As a buyer, eBay is easy to use and there’s no question about that. You can peruse the products, pick what you want, buy and most of the time you’ll get exactly what you paid for. Of course it’s true that pretty much everyone has a horror story or two (or more) from getting bad product from an eBay seller, but fortunately these days those stories are far fewer in frequency.
As a seller, eBay has become, simply put, a huge pain in the ass to use. If you haven’t used eBay in a while, I can almost guarantee that when posting anything for sale these days you’ll probably get so disgusted with the process that you simply won’t bother and elect to use Craigslist instead.
I’ll use myself as an example here.
I had two Radio Shack scanners that used to belong to my late father. Both had their original boxes. One was a 200-channel base home scanner and the other a 100-channel mobile scanner. Both were in really good condition and I wanted to sell both as a set.
I made a conscious decision not to even bother with eBay for these because of all the annoyances of using the eBay system. Leaving aside the fact that I would have had to add in extra cost for packaging and shipping, posting items for sale on eBay simply isn’t easy. To post even one item for sale takes a good ten minutes, and on top of that you have to sell items “the eBay way” (those who know the site know exactly what I’m talking about), and it’s further complicated by the fact that other sellers will be most likely competiting against you, and you’ll always lose.
On Craigslist, it’s a whole lot simpler. Get an account, verify with your cell phone, post the item (which takes less than 5 minutes), done.
I was able to sell my scanners in less than a week through Craigslist and got exactly the price I wanted for them. And I didn’t even have to ship the things because the buyer was willing to pick them up locally – which I actually appreciated because he saw for himself that the equiment worked before the purchase was made.
It’s not that I haven’t sold things via eBay in the past. Heck, I even sold a car through that site once. But it seems to me that years ago eBay was a whole lot simpler and seller-friendly. These days if you want to sell through eBay it’s almost mandatory you have to operate through there as a business owner. The eBay site is absolutely not friendly to regular Joe and Jane sellers anymore.
Now it could be I’m just flat-out wrong about all this. Maybe eBay hasn’t changed, and I’m the one who’s different and not the site itself. However I can’t deny that the hoops you have to jump through just to get an item listed on the eBay site these days is rather complicated; I know it used to be simpler.
My question to you, the reader, is this: Has eBay from a sellers point of view changed for the worse? I personally think it has.
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.