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Thread: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

  1. #1

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    Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    There are now a couple of active threads about how evil eBay and PayPal are. What a bunch of nonsense! I don't think the complainers remember life before eBay and PayPal. Or perhaps they never experienced it.

    I hold no brief for eBay, PayPal, or their idiotic senior management. These buffoons are converting what have been very useful tools into something much less useful. But the two services still beat the alternatives.

    I've bought goods from sellers outside the US since the early '70s. I've bought and sold used camera equipment since the mid '80s. eBay and PayPal provide a wonderful service. I have to wonder whether the whiners and complainers have any experience with alternatives to eBay and PayPal.

    You've all forgotten the joy of buying used equipment from dealers, mainly in NYC, from ads in the back pages of Modern Photography and Popular Photography. And you've forgotten the even greater joy of selling used gear to them.

    You've all forgotten the joy of buying equipment, new and used, from sellers in Shutterbug Magazine as it used to be. And you've forgotten the joy of selling used gear via small ads in Shutterbug.

    You've forgotten the joy of paying for small purchases outside of the US by bank transfer or Western Union. And you've forgotten the greater joy of receiving payment from abroad in foreign currency and changing the foreign currency to $US.

    eBay has greater reach than the alternatives. PayPal is much better for small international transactions than the alternatives. I'm delighted, and richer too in money earned and equipment accumulated, because of both services than I would have been if they weren't there.

    Where are your heads, people? The problem with transacting via eBay isn't with eBay, it is with crooks and incompetents on the other side of the transaction.

    Bahs of humbug to the lot of you,

    Dan

    Oh, yes, this is not to say I lack sympathy for Mr. Galli. I've never been stung as badly as he was. But I've been stung by sellers on eBay, also by sellers in the Shutterbug that used to be and by used equipment dealers in NYC. eBay's not the problem, the general untrustworthiness of people is the problem.

  2. #2

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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    I have on occasion escrowed a transaction when it seemed prudent to do so. The only time that I have been stung is when I failed to pay attention to the information that was in plain sight.

    I will not go so far as to denigrate those who have had bad experiences but I have found throughout my over sixty years of life that there is usually some aspect of myself that was involved in a making a bad decision...greed is one of those aspects of which I speak. It's not a comfortable or enjoyable thing to look at myself...however it pays greater dividends than complaining and attempting to place blame away from myself.

  3. #3

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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    eBay's not the problem, the general untrustworthiness of people is the problem.
    I can relate. The only words I'd alter are these. In my (albeit very lucky) ebay experiences it is 'the general untrustworthiness of A FEW people is the problem.'
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 28-Nov-2008 at 09:29. Reason: improper punctuation corrected

  4. #4

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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    Dan, your overly generous yet effective put-down sound like what a plantation owner would say to someone that complained about about their plight. Servitude would seem less so if there were improved communication/negotiating procedures. They would help eliminate the frustration that spawns the "whining" that amounts to a stage of public recognition that there is a problem and to a "notice" to those in control that we are not happy users -being so abused by ineffective procedures. Your rounded off memories ignores where we "live" -the here -today! I agree that "scarcity conscioiusness" drives us; yet, to play the game might there not be a more user friendly playing ground? There isn't a viable alternative "They" do have the real corner on the market. As long term whining becomes ineffective compared to the silence footsteps of leaving I'm learning to look to the skies for the Big Dipper.

  5. #5

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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    Clueless, I'm sorry but you don't get it.

    eBay and PayPal aren't perfect but they're much superior to the alternatives. The alternatives were and are simply dreadful, and in several ways.

    This gets to the essence of the whines. The bad old ways of finding distant strangers to transact with offered minimal protection to either side. These days, payment via PayPal using a credit card allows the buyer as much protection as his credit card company offers. This is much better than sending off cash or cash equivalents as we used to have to do. And PayPal is much better for me, as a seller on a very small scale, than signing up to accept payment via commercial credit cards.

    I don't understand whines about non-paying bidders on eBay. They don't prevent a sale, and they cost the seller little. Time-wasters found via Shutterbug could tie things up for ages.

    The bad old ways had limited reach. I'm spitting mad at the idiots who run eBay for making browsing eBay.co.uk, eBay.fr, and eBay.de for bargains in lenses so difficult and time-consuming. But even with the new hurdles I can find sellers there. And sellers all over the world can find listings on eBay.com. Sites like this one and APUG don't begin to offer the coverage. I've sold 18 38/4.5 Biogons for remount via eBay, and they went all over the world. I doubt it would be possible to move that many of those lenses via this site.

    The bad old ways took relatively forever to find buyers. Small adds had to be sent to S'bug months before they'd run. Months, and then the poor seller had to wait for prospects to receive their copies of the rag.

    From the buyers side, S'bug was terrible. By the time my copy of S'bug arrived the good used stuff had all been sold. eBay gives me a chance to find things. In the bad old days, I felt as though I was always last in line.

    Sellers aren't forced to sell via eBay. They use eBay to find buyers because it is be best alternative they have. Buyers aren't forced to buy from sellers who offer their wares via eBay. They use eBay to find goods on offer because it is the best alternative they have.

    About alternatives for buyers. Google indexes Craigslist and foreign equivalents. Narrowly focused Google searches sometimes turn up interesting opportunities; I've bought a few lenses that Google found for me. I hate the eBay search engine, but when I'm looking for used lenses it does what I need much better than Google.

    Good luck, have fun, get a clue,

    Dan

  6. #6
    4x5 - no beard Patrik Roseen's Avatar
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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    Dan, you are right that ebay and paypal are wonderful concepts in relation to what once was.

    When it comes to fraud and crooks I think that ebay and paypal has the means to prevent most users to consider doing it. However when someone does it is very difficult for someone in Sweden to push pressure on a bad seller in say the US. I have not either been able to get money back from a bad seller due to the time running out from slow shipments, promises of things being sent etc. If all packages would arrive in two days I could probably make it, but when the normal shipment could be weeks due to customs etc than time is working against me.

    What I find strange is that a buyer in the US can not report another seller in the US to the police system. It seems that ebay and paypal stipulates their own laws and that's it.

    For those in the US, have you ever tried to bring a bad seller to court outside ebay?

    ?? Did I just qualify as a whiner??

  7. #7

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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Winddancing View Post
    Dan, your overly generous yet effective put-down...
    Not that anyone should care, but I really like the "kinder and gentler" Dan Fromm!

  8. #8

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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    I remember buying and selling a little used equipment from the Shutterbug classified ads. First, you had to subscribe to Shutterbug. If you waited until it hit the news stands everything was already gone. And if you subscribed, you had to pay a good bit extra to have it delivered by first class mail. Because if you didn't all the good deals would be snapped up by those who did before your issue arrived. Then there was the problem of item description. Photos weren't posted like they are on ebay so you bought sight unseen, descriptions were sparse because sellers paid by the # of words in the ad, and you knew nothing about individual buyers and seller. Ebay's feedback system isn't perfect but at least you know a little, certainly more than you knew from Shutterbug. And Pay Pal? Yeah, they charge a fee but how much better to pay that way for a buyer than to go down to the post office and stand in line for an hour to buy a money order and how much better for a seller to get the money immediately?

    I've probably bought and sold a total of about 60 items on Ebay over a 10 year period. Maybe I've just been lucky but I've had only one bad transaction, a buyer who didn't pay. Inconvenient but no big financial loss. All in all Ebay and Pay Pal aren't perfect but they're a lot better 99% of the time than the bad old ways of buying and selling used gear by mail.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  9. #9

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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    There's a lot to be said for buying from an established brick and mortar dealer, (such as Midwest with a telephone number) who takes credit cards directly.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  10. #10
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
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    Re: Re eBay and PayPal, what a bunch of whiners you all are

    I think a lot of the "whiners" are comparing E-Bay not to the alternatives that existed before it came out, but to how it was in the early days. The fees were much more reasonable, you didn't have to use Pay-Pal, and generally speaking there were fewer scams and rip-offs. Sure, it's unfair to completely blame E-Bay and Pay-Pal for all these misfortunes, kind of like it's unfair to completely blame the cigarette companies for lung cancer...

    Personally, I will only buy and sell camera equipment on this forum. Much more honest, straightforward, and a better deal for both buyer and seller. And you don't get outbid by a shill bidder at the last minute...
    Brian Vuillemenot
    Images of Enchantment
    http://www.imagesofenchantment.com

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