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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 280 - February 06, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 6

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor

By Ina Steiner

February 06, 2011

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In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From feedback to payment services, from fees to online marketplace policies, AuctionBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views. Send your letter to the editor by emailing ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor" in the subject line. (Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear.)

Dear Ina,
It seems that the problem is that there is no clear choice after eBay. Maybe if online sellers got together and collectively decided on one site to support with listings and buying - then there would be a clear SECOND choice. I know I would. I currently only list my items on eBay using the fixed price format and in my ProStore but that is because I haven't found another site that has enough buyers worth taking my time to sell my items there!

Maybe AuctionBytes could help decide which other site is capable of becoming eBay's major competitor and we could all support that one.
Seller on eBay


Dear Ina,
Would any other eBay sellers (particularly UK) be interested in sharing bad buyer i.d.s with us? We have about 20 buyers on our block list that we've added because we wouldn't want them to trade with us again. Lacking the right of reply against these buyers it's the best we can do.

Perhaps if a number of sellers joined forces to combine their blacklists a few buyers might start to see the down side of messing sellers around on eBay. Hey - we could even have a logo or something...
Best wishes,
(please don't publish our name; we'll gladly share it with anyone who wants to contact us)


Several weeks ago I found yardsellr through your site. I visited and found it extremely easy to use. Of all the sites I have used yardsellr seems to me to be the most straightforward site out there. I have been listing a few items there each day and so far have made 2 sales. So far, my average sale price has been DOUBLE what my average sale price is on eBay. (One of the items I sold had been listed on eBay for several years for as low as $4.99 without selling. It sold on yardsellr in less than 3 hours for $24.99.

I have been selling online full time for over 10 years and have sold, at one time or another, on just about every site out there. Yardsellr reminds me of the good old days when it was easy to list items for sale online. They even categorize the items for you.

Did I mention that the seller doesn't pay ANY fees on yardsellr? No store fees. No listing fees. No Final Value Fees. No PayPal fees (You do pay a fee if you elect to get paid via PayPal but this is not required. You can elect to get paid by check (from Yardsellr).

Since everyone I know knows what I do for a living I am always getting asked where is the best place for a casual seller to sell online. In the past I have had to tell them I knew of no site good for casual sellers. Now I have a site I can recommend. It is yardsellr.

I know may of your readers will consider this an advertisement for yardsellr. I guess it is. I have asked Ina not to use my name because I have found my sales plummeted on eBay because of my highly vocal criticism of that site. I have communicated with Ina a lot & she does know who I am.


Finally got around to signing up for Etsy. I have started making quilting squares and custom clothing lbls. I thought it would be a good place to list these items. signed up started to list cut and paste from my ecrater and ebay stores. Hit next and whammm warning bubble appears. "all caps in title please dont shout".

That's the end for me. I wasn't gungho about the posting and fvf fees but I was willing to try. But that bubble citing forum netiqute to me was too much. I list in all caps on all sites makes it easier for me to read not one complaint ever in all the years I've sold. eEsy can take its netiquet fetish and stuff it.

All the problems these start ups have and Etsy has alot from what I've read over the years this is one thing that killed a sellers appetite to sell there.


Not sure I ever saw article on ioffer.com ... it has been okay but recently they stopped showing quantity available on buyer view ... it is like walking into macy's and there's only one of everything ... weird ... what marketing concept is behind this thinking ... ebay tried something like this last year only giving accurate # for 10 and under available ... some sellers like it ... as a buyer I want to know how many I can buy of an item,


Re: Sellers Choice

Did I miss something? I don’t see a rating for sell-through rate.

There are lots of great sites, pretty sites, nice people….but the most important and profitable question for me is "Where are the buyers?"

A beautiful, friendly, free site is not good if no one buys…

Or are we just assuming that ebay and amazon have all of the buyers….?


Dear Ina,
As a seller and buyer on ebay, it's getting more frustrating by the day to see listings that according to ebay policy blatantly violate the rules. While some of us try our hardest to create our listings and abide by what ebay says we are supposed to, we then have to fight (yes FIGHT) those sellers who continually list items that are supposedly not allowed and yet ebay refuses to do nothing about it. We can report them and these listings remain. Some of these sellers are Top Rated Sellers who should know better! These so called TRS are becoming the brunt of jokes and making true TRS look bad by doing this type thing. By ebay allowing this to continue it also makes them look worse by not enforcing their own policies.

It's about time ebay starts policing it's own site since they can't bother to listen to sellers and buyers who do try to help them with this problem. The report link they offer to use is a joke. A listing can be reported multiple times by many users yet ebay does nothing. Many times I've seen items being sold that are not only against ebay policy but also completely illegal to be sold online anyway and are supposed to be sold only locally under strict guidelines. Why they allow this is completely beyond my comprehension!

Maybe it's time to start reporting ebay themselves to the authorities instead if that's what it's going to take to get their attention. Actually I think that's what I'm going to do. Ebay needs a wake up call. All of this ignorance of U.S. laws by letting this continue is a farce to begin with. Or is it ignorance? Maybe it's just more of their greed.
Please keep my name private.
Thank you.


Dear Ina;
I have been listing on eBay for several month. Today, when I listed an item, for the first time I was charged an insertion fee. I have contacted them concerning this, however, I have not received a reply.

If I have to pay an insertion fee, per item, then a fee when it sells, plus a fee to PayPal; there will be nothing left for me and I will no longer be able to sell on eBay. This is especially true if an item does not sell the first or second time it is listed and you incur more and more insertion fees, without the item selling. I list on other sites, which I like better than eBay, however, I do not sell the amount that I do on eBay.

I am new to all of this and am learning as I go. Any help concerning selling on line would be appreciated. I have read all of the articles in AuctionBytes and really appreciate the help I have found.


Re: eBay Ramps up Advertising on Its Marketplace through Third-Party Agreement (Link)

Hi Ina,
Surely, eBay needs to do more marketing, but it is confounding why they choose a company that is going to increase advertising volume in and on eBay itself.

More banner ads and display ads on seller listings is not going to draw more buyers to eBay. If they are going to spend big money to advertise, the idea should be to draw more people to eBay, not bombast existing customers with additional advertising when they are already there.

IMO, this management team simply does not get it.


Dear Ina:
Just got HUNG UP ON by the real nice folks at ebay.... Seems they are picking and choosing the dates for the monthly evaluations.

Apparently YOUSEF didn't have an answer, when I asked him, "Why in December was our evaluation on the 8th, and now this month, we have to go back to December 20th??". (because that's the last date on which I didn't qualify)

So why does everyone think ebay is SNEAKY and UNDERHANDED? Because they are.

Nice, they can't think of a genius answer, so they cut you off. Typical.

PLEASE let another venue get bigger SOON.
Sign me:


Hi, I know you are mostly concerned about Ebay but I would like for you or another group get more involved in other selling sites such as Amazon Bonanza, Yardsellr and a couple of others for comparison. Giving us the good and the not so good.
Thank you, enjoy your site


Hi Ina,
I don't sell much on eBay these days. The market mostly is dead. But when I do sell an item or two, I find out more and more seller functions that eBay assumes on their own despite their continual protest that they have no liability for anything that goes wrong because they are merely the platform of forum where other people do business.

Today I discovered that (1) they don't bother to send a copy of the invoice to the seller if the buyer immediately pays what eBay has chosen to be the final payment. They assume their calculation of the shipping costs are correct. A lot of sellers, including me, use a copy of the invoice for numerous purposes including accounts payable and inventory.

If they don't send one, it creates minor havoc with our accounting systems.

And (2), perhaps the most onerous, they automatically translate the invoice sent to the buyer into the language of the country where the buyer receives the merchandise. In my case this morning, they translated the invoice into French because the buyer, clearly Chinese by his or her name, happens to be there at the moment. That is no assurance that the buyer speaks French as most countries have resident aliens living within their borders that do not speak the language of the country in which they are receiving the merchandise.

Just blowing off steam. eBay certainly won't listen.


Visit the Letters to the Editor blog, here are links to letters published from January 10, 2011 to present:

Why Aren't Higher Fees Reflected in eBay's Q4 Growth? (February 5, 2011) - Link to letter

eBay Buyers Confused by Expedited Shipping Message (February 2, 2011) - Link to letter

eBay Allowing Buyers to Misrepresent Their Identities (February 1, 2011) - Link to letter

eBay Tries to Automate Seller Responses to Customer Questions (January 31, 2011) - Link to letter

Why Does Etsy Allow Sellers to List Items They Didn't Make? (January 27, 2011) - Link to letter

Frustrated at eBay's Failure to Enforce Policies (January 26, 2011) - Link to letter

More Payment Methods Leads to Greater Sales on eBay? (January 23, 2011) - Link to letter

New eBay Bidders Have Lessons to Learn (January 20, 2011) - Link to letter

Should Marketplaces Require Credit Card Information? (January 18, 2011) - Link to letter

eBay Calls Sellers Who Violate Dupe Listings Policy (January 16, 2011) - Link to letter

No Patience for Package Delays Caused by Winter Weather (January 14, 2011) - Link to letter

End of eBay's Free Listing Promotion (January 13, 2011) - Link to letter

Please Recommend Auction Sites for Photo and Ephemera Sellers (January 12, 2011) - Link to letter

eBay Seller Asks How to Protect Himself from Dishonest Buyers (January 12, 2011) - Link to letter

eBay Searches and Why Keywords Matter (January 10, 2011) - Link to letter

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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