“ www.ebay.co.uk „
When scouting around the discussions area of Dooyoo, the title of this thread caught my eye; am I disillusioned with eBay?
The reason for it catching my eye? Because I am! Massively, wholeheartedly, thoroughly disgusted with them. So if you will excuse my forthcoming rant, I'd love to tell you why.
***MY EBAY HISTORY***
I've been using ebay for years. My current account with them has been a part of my life for maybe five years now, and I had one previously associated with another email address.
Now, in theory, eBay is great. You can shift stuff you don't want or use, buy stuff at a less than full whack rate, and do so all from your own home. I'll be the first to admit that eBay has been massively helpful as an emergency income source for me during bad times in the past, although looking back now for reasons I will elaborate upon further, I feel that I have been shortchanged in having to sell things dear to me due to the website's fees.
For the uninitiated, eBay is an online auction site, by far and away the most well-known and often used in modern culture. It was a revolutionary business model when it was devised, although right now I am fervently hoping it "does a Myspace" and inspires the tweaked business model of a rival that topples it's majority standing once and for all!
In short, you list things you want to sell, or bid on things you want to buy. There have been amusing incidents of people trying to make the most of this mechanism such as a recent athlete who advertised himself for sponsorship to get to the 2012 Olympics, girls trying to fund degrees by selling their virginity, someone trying to get an extra fiver for his Sat Nav by pretending it was his ex-wife's and he found out she was cheating on him when it tried to send him to her lover's home, only to find himself with about 30 Facebook fan groups and several jokers trying to bid £1,000,000 for it.
The site is funded - very well, I imagine - because it charges initial listing fees (you can wrack these up quite easily if you want to sell a high-end product and feel the need to put up multiple photos) unless you select a bog-standard listing mechanism and start your auction at less than £1 and don't put a reserve on it. But you'll still get charged a percentage of your final sale value as commission, like a normal auction house.
***SO WHY DISILLUSIONED?***
Right. First of all, let me tell you how I sell on eBay.
I do not see that my sale price should be compromised by shelling out for packaging and I believe that postage costs on eBay are both a)highly visible before anyone bids and b)not unreasonable if you factor in the fact that you don't only have to pay to post your item but pack it, and transport it to a point of postage dispatch. This adds up and both time and fuel are valuable commodities. The postage costs of listings on eBay are clearly visible on your listings and yet in recent years the site has introduced a '5 star rating' system on aspects of your selling history, one being an opportunity for people to rate how much value they think your postage charges represent.
Now, let me underline this; I have 100% feedback and many, many of those from people who have bought items from me have highlighted how much they appreciate my painstakingly clear listing details - and this references hundreds of transactions. However...
...using this 5 star system I don't see why it is fair that a couple of people taking retrospective offense at postage charges they agreed to pay means that, even though my rating in this respect is still extremely high, I suddenly start to get continually harassed by emails from eBay - the website that demands both listing and commission fees from me as a non-professional vendor - regarding my listing qualities. More on this when I've made one more point...
***ONE BAD APPLE AND THE WHOLE BATCH GOES...***
About six months ago I had three nasty experiences with buyers via eBay. Two were regarding a mountain bike that I was selling - this was worth over £200, so eBay's disgustingly high 10% commission meant I could have been down £40 in commission fees via timewasters had I not found a poorly-advertised way to contact eBay by phone to raise a complaint against the non-payers.
Here is another problem I have with eBay. For some reason I had a flurry of non-payers all of a sudden, and raised my claims accordingly to have these issues stripped. One, the one that caused me to get in touch with eBay personally, requested I stop my action, duly phoned me, promised to pick up and pay and ... promptly went silent. But the action to report a non-payer had been halted out of good faith, leaving me with a bike, no buyer and out of pocket on fees. There was no clear guidelines on this nor an easily findable link to their in-person customer services, which is very poor.
Another person never delivered payment on the same bike. I've made a point of checking back and although my non-payment dispute was settled and my commission fees waived, I've noticed that the person in question STILL has an eBay account - with no notice or warning for future vendors that this person not only bid on something that they didn't intend to pay for, but also refused to answer any communication and had to be put through their complaints system. So no warning for future transactions whatsoever - disgraceful!
And the real reason the above situation riles me so much? Because, as a vendor who has sold many, many items through eBay, meaning they have probably made well into the hundreds of pounds from myself as a loyal returning customer, is that my third unsavoury encounter with another eBayer went like this...
...someone bought some shoes from me. They were listed as "this is how I bought them", I got them for £5 in a sale from New Look, who do not box their shoes. I sent them and promptly got a ludicrously rude message from someone who continued to accuse me of lying and also of having worn the shoes repeatedly - quite funny when they still had all the labels on! She even fabricated some clearly false story about a "shoe technician" who apparently gave her a conspiratorial wink and said that if those shoes hadn't been worn (which they had not!) then he was Shakespeare. Quite a good relationship with her "technician", clearly, and a lot of trouble to supposedly go to for a 99p pair of shoes. I offered her the 99p back but said I didn't feel that she was entitled to the postage refund as I clearly stated no returns and, as I said above, most of my feedback highlights my extreme honesty in my listings. What did I have to gain in misleading this person?
It all became a bit clearer when this despicable, rude, untruthful individual opened an action against me via eBay and put the comment "eBay must stop letting sellers hide behind no returns statements...". So clearly, this brat had past bad experiences and was taking it out against me. In the end I got so sick of her unthinkable attitude problem that I refunded the money and told her that if she had any decency she would send the shoes back - she has not.
So my point in all this? Let's see...
***MY REASON FOR DISLIKING EBAY***
A few months after that altercation I started getting messages from eBay by email. With 100% positive feedback, the site having earned hundreds from me, and consistently strong 5-star review ratings, what did eBay feel fit to tell me?
That I was not up to their standard. That I would not be able to take advantage of any of their free listing events until I "improved" by listing detail quality and postage costs, and that I would be under review until I did so.
I was fuming, disgusted and humiliated. If the email hadn't come from a no-reply address, they'd have had both barrels. As it is I stopped using eBay on principle.
The result? I still get these emails. So one blatant liar and a few people who should read their orders more closely mean that a loyal and regular user of the service gets treated like a con artist. Am I disillusioned? Yes! Funny, that.
At the end of the day this business model is providing a service that I as a vendor am paying for. I now feel insulted, poorly treated and as if I am accused of being a liar - something that is as far from my character as is possible. It's disgraceful and disgusting.
Let me just sum up what I have come to hate about this website, and why I hope they are toppled by a competitor very soon:
***WHY I FELL OUT OF LOVE WITH EBAY***
*Sellers are treated like second-class citizens, yet pay both listing and commission fees - if disputes with sporadic internet "nutters" occur with their most consistent, reliable customers, the buyer seems to be automatically treated like a minor deity - presumably because this means they can be put through an automated complaints system that doesn't cost much to run. I'm tempted to find a really high-end designer item, bid on it, pay for it and then receive it from a 100%-rated seller only to tell them that they are lying and their product is damaged, faked tatt and see how long it takes before I get a full refund and still keep the item, because it seems to me that some people could easily get away with this on eBay.
*Disputes apparently have no customer service support and if you really, really need it, you have to really, really look for it!
*A few bad apples can ruin your whole experience
*The fees (10% commission AND listing fees? Come off it!) are extortionate, particularly given the seller protection that is clearly NOT offered as per the above review
*Loyal customer? Expect a bit of backup? Forget it. You're more likely to get pounced on to be told that you're absolute scum and the lowest of the listing low if it means they can stop you using free listing events - so they can screw even more money out of you.
***WOULD I RECOMMEND EBAY?***
If you want to make a buck from the comfort of your home, then it's hard to avoid the act that eBay has a market dominance few can rival. There are other companies out there based on a similar model and one day I hope that enough people turn away from this mercenary behemoth so that it crashes and burns under the weight of its own exploitative success. But no, for all I know that people will use this in their droves for years to come, and unfortunately if desperate for money I may be one of them, I will not recommend this site and its use will feel enforced, bitter and resented.
I've been using ebay for years, more than 5, but I'm not sure how long.
You used to be able to get good second hand goods at a fair price. Now most of the time it's cheaper on Amazon brand new.
As a buyer, you have to be prepared to wait for delivery from China, it's cheap and does get here eventually. It seems fairly secure, any problems I've had are usually solved with a couple of emails, and if you pay through paypal, they will refund if item doesn't turn up. You should always check the feedback, especially as some negatives and neutrals are nonsense.
ie: Negative - Nice item turned up quickly! (Why the negative then)
As a seller, you have no protection.
Years ago I sold my sons Playmobil, the castle went for around £80.00, everything went well, I sent it registered post with no problems, and felt completely confident whilst doing it.
Nowadays, certain items have a limit on postage, which isn't enough to cover, it is important to send everything signed for, as proof of postage does not cover you for anything.
The Feedback system is terrible. I have 100% feedback, however, I feel as though I risk my account whenever I sell an item. See example above.
Buyers are allowed to give you feedback, sellers have no comeback whatsoever. Three negatives and you are closed. I don't sell enough to worry about this, but feel that anyone selling a lot of stuff can end up closed down, possibly by a competitor. (How fair is that!)
I saw a negative for some Watermelon seeds, because they hadn't germinated yet. The sellers response was that they hadn't been with the buyer long enough to germinate, it takes at least 30 days, (which was stated on the description!) Two more like that and they'll be closed down, (I think you can contest them, but have been told it isn't easy to get one removed, even if it doesn't make sense).
Also, years ago the default setting was time ending soonest, however, nowadays it's best match.
As a buyer, you can spend ages going through pages of irrelevant items, even though they are supposed to be Best Match, more like last thing you ever wanted!
As a seller you'll be lucky to ever get on the first page. Recently a friend selling a Medieval Dress, checked an hour before ending and was still on the ninth page! (Who bothers to go on that far!) With loads of fancy dress outfits, like nurses and pirate patches etc. in front of her.
If you are lucky an old member might change the setting to time ending soonest, or cheapest first, newer members probably never get that far!
I think ebay has gone downhill for the second hand seller of goods, but it is still good if you want to send your money straight to China. I can't see how that will help our economy at all.
I wish there was a decent alternative, that people actually used.
I have dealt with ebay more then 3 years now and it is completely changed. i used ebay as a seller and as a buyer.
ebay is becoming a place where you can not trust . up to yesterday i was selling 1000 items in a month , with 100 %feedback. today they put me below standartd and my sales is now 50 a day ..
not only that you cant trust some of ebay buyers as they tend to lie saying they did not receive the item , or threat you saying " just letting you know before i leave feedback" if you dont do what they want you had it..
you cant trust ebay to do bussieness as you wake up next day and they killed your bussiness.
they have robot like people giving you box standard answers. and i do not understand ebay buyers. why would you buy from ebay instead you can buy cheaper from the sellers own web site.
All online Buyers - Ebay and Amazon charges every seller around 15% on commision so try the sellers own web page a you can get a deal up to 15 % cheaper.
I joined eBay about four years ago but until the last few months I had only sold a handful of items. Their complicated fee system had always put me off. However, every now and again I get an email from them inviting me to participate in special one day promotions whereby you can list auction items for free no matter what the initial auction price (you usually have to pay an insertion fee for items with an auction starting price of higher than 99p). I decided to take advantage of one of these offers in June. It gave me the opportunity to list a few more expensive items and kind of test the market to see if there was actually any demand for them out there. Although I didn't sell any of these expensive items, once again I got the eBay bug and subsequent to the special offer, started to list a lot of smaller items in the normal 99p auctions. I managed to sell quite a few things that were definitely on the way to the dustbin or the recycling dump, but through this recent eBay experience I've come to understand why so many sellers are becoming sick of the site and wishing there was an alternative auction website.
EBay clearly dominates the online auction market. This does have some advantages for sellers as it is generally the first place people go to search for bargains and take part in auctions. I have tried eBid but there's still very little action there in my experience. I've also sold the odd item on Gumtree but they use a very cumbersome selling system and it's very difficult to get noticed unless you pay a very large sum which makes selling low value items non-viable. Ebay therefore continues to be the only viable option for many people.
The worst thing about eBay for sellers is that they force you to offer PayPal as a method of payment. This allows them to effectively charge you twice for selling the same item. If you sell something on eBay you not only have to cover the 10% final fee cut (plus any insertion and add on fees), you also have to take into account the charges incurred through using PayPal. If you receive your payment via PayPal they not only will they charge you 20p per transaction (this is a lot if you're only selling low value items), but they also take a further 3.4% out of the item's final value as well as 3.4% of the postage costs you're charging the buyer. I'm pretty certain that there must be a lot of casual sellers on eBay who don't realise they're probably not making any money at all on the items they sell because of the stealth-like nature of the fee system both on eBay and PayPal.
Of course if you're an established business with a turnover of over £1500 a month, then the percentages you get charged will go down, but if you're a small trader just starting off you get hammered. At one time I had considered having a shop on eBay, but when they more than doubled the price from £6 per month to £15 a month that idea went out the window.
Another problem with PayPal (and therefore eBay) is that they tend to favour the buyer. I recently had a payment reversed due to a buyers credit card running out. It was all innocent stuff and I had a good communication and understanding with the buyer throughout. However, trying to communicate with PayPal was another matter. The buyer had received the item and was happy with it and was willing to pay, but trying to get the message across to PayPal seemed an impossible task. I experienced their dreadful automated telephone system before eventually getting through to a female human being in the Philippines (I asked where she was from). The only way I could resolve the matter was to send them a fax of my certificate of posting... yes, a fax... what decade are they living in? The 1980s? This whole experience didn't cause me much stress as the item I sold was of little value but I could imagine the headache this would cause someone selling a very expensive product.
A further major gripe for sellers is that you have to put up with trivial negative comments from buyers but as a seller you can no longer leave negative or neutral feedback about a buyer - for example, someone who bids and refuses to pay, or delays payment. This simply does not make sense and is bound to continue to upet many sellers using the site - it takes two to tango and eBay needs sellers as much as buyers. Both should be treated with the same respect.
And one final irritating thing that I've discovered this last month is eBay's relatively new policy of forcing sellers to offer free postage. On certain items you have no choice but to put a zero in the postage box when listing your item. At present I've managed to get round this by clearly stating in the item description that I will charge postage no matter what. Most buyers are understanding but it is a little confusing and it does give another opportunity for some narky sod to use it as an excuse and leave you negative feedback about the postage costs. It seems that eBay doesn't seem to like it if sellers charge more for postage than the actual costs of the stamps. They don't seem to realise that the postage charge is made not only for the stamp, but also to cover the cost of the packaging, the time, care and attention of wrapping the item, the walk to the post office in the pouring rain and the experience of getting bullied by old ladies whilst waiting in the queue at the post office.
I long for another auction site that is truly aimed at the small business seller and those individuals who just want to the opportunity to off load their unwanted possessions and make a few extra bucks now and again.
In the early days of ebay I was a huge fan. I made a lot of money thanks to there only being a small amount of sellers and 10 times as many buyers. You could pretty well sell anything, and you would get good money. I personally used to buy a number of items from stores offline and sell at a great profit online. Buyers seemed to be a addicted to ebay and were buying as if items were going out of fashion. For many it was a novelty. During this time most people paid by cheques or sent cash and I was delighted when the postman came along. Other ways was by paying through your credit card through a company called paypal.
Then ebay, in my opinion became greedy. They bought paypal so that they could get their commision on all the sales. This was on top of listing fees and final value fees. They they had extra fees to pay for shops. Then they charged extra fees for more than one image.
What has really started to annoy a lot of people recently is that they are now offering different fee levels on the amount of business you put through ebay. This generally means that the powersellers have a distinct advantage over the smaller sellers or individuals. This on top of the fact there is a recession out there and that many more sellers are competing against each other. They are also insisting that certain products must accept paypal only therefore guaranteeing them more cash. They also want people to offer free postage in some categories, and they get a cut of this too.
Sadly ebay have a monopoly out there. Many others have tried but failed in their conquest to defeat ebay. Hopefully one day google or somebody with their same strength will take on ebay.
When Ebay first began i used to enjoy getting a bargain from there as there were a lot of people selling on things they had no use for and the best time for this used to be after christmas when everyone was selling there unwanted presents on there at realy good prices.
Over the last few years not only have i noticed that the price of items are going up but also the postage costs aswell as ebay being able to change the rules willy nilly to suit them rather than the purchaser.
Bafore christmas last year i was looking to pick up some last minute stocking filers for my daughters so thought i would check out Ebay, i was looking for dora the explorer in particular for my youngest daughter who is dora mad, i noticed a lot of items on there that were being sold in the pound stores for £1 being sold for £2.99 plus postage, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that if it is on ebay it is a good deal but they are not always correct so it does pay to look around.
Only last week i was looking on ebay for a phone in particular, my nan wants the same mobile as me and i saw one listed on ebay for £2 which obviously was a bargain, i added it to my watched list to see how it did as there were 4 days left to go and and i was the first to bid on the item at £2.20, i put a highest bid on it of £10 only to find when i checked back later the seller had taken the item off and relisted it in a auction for 24 hours starting at £12, i didnt even know that you were allowed to remove an item like this from the auction once it had started, i emailed the seller to enquire about it and was told by her that she had had a private offer of £12 so upped the price on ebay too. I realy dont think this is fair once it is listed it shouldnt be able to be changed to suit the seller like this.
I am under no disilusions with ebay, they are out for what they can make from the sellers only and do not care about the purchasers at all.
Ebay has become a massive household name over the last 5-10 years, I was first introduced to ebay when i moved house and a neighbour recommended i sell my kitchen and sofa, basically stuff i didn't need to take but needed to be removed so the new buyer had an empty canvas.
I thought she was crazy but people actually paid and came to collect my junk,that i could not be bother to remove myself.
This is where my addiction started, but over the past few years i have been less likely to buy of sell on ebay as ebay themselves have become very greedy in taking the fees when you sell items and this has forced sellers to up there fees making many less likely to purchase from them at all.
A few years ago ebay got hit hard when they were sued by huge firms like Tiffany & Co, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Ebay refused to stop the sale of fake items as they were getting swamped by chinese sellers selling the stuff and there turnover rocketed.
This was there down fall in my opinion as buyers were paying for genuine items, but receiving knock off goods and not having a leg to stand on as sellers refused to refund the money and paypal was not helping as buyers actually got the items.
I bought a gucci necklace as authentic from a seller who swore blind it was geniune, when i received it i contacted the seller who didnotwant to know paypal only issued me with a 50% refund after waiting 30days as the seller had not responded to them.
I had a piece of silver tat that probably cost less then 50p to make and it cost me 62.00 but in total without my refund this would have cost 130.00 with the postage cost, so this seller was laughing all of the way to the bank.
I was annoyed as both Ebay and paypal held no responsability, even though they promise to look after buyers. I personalyl think they are looking after their sellers so they can keep robbing them of selling fees.
In the early years I would have recommended ebay to anyone who would listen, but now i recommend they shop else where as this is a site that will not look after its users.
Sellers are getting hit with excessive seller fees and more recently ebay have put a limit on postage cost, now they expect sellers to sent DVD for free. Which is crazy the only way sellers will hake money is by starting them at what it would cost to post them, therefore lining Ebays pockets with extra fees.
Even the buyers will stop buying now as it will cost them more, lets face it to send a DVD recorded postage will cost 1.80 and the seller will not sell it for nothing so you are looking at 2.00 on top of that at least making the DVD 3.80 at least, you will get them cheaper at Asda. The sellers will then lose 10% of this on paypal and ebay fees making it not worth their while.
So I cannot see ebay surviving much longer as people are struggling for cash and they will not chuck it away when they are paying over the odds.
Ebay need to stop being so greedy and backing sellers into a corner, where they cant possibly compete.
I've been buying and selling on Ebay for quite some years now, and yes, I am thoroughly disillusioned with them. And I'll tell you why.....
Originally, I was actually able to make a reasonable amount of money back, mainly on games, books etc that I had bought and that were now finished with. Nowadays, it's proving extremely difficult to make a reasonable amount of money back. For example, I sell a book for 99p with a postage charge of £1.94. It has cost me 10p to list the book, a final value fee of 9p and a Paypal fee of 30p. So of the 99p I receive for my book, 49p is taken by Ebay - that's virtually 50%..........................
Ebay took over Paypal and have virtually forced those of us who sell regularly to offer Paypal as a payment option. Fine but it is actually only sellers who incur Paypal fees - the buyer incurs no charges for using either Ebay or Paypal. Additionally, Paypal offer buyer protection - in reality, this means that a buyer can make any sort of claim to Paypal (item hasn't arrived, item broken, not as described etc) and Paypal will basically refund the payment and/or freeze the sellers account. The seller apparently has no rights under Paypal protection. Alternatively, the seller can report a buyer for non-payment for a winning item - but the time limits for this make it a real effort to reclaim a listing fee and final value fee.
Ebay have changed the feedback option so that only the buyer can leave negative feedback - feedback has always been used to commend good buyers/sellers and to highlight those less scrupulous buyers and sellers by leaving negative feedback. What this means is that a buyer can leave negative feedback even if they have not paid for an item and the seller has no real recourse to respond to this.............
The latest brainwave from Ebay now is that sellers now must offer free postage and packing (I understand from January 2009)for DVDs, CDs, Games etc - because most other retailers do!! So not only do you have to absorb the p&p costs (because according to long established Ebay rules and policies, p&p should NOT be added into the selling price) but you will also be paying Ebay/Paypal approx 50% of the selling price........
Just some of the reasons I am thoroughly disillusioned with Ebay
I first joined Ebay back in early 2000 and for the first couple of years I only used it to buy. I started selling later on and at first I enjoyed it - I found it flexible and an excellent way to sell old CDs and other items.
Back then I was able to accept payment from overseas buyers using either Paypal or Billpoint, postal order or cheque and if a buyer didn't pay I was able to warn other sellers by leaving negative feedback for them.
Also, there was competition then. Yahoo ran a fairly well visited auction site for example, but one by one they either fell by the wayside or Ebay swallowed them up.
In the near 9 years I have been an Ebay member however I have felt myself being squeezed almost every way by them and their ever changing rules.
First they bought Paypal. At the time I had been a Billpoint customer and was happy with the service Billpoint provided in receiving online payments. However as soon as Paypal became an Ebay company, they phased out Billpoint and then stopped the service. This meant everyone had to deal with Paypal, whether they liked it or not.
Then they insisted sellers had to offer buyers the option to purchase using Paypal. This, at one fell swoop, put off a lot of sellers who had been stung by Paypal in the past. Simply put, Paypal has a tendency to side with buyers rather than sellers if something goes wrong, something scammers haven't been slow to notice. Paypal also don't protect the seller if someone uses a stolen credit card so that's another section of sellers who might just not want to use Paypal.
There is also the issue of double charging the seller. The seller pays all listing fees and final valuation fees to Ebay. Then the seller pays Ebay again if the buyer pays by Paypal. Why should Ebay be allowed to double charge in this manner - particularly when they push Paypal on sellers the way they do.
The worst thing in my mind however is the fact sellers can no longer leave negative or neutral feedback for bad buyers. This idea is absolutely ridiculous and gives bad buyers and scammers a real advantage over sellers as far as I am concerned.
I fail to see how this rule protects anyone except the dishonest and while I appreciate that retaliatory feedback isn't particularly nice at least the playing field is level for buyers and sellers.
I have recently sold some items on Ebay and one person hasn't paid me, or communicated with me at all. In the past I could warn other sellers about this behaviour through the feedback system, but now this is impossible.
Ebay claim that its buyers who are their lifeblood but its actually sellers who are their bread and butter and yes, I do feel disillusioned that sellers get such an unfair deal there these days.
I am a business seller on ebay and thus I'm on there non stop.
I've become really frustrated with it over the past few months and would love to find an alternative.
Whilst i LOVE shopping on there and can't fault the amazing bargains you can buy on there I've had too many problems that I'm not able to do anything about.
When i was just selling my own unwanted things it was fantastic - it'd amazing what bits of junk youd usually just throw away can be worth money.
But since I've been selling more regularly I've encountered a few issues.
Ebay offers a lot of protection for buyers but not much for sellers. I understand that a seller is responsible for delivering an item to a buyer. So of course we should accept responsibility if an item gets lost in the post. But i think ebay could do FAR MORE to advise sellers of how to protect themselves.
For example, if a buyer pays through paypal you must be able to provide a tracking number if they start 'an item not received' dispute. So why does ebay allow you to sell items without telling you this? or even giving an option for sellers to make it compulsory that buyers pay for recorded delivery if paying by paypal. And the problem doesn't stop there - it is a little known fact thay royal mail DOES NOT offer compensation for recorded delivery items lost in te post. they are insured up to £36 but only if they are documents, passports etc. Ebay items are considered 'items of value' and are thus supposed to be sent by special delivery. I tried only offering special delivery for a few weeks but nobody would bid on my items, put off by the high postage. Meanwhile many dishonest buyers are aware of this system and are abusing it.
I am also getting fed up with the fees they charge. I end up paying around £200-£300 a month for the privlidge of using ebay. For this I could rent a shop, or at least share one with somebody. But ebay offers the advantage of thousands of customers all over the world.
If anyone knows of a suitable alternative to ebay i would love to hear about it. But for now i think the advantage of having so many customers outweighs all the disadvantages. And i think ebay knows that, which is a shame.
Having written about how much I love etsy earlier I've decided to write about the flip side of the coin... ebay.
A few years ago, back in spring 2005 I was a penniless student, so I turned to ebay to get rid of anything I could think of. I made a bracelet which I'd never have worn, so I put it on the site with my other bits. It sold for a ridiculous amount, and marked the start of my ebay mini business selling handmade jewellery.
Three months ago I closed my ebay store due to ebay's unrelenting fee increases and policy changes. I'm very much disillusioned, here's why:
It doesn't take a genius to realise that fee increases are never going to be welcomed by the public, but ebay have gone too far. Examples of this include increasing the fee for a basic shop from £6 per month to £15, and increasing a buy it now item listed in a shop from 3p listing fee plus 3p gallery fee (optional) to 20p, whilst simultaneously having a final value fee of 9.9%. What annoyed me most was the ordasity of ebay presenting these blatent increases as reductions to help the seller!
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. In the end fee increases are likely to be passed on to the buyer making it harder to find a bargain.
The new ebay search - find what you're looking for with a damn site more effort
From what I've read on forums concerning the issue of the new ebay search, I don't think I'm alone in my opinion. I don't like the way search results are displayed at all, and I don't agree with ebay filtering them so that those with star ratings below (I believe) 4.3 for the previous 30 days are at the bottom of the pile. These sellers have paid the same to list their items as everyone else, and should get equal exposure. This particularly concerns me as the star system which determines a sellers place in search results can be misleading for buyers (more about this later). I also don't like the way the new search seems to bring up things which are completely unrelated to what I'm looking for.
My other gripe about the search is that in some instances I just cannot find what I'm looking for. I did an experiement when the new search came in, I had found a listing for a wholesale quantity of antique brass chains through clicking on the link to view the sellers other items. I tried to find the same item using the new ebay search in a new window, but I failed. Even typing in every word in the listing did not cause the listing to appear. To me this just seems ridiculous. I only got about five results up for the search so it wasn't a case of me overlooking the item. I've also heard of other people with the same experience.
Detailed seller ratings (i.e. the star ratings)
I have to admit, I don't hate these completely. I find the postage speed one fairly useful, and will sometimes use it to help me decide who to make a purchase from. With others though, like the P&P charge one, I think it is pointless. It doesn't matter to me what other people think about their P&P costs, I know in advance what the buyer wants to charge me for an item to be posted and roughly how much it will cost to post. If I don't agree with this I don't have to buy it. Why would I care what other people think?
That is a relatively minor issue, what concerns me more is the way ebay use the star ratings to determine whether the seller is eligible for a fee discount and where they will be positioned in the search. Currently buyers can give a seller a star rating of between 1 and 5 on four different areas, where a score of 4 is very good and 5 is excellent. If I were a buyer who knew nothing of how the star ratings impact upon a seller I would consider 4 to be a good rating to give, after all, ebay claim 4 equates to very good service. However, if a seller has an average of 4 stars on any of the four areas he will be demoted in searches and not receive any fee discount. Surely someone who serves the public 'very well' should not be subjected to this? The message ebay seems to send out if that very good which would be termed....very good in the eyes of a normal person, just isn't good enough for ebay.
The P&P cost star can be a particular problem to a lot of sellers (especially small ones) as if postage costs slightly more than the cost on the stamp buyers will often give 4 stars or less without a thought that they are paying for postage & PACKING. Unfortunately for sellers jiffy bgs don't grow on trees...
Back in the spring ebay took away the right for sellers to leave neutral or negative feedback for buyers. Whilst it was claimed that this was to prevent retalitory feedback, buyers can now leave feedback which is a completely untrue and sellers have no power to protect themselves. Further, buyers can bid on but fail to pay for as many items as they like, whilst suffering no negative impact to their feedback. If this happens to a seller there is little they can do to warn other sellers that there is a high chance the 'buyer' won't pay for their purchase. This in turn leaves those who only buy with 100% positive feedback which is effectively meaningless.
Although it has been revoked recently, ebay also adopted a policy of calculating a members % positive feedback where a neutral was effectvely given the same value as a negative. There was an amount of debate about this, most people considered that a neutral should be just that, and not be calculated as anything, but some thought it should be included.
Bearing in mind that ebay users are already obligated to pay listing and final value fees, I think it is unfair that ebay have forced sellers to offer paypal for some listings. At 3.4% plus a 20p charge per transaction for all but high volume users, fees for selling on ebay where paypal is required are almost 15% for some lsitings. It's no surprise people are finding it harder to find bargains on ebay.
Where sellers listings were once visible on other ebay sites, including ebay.com, this choice was initially taken away, and then reinstated - with a fee, obviously.
All in all I used to love ebay, but it has grown too big for it's boots. Because it has a monopoly it is able to make these changes, sites like ebid are still too small to challenge this giant. Granted a few more sellers leave each time, but many believe that ebay wants smaller sellers gone anyway. I think it is a real shame that a site which was once fun has become what it has. Until there is a viable alternative to ebay I'm sticking with etsy.
omg yes ebay has seemed to turn into a very expensive auction to use. i used it once before many years ago and only recently have i decided to use it again.
What can a say to list something to sell is extortionate!!!!
i put a printer up and the listing price (for the very basic use of ebay) was £50 it seems absolutely rediculous, if it was for the second chance listings i definately wouldnt be using it, how did it ever get so expensive??
But thats not the only problem not only do you have to pay alot for a listing but if you just so happen to sell your product for the little bit of money it went for. you then have to pay paypal fees!
The only reason im using it is because i need to cash i mean i bought the equipment 6months ago and its not even selling for half price and then you must remember to add your fees!!!! lol newho thats my rant over with. : )
eBay used to be a great place to buy and a reasonable place to sell through.
Recently there have been issues though:
1) The fees have risen to an unacceptable level for sellers
2) Royal Mail have put up their prices after admitting making profits because of eBay
3) Feedback that sellers can leave makes no difference at all - you can only leave neutral or positive. So a buyer is guaranteed 100% positive feedback, even if they are the worst buyer in the world
4) I have one buyer refuse to pay for an item so I had to relist it and ended up with £200 less (a vehicle and now the tax and MOT had run out). I reported the buyer as a non-paying bidder, but eBay still allowed him to leave feedback to me (fortunately positive). I was not allowed to leave negative feedback to him.
It has become an expensive place to buy and sell. The only real use for eBay now is to purchase discontinued lines that you cannot get from shops.
Such a shame, since eBay had so much potential and ruined it all very quickly.
They are losing sellers quite quickly. I know about half of the people I know were selling on eBay, now do not.
No sellers means no eBay. RIP.
When I first started buying and selling on eBay, four or five years ago, I loved it! There were lots of bargains to be had. There was the thrill of getting a good price for something I no longer wanted. I enjoyed watching the price go up and endured with optimism the inevitable relisting, because something didn't sell first time. It didn't matter much because the fees were reasonable enough to take a risk.
I talked to and occasionally met up with some lovely people, some of whom I am still in contact with.
I don't sell on eBay anymore. It is weighted so unfairly against the small trader and it is so unsafe for the buyer too, that the game is no longer worth the candle.
I'll explain why.
1: The feedback system has changed. It is no longer possible for a seller to leave negative feedback for a buyer.
It doesn't matter what they do, they can lie about you, leave scurrilous feedback about you, claim they have not received the goods, they can say and do what they want and it is no longer possible to warn fellow sellers via the feedback system not to trade with this person. They have you over a barrel.
ebay claim it is to reduce revenge ratings. I don't believe that is why it was done. I believe it was a blatant attempt to woo the customers. There are people on eBay, buyers and sellers who make revenge feedback ratings, but why stop just one side of it? It doesn't make sense. I belong to an Ebay chat board and most, if not all the experienced sellers on there have finally stopped trading because of this.
What use is Ebay without the sellers?
2: The fee system is now absurd. The fees have been steadily rising for the last three years.
A seller has to pay an insertion fee+ A gallery fee if more than one photo is used. + A final valuation fee. It has made it almost impossible for the small seller to make any kind of profit.
There are free listing days which can bring the price down a bit. The problem with this is that so many extra listings occur on those days that your listing is likely to get overlooked in the crush.
3. The site is not policed by eBay, it is up to the other site users to report dodgy dealings. Over the last year I reported the same seller six times for dishonestly describing jewellery as Sterling Silver when it was not. They are still trading. So even when the sellers do eBay's job for them it is not acted upon. It seems that they don't really care who sells what, as long as they get their fees.
4. It is virtually impossible to talk to someone in authority at eBay. There are phone numbers and the promise that you can get 'instant help' in the case of identity hijack particularly. I have tried the phone numbers and never got to speak to someone human. I have left messages and never been replied to. I have sent eMails and they have been ignored.
Presumably the 'emergency hotline' is manned for half an hour a month by a deaf mute moose who is allergic to telephones.
5. Paypal is the payment system that must be used. No cheaper alternatives are allowed. eBay own Paypal. I understood that monopolies were frowned upon but apparently not here. PayPal should be rechristened PainPal. It is like getting blood from a stone to get a refund from them. They promise to guarantee you against fraud etc. That sounds good until you read the small print. Only a certain amount is guaranteed and only for a certain amount of time. The complaints proceedings take so long (I wonder why?) that you can run out of time to make a refund claim.
To finish I would say that eBay have shot themselves in the foot. After a spate of deserved bad publicity, they should have made better efforts to police the site properly. Reassuring people about the site by actually making it better and safer. They have made it a paradise for dodgy buyers and left the very small percentage of fundamentally unsound sellers to just get on with it.
It is now becoming more apparent that ebay is no longer the place to buy your books, toys, clothes and generally anything else that floats your boat.
They have messed around with their system to the extent it is no longer viable for home sellers to list there.
Fees and the additional fees of paypal being forced on its users (contrary to belief, not everyone uses or even likes papypal) has also forced sellers over to ebid.net, and now many of the buyers are following them over to ebid, and dumping paypal in favour of the easier to use (and cheaper for sellers) Google Checkout.
Ebay's unfair changes to their feedback system has been the last straw for many, who have now migrated over to ebid.
Mind you I said earlier 'forced people over to ebid'. It was more of a case of more people finding out about ebid's no listing fee policy and low (usually none) Final Value Fees.
Well now if you didn't know about ebid.net, you do now, and have no real excuse to hang around ebay any longer.
EBay: The only marketplace where I can buy tiny plastic dragons from my childhood at three in the morning.