Is it me, or is eBay turning into a veritable nest of epic FAIL?

I’ve been using eBay for 13 years and through all those years I’ve enjoyed a perfect feedback rating, although I think that’s going to be changing soon.  It seems inevitable that some choochwagon on there is going to snipe me with a negged up feedback, especially given how openly hostile eBay has become towards sellers.

I noticed this in some part last year when I went to sell my iPhone, and despite a history of positive feedback, the guy goes AWOL on payment, so I filed a non-payment dispute, to which he pleaded that I let it slide, because he was unable to pay due to Hurricane Sandy breaking his PayPal account.

Me:  ……………..

No, I’m not gonna let it slide you little deadbeat monkeyslut.  eBay added a strike on his account and I got back a refund for listing fees, but that was over a week of my time wasted.  Fortunately I was able to sell the phone to someone else for about the same amount of money.

So this year, it’s time for another round of eBay funsies so I can offload my old iPhone, camera and my MacBook.  I list my phone first, and I start getting inquiries from people begging to buy the phone for X amount of money, none of who were in the U.S.  One was from Romania, sent me an offer in broken English, another from… I can’t even pronounce the name of the country, and one more guy from Indonesia named Ahmed Aboobie Mahfoodzzz or something, who wanted to know if I could disable the GPS on my iPhone so it couldn’t be tracked.

Cosby Face Palm

Does anyone in THIS country actually use eBay anymore?   I feel like I’m trading in a marketplace on Tatooine now.

Anyway, I ultimately sell my iPhone for a healthy $500 to Achmed Smackmed (or something) who thankfully only took a day to pay me.  I’m psyched over how much I was able to sell the iPhone 5 for… until I see eBay’s fee:  $50.


And then on top of that I get docked with the transaction fee on PayPal, not 2.9% like they usually charge mind you, no it’s 3.9% because Achmed Smackmed is verified but NON-U.S. PayPal member, so the sale was actually an international one, despite the shipping address being in FLORIDA.  All in all, eBay just helped themselves to 14% of my profit.


Oh, and let’s not get started on my camera, which also sold for a nice chunk of change, except this guy is also taking his sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet mommy time in paying up, despite the fact that he’s got a good feedback rating as a seller as well as a buyer.  So now I have another non-payment case opened up and will have to sit on my laurels for a week before I can re-list it or ship it out.  I can’t even leave negative feedback on a buyer anymore, the best I can do is complete a payment dispute and have a strike added to their record, a process that apparently does nothing to slow down the rate of deadbeats and procrastinating buyers on eBay.

And through all this, if the guy DOES pay (albeit not in a timely fashion), the dispute is closed and he can STILL leave neg feedback, even if as a seller I did exactly what was in my right to do (opening a dispute grants some degree of protection and ensures you get a refund on your listing fees).  Yep, they can get all obnoxious and huffy on your feedback page:  “This seller couldn’t wait 2 months for me to pay him.  SO unreasonable!!!  THUMBS DOWN”

And of course all I can do is watch as they gleefully add a black mark to my otherwise perfect feedback record just because they can, and yet the only feedback I can give them in return is a positive one.  That’s why every eBay buyer from here to Calcutta (no matter how deadbeat or scammy they are) has a 100% positive feedback rating.  Ridiculous.

Too bad Craigslist has all them serial killers hanging about on there, or I’d totally sell my junk on there instead.  Oy.

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6 Responses to Is it me, or is eBay turning into a veritable nest of epic FAIL?

  1. an observer October 26, 2013 at 1:55 AM #

    Hey Frank,

    My experience mirrors yours. Ebay seems geared to the big volume sellers, individuals are best off selling elsewhere.

    Ive been burnt both as a buyer and as a seller, ebays typical response was ‘not our problem.’ I still buy cheaper stuff on it but anything much over say fifty bucks, i have second thoughts.

    One of the key issues seems to be the lack of accountability. Ive had people bid on stuff, fail to pay and when they accrue enough strikes, they just open another account. Too easy.

    And sellers advertise one product, and send something different like an earlier model. Its pointless giving a bad review, because i end up red flagged as well. The feedback system is a waste of time, pointless onanism that achieves nothing.

    I sold a heap of stuff on ebay last year. Not planning on doing that again.

    • Frank Swift October 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM #

      Yeah, I only use it basically to dump old tech, but it’s become such a nuisance now that I made opt to do trade-ins instead in the future, even if I don’t get as much money.

  2. an observer October 27, 2013 at 8:55 PM #

    Thought of doing tradeins, but it seems less common here. Id like to upgrade a camera, but the residual value of what i have is so low, vs the outright cost of the body only, makes it unjustifiable.

    I sold another camera on ebay, only to have them claim a nice stake of the selling price. Like taxes, higher costs discourage turnover. Ebay tries to increase listings by offering free listing, but a better way would be lower selling costs, which would increase volume.

    Basic austrian economics, 101.

  3. Robby October 29, 2013 at 6:15 AM #

    Hi Frank,

    One way to make sure to get paid is to use the “immediate payment required” feature in the auction. I believe that the transaction isn’t completed unless they process their payment info so that should stop the lookie loo’s actions of claim and not buy.

    Ebay has become so ridiculous with raping people with fees for selling, fees for shipping, and the fact they bought Paypal is a total scam. I’ll buy occasionally but their free listing scam is just that, a scam! It costs pennies to place an auction but their rapist final value fees is what screws you. If somebody was smart they would come up with the killer site to blow ebay out of the water! It’s about time ebay gets displaced.

    • Frank October 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM #

      Robby, the immediate payment only works when you use the Buy It Now option, and even then you lose that option if you allow people to bid as well. So basically, only Buy It Now listings will work, and you’ll likely won’t be able to get as much money as you would with an auction. Tradeoffs all around.

      After unloading my junk, eBay made off with almost $100 of my sales. We definitely need alternatives.

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