Read your article in Antique Trader about eBay and pay pal. I was a little surprised. Let’s look at it.
I the seller pay to put the item on to sell. I the seller pay when I sell the item. If the buyer doesn’t pay, all I can do is file a dispute. I can’t leave feed back. I the seller can describe the item that it is for parts only and it’s in poor shape. Then when the buyer gets it, I get neg feed back because it’s in poor shape or I the seller can put in the ad that I do not accept pay pal and when the buyer reads that after he bids, I get neg feedback because he’s an idiot.
Now let’s talk about their customer service. If and when you find the “contact us” button, you can run your fingers across the key board and send it to them and they will answer you by thanking you for your message and will get back to you 2, 3, 4 days if you’re lucky and, of course, they answered everything but what you asked.
Now let’s touch on pay pal. When I started with ebay 7 years ago I signed up with them and they couldn’t find my account. Then they found it and the payments were going someplace else so I decided that I would do mo or check.
Ebay is saying that with pay pal it’s safe and they offer all these security items for my protection. For 7 years I have done money orders and personal checks and never had a problem. Now ebay wants us, the seller, to pay again for their profit.
In my opinion they are as bad as Bear Sterns — AIG — and the rest of them. I truly believe that by doing this, all they do is make it look like they are doing big nums for Wall Street. In the meantime, they’re shooting them in the foot. I’m done with them and anyone with common sense would look at it. If I’m selling an item at 9.99, the list fee, the selling fee and the pay pal fee, how long before people realize it’s not worth the time or effort give the item to charity and make write it off.
I recently redid my new home. I had my old one the new one and the loan all going so 3 mortgages and with the real estate market, it took a year to sell my house. For 7 months I used the loan money to pay and the last 5 was out of pocket. In the move I discovered I had a lot of stuff that I did not need so I started putting on ebay. I sold a lot for 9.99 and people said is it worth it, and I would tell them 15-20 checks at 9.99 was worth it – 3 of the last 5 months I didn’t touch our savings.
My point is I think eBay is going to lose a lot of – shall we say their bread and butter – with this move. Already I looked at 3 items that said “paypal only” and I asked if they would take a mo, and they all said no that ebay won’t let them. Well that’s 3 sales that won’t go thru. I’m done with eBay.
I read your editorial on the new PayPal requirement that eBay is putting in front of us. I must agree with you that PayPal is the easiest way of payment by the buyer, but also the most dangerous way of having your checking account invaded by the unscrupulous in the world. I know first hand, as it happened to me just over a year ago. Granted it was not much money that was taken initially, but if it was not caught at that time, I could have been, as my bank told me, "wiped out". The bank felt terrible that I had to open a new account with them as the old one was over 25 years in use.
Ebay has become very "buyer friendly" but hardly seller friendly in the past six months. First there was the issue of feedback. I recognize feedback as a very subjective area, and open to much abuse, especially by the buyer. If there is a bubble out of place in the packing, the feedback is negative or neutral. Then there is the area of requiring a seller to post shipping fees. If my crystal ball could tell me where the item I am trying to sell is actually going, I could be very accurate with shipping or mailing costs. However, even though I can weigh an item, and set the highest price for mail or shipping, this "turns off" the buyer as those costs may be more than they are willing to spend.
Now comes the PayPal requirement. I guess I will be forced to take PayPal. However, since most of my sales are from consigned items, that forces me to tell the consignor that their gain is going to be approximately 8.5% less than the sale. Top this off with the rise in Final Value fees that eBay charges, plus my 15% fee, listing fees, extra pictures, etc. the consignor will think more than twice about allowing me to sell their items.
I will tell you that I sell most of the items on consignment for estate liquidators or seniors who are "downsizing". They expect, and rightly so, a fair return on their items. Many times I turn down items since the owner is expecting more than can be obtained either on eBay or on the open retail or consignment market.
I was told by an eBay representative that PayPal was NOT going to be required, but that the seller could not check methods of payment (check, cash, money order). I will NOT take any credit card, as this has become too dangerous in our society. (And what is PayPal but a fancy credit card).
If this requirement comes to pass, I will think twice (very hard) to leave eBay and find another venue to sell. With the money that they would receive, it would be more cost efficient to sign up with a site like Penny Lane or another "online store".
In a fragile economy like we have today, it would behoove eBay to rethink their policies which mostly work against the seller. They must remember that the seller is the one who is feeding their ever shrinking employee base, and their bottom line for the stockholders. But if John McCain does become President, we must be ready for this kind of attitude in the Department of the Treasury, where he would probably place Meg Whitman in as Sec. of the Treasury. After all, she is who made eBay (along with PayPal, Half.com, and how many more eBay subsidiaries) in the dictionary as a verb as well as a noun.
A disgruntled eBay seller
As a power seller on ebay for over 10 years, I am sorry to see it come to this. Little by little over time the seller has had to always bear the burden of eBay. We pay all the fees, the buyer pays none. We are forced to start accepting paypal or similar online format for those buyers who are too lazy to mail payment or are broke and need to buy on credit (80% of population) which has become the "norm" in today’s society. Again, all fees fall to the seller, buyer pays none.
I have sold thousands of items (current feedback is over 4000) and have taken easily more checks and money orders over time than electronic payments. In 11 years I have had 2 bad checks, 0 bad money orders, and all cash in concealed envelopes from overseas has arrived safe. Not too bad if I say so myself.
I as a seller have never had an issue with taking a check, never had an issue that it might take 2 weeks to get paid, etc. I do however have an issue with paying ALL THE FEES!!
I am now told by ebay that I must only accept paypal, hence a processing fee on all sales, I must limit my shipping/handling fees to something reasonable (who decides what is reasonable??), and that I can’t state in my listings any other payment methods besides eBay.
Well, I say, if a buyer emails me and asks to pay a different way, I can either take a check or money order or if I tell them no, they can just back out of the auction like so many buyers do nowadays since there is no bad feedback allowed to be left for deadbeat bidders. Which brings me to this: ever since ebay banned negative feedback left for buyers from sellers I have had a much higher incident of unpaid items, easily 2-3 per month as opposed to 2 or 3 every few months. Buyers do not fear this because they do not get negative feedback and they have to accumulate several non pay notices before being booted off. I believe there are people out there who bid just to be an asshole and never intend to follow through.
I am going to check out your 17 other options to eBay and see if any might work for me. Currently my eBay fees run about $180 per month, my photo host fees about $45 per month, and my paypal fees are easily $100 or more per month. According to your report there are many sites that appear to be WAY cheaper which may also account for low exposure so it remains to be seen how much volume can be done on some of these auction sites but I am willing to try.
After all, eBay was a little nothing company when I first started and look where it is today.
As they say, you should not put all your eggs in one basket.
Lauren Van Nest