eBay / I would avoid ebay as a seller or a buyer
I suspect if they reviewed a restaurant that served nothing by glass shards, it would get higher marks from many people than EBay .
First of all, despite the popularity of complaining about the high fees (EBay takes around 20% of the sale between listing fees, picture fees, final value fees and PAYPal fees to accept the money.) I understand that EBay has a monopoly on the auction market and given their customer exposure, they could probably charge 30% and get away with it. So I am not going to complain about the ever raising fees because that is part of the beauty of doing business with an industry leader. Thank you sir, may I have another? (I will admit to secretly crossing my fingers that some knight in shining armor other auction site will come and bump EBay out of the market with lower fees and more customer service.
My biggest problem with EBay is that they are so large, nobody calls them on their unfair practices. EBay can pretty much do whatever they want to in terms of business ... stuff that would get other companies in a lot of trouble for market fixing, price fixing, etc.
An example of this happened to me recently as a seller on EBay. I am not a high volume seller and admit that EBay is more of a hobby than anything else. I see an item for sale at a really low price at a store, I pick it up and list it on EBay. Usually I will buy a pizza with the profits. Sometimes, the item doesn't sell and I'm forced to keep it (which is why I buy stuff that I can use myself.)
I have a decent amount of feedbacks on EBay. Out of 1255 transactions, 100% of the people I've dealt with have given me positive feedback. And EBay does a star rating to see how good you actually are, and in all of the 4 categories, I received 5 stars ... which is actually quite hard to do.
Recently, EBay cancelled one of my listings and suspended my account. It gave me no reason for doing this and when I emailed to see why, they said they could not tell me why my auction was ended due to security reasons. I called customer service and spoke to a representative who told me that he too could not tell me why my account was suspended and my listing was cancelled. He said that it violated an EBay policy and that is all he could say.
I contacted another person from EBay by email who told me that he could not say why the item was cancelled by mentioned that it was roughly because EBay thought the item was fake based on the price being too low. The item I was selling was a very expensive Nike soccer shoe. It retails for $185. They were on sale at a popular department store because the model is a year old for $50. I bought a pair (with a 20% off coupon) and wore them one time and decided I didn't like the feel, so I would list them on EBay.
Within 2 days of listing, EBay cancelled the auction and suspended my account. This is even that I have been an EBay member for 10 YEARS!!! I have 100% positive feedback!!! Not a single person has ever accused me in 1255+ transactions of ever offering anything but the real thing.
I spoke with another customer service rep. 3 days after the suspension/listing cancellation. The first rep. told me that I could appeal the suspension and EBay would get back to me in 24 hours. They never did. I explained this to the second rep. who told me that they weren't sure why nobody got back to me. I pressed the second rep. for details about the listing ending and after about 30 minutes of go around, she told me she thought it was because the price was too low for the item.
I don't understand how in a fair market, a company can suspend you from their site for listing an item at TOO low a price. What if I was given an item as a gift that was worth $100 and I wanted to sell it quick and get $20? $20 is better to have than a gift you don't want. That would be the equivalent to if there was a store in the mall that was selling polo shirts for $10 and 2 other stores in the same mall were selling the same shirts for $50, so the mall manager destroyed all the shirts at the less expensive store and told them if they didn't start raising their prices, they would lose their lease. This is more like communism.
I did a search of similar shoes and found that while most of the cleats were listed at around $80 to $120 (mine were listed at $59.) ... even at $80 ... similar cleats only sold 1 in every 25 times they were listed at that price. 90% of the cleats that were listed on EBay did not sell at all. Why would I want to price my cleats the same as all the other cleats that were not selling and had to re-listed (each time you relist an item on EBay witha fixed price, you have to pay $.35 + $.15 per picture + $1.50 for a subtitle if you want an extra sentence in the item title. (this went from $.50 to $1.50 during EBay's last round of fee increases.)
So, my choices are ... if I don't want my listing pulled and my account suspended ... I can put my cleats, that I don't want and used once at $79 - $120 like everyone else and keep relisting them because they don't sell. Or, I can not list them at all because EBay thinks they are priced too low.
Another strange thing is that if I go on EBay and type in 'Nike Air Jordan' ... most of the pairs of Air Jordans for sale on EBay are fake. They are obvious fakes as well. There are sellers who are selling 100 pairs of Air Jordan shoes, which are extremely rare and many of the most popular series were made 10 - 20 years ago. Yet these sellers have an unlimited supply of brand new, sparkling white shoes that were not available for sale since 1992. Also, Tiffany recently sued EBay because they found that 80% or more of the pieces they bought on EBay through a random sampling of sellers were counterfiet. Abercrombie clothing is frequently counterfietted and I've even seen obvuious fake Rolexes sold on EBay for thousands of dollars.
Another thing about EBay is the total lack of customer service. During this issue, my problem was not resolved because nobody at EBay would tell me why my item was removed. Nobody would lift the account suspension when I offered to show a receipt from Nike for the shoes I was selling. And nobody got back to me when they were supposed to.
I made 3 phone calls to EBay's customer service and spoke to 3 different reps. who gave me different information. The only thing they agreed upon is that I could not talk to anyone else from any other department about my question, yet they could not answer my question. The total time on the phone with these reps was around 1 1/2 hours.
I sent 5 emails. Two of them were answered with a discourteous form letter type of email telling me that they were not able to provide any information. One even went so far as to warn me 'selling unauthorized products is illegal'. Even though I explained I had receipts for the items and my feedback should speak for itself. Three emails when unanswered.
I was even given a link to a Live Chat Session with an agent on EBay who told me within 2 minutes that he was not allowed to address specific cases and that I should try to email someone. (which obviously yielded no results.)
EBay's customer service is a complete joke. It is a time wasting process that runs you around in circles and accomplishes nothing. What amazed me most is that every single person seems to have the same script about not being able to talk to anyone else.
I wish there was an alternative to EBay, but there is not for designer clothing. Amazon is better (buying and selling-wise) for media, books, etc. Overstock auctions is not gaining any ground and has only a few listings here and there. Amazon auctions is a bit more confusing in terms of the price structure and is not the place to sell designer clothing. I am stuck with EBay ... but from now on, I am only selling what I have left and will not sell after that is gone. I am also boycotting EBay for buying. I used to like to shop around a little bit on EBay, but now I refuse to.
Honestly, most of the clothes I bought off EBay were described inaccurately (described as recent manufacture and came and were from the 70s and 80s.) One time I bought a suit that someone claimed they bought recently at Brooks Brothers and didn't want anymore and I found a label inside the suit suggesting it was made in the late 70s. many times items come stained or smelling like cigarettes, mildew or other things.
I fell like EBay often penalizes the sellers who do good, maintain good feedback, etc. I pay about $200 in EBay fees each month for the auctions and have never been treated so badly by any company, even those I do not give $200 every month. On EBay it seems that the bad guys always get away with being bad and the good guys are the ones that EBay ensnares in its web to try to trap the bad guys. The ones who know their way around the system prosper, while those who follow the rules and have many repeat buyers and good feedback get the problems.
I would avoid EBay as a seller or a buyer. Too much hassle and problems. I wish I wasn't stuck using EBay and won't be much longer once EBay removes my ridiculous suspension and allows me to sell items again. Apparently though, I am not allowed to offer great deals. So I have to watch how good of a deal I give my buyers or EBay might suspend me again for offering buyers good discounts on items I can prove are authentic.
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