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Old 02-24-2011, 12:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 4,617

I will not be joining this revolution. I've come to learn that eBay spoiled many of us, and after years of tax free sales, low fees, and doing whatever the heck we wanted, some sellers now can't handle the structure that was necessary to keep eBay clean and professional.

I was screwed more times as a buyer in the late 90's and early 00's than I was as a seller. Buying on eBay used to be very risky especially for high end stuff. I'd rather be overprotected as a buyer than to have to worry, and I think this whole theory of "seller's rights" is a big fallacy. Sellers, stores, and businesses have never had rights to do anything other than provide the best service they could, and even that hasn't always worked. You should have known this the second you heard about the McDonald's customer who got rich off of a spilled coffee.

eBay's fees are nothing compared to the fees you would accrue as a small business owner anywhere else. The credit card companies have been nailing stores with processing fees for years. That's why you see signs at gas stations and local businesses that say "$10 minimum for credit card purchases" or whatever. So when someone buys a .99 card from you and pays with their credit card via Paypal, Paypal is the one who gets the processing fee and must then charge us a bit to recoup some of that. Furthermore, they are providing an instant payment service that was the first of it's kind and literally revolutionized how we did business. I hated dealing with checks and money orders so I'm glad we have Paypal, and I'd rather pay small eBay and Paypal fees than to have to worry about rent and insurance for a brick and mortar store.

Retail stores deal with returns, rude customers, bounced checks, deceit, and unnecessary complaints ALL THE TIME. Bill collectors wouldn't have jobs if businesses around the world weren't screwed over by their customers every now and then. Spend just 5 minutes in the customer service section of Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon and you will see what I mean. Why should your eBay business be granted special privilege to avoid such customers when no other business gets that option?

eBay sellers who lobby for buyer accountability and start "revolutions" over unpaid items and the occasional negative feedback are living in a fantasy world. What retail store or business has ever held you to those standards as a customer? I'm guessing none. As a customer, the ball is always in your court no matter where you go. On any given day you can pull a restaurant manager aside, tell them your steak is cold, overcooked, undercooked, whatever, and chances are you'll get something comped whether it was justified or not. And if you choose not to tip your waitress, there's nothing stopping you there either. You also have the freedom to fill out a negative comment card, tell your friends not to eat at so and so, or post a blog about your experience. You can do whatever you want to tarnish that business with absolutely no repercussion. So in what way does eBay owe you anything more?

Is any of this fair? No. But it hasn't been fair for generations and businesses have had to account for money that they will surely lose to ridiculous customers. eBay will never be able to protect it's sellers the way they can protect their buyers just like U.S. federal laws have never been able to protect businesses from idiot customers. It's all part of the risk you take when running a business, no matter how small it is, and if your business plan doesn't include "dealing with idiot customers", than you shouldn't be in business.

eBay is not to blame. Human behavior is unpredictable and uncontrollable. You have no control over a dishonest buyer who rips you off just like you have no control over the thief who hits you over the head and takes your wallet. It sucks, but it happens, and all you can do is hope the other 99.9% if the time things will be okay.
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