Thursday, December 15, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

eBay Is for Suckers

Matthew Sag (via Jeff Atwood):

The wonderful thing about eBay when it first arrived was that it freed so many people from the tyranny of small markets. eBay provided a marketplace where trust was built on reputation and feedback and the size of markets was only constrained by the cost of shipping. Recently, however, eBay has reengineered its services so that buyer trust is based on a seemingly absolute guarantee that the seller will always lose in any dispute.

No one should be surprised that unscrupulous buyers use eBay to commit fraud on unsuspecting sellers. What surprised me was the extent to which eBay now facilitates this fraud through its “buyer protection program”. In October this year I listed a very slightly used iPhone 6S for sale on eBay and was quite satisfied when it eventually sold for $465. This satisfaction was short-lived, however, as I came to realize that I had been taken in by an eBay scammer.

If at all possible I sell via Amazon or Gazelle. Their Web sites are much better designed, too.

eBay is still great for buying hard-to-find items. I no longer use it for deals on common items, because, even though you have a lot of protection as a buyer, it takes a lot of time to actually get your money back.

Update (2017-05-15): Jessica Gorst-Williams (via Hacker News):

I sold a non-working Apple MacBook on eBay for spares for repairs. With a lot of bids it went for £460. After I sent the item off, the buyer asked for a return and refund as, he said, it did not match the description.

The item I received back was a different MacBook. It was much more damaged and worth far less, if anything at all, especially as I don’t have its box or paperwork. The buyer insisted I had fraudulently sold him this item and that the pictures I posted on the listing were of another MacBook.

3 Comments

I think that https://swappa.com is the best place to sell/buy used tablets/phones (and smart watches). They don't sell anything else. I've had very good experiences twice. Both buying and selling.

I'm surprised that you are surprised by the changes to eBay.......I started selling in December 2012, only sold lil over 15o items or so and gross sales $1100.

There are other channels to sell through and should be used, but I feel "the grass is greener on the other side".......each site has their own fees and or annoyances....

Take trying to sell through Facebook......."want", "next","bump", etc etc... Annoying and little to no gain on your time spent..

Craigslist......I've had very good luck with CL in the past.......,but as Amazon, Letgo and other selling apps, people saving their money (not wrong, just not good for sales :D),

people who work so many hours they don't have time, I could go on and on........

I DO feel there are much less repeat sellers on eBay than used to be. What you end up with is buyers who have never sold..causing lingering,loitering until they think seller will give in and sell for $1.

THEN they don't leave feedback, they also think "Seller wants $20??".....NO, it's $20 for shipping, fees, time & materials, etc etc THAT doesn't include your cost of original investment.

Goodwill makes sales on eBay harder too, double edged though......pick up something for $3, sell it for $30...make $16 in the end.. High Volume Low Margin ; Low Volume High Margin

Not to mention, that earlier in 2016 Ebay started charging a new 10% fee based on the selling price AND shipping price (plus another 3% because you have to pay with PayPal now too) instead of the standard flat fees they used to charge. How can they seriously justify charging a percentage? It costs them nothing different whether you sell something for $50 or $5,000. When I sold some stuff on Ebay last summer, and was NOT notified of this new percentage fees, I was astounded when after I got paid from the buyers Ebay turned around and invoiced me a huge amount for the sales –– about 15x what I would have paid when I last sold similarly priced items on Ebay 2 years ago.

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment