Ever since I placed that very first "LOGAN'S RUN ORIGINAL JAPANESE MOVIE POSTER ***MINT***" for sale on eBay two and a half years ago, I've prided myself on being the best seller I can possibly be. I always reply promptly to e-mail inquiries. I include sharp, clear pics with item descriptions but limit their size to 50 KB for quick page downloads. I never fail to contact the high bidder within the required three days. In fact, I usually do so within hours of the end of an auction.

And for my two and a half years of dedicated eBay salesmanship, I have been duly rewarded with a perfect feedback rating. That's right: 211 positive comments with not so much as a single neutral. To preserve that perfect record, I've consistently gone the extra mile, purchasing bubble wrap when another seller would make do with balled-up newspaper, making special trips to the post office to get packages in the mail before 5 p.m., and attaching cheerful Post-It notes to sold items with messages like, "Hope you enjoy the Rutles CD!"

If you don't believe me, just look at my profile feedback. In it, buyer after satisfied buyer heaps accolades upon me: "Praise: Great transaction! Friendly Emails." "Praise: TAHNKYOU." "Praise: Great Auction!!!" "Praise: Great packaging job! GOOD SELLER." "Praise: Definitely reccomended. A++++!" "Praise: Arived lightening fast!!"

The testimonials to my professionalism are overwhelming. Baldeagle1965 (41), high bidder for Item #513921485 "SPUMCO JOHN K. ORIGINAL ANIMATION CEL–NO RESERVE!", said I am "a pleasure to do business with!" Kewlgal (25) was so happy with her Iron Giant collectible bank that she said, "Excellent Mdse at an excellent price!!!" As you can see, I earned that turquoise star icon next to my name. Yes, my rating, like my reputation within the eBay community, was flawless.

Until Monday, that is.

For me, Dec. 18, 2000, will forever be known as Black Monday, the day I received a stinging slap to the face in the form of a negative feedback comment. Bananaman (37), how could you?

When I placed Item #538328761 "SUPERSTAR–RARE TODD HAYNES FILM–VHS" up for bid, I did so expecting that whoever was named the High Bidder at 12:44:54 PST would recognize and praise my top-notch service, just as 211 previous auction winners did. But, to my shock and dismay, Bananaman (37) blindsided me with the negative feedback comment, "Bad picture quality. Came too slow."

Though you do not deserve it, Bananaman (37), I will now deign to respond to your groundless complaints. As for the charge, "Came too slow," I am flabbergasted. I explicitly informed you that should you choose to pay with a personal check instead of a money order, I would have to hold that check up to 10 days until it cleared. It was your choice to do so. As for any additional delays, it appears I must point out the obvious fact that UPS is greatly overtaxed this time of year.

As for the statement, "Bad picture quality," I scarcely know how to respond. I invite you to re-examine the item description: "Film by director of Safe and Velvet Goldmine. Story of life and death of Karen Carpenter, as told with dolls. VHS. Good transfer. Super-rare. A must-have for any film buff!"

As you see, I stated that the tape was a "good transfer," and I stand firm on this assertion. I did not say it was an "excellent transfer" or a "perfect transfer." I promised a "good transfer," and I delivered.

I cannot help but direct you to the bid history, which shows that no less than seven other bidders were interested in this item. No doubt, any of them would have cherished it, not to mention been better equipped to judge the picture quality. Do you even realize what it is you now have in your possession? Superstar, Haynes' 43-minute 1987 film debut, the story of Carpenter's battle with anorexia as told with Barbie dolls, was never released because the Carpenter estate refused to grant music rights. Perhaps I should have added in the item description that the film is a "CULT CLASSIC" and "NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND."

Bananaman (37), do you think I even need the $32.50, plus $4.50 for shipping, that I received from you for this film? I am making copies of Superstar and selling them as a service to film connoisseurs everywhere who otherwise might not have access to this little-seen, underground masterwork.

Here is my question to you, Bananaman (37): If you were dissatisfied, why didn't you contact me and give me the chance to make amends before going public with your dissatisfaction, besmirching my good eBay name? After all, that is the procedure suggested on the eBay user help page titled "The Feedback Forum: One Of Your Most Valuable Tools."

Had I known you were dissatisfied, I would have happily refunded your money, no questions asked. I could have rushed you reimbursement the same day via PayPal. But for some reason, you chose to remain unapproachable in your fortress on high in "Location: Waterville, MD," stabbing me in the back without even giving me a chance to redress your grievance, unfounded as it may have been.

No, instead you chose to soil my reputation with a negative feedback comment. It is a scarlet letter I must carry for a full six months, visible for all the world to see on my eBay ID card. I could strike back with a negative comment on your profile, but I refuse to stoop to your level, Bananaman (37). Let me just say that we will not be doing business again.