Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Pass it forward

Buying kit is one of life's guilty pleasures. There, I've said it. Doesn't matter how much I have, there's always room for more. Usually. Every 6 months or so, the pleasure wears off and the un-used stuff in the gear pile starts to talk about me behind my back.

So I'll make a wee pile of things that I'm willing to part with; kit that's been used once or never used at all. It's all good stuff too. In the unlikely event that I've bought a turkey, I'll bin it rather than fob it off on the unsuspecting. And the object of the exercise isn't to make a profit. That rarely happens. More often, I'll break even or sell at a slight loss. I don't mind either way because I like the idea that the gear is going to somebody who might actually use it. Spread the joy and all that.


For the last several years, I've used Ebay to facilitate these transactions and, just last weekend, listed several items that were ready to be passed forward.

Imagine my surprise when, after initially logging in to check how it's going and to answer the inevitable daft questions from interested parties, I'm greeted by a message from Ebay. I forget the exact wording but it was along the lines of "If you access Ebay from anywhere other than your "normal" computer, we may suspend your account and you will have to call us and verify your identity before we re-activate it. We're doing this for your own good. Have a nice day."

No more accessing Ebay from work then? Or from any of the other 3 PCs we have in the house? That's a bit pish.

It got better. Continuing on to My Ebay, I spotted an "alert" in amongst the daft questions. It seems that one of my listings contained an "inappropriate link" and had been removed. WTF? The link in question was to a review of the Vargo Triad Stove on backpackinglight.com and complied with Ebay's own listing policy. I have an option to edit the description and re-list the item but it'll cost me the normal listing fee. I may be eligible for a refund of my original fee but that's not a given. I think I'll pass, thanks.

Digging around, I found that, as well as no longer being able to leave negative feedback for crappy buyers, Ebay (presumably in cahoots with Paypal) can withold payments to you for up to 30 days or until you receive positive feedback. In fact, going by the fury and frustration on the user forums, it seems Ebay can do whatever they damn well please.

When a business forgets who it was that actually built the ivory tower they now sit atop, it's time for the builders to take their custom elsewhere.* I'll take my chances with the online classifieds from now on. It's highly unlikely, but maybe I'll even think twice about that next purchase.

Aye, right. :o)


*That wee Ebay link will be removed forthwith.

6 comments:

ptc said...

ebay hates buyers, it really does. They're just ripping the arse out of it now and I hate them back.

ebay was fun, now it's a necessary inconvenience.

ptc said...

...sellers, I meant sellers...

Big Kev said...

I know. It's rubbish now. Some stuff of mine finished tonight & I think that'll be the last.
Pish. That's what it is.

Anonymous said...

Some twat zero-feedback buyer 'won' a stove I sold last month, then keep me hanging for a week before saying they'd changed their mind. Under the new rules I can't leave negative feedback on them!

Anyway Kev, I'm the guy who bought your Alpine Lite on Ebay and I had it out the other night for exactly its intended purpose - overnighter with my my wee boy. Needed a bigger bag as he's only 6 and I have to carry his sleeping bag and sleepmat as well as mine. Did a quick overnighter on Beinn Narnain (well, halfwayish). Lovely night, the Alpine Lite is great, and my wee fella was thouroughly cuffed with his first wild camp!

cheers
Del

Big Kev said...

Aye, it's easy for folk to rack up the Buy It Now's and then choose what they want to pay for. I've had bother with chancers before but as soon as I mentioned the Polis, they paid up :o)

It's great to hear about your laddies first wild-camp and that the bag's worked out. Makes the potential pain of Ebay worthwhile :o)

I might list some more stuff over the w/e (or stick it in the OM classifieds) so keep an eye out.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Ebay are utter, utter, *****.

Someone hacked into my ID and tried to undertake fraudulent transactions using it.

I sent the aforesaid 15, yes FIFTEEN e mails informng them of this and all I got back, every time, was cut and past ******* saying do this, do that, check this, check this, and then kindly don't swear like you would NOT swear if someone in a shop treated you like that:

"I wish to make a complaint" "Whats your name, address, and what route did you take to get here...."

I gave up. My ID is still hacked, and to hell with these code monkeys who don't care about ebay users. It seems that if any slight irregularity occurs (and it wasn't me that ******* did it), you find yourself in a machine run by monkeys.