Is the age of eBay on its way out?
Earlier this month (May 2008) I received an email from Paypal informing me that in a few weeks no bids would be accepted on eBay if they did not offer a Paypal payment option.
eBay own Paypal.
When I list a coin for sale I give the Paypal option through habit.
For several months now I have quietly copped the 3.5% levied on payments paid to my Paypal account as administration fees (read "rip off"). Strike one against eBay.
In the last few years eBay, through Paypal, would have charged me well over $1,000 in fees - far more expensive than my banks when one compares "apples with apples"!
Then what about their currency converter?
I live in Australia so the old US$ has to be converted and, yes, I am again the big loser worst possible exchange rate to maximise eBay's profits in an area most of their client's have no understanding of. Strike two against eBay.
Then, of course, you have eBay's own fees related to listing an item. If one takes these fees, Paypal's deductions and the rate exchange eBay takes about 10% of the bite! Now that would almost have been acceptable if one could contact a living person to get support on eBay or Paypal - good luck if you try it, I have yet to succeed! Absolutely ridiculous and there is a revolt happening right now in cyberspace! Strike three against eBay.
The view of many of eBayer's larger clients is that eBay are now bleeding the golden goose they laid. In Australia a new online auction house is being assembled by some of eBay's largest clients.
In South Africa a small auction house called BidorBuy, or Bob, has become my hang out. Here I can buy coins while paying no fees. Here I can pay sellers, with a good track record, by simply sending the money direct to their bank account without Paypal snagging their exhorbitant fees. And Bob's strategy is paying off with an active coin collecting community now buying and selling a much greater number of coins than seen on eBay.
So, while eBay starts to fade into obscurity with me and many of the businesses earliest clients a new generation of auction houses are arising to the occasion.
One of the hidden dangers of cyberspace is the fact that the trends cannot be monitered and I am just one of many traditional eBayers who are tired of being sucked dry.
Yes, the greed of eBay through its dictatorial rulings will see its demise.
Quite tragic really.
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