This happens over and over in this dvd recorder forum, and I'm at a loss to understand why when there is enough warning information available to prevent such mistakes.
Once again, a member who has been with AVS for a few years and presumably has seen the many threads covering certain recorder models being way WAY more likely to have design flaws that make them a very bad bet second hand, insists on buying one on eBay anyway, overpaying as well.
I think its the element of "Well, I bought two previously and they never gave ME a problem, so the 9000 people posting here to complain about these particular units must be morons and wrong, so I'm just gonna head on over to eBay and buy a third one, used, for about the same money I paid for my brand new ones. I'm sure that will work out in my favor (because I'm lucky with this model)..."
Yet it worked out the way it almost always does: oops. You now have two choices, JamesGarfield:
1. If you're hellbent that you MUST have only EZ48v recorders, send this dead horse you bought to AVS member mickinct above. He can fix it for you, but it will cost a significant amount of $ to ship back and forth + parts/repair fee. (Panasonic service centers won't touch it for less than $300, if at all.)
2. Pack it up and return it to the seller immediately. eBay is now a buyers paradise and a sellers nightmare: no matter what the seller return policy reads in the listing, it is over-ridden by eBay general policy which now essentially forces sellers to take returns and give refunds for any reason whatsoever. A recorder sold as working that arrives defective is a slam-dunk for a refund. Make a polite return request to the seller, and if they refuse go to eBays dispute center and file for a refund. You'll get back every penny including shipping both ways.
Personally, I'd return it for refund: you're already in the hole for $184 and having mckinct repair it will likely run another $75-150 between shipping, parts cost and repair fee. The EZ48v is and always was one of Panasonic's worst-designed models: the consensus of owners here and elsewhere is that it isn't worth repairing (the excellent EH series is a different story). For the $250 you'd blow on this used EZ48v, you could buy a brand new Magnavox MDR533 as Kelson suggested.
The Magnavox has its own issues, as all recorders do, but its hard drive recording feature trumps the EZ48v by miles. Having unlimited recording capacity without reliance on RW discs for everything makes a huge difference in convenient timeshift watch-once-then-erase use. And the Magnavox disc burner is as close to bulletproof as we'll ever see in a DVD recorder (the Magnavox could catch fire and explode, but its burner would still work).
Messing around with repairs for our beloved favorite models of DVD recorder is no longer viable. Spare parts are gone or priced in the stratosphere, and mfr's service has evaporated. Unless you're the very rare exception with a stockpile of spare parts and great skill in DIY electronics repair- give it up. DVD recorders tanked in North America. You can count the number of current, new models on one hand and have three fingers left to hoist a beer with. For better and worse, today its the Magnavox MDR533 or forget it.
eBay is a good source for older recorders IF you are well versed in how to repair them, can get the parts cheap, and you don't get caught up in auction fever and overpay. Otherwise stick to local Craigs List where you can at least try before you buy, and don't pay more than $75. Better yet, go for the Magnavox. Or a TiVO. Or a PC-based PVR.