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Thread: Not Another E-Bay Post...

  1. #1
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
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    Not Another E-Bay Post...

    Forgive me if this is beating a dead horse, but I have a question about people's use of E-Bay. Since E-Bay has effectively cornered the on-line auction market, which will probably remain that way for years to come, they've increased their fees without offering any additional benefits for customers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but ten years ago the check-out fees were something like 2-5%, depending on the final price of your item, and now it's several times that, in the neighborhood of 12-13% including the Pay-Pal fees. And people continue to use them, regardless of the loss of profits those fees entail. Maybe some have stopped using them already because of this. At what point do enough people stop using them that they have to lower fees- when it hits 20%, 30%, or 50%? Any opinions?
    Brian Vuillemenot

  2. #2
    Richard K. Richard K.'s Avatar
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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    After 800+ transactions (just my own stuff! I'm not a dealer), I've decided to stop being taken advantage of. This last bit with no M/O or cheques was the last straw (second and third last straws were the lack of negative feedback for buyers and having to specify a shipping cost when I don't even know if the item will sell or where it's going and no I won't weigh and measure boxes in case it does sell). That and PayPal raiding my bank account unexpectedly resulting in $35 bounced cheque charges. I think I should be able to sell photo stuff here and at APUG but I really wish I had a place to sell my collection of first edition mystery books! Anyway to answer your question, for me, the time is now.
    When I was 16 I thought my father the stupidest man in the world; when I reached 21, I was astounded by how much he had learned in just 5 years!

    -appropriated from Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    I usually give things a week or so to sell here or on APUG or occasionally on other forums first, and if I don't get any takers, they go to eBay. I'd rather sell on the forums, but eBay is a bigger market.

  4. #4

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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    You guys are causing me to rethink eBay sales, and buying. I have been using eBay and PayPal for years with only one problem. What difference does the fee make? It is the seller that is willing to sell to a buyer that is willing to buy that determines the actual cash value price. The eBay benefit is you sell your unwanted item. What am I missing from the deal?

  5. #5
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Carstensen View Post
    You guys are causing me to rethink eBay sales, and buying. I have been using eBay and PayPal for years with only one problem. What difference does the fee make?
    Well, if you can sell on a forum like this, without having to pay the extra 12-15%, you can sell for considerably less and make the same profit. Most people don't mind paying a few percent to E-Bay if it means there's a bigger potential buying pool and thus higer sale prices, but once you get to a certain fee threshold, people will stop selling because it cuts too much into their profit, and they may be selling at a considerable loss. It seems like that threshold has been reached for some people. As far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong), E-Bay has not experienced any changes that would force them to up their fees, so the increases are based on pure greed. They certainly haven't put the extra money into customer support! Combined with the hassle of bum buyers and the risk of Pay-Pal seizing your bank account, it's a wonder people continue to do business with E-Bay at all!

    Have any of you stopped selling on E-Bay for this reason? If not, how high would the fees have to go to make you stop?
    Brian Vuillemenot

  6. #6

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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Vuillemenot View Post
    As far as I can tell (please correct me if I'm wrong), E-Bay has not experienced any changes that would force them to up their fees, so the increases are based on pure greed.
    That would seem be based on the assumption that they were profitable when the fees were lower. Their current earnings are anything but spectacular. If their only pursuit is greed, they aren't being terribly successful about it regardless of their fee structure.

  7. #7

    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    I think I'm done with them.

    The last couple of times I put up some nice gear for sale I got multiple scam/phishing attempts and a canceled bid or two from "buyers". And the change to feedback where the buyer escapes any responsibility - I just do not understand. Selling on eBay now looks pretty sketchy to me. The risks seem to outweigh the benefits.

    The other thing is that I think the "great huge big fat garage sale" is about over. Used to be there were multiple sellers with oodles of good stuff fresh from Granpa's attic. Now its more "dealers" dispensing with crap they can't sell in a face to face transaction. Kinda feels like the good stuff is gone and the bad stuff hangs around at crazy "buy it now" prices.

  8. #8

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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    Without arguing either way, how do you guys tolerate 37% marginal income tax rates, 13% Social Security tax rates, 8% sales taxes, 50% estate taxes, Medicare taxes, excise taxes, gas taxes, special taxes on discriminated industries like tobacco or hospitals? With Ebay, you are going after the "little guy."

  9. #9

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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    Brian V., it depends.

    I still try to buy via eBay, sometimes succeed. For items sold at auction, I usually fail; other people value them more highly than I do. When items are offered for a fixed price, I buy via eBay if the delivered price is right; otherwise I buy elsewhere. For many of the non-photographic items I've bought in the last couple of years, Amazon.com (itself or sellers on Amazon) has offered much better deals than sellers on eBay.

    I stopped selling via eBay a couple of years ago for a frivolous reason. I don't have a digital camera and it seems that nowadays people who shop via eBay really want to see what the item offered looks like. And I'm too lazy to shoot items I want to sell with film and then have the negative or slide scanned.

    Buy I have one lens in a drawer that will get a much higher price from buyers in the far east who buy things like it via eBay, and I've somehow acquired a digital image of it. Sooner or later I'll offer it via eBay. For selling that one lens, eBay is still the best choice, charges notwithstanding. I've sold lenses here, have never been sure that I've got near top dollar for them.

    The evidence from Andrew Glover's practice is that to get top dollar, net of the cost of selling and collecting, eBay is still the place. Even though Jim Galli sells here (Andrew doesn't bother trying) I think he'd agree with Andrew about where the money is.

    IMO, three things are killing eBay. Amazon.com, eBay's unwillingness to police transactions, and the way eBay managers are compensated. If you watch eBay.co.uk, eBay.fr, and eBay.de you'll have see many reorganizations of categories and changes in the search engine. I think these are happening because the managers aren't making their quarterly numbers; eBay rewards managers for quarterly results. Amazon will eventually kill eBay's "let us run your store for you" business because Amazon takes a much longer view.

    By the way, you should all take a look at Amazon's charges to sellers. They're not trivial.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  10. #10

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    Re: Not Another E-Bay Post...

    I haven't used Ebay in awhile.

    When I lived in Canada it was mostly for photo stuff. Stuff which almost always was cheaper from good quality dealers when I factored in all the costs. So why risk Ebay?

    Here in Italy I glance some times but I haven't seen much worth the effort. Used stuff at above value prices. New stuff for similar price to dealers. So once again why risk Ebay?

    I think Ebay's bigger problem is more buyers deciding it's not worth it. If the buyers walk why sell on Ebay?

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