Tuesday, January 23, 2007

eBay: gone to the dogs?

I'm a big eBay fan. I've bought some large items (cars, trucks) and lots of small stuff on eBay. I've sold things on eBay. I love it.

Yet I think it's going to the dogs. It's dog slow, the interface hasn't changed in years, and the feedback mechanism, which was once innovative and world-changing, is many years old and has been gamed so badly as to be almost counter-useful. You can't rely on it, you can't give anyone negative feedback without retaliation, and the whole thing just seems not to work any more.

The last half dozen or so transactions I've done on eBay have all gone sour in one way or the other. They're all people gaming the system, misrepresenting things, shilling, you name it. It used to feel like an honest marketplace where real people bought and sold things. It feels now like a bazaar with sheisters and "merchants" trying to think of new ways of ripping me off. Some of them successfully. Subtly, but successfully.

I'm sad, because I love perusing the listings and wishing I could buy an old Dodge flatbed or three tractors from a guy in Saskatchewan. I just don't trust it any more. It's not the people on it I don't trust, though that's part of it. It's the site itself that I no longer trust. And that's a shame.


john said...

trust is s huge issue.

try buying stuff off craigslist. now ~that's~ an experience.

i still do it, but man it gets weird some time.

Alan Kleymeyer said...

I never got into EBay. I had an uncomfortable feeling from the beginning. The closer you can get to home the better and someday I hope to work on such a service. The only auction site I participated in was on SharperImage. My recent and only experience with Craig's list was quite good though.