Sunday, September 24, 2006

To Buy Or Not To Buy: PayPal & eBvil eBay Empire - NO

This is not my typical politics related comment, but something I wrote on a friend's blog related to eBvil eBay.

I really have nothing nice to say about eBay after some experiences. I bought stuff from merchants that eBay listed in one of their highlight pages. Got crap, left negative feedback for the seller (I was not the only one) but also raised the issue with eBay but they did not bother to remove the people from their favored lists. No response.

I had a perfect 100% rating. I sold an item to someone and shipped the item certified by USPS as advertised on the listing page. He paid by paypal (now a part of the eBvil Empire) AND I used their stupid system to pay for postage and print the label. Delivered the item to the post office. USPS lost the item. Buyer did NOT buy or ask for insurance.

When item did not get to him he complained that I did not ship. I sent him the USPS page showing item was in transit. I raised the issue with eBvil eBay asking, if I SHIP an item, as described, is my part of the contract/agreement done. Yes, I was emailed.

That makes sense because when I write something on MY paper, put MY stamp, use MY envelope and write your name on it, and mail it, the moment it drops in the mailbox it is YOURS. I cannot even get it back from the mailman 30 sconds later saying I made a mistake even if my picture and photo ID are printed on the envelope. The item is YOURS and hence if it is lost, it is for you to take up with the USPS.

Not so this guy. He refused to cooperate, refused to even talk on the phone to figure out where the package went. (USPS guy told me it's even possible item was dropped off without the postal worker scanning it properly).

End result. The guy goes to PayPal, complains about it and PayPal, a pathetic part of the eBvil Empire of eBay follows a SEPARATE policy from its parent and refunds the money to that guy. These PayPal bastards had charged ME for the postage and label and transcation fees but knew they can pull money from my account even though by THEIR OWN PARENT COMPANY's policy, I completed the deal. (That is racketeering in my opinion and if you have a similar experience, please post it here).

So, even after the Texas buyer gets his money back from PayPal - which extorts it out of account holder like me - while eBay told me I had completed my part of the deal, he leaves me negative feedback, which of course I was happy to reciprocate.

But the point is that eBvil eBay screws people whose accounts or money are stuck with them, by having two policies separate for eBay and Paypal. It would be like an airline selling you a refundable ticket but the parent company saying oh, our subsidiary says refunds allowed but we don't refund, sorry.

Therefore, if you insist on using eBay, then here are some ideas.

0. Avoid eBay.

1. Try to set up your own storefront. eBay in the long run is going to be like, and die like, AOL. As someone often ripped off my AOL charges in the past, you have no idea how delighted I am to see it going to AOHELL. What happened at AOL will happen at eBay. As people mature in know how, the will move to their own stores, leaving eBvil behind. It's already happening as more and more ISPs are offering storefronts, banks are offering credit card purchasing, and micropayment schemes become more prevalent.

2. If you do sell something on eBay, insist on insurance to be bought by the buyer.

3. Or add a specific line in your listings... if insurance not purcashed, buyer responsible for items lost or damaged in transit.

4. Print labels from USPS web site instead of paypal.

5. Use FedEx 3 days, MUCH better company than USPiss or even (Screw)UPS.
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