees wouldn’t be able to survive the temperatures in it. Could be wrong, not a bee-ologist, but really.

  295. dustinf36 says:

    @ pat.idaho
    What channel is running the story would love to watch the webcast of the interview.

  296. EdnaLegume says:

    @NightSteel: the “honey on the counter and cabinet” comment pretty much tells all we need to know about the bee business.

    KW802.. thanks.. I’d have figured it out… eventually at least.

  297. bobosgirl says:

    It’s the same trailer on rvtraderonline, alright, although I see they’ve managed to clean up the honey really well. Hmmmmm- wonder how they did that? I notice Belden has no comment about an rv seller who reneges on an ebay auction and then relists online somewhere else for more cash….

    Funny, I thought this trailer was on it’s way to Mexico, but I sure don’t see any cactuses in the photos- nothing about having to pick it up in Guadalahara, either. You’d think they’d mention that.@pat.idaho:

  298. Tawnie is Monster Mashing says:

    I went by Nelson RV on my way home from work but they were closed. Granted this is the hottest day we have had in a while but I have a feeling they had too much excitement from the media earlier today. For bees running about, the car lot next door sure was functioning as normal and one of their service techs was working right next to the repair side of Nelson RV called Merrigan’s Arizona Roadrunner. There is a set of tall bushes that separates the business and this car lot that would be perfect for bees but he did not seem bothered. I’ll be watching the news tonight for coverage on this.

  299. mike says:

    @bobosgirl: No, your confused. There are four trailers in question. The one with “bee honey as poo”, the one that didn’t exist, the one that was sold to someone else, and the one they are selling on their site.

    Strangely, though, it seems that the VIN number machine might be broken. They’re all the same. They should really get that checked out.

  300. coan_net says:

    @dustinf36: I think he said something about NBC earlier, so probable:

    NBC: []

    And since others contacted other news agencies, might be good to keep an eye on others in that area:

    ABC: []

    Fox: []

    Anyway, he said it was going to be on the 6 news – which is about 30 minutes from now. Not sure how quickly they put things on the website… and of course probable don’t put everything, but we shall see I’m sure.

  301. pat.idaho says:

    I talked to James Nelson 45 minutes ago. He followed up with this e-mail:

    Dear Mr. Lewis,

    As per our conversation this afternoon, I James L. Nelson II of Nelson RV will transfer the 2007 Sandpiper 325RG 5th wheel to you in accordance with your bid on EBay. As agreed, you may have your representative inspect the vehicle before the transfer.

    Thank you for your patience,
    James L. Nelson II
    Nelson RV

    It looks like James is going to do the right thing. I called the news reporter to give the update. I say it isn’t over until it is over, but it sure looks like things are going the correct way now.

    Thank you all who gave me good advice. I sure am glad I didn’t have to involve an attorney.

  302. dustinf36 says:

    Score one for the consumer!!!!

    Lets here it for Pat!!!!!!

  303. SpitfireM1 says:

    Sounds like his 4 lawyers told him what was up.

  304. D-Bo says:

    @ZaerApollo: Too bad the comments have to be approved first… Here’s what I left:

    EntryNo: 2
    Date of entry: Friday
    11:48 AM

    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2008070208 Firefox/3.0.1 ( Billy Mitchell

    I would like an RV filled with killer Africanized honeybees which I understand you deal in. Please post information on those models that you have available that include the free honey. Thanks.

  305. mike says:

    @pat.idaho: That’s great! I’m glad that it turned out for the better. I’d still ask him about the bees though to see if they really did leave a mess.

    You know, in case it’s true.

    If it is, you can re-coup the cost of the RV by going around the states offering a walk-in bee-hive. It will give the guy with the beard of bees a run for his money.

  306. D-Bo says:

    @belden: You realize that the selling price is not the dealer’s cost, right?

    Let me pose this comparison. OP buys RV for $30k. Dealer’s actual cost is $15k. OP enters into legally binding contract to purchase said RV with the Dealer and pays his deposit. OP finds another Dealer willing to sell same RV for their cost $15k.

    OP realizes the first deal he agreed to is really not a good deal for him (but certainly is for the first Dealer) and backs out of the sale saying Africanized honeybees infested his house and he can’t possible buy an RV now. When pressed by the first Dealer to honor the legally binding contract OP says it was noly ebay and there is no way he’s going to get “ripped off” for $15k.

    Would you believe it is justifiable for the OP to walk away from the deal? If so why? And if yes, do you believe in any portions of contract law?

  307. coan_net says:

    @pat.idaho: I’m glad things sound like they will work out. I think in 75% of the cases that buyer would have just “went away”, but I’m glad the seller is going to do what is right.

    Of course you should not push your luck, but if you go and pick it up, I dare you to ask where your honey is…. or go and pick it up with a bee-mask on.

    Anyway, hopefully the seller understands how quickly “bad” service has spread and will continue to do what is right with the rest of the transaction. (and of course you do the right thing and make sure the places like this that have the negative story is told the positive response of the situation.)

  308. SuffolkHouse says:


    Hurray for Pat!

    Let’s do this again folks!

  309. D-Bo says:

    @MercuryPDX: I have to disagree. I have taken the opportunity provided by commentators to contact businesses in legitimate and constructive ways.

  310. ferris209 says:

    Yeah, they were wrong. i emailed them railing that they should have honored the ebay contract and they wouldn’t find themselves being chased by consumerists with pitchforks and fire.

  311. mike says:

    @D-Bo: This argument has been beaten to death and you’re late. We would have the same hatred, except for the OP.

    He agreed to the contract and told the dealer what he was willing to pay for the RV.

  312. Grabraham says:

    Hooray for Pat!!! Way to stand up for what is right and fair!!

    BOOOOOOOOOOO!!! bobosgirl. You agreed to sell those candles to me and I will not be fooled by your story about the hubby burning them. You will be hearing from my lawyer and the media. I will release the power of the internets. I have been inspired by Pat and will not fail!!!

  313. veterandem says:

    Dear Bank of America Customer:

    Due to an infestation of Africanized Killer Bees, your interest rate will now be 299%. If you disagree with this, please reply and reject these changes. If you use your BoA CC to purchase insecticide, the default rate of 299% will apply to your currnet balance and future charges.

    Thank you for being a loyal bee-free customer!

  314. bobosgirl says:

    Hooray for the savvy readers of the Consumerist ( and a hip hip to Ben for his skills) and a hearty “congrats!” to Pat on his newly won ( and LEGALLY bid on) RV!!!Hope you have many happy days motoring in it.@pat.idaho:

  315. bobosgirl says:

    Okay, I’m supposed to be studying, and you keep making me chuckle and now I’m distracted…..maybe I’ll go on Ebay and list some more candles@Grabraham:

  316. D-Bo says:

    @linus: Linus, you need to read the portion of my post that indicates I was replying to a specific commenter. It might be difficult to find so look for the “@” symbol and the name of another commenter in red that precedes my statement. Seriously, you sound like a douche when you reply half assed to someone who agrees with you. And last time I checked there wasn’t an expiration date on the conversation.

  317. NightSteel says:

    Pat, one other thing.. go over that RV with a fine tooth comb BEFORE you take it off the lot. Bring some sort of inspector with you if you have to. I would not be surprised at all if someone tried to take their revenge on you in some way. That, or take it straight from that particular dealer to another authorized dealer who can honor whatever warranty it comes with for a thorough inspection. Or both.

  318. DanaM says:

    Interestingly, they still haven’t taken the listing down on…hope they don’t try yet again to pull a fast one!

    I suppose they could have forgotten, but they clearly need watching.

  319. shorebird says:

    Congratulations Pat on winning your RV. Just think of the story you will be able to tell at the campfires in the future.

  320. yungjerry703 says:

    damn i just read this and its resolved (go pat!)…. i wanted to inquire in Spanish about the killer bees (my favorite kind of bee) and if they harmed any members of the wu tang clan killah bees than there will be hell to pay.

  321. Kishi says:

    @pat.idaho: Great news! You know it never hurts to sweeten the deal, though- I’d give them a nice jar of honey, too.

  322. North of 49 says:

    I know someone who works at ebay. I’m forwarding the story to them.

  323. bikeoid says:

    There is this undated, unrelated (except for the attack of killer bees) story from the area.


    Summary: A bunch of people stung – the bee nest was located in an abandoned car behind a vacant house. Firemen removed this one by injecting the car with foam which quickly killed the bees.

  324. chili_con_corn says:

    More news about Africanized killer bees and honey problems in the area…


  325. pat.idaho says:


    did you happen to see if the story aired at 6 on KVOA last night?

  326. usa_gatekeeper says:

    @pat.idaho: Congratulations Pat. Congratulations, team. Job well done. Looking forward to a pic of Pat beside the RV someday.

  327. tortcat says:

    I would imagine that the dealer has pretty much done themselves in by going the “bee” route. The auction completed, they could have stopped it at any time before it was done.

    If I was the buyer I would defintely be looking to suit to obtain the rv at the price that was agreed upon in the auction or file for damages. Seller had multiple options available to them to prevent them losing money, mininum starting bids, reserve, stopping the auction before it completes etc.

    I would imagine that most civil courts would side with the buyer

  328. bigmike4511 says:

    After all this publicity, anyone want to bet how long it will be before either the RV dealership is sold or closes?

    I would not consider dealing with the curren ownership there now, as they do not seem to have the business ethics that I would require. They only did the right thing after being faced with massive unfavorable publicity!

  329. temporaryerror says:

    @tortcat: Tortcat- Did you miss the part where the OP posted that the RV dealer agreed to sell the trailer to him at the $15K price? This whole thing is, for the most part resolved, pending the pick up of the hopefully undamaged trailer.

  330. sonneillon says:

    I think a DOC complaint may have more teeth to it than a lawsuit. Both is always an option but for the value of the item you have to sue in regular court and there is a reasonable chance that breach of contract suit will only net you the deposit back. The court has the option to restore things to the way they were before the breach occurred and often does so. File a complaint with the DOC first and the business may face losing it’s business license.

  331. a1coolmom says:

    Does anyone know if the news story ever aired, and if so is there a link? I would LOVE to see the owners tell their side of the story.
    Way to go Pat, I’ve been following this in the Open Roads forum. Score one for the “little guy”.

  332. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Hooray Pat! The internets are buzzing with your success story! Its always nice when evildoers feel the sting of justice!

    Seriously, you need to paint a giant bee on the side of the RV. And send us a picture :)


  333. vlmodcon says:

    It’s hard to predict how much actual damage the Nelson’s have done to their business. The clear, blatant and insulting lie about “killer bees” gives me a strong feeling of general dishonor surrounding the entire enterprise. I have bought 3 RV’s in my life, and would certainly never do business with them. To me, they just come across as the sort of arrogant and unprincipled business people who make it so hard for any business to be thought of as honest. It’s OK to make a mistake. It’s not OK to fabricate a second grade, Cosbyesque story to try to weasel out of it. Their final action is correct, but far too late to reverse the damage that has been done to their repuation. That will take years.

  334. polk says:

    You know, I’ve gotten hosed on many a casual deal with people, and I still hold up my end of said deal. It’s the right thing to do, and while to do otherwise is understandable, it’s not what I would advise.

  335. North of 49 says:

    got a reply from ebay. I wish I could post it here. :/ they are investigating the incident, and that’s all I can say about it. The rest just becomes ebay jargon. :P

  336. Inglix_the_Mad says:

    Well I’m glad things worked out for Pat thus far. I agree, get it thoroughly checked out.

    As for the dealer. I’m sorry things didn’t go well in your auction. Hopefully in the future this teaches you not to renege on contracts and to set a minimum reserve.

  337. LandonMussenden says:

    The NBC KVOA News 4 video segment on this EBAY Auction and Nelson RV can be
    found here

  338. LandonMussenden says:

    You can view the NBC KVOA News 4 video segment on this EBAY auction and
    Nelson RV in Tucson, AZ here: **

  339. Meggers says:

    I know that this is resolved (Go Pat!) but just wanted to post the link to the news story:


  340. ShirtNinja says:

    Chalk up yet another win for the internets!

  341. chili_con_corny says:

    Apparently Africanized killer bees and their honey have posed problems for others in the area as well.


  342. dialing_wand says:


    It would be sad if they had been honest about their own problems. For example:

    – We are a family business and this would really hurt us.
    – We made a mistake.
    – We will go out of business and we’re sorry etc.

    Allegedly this didn’t happen. Had they been upfront, instead of lying I think (or at least hope) any normal person wouldn’t ask them for their firstborns.

    But, having (at the very least) exaggerated the bee problem then accused the bidder of being a “swindler” himself (lost plenty on low ebay auctions I was selling here… no hard feelings) they lost their right to be dealt with like a human.

    I realise my own predisposition to these cases is manic. But it’s tit for tat. Be nice/friendly/helpful first (ALWAYS), if they combat, you combat (but in a nice, friendly manner). End of story.

  343. AlexPDL says:

    The OP might atually want it to be in regular court and NOT small claims. The amount is likely too high anyway. But in a lot of states you cannot use an attorney for small claims court. Sounds like he needs his attorney to go to bat.

    Disclaimer: I am not your attorney. This post does not creat an attorney client relationship.

  344. organicgardener says:

    Their website is not working. I guess the sleazy liars who backed out of a legitimate deal couldn’t handle the comments! Shame on you, Nelsons! Is this what you teach your children?

  345. pat.idaho says:

    Yesterday, my agent met with James Nelson and did a full inspection. It was reported that the trailer is in excellent new condition and that Mr. Nelson was very nice and helpful. I have had numerous conversations with Mr. Nelson over the last couple days. He seems very sincere about doing the right thing. I will be picking up the trailer next Saturday. (I am traveling on business, and could not pick it up any earlier)

    I am reluctant to make many comments one way or the other until the transaction is completed. I will give a full and honest update at that point. I know that many are very interested in this story and many have tried to help me. I feel I owe it to everyone to give them the conclusion. I also, feel that everyone needs to know how Nelson RV treats me from here on out.

    Regardless of what has transpired. I am not without empathy for Nelson RV. I am also not the type of person who never forgives. Perhaps they feel they have no choice but to honor the deal. I don’t know. But if that is the case, then they would not have any reason to treat me with respect and go out of their way to give good service and act in a professional manner. That is exactly what they are doing so far. I am moving forward with guarded optimism. I will let you all know how it turns out.

  346. mythago says:

    I am going to start using the killer bees excuse EVERYWHERE. “Sorry, I’m going to be late to work today – killer bees in the engine block. Again.” This rocks.

    As far as lawyers go, if the OP purchases the same RV elsewhere, he could seek reimbursement for the differencein price.

  347. tex1ntux says:

    I thought if you sold something and didn’t like the final result you just told the buyer, “I’m not sending it to you. Here’s your money back. Give me bad feedback.”


  348. TampaShooters says:


  349. RudeandRude says:

    hilarious. Maybe “scummiest small business on earth” contest.

  350. pat.idaho says:

    I have a lot to report, so I will split this into two comments. This one will be about picking up the RV and the next one will be about everything I couldn’t or wouldn’t say until now.

    After three days of driving (31 total driving hours) and about $700 in diesel, my wife and I just returned from Tucson with the Sandpiper. It is an awesome new 36 foot trailer. We absolutely love it.

    Everything went smoothly, albeit a bit awkward, at Nelson RV. James had the unit ready and waiting out back. It was plugged in and had full water and propane tanks. It had a new battery installed and the A/C was running. (which was great because outside temperature was well over 100) An employee named Dale gave my wife and I the PDI. Even though he was fully aware of the underlying circumstances, he was very helpful and nice to us. He was also very knowledgeable about RV’s. Even though he certainly didn’t have to; once he learned that we were completely new to RV’s, he gave us many useful tips outside the scope of the PDI. He certainly saved us many mistakes in the future.

    The trailer itself is, well….new. Obviously it is in great condition. No odor was noticeable, besides the smell of “new”. (Which isn’t a bad smell, if you ask me) I was taken aback by the size of the trailer. It is long and very tall. With the 16′ slide extended and the other slide in the bedroom that makes room to walk around the king size bed, it is surprisingly spacious inside. My wife and I had a terrible time maintaining our composure. We were naturally excited and delighted with the trailer, but felt we needed to subdue our enthusiasm given the circumstances. Let me tell you, it was hard. Every time Dale showed us another feature, we were amazed.

    We never met Jim or Angelita, but James did the closing paperwork with us. Again, it was handled very professionally. Everything went smooth and there were no surprises. This whole thing got off to a bad start, but to their credit, Nelson RV finished strong. We were very surprised that we never got one sideways glance or flippant remark. They obviously didn’t want to sell the trailer to us at the auction price, but we sure couldn’t tell it that day. They couldn’t be any nicer. I don’t know if it is customary to deliver the RV with both LP tanks full and a brand new battery, but they did. They also mounted my SuperGlide Capture plate for free too. We couldn’t ask for anything more.

    We didn’t ask James a lot of questions about the transaction. I mean, what would be the point. All I wanted was for them to sell me the trailer, and they did. James did mention that he has been reading this thread and all the comments. He says that he and his family have been very stressed from this whole thing and that he hopes that now it can all be put to rest. He played a message on his answering machine that one reader had left that day before we had arrived. It wasn’t very pleasant, but according to James, it wasn’t as bad as some. He is hoping that the messages and e-mails will stop now that they have done the right thing. I for one will let the matter rest. It is over now. I have never asked anyone to call them, e-mail them, alert the authorities or the press, or re-post this story on the internet. I realize that because people took it upon themselves to do these things, I now have my trailer. I am very thankful to all of you. However, after meeting the man and seeing him face-to-face, I can tell you all, he has had enough. He got the point and did the right thing.

    Before we left James told me something that, through this whole ordeal, no one from Nelson RV had told me. He said that when he listed the trailer on E-bay, he thought the Buy it Now price would serve as the reserve price. He said that it was just a simple mistake in the way he listed it. Now, I honestly don’t know if that is true or not, but I will concede that James probably sees the E-Bay auction a mistake one way or the other. That was one of the last things James said to us before we said goodbye. Tomorrow, in my last post, I will tell you why it should have been the first.


  351. shorebird says:

    Yes Pat a new battery and full propane tanks are to be expected with a new RV. The new RV smell, while not unpleasant, is the odor of chemicals used in the manufacture of the materials of which the RV is constructed. You should ventilate the RV as much as possible for a period of time. There has been a lot of discussion concerning the presence of formaldehyde in the trailers issued to hurricane refugees. There should be a warning posted in plain sight (usually on the bathroom mirror) by the factory. As a newcomer to the world of RV’s you may want to visit some of the forums such as [] for answers to the many questions you will have in the future.

  352. MadameX says:

    @pat.idaho: Pat, it’s great that your experience turned out so well. If I might add, though–James, if you are indeed following this thread, I’m sure you’ve learned that honesty is the best policy. I truly believe that if your company had been honest about the mistake in the ebay listing from the very beginning, most people are human enough to understand. We’ve all made mistakes.

    Where you crossed the line–and in turn, incurred the wrath of Consumerist readers and internet junkies everywhere–was when you concocted an elaborate scheme to get out of it.

    In any case, it sounds like your company did the right thing and handled this situation very professionally. Kudos for that–it just may actually bring some business your way.

  353. pat.idaho says:

    I wanted to make some final comments on this matter that I feel is now fully resolved. I apologize if this gets interpreted as being self-serving, as that is not my intention. I just know that many people, with various opinions, have been following this bizarre story with great interest and have had many questions that were never answered. I have received many private queries from the various forums and so has Nelson RV. The questions directed to me, I feel obligated to address as best I can. After all, without the support and assistance of the readers, I would just have another “fish that got away” story to tell.

    I have heard it told that if a consumer has a great experience with a business they might tell two people about it. But if a consumer has a bad experience they are sure to tell at least ten. Through the power of the internet, I was able to tell tens of thousands through numerous web sites in matter of days. (The Consumerist story alone has had over 76k views so far!) I recognize and respect that that ability is powerful and potentially dangerous. I have been humbled and amazed by the experience.

    Throughout this ordeal there were things going on and opinions that I had that I could not disclose on the forums. Now that the matter has resolved, I would like to fill in a few blanks. I hope this will allow those from all points of view to understand the unique dynamics of this transaction and how it could, and should have turned out much differently than it did. This may change a few opinions one way or the other, but I want the truth of the matter to be known to those that got involved with the story. I always hate it when I hear an interesting story on the news, but never get to hear how it all turned out!

    I first found this E-Bay auction three days before I placed my bid. Ironically, it was the “Below Cost” in the listing title that caught my eye. I did indeed notice that there was no reserve price and that the bidding started very low. I also noticed that the seller had nearly no feedback and had recently changed their name. Now normally, I would run away a suspicious auction like this. But, I also noted several other facts, like it was listed by a RV dealership, that it was being touted as below cost, that someone asked if the trailer could be viewed and a response with an address was listed, and that it was a 2007 model when the 2009 models are out. So it seemed possible to me that they just wanted to unload the excess inventory. So I did a little research over the next couple days. I verified the actual existence of the dealership, I went to their website, and I found the trailer listed at four or five other sites by Nelson RV. I decided that the auction was legit and that they were definitely were no strangers to listing items on the internet, so I believed they knew what they were doing.

    I placed my winning bid on the Sandpiper with about 30 seconds left in the auction. Since the auction ended at 11pm MST, I only had one other bidder battling me. When I placed my bid, the auction was at $11,000. I immediately was leading the auction at $11,100. The person I out bid was at their limit at $11k!? I was momentarily shocked. Then in the amount of time it took me to refresh the screen I was the new leader at what ended up being the final price $15,255.57. Evidently, someone else was waiting to bid at the last moments of the auction and they had bid $15,155.57?! It turns out that was also the first person to bid on this auction. Why they bid that odd amount, I guess I will never know. Those that understand auctions know exactly what happened. My proxy bid was higher and therefore, I won the auction by the minimum increment of $100 over the next highest bidder.

    Now while that might be hard to follow, I tell it for a reason. My proxy bid was actually $22,502. That was the amount that I was willing to go on the trailer. If I won it at that amount, I would have gotten a great deal. Winning it at a little more than 15k was unbelievable to my wife and me. I told her that the dealership is not going to be happy about this. They cannot have expected that the auction would end so low and they are probably going to kick themselves for not putting a reserve. We also agreed that when I talked to them the next day, if they sing the blues and tell us it was a mistake, we would negotiate with them. Our reasoning was that we were still willing to give the $22,500 for the trailer. (maybe a little better) I told my wife before we went to bed that night, to not get her hopes up. In my opinion, at that time, there was no way any dealership would sell 15k below price, and if they really made an honest mistake in the listing, we would just have to keep looking.

    Then came the infamous Killer Bee e-mail. What? Are you kidding me? No one even talked to me in person? Can they really think that I am that dumb? I obviously didn’t buy the story. But I will tell you this, I could appreciate the desperation that they must be experiencing if they think that I would. I decided to send the e-mail stating that I would take it anyway. My goal was actually to get someone to speak to me on the phone. I didn’t think for a moment that they would instantly agree to hold up their end of the deal, but until they start talking to me in an open and transparent manner, they would never have the opportunity to realize that I am a reasonable man. Even after the Killer Bee’s I was still willing to try and work out a compromise with them. However, I was not as willing to walk away from the deal any longer. I felt insulted. I didn’t think it could get much worse…

    Then came the Saturday phone call from Jim and Angelita. I didn’t even have a chance to get a word in edgewise. Somewhere between telling me that we have no contract, the trailer was already gone and calling me a swindler and hanging up on me, I came to a realization. I was not going to be able to have an adult conversation with these people. And I will be honest here, I was VERY mad at how I was treated. It was at that point that I became resolved to see the deal through as agreed through the auction. Attorneys, court, whatever it took.

    I decided to post the story on forums to get some advice. I also decided to submit the story to some attorney’s for advice. Because of the success of the internet, I never ended up hiring an attorney. But with the exception of the first attorney, who was from Idaho, every other attorney that heard the circumstances wanted the case. Two in Arizona and even a different one in Idaho wanted the case. (It turns out that Idaho has a long-arm statute that allows jurisdiction to be set in Idaho if either party to a contract lives in Idaho). One attorney I talked to about fees was so confident in the case that he was willing to take it on contingency. He called me back every day to see if I wanted to hire him until I was finally able to tell him that James Nelson agreed to honor the deal.
    After the KVOA news story broke and James agreed to honor the deal, I had to lay low. I didn’t want anything to change. I was contacted by a Tucson area newspaper reporter, but I didn’t call back. I was contacted by a Tucson area Fox affiliate reporter as well, but again, I did not give an interview. I did not see any reason to tell my story again after Nelson RV had agreed to honor the deal.

    To me this story has a moral; maybe more than one. Honesty would have resulted in more money to the dealership or possibly even a mutual agreement to cancel the contract. Mistreating a customer, even if you believe them to be in the wrong, is never good for business. Evidently, being honest and respectful to your customers is a good idea. Who knew?

    Both Nelson RV and I stirred up a bees nest. Theirs was and ACTUAL bees nest, mine was thousands of good people who could empathize with my bad consumer experience. I think the one I stirred was more effective. Once again, thank you to all of you.

  354. shorebird says:

    Pat you mention that, “theirs was an actual bees nest”, so does that mean there were bees in the trailer? Also $22,500 would have been a good deal for the trailer. I hope that Jim & Angelita read your latest post and see just what being a***oles cost them. You were RIGHT in this matter. And you handled it quite well. I can only hope that I should be as controlled in such a situation. Thank you for the epilogue post. May you have many pleasant journeys in your new RV.

  355. shefarted says:

    Thanks for the update. I found myself wondering what came of this as I passed a simliar trailer on the highway this morning. Glad to hear it worked out, and glad to hear that in the end they managed to maintain some integrity. What a great story.

  356. Baires says:

    I wish you had asked the guy whose idea the killer bees story was, but it would have been seen as gloating, which is not what you were going for. If he reads this, knowing how they did the right thing in the end, it would be interesting for him to share some inside info on how the plan was hatched, why it seemed a good idea at the time, etc.

  357. fisherstudios says:

    Can we get an update on this case? I would like to know if this matter has been resolved.