Saturday, April 14, 2007

eBay Can Suck My Balls

So I finally dipped my toe into the tepid, scam-infested waters of eBay.

My regular readers will know that last year my beloved Gibson SG guitar got stolen. Realizing that it’s going to be a long time before I’ll be able to replace it, I decided to sell the full flight spec case I bought to ship it to America.

Now, eBay sounds good. The truth is I want to sell this case, even if it’s just enough to get a little back on the large investment I made on it. (This is a full flight-spec case that cost around 250 GBP…nearly $500 US).

Now, I know I won’t get anywhere near full price for it, and the downside is that it’s a bit of a specialty item. It’s not just a generic guitar case, only a Gibson SG will fit in it.

So, the chances of me putting out a local ad and finding someone in the area who has an SG and needs an absolutely top of the line case are pretty slim.

Basically, eBay is the answer. The chances of there being someone in America who needs a case is much higher.

However, I was totally disappointed with how eBay and Paypal (also owned by eBay) try and nickel and dime you to death.

Some of the charges are fair and make sense. A listing fee, fees for extra pictures…but that’s where fair ends and ‘screwing you with micro-payments’ begins.

Here’s what I mean. I’m paying eBay to list my case. But then I have to pay a percentage of the final purchase price if it sells. You also have to pay an extra fee to list your item with a reserve price. Why? What difference does it make? You’re paying them to list your item if it sells or not and the higher the final purchase price, the more they get when it does sell. Also, you pretty much have to use paypal (unless you want the buyer to mail you a check, put it in the bank, wait for it to clear etc) and it turns out paypal is bullshit.

For example, it sounds good when you sign up, but to offer paypal on eBay, you have to accept credit card payments as well. Why is this a bad thing? Because in order to accept credit card payments through paypal, you need a ‘premier’ paypal account…which basically means they can now charge to a percentage of all paypal transactions.

In other words, you’re not allowed to say ‘I take paypal, but not from credit or debit cards’, you’re forced to ‘upgrade’ to a premier account and premier apparently means “we can take more of your money”.

So basically, here’s the deal.

I pay to list my item.

I pay extra to add an extra picture

I pay extra to put a reserve price on my item.

eBay takes a percentage of the final purchase price.

Paypal takes a percentage of your money when your buyer pays.

That’s only if you want a basic listing. If you want a picture next to your listing, that’s extra as well, if you want your listing in bold, that’s extra.

Seriously, eBay…why not just say “ten bucks to list your item”, instead of advertising a a buck per listing, and then nickel and diming your customers to death.

Oh, and I also used the ‘feature’, where you put in the weight and dimensions of your item, and it automatically tells your buyer how much it will cost to ship your item to them. I only realized after it was listed that this doesn’t actually include packing materials like the box and packing peanuts.

I suppose what really bugs me about this is that every eBay auction makes eBay at least two bucks…with millions of auctions being put up every day they’re making silly money. Charging for things that don’t cost them any more money, like reserve prices is just a kick in the balls to their customers.


OzzyC said...

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who doesn't use ebay.

Saffyre said...

I use it only when i really have to, it bugs me to death!

manda said...

i never use it, i tried it once, and i didnt get what i wanted.

then i wanted to start selling, but i couldnt set up a paypal account, cause at the time i didnt have (it told me i needed a savings AND checking account) the required things.. so yeahh i never became a seller..