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Thread: eBay and PayPal alternatives?

  1. #1

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    Cool eBay and PayPal alternatives?

    In search of that particular lens or piece of kit, I'm sure almost everyone ventures onto evil bay or has done so in the past. Now with the spin-off of payP, things have gotten worse than ever. Besides the fact that payP offers buyer, but no seller protection (blocked payments on defective or never received items that were fine and signed for on delivery, switches and returns, etc), rates have quietly been increased (again). We're now looking at the auction fee (8%) plus payP fee (3.5%) and the greedy hands on the exchange rate (a further 3.5%) on top of which the seller pays the payP commission too. This combined puts rates above those of many conventional auction houses, even if only looking at the buy side... And let's not get into customs charges, although these have nothing to do with either of the previously mentioned parties. Traveling and ordering from the EU at times, I just paid EUR 1076 for a winning bid of USD 865 (plus 36 shipping). At todays spot rate, this means a whopping equivalent of USD 1183. Including shipping this is a 32% mark-up. I knew this in advance and am still happy I won as the auction included a few lenses I really wanted. However, the difference is exorbitant! We can buy and sell on the forum, which is great, but are there any alternatives? And if not, is it not about time to have one? Interested in your views and suggestions.

  2. #2

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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    Interestingly (interesting to me I mean), I recently found it was significantly cheaper for me to use my credit card via paypal for an item (quite expensive) priced in USD than to ask my (UK) bank to do an interbank transfer - PP's exchange rate was better than the bank, and PP didn't ask me to pay another 12 on top for the pleasure of my using their service.

    However, that's UK banking for you of course, of which the less said the better. And don't get me started on Import Duty and VAT ...

  3. #3

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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    I did a bank transfer to a member on the forum in USD a few months back and it was significantly cheaper than payP, the exchange rate was a heck of a lot better too... Interesting that there seem to be such discrepancies though.

  4. #4

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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    There is no alternative to eBay. No other venue has the reach or the eyes watching.

    As for payments, well, it depends on whether you're a buyer or a seller and on where you're located. As a buyer I like PayPal's and my credit card's buyer protections. As a seller, they worry me. But I've never had a buyer invoke them or try to defraud me.

    Bank transfers from the US are still excruciatingly painful. Because of fixed fees they make no sense for small transactions. I recently went crazy and shopped for an aged sports car. I came back to my senses before I bought one but I got far enough to explore payment methods. A bank transfers from the US makes great sense for a 30,000 Euro, none at all for a 30 Euro item. PayPal wins for small purchases, is silly for large ones.

  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    Before Pay Pal a buyer in Asia sent me a package of cash, registered and insured for the amount plus. Clever.
    .

  6. #6

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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    where else are you going to find that lens ?

    no more camera stores

    camera shows have dried up or shrunk down to nothing


    ebay is the game in town and paypal is the entrance fee


    I'm happy for it...I've bought and sold stuff all over the world


    if anything..shipping costs are the biggest factor

  7. #7

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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    A lot of record collectors are buying and selling on facebook groups now. I've also seen fb groups for selling digital cameras. There will be no fees on that except the Paypal ones as that is still likely to be the most used payment method. I have heard of rip-offs via fb via fake accounts and I assume there would not be the protection you'd get via ebay if that happened.

  8. #8

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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Before Pay Pal a buyer in Asia sent me a package of cash, registered and insured for the amount plus. Clever.
    .
    that's illegal, and highly dangerous. There is no such thing as insurance for cash money.

  9. #9

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    Re: Evil bay and payP alternatives?

    The real problem of the OP is being able to deal with honest buyers/sellers. Because the world is now smaller, and has many more people participating, the amount and frequency of problems has gone up dramatically. Paypal and Ebay charge a fee to protect you from those problems mostly as a buyer, but in many cases, as a seller too (especially if you have been selling since before 2009). If you are a casual buyer/seller, you can choose one of two options:
    1. Deal only with people you trust and know, and can have an actual discourse with in case of problems
    2. Pay the cost for someone else to protect you.

    There are any number of Forex companies which offer free wire transfers and substantially better rates then banks or paypal.

    Of course i am forgetting the third option -
    3. Buy it new.

  10. #10

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    Re: eBay and PayPal alternatives?

    There *are* better markets than Ebay, especially for specialized types of items. They may not have the global eyeballs but often will net higher prices when selling since it's a much more focused market as a result.

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