If you have read any of my previous writings about my thoughts on eBay you know that I refer to it as the Internet’s Wal-Mart and a business that has come a long way from its origin.
eBay used to be a place you could sell used items around your house for a profit. Lately, however, eBay has pandered to the “career eBay-ers” to the point where anyone like me selling maybe $1,500 a year can not only not compete, but can’t get eBay on their side.
An example would be eBay and PayPal’s protection policy where any buyer, for whatever reason, can pretty much ask for their money back. PayPal holds it (or takes it out of your bank account) and returns the money to the buyer once the buyer and seller have agreed on terms (which usually ends up being the buyer gets his money back and the sellers gets his item back more used than it was before, or worse, broken.)
This happened to me recently when I sold a used computer with no memory and no hard drive. This was clearly stated not only in the title of the auction, but three times in the body. I also mentioned that I could not test the workability of the computer as such and offered no warranty, refund, or returns.
But eBay and PayPal’s policies supersede a seller's.
The buyer tried to build the computer by getting some generic memory and a used hard drive. He couldn’t get it to work so he disputed it with PayPal and I lost that sell. In fact, I just told the buyer to keep the computer. I didn’t need to “restock” a used computer with used parts in it that didn’t work.
This brings me to Craigslist. Recently, eBay and Craigslist had a little squabble over eBay’s favorite thing — money.
The story is kind of a legal battle, which I don’t entirely follow. But I did get from the article that eBay owns 28% of privately held Craigslist because they saw potential in the “online classified market”.