As a long time eBay
seller... don't get me started on this topic.
One problem with eBay
is their "shipping policies" are all US focused. The moment you go "outside the US", it's a nightmare.
Here's what happened to us in 2014:
We were highly active in eBay
stamp fraud prevention. One seller in particular (many you know, Ryle) after getting a number of his items removed, decided to "take it out on us". They used 6 bogus accounts and bought 6 items from us all between $1 and $3 each. Back in that day, we would just put them in an envelope, well packed, and send via post ($1.10 SGD - we were based in Singapore then, so around 90c at that time). 5 days later, we got the first negative feedback... "This stamp is junk". The next day, we got 3 more negative feedbacks "Garbage", "worthless", etc. etc. And the next day one of the stamps that we had sent came back to us with a "No such address". Now we know that that stamp went to that customer who had posted a feedback saying "This stamp is garbage, not as described at all" (paraphrasing), but then we KNEW they had never gotten it! The feedback was just to damage our seller rating and status! Then we saw all 6 of these items bought within a day or two for $1 - $3 each end up with a negative feedback. We called eBay
about it, and they said "What's the tracking number", and of course we said, "There is no tracking number we just sent it by regular mail BUT, we have the returned item as unbelievable while the feedback says the HAVE the stamp! And it's condition is bad. But eBay
policy was "no tracking, no protection". Even when we told them we would send the item, unopened to them so they could examine it themselves, they refused to do anything. (Wouldn't take the evidence, wouldn't remove the feedback).
This is what we got for "helping" the platform and the community. So from then on we HAD to start sending any item sold by registered mail, which added $5 to the cost. (Now in the US the CHEAPEST registered mail you can get is $14.95...) That essentially brought an end to all "low value" items we had (which we really envisioned as more "add-on" anyway, because we also had the policy of always combining shipping and so only one shipping price no matter how many <individual> items you bought, OR the highest shipping cost of any single item (if we sell a commemorative year set in a folder, for example, and you bought 1 stamp besides, then the shipping would be for the big folder, but no more).
THEN... fast forward to about 18 months ago.
We had some *clown* (expletive removed but I backspaced over it, just because it felt good to type it) we combined two stamps they bought. We sent them. We put the tracking in. HE then claims that only one stamp arrived. And that the "tracking" was only for one item, not both. (Another way to manipulate the system, and eBay
is HEAVILY weighted to the buyer and not the seller, even worse so before the separation of eBay
and PayPal). SO they would do nothing once again, even with tracking, and we get two negative feedbacks on both (very nice, moderately priced items).
Essentially, I'd had enough. I pulled our eBay
selling (around $50,000USD a month) and haven't returned as a seller since then.
Sellers get 0 protection from eBay
despite the huge fees they pay even when the "deal goes right", and then we take it in the pants when eBay
sides against us for the full cost of an item ($400 in one case for us), and we had nothing as a result. Just ripped off, facilitated by eBay
We always listed the cost of our shipping, and we were constantly "de-rated" as a result of it, and the time it takes to get items (because Registered is NOT expedited, and in fact registering an items will SLOW it's delivery, not improve it). The number of complaints we got because 8 days later "My item hasn't arrived" also drove us insane with administrative headaches, only to find the item would show up 3 or 4 days later.
In all the items we sold we NEVER lost an item. Not one. But we were forced to put this stupid tracking on if we wanted ANY support from eBay
, if there was every ANY dispute about an item.
Think this doesn't cost money??? Dead wrong.
I'm contemplating putting some items back onto eBay
, but we're going to take a different approach, and no offence to anyone, but it's focused on keeping the "bottom feeders" away. Otherwise, if users continue to abuse sellers and the venue won't support them, sources for good quality material will dwindle further.