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Ebay, Half.com and why I hate people

June 10, 2008


Please support the eBay strike, originally uploaded by Linda Gavin.

I (N.) don’t really hate people it’s just that sometimes I really don’t like dealing with them. We’ve blogged before about trying to downsize which means giving away or selling. While we generally give a ton of our stuff away we do need money and selling our “excess” is a decent semi-fast way to do it. We had virtually no success buying or selling on Craigslist so we went to the standard option of Ebay and in the process found half.com. Half isn’t an auction site instead it’s an online marketplace for used DVDs, CDs, video games, and books. Most of the stuff we have sold has been on their and I used to think it was worth it. You set a price based on the going rate (so you can undercut everyone and sell quickly, or stick with the average price and make a bigger profit). We usually opt to undercut everyone so we can get rid of the stuff.

You can list as many items as you want and in the past three months we have listed over 300 items. All you need is the UPC or ISBN and you rate the condition and write a small description. If you have DVD series or really expensive books or something you can make a decent profit. The lowest price you can list something for is 75 cents. At that price you make an 11 cent profit and Half gets 80 cents (talk about a racket!!). You also have to pay shipping up front and wait to get reimbursed on the 1st and 15th for the shipping costs and your profit. So you may get a check for $300 at the end of two weeks and you think it’s a lot because you don’t actually go through and subtract the shipping charges or the cost of envelopes and bubble wrap and gas (to take all these to the post office). Still with all that I figured it was still worth it to make a little money and still get rid of stuff- that was until people started complaining.

Now some complaints were justified and the people were very nice, some were not valid and the people were rude. And here is the kicker since Half is tied to Ebay your feedback is the same for both. Wouldn’t be bad except that as a seller I can no longer leave negative or neutral feedback for a buyer. Ebay apparently thinks buyers were scared to write what they really thought because the seller could “retaliate.” So the guy that called me a liar and blamed me for the fact that his uninsured DVD case and DVD were cracked can say anything he wants about me and I still have to leave him positive feedback- communist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (After I give him a full refund that he doesn’t qualify for because he didn’t opt for insurance)

In general I don’t pay attention to feedback because I do the right thing. As a seller I give accurate descriptions and ship quickly, as a buyer I pay quickly so why should I care about feedback. Well, because people are rude. For a 75 cent DVD that would cost $15-$20 new they will leave something like “optimistic description” or “ok.” Seriously? Does the DVD play without skips, does the CD play without skips. If it plays like a brand new product why would you say these things?

I’m sure there were some valid reasons for Ebay’s decision but I’m done. I went in and deleted anything we had listed for less then a dollar because it isn’t worth the hassle. Once we sell the rest I will never sell anything on Half and will seriously consider the options before purchasing on there. Now Ebay’s auction site I haven’t ever had any issues with. I’m not a seller there, just a buyer and I’ve always gotten items as described at a good price but I won’t sell there. They take too much of your profit and they don’t seemed geared towards sellers. I suppose I sound bitter and I am. I expect people to be “fair” and “nice” and I’m disappointed when they are rude and disrespectful. What I dislike even more is those people not being held accountable for their actions. Instead it seems to be encouraged…

If you are looking to get rid of stuff I vote you try Goodwill, The Salvation Army, your local church or charity or Freecycle. At least then your stuff is going to someone that will appreciate it and the proceeds will go to a worthier cause.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2008 12:05 pm

    Wow – I’m sorry. That really sucks.
    I have a small issue with Goodwill, though. I read that in 2006, the CEO (yes, there is one) raked in something like $750,000 for his annual salary. $750k from people just giving him their stuff. Somehow this just didn’t sit well with me, so I opt for Salvation Army or other charity before I’ll give to Goodwill now.

  2. June 10, 2008 2:25 pm

    UGggghhh, yes, you’re so right. We were wrongly accused of ‘cashing a cheque in’ on eBay, when we hadn’t. The silly old bat left negative feedback, rather than contacting us about it (and getting her knickers in a twist), and so we’ve been tainted on what would otherwise be 100% feedback because of one stupid woman and her stupid mistake.

    eBay isn’t what it once was. But it’s too big for anyone to compete, so I think for me it’s back to tabletop, jumble or car boot (as we say in the UK) sales.

  3. June 10, 2008 5:29 pm

    Yep, I think it’s easier on my stress levels to just donate it and then use it as a tax write off than deal with terrible reviews that shouldn’t have been terrible.

  4. Bob permalink
    June 10, 2008 11:08 pm

    So, just so you know and can be proud of me, I’d like to tell you what I’ve done at work tonight. I read the extreme consumerism section on MSNBC. The whole thing. And, before reading your blog, I found the freecycle network and signed up. I’m rather proud of myself. I also informed my other half that we will be sticking the reuseable bags in the cars for unplanned trips to Target or where ever. Don’t know why we didn’t think of this before…. Anyway, this is all your fault. Just thought you’d like to know. Sorry I didn’t get to see you today.

  5. June 11, 2008 11:28 pm

    I don’t like ebay because the process seems to labor intensive, so I actually never sold anything there. It seems that most the sellers sell new stuff rather than used like it started out. It’s come to the point that eBay’s sellers have the power. I believe every year eBay has a huge event that caters to their power sellers. So I am not surprised that eBay had that rating policy.

    I have hit and miss with Craigslist. But I always like http://www.freecycle.org. Someone will politely take your things away. We had a 45 year old stove top. We post it on freecycle though we did not think anyone would want it. Sure enough someone showed up and picked it from us graciously.

  6. supermommie permalink
    June 17, 2008 12:11 pm

    I have purchased and sold through ebay. The selling cost is highway robbery! It wasn’t always that way. I just give things away now. I am thinking about listing some bigger ticket items on craigslist or gathering a bundle of my daughters used clothing and sell for a cheapey price on craigslist…we’ll see.

    The feedback issues caught me the wrong way once and it takes a while for bad feedback (even when not your fault) is left for you. Not worth the mental anguish. I don’t like the goodwill route either because it seems that so little goes to the people that need it. Perhaps they have good working programs, don’t know.

  7. July 21, 2008 11:05 am

    I am an eBay power seller of usefull but cheap chinese crap. The new feedback policy is murder. I have gotten more negative feedback in the last month than i did before in one year. People leave negative feedback for any little thing they can think of. Some leave positive comment on a negative strike. One left ME negative feedback for a PAYPAL error. Intolerable of eGay to turn its back on its community of middle class sellers in favor of the massive importers. EBAY IS BECOMING AN eWALMART for reject and factory second products. SOLUTION Start your own web site/store ….its cheap!! $80!!….Spend $50 a month on google ad words (it pays for itself in 1 week) With your new found independence from eGay raise your middle finger up high and proud in the form of replies for negative feedback received. (IE) “YOUR IDIOT ECHECK TOOK 21 DAYS TO CLEAR USE REAL MONEY FOOL BANNED” This will let problem bidders know that you are not a pussy and will stand up for yourself even if eBay wont.

  8. September 22, 2008 10:06 am

    Thank you for using my pic. eBay and Paypal sucks big time. They’re up to no good.

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