Friday, October 08, 2010

Selling on eBay

So, I recently sold some items on eBay, and I'm trying now to close my eBay account because the entire eBay experience is excruciatingly bad.  I'm not trying to be dramatic, I'm just disappointed that eBay doesn't get it, and I want to warn others before they make the mistake of trying to sell something on eBay.  Here's what you can expect when trying to sell something on eBay.

1.  You pay too much to post your auction.  This I actually get.  eBay has to make money some how, and this seems like a good way to do it.  But seriously... charging me for posting pictures of the items merely discourages me from taking detailed pictures of the items I'm going to sell.  Meaning a frustrating experience for me, and less information for the buyer.  Good job.  [Strike 1]

2.  You can't change the auction once it's posted.  I posted an auction, and realized afterward that I typed in the wrong name.  Can I change that?  No.  Ok, I get it, that way I can't bait and switch right?  But can I put a message anywhere on the thing alerting the people who are going to bid on it that there's a mistake?  Nope.  I have to tell eBay that there's a mistake, they will look at it and make the change.  But they need two weeks to do that.  Which makes sense, seeing as the longest you're allowed to have an auction go is ten days.  Seriously.  [Strike 2]

3.  You have to pay money because someone bought your item.  Not only do you have to pay to post the auction, you then have to pay eBay simply because the item sold.  And this payment is a percentage of the sale price.  Which means eBay penalizes you for selling things on eBay.  [Strike 3]  Hmm... I'm starting to get frustrated. 

4.  You can't control shipping prices.  Even though it cost me $6.00 to ship the items I was selling, I wasn't allowed to charge more than $4 for shipping because that was what other people were charging.  Uh... [Strike 4]

5.  You have to pay money to get your money.  Seriously.  If someone pays you via paypal, then you actually have to pay a fee for paypal to give you that money.  I'm not kidding.  If you want money in your paypal account transferred to your bank account, you get charged.  What kind of business fines you for getting what you've paid for?  Look at it like this:  I'm the seller.  And the person who buys from me is my customer.  As a seller, I'm technically eBay's customer.  Which means I'm paying them to auction my goods.  The product I am buying from eBay, is the price I'm getting for the item that I'm selling.  I pay eBay for the privilege of selling on their site, and if it works, I get fined if I want eBay to release that money to me.  Imagine, you pay $3 for a cheeseburger at McDonald's.  They make it and stick it on the counter and then tell you it'll be another dollar if you want them to release the cheeseburger to you.  Apparently that makes sense to eBay.  [Strike 5]

[It was getting so stupid that I actually started taking screen shots to prove I'm not making this stuff up.]


6.  Sellers can't leave negative feedback.  Because in eBay land, everyone is good, no one screws up, and no one out there is trying to shaft anyone.  I sold a game on eBay for $45.  The person who bought it sent me an email asking when I would ship it.  I told the person once the money was paid, I would ship the item.  They never paid.  I then had to wait a week, file a complaint with eBay, wait for eBay to try to fix it, and then after another week, I had to go in and close the complaint.  Which means eBay did nothing.  Thanks.  So, I try to warn other sellers that this buyer is trying to win auctions and have goods shipped without paying for them.

But surprise surprise, bad people don't exist, therefore it's actually impossible to leave negative feedback.  Seriously.  What's the point of feedback, if the only feedback that can be left is good feedback?  Who dreamed up this gem?  So, no warnings about poor customers.  Which means, you really should go on eBay and try to buy items and get someone to ship them to you without paying for them. Because apparently eBay will do nothing about it.  Sure, you screw someone over, but... eh.  eBay doesn't really care, because it literally does not believe that someone would do this.  Strike 6.

7.  Apparently, it's impossible to close your eBay account.  Frustrated with the experience I decided to pay my invoice to eBay and delete my account.  So I paid, and tried to delete my account.  But because I just made a payment on eBay, I have to wait 30 days to delete my account.  Ridiculous, but whatever.   So I wait thirty days.  Then, I get another invoice.  For zero dollars.   [Strike 7] 

 eBay actually bills me zero dollars.  I try to close my account, but I can't because I have an unpaid invoice.  [Strike 8]  So, it's dumb but whatever.  I'll pay eBay zero dollars.  So I pay them the zero dollar invoice [Strike 9] and try to close my account.  But I can't, because I just made a payment on eBay. [Strike 10]

So I have to wait another 30 days.  LOL.  [Strike 11]

 8.  There is no customer support.  Well, this is all so silly that I hit the "Contact Us" button.  Nope.  It goes to a search box where I can troll through their FAQs.  By "Contact Us" eBay really means, "Give up, we don't care."    [Strike 12]

So, I troll through the FAQ's and there's no answer to the whole zero dollar invoice thing.  So, I finally get to a screen where I can ask questions via chat.  SWEET!  I hit the button, and... I get a window telling me that I'm going to have to wait 30 minutes before someone can chat with me online.  [This is borderline comical now]

So, bye eBay.  I guess I'm not going to close my account, because apparently it's impossible. [Strike 14]  But hopefully, this post will keep one or two people from ever trying to open an account on eBay, or (God-forbid) try to sell something there.  Maybe they'll get this fixed, but I doubt it.  If you try to delete your account because you don't like the way eBay is structured, check out what they call a possible solution.

A.K.A. You don't like what we're doing?  Who cares. [Strike 15]


Lydia said...

Succinctly said. I discovered in February of this year I had a balance owing of 21 cents for the past 6 years!! No notice what so ever to pay up. I only discovered this because I wanted to start selling some items again. Even though I owed them money, my account also said zero balance. ??? Contacting Ebay is impossible and their self help question answer sections can send you to a mental hosptial. Lydia

Lydia said...

By the way, I was ultimately charged the 21 cents when the next billing cycle came around.