So I've bought quite a few things off ebay. Sold a few as well. My experience has been solid until tonight.
I picked up an item (cycling part) from the post office, got it home and opened it to find that the item I receieved, while brand new...was not the item pictured in the auction. It was very close to what was in the auction photo, but NOT the item in the photo. I contacted the seller, and to their credit they did offer to refund my money if I sent it back, but said "the item in the auction picture is what I sent you." It clearly is not. This is a slightly older version of the same part. It's new/old stock basically as far as I can tell. I explained the differences and why this clearly was not the same part, but the seller says it's the same one. It's not.
Here's the thing...I still got a good deal on the item. Although I'll now have to shop for the correct item, I've decided it's less hassle just to leave a routine sounding positive feedback and be done with the transaction. But what is pictured in the auction is what a seller should be sending the buyer. Not "something that's really close." Just kinda' sad to have this happen after so many good experiences. But I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.