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Ebay: In a dark place
Member Name: MGEEK
Advantages: still bargains to be had
Disadvantages: too many biased rules
To briefly sketch out the basics- Ebay is an auction site. You register to buy and sell, put photos and a description of your item on the site, wait for the bids to roll in- Ebay make their money from a cut of your final selling fee.
This stuff aside, over the past year or so, there has been a lot of change on Ebay which has caused many customers to question it's continuing validity.
Where the original purpose of the site was to encourage mutual trust and make a fair trading site for all, this has become increasingly biased in favour of the buyer, whilst fee's have continued to rise, making it less and less attractive for the former core users of Ebay- people clearing their houses of clutter.
The most recent change is the alteration of the feedback system, so now only buyers are allowed to leave negative feedback. Previously, at the end of each transaction, the buyer and seller both had the opportunity to rate their trading partner 'positive, neutral or negative'. Whilst it's hard for some people to shake the idea of 'customer is always right', Ebay was never about shop and customer- it was about mutual trust. Therefore if a buyer bid on an item with no intention of paying, they would receive a negative rating, other sellers would see this, and ban such flakes from bidding on their items.
Not any more- now it would be quite possible for someone to bid on an item, refuse to pay, and then leave a negative feedback for the seller, who then has to go to an extraordinary amount of effort to have it removed, and nine times out of ten, it ends up remaining, however unjust.
It has also become very possible for buyers to claim partial refunds on threat of negative feedback. The whole system of trust has been totally shattered.
Ebay's continuing association with it's evil offspring, Payal is another major cause for concern. I believe it is now compulsary for Paypal to be accepted as a method for paying for any auction. Firstly, unlike every other money transferral system, they take a percentage from the receiver of the money. 3.4%. Secondly, in the case of a lost package, Paypal will ALWAYS side with the buyer, unless there is proof of postage- so any seller accepting paypal is basically forced to pay for proof of postage.
On the surface, this sounds harsh, but vaguely fair- however Ebay has now introduced a 'maximum packaging charge'...
All of the above complications, plus a total inability of Ebay to supply any kind of customer sevices, amounts to a massive organisation, making huge amounts of money for basically annoying more than half it's customers
I truly hope some worthy alternatives crop up soon...
Summary: tread carefully, don't bother selling