After over 11 years and over 3,300 feedbacks received from satisfied customers, I have decided that I have now had enough of the hassles, stress and eBay greed, that I thought that it was the right time to say goodbye. So on Sunday 13th October 2013 at the click of a button my eBay shop was closed. Please read on, as all my silver is still for sale and silver2treasure is still very much in business.
In 2002 when I started trading, eBay was a different trading place than it is today and since 2008 eBay began putting into place various bad policies that combined together are gradually eliminating small sellers.
It was a big decision to make as the trouble is that there is no other online site like eBay to provide real competition so eBay had a hold over you, and there is no single other place where the traffic is as good. However, particularly over the last 12 months eBay has changed dramatically and many sellers like myself have had enough. Many factors have played a part in me deciding to leave, and these have grown over the last 12 months.
I took pride in how I conducted my site and the good old fashioned customer service that every one of my customers received, and in many cases I was already ahead of the eBay game, and even some of my own selling practices were made compulsory for others to adhere to. I could not offer a better service, and I got quite annoyed with emails that eBay globally sent to all sellers to tell us how to sell and treat our customers, which I did as a matter of course and I did not need eBay to tell me what I was already doing.
One of the big factors that changed on eBay was when the site went from a fair trading platform, which in all advertisements stated this fact, to what is a now a very one sided trading platform, heavily in favour of purchasers. Sellers are not able to leave a purchaser negative feedback no matter how fraudulent or offensive the buyer can be, and even if they did not pay for an item, no negative feedback could be left for them. A seller however could be left negative feedback with no comeback on the buyer whatsoever, so the feedback system is now totally unfair. I provided a first class customer service, and took things very personally when a purchaser found a problem, even when there wasn’t one and it became very stressful.
Feedback used to be a brilliant tool when both sides could use it fairly, as when a seller could leave negative feedback for a buyer it was a signal to warn other sellers to beware. I totally understand that there are also rogue sellers who deserve negative feedback, but when it is given to a seller who has done absolutely nothing wrong, it can ruin their business.
I have read lots about this on different forums, with sellers describing their similar situations with one saying that a buyer tried to scam them out of money and since the seller did not fall for their scam they were left negative feedback. Many good sellers get unfair negative feedback from buyers, and it seems no matter how hard you try, you can’t make every buyer happy. eBay does nothing to protect their sellers. Since buyers cannot receive negatives, sellers are now the victims. eBay however need to remember that without sellers there will be no buyers, but somehow this is being lost.
One person left the following comment with which I wholeheartedly agree with.
“You have to remember that when you put something up in a listing, you need to be able to afford to lose it. There are a lot of buyers now on eBay that will file a claim at the drop of a hat and the seller never wins — plus the buyer gets to keep the product. Totally unfair, but it’s not changing anytime soon.”
Some other comments left:
“Best to describe eBay is a suitable word eBully”
“Bias in favour of buyer – held to ransom –hold paypal funds”
“I am currently looking into alternatives so I get away from eBay. The fees they now charge a seller are insane. After eBay fees the only ones making a profit are the big mfg’s, the shippers, and eBay”
Purchasers who are not sellers on eBay, probably have no idea what costs a seller incurs to sell an item on eBay which at the moment is 10% on the final purchase price and now 10% on all the postage costs. However since September eBay have now got even more greedy and the latest thing they have brought in is to charge their 10% fees on the postage aswell. If a buyer pays by Paypal, the preferred method of payment by eBay as PayPal became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay, so they get a fee for this aswell . Every time a seller’s paypal account is credited the fees can range from 2.9% up to over 4% depending on which Country the buyer is from. So fees of up to 14% are charged for every item that is sold. Plus there are the initial fees for actually putting an item up for sale, which vary from pence to pounds.
A purchaser pays no fees whatsoever. As a business seller you do not sell to make a loss and high prices will put customers off, but this unfortunately has to be done to cover eBay’s costs.
However I would have to say that one big factor of ending eBay, was that it took over my life, and eBay were like an employer as you had to adhere to all their rules and regulations which in the last couple of years were constantly changing (for changing sake) which created a lot of time consuming extra work to make sure that I complied with their policies. These changes seemed to be made by people who actually had no idea how to sell items on Ebay, and some of their policies and regulations were ludicrous..
There were timescales to keep and naturally as I offered first class customer service that meant emails had to be checked regularly, including weekends, and any purchases had to be processed as soon as they came in, so it was constant pressure every day. There was always the worry that a purchaser would leave detrimental feedback which I didn’t deserve, and if this happed I would take it very personally, as I know that I couldn’t have physically done any more to make sure that my customers were happy with the way I conducted my business.
I could have opted in for eBay to take over the management of my sales, as it appears that they want to take over every aspect of a seller’s sales, apart from the actual listing of an item. If you opted in for eBay to manage all communication with purchasers, then these would be automated non personal standard emails, but it was a personal service that I wanted to give, keeping my customers up to date with every stage of the their purchase, which quite clearly eBay obviously did not want sellers to do. Customers dealt with me and only me, and when they emailed for anything at all they got a personal response from me – no-one else, which to me is good business practice.
Now recently there is a new policy that if a customer wants to contact you through the eBay messaging system, even if it is just to enquire as to delivery, a dispute is automatically started and paypal payment withheld. I had just recently sold an item that was delayed in the Russian post for about 3 weeks. The purchaser obviously wanted to contact me to see where it was, at which point I could have done some investigation, but as soon as they did this, a dispute was started. During this time the payment had been withheld, so I did not have the item or any money until it was eventually received. This was through no fault of my own, as investigation revealed it had been held, opened and then put back into the Russian Postal System by Russian Customs! However eBay is extremely biased in favour of the purchaser and will always come down on the buyers side if there is a problem – even as in this example there isn’t one.
Also purchasers can leave scores for a seller on various stages of the transaction, known as DSR (Detailed Seller Rating) which quite frankly are a joke, and again knowing that I offered a first class service and couldn’t offer any better, scores that some customers left me were totally unjustified. Take for example the scores for despatch times. Despatch time should be the time a seller posts an item out after a purchase and payment has been made. But purchasers are marking on the time they actually receive an item which are two completely different things. How long it takes an item to get to the recipient is in the hands of the postal services, and is out of the hands of the seller, but sellers are being judged on how long it takes for the buyer to receive an item. So if a seller despatches the same day, but due to the value of the item not warranting a special next day delivery, and sent by a slower service, the seller is being marked down, when in fact despatch cannot physically be any quicker than the same day. If you are posting abroad, then this is even worse, a prime example being my item which was sent to Russia as stated above that took 3 weeks to get through the Russian postal system. I despatched it the same day the person paid, in which case nothing but 5*’s should be given, but the fact that it took 3 weeks to get to them, then I was being marked on this, which was out of my control.
Also eBay’s customer service to sellers was appalling. If you contacted them with a problem, all you got back was an automated response which had no bearing on your query. To get an email response from them could take weeks, which was no help if you wanted an answer quickly, and there are lots of complaints from other sellers about the poor customer service. The only way of getting an instant response was to phone up their help line and actually speak to someone.
So as you can see there are many reasons why I have decided to hang up my eBay boots, but Silver2treasure is still in business and all our silver items can now be found on our independent website www.silver2treasure.com, which has been in existence for a number of years alongside eBay. Although as everyone with their own wesbsite knows, it is a bit of a struggle to try and get the traffic to it, as no-one can compete with eBay.
At this point I would like to thank everyone who purchased items through my eBay site but hope that when you are looking for another piece of silver you too will now make www.silver2treasure.com your first choice where you will be guaranteed the same good old fashioned personal customer service. Please see comments made on my website which are from genuine customers who have already experienced this.
Also in addition to the website, we are taking our silver to antiques fairs, so keep an eye out for the ones we will be attending, and come and meet us in person.
If you to are thinking of finding an alternative to eBay, below is a list of other websites I shall be researching in the near future.
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