Ebay

Why did you stop using ebay? It’s a question that doesn’t apply to me, so I wonder why you don’t. I personally can’t imagine life without ebay. I know that may sound corky to some but it’s the truth. I truly love and enjoy ebay everyday, it’s a few sellers that I can do without but that’s another issue to write on.

In actuality ebay provides my family with the means to pay our bills, by selling at ebay and promoting ebay on my website. Ebay is a money maker and it can save you money as well as make you money, it’s just not a easy as it used to be. I have sold at ebay since 2002, and I have promoted ebay as a partner since 2007, so I know what can be done by using your keen business mind.

Furthermore, ebay auctions can be fun and I can find things I have never seen before. I will never forget the viral auctions in the past, a boy selling his virginity or another person selling their kidney. The last two were pulled because they’re against ebay policy but it made people wonder “what would a person come up with next?”.

Recently I saw an auction for a Sleepy Hollow’s, Headless Horseman, Hobo Nickel. It amazed me how a person could take a Buffalo Nickel and etch such an intricate design into the surface. It’s not an easy metal to work with and takes a tremendous amount of skill to etch, let alone in any detail.

It was an accident that I found this auction and one of many reasons I enjoy browsing ebay, and it beats bumping buggies at Wal-Mart or the mall. I can look at items as much as I want without being herded along the aisles by impatient shoppers.

Do you remember the piece of toast with the likeness of Jesus that sold for several thousands of dollars? I do, and it was items like this that made ebay a pop culture icon and a place to list your junk and make some extra cash, or see the strange things people were selling. It’s still that place, but is now much more.

Of course, I still have to go to the store and buy groceries and household items, but for my coin collecting hobby and coin dealer business, nothing matches ebay. Period. Not even the coin shows, local auctions or even the flea markets beat the deals I can find at ebay.

I just don’t pay any attention to what other people have to say about ebay, I do my own thing and judge from my own merit and experiences. I have read many bad things people say about ebay, but after eleven plus years of buying and selling and using Paypal, I don’t have much to complain about. Furthermore, I would give ebay my own satisfaction rating of 97% or four and a half stars out of five stars.

I have come to a solid conclusion that most of the whiners were part of the problem in the first place. I don’t mean to judge those who had an unfortunate experience, but I can count the number of bad transactions I have had on my two hands, and that’s well over a decade of experience. So I just can’t accept that ebay is bad, far from perfect, but it’s not bad either.

I think a lot of the bad rap has come from sellers who started selling early on with ebay and with the fee hikes and feedback policies and selling policies in general, geared more for the buyer’s satisfaction, eventually drove many away. I can understand their frustration but in this ever changing world I choose to modify my style and business model to fit what I can’t change.

To put it in perspective, a new seller, that started selling today, would never miss the “old” ebay and start off using the most economical and sound business practices in order to sell items to maximize profit despite the fees. The newbie seller would also strive to be a Top Rated seller to get the discount on their fees, it’s not easy to maintain a Top Rated Seller status if you don’t care, but it’s worth it when you do.

However, they wouldn’t have any memories of what ebay used to be to miss lower fees and less policies that worked more in the seller’s favor. No, this seller would be the new breed of seller that would embrace ebay’s new mission statements, policies and fees. You can be that new seller if you wanted, or be a new buyer with a fresh out look on what ebay is now about and not what they used to be.

It used to be that a buyer was more at the mercy of the seller, sellers would hold back on leaving feedback until the buyer left feedback, and if the buyer left negative feedback then the seller would do so in retaliation. You had some buyer protection but it’s much improved save for some hiccups along the way, but now the buyer has more of a say and often more than the seller.

It might not sound fair but too many sellers were taking advantage of buyers and use their distance and poor images to hide behind the facts and the law. It had to change, and it did.

 

It’s been a growing trend in business for years, customer first and ebay was behind the times on this since they considered their business as nothing but a tool for selling. However no third party business wants to be involved in litigation because an independent seller defrauded a buyer. Remember, ebay is a just a tool for moving goods between buyers and sellers, but was forced to be more involved in the buyer’s and seller’s behalf  because of complaints and litigation. Since this caused ebay to enact more policies, and to police the auctions more, it cost more money, so the fees had to rise.

Ebay is a business, and businesses have to make money, please employees, and investors, plus ebay has to please buyers and sellers. It’s a tough job when you consider the millions of people who use ebay daily. It takes a huge staff and a large amount of resources to accomplish all tasks. Furthermore it’s never possible to please everyone when you go to changing rules, regulations and how much you charge the people who use your services when there’s millions of people involved.

The seller rating system is another way to slowly weed out the sellers who don’t care, and no longer is 100% positive feedback the benchmark for a trusted seller. I personally think it’s a good thing, it made me more customer aware, and I am a Top Rated Power Seller by the way. Not bragging here, but I know what it takes and what it means to be one, and I weathered the changes and keep my business going, even though I feel like I am facing several obstacles against me.

Every small business faces several obstacles to stay in business, and maybe one day I will not be able to do business in the same capacity, but I don’t plan on quitting just because ebay changes or I think the new change is unfair. You can still make a lot of honest money at ebay. You just have to be a better wholesale buyer and seller. I never liked the old feedback system anyway.

As a buyer it has gotten a little more difficult to find the best deals on coins, but knowing this I take different approaches. I learn as I go when something stops working. I try to think of coins, varieties, grades that less people are looking for or I just look for collections and lots that look to have profit potential.

Currently there’s near 650 thousands US Coin auctions listed at ebay, on any given day, and that’s a huge coin show for me. It might even be the largest coin show on Earth and I can pick whom I buy from, if I want to buy from a big time dealer and pay their price I can, or I can search out sellers who rarely sell coins and try to bid a deal.

I don’t rely on ebay alone to buy things to sell anyway. However, I do buy my numismatic supplies, shipping supplies, books and holiday gifts at ebay, not all of them, but near 80%. My years of experience has taught me how to search ebay and pick through the sellers to find the best and most honest deals.

When I do find a great sellers then I just add them to my favorites and sign up so I get an email with their new offerings or deals. When it comes down to it you can’t beat, but maybe match, ebay’s services and how they try to protect the users from fraud and scams. Ebay might have a way to go in certain categories like collectibles and coins, but strides have been made.

So why did you stop using ebay? Did you base it on a bad experience or what another person said or wrote, or was it because you can’t afford the fees, or is it because you don’t trust the Internet with your money? I would like to know.