Saturday, July 2, 2011

I would love a good alternative to Ebay.....

Ebay..... we were once such good friends!

I bought and sold on E-bay for years, mostly selling. I had a few thousand auctions under my belt, sold lots of stuff, and had a 100% feedback rating. It was profitable, but most of all it was fun. I loved watching my auctions end, seeing the last minute bidding, and trying to figure out what people were thinking based on how they reacted to what I wrote in the auction.

But... Ebay changed. They brought PayPal on board.... at first a good thing. Easy payments on-line! Convenience! Relative safety!

Then.... Ebay made accepting PayPal a requirement to sell on their site. Fee's climbed up and up. Ebay pushed to make PayPal the only acceptable means of using their auction site... and raked in billions in transaction fees.

All that, I could have dealt with as the cost of using their service. If it was too high, the market (and I) would quit using their auction site.

But.... then.... PayPal went over to the dark side.

My own experience? After years of using them, and a constant 100% rating, they began 'freezing' my account on a regular basis. Not frozen to incoming funds... but freezing my access to them. By their own wording I was a perfect customer, but like clockwork... I could count on it... if I had anything more than a few hundred dollars in the account they would 'lock' it for a few weeks, demanding I provide them with anal X-rays and my grandmothers DNA samples to prove my identity.

No explanation was offered when I pushed for one. Just Borg generated form letters demonstrating the complete lack of human involvement on their end.

My thoughts? They were not only riding the float on the cash belonging to millions of customers, but were actively locking up the funds in their hands as long as possible.

Sneaky, underhanded, bad faith, dishonest, and a few dozen other words I could toss in here..... but what is the point? They have gotten big enough to behave like a government, and get away with it. They pulled an AlGore.... "There is no controlling legal authority", which means 'We do what we want because we can get away with it'.

I quite Ebay, and Paypal, last year. The frustration and feelings of financial extortion and assault overcame the fun of using the auction site.

I do miss posting auctions though, and having the fun that goes with it. Sure wish there was a rival to Ebay that could survive their dirty business practices.


ZerCool said...

I stopped using PayPal (and consequently eBay) several years ago.

I had received an overdrawn-account email from my bank one morning, which made no sense. Some fast phone calls revealed it to be a PayPal transfer that I'd never made.

Several more hours on phone calls - to my bank and PayPal - got the charges reversed, and a security keyfob sent to me.

I set up the account with the keyfob, logged in, and started correcting what information needed fixing (address, phone, etc).

PayPal promptly locked my account for "suspicious activity". A few emails and phone calls got me nowhere, and when I finally pushed, they said they would need me to mail them copies of bank statements and utility bills in order to unlock my account.

Oh HELL no.

Customer lost, and I don't use eBay or PayPal anymore. Ever.

Suz said...

Well! I've always used PayPal for online purchases because I appreciate their efforts to keep my credit card safe. It never occurred to me that it would be kept safe from ME!

Most of my on-line "purchases" are small weekly donations to a handful of charities, which hardly qualify as "suspicious activity," so I think I'll continue.
I now use a pre-paid card for all on-line purchases, which gives me the same security. I think in the future I'll skip PayPal for anything bigger; thanks for the heads-up.

Carteach0 said...

There are few stories of PayPal abusing buyers. The bulk are tales of whoa from sellers, or people having money deposited for some reason.

PayPal 'behaves' like a bank in many ways, and people are complacent... believing their money will be safe with Paypal and they will be able to access it.

The reality is far different. PayPal is NOT a bank, and is under none of the rules covering banking. They can keep your money as long as they wish, for whatever reason they wish.... or none at all.

Don't like that? Sue them. There is no 'banking commission' that will come riding to your rescue.

Not one person in ten thousand actually reads the 'terms' when they sign up for a Paypal account. The agreement would make Blackbeard the pirate jealous he didn't think of it first.

Old NFO said...

Haven't used them since they mandated pay(screw you)pal. I won't ever darken their doorstep again.