Has eBay "Jumped the Shark"?
Forcing me to Look Somewhere Else
I just had to say it!!
I could have asked if they just "pulled a Netflix"?? or perhaps "pulled a Bank of America??"
I've been buying and selling mostly baseball cards on eBay for almost a decade and I have to say that I have FINALLY had it. It took awhile I admit. I've put up with one bad policy after another but now it's gotten really foolish....
eBay Store Fees Change
Years ago, I had my own ebay store and I sold lots of inexpensive cards from the store. I used to keep about 1000 cards in inventory at all times since at 3 cents a listing it wasn't expensive and selling even just a few cards paid for the fees. Then they changed the fees to essentially eliminate guys like me from selling cheap stuff. I closed the store and said "Well fine, I'll simply do auctions only when I feel I have something interesting to sell."
See eBay as a marketplace is very odd and many collectors don't really understand how it all works. It all boils down to supply and demand and with eBay there is always "supply". With everyone having access to list items, things that were hard to find "years ago" are fairly commonplace now. So really, as a sportscard dealer, I can't list a basic card of a superstar because nobody will bid on it - that's why I liked the store format...
Recently - eBay decided to charge a fee on the Shipping charge you collect
Really, yes they did. Somewhere along the line, eBay forgot what it was originally all about. Freedom. It was supposed to be like the "never-ending garage sale". I don't charge a shipping fee because I'll make more money on it. I charge a shipping fee because I'm not supposed to pay for shipping. Now, as a seller, I get charged some percentage because I don't offer free shipping. So of course, if I sold a card for 99 cents (which is the way to get it listed for free), and I offer Free Shipping for the item, and it sells for 99 cents. I owe eBay a Final Value Fee. When the person pays me through PayPal (WHICH THEY ARE REQUIRED BY EBAY TO DO!!), they will charge me about 35 cents. And then on top of it, I still have to pay the approximately $1.45 to ship the card in a bubble mailer (which is the only proper way to mail a sportscard). So I've sold a card for 99 cents and spent $1.85 to get paid and ship it. I'd have to be dumb as a rock to operate that way.
If I charged the normal $2.75 for shipping and handling, I've sold a card for 99 cents, was paid $3.74 in paypal, spent the $1.95 to get paid and ship it and made a $1.79 (I haven't even factored in the cost of the bubble envelope and top loader so it's closer to $1.40). I think the feeling here is that by charging a fee on your shipping charge, you won't charge a shipping fee that's too high. Well, that logic JUST DOESN'T WORK. If someone is charging a shipping fee that you feel is too high, don't bid on that item. It's a self-policing variable. If I see someone charging $4.95 to ship an item I know should be lower, I simply DON'T BID!! It really doesn't take a genius to figure out that you shouldn't penalize everyone because of a few greedy sellers (who probably aren't doing that much business to begin with).
Thanks eBay for making it impossible to sell inexpensive items.
Despite having a 100% feedback rating and over 4700 feedback, my DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) are not up to standard - mostly because I don't ship every day. Doesn't seem to matter to eBay, I don't qualify for any discounts despite my exceptionally long record of success (To be honest, I feel the DSRs were the dumbest things eBay came up with - why isn't feedback enough like for every other system!?!?!).
Here's the New Wrinkle ....
Payments made to the seller (remember they can only come in through PayPal which eBay owns) will be HELD for 21 days, or until the item has been shipped and confirmed when the seller either uses the shipping option in eBay or uploads a tracking number from the USPS. So as a seller, I don't have access to the money sent to ME by my buyer. Not only that, I am FORCED to add USPS tracking to my shipping expenses if I want access to MY money sooner than 21 days. I wonder if eBay would be thrilled if I told my credit card company to hold up payment to eBay when they bill me each month for 21 days??
If I were a large company the business model outlined above might be acceptable - but that's not what eBay is supposed to be about. I'm just some guy who sells sportscards, just like at a flea market or a garage sale. I don't sell $100 brand new items and honestly, the people that do are using eBay differently than it's original intent. I understand that's what eBay has turned into but honestly, all of us little sellers out here are essentially done.
Here's ANOTHER Wrinkle...
Since I'm not a store, just some guy, I essentially use the money I make on eBay to buy other stuff ON eBay. Guess what? No more of that either. If I don't know when I'll have access to my money, I can't sit on eBay trying to win things I may not be able to pay for within a few days. If I undeerstand correctly, the item has to be shipped and confirmed as delivered and then they plan to wait 3 more days - I assume for any complaints that could be made. That puts access to my money, at the earliest, at a week after I ship it out.
Not only have I been nickel-and-dimed to death on the selling, shipping and PayPal fees, but then I don't have access to my money, AND I can't buy anything until I do? Well that just completely wiped out any need for eBay in my life. It's a shame because I've had lots of fun buying and selling on eBay over the years but this insanity is too much.
Thank you eBay for forcing me to look at other options....
Maybe somebody from eBay will see this and reconsider this foolishness...
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