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Goodbye, eBay …

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Wiki-Knowledge-article-iconThis post "Goodbye, eBay ..."  is really a literary elegy reflecting our recent commercial divorce from selling  online via this eCommerce goodbye-to-ebayplatform ( hereinafter referred to as 'eB' ). Our decision was prompted by yet another of their "throw-you-under-the-bus" decisions which was emailed to us by either their one of their AI bots, or one of their anonymous apparatchiks, we don't know which.  But let us begin.  We began this selling online relationship way back around in 2009, initially lured and, later seduced, by their enticing promises of easy, profitable sales. Alas, it was not to be...    Within a few months we tempered down our expectations and, as the years went by, we also began experiencing a regular and periodic series of growing displeasure and disappointments.  We shall list but a few of them here.

The first one was that, sadly, it became apparent to us when selling online with eB, was that the foremost reason, and perhaps, the only reason, that most folks visited eB was to look for something, anything, that could perhaps be there cheaper there than anywhere else in Australia, or  the universe, for that matter. Sure, sellers could try and offer quality goods over and above the run-of-the mill products,  but these tended to sell only if sold at prices as low as, or lower than, the cheapest ones. So much for cashed-up, discerning Customers.

A second one was our impossibility of being able to choose our own Courier service for the delivery of Customers' parcels.  It's not a secret that eB's encourages, facilitates and promotes deliveries predominantly via Australia Post (AP). However this particular carrier is decidedly and definitely not our preferred carrier. This is because when we first launched our online store, we actually did partner with them for several months.

We quickly worked out that AP seemed to adopt a model where metropolitan postcodes pricing seemed to subsidize remote ones, in other words,  country Customers were paying less than what they should, and vice-versa, city Customers were paying more that they ought to.

While this pricing  structure may, for their own reasons, have suited AP, it greatly disadvantaged our city Customers who were, and still are,  the majority of our buyers.   Alas, the partnership gradually became unsatisfactory and no longer to our liking, to say the least. We later changed to Fastway, now Aramex, which we found, and still find, cheaper, simpler, faster, more reliable and a much, far better provider all round.

Yet a third one were the losses incurred by unscrupulous  buyers dishonestly claiming  and fraudulently  obtaining refunds moneys from eB for Local Pick ups . We won't bore readers with all the sordid details of each disputed transaction, but the scam went something like this.

Buyer orders and pays for a Local Pick up item. Buyer then sends a friend or family member to collect  it. Said friend or family member arrives claiming to have forgotten, or does not have, the required QR code or  6-digit  code to confirm Local Pick up but  signs for the pick-up receipt with ID.

Seller later complains to Eb that the item was neither shipped nor made available for Local Pick up.  We give to eB the proof of Local Pick up but they deduct the money from our account and refund the Buyer anyway. So much for eB's fair and just resolutions!

By the by, it is,  to say the least, interesting to note that by the State of Victoria' Crimes Act  1958 - Section 81 "Obtaining property by deception",  it is an indictable offence for anyone to deceive another so as to obtain property belonging to another, with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.  Apparently, it is a level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum) crime.

Another fourth Issue was the gradual and growing unprofitability of in continuing to sell online with eB. Over the  years our own online store sales have steadily increased but the reverse was occurring with eB.  There are many theories out there as to why this was, and still is, occurring, but, as experienced retailers, we think that many eB sellers have had enough, packed up their listings,  and have either set up own online stores, or gone elsewhere, to kinder, nicer, cheaper  and better principals,  like Temu perhaps?

Still a fifth problem is the widely and firmly held conviction that eB's dispute resolution process has now become far too heavily biased towards buyers. In other words, and as experienced by us, they'll happily throw a seller under the proverbial bus at the merest of a buyer's whim.

There are simply too many credible online stories, comments, posts and far too much disparate information sources online about this specific problem to be dismissed as mere bagatelle, or imagined wrongs by sooky sellers.  We will add that, and as far as our experiences go, we got sick and tired of being ripped off by both buyers and eB and so we left.

A past sixth bearbug  was buyers persistently and consistently ordering, paying and demanding shipping for unshippable products. For instance, one of our most popular poster frames is the A0 Raw Oak poster frame which is always boldly, prominently and repeatedly marked in bold red text  * NO SHIPPING - UNSHIPPABLE- FOR LOCAL PICK UP ONLY !* or other, similar warnings and wordings, as exemplified below:   


Yet, the number of times that eB buyers who simply ignored any and our selling' warnings and placed orders anyway with instructions such as  "deliver ASAP" or " take upstairs to 5th floor" or " wrap up carefully, claiming is a pain" just got out of control.

Nearly half of all the buyers blithely ignored the warnings, ordered anyway and then promptly demanded refund when we advised them that unshippable products could not be shipped to them!  We actually started to feel apprehensive whenever an eB came in. We never knew if the order could be fulfilled or not,  or whether it  would result in  back-and forth -emails and a refund!  In the end we said, enough! And good riddance to eB!

The seventh one was the mutual frustration felt by both ourselves as sellers, and our  buyers, at the slowness and tardiness of eB to process both buying and selling transactions.  As an example: Buyer orders and pays eB for a Local Pick up product, say, an acrylic, football display case on a Friday morning.

The next day, a Saturday, our buyer messages wanting to collect their  order that day, ASAP, or at the weekend. We say, sorry, you'll have to wait 2 clear business days because eB hasn't paid us yet. The buyer, frustrated, complains that he's already paid eB, and threatens to cancel the order and to submit a refund request unless we comply.  All this despite our store prominently displaying warnings and explanations precisely about this very payments timelines issue.

The eight one is the obtuseness and prepotence of certain remote areas, would-be buyers. As detailed in our second point here, we stopped providing delivery services to remote eB buyers because of the unfair Australia Post pricing where remote areas buyers receive preferential pricing over metropolitan buyers.

Thus, if remote area buyers wanted  to order from us, they would be informed that shipping was unavailable for their location. So, rather than review, consider, or accept,  the provided Terms and Conditions, buyers would report us to eB as being unfair, uncooperative and threatening us with negative feedback unless we complied with their unreasonable requests.

To sum all this up, it's, simply become too difficult, time-consuming, burdensome and unprofitable to try to sell and deal with both eBay, and its challenging customers, so, goodbye eBay.


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