Online Auctions No Longer Fun?

from the just-not-worth-the-hassle dept

Lately, whenever we post about eBay, a huge crowd of folks shows up to complain about eBay. Many of the changes that eBay has implemented over the past few years haven't gone over well -- but a Business Week article suggests something else is up also: buyers just aren't interested in the "auction" model as much as they used to be. Personally, I know that's true for me. I remember bidding on a variety of auctions on eBay, but I doubt I've done so in at least five years -- mostly because I can find whatever I'm looking for a decent price and just buy it elsewhere, without the hassle of the auction. When it first came along, the auction process was novel and fun -- and it offered up products that just couldn't be found elsewhere. But, these days, that's very rarely the case. The auction process seems like a pain and most of the products are available in a more convenient manner.

That certainly doesn't mean the end of eBay, or even the end of auctions (as Mathew Ingram notes, auctions are good for a certain class of products). And, as the original article notes, eBay's business has been shifting increasingly to fixed-price sales rather than auctions. But many people still do think of eBay as an auction site, and its biggest near-term challenge may be convincing people that it's more than that.


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  1.  
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    Ross, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:05am

    Online Auctions No Longer Fun

    And too many people just using Ebay like a store front...get a web presence...items that nobody wants in the first place at prices that don't beat the local retail market when you take into account the shipping costs.

     

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    Mitur Binesderty, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:05am

    Too many cheaters

    The problem with places like eBay are the people using auction snipping software. You can't ever get what you want if you're an honest bidder so why bother?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:10am

    I think it lost the marvel when I found my eBay account hacked. ;)

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    Trend of Buyer Beware????

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:31am

    Trend of Buyer Beware????

    Sorry about my "empty" post. I also have lost interest in eBay. As Ross points out, Ebay is being used more as a "store front". Ebay and PayPal are linked and I refuse to use PayPal. Meg Whitman, the prior head of Ebay, has appeared on TV a couple of times, her comments on what Ebay is left me cold. Between Ebay's terms of service, the use of PayPal, and Ms. Whitman's projection of what Ebay is: I no longer consider Ebay as a place to do business.

     

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    grins, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    ebay, love/hate you

    1. using ebay as a store front makes a lot of sense. especially if you take into consideration that its one of the most successful ecommerce sites.

    2. whats dishonest about using a program to buy items online through your computer? ebay should incorporate snipping capabilities directly into their interface. it'll automatically come down to the last few seconds of the auctions, when the bots start incrementing bids by minimum values until times up.

    3. would email lose its marvel if your email account got hacked?

    i think the 1st comment was partially right. prices are no longer competitive on ebay for many items. that with the required wait for the auction to end makes for an amount of impatience that nobody is willing to endure. but lets not ignore that people were willing to wait the extended periods of time when the item-prices were low. it all comes down to speed and, more so, price when it comes to consumers. can there exist an auction model that tackles these obstacles? yes, but ebay is too bloated to afford to offer it.

     

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    Dirtboy, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    It stopped being an auction site when sellers were allowed to set a reserve price that was the same as the retail price.

     

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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:37am

    Cure for sniping

    Sniping can be fixed by extending the auction by 5 mins if anyone bids in the last 5 mins.

     

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    your mom, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:37am

    bleh.

    eBay auctions have become too commercialized for me to care to deal with them anymore. Everyone knows how to exploit the system to sell the item for more; they auto-bid on an item just to raise the price for someone else, or bid on your own item with a different account so it sells at a higher price, or set the reserve so high that you're pretty much forced to pay the "buy it now" price if you really want it.

    It's just not fun. People set up bots to automatically bid higher than the last bidder on the final minute of the last day of the auction...etc

    Most of the time I'll just buy things in bulk and combine shipping, this way I at least know what I'll be getting. There's nothing worse than bidding for 5 things hoping to merge shipping, and then win only 1 or 2 of them and have to pay shipping separately on the 3 other items later down the road.

    Much of the time the Buy it Now price is only a few bucks higher than the final auction price depending on what you buy. Most importantly, there are so many people on eBay now that you have an absolute ZERO percent chance to ever get lucky on winning an auction at a really low price.

     

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  10.  
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    Alimas, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:38am

    I Really Like Ebay

    I'm able to use it to get hard to find older things. Parts for my cars (an '86 and a '91), old NES games, an entertainment center that could hold my huge CRT television, CRT computer monitors, etc..
    I don't know why anyone would use it for anything you could probably pick up at a local store for a comparable price (when shipping is counted in).

     

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  11.  
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    ..., Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:41am

    Re: ebay, love/hate you

    The point is that bots ruin it for the average person who signs in every once in a while to bid. Even if they bid with like...10 seconds left... a bot will usually steal that away from you.

    You'd have to be an idiot not to think that wont drive people away from wanting to buy auction items anymore.

     

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    Alimas, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 5:47am

    Re: bleh.

    Much of the time the Buy it Now price is only a few bucks higher than the final auction price depending on what you buy. Most importantly, there are so many people on eBay now that you have an absolute ZERO percent chance to ever get lucky on winning an auction at a really low price.



    Thats what really has taken the fun out of it. These days I treat Ebay as just another store, but back when I first joined years ago it was fun too! I remember going back and forth with some people bidding on a 40" LCD TV back when, I lost it buy only a few dollars and it went for about $60! Nowadays, there are so many people on there, who all start bidding right away, inflating the price and setting very high maximum bids that the fun is all gone. Everything sells for closer to retail prices and auctions are won in far less bids.

    Good for really rare stuff, but not much of anything else.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:00am

    Sometimes you can find some hard-to-find items on eBay, like camera equipment that is out of production, and get a good deal on it. But there are too many times that auctions mysteriously get bid up. Last year I bid on a laptop that had been listed for five days with no bids. Within a few minutes after I submitted my bid, which was for more than the minimum bid, I was notifed that I'd been outbid. I bid on three other laptops, where in each case I was the first bidder and the auction was a few days old. I was almost immediately outbid on all three of them.

    And I have seen items that I was outbid on and lost almost immediatley relisted by the seller. On more than one occasion I have reported a seller to eBay for this but as far as I know no action was ever taken.

    I used to know people who spent all day bidding on eBay and if they got outbid they'd bid again and end up paying more than retail for it but they got the 'fun' of being the winning bidder. Nobody cares about the 'fun' part anymore.

    All I can say is if you do bid on eBay, figure out what your maximum bid will be BEFORE you bid, and if you get outbid, don't jack up your bid just so you can win. Chances are the same item will be available again in a few days if not immediately.

     

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    Skippy T. Mut, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:05am

    eBay used to be a fair system. But then everyone went a developed a bunch of bots to automatically outbid you at the last second of the auction. It's impossible to win anymore so what's the point. Now I just click "Sort by Buy it Now" and then "Sort: Lowest Price First." I usually get what I want at a pretty good price.

     

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    Skippy T. Mut, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    Re: Cure for sniping

    That's no cure...that's a bigger problem...THE AUCTIONS WOULD NEVER END!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:13am

    Re: Online Auctions No Longer Fun

    That's not always the case. Some of the merchants on there are quite legit and in some cases, charge a whole lot less than brick and mortar stores or even other web sites.

    My gripe has always been the outrageous shipping charges some charge. Example - I was looking to purchase a baseball bat a while back. Knew the model I wanted and what it was selling for locally and online. I find a guy offering it for nearly $25 less than everyone else. I read what he's charging for shipping - a four-pound package via the USPS - he was going to charge $40! Only one problem - I managed a shipping department and knew all the carrier rates intimately.

    I wrote to the guy, explained I could arrange shipping at my expense and he responded by saying I would be scamming him. So, to show my appreciation, I filed a complaint about him to eBay. Nothing happened of course, but I never did any business with him either.

     

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  17.  
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    JB, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Need it Now

    eBay still has the advantage in being able to find almost anything you could possibly be looking for. Whatever it is, someone somewhere has one for sale.

    But I am not a collector on the "hunt", when I need something I don't want to go through an auction and then wait a couple of days to find out I didn't win it and have to start over again.

    Mostly these days I use Buy it Now to just get the item I need and be done with it.

     

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  18.  
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    Matthew, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:16am

    OOP Books

    Like others have said, eBay is useful to find those rare or outdated items. I recently bought an Out of Print book for a decent price.

    Here's a tip: you can create an RSS feed from any search or keyword term to notify you when an item is added to the listings.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:18am

    Re: Re: Cure for sniping

    Actually they will who ever is trying to cheat the system will get it but they will be paying closer to the max price they set for the item

     

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    www.custompcmax.com, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:21am

    For awhile, I used Ebay as a store front. It worked decently well, I actually got a fair bit of traffic from it to my real website. I also made quite a few sales. The problem was I got a lot of bogus business as well, funds put on hold, etc... Also, the fees get pretty outrageous, considering what Paypal already charges. When I sold a high-end PC ($2k or more), the fees between paypal and ebay were well over $120. And that doesn't included the monthly charge of using an ebay store.

    I only use ebay now for looking for hard to find items. And those are getting easier to find elsewhere.

     

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  21.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:46am

    Re: Too many cheaters

    Sorry but there's absolutely nothing wrong with sniping. If you want to win an auction "honestly", put your full bid on there, if it doesn't win it wouldn't matter since the other party obviously wanted it enough to pay more than you did. Sneaking a bid in at the last minute can be done by humans as well as software so there's nothing special about having a computer automate it.

    Simply put, if you want to win an auction, don't make a half-assed bid.

     

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  22.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: ebay, love/hate you

    Then make a REAL bid, not something that just barely beats the current highest bid; if you want it that badly you should be willing to pay for it. If they bid more than you, regardless of when or how they make that bid, they win it. PERIOD. Stop whining like a baby cause you don't understand the rules.

     

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  23.  
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    ehrichweiss, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    Stop whining and make a real bid instead of just beating the highest bidder by 25 cents.

     

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  24.  
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    Alton, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:53am

    Sniping never bothered me because I always put in my max bid first. If someone was willing to pay more than my max bid, let them have it. I don't bid more than once on an auction.

    What ruined it for me was all the fixed price stuff I have to sift through to find the actual auctions. I go to eBay for auctions. If I want a fixed price, I'll go to NewEgg or Amazon.

     

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  25.  
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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 4th, 2008 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Cure for sniping

    Quite.

    Even if you really did want to prevent the situation where two bots would continue to outbid each other (despite an escalating price no doubt well beyond market), you could say that an auction's maximum extension would be 24 hours.

    Frankly, I expect it would rarely exceed 30 mins.

    Remember, an auction is traditionally MEANT to enable bidders to agree that no higher bids are forthcoming. The auctioneer slams his gavel down when such agreement is evident - not because he's decided time's up.

     

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  26.  
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    Haywood, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:07am

    Sniping is my life

    I never bid before the last second, what is the point in showing your hand. What annoys me is shill bidding, that is: the practice of having your friends and associates bid the price up. I understand the seller wanting to get a good price, but that is what has killed the auction experience. It would be more honest to simply start the biding at the least you will take. I understand the why of it, the tiered listing price promotes the practice.

     

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  27.  
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    dave, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:29am

    the buyers are my problem...

    My last two attempts at selling items on ebay were horrible. The buyers didn't pay, tried to contact them, didn't respond, I had to wait 7 days to offer to the next person. The second buyer didn't respond. I sent the user's data to ebay and expressed exasperation at the experience. They didn't respond with helpful advice.

    It was a total waste of time.

    Now I use crag's list.

    ...dave

     

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  28.  
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    NPGMBR, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 7:52am

    Re: Online Auctions No Longer Fun

    You hit the bullseye on that one. I still visit EBay around the holidays but its like you said, the prices don't beat what consumers can find in their local stores so they back away from it. Its not necessarily an EBay issue but more of an issue of sellers that don't make it wort the trip.

     

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  29.  
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    Esti, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    eBay is it's own decline

    I agree with the person who said they dislike the Fixed Price.

    If I wanted to do business with a business, I'd go to their store, and not eBay. I want auctions on eBay, and I basically just swim through the Fixed Price bs.

    That said, as a seller, I have different complaints. I've sold in the neighborhood of $10,000 worth of things on eBay in the past five years.

    Their rates continue to rise, especially on the low-to-mid price segment. If you think that $125 on $2000 hurts, think about the $.25 I paid to sell a $.99 item.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:11am

    Agree with the above bidder on the shipping charges. any item which is available elsewhere can usually be bought quicker and cheaper elsewhere.
    I used to collect certain rare and outdated items. Now I am back to going to thrift stores and garage sales. More fun, better chance to actually inspect the item, and the price was always right.

     

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  31.  
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    Ima Fish, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:19am

    Mmm... if you sell stuff on ebay, you risk being scammed. If you buy stuff on ebay you risk being scammed. And even if all goes well with the transaction, you risked being screwed by PayPal. It's a pretty clear-cut lose/lose situation.

     

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  32.  
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    Erv Server, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    Ebay

    I think Ebay is better now than ever. I love the new change to the way sellers can rate buyers, its more fair now. If sellers don't like it too bad...they brought it upon themselves

     

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  33.  
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    TravisO, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:26am

    I'm one of the

    I was a heavy eBay using, starting all the way back in 1997 on dialup. I was such an avid user that I thought up the idea of (manual) snipping, simply waiting until the last 30 seconds until I made a bid. And on dialup that wasn't as easy as you think, ahead of time I would do almost the entire big process then back out, that way I had all the pages & images cached.

    eBay was also the reason I switched from Netscape 4 to IE5. I was sick of Netscape's random crashes, which once happened during an auction checkout that I didn't finish and consequently lost. At the time, IE rarely crashed (or at least wouldn't crash on pages with legit HTML and JS).

    About 2004 I lost interest in eBay, it's still good for selling items and to find rare/collectible things but for purchasing new products, the prices really are better elsewhere.

     

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  34.  
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    Ima Fish, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:28am

    Re: the buyers are my problem...

    "Now I use crag's list."

    I've never sold on ebay, but I have used craig's list to sell stuff many times with perfect results. I get my money, the guy gets his stuff, and no one gets screwed by ebay and PayPal.

     

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  35.  
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    Murdock, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 8:47am

    Re: Sniping is my life

    You aren't showing your hand by bidding before the last second. It seems a lot of people on here are complaining about sniping but they don't understand how eBay auctions work.

    You put in your maximum bid and forget about it. If someone else comes in and pays more after you, then shouldn't they win? After all you didn't want to pay more than your max right? You can still get items for lower prices because it doesn't bid your max, just enough to beat the next highest.

    Example:
    Widget A is listed
    You are willing to pay $37 for Widget A... ideally you want it for less. You put in your max bid of $37
    Buyer 2 comes along and he is willing to pay $22 for Widget A, he puts in his max bid of $22
    eBay that automatically ups your bid to $23, assuring you'll still win, and below your max.
    Buyer 3 comes in 2 seconds before the auction ends and bids $30
    eBay automatically ups your bid to $31 and you STILL win, even though he put in a "snipe" bid at the last second using software.
    If someone put in a bid of $38.. they win because its more than YOU said you are willing to pay.

    I don't see the problem here.

     

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  36.  
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    Ima Fish, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:34am

    Re: I'm one of the

    "I thought up the idea of (manual) snipping, simply waiting until the last 30 seconds until I made a bid."

    I don't get how that is beneficial. Simply give the highest bid you'd be willing to make. As new bids come in your bid will be increased until you win it or until someone outbids your maximum bid.

    Exactly how does spending the time to sit and wait until 30 seconds before the action ends make the process easier to win? If the other guy outbid you in my example, his maximum bid would still outbid you if you waited 30 seconds before it ended.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:35am

    Shills

    My complaint with eBAY is people selling
    an item and having a shill bid up the price.
    I use Murdock's approach so sometimes the
    shill outbids me. Then the seller contacts
    me direct by email saying the winning bid
    was no good and I have the chance to purchase
    the item for my maximum bid. Now it's outside
    of eBAY, I don't know if the seller is on
    the up and up.

    Other than the actions of a few dishonest
    people that ruin it for everyone else
    I don't see a problem. I wish eBAY
    would be more agressive in its enforcement
    against dishonest seller and buyers too.

     

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  38.  
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    Scott Gardner, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Sniping is my life

    *Exactly* right - nice post.

    And to everyone complaining about losing auctions to snipers, just remember this - the sniper didn't win because he bid last, he won because he had the highest bid.

    What I suspect is really the case is that these people are wanking because the sniper's late bid didn't allow them enough to incrementally up their bid "one more time". But if you don't understand how the eBay proxy bidding sytem is supposed to work, don't complain about the snipers.

     

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  39.  
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    Jeff Rife, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Sniping is my life

    You aren't showing your hand by bidding before the last second.

    At times you are. If you try to bid at the last second but the current bid is already over your maximum, then you will never bid. By not bidding at all, nobody knows you are interested in that item.

    It's not really a big deal generally, but it might be if you are bidding on rare items. If you lose at $X, then other people might assume that's what you are willing to pay the next time, and bid just a little bit higher.

     

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    Sports guy, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    Ebay is the best

    If you like to get knock offs for cheap. Especially Jerseys and stuff like that.

     

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  41.  
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    amp, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 9:50am

    online auction

    I stopped bidding online after I was cheated by a seller on Overstock.com. After winning an iPOD, I sent the bidding amount in USPS Money Order to this seller in Pennsyvania(Who know where he lives now, may be in a correctional facility). I never received the item. When I brought this to the website's notice, they did not take any action. After the incidence I stopped shoppping at Overstock.com altogether. I'm posting this for everyone to know that Overstock.com is such an irresponsible online site with no customer service. Now a days, I only shop at genuine online sites like Amazon. Amazone's customer service is one of the best in the industry. Eventually, only those sites like Amazon will survive, and sites like Overstock.com will be a thing of the past.

     

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  42.  
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    KBala, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 10:39am

    Re: Too many cheaters

    Just because you snipe, doesn't make you a "cheater." A late bidder is still a payer. If you want to beat a sniper, enter a higher bid.

     

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  43.  
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    Fitz, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 11:05am

    Sellers

    I am surprised that something has not been mentioned - the new ebay policy of sellers not being able to leave negative feedback for buyers. This is a big thing to me as a (previously) frequent seller. I am just a regular guy selling things I don't need or want anymore - not a business or store. Most transactions go smoothly because I put effort into descriptions, pictures, communication and quick shipping. Most people love this attention and are happy. Fortunately, I still have 100% positive feedback. However, the facts are that there are some people who just cannot be pleased, and some situations that cannot be avoided. The feedback system is pointless if only one party has the ability to leave negative feedback. I still cannot believe ebay has made this policy. Any other opinions on this subject?

     

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  44.  
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    Tony, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: ebay, love/hate you

    Personally, I've never had a problem winning an item when I submit a bid in the last 10 seconds. And i don't use a bot - I sit there watching.

     

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  45.  
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    Kevin, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Too many cheaters

    Spoken like someone who doesn't understand game theory.

    There's two basic ways to look at an auction. From the seller's perspective, the goal is to extract the highest price possible. From the buyer's perspective, the goal is the pay the lowest price possible. So while it's true that you can simply put in a "maximum bid" and let the system automatically up your bid, it's also true that such a system is highly biased towards the seller's goal. If the starting bid for an item is $10, and two people have put in maximum bids of $30 and $35, then the bids will almost immediately jump to $31 (assuming the auction uses $1 increments). Whereas if both buyers played their cards a little closer to the vest they could wait until very late in the auction to up the bid from $10 to $11, and then take turns outbidding each other. Depending on how much time is left and how closely the auctions are being watched, it's possible that someone will be able to get a lower sale price using this method than if they had specified a maximum bid. So while the "maximum bid" feature is billed as a way to make things easier for buyers, it actually favors the seller by increasing the price more quickly than would otherwise normally happen. Of course, this also favors eBay as well since they get a percentage of the sale too.

    Sniper bots are essentially the same thing, but they're designed to be smart enough to wait until the end of the auction to put in the bid. That might help keep the sale price down a little bit, but if your goal is the win the auction rather than get the lower price, it's probably more efficient to use eBay's maximum bid tool.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Cure for sniping

    Actually several other auction sites uses exactly that model and it works very well. High bid takes the auction, not last bid under the wire.

     

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  47.  
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    Nismoto, Jun 4th, 2008 @ 1:22pm

    Fun? Get your kicks elsewhere

    I never went to Ebay looking for fun or a good time. I just wanted to buy things at a good price. That seldom happens anymore.

    Sure, blame Ebay for some of the things (reserves, etc.) but let's not forget about the stupid Ebayers that are willing to pay more than retail just to win. Recently, I was bidding on a REFURBISHED 8GB iPhone. My max bid was $250. Brand new, they retail for $399. The winning bidder ended up paying $475. He could have bought a new one and saved $75 plus shipping.

    IMO, these are the f#ckers that are screwing it all up.

     

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  48.  
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    Nasch, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cure for sniping

    Actually several other auction sites uses exactly that model and it works very well. High bid takes the auction, not last bid under the wire.

    That would be great, let the seller set a minimum time for the auction (perhaps with an upper limit) rather than a max. After that, high bid wins unless outbid within x minutes, or reserve not met. Don't let the seller set x, make that a constant. There could be no sniping, because if you bid at the last minute, your opponent (and everyone else), then has another x minutes to rebid.

    Would that reduce final auction prices? If so they'll never do it.

     

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  49.  
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    Nasch, Jun 5th, 2008 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: I'm one of the

    Exactly how does spending the time to sit and wait until 30 seconds before the action ends make the process easier to win? If the other guy outbid you in my example, his maximum bid would still outbid you if you waited 30 seconds before it ended.

    The idea is to wait until so close to the end that the other person does not have time to outbid, even automatically. So if their current bid is $10, and maximum is $20, you can snipe it for $11 if timed correctly, even though they would have been willing to pay more. I don't know how close to the end you have to bid to do that, but obviously that number has been figured out by a lot of people.

    The problems with sniping are 1) it makes the final price even less clear because you never know how many people are planning to snipe and for how much, 2) you're hosed if you don't like doing it, because with enough snipers around that becomes the only way to win an auction, and 3) the person willing to pay the most doesn't necessarily win.

    The much bigger problem IMO is with fraudulent bids by the seller (directly or by proxy) on their own items. This causes people to pay more than they otherwise would have, and eBay has an incentive to ignore it because they make more money that way.

     

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  50.  
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    Dawn, Jun 17th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    Ups and downs.

    I see the point everyone is getting at. I like eBay because yes, I can find things that no one else has. I make jewelry, and the prices on eBay outmatch any other. There are not many hardware stores that sell metalsmith tools.

    As a seller I've found that eBay is a pain in the ass. They keep changing policies... I've had a few items canceled - after the auction was over and the item was already sent to the buyer! Luckily those items were only a buck or two, but if it was a high ticket item - I would have been really upset! I've even argued with eBay about it, they don't care!

    Back in the day when eBay first started, it was about the average Joe posting things for sale out of their homes... What in the hell happened?

     

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  51.  
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    Karl, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 9:36am

    eBay is out

    eBay isn't longer a place for small sellers. I prefer to sell only in my own store and killed my german eBay store last tuesday. ebay fees are growing and growing. Paypal? NO! Some of my last offers is the vingare, eBays present for my 1000. star, payed with my money. Sekt von eBAy Sorry, i have no translation for it. Greetings from Germany

     

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  52.  
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    graceonfire, Aug 29th, 2008 @ 7:47pm

    ebay - up and down - my fix on it

    the price for shipping sucks, yes it does, most items I sell could ship for less than the priority flat rate envelope or 1 lb. rate, however, if you don't ship it priority on the same day they pay for the item, you get negged "because it took too long to get it" or if you ship internationally via the rate the person wants to pay you, then it takes up to 8 weeks. they wait, you wait, they either get it or not, then you get negged for same reason as above, but the buyer wanted it sent that way to save money. so paypal fixed it for me, I have to ship intl via priority - which is OUTRAGEOUS, but with paypals label printing service you can get the delivery confirmation and I don't have to make a 50 mile Rtrip to the post office to save the buyer postage. If I make that trip and save the buyer some money, I am out that fuel cost - which is OUTRAGEOUS. I list things at about $4.00 because by the time you get done that is about what it will cost to sell anything on ebay - store or auction - so if you put on auction and it makes it past 4.00 then you feel lucky but too many people are as said above, looking for something very cheap or they won't buy it, for the one item that sells for 4.00 or over, I have 5 or 6 other items that never got a bid. I sell vintage made in USA items because that is the type of thing I love to pick up at the estate auctions, yard sales and thrift stores. I charge a 2.00 fee for one item or ten, but so many people will not even look nor bid because they don't read my details to see that one time fee of 2.00 applies to however many items they purchase from me that week. and you have to admit, 2.00 handling is pretty cheap fee to ship 2 - 10 other items in a box, because paypal charges nearly 12% and ebay has some pretty high fees as well, when you figure in your time, the packing, the tape and printer, computer, time to post on ebay, time to follow up, the emails, the gratuituos follow-up requests for POSITIVE feedback for doing my job right, then most buyers won't even bother to leave feedback at all, even though I ship same day paid, I post lots of pictures, I spend a lot of time on my listings to not leave anything out, and I wrap things to withstand any clumsy handler out there. BUT regardless of all the hell there is to deal with selling on ebay, I can do nothing else, I am disabled and not on disability, yet, and I always figure a few bucks spent can be turned with one lucky sale per week on ebay just to purchase car parts, groceries, or even a few pretties.
    which leads me to buying on ebay,
    the best way to buy on ebay is to look diligently utilizing the searches. most newbie sellers are never at the top of the list of "best match" (ebays newest default search method) or if you have pissed ebay off - they put all your stuff at the bottom of the list. they can hold your items and not release them to search for over 24 hours if they so choose so you have to put up with ebay or they sabotage you. So if I am looking for an elusive car part or some otc medicines, or a specific necessity - I search via ending soonest and try every search word I can think of to get what I need or want, you can always find the item you need, and judging from the fact that I know how some sellers can chip away at the price of item by padding the shipping cost, I always look for the shipping cost, then I email to see how they do their combined shipping rate, I also eliminate a lot of low sales items just from the fact that the seller will not disclose their shipping nor how they do their combined shipments. If they answer my email and I feel confident that they have more than one item I need, I go ahead and purchase or place a watch and / or a bid.

    I have noticed as of late however, if I place a bid early it seems I always win, no one seems to be bidding anymore, unless like its an item that is really a hot seller.
    it seems that any bids placed on sellers who are not power sellers and might be fairly new don't pick up many bids until they get known better on ebay and their items hit the searches better, because most people think the power sellers have the best items for sale. But I have found that not to always be the case. There are those out there who are still trying to list as many things they can a week that they purchased thru local sell outs of new or reclaimed merchandise, so they start the bid low, but I also know with the new hidden bidder markings on listings, it seems there are less shill bidding going on.

    But I have noticed that if an item has went several days and no bids, and I place a bid, the person who mentioned this already is right, a lot of times if that item receives a bid within a few minutes after you bid, its because they have shill bidders, I always report them for that.

    If you sell something and someone purchases it and then says it was broken in shipment and they will not send it back or send you a picture, its because I have an invisible marker that marks my stuff, before it leaves my place, if they say its broken, they have to pay for shipping it back before I will give them their money back because I want to see that it was my item that got broke or one they simply want replaced for free. so its a dog eat dog world on ebay and paypal - both have faults - because ebay owns both, mostly their fees are the problem. I hate the fb system without the opportunity to neg a buyer now, unfair feedback usually comes from someone new on ebay. that feedback score hurts your fee rate, your final value fee rate, and potential future business. too much to digest all at once, but believe me. ebay is pushing for more fixed price store type listings. they make a monthly fee for the store plus each listing fee, plus a HUGE final value fee after you sell an item. Yes it is nice to list an item and then not worry about it for a month, unless it sells, but its also not on searches as much as auctions and my store things sell twice as slow as auction items. the only saving grace on the whole ebay scheme is auctiva. they have free picture hosting, the cheapest shipping insurance on the web, and so many great features- free listing templates to decorate you listing, their own listing page that downloads your listings to ebay at a set time that you don't have to pay for it to be a set time on auctiva like you do on ebay. they save me over 50.00 a month over what I used to pay ebay. so it was worth the relearning process to put everything over on auctiva and then I buy a store website thru them too that lists my ebay items and my blogs etc. so there are some great sites out there that help you if you have the time to find them.
    paypal free shipping label printing service is the best too. its better than the USPS site because if you are shipping in USA you can print labels for first class parcels, media mail, parcel post, and get a del conf for .18 and with priority the del conf is free - just like it is if you use click n ship on USPS - but USPS won't let you print up anything but priority labels on their website. so there are some advantages to using the paypal shipping label printing service. provided you have a working printer, and you use the paypal funds you have available to pay for the shipping at the time of printing the label. also you can set how you want the label to read as well.
    well thats my experiences on this subject, hope I have helped someone else.

     

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  53.  
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    Finally A Good Ebay Alternative, Aug 30th, 2008 @ 4:15pm

    eBay is out

    I agree ebay does make it hard for the little guy to sell, but lets not be discouraged ... they will have their day ... :-)

     

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  54.  
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    Roy Knight, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Online Auctions Not Fun Anymore!

    I agree with Mathew Ingram when it comes to ebay having a place and not going away and online auctions being here to stay, as well. But in my falling from the graces of ebay and the new changes (2008-2009), I have teamed up with a friend and created MyeJar and we hope to put the fun back into auctions. We are intent to do this where the seller and buyer can still get what they want at a fair price. WEELNDLN

     

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  55.  
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    oohgranny, Oct 17th, 2008 @ 9:16am

    Re: Online Auctions Not Fun Anymore!

    I agree that ebay just isn't the fun it use to be. I checked out myejar and I love it. It is easy to use and the cost is wonderful. Myejar is so easy to use, a new comer wouldn't have any problems. Try it!

     

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  56.  
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    Richie Khoo, Dec 28th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    Forget about ebay..

    Frankly I think we must understand in the first place what is our intention to switch on our computer, browse through the internet and go into eBay. Well there are two reasons:
    Either we want to sell something or we want to buy something. And why do we go online? Well because we can compare prices and it's pretty convenient too.

    So if best price is what we are looking for, then what eBay offers may not be suitable for you. Simply because things could get a little rigid here.

    Instead, I would personally recommend you to try an alternative method to online bidding or auction. It is a quicker and much more interesting way to buy and sell stuffs online.

    This method is known as Live Online Negotiation or sometimes known as Live Online Bargaining. This is where a potential buyer selects a certain product posted online and started to bargain with the seller until a satisfactory price is reached, all done online, LIVE !!.. something no online bidding system can do.

    But care need to be taken though because there are many unsafe websites out there in the internet today, preying on unsuspecting victims. You know malicious hackers are getting pretty creative nowadays.

    However, after going through the internet for more than a decade, I have to say the safest website that offers such system is www.bzhub.com. Not only it is equipped with the usual security features such as SSL, etc but the method it employs for users to buy and sell, is in itself a very effective "Anti-con artist" tool.

    So I think you guys ought to check it out.

     

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  57.  
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    Clifford, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 5:20pm

    Been to bzhub.com.. it's cool

    I've link myself to this bzhub.com, looks cool and the method it use is different. Now I've joined as a member and I managed to sell my secondhand book at a reasonable price plus I've also gotten my favorite tudor watch from bzhub.com at a very attractive price.

    What I did was I bargained with the seller until the price is satisfactory before I buy. What's cool is that if the seller is also online, I can bargain with him in realtime!!

    I think you guys should check this website out

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    John, May 4th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    Ebay

    Ebay favors sellers now who use multiple listings or stores instead of the people who just list a few items they just want to get rid of.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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