Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ebay, Screwing you, your hobby and more!



Ok Rant time, as gamer, modeler, collector or hobbyist we all use Ebay, I've been using Ebay since February 2000 I use it constantly in my professional life as well. I've been smelling something bad coming for awhile now when they raised their fees and started screwing with payment options. They have slowly but surely being trying to shoehorn everyone into one payment system they have 100% control of, so if you want to sell something, they are now your partner and you will be forced to pay out the ass for the privilege of listing your products with them.

I've also always viewed Paypal as a necessary evil- again you have the fees but it sure is convenient. Welp back in July when Ebay bought Paypal it went under alot of peoples radar, again another thing that should have been subject to Anti-Trust law becomes a mechanism to royally screw us the consumer. Not only are any payment options OTHER than Paypal or credit cards (who you know they got some kind of deal with) being banned as of the end of this month..Here is crazy part..You can't even ask a buyer to voluntarily pay the 3% Paypal fees for their purchases!!. if you do your auction get rejected and you're threatened with being banned. For years I have been selling expensive equipment on Ebay, I pay the ridiculous 8.75% fee to Ebay and I ask the buyer to pay the 3% Paypal fee if they CHOOSE to use Paypal for conveinence and getting quicker shipping otherwise..send me a check and wait for it to clear. Nope not anymore..as a seller you're either set up to take credit cards and pay their fees or pay Ebay as much as 15%.!! off the top depending on the auction , No checks, money orders or wire transfers, they want your money and damn sure figuring out how to get it. Now granted 15% isnt a big deal if your selling a few things a year that are relatively cheap...but if you sell toy soldiers for a living or expensive technical equipment like I do, 15% adds up real quick...Its the entire wholesaler discount -In fact with out the option to pass some these costs off to the buyer..this is going to put a whole lot of people out of business. Now that ebay has total control of the Payment systems..they will just start raising fees whats next 20% then 25%...this is no joke.

Earlier this year I sold a $4000 piece of business equipment on ebay and under these new policies it would have cost me $600!!! to sell it on Ebay..are you flipping kidding me! for $600 I expect a hell of alot more then what Ebay does which is essentially nothing. Sure they provide the mechanism but If you think the deserve more than 3% over $1000 for an auction that you have to list, maintain, manage, and answer questions yourself...you're crazy. I rather pay a yearly fee as a member and reasonable percentages based on sale totals, your seriously better over going to a broker for big ticket items..at least they do all the legwork for their 15%. I for one am sick of being raped by these and other Corporate assholes, I know there alot of Ebay boycotts out there and I am joining in but what other options do we have? Anyone have any bright ideas? I've been using Craigs Lists but since you're not committed to buy its alot harder to actually sell things plus you have to meet in person, etc.. This is freaking depressing.

14 comments:

The Lord of Excess said...

Couldn't agree more. I really don't see how ebay owning paypal ... really the only viable way to pay for things online other than giving a random person your credit card number is verging on an anti-trust violation.

Conspyre said...

I think many of the changes they've been making lately are to keep people from using Ebay instead of developing their own e-commerce portal when they're using it to make a living. The fee structure for basic auctions was restructured a while ago specifically for that. It does pretty much suck for big-ticket items, but for the sorts of things I've been selling (a bunch of old D&D books), it does what it needs to- it puts me in touch with a huge audience. If I were going to be selling hundreds of models, I'd look into setting up my own site, with my own credit card processing account. They stopped allowing checks and wire transfers because they are hilariously prone to fraud.

John@Plastic Legions said...

"They stopped allowing checks and wire transfers because they are hilariously prone to fraud."

That's what they tell you but the reality is they don't make the extra 3% on Checks on Wire Transfers that forcing you to use Paypal will make them.

I've got 3K of stuff listed on ebay right now, if I let people pay will paypal I am going to get nailed for around $350.00 at least I can still have some options to until the end of the month to save the Paypal fees..

I can't believe they have a problem with asking the buyer to pay the fees..they still get there money..what do they care who pays it..jeez...I've been doing that for years.

Conspyre said...

The other thing that you can do (though it's harder on the bigger-ticket items) is build the Paypal fees into the S&H cost. On smaller auctions, it's easy to raise the shipping a buck or two to cover the extra. On the big stuff, I think Craigslist might be the only good place left shy of posting stuff online on your own, but then you'll have to find a credit card processor, and they're going to nail you with fees too, it's what keeps Visa and friends in business.

BigRedBat said...

Ebay are a Monopoly. In the UK, I tried to report them to the Monopolies and Mergers commission, but they said they had no intention of investigating.

What we really need is a couple of effective competitors.

In the absence of this, I'm going to try selling bits directly off my Blog.

oni said...

Yup, and that's why I stopped using them quite some time ago. I'll still buy, but I will never sell anything ever again. eBay is fast tracking itself out of business.

Felix said...

Yikes. I don't follow ebay because, well, it's ebay. If I let myself look for "deals" I end up spending more money than I plan. It's a personal problem with impulse control.

Glad to see I'm not missing out.

Jwolf said...

I have a lot of success buying and selling, even the big ticket items, on Craig's List. That said, it's not that much of a benefit to sellers, as the price on Craig's List is almost always 10% or more less than on eBay, because the buyer pool is smaller and there is more risk for the purchaser with Craig's List. I prefer buying on Craig's List and selling on eBay, and unless Craig's List gets more of the eBay fish, I think I'll feel that way for a long time.

John Lambshead said...

eBay are trying to turn themselves into Amazon, which is a courageous ambition. This means pushing out the old boot-fair people and that includes the second hand wargame market.

I still use them as so far it is worthwhile. At some point if they follow their current strategy it will no longer be viable. Then we will see whether they can compete with Amazon.

But hey, that's the 'free' market. A selection of corporate monopolies that you either use or not.

John

Crazy Red Praetorian said...

I used to run an ebay business. The increase in fees was a big reason for me dropping ebay....and that was before thid latest craziness.

Vizlani said...

I believe the market is ripe for the next evolution. Whoever builds a comparable business that gets the eBay paradigm "back to it's roots" will have a pretty good money maker. eBay has outgrown their original niche.

ZeroTwentythree said...

"I believe the market is ripe for the next evolution. Whoever builds a comparable business that gets the eBay paradigm "back to it's roots" will have a pretty good money maker. eBay has outgrown their original niche."

I agree 100% and I'm surprised it hasn't already happened.

Chicago Terrain Factory said...

I returned to buy from Ebay after several years not paying attention. The whole landscape is different - all of the sellers are stores, almost nobody is a small time seller. It seems that a lot of the buyers are gone too. I was able to buy a GW army book for less than wholesale price - an that was just one of many that I tracked.

As for a back to basics web auction site. Several have come up in the past few years - none of them have been able to gather the critical mass needed to be Ebay of the early 2000s.

JoeGKushner said...

The problem is e-bay recognition. As others have mentioned, you can do the selling yourself or through another venue but then the profits may not be as high. Building your own name brand seems to be the way to go in the future. Using places like Coolminiornot and The Miniatures Page to augment potential views may increase the size of viewership and may generate higher sales.

 

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