The Horrors of Dealing with eBay from the Buyers Point of View
Well, I did it. I finally closed my account with eBay. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t sold there for years. Today, I closed the account to all buying activity, too.
Let me go back. I joined eBay in 2005. I didn’t begin selling on eBay until 2008, I believe it was, after I bought four bowls made by Spode in the Indian Tree pattern for $5.00 at a yard sale. One was an oval vegetable bowl with darkened markings as if it had been burnt in the middle and three desert dishes, one of which had a crack that couldn’t be seen or felt but that I could hear when I set the bowl down. Even with the markings and the crack (all very well described in the listings with numerous pictures), the bowls sold for over $100 and that got me hooked.
I had a blast selling things and had quite a nice business going on but was constantly worrying if the prices I was charging would cover the final value fees and numerous listing fees and the original cost of the item. But I clawed my way to the Top Seller Program by the fall of 2009.
Right about that time, eBay started a new thing with a pop-up box that would allow a buyer to bypass all but the listings from Top Sellers. I thought this was unfair to the small, part-time sellers and decided that even though I had made it, someone needed to promote those smaller sellers. So, I put a blurb in my listings explaining the Top Seller Program. I told my viewers that not only was this program dependent on the stars and ratings but also on VOLUME. I told my viewers that if they chose to look only at Top Sellers, they might be missing some great buys from smaller sellers who had 100% feedback but didn’t have to volume to put them in the Top Seller category.
All of a sudden, my listings weren’t automatically relisting! I was getting notices from eBay that I COULD NOT relist my listings because I had mentioned Top Seller Program. Keep in mind, I did not bash the site, I just told my viewers that there were bargains being sold by great sellers that weren’t in the program.
I commiserated with my Dad one evening (long distance) and he asked me how much I made. Well, I hadn’t really figured it out precisely so I took the time to do so for the year-to-date. I was shocked! By time I figured in the listing fees, final value fees, Auctiva fees, PayPal fees, and some mistakes that I had made and refunded for, I had very little to show for it! Yes, I had plenty going out but was mostly just being busy for pennies!
That did it! When I really saw the amount of actual profit I had realized and found that I was being censored, I decided it was time for a change! My husband and I loved to go to garage sales and estate sales but we couldn’t go do that anymore if I couldn’t find a way to move that merchandise along!
I remembered that I had signed up with OnlineAuction.com as a buyer in 2008 and signed in, updated to a seller, pulled my listings from eBay and said goodbye as a seller there! This is what I put under “ebay – My World”:
“We have enjoyed selling to our customers on eBay and on providing Excellent Customer Service. Thank you for your patronage! We are no longer selling on eBay~come see us at ONLINEAUCTION.com under kornkountrytreasures! We still have great things!”
I have sold at OnlineAuction.com since that change over and haven’t regretted it one bit! I began moving everything over in November of 2009. It took me some time to realize that having a store was better than month to month selling at $8 a month. At the time it was $196 the first year and $96 a year after that, for as long as you had your store! Wow! Well, I waited until September when Valerie Fain, co-owner of OnlineAuction.com, announced a special of $96 and I jumped at the opportunity! I got my store! And I love it!
Okay, I quit selling but I was still buying on eBay, things I couldn’t find elsewhere. Not a lot but some. And it isn’t the sellers fault the site is so badly managed, it’s the CEO and board! And I recently joined the FB group, Former eBay Sellers Open Forum.
Anyway, I bought a light shade on the 16th of August for a lamp. I had asked for the measurement and it turned out it was incorrectly stated. When I received it and found it wouldn’t fit due to the error, I contacted the seller but received no reply. I filed a case when I didn’t get a reply.
Within a day, I received a message through eBay that the seller had refunded the entire amount. Shipping included. I told my husband that I would contact the seller to refund the cost of the shade. I’d just resell it, no problem. I didn’t feel that the shipping should be refunded as he was incorrect and I wouldn’t have bought it if he would have given me correct measurements. So I waited to see if the refund hit my Paypal account. It did not. Nor did it get refunded to my bank account (I had used my debit card). So, I waited until today. No refund.
I checked my other email address that I use for eBay. There was the email regarding the refund. And, behold, there was an email from Paypal saying that the seller (and the name of the seller) was issuing a refund of $16.89 so that the package could be returned to the seller at the address on the label via FedEx. There was a button to click “Claim your money now”. Hmmmm . . . . . . . rule of thumb, NEVER click on a link in an email!
Today, I contacted Paypal. They said they did issue a refund but it would take a few days for it to be posted back to my bank. They could NOT address the other email and asked me to send it to Spoof@paypal.com, which I did. It was confirmed to be a spoof.
Now, the rub is this . . . . . . I used two separate emails for eBay and Paypal. The email was addressed to the email address that I use for eBay but was on a Paypal email! It said:
(Paypal logo was here)
XXXXXXXXXXX sent you $16.89 USD
Just thought you’d like to know XXXXXXXXXXX sent you $16.89 USD.
Note from XXXXXXXXXX:
We have sent you the funds required to return this item via FedEx. Please return the item in the same packaging in which it was sent using the return address on the box. Thanks you.
CLAIM YOUR MONEY NOW
This was addressed to the email I used for my eBay account NOT my Paypal account. It did NOT give my first and last name but only that email. It referred to the correct seller, the approximate amount of shipping (minus handling fees) AND the method of shipment!! Please not the “Thanks you.” Paypal NEVER gives a link.
I then called eBay. The first gentleman, after a good 40 minutes, finally said he would have to talk to his supervisor and call me back. He did so and said he was transferring me to a department that could tell me for sure, if the seller had indeed sent the email or if it was a phishing attempt. (I did wonder how they could determine if the seller actually sent the email but I went with the flow). He transferred me over after another lengthy hold period. The woman I talked to said she could NOT tell me how and where someone would get this information. I told her my account had been compromised if they had the email address I use for eBay, knew the seller AND the method of shipment but did NOT know I didn’t use the same email address for my Paypal account. She could not explain how that information got out to someone! I told her to close my account!!! Imagine my surprise when she stated she would have to send me to another department to do that!
I was finally transferred over to the retention department. I explained why I wanted my account closed. I was informed it would take 7-10 DAYS to close my account! I told her my account was compromised and she stated that it couldn’t happen any sooner!
Now, I KNOW they can suspend accounts at the push of a button! Why can’t they close my account??? Another eBay fiasco!!!!!
This is not a sellers dilemma, this is a BUYERS dilemma! So, it ISN’T just the sellers that are getting screwed! It is the buyers, too!!
Okay, enough of my ranting and wandering all over the place.
I need sellers to start listing in OTHER places!!! I WANT MORE OPTIONS!!! There are other venues out there . . . . . one I CAN recommend is OnlineAuction.com! I sell there, I don’t work there. I buy there. This is one site where for one flat fee of $96.00 a YEAR (right now it is a lower cost!!) you can list classic auctions, fixed auctions, Dutch auctions, or absolute auctions; whether you sell a postcard or a motorcycle, the final value fees will be the same . . . . . $0, zilch, nada!! The listing fees will be the same . . . . . . .$0, zilch, nada!! You are your own boss.
If you are sick and tired of eBay, as I am, check us out!!