In this morning’s reads, I mentioned an interesting  James Surowiecki piece in Wired, titled Going, Going, Gone: Who Killed the Internet Auction?.

Surowiecki got many of the major issues correct — the auction’s novelty wore off, bargains were arbitraged away, last minute bid sniping, and the power of Google search to locate items that were previously only found on eBay.

While those factors are reasonable, there are two other elements that can also help explain why I haven’t bought anything on eBay in years: Paypal, and Counterfeiting.

Counterfeiting: For a time, there was a robust trade in higher priced, name brand goods. Then the counterfeiters came along, and whether it was 1000 count Egyptian Cotton sheets or Tommy Bahama swim trunks, buying on eBay became an exercise in uncertainty.

Paypal: My personal experiences with Paypal were godawful. Whether it was as a Buyer or a Merchant, I have found Paypal to be infuriating to use. It is easily gamed by unscrupulous buyers, there is (or at least was when I used it) de minimis customer support. The service — and I use that term quite loosely — was a steaming pile of cow fertilizer. No humans were ever available. Their leverage  and to some degree, their profitability, was simply a huge burden shift to the user of Paypal versus what traditional credit card service offered.

My experiences with Paypal were such that I simply stopped bidding on items that were Paypal exclusive.

I don’t know what other experiences people have had with eBay. Perhaps like all new technologies – MySpace, anyone? — it has simply ran its course . . .

UPDATE: June 13, 2011 7:29pm

I thought of mentioning Craigslist, but skipped it — I wasn’t sure how much of a dent they had made into eBay’s markets. Numerous emailers and a few commentors made it clear that you found the free listings/classifieds site to be easier to navigate, localized in ways eBay is not, and generally less headaches.


Going, Going, Gone: Who Killed the Internet Auction?
James Surowiecki
Wired, May 17, 2011

Category: Consumer Spending, Psychology, Technology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

55 Responses to “What Killed EBAY (& the Internet Auction)?”

  1. NiNM says:

    Ebay killed itself by being continually reinvented by dorks who don’t actually use it and being made increasingly difficult to use both a seller and buyer. Paypal is a horror and now mandatory. Sellers are forbidden from leaving negative feedback for dishonest buyers, Ebay puts a 21-day hold on any auction proceeds, etc, etc. Plus, normal things can be easily bought for a better price via Amazon marketplace so you won’t see anyone offering a shirt with $15 shipping fees.

    However, ebay is still the easiest way to get the best price for stuff you want to unload but just isn’t right for a garage sale, like rare car parts and some collectibles.

  2. druce says:

    Sold an item, got bought by a Nigerian at a very high price – even though I said I only ship to US and Canada. Song and dance about how escrow service would release funds with a tracking number. Reported to Ebay, was charged the auction fee based on the high price. Relisted (for free at least) and sold it.

    Every month I get an email that I have a couple of bucks in my Ebay account, which reminds me why not to use Ebay, seems a setup to make money on other people’s bad behavior.

    The auction format is silly, always used a snipe service like gixen, why do I want to give up info to drive the price up?

    Never had a Paypal issue, but then I always changed fund source to credit card, so I could charge it back if I had a problem. Giving Paypal direct access to a bank account seemed like asking for trouble.

    Amazon Marketplace/zShops killed Ebay, all the legit sellers migrated and Ebay became a flea market ghetto.

    Great idea, not great execution.

  3. nickthap says:

    Ebay also makes everyone think every little piece of junk they have is worth something. (Hint: just because you have a Barbara Streisand LP doesn’t mean anyone wants it for $10, or for anything for that matter…).

  4. lunartop says:

    Life = Risk definitely doesn’t apply to me as far as Ebay goes I never used it – although that’s partly because I always found it messy and far to “busy”.

    On Paypal (outside of Ebay) – I’ve always found it pretty convenient, it means I don’t have to give my credit card details to multiple vendors.

  5. Chief Tomahawk says:

    HA! At least you managed to avoid Swoopo, BR. I sent $25 to “money heaven” via that ‘penny auction’ site…

  6. Dow says:

    My number 1 reason not to shop at eBay was Paypal.

  7. BPLipschitz says:

    Hate Ebay + PayPal. I used to complete all my transactions with USPS money orders–I felt I could always go after someone for mail fraud if it came to that (never did). But, now there is no option.

    The things other folks have mentioned certainly helped along the demise of Ebay. One significant Ebay killer for me is Craigslist.

  8. Lookout Ranch says:

    Early on we bought a number of things on eBay, when it was more like a flea market. Then the commercial sellers took over, and it wasn’t fun or interesting anymore. The last thing I bought was a motorcycle jacket advertised as the latest model but, in reality, it was the prior year’s model with small but material differences. That was 5+ years ago. There had been an increasing number of small, not-quite-right experiences leading up to that, and we just decided it was becoming more aggravating than fun, so we stopped using it.

  9. nj-professor says:

    Any little guy trying to supplement his or her salary, I think PayPal is less of a problem than USPS and UPS shipping fees. To earn a 3rd world minimum wage, even on attractive items such as electronics, new brand name clothing, etc. the markup has to be high to cover eBay, PayPal and shipping costs. It’s much more than most buyers would ever think.

    Craigslist, although less anonymous and often a logistics headache, is free and items not permitted for sale on eBay (cigars, medical equipment, knives, wine, adult, plants and seeds, etc., etc.) can be sold openly.

    If they keep their heads in the clouds and not on the ground, it’s just a a matter of time before it collapses on itself in the worse case and lose huge market shares to craigslist, amazon and other sites in the interim.

  10. rktbrkr says:

    I buy stuff on ebay but I’ve never attempted to sell any stuff there. Years ago I got cited for an ebay violation, could never get an explanation (I had only made a couple of purchases there) so I moved on to my secondary email address.

    Paypal worked wonders for me when a vendor didn’t make shipment and I filed a complaint with ebay, he emailed and called me within a half hour after they reversed payment to him. I listened to his 15 minute explanation he was just sort of goofy and not a crook IMO and he made the shipment.

    Depending on the magnitude of the purchase I do a quick comparison between Amazon,Shopzilla,Walmart/Sams online and Ebay and Ebay has been best for a bunch of electronics purchases. The auction aspect of Ebay has certainly grown dormant, this is the US of A and people want instant gratification and really don’t enjoy haggling.

  11. Easyenough says:

    The second time I refused to pay when the item that cost $1000 was never delivered, paypal shut me down. The first time, the seller just apologized, and said, in writing, that she needed the money. The second time, the item’s delivery confirmation, provided by the seller, was for a city four states away. I had 200 transactions, 100% feedback, and about $120,000 in successful transactions, and over six months I couldn’t get paypal to review the facts. I was the fool for trying.

  12. rktbrkr says:

    Ebay reminds me of an electronic version of the old junkyard where people scratch out a living selling old junk – and with 6 out of 7 job applicants getting turned away there will be more and more of this LOL

    Craigslist has always seemed too disjointed for shopping, is it possible to do a national search for something really rare and shippable?

    The ease of comparison shopping among these various e-sites is structurally deflationary, no?

    I’m looking for an 8′ sliding patio door set, any suggestions for a search site for building materials? No luck with the usual suspects HD,Loews,Ebay,Shopzilla, maybe a site that specializes in construction stuff, new or slightly used – TIA!

  13. ananthgs says:

    I think the biggest killer for Ebay was Craigslist. People have a better way to sell used stuff in the local area by connecting and selling for cash/check.
    Most car dealers and other dealers now use craigslist rather than eBay.

  14. donna says:

    I used ebay and paypal exactly once and my credit card info was stolen. I always use Amex on line and they took care of everything wonderfully, but I won’t use ebay or paypal ever again.

  15. biscuits says:

    I’ve been using ebay since 1996, though I have been using it much less than in the past. I have had 206 transactions over the years. I have bought gold and silver bullion, always from sellers with high feedback ratings, vintage clothing, used cell phones (to replace the ones my kids lost/broke before contract was up), cell phone batteries and covers, and computer parts, among other things. I’ve used Paypal for everything, and only had one “dispute”, where an item was not as described. That was settled to my satisfaction. Another time a seller disappeared, and Paypal reimbursed me. For things that aren’t “buy now”, I do my own sniping. I know my high price, and even if somebody else comes along and outbids me after my last seconds bid, I am okay with it since, like in a real auction, I’m happy with my high bid. I would never put in anything but a last seconds bid, and if something I am interested in is popular and gets bid up, I usually pass it up and wait for another one to come along. Typically I don’t have to wait too long since I’m not buying rare items.
    So I still use Ebay, but I’ve used Amazon more than any other site for online shopping over the last ten+ years, and Newegg for most computer stuff.

  16. VennData says:

    Imagine if Meg Whitman was running a state. Thank God, the plurality of voters in California have a brain.

  17. Sock the Mighty says:

    When I first started using eBay, most of the auctions were from individuals selling their own items. Nowadays it seems like 9 out of 10 auctions are from online stores who are selling new, in the box items. Why would I buy something off eBay when I can buy it in a store for the same price? That’s what really ruined eBay for me.

    There are still good deals out there, but they few and far between.

  18. abqhudson says:

    I think that greed killed eBay. Paypal is a joke – they say in order to use my credit card (which is good and has been for many years) I will need to provide my Bank account information. It’s none of their business and I won’t. eBay won’t let me bid because I no longer have a Paypal account – OK, I’ll just deal privately with the eBay seller and pay with my Credit Card. I really can survive without them and they can’t fail soon enough for me.

  19. Frwip says:

    Completely gave up on EBay and PayPal, pfff, long time ago. I can’t even remember. That business is definitively going MySpace.

    Maybe it’s just a blip but another one that may be going MySpace is Facebook if those numbers are confirmed over the next semester.

    Not only, I’ve dumped Facebook 3 years ago but I’ve literally installed a filter in my browser to nuke any URL going to the domain. I don’t want any of their bytes anywhere near my computer.

    I guess I’m losing some “functionality” on some website. I don’t even know which one. BFD !

    If I’m any indication, short Facebook! Oh, right, they’re not IPO yet. Gahh. There goes my multi-bazillions pesos contrarian play :-)

  20. CitizenWhy says:

    Agree that PayPal is dodgy/awful. Also agree that Amex takes care of problems really well.

    One day I posted a number of items (with picture, most lifted off the web page where the items are sold) for sale on Craig’s List, deliberately underpricing, and everything was sold and picked up by 9 PM the same day. At some point I will sell on Craig’s List again.

  21. BPLipschitz says:

    rktbrkr said:

    “Craigslist has always seemed too disjointed for shopping, is it possible to do a national search for something really rare and shippable?”

    I wrote a small script that uses curl and wget to search all craigslist sites within a 7 hour drive of where I live. Makes it interesting to find stuff. Some folks will ship stuff, and for bigger things, I’ll make a vacation of it and drive there.

  22. Rightline says:

    First as someone alluded to earlier NEVER pay with paypal without first switching funding source to credit card. They steer you to bank account funding because their profit is much higher. The added benefit of credit card protection can not be emphasized strongly enough.

    My experience is from the collectables side. I used to buy and sell rare coins and stopped about 2 years ago. If you had a scarce item often a good premium could be realized. Alternately you could locate items not found anywhere else. Starting about 4 years ago lax security caused major league fraud to infest the site. Scammers would post high priced items with stolen images and info from previous auctions. They encouraged the buyer to contact them direct for a good buy it now price and stole millions. The listings were in many areas including collectables, cars, farm tractors, machinery, and many other areas. Many message boards were filled with examples warning buyers and sellers. Ebay was very slow to respond to this rampant fraud and confidence eroded significantly among those willing to buy or sell a coin for, say around over $2,000. This coincided with the financal crises and listings dropped dramatically. The result was higher fees to list and final value fees as well as forcing paypal as payment. These higher ‘taxes” further eroded the base and pushed me out completely. If Ebay had addressed the fraud issue earlier they would be in alot better shape. Many people made empassioned pleas to Ebay to police the site to no avail. These people spent innumerable hours exposing the fraud warning everyone but Ebay ignored the pleas and denied the problem existed. This cost everyone money in the long run. Now I only occasionally buy an item there like cheap china crap cell phone chargers.

  23. rpwins says:

    Killed what ? (sell/buy all you got for free). Ebay sucks.I am moving all my junk there.

  24. alpittampalli says:

    Ebay didn’t do a great job getting rid of scammers (who contributed greatly to their revenues). And agreed that Paypal is attrocious. But mostly, Ebay became a place where you go to buy commodities at the lowest price. But this became silly because you had to wait so long to get it, and all else equal, why would you buy from someone you don’t fully trust. Ebay failed to focus on highlighting sellers of things that you couldn’t find anywhere else, and the fun of the auction system which is what the best Ebay customers wanted. Hence their downfall.

  25. Donald says:

    I use fleabay as reference for fair market price for almost everything these days. Even retail sites will sell their products more cheaply via an ebay auction. Paypal is awful. I don’t use them anymore. I’ve had great success with Craigslist. Communication is much better, allowing me to negotiate a price before making a commitment of a meeting. Plus seeing the condition of an item is a big plus.

  26. EIB says:

    I’m actually surprised at the reader comments. The most understandable part is the refund/security aspect of getting scammed. I can see that. Personally, I’ve never had an issue with Paypal, but maybe it’s all about experience and knowing what sellers to deal with. I’ve used it at least 250x over the last few years, and haven’t had a single problem.

    I don’t think Ebay is dead, but just the auction format. Many sellers post fixed price items. It’s now more like a store, not an auction site. I personally almost exclusively use “Buy it Now”. So, I think Ebay is still very very relevant. I use Ebay more than ever. I buy everything from razors to socks to laptops to cars on Ebay.

    I haven’t gone on Craigslist in at least 3 years. If anything, that might be a better example of a MySpace passing fad. Not Ebay. CL became an unusable site littered with spambots on both ends (fake ads posted, and spam replies to your own postings). I really am surprised people still use Craiglist. The only thing I can see it good for is buying a local car. That site is littered with nothing but spambots. 1/2 the ads are fake or scams. Sell something? You’ll get 500 automated spam emails.

    Of the 3: Ebay, Paypal, and CL…Craiglist has easily become the more irrelevant for me.

  27. Vergennes - VT says:

    Craigslist is absolutely one of the best sites on the (so is this one I might add). I have sold and bought vehicles, real estate, boats, tools and even diapers on Craigslist. As with many things in life, it’s simplicity is what makes it so brilliant. Think how much money it could make selling ads, yet it stays perfectly clean.

  28. filmotheklown says:

    As a casual buyer and sometimes seller, I can say quite clearly that Snipping killed ebay.

    It makes ZERO sense that Ebay allows this, and here’s the simple fix:

    Bidding ends at the appointed time OR 1 minute after the last bid !!!

    Thus if you ‘snip’ at the last second, the clock gets reset for another minute until such time as all bidding ceases. Anybody who’s been to a real auction knows this is the way they are supposed to work.

    Snipping doesn’t work in Ebay’s favor, the seller’s favor, or the buyer’s favor. Ebay and the Seller give up extra revenue lost by the arbitrary deadline. The legitimate buyer who might be willing to pay ‘more’ for an item looses the item not because she/he wasn’t willing to pay more, but because her fingers aren’t quick enough to beat out a bid placed by a computer at the last second.

    Snipping wears the buyer down. You have no way of knowing how much an item might end up going for because there’s not bid action until the last 10 seconds, so you have to watch multiple auctions before to get a sense of ‘fair price’ TEDIOUS. This added effort and frustration with price discovery is what has driven buyers away.

    Before Snipping, you could watch bid action and participate knowing that you had a reasonable chance of winning. Now, most ‘auctions’ I participate in don’t have any legitimate bids until the last 20 or 30 seconds. A $10 bid on a $1000 item 5 minutes before closing isn’t true price discovery in my book, particularly when it ends up going for $950 in the last 10 seconds.

    There’s are not doubt a host of reasons driving sellers away too. One of which is no doubt losing extra revenue by having auctions end arbitrarily when there are still interested buyers !!!

  29. ToNYC says:

    ebaY is what it is. I’m a buyer 211 times and have exactly two disappointments; one was not getting recommended and the other was a reversed transaction by an arbitrageur with no skin in the game, and bald-faced admitted same…otherwise perfect. Craigslist has no cash escrow reality, a critical transactional space not available to a Craigslist fall down. PayPal is the alternative to WU absurd fees for almost zero no risk. what it is. So many comments remind me of “Surfing sucks, Don’t try it”. Get it before it gets you.

  30. jpmist says:

    What I found interesting in the article was that auctions have fallen to 30% of eBay transactions. That in a nutshell is what makes eBay less fun.

    What I wish the article had covered is that the feedback system is broken. I have a perfect 244 and no way am I going to report anything even remotely critical for fear of a negative revenge rating.

    eBay/PayPal fees have gotten ridiculously high, I generally figure they get a 13% cut which is usurious. It’s the kind of monopoly overpricing that eventually killed newspaper classifieds. When someone offers a viable alternative eBay will go down just as fast.

    As far as customer service, it has improved, you can instant chat with a human being now when you need to. And I confess I still use eBay a lot, in spite of my gripes. Where else can you find as deep an inventory of used Stratocaster parts as you can there?

  31. It makes me wonder if all big web properties have a shelf life of a few good years and then the romance goes away and all we can hear is what nags?

    I still use it to for odd things, like I needed 300 used neck ties last month, where else you gonna get that in a couple days for fifty bucks?

  32. KJMClark says:

    That’s funny, I use it about as much as ever. I’ve noticed there are more “buy it now” items, but I just mostly ignore them. Most of what I go to eBay to buy is used equipment and parts. That’s what I’ve always gone to eBay to buy. It works better than Craigslist because of the national reach (Craiglook was nice for that, but Craigslist killed it off.) It works better than Amazon for used items because Amazon is almost all new stuff, except books.

    I’m waiting to bid on an auction right now, for replacement parts for my Ford Ranger’s cruise control.

    Filmotheklown is right – the auction end system is set up to encourage sniping. That’s why I’m not bidding on those cruise control switches yet. If it’s important, you’re better off sniping. The only thing I disagree with is that it’s worse for the buyer. Not at all. If I’m the one doing the sniping, then I’m the buyer, and I’ve probably saved myself 10-20%. I learned that lesson at real auctions too. Don’t be the first bidder until the item’s going for a song. An auctioneer will just keep lowering the price until there’s a bid. Let them drop it.

    I got burned by snipers a few times, then decided eBay wasn’t going to do anything about it, so I might as well join them.

  33. NiNM says:

    rktbrkr — Do you live near a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store? It’s like a thrift store for building supplies — sometimes they post photos on the web – though it is more likely if you live in a large city. The ones near mine are really fun to visit though you get tempted to take on stupid house projects just because you got something cool for cheap.

    If you need to search more than one craigslist area try the wonderful

  34. lalaland says:

    price discovery becomes pretty useless when all it leads to is fake merchandise, fake payments, a bullying bank and identity theft.

  35. DL says:

    lalaland @ 12:26

    Probably a few shills operating there also.

  36. socaljoe says:

    As an ebay member since 1998, I can say the primary reason for the decline in auctions is that ebay fees, paypal fees, and shipping costs have gone up substantially over the last decade. Many items which made economic sense to auction on ebay in the past, no longer make sense as all the profits go to ebay/paypal or the shipper… or if you try to pass the costs on to the buyer, the price is uncompetitive.

    I also have the feeling that there is more fraud on ebay now than there used to be.

    Lastly, it may be that the last decade of ebay transactions has cleaned out many decades of attic inventory accumulation, so that now the items for sale on ebay are less unique and end up competing with other commercial internet retailers.

  37. eliz says:

    Your experience with PayPal mirrors my own. Back when I first signed up (years ago) there were quite a number of rules and requirements added the further you got into the process of setting up an account or accounts. That really bugged me; why weren’t they laid out upfront? And should you ever need customer service, good frickin’ luck. I gave up using PayPal after fewer than a half dozen transactions. Like you, I chose not to bid on any item that was PayPal exclusive. Once PayPal was bought by eBay, I just stopped heading there – period.

  38. Adam_A says:

    I’m gonna have to say, I’m pretty sure the “Buy it Now” option is what killed ebay the most! It turned into a place to advertise a product rather than sell it to the highest bidder. It took the auction out of it.

  39. Julia Chestnut says:

    I went and looked – I haven’t bought anything on ebay since 2008. That was one item, and the rest of my purchases were about 2005-6.

    Honestly, I’m at a point in life when I’m divesting crap, not acquiring it. But more to the point, it’s just a huge internet store now and the fraud is so rampant I don’t know why I’d bother. I think that they killed it themselves by allowing so much fraud that it wasn’t fun any more because you had to do too much worrying.

    But there for awhile, it was a very deep well of items that were difficult to get ahold of. Those of you looking for car parts might consider purchasing Hemmings (talk about old school – but so are the guys who have that bakelite door handle for a Willys that you want) or going to a local swap meet. Not only will you find what you are looking for, but a (drumroll please) community of other people who love that stuff.

  40. rktbrkr says:

    NINM, Thanks for the leads, I live at the Jersey Shore and Habitat is active here, prime area for teardowns (still). I never heard of crazedlist, thanks.

  41. Chad says:

    Now it is just a listing for regular stores. I will just go to the stores website instead of using two intermediaries (ebay and paypal) or just use Amazon.

    Craigslist is way better. Meet in person. Chance to examine the item. Exchange payment right there. No shipping fees.

  42. SWMOD52 says:

    My wife uses craigslist to sell the kids stuff as they out grow it. Works fine. No commissions. Cash deal.

  43. bedhead says:

    Fast forward a couple years and the same things will be said of Groupon, although they’ll be even worse off than Ebay. How is it a good idea to have your company’s fortunes completely dependent on other companies feeling compelled to sell their products and services at huge losses? As if that’s in any way sustainable…

  44. orangesauce says:

    Disagree that bid sniping is anything to do with eBay’s core problems. @filmotheklown points out “A $10 bid on a $1000 item 5 minutes before closing isn’t true price discovery in my book, particularly when it ends up going for $950 in the last 10 seconds.” What must be remembered is the sniper who set up a last-second bid at $950 *knew* the item was worth $1000. He did his price research; anyone could have put in a bid for the real value of the item ($1000) and still won the auction over the sniper. The people that miss this point are the ones that just simply want to bid a few dollars more than the current bid instead of taking a chance on bidding the real value of the item.

    That said, I agree with @filmotheklown that eBay should (paraphrasing) simply extend any auction end time as long as there are bids in the prior minute, one minute at a time. This would make sniping what it is supposed to be: A means for serious buyers who wish to avoid teasing riff-raff users who are just there to have fun pushing up bids and have no intent on buying. By sniping, there is a strong disincentive for the riff-raff because they don’t know the value of what they are bidding on to begin with and believe they might be obligated to buy if they bid.

    Accurate price discovery on eBay is easy, just click the box for “completed listings” in your current search. eBay, for all it’s faults, has high liquidity, making it very easy to find a true market price. I generally check there before I buy anything on Craigslist.

  45. Ric_ says:

    As noted there are many reasons that eBay has lost it’s attraction but they all boil down to one thing….. Management that is totally and completely out of touch with their customers. Current management at eBay has destroyed the value proposition of shopping on eBay.

    When eBay became a multi billion dollar business, the ranks of management became filled with over compensated management who have nothing in common with the people that made eBay the success it once was.

    Millionaires running the company have no concept of the values of everyday folks who were the foundation that built eBay. Management’s focus shifted from generating revenue through high transaction volume to squeezing more and more revenue out of fewer and fewer transactions.

    Management that exists in a different stratosphere is the root cause of the decline of eBay. An unending series of bad business decisions made by people that have never bought or sold a single item on eBay has led to the prolonged decline of eBay, and for all their alleged intelligence, the current management team is blind to how they have destroyed the business that over compensates them for their failures.

    When eBay becomes a footnote in the history of the internet, it will be because of eBay’s own choices of management and the marketplace killing decisions they have imposed.

  46. socaljoe says:

    Bid sniping has been around at least since I started using ebay in 1998… I have seen no change since then.

    Craigs List is not really that much competition… it’s more for large, difficult to ship, items.

    Price discovery on ebay works pretty well for precious metals coins and bars… premiums a comparable to dealers.

  47. Livermore Shimervore says:

    Last four Ebay purchases

    Droid phone HDMI media Dock $20 (Verizon store $50)

    Monster HDMI cable $18 (Costco $35)

    500 GB external drive $40 (Staples $80)

    Fabspeed soup to nuts Porsche exhaust $1,600 (Fabspeed ~$5,000)

  48. Lugnut says:

    abqhudson Says: “I think that greed killed eBay.”

    Yep. eBay killed eBay. They started to realize that they had fairly susbstantial captive percentage of sellers who are regular merchants and decided to lean on them as much as possible to extract every last nickel out of them, in hopes that they’d always stay put. Didn’t work out that way.

    They jacked up selling fees at every turn, made it more difficult to deal with crappy buyers, and created the unholy (mandatory) alliance with Paypal. I don’t know Paypal has managed to escape regulatory scrutiny for as long as it has for the way they treat their customers. Its criminal. I used to sell on eBay quite a bit; not anymore, not worth the risk of a bad transaction and all the cards that will be stacked against you if it happens.

    Ultimately Meg Whitman and her executive team killed eBay. Craigslist merely gained in popularity due to consumers seeking a psuedo alternative.

  49. kcowan says: is also a viable alternative, better than craigslist, nicer layout.

  50. kcowan says:

    only for Canada.

  51. rktbrkr says:

    Does anyone know legitimate online real estate auction sites? I read that FL counties were going to start online auctions but I never heard anything more about it. TIA

  52. biggiebay says:

    HA HA thats a good one … hey geniuses FYI eBay owns kijiji and it sucks ….. try and post more than one ad … it won’t let you … or will refuse because its too similar etc to the other ad… or it also wants you to upgrade your ad (ie …… pay for the upgrade of course) Craigslist is way better ….. truth is kijiji is just as bad as eBay …… go figure … same bunch of fools own and run it …… LOL

  53. eBay started going downhill because there are few alternatives to it, as yet. Management made a deliberate decision to favour buyers because that’s eBay’s competitive strength: they have lots of buyers, which makes it hard for any ebay alternative auction Site to get off the ground. As long as that’s so, eBay sellers might as well be held captive. They have virtually nowhere else to go, unless they can strike out on their own.

    That said, the eBay advantage is being whittled away. I myself have gotten in to the ebay alternative business: . Eventually, enough people will decide that eBay just sucks and take their auction and buy-it-now business elsewhere.

    Here’s what to watch for. Right now, it’s easy to find a whole flood of complaints from eBay sellers. I haven’t seen many from eBay buyers. Should the company fall asleep at that switch, eBay is doomed. Buyers deserting in droves will make eBay intolerable for even professional sellers.