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Has eBay "Jumped the Shark"?

Updated on October 9, 2011

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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    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Since this happened, I have run into a number of sportscard sellers who had the same thing done to them. Not small potatoes guys like me, I mean real big sellers with 250K in sales. I guess eBay is happy losing his 2K in fees a month!! I have to say that my interest in eBay which was a nightly thing for me has completely fallen off a cliff - what a shame - it was fun..

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Here' is the end of all kickers for this story. Since my selling was restricted to begin with, their was no mathematical way to fix the percentages and after further review I am now not allowed to list anything at all. Nothing - no more selling on eBay. For those of you who want to confirm - my ebay id is Kolius. Check my feedback and the fact that I've been on eBay for 13 years. What an amazing display of stupidity...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Try No listing fees, No final value fees (If you don't use a picture in search). Only 2% FVF if you use a picture. 5 FREE stores 5 FREE pictures for each item.

      No sign up fees unless you want to become a lifetime seller. Can't go wrong!! Remember

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      It seems that eBay wants to be Amazon which is a shame. I actually had to call eBay to clarify the policy as my payments that were supposed to clear 3 days after confirmed delivery, DIDN'T CLEAR!!! They got it fixed for the next day but seriously, what an awful way to do business. The whole DSR thing is awful and completely arbitrary. I have people giving me low rating for my clearly stated shipping charge of $2.75. How can you let people complain about a charge they KNOW about?!?! Their system has no basis in reality...

    • purp-drag913 profile image


      7 years ago from West Michigan, USA.

      Now that I think about it, I bought some sensetive plant seeds from e-bay a few months ago. It looked like some serious, big e-businessess have put links through them, or something. I'm not really a tekke, so I'm not quite sure what I saw. but I do know one thing: I didn't buy those seeds from an individual. I'll have to talk to my husband's friend to see if he still buys or sells on e-bay.

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Staten Island, NY


      Thanks for the comment and I have to say that I agree, eBay got really greedy and very, pardon me for saying so, stupid. I've been reading articles all over the web about this limitation due to DSR's in eBay and I can only say that my original feelings are even stronger now - they REALLY screwed this up. I am NOT ALONE!!

      I haven't tried Yardsellr yet though I started looking at eBid since it's connected to Google which gives it some clout online. Ultimately, though I shudder at the thought, I think eBay will survive but make far less money as sellers, good sellers, find other ways to sell their items online.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 

      7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      well done dblyn, 4700 feedback!!! wow that's huge, I formerly sold old art that was gathering dust on eBay in the late ninetees. I would usually wholesale a giant oil painting (something that in a good market would bring $500-1000) for around $50-60, along with a $50-60 shipping fee. Sometimes I would sell a painting for $20 and the shipping would still be $50! That was painful, but I enjoyed knowing someone somewhere was enjoying my art. But the fees got to be too much, even for the little money I made. So I'm with you man, somebody in eBay got real greedy and they put their thing in the mashed potatoes if you know what I mean.

      Well spelled out article, it makes me miss the Babe Ruth card I found when I was a kid, my dad sold it at the collectors shop in the 1980's for fifty bucks.

      I wonder who the new value/popular market will be? I see an ad for on your hub here, maybe them? It's gonna take some real ground support to tear away from the old timers at eBay.



    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Dawn - You're absolutely right, if they don't want ME profiting off shipping why do they think it's ok for them to do so. Great Point. They've really lost touch with what they are supposed to be...

    • Dawn Conklin profile image

      Dawn Conklin 

      7 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      That is way out of control! I have only sold a couple of items on ebay as they were items that I had and wanted to get rid of. I was never a power seller or anything but wow, I won't sell on ebay again! As a matter of fact, I probably won't buy anything on ebay now either.

      How do they think this shipping charge will prevent people from over charging on shipping? People will probably charge more for shipping now to cover extra costs. Is it even legal to charge you a fee on shipping charges? It is really supposed to cover the cost of shipping and ebay shouldn't be allowed to profit off of it.

    • dblyn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      If you don't mind me asking, is there a site you could recommend moving to??

    • Entourage_007 profile image


      7 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      I would be over it too. I once was an ebay powerseller and have taken my business elsewhere.


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