Pat contacted me in response to a WTB ad I posted on the for sale forum. The E500s were obviously bought by another user, which is the main reason why I started this thread. I am generally quite careful about who I buy from online, but I am willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Pat had established a presence on the site, and was initially very helpful by e-mail and PM. I mistakenly read her join date as 2005, so I didn't give it any thought until I checked again after having trouble with her.
After I sent her the payment, she got in touch with me to let me know that the cable on the Grados was scuffed deeply from the edge of her desk, and offered to either refund my payment or refund a portion of it as compensation. I elected to wait until she could provide a photo of the damage. This was over labour day and the start of lectures, so delays were not unexpected. On September 5, she told me she'd finally managed to borrow a camera, but when she went to take the photo, she noticed it was actually the extension cable that was scuffed, not the headphone cable itself. She finally accepted my PayPal payment at this point, and told me she would send the headphones shortly.
On September 7, she told me she'd sent the headphones by Purolator, upgraded to air because of the delay. The tracking number she provided did not work, and was obviously not a real tracking number. On September 9 she told me she was taking up the matter with Purolator, and would get back to me right away. I did not hear from her right away, of course. On September 11, I sent her a PM. On September 12, I sent her a PM. Finally, on Septemebr 13 I sent her both a PM and e-mail threatening to open a dispute with PayPal, which finally elicited a reply from her.
She told me she'd had some problems with Purolator, but she was re-shipping the headphones by Canada Post. At this point I was quite suspicious, but still prepared to deal with her. I immediately asked for a tracking number, and we exchanged several e-mails on September 14, culimating in her promising a tracking number by 4:30PM. "If not, go ahead and file a complaint, but I'm 99% sure I'll get it to you then." No tracking number arrived, and I have not heard from her since then. I know she has been online on head-fi, and I can see her online on gmail regularly. In fact, she is online right now, but not replying by e-mail or chat. She also hasn't replied to the PayPal dispute, which I've escalated.
Unfortunately I did not bother to get any contact information from her. I am concerned that she may have sold items to other head-fi users beyond the Shures she definitely sold. Hopefully someone else was more vigilant and actually requested a phone number or address.
As I paid by credit card, I am not too concerned, but it looks like my PayPal account is probably ****ed if she has withdrawn the money already and I have to do a chargeback with Visa.