I’ve been selling on eBay for quite some time and with a rating of over 110, I’m finally getting to a place of trust among the buyers on the site.
Unfortunately, I’ve had several incidents in the last few months that have caused me to reconsider my loyalty to the platform.
Just in the last few months, I’ve had three buyers out of probably 15 total that have demanded a refund. One said the product was defective after she used it on an incompatible outlet. Another said the phone case didn’t fit the phone. I asked him to send a picture of the phone and he refused—making me think he was USING THE WRONG PHONE! Yet another wanted a refund because the package hadn’t arrived according to the tracking number. I had bought additional shipping (that the buyer didn’t pay for) and got another tracking number. I lost that number and couldn’t look it up online. I think the buyer took this confusion as an opportunity to get $500 worth of electronics for nothing. I was able to track down that second tracking number and it showed that the package was delivered. The buyer dropped the refund claim shortly after.
This is to be expected from buyers in such a big market. But what’s really annoying is the way eBay handles it. In my haste and willingness to please the customer I accidentally clicked “approve refund” for two of the incidents. Without the ability to confirm my approval, the system automatically advances the claim and there’s no way to retract that approval. I even called eBay support several times and they said there’s nothing they could do. Well, I have a suggestion: perhaps work on your user interface because a user shouldn’t be able to accidentally approve a refund of $500.
All of these cases went into eBay court under dispute and as such, the funds I had rightly received before shipping were frozen in my PayPal account. This took important funds away from me for several weeks for each of these cases (and no I didn’t get interest on the funds, though I’m sure eBay did).
The most offensive thing about eBay, however is their pricing. You think that you’re going to sell your item for free when you don’t have to pay anything to list, then seemingly out of the blue, you’re charged the fees for your sales (whether your funds are on hold or not I might add). And it’s not really clear where the fees came from or how much it was since they’re all lumped together. If you’re selling more than one item a month, this can get very confusing and the accounting on the website is not very obvious or user friendly.
I had to Google how to find seller fees and that only took me to an eBay support page that linked to another one, which finally directed me to the My eBay account page where I could see the total fees (not itemized mind you). They itemize the “savings” tab, but when I go for itemized fees, there’s nothing:
At one point I saw the itemized list of fees and it revealed a 10% fee for each sale. This is after selling at a discounted price because eBay buyers are cheapskates in the first place.
This isn’t just one big gripe. I want people to be aware of what eBay is doing since they’re not going to tell you upfront. There are a lot of buyers on the platform and for that, they can charge a premium, but all I’m asking is for them to be upfront about it. Until they are, I’m going to look to alternatives. Amazon is a much better platform, but it’s certainly not free. I haven’t done the math but it’s not much better than eBay as far as I know. Craigslist is free, which is great, but it’s also anonymous, which leads to an increased level of sketchiness. Facebook is now offering an exchange platform but that costs as well. The best solution I’ve found is right here on Omobono. With reputation of buyers and sellers and zero cost for listing and selling, it’s the safest and most cost effective way to unload goods.