Selling on eBay can be like taking a ride in an old jalopy, according to online seller and AuctionBytes blogger Bob, a columnist who isn't afraid to write what many sellers are thinking.
eBay has so many glitches and kinks that selling on it is like driving a jalopy.
You get in and wiggle the key, hoping the damn thing will start up. If not, you have to get out and hard-kick the fender a few times. When it eventually starts, you step on the gas and hope it moves instead of stalling out. The wipers don't work so you have to try and see through all the oil spraying on the windshield - which is hard to do because of all the steam coming out from under the hood. Drive half a mile down the road (downhill) and it suddenly sounds like there's a rabid dog being attacked by a hornets' nest in the trunk.
Every site has glitches and everyone makes mistakes. Most people and institutions try to correct these things as quickly as possible because, face it, aside from affecting the bottom dollar (and the dollar seems on an endless bottoming), glitches are embarrassing.
Yet, eBay, pretty much alone, seems to feel affection toward all of all the glitches - sort of like one might feel about a cute, little mole on a lover's behind. Except it isn't cute. It's annoying. And that damn thing should be removed and have a biopsy done on it just to be safe.
You want proof? Fine. Scroll through the eBay Seller discussion boards and you'll see dozens of examples of buyer and seller reporting on glitches. Most of which eBay does not reply to and obviously has little intention of fixing. It's almost like voluntary advice from the people who actually use the site isn't worth "free."
I suspect this is evolutionary in nature. Evolution builds on the past - it doesn't start from scratch. We've lost our tails but still have our tailbones. eBay is an old site and we can assume that some of its code is a decade or two out of date. It hasn't been replaced so much as added onto, revised, edited and fender-kicked. It has a massive amount of data and tweaking one part can lead to unintended consequences in another. And, as eBay tries to constantly upgrade its site to keep abreast of the rapidly changing on-line marketplace, fixing many of these issues might only last until the next upgrade messes it all up again. This situation must drive their tech teams crazy.
The problems are understandable. Though they are not excusable. eBay makes billions every year off its users. It has about 24 billion in assets. It can afford to greatly expand its tech support and fix the glitches that make it look like it's kept together with duct tape, spit, and prayer.
About the Columnist
Bob has been buying and selling online for almost 20 years. Some experts claim that his limited budget was the major cause of the 2001 dot-com crash. He denies the charge. Got a topic you'd like Bob to cover? Let us know.