Why I think eBay has gone bad: 2014 and beyond

I used to love eBay. But times have changed. It’s gone completely crappy – does anyone agree with me? If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of re-using and recycling things, particularly clothing, furniture and jewellery.

There is nothing more satisfying than finding something that someone else has discarded and breathing new life into it. I have moved more than a dozen times and I just love finding old stuff and repainting it, re-covering it or making it feel ‘new’ again.

And I like to on-sell my old stuff too. If I am no longer using something, I like to pass it on to someone who will – eBay used to be great for this. Now eBay sucks. Here’s why.

Changes to postage

Assholes. According to Lifehacker: “From 6 May, eBay Australia is going to start calculating “final value” charges for items sold on the site based on the total cost plus postage, not just the price the item sold for.”

This is doubly unfair as Australia Post recently upped its charges for postage anyway. Now to send any item more than 500g it costs around $13 – far too much to make sending out a second hand pair of shoes worth it.

Bad user experience

I have had friends tell me that their Facebook feed will advertise eBay products to them that they have just purchased – something that would irritate anyone. This probably had something to do with the way eBay sets up its retargeting campaigns.

One reviewer I read recently said, “eBay overall are pretty ok, but keep changing the goal posts.” They are trying to “personalise the user’s experience” by suggesting more and more products to you according to this article from Powertail.

Lots of effort for little reward

The photographing, the uploading, the copywriting, the answering of messages, the fee paying, the postage, the double-checking-of-the-addresses, the occasional complaint, the user who listed their wrong address, the lady whose wrist was too fat for the leather cuff she bought…

EBay can be time consuming. In fact, with the increased fees and the double-dipping on Paypal and postage, for most transactions you only make a few dollars anyway.

Buying brand new is cheaper now

The world is changing. When I was a teenager in the 90s, you simply couldn’t buy cheap clothes and shoes the way you can now. Today, a conscientious teen could put together an outfit for $25 if she wanted to, including shoes and jewellery.

There is simply less appeal for second hand stuff, although I still personally love it. Yesterday on my street there was a neighbour of mine selling her old clothes on a rack outside her apartment, garage-sale or yard-sale style. She had most of her tops and jackets listed for $30 per piece, which I thought was excessive for old stuff on  a rack in the cold.

Anyhoo – next week I’m going to do the same.

I hate eBay now – you have dropped your game.

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