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How Bad Do You Hate eBay?
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l008com
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Nov 3, 2010, 11:01 PM
 
I've pretty much given up on selling items on eBay, and sell all my stuff on craigslist these days instead. It definitely has it's own headaches, but at least I get all of the cash.

So tonight I went on ebay to sell my old GPU because they seem to be going for oddly-high prices. So turns out the ebay insertion fee would have been like a dollar, but the final fee is 9%. On top of that paypal or googlecheckout charge about 3%. So 12% to sell a video card. The fees are so absurd, I canceled my 11 year old ebay account instead. The worst part is that 12% is relatively low. I looked into fees to start selling small mountain bike related keychains on there, and the fees would have worked out to be about 50%.

The problem with craigslist is it's local only, so your potential market is much much smaller. That makes it a lot harder to sell more obscure things, like a 7300 GT. But I'd rather let an item sit forever on craigslist, then get raped by ebay fees, and then ripped off my paypal. (closed my paypal accounts long ago).
     
imitchellg5
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Nov 3, 2010, 11:02 PM
 
Funny, I'm the opposite, I gave up on craigslist (way too many lowball offers) and started selling on eBay.
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 3, 2010, 11:06 PM
 
I have no problem ignoring low ball offers. And I can spot a scammer a mile away. I just wait patiently for a real buyer. My biggest beef is people that say they want to buy it (real people, not scammers), then you never hear from them. I even had a few that were actually going to come get it, and totally stood me up. But I recently sold my old MacBook Pro for $950. And I paid $0 in feed. Just a wad of $950 in cash. Way back in the day, I used to buy and sell everything on ebay. Back when the fees were like 4-5%, and sellers were regular folks, here in the US. Now the fees are off the scale, and most sellers are over-seas companies selling pure garbage. I wish i could delete my account harder!
     
turtle777
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Nov 3, 2010, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
I wish i could delete my account harder!
You could format your harddrive

-t
     
Railroader
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Nov 3, 2010, 11:25 PM
 
I only buy small items from eBay. I buy and sell off craigslist anything I think i might get scammed on. I sell my camera gear on fredmiranda.
     
Doc HM
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Nov 4, 2010, 04:13 AM
 
Ebay is just acting like any defacto monopoly. Maximising its revenue. It will do this until things reach equilibrium and it's fees drive too many people away. It doesn't help that the fees are kind of hidden so you only see the tiny insertion fee when you list. If the site pointed out in easy to read letters, "if your items sell you will be charged $xx then I think many people would be shocked.

On the flip side ebay has long ago moved from word of mouth bargain site to mainstream outlet and the chances of picking up a bargain as a buyer are much reduced now. A lot of the time it's actually cheaper to buy newer stuff on Amazon. Sellers don't help by sticking more and more BIN or high reserver items on in order to milk the market, which ebay encourages by trying hard to drive out the occasional seller.

Add in the "convenience" of paypal payment only and it's easy to see that ebay is basically a giant cash register. Sadly the cost of entering the market as a competitor would be so enormously high that it's unlikely to happen easily or soon.
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
Maflynn
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Nov 4, 2010, 07:03 AM
 
I've virtually given up buying and selling on ebay now. I generally go the craigslist route when ever I sell a computer or something.
~Mike
     
Oisín
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Nov 4, 2010, 07:44 AM
 
So I’m pretty much the only person left on the planet who just doesn’t buy or sell (used) stuff on the Internet?

I mean, I buy things (computers, books, music) online, but not via eBay or such places, just via regular old-fashioned online stores. But selling online? I don’t think I’ve ever even done that. I don’t have an eBay or a PayPal account (Craigslist is of course not an option here, though I could sell stuff in Den Blå Avis, I guess).

If I need to sell something, like an old computer or school books, I’ll sell it to someone I know.
     
osiris
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Nov 4, 2010, 08:27 AM
 
I've bought plenty of stuff off of ebay, mostly imported stuff I've never seen on Craig's. Besides, Craig's list is a subversive communist organization with the intent of communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
Eug
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Nov 4, 2010, 08:59 AM
 
I sell my bodily fluids on both eBay and Craigslist.

Seriously though, I use both. eBay is good for Chinese electronic items that would cost 30% more here or might be impossible to find. eg. I just picked up a slot-load slimline USB powered Blu-ray reader DVD writer from China. Took 3 weeks to arrive, but works perfectly. The ones locally were all tray-load, cost more, and were a bit slower. Apple's SuperDrive is nicer, but doesn't work with many machines, and of course does not support Blu-ray.



eBay is also great for picking up stupid little things like cheap electronics extension cables for $2. You can get the same stuff locally for the same price, but you have to search 5 different Dollar stores to find them, or else pay $20 at your local electronics shop.

The big problem with eBay is in case anything goes wrong. You may as well kiss your money goodbye, since eBay / PayPal resolution system is basically useless.

I also use Craiglist for some stuff, particularly when selling bigger ticket computer items like iMacs and iPod touches. What annoys me about Craiglist though are the asses who give ultra low ball offers and then get pissed off when you say no, although they're not as annoying as the guys who set up a time to meet you and then never show up.

I will sometimes use it for purchases too, but not often, because people seem to have unreasonably high expectations for selling prices. I don't know why people think they can sell a used out-of-warranty MacBook for $800 (listed for $900) if a new one goes for $1050 and refurb goes for $900. A retail store can sell a used MacBook for $800, but that's because they provide a 3 month service warranty. When I sell on Craiglist, my list prices are usually lower than others, but maybe a little higher than I'm willing to accept. Yet I still get these stupid crazy low ball offers, like half of my list price... except for the Nigerians who are willing to pay me my list price plus $200 for shipping.
     
turtle777
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Nov 4, 2010, 09:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
The big problem with eBay is in case anything goes wrong. You may as well kiss your money goodbye, since eBay / PayPal resolution system is basically useless.
Oh hail American Express. Problem solved.

-t
     
Eug
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Nov 4, 2010, 09:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Oh hail American Express. Problem solved.
99% of my PayPal purchases are with AmEx now actually. What is their resolution process with PayPal these days? Perhaps I should look further into it.

My last "major" loss on eBay was years ago, but I'm not sure if I used my Amex with it or not. I actually got the authentic GeForce 2 MX I ordered for $1xx, but it was defective. It turned out to be some asshole high school kid who took no responsibility for it, and PayPal Resolution was a total waste of time. Well, not completely. I finally got a hold of the home phone number and talked to the mom. She was livid and promised to give him a good talking to... but I still didn't get my money back.
     
osiris
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Nov 4, 2010, 09:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Oh hail American Express. Problem solved.

-t
I concur.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
Oisín
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Nov 4, 2010, 09:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
I've bought plenty of stuff off of ebay, mostly imported stuff I've never seen on Craig's. Besides, Craig's list is a subversive communist organization with the intent of communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
So that’s why I always feel so dehydrated whenever I go to North Korea. All makes sense now.
     
Eug
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Nov 4, 2010, 09:19 AM
 
Speaking of Amex...

I got a bogus charge on my hotel bill for a bottle of wine. I had shared a bottle of wine with friends, but I had purchased the wine outside, and did not take the wine from the minibar. I guess the maid didn't realize, and marked down that there was an empty wine bottle, and thus the hotel charged me the outrageous $40 for that $15 bottle of wine that I had already paid for at the corner shop.

I called the hotel and they blew me off. I called Amex and they reversed the charge. What annoyed me is they didn't actually do anything about it. They just reversed the charge and let the hotel get away with it. I asked them to at least call the hotel to inform them again of the issue, but Amex absolutely refused. They said it was too much of a waste of time for them, for a $40 charge. That just doesn't sit well with me.
     
Oisín
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Nov 4, 2010, 09:36 AM
 
I called the hotel and they blew me off.
Much more than Amex not wanting to spend time calling the hotel, this seems completely unacceptable to me.

I was charged about £100 when I checked out of my hotel in London in May, for mini bar usage. Apparently, the mini bar in that hotel was ‘automatic’, in that it detected which things had been removed from their ‘sockets’ in the refrigerator. I’d bought some juice and things to put in the fridge, but had to move some of the stuff that was there beforehand in order to fit everything in—which was then automatically charged to my room.

Of course, I realised this while I was still there, at the front desk, whereas it sounds like you only realised it after leaving the hotel … but still, when I told the receptionist that I hadn’t taken anything from the mini bar, he did the only thing he as a receptionist is supposed to do: immediately took all the mini bar charges off my tab.
     
turtle777
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Nov 4, 2010, 10:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
What annoyed me is they [Amex] didn't actually do anything about it. They just reversed the charge and let the hotel get away with it. I asked them to at least call the hotel to inform them again of the issue, but Amex absolutely refused. They said it was too much of a waste of time for them, for a $40 charge. That just doesn't sit well with me.
There threshold of "no questions asked" is somewhere in the $50-$70 range.

If you dispute charges below that, they just believe you and do not start an investigation.
For bigger items, they will actually get on the phone.

Fun Amex fact:

I purchased a Ruko player in Jul 2010 for $90.
Then when the new ATV came out, I couldn't return the Roku player because Roku's return policy is 30 days.
Well, fortunately, Amex has a 90 days Return Protection program.
I filed the paperwork for the Roku player.

In the past, before they would approve it, they would have you send in the item in its original packaging, and only once they received it, they would give you the credit.
Well, apparently not under $ 100. I got my money back from Amex, and they let me keep the Roku player. Go figure.

Why do I tell this: well I might eBay the Roku player

-t
     
Phileas
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Nov 4, 2010, 10:33 AM
 
I have zero problems buying from ebay. I buy a lot of lighting and studio equipment via ebay stores (always from the US, never from China because if anything goes wrong there, you're screwed) and never had a single problem.

As long as you by from reputable sellers with proper businesses there's little to worry about.
     
Eug
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Nov 4, 2010, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
Much more than Amex not wanting to spend time calling the hotel, this seems completely unacceptable to me.

I was charged about £100 when I checked out of my hotel in London in May, for mini bar usage. Apparently, the mini bar in that hotel was ‘automatic’, in that it detected which things had been removed from their ‘sockets’ in the refrigerator. I’d bought some juice and things to put in the fridge, but had to move some of the stuff that was there beforehand in order to fit everything in—which was then automatically charged to my room.

Of course, I realised this while I was still there, at the front desk, whereas it sounds like you only realised it after leaving the hotel … but still, when I told the receptionist that I hadn’t taken anything from the mini bar, he did the only thing he as a receptionist is supposed to do: immediately took all the mini bar charges off my tab.
No, they charged me after the fact, the afternoon after I had already checked out... after the maid went into the room to do the cleanup.

As far as I'm concerned, not at least making a phone call about a $40 charge at best only encourages the stores/hotels/etc. to be lazy and let inappropriate charges get through, and at worst encourages fraudulent charges.

BTW, the same thing that happened to you also happened to me at another hotel. Since then I never put anything in their minibars if it's one of those automatic ones, which is most of of them.
     
osiris
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Nov 4, 2010, 11:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
No, they charged me after the fact, the afternoon after I had already checked out... after the maid went into the room to do the cleanup.

As far as I'm concerned, not at least making a phone call about a $40 charge at best only encourages the stores/hotels/etc. to be lazy and let inappropriate charges get through, and at worst encourages fraudulent charges.

BTW, the same thing that happened to you also happened to me at another hotel. Since then I never put anything in their minibars if it's one of those automatic ones, which is most of of them.
So we can avoid it, what hotel are you staying at that this is an issue? (sorry, but what's an automatic minibar?)
When I stay at hotels, one of the first things I do is remove everything from the minibar/fridge - then I restock it with all my stuff. Never been charged for anything I didn't use.
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Eug
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Nov 4, 2010, 11:44 AM
 
A lot of the big chains now have these minibars with sensors in them. You'll notice some of the fridges have platforms in them on which the drinks sit. I'm not sure if it's sensing the weight changes or if it's sensing individual items by location on the platform. BTW, it's not just the minibar. Sometimes it's the snacks box on top of the counter too.

Be careful not to touch anything at the Wynn Las Vegas | Upgrade: Travel Better



Family friends recently returned from a trip to the Wynn Las Vegas, but the first story they had to tell wasn’t about luxurious accommodations, gambling, restaurants, or shows. It was about the snacks on top of their minibar.

The motion-detector minibar wasn’t new to me. Those are bad enough: You move any item in the minibar, and if you don’t put it back within 60 seconds, you’ve bought it. So much for making room to store your own food or beverages in there.

But what the friends told us was about the outside of the minibar. Snacks were placed on a tray. Not inside anything, but out in the open. There’s a warning that the food is on an electronic scale, and moving the item means you bought it.


The hotel that charged me for the wine was a non-chain individual hotel with no sensors in the fridge. However, because it was in the party district in South Beach, Miami, they a full range of drinks in the fridge including full bottles of wine and IIRC half sizes of spirits. I guess the maid saw my empty bottle of wine and just assumed it was from their fridge, without bothering to actually check it. I don't remember the hotel name though.
( Last edited by Eug; Nov 4, 2010 at 11:52 AM. )
     
osiris
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Nov 4, 2010, 12:17 PM
 
Wow, that stinks and certainly detracts from any class of hotel.
I certainly can see a motel doing this, or even a Holiday Inn, but not anything above 4 stars.
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Person Man
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Nov 4, 2010, 12:56 PM
 
The places I have seen electronic minibars have signs specifically stating that the refrigerators are not to be used for non-hotel items. Maybe some of them "conveniently forget" to tell people that.
     
Eug
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Nov 4, 2010, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Wow, that stinks and certainly detracts from any class of hotel.
I certainly can see a motel doing this, or even a Holiday Inn, but not anything above 4 stars.
I stay in 4-star hotels all the time that have this. eg. Sheraton, and that level of hotel. Some so-called 5-star hotels have it, but there is a range in what is a 5-star, and I usually don't stay in the most expensive 5-star hotels.

If anything, I'd expect a higher end hotel to have it much more than a cheap motel because of the extra cost of the fridges and the hassle of restocking them.

BTW, the Wynn Las Vegas mentioned in the article is supposedly a 5-star.
     
andi*pandi
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Nov 4, 2010, 01:16 PM
 
Sensor-fridges are annoying. I want to be able to put my own stuff in the fridge.

There definitely aren't the deals there used to be on ebay, and I'm not a fan of the fees. I still use it for big items or really nice stuff. Craigslist can be hit or miss, and I hate the noshows, but I am using it more.

I'm also thinking good ol' fashioned yard sale in the spring for those items that won't be worth the ebay fees or someone driving 10 miles to pick up, but impulse buy worthy. Kids stuff mostly.
     
Eug
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Nov 4, 2010, 01:22 PM
 
Yeah, the stuff I sell online tends to be worth $50 or more. Otherwise I usually don't bother.

ie. I won't bother trying to sell an 802.11g wireless router, but I will try to sell an iPod touch. I might just repurpose that 802.11g router as a 10/100 4-port switch instead.
     
sek929
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Nov 4, 2010, 03:56 PM
 
I stayed at an embassy suites in NY this past weekend and they had that snack bar monitored by sensors. The whole time I was thinkin about Indiana Jones and if I could switch that box of skittles out with a bag of sand.
     
Eyenigma
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Nov 6, 2010, 01:29 AM
 
Not to turn this into an American Express thread...

I was en route to Europe when I got stranded at JFK during a blizzard. Airline canceled my flight, wrote off the trip, and was re-routed home... with no bag! Turns out the airline lost (stole) it as TSA shut down the entire airport. I was headed to Europe to propose, and had packed all of the nice clothes I owned. Designer shirts, jeans, suits, ties, etc. They lost it all.

American Express Platinum has a luggage insurance plan, which is pretty comprehensive. They insisted I try the airlines first. American AIrlines offered me $290 replacement value, despite my clear itemization of what I actually had in there. *I was 100% honest, too!*

After (what felt like) a mouth raping by the airlines, American Express credited my account for $1900 - the full replacement value of my belongings and the bag itself. Furthermore, knowing the whole fiasco botched up my proposal plans...

Their concierge service helped me plan a fire drill alternative to Napa and got us upgraded to a suite so I could do the deed. Trip ruined, but tragedy averted.

American Express isn't perfect, but they definitely come through in big ways from time to time. I religiously use it for anything I can, including eBay purchases.
     
Eyenigma
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Nov 6, 2010, 01:32 AM
 
For anyone who looks at Amex statements regularly, have a little fun checking out Bernie Madoff's $100000 statement. Hahahahah... http://abcnews.go.com/images/Blotter/MadoffAMEX.pdf
     
turtle777
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Nov 6, 2010, 01:44 AM
 
^^^ wow.

-t
     
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Nov 6, 2010, 04:11 AM
 
I agree Turtle... wow... all those names, address and cc numbers in that PDF that you can only view by downloading it.
     
tightsocks
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Nov 6, 2010, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eyenigma View Post
For anyone who looks at Amex statements regularly, have a little fun checking out Bernie Madoff's $100000 statement. Hahahahah... http://abcnews.go.com/images/Blotter/MadoffAMEX.pdf
Interesting. I heard about that infamous bill had not seen it before.

It appears to be a business account encompassing over a dozen people.
Looks like Bernard didn't actually spend anything at all that month,. except for the annual AMEX fee for the Platinum Business account.

The largest charge on there is a $10,000 charitable donation by his wife(?) to the YWCA...

The vast majority of the other charges seem to be for airlines, hotels, and restaurants.
     
   
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