Thursday, January 31, 2008

eBay Policy Changes

If you buy or sell used books or anything else on eBay you may want to know about this.

Today I learned of some changes in policy on eBay for both buyers and sellers. You can read Steve Weber’s blog post to learn more. The comments left by readers are good too.

However despite eBay saying they are lowering their listing fees I read one comment on that blog post that did some calculating and in the end the total commission paid to eBay had an increase of 48%. I have not double checked this myself but the very idea of lowering some fees while raising others then having sellers pay more yet touting it as lower fees is not so ethical, is it?

In general I’ll share that I used to buy a lot more used books for our homeschooling on eBay. I have now changed to buying used books at library fundraiser book sales and through local meet-up’s with homeschoolers where we buy and share homeschooling books and curriculum with each other. I also buy used books through Yahoo Groups! for homeschooling curriculum reselling and through homeschooling website bulletin boards.

By the way eBay’s policy to refuse to allow the selling of teacher’s manuals continues to be a problem for we homeschooling parents who use teacher’s manuals to home educate our children with. That eBay policy drove hoards of homeschoolers to other free online sites. I prefer the Sale and Swap boards at The Well Trained Mind while others really like VegSource. There are also YahooGroups! For homeschoolers to buy and sell used homeschooling curriculum on. For the large part, we homeschoolers no longer need to rely only on eBay because we access to all those other free online bookselling resources now.

Here is what I have left for a comment on Steve Weber’s Selling Books blog.

I am primarily an eBay buyer and have sold just a few things on eBay. Recently I contemplated selling 10 boxes of stuff on eBay but the high listing fees dissuaded me and I just gave the stuff away instead.

As a buyer I am happy about the feedback in some respects. I used to buy more from eBay but have cut back on it. I have an excellent buyer feedback rating so am disappointed that feedback over 12 months won't be counted. I feel that years of being a good buyer is good to know.

I have had three really bad experiences with eBay sellers (not much in total) but the sellers did threaten to leave me negative feedback if I didn't give a positive feedback on them which was coercion if you ask me. Out of not wanting my own feedback history ruined I chose to not leave any feedback at all about the seller which is a shame for future buyers of that seller.

This all comes down to the fact that we're dealing with people and people sometimes don't care, don't have integrity, sometimes are not honest and sometimes are outright nasty and bullies. I don't know if a company can fix all these issues by having policies.

Even on Amazon in the Vine community we are finding and suspecting that some people are intentionally giving "not helpful" scores on customer reviews and Vine reviews in order to boost their own review up as having a higher number of "helpful" votes cast. I myself also have some very well written reviews containing both fact and opinion and a summary, that would help a customer decide if the product or book is for them or not yet I'm getting "not helpful" votes. It is very suspicious to me.

Since Amazon Vine is based on inviting customers with review rankings at 500 or higher it would serve the interests of some to try to boost their own rating by slamming their 'competitors'.

Anyhow back to eBay I will have to check out the listing fee changes as I have some stuff that I could list instead of giving it away on Freecycle, on Craig's list, to friend and relatives or trying to sell it to local consignment shops.

Although I accidentially forgot to mention it in my comment I’ll share that I get a lot of books from by swapping my books for other books.

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1 comment: said...

Hi. I totally agree that the recent policy changes at Ebay are probably not as sweet as their PR would have you believe.

I don't mean to be spammy, but I have recently got involved with a new, free web trading service called The site is very simple to use and it is free. Best of all you can use it locally so you only see content near you, but if you want you can open it up to show you stuff across the country.

I've already sold a pile of stuff o the site. If you have an existing community of people regularly trading stuff then would be a good option to manage it.