Saturday, February 4, 2017

Why I do Not Sell On eBay

SO, why do I not sell on eBay?

I have a big reason, and many less significant reasons.

The less significant reasons include:

Scammers proliferate the site; both "buyers" and "sellers."
The search engine sucks/is biased/useless.
Listing now takes way too long.
The fees have gone nuts.
It is no longer a fun venue, and hasn't been for some time.
Your sales will eventually become "throttled" and you will find yourself working harder and harder and getting nowhere.
Sales die in the summer. (That is a problem it has had for over 20 years, maybe even since its inception.)
and I could go on, and on and on and on....and on.......and on....

However, none of those would have stopped me cold in my tracks as the "last straw" did about 7 years ago.

A simple thing did it, really.

And something I know as a former computer programmer really should have been caught years prior.

You see, ebay is built...well, BADLY.

It is built on layers and layers of code, from what I can tell. Initially it was based on shareware code, from what I understand.

Yes, software that was free for use by anyone.  Now, I am not 100% sure that is fact, but it is no matter, because it being based on shareware/public domain or if it is based on code that is proprietary are both not of consequence to the issue I encountered.

And, I encountered it by pure fluke.

My relationship status cause it, indirectly, actually.

Yes, I got married.

But that is not the main thing.

Let me give you some history.

I met my now-ex (the fact she is an "ex" now is also irrelevant) and we both sold our homes in Winnipeg.

We bought a house in the country.

We both had been selling on eBay independently of each other for some years.

I had been battling with eBay over overcharges,  refunds I was owed, listings not showing up in the searches for 4 days after I paid for a 7 day listing, etc, etc, etc. These bits of occurrences are not at all a new thing on eBay. I am far from alone.  (The Facebook group at that link has grown stagnant, but  happenings at eBay that helped create that group  still occur)

So, in the battle, and me being the stubborn one I am, I refused to pay a bill on my one which I  technically did not owe, considering the amount of fees they owed me and seemed unwilling to ever credit me, despite a mountain of evidence that they were in the wrong and thus owed me a refund that exceeded the bill I owed them.

Of course, they eventually cut me off entirely as a result, and suspended my other 2 accounts also, once they figured out they were mine.

But, we still needed to make money, so I started selling on my wife's account, under her name.

Now, the two accounts were not in any way linked. And they did not make any connection, and thus did not suspend her account....for that reason.

Here is what was happening on eBay at the time:

They had just forced PayPal down our throats. IE: If you did not accept PayPal, your listings would automatically appear at THE BOTTOM of people's search results.

They had just been told by the Austrailian courts that they could not force all users to accept PayPal and nothing else. That was writing on the wall for all of eBay;s sites.... whether it be dot CA, dot COM, etc. That action was considered monopolization and was/IS illegal in pretty much every democratic country.

So, putting non PayPal accepting sellers' listings at the bottom/low in the search results was how they forced every seller to start taking PayPal.

Seems pretty underhanded, but still not the reason I quit selling on eBay.

My frustration levels with the site were growing to astronomical levels...

But my severe eBay induced acid reflux was not the reason I do not sell on ebay anymore, either.

You will need some more history....

At the time, eBay also had a weird policy of refunding the buyer should they be unhappy with the merchandise...and, depending on how the buyer went about it, eBay ITSELF would refund the buyer OR PayPal would issue the refund.

It was a transitional time, and in true eBay fashion, they really made some ridiculous policies and programs during that period.

Anyway, this is what occurred.

We had been starting to accept PayPal. So, our listings were now appearing basically where they should have been.  Sales were "ok".

We sold an item, and the item was not in quite the condition as the description stated. It was my fault, and I owned the error, it was due to a copy and paste situation in the listing, and I missed catching it.

The buyer was polite and understanding, and had no issue with it. I told him I would issue him a full refund, including shipping costs. This was a Friday, and I told him I would do it once there was some money in my PayPal account on Monday.

He agreed that was fine, and was a-ok with that.

However....eBay had recently started a duplicate process for buyers to ask for a refund. One was already started via PayPal, but, the buyer, thinking he was supposed to also fill out eBay's new form, did so, and thus automatically ALSO filed a "Item not as described" claim.

What this did at the time was create an automatic refund...issued BY EBAY itself to the buyer.

Thus, then eBay charged us for the refund amount.

Well, my then wife's PayPal account was linked to her eBay account. The fees we paid came out of that account just fine, for the commissions and listings.

However, this refund amount WOULD NOT come out of the account. IE: We could not pay the refund out of the PayPal account.  Oh, we DID send them the amount from our PayPal account, but eBay claimed it was still unpaid.

Now, here is a little twist.

When we first started accepting PayPal, we noticed something, well, rather "curious"....scratch "curious", actually...make it REALLY F*****-UP.

You see, what we found happening was that ALL the monies from people making payments VIA PayPal was going NOT into her PayPal account (the only PayPal account linked to her ebay account).....

The payments were going into MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT.....which was in no way at all linked to her eBay account.

However, eBay, at the time, had no way to talk to a real person. It was all online menus, and a dog;s breakfast when it came to actually getting tech support. When you did actually obtain a phone number, you ended up in a maze of the same sort of menus....

 "Please Press 1 if you had this problem, Press 2 if you had that problem, Press 3 if you are going to blow up from frustration"

That was eBay. Maybe still is, I don't know...and don't care.

Anyway, SO, because we were getting our money; be it in a convoluted and really messed up way; we just kept listing.

Now, the ONLY thing our PayPal accounts happened to have in common was one thing.

Our mailing address.  Just our post office box number, town the box was located in, and the postal code.

That was it.

So, why was "her" sales' proceeds being deposited into "my" PayPal account???

A software glitch.

Imagine if "her" PayPal account had belonged to a major company selling hundreds of thousands of dollars....and "my" account belonged to a previous company at that location who happened to leave the mailing address the same....

I think eBay may have been sued into the stone-age.

And, imagine the use a thief could get out of a programming glitch/flaw like that? All they would have to do is create a PayPal account using the identical mailing address of any eBay seller and siphon off all of their sales that were paid via PayPal...!!!!

But, being the little people we are to ebay, and without the deep pockets to invest in a lawsuit, we made do, and were just happy we were getting our money.

And, that is far from the end of the story....but, I have a headache, just thinking about it all again, and need to take a, you can let some of this soak in before reading the next posting, and what became the "final solution."

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