Sometimes writers-block hits, and when it does, the results are not very pretty. I was going to write about being a member of eBay since 1997 and a whole bunch of stuff about how I used (and currently use) eBay, but I think I will just say “screw it” and move on to my main point.

OK, enough of that. I can never just get to the point; you guys know me too well. Back in the day I found eBay really useful for collecting old video games, strange oddities, and RPGs pen and paper not the rocket variety. These days, trying to use eBay to support a hobby can be a pricy proposition, so I just use eBay for selling stuff; rarely do I buy anything.

I found a recent washingtonpost.com article about eBay’s “E-Commerce Growing Pains” rather interesting reading, especially for those of us who have been around eBay for a while.

As an eBay buyer I have only been burned once, and that deal was more out of ignorance than anything else. I thought I was buying an “original” VHS version of Disney’s Song of the South, but it ended up being a bootleg copy from Japan (or some other Asian country). At the time I did not know I could file fraud complaint at the Post Office; live and learn I guess.

As an eBay seller I have had great luck – I always require Shipping Confirmation or Insurance since I can use those as “proof” that I shipped a package. In 7+ years I have only had three people claim that I did not send the goods. Two dropped the claim after I told them I would send them a copy of the insurance and confirmation receipts. Unfortunately for the other one, my wife forgot to include a delivery confirmation number I was out $35 or so dollars. I guess the bad news is that two of the three happened in the last few weeks, while the first one happened several years ago. I hope that is not a sign of the times.

Recently I have had a heck of a time getting folks to pay; I would say that 20% of my transactions over the last three or so months have ended with me having to file for a refund. It seems like that is a growing trend, but all in all I have been fairly happy with eBay, and will probably continue to use them for selling items until another competitor makes it worth my while to stop using the giant garage sale known as eBay.


2 thoughts on “eBay”

  1. J-

    It’s really easy to MAKE people pay, assuming you are having a run of non-paying bidders. Just require immediate payment at the end of the auction. Also, be sure to state in the description that you require immediate payment so that the non-paying bidders will stay away. As an ebay vet you probably already know this, but it’s great because you literally cannot end the auction without paying for the item. I use it all of the time…and I have yet to have a problem. Sure, you might drive away a few buyers, but then again, aren’t those the buyers that you ARE trying to get rid of?

  2. Thanks for the comment. I have never had to use the feature in the past, but I guess times have changed.

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