Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm In The Mood For A Swim

So I think I'll be jumping the eBay ship soon.

As of yesterday, eBay sellers will no longer be able to leave negative or neutral feedback for problem buyers. Yet buyers will be able to leave negatives for sellers, even if the buyer is the problem. Even if if the buyer doesn't pay for the item he/she bids on.

I've been selling (and buying occasionally) for about 4-1/2 years. I have a 100% Positive rating on 649 transactions. I'm far from being what eBay calls a PowerSeller. Still, I do my best to give good customer service and I'm proud of my 100% rating.

For the record, I've never left negative feedback for either a buyer or a seller, although there were times when it was probably warranted. I didn't leave negatives because I was afraid of jeopardizing my perfect feedback. Feedback for a buyer is of minimal importance, in my opinion. If they have enough negative feedback to be suspended from eBay, they can just sign up again under a new user name. However, feedback is a seller's very reputation. Just one negative for a low-volume seller like me can drastically change my percentages...and my reputation.

I'm wary of buyers demanding a refund for an item they claim they never received. I fear having a buyer refuse to pay for the item they bid on, then turning around and leaving me negative feedback if I dispute the non-payment. Simply put, as a seller, I now feel that I'm at the mercy of the buyer and run the risk of negative feedback any time I don't go along with the buyer's wishes.

I'm not saying that all buyers are out to scam sellers, or all sellers are above reproach. I'm simply saying that the new feedback policy adds a dynamic to the eBay scene that isn't setting well with me at all.

In addition, fee schedules for eBay recently changed and it seems that wherever there was a decrease in fees, there was an equal or greater increase in other fees. While price increases are the way of the world these days, eBay costs are beginning to hurt those of us who sell.

Craigslist works well for me for some items, but it's not ideal for everything. Small items seem to be overlooked a lot; I assume that rising fuel prices have a lot to do with it.

Anyone else in the same boat, trying to decide whether to sink in the eBay waters or swim somewhere else? If so, what alternatives are you considering?


Donna said...

Wish I could help sweetie! Never have used ebay!!hughugs

Lisa said...

I've used Ebay for buying and selling for years! I quit selling a long time ago because of their fees. Now I will probably not buy any more either.

I've used Craig's List a little. Not sure what I will do now. I've been checking into consignment shops for our clothing though.

Annie Jones said...

Since I posted this, eBay deleted a current listing because I used the words "like new" in the title. That didn't raise my opinion of them any.

On the other hand, I talked to my dad, who says he's just going to go with the flow until and unless he has problems with eBay. But then again, his sales are specialized collectibles whereas mine are very general. I think the sellers with specialty items probably do better.

DadGuy said...

You might look into amazon.com's used selling feature. I don't sell a lot online, but I sort of gave up on ebay for some of teh fees and hoops you have ot jump through. The next time I sell something I think it'll be on amazon.com, assuming it's something that they sell.

ebay is really still the biggest and easiest way to get people to buy in an online auction sort of format. I'm with you -- it seems pretty irresponsible of ebay to do that. I'd love to hear their reasoning.

Becky..AMHW said...

Overstock.com is sort of an option, I guess.

Problem is, Ebay has built in reputation and advertising. Going anywhere else means you have to sort of advertise on your own. That can be a full time job in and of itself.

I've got my own website, but for some things I like the quick Ebay sell. I just don't know. This change hurts me too. It hurts the folks who don't sell mass produced or collectables.