Burned Out On The Bay...?

Discussion in 'Articles' started by stingraysrock, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. stingraysrock

    stingraysrock PIF'd away his custom title

    Happy Friday From Florida!

    I admit it; I am burned out on Ebay.

    Yes, there are millions of items on Ebay to choose from. It is like a world of flea markets and garage sales and junk shops at my fingertips to peruse and buy from. But darn it! I am burned out!

    I joined Ebay in 2003 because at the time I was seriously into rebuilding a 1962 Chevy Pickup I had. I quickly became addicted to Ebay not because of the vast array of products, but because of the feedback!

    Here I am, nine years in, and I only have 312 feedbacks, that is the total as a buyer and sometime seller.

    312 feedbacks. In nine years. That is bunk!

    I have easily spent thousands of dollars over the years, sometimes buying items specifically to help drive my feedback score up. This includes buying stuff (junk) that I could easily buy at a local garage sale or flea market and save myself shipping fees, but no; in pursuit of a higher feedback score, I turn to Ebay.

    I remember my first and only "neutral" feedback I ever received. This was related to my quest for rebuilding the 1962 Chevy. I had acquired (through Ebay) a fully refurbished frame and various other parts, including a front grille for a 1961 Chevy with dual headlights that I thought was way more cool than the 1962 grille with the single headlights. About this same time, I found out that while the 1962 Chevy was funky-cool, the aftermarket specifically targeted the 1963 and up Chevy for some parts, but really kicked into high gear for the 1964 and up, or the 1959 and down Chevy. The 1960, 61, 62 and for a large part the 63 are pretty much illegitimate children of the Chevy pickup world. The saving grace for the 1963 is that it is much easier to convert the front suspension from torsion bars to coils or air bags, but really, you should just go ahead and go with the 1964 and up model in order to save yourself time, effort, money, and yes; sanity.

    Anyway, coming back to the point of my post, as this is a shave forum and not a pickup truck forum; I am done with Ebay. Burnt out, 100%.

    Has Ebay become a bastion of fraud? Yes. Is Ebay loaded up with people selling second rate goods hoping for first rate prices? Yes. Is Ebay just like any other shopping venue; buyer beware? Yes.

    There are many Ebay policies that drive away sellers and buyers alike. Ebay has had to refine their policies and procedures over the years just like any other business. But danggit, of all the changes, the one thing that has gotten worse is the one thing that I found so alluring about Ebay in the beginning.


    One of the changes to feedback that I think was good, is that a seller cannot leave negative feedback for a buyer who has paid for their purchase. In my opinion, a buyer who trusts a seller of an item that has been won and has paid promptly, that bidder has fulfilled his or her obligation. I bid, I won, I paid. My part is done. Now the seller needs to seal the deal. It is the responsibility of the seller to make good on their auction, including leaving reciprocal feedback for a buyer who has paid promptly at the end of an auction, and who in good faith has left positive feedback for the seller once said buyer has received their item in the as described status that the auction claimed. What I have experienced over the last year is that many sellers do not leave feedback. Ever. Even after repeated reminders asking for reciprocal feedback.

    I have taken to leaving follow-up feedback and stating that lack of reciprocal feedback sours an otherwise pleasant transaction, but it is of little comfort for me. I have also started looking at the feedback the seller has left for others to try and weed out potential sellers who do not leave feedback. Unfortunately for me, weeding out sellers who do not leave feedback also limits the choices I have to buy from.

    I have examined my attitude from the other side though. When I go to a brick and mortar store, I do not buy items with the expectation that I will receive feedback, so why should I expect feedback from Ebay sellers? I think it is because hardly any stores offer S&H Greenstamps anymore. Those were sort of like feedback I guess. When I was younger and more stores offered the stamps, I made sure to shop at those stores specifically because of the stamps. Ebay has a feedback function; I want my feedback, just like I would want my Greenstamps! I want my reward! I want my cookie!

    I think there may be a larger answer as to why I am frustrated over the withheld feedback and that is having a positive online reputation. But why should I be concerned about a reputation that only really means something to me, rather than what others think of me?
    That is the subject for an article on a self-help forum maybe.
    In the meantime, I am done with Ebay

    Well, maybe…
  2. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    I've never done anything with the bay, as it is I read more and more about the headache it's becoming because of unscrupulous sellers. Nicely written by the way.
    macaronus likes this.
  3. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Nice article, Jeff.

    I stopped selling on Ebay when they changed it so sellers couldn't leave negative feedback. There is risk involved for both buyers and sellers when dealing with Ebay, or any online purchase. I'm more secure in my ability to get my money back if a transaction goes sour, than my ability to get my item back in such a situation.

    So, I will buy, but I won't sell. As a buyer, I don't really care about my feedback. My money is good. The seller doesn't care about my reputation.

    Now, if a good feedback score got me a discount, sure, I'd care.
    macaronus and alpla444 like this.
  4. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    The quality of items is very often questionable. I very often look at other things they have on sale if the item is questionable, and the sellers other stuff is garbage. I take a pass.
    alpla444 likes this.
  5. Johnny

    Johnny Little Boy Blue

    Nice article Jeff. I've been a member of eBay since May 31, 1999 and have bought a lot more than I have sold. I never really paid much attention to how many transactions I did but I did care about the feedback rating (I'd rather get no rating from someone than a negative rating). I agree, it is irritating when you leave a positive feedback for a seller and they never return in kind, but that's life. In the 882 purchases that I have made, I have only been burned once. Guess I'm lucky.
    macaronus and alpla444 like this.
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Well-Known Member

    I have bought junk and been swindled on the bay:) but my good experiences outweigh the bad. I do agree that one has to be careful in making large purchases . I am guilty of not leaving feedback . At first when my purchases and sales were few and far between I had time to , now though I often don't bother unless specifically asked by a buyer or seller.

    The fun of ebay to me is getting the good shaving junk at a bargain price. I admit I have pumped my fist in celebration of a win:D . There still is some small excitement participating in an auction for me.
    macaronus and alpla444 like this.
  7. Slivovitz

    Slivovitz Well-Known Member

    I've had good experiences for the most part as a buyer on eBay. Maybe just luck, but the few times I had a problem, the seller did something to make it right. Selling there doesn't appeal to me, but then selling in general doesn't appeal to me. I could change my mind if I needed cash badly enough and was willing to let something go that was worth the trouble of selling.

    As a courtesy, I do expect that little pat on the back feedback from the seller, but it doesn't really do me any good. If they can't leave me a negative feedback, then the good one is meaningless. Of course, I do understand why they took away negative feedback by sellers, some of them were using it to retaliate if they got deservedly bad feedback from the buyer.

    As long as I'm happy with my purchase, then it doesn't bother me that the occasional seller won't leave feedback. Most of them do anyway, but again, that may just be my luck.
    macaronus and alpla444 like this.
  8. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    E-bay? I know not of what you speak.

    Seriously, I've never used it. I've heard too many horror stories. I'm just not willing to put up with the hassle of a deal that might go bad.
    My wife has made one purchase and was very pleased.
  9. NoobShaver

    NoobShaver BGDAAA

    I think it was 1999 or 1998 when I signed up for ebay. Back then I used it to shop for live (bootleg) recordings of my favorite bands and to buy used playstation games.

    I quit using it when I saw people would bid a *used* copy of a playstation game over the cost of a new copy. They were willing to pay more just for the thrill, privilege, whatever, of winning. I haven't checked since the 90s, but I'm betting you can't buy live recordings anymore and it would be silly anyway since you can find them for less at better quality elsewhere.

    Point is, I don't use ebay either. I hear you about the feedback.
    macaronus likes this.
  10. fishcrow

    fishcrow Birdman of TSD

    I collect both safety razors and fountain pens. Yes I buy from the Bay, mainly my purchases lately have been for fountain pens. There are great dealers on the Bay to deal with, there are others that ruin it.
    A majority of them have no idea of what they are selling, are trying to sell something for a quick buck. They think what they are offering is rare one of a kind. Pictures are usually blurred, often hiding what is wrong with the item. Some of blame for how the Bay is becoming a nightmare are the buyers themselves. Over bidding on items that are not worth the money, encourage shady dealers.

    I used to sell on the Bay, I do not anymore. I have found better places to sell my items when I want to sell something.

    Jeff, it is a great article and you made a good argument on why you do not buy form the Bay.
    macaronus and alpla444 like this.
  11. alpla444

    alpla444 That's sweet!

    I use ebay a fair bit, ive had some bad transactions not many, I do look at feed back, and do buy and collect when local, nice write up Jeff
    macaronus likes this.
  12. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    Great article Jeff...always nice to hear from you....Theres no shortage of feedback around here for the Stingster....ha,ha...
    macaronus likes this.
  13. lindyhopper66

    lindyhopper66 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. I just started buying on eBay last week and feel it's an addiction for me. It can be like a gambling addiction. I buy stuff just because it seems like a good deal, whether I need it or not or just for the game of winning with a bid well timed. I am backing away from the eBay.
    macaronus likes this.
  14. Conrad1959

    Conrad1959 Well-Known Member

    I've had almost 400 transactions, most as a buyer, and have had only bad transaction, so far. I realize that I have been fortunate. Ebay's main appeal for me is that it gives me access to vintage razors and vintage baseball gloves/bats that I can no longer find at garage sales and antique stores. Most of us who have been collecting for a while have already picked the low hanging fruit. I have to say that it is ten times more fun finding an item at a sale than it is to get the same product from eBay.
    macaronus likes this.
  15. blanka

    blanka I will not eat my shaving products. Promise.

    I've had pretty good luck on the bay over the years. Only one or two negative experiences, but nothing heartbreaking. However, purchases on there do not have the generosity or warmth that go along with a good trade or purchase through the TSD community.
    macaronus likes this.
  16. blazeadam

    blazeadam Active Member

  17. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    One would do well to remember that eBay is about one thing and one thing only: Making a profit for eBay. Everything they do and every policy they put in place is geared toward that end. They are not about being nice, fair or policing sellers or buyers.

    The only importance to one's buyer reputation is that it allows future purchases to be made. If you are able to do that, then there is nothing to worry about. If you are a good buyer and sellers still won't sell to you because of withheld feedback, then to hell with eBay. If you are looking for meaningful feedback, it might be better to look here rather than at an e-commerce site. People here are not obliged in the slightest to praise other members, so when they do they really mean it and it really counts. Which brings us to the important part:

    Stingraysrock, your article is thoughtful and insightful, and your observations quite informative and educational. The Shave Den, and by extension the larger traditional wetshaving community, are better off because you are part of it.
    macaronus likes this.
  18. macaronus

    macaronus Sir Nice-a-Lot Staff Member

    Nice article Jeff! :signs107:
  19. CyanideMetal

    CyanideMetal Wild and crazy guy

    I think what eBay is missing, and it's at the core of their business, is the face-to-face handshake/deal/transaction. Remove the buyer looking the seller in the eyes and things change quickly.
  20. 5Savages

    5Savages Well-Known Member

    I don't use Ebay near as much as I used to. I first signed up in 1997, based on my first feedback. I collected beer bottle openers at the time and was thrilled to find an easy way to add to my collection, for very little money. I was paying 50¢ to $1.00 each and buying lots of 5 to 10. My collection grew exponentially, but I found my enjoyment of the collecting of the openers decreasing exponentially. It turns out that I was as much in to it for the hunt, than as for the actual acquisition. It was no fun if all I had to do was just order it out of the Ebay "catalog".

    I still use it from time to time, but not like I used to. BTW, my feedback is only 208, all positive, but I don't think it really matters, particularly as a buyer. I do have one strict feedback policy. If I'm a buyer, I only give feedback after the seller has given me feedback. Since the seller gets my money before I get my item, they should be the first to leave feedback. If they don't, that tells me they don't care about my feedback. It really irritates me when sellers ask me for feedback and say they will give me feedback after I go first.

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