Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

August 7th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized


What better way to make a few bucks than to sell some stuff you don’t need? And, being the wired boy that I am, I figured it was time to pop my eBay cherry. Sure, I’ve bought stuff on eBay before, but selling is the big step.

This weekend I was ready to take the plunge.

What I learned: eBay knows how to nickle and dime with the best of ’em. $1.00 for the “Premium Picture” package. Got to have that, of course. Want a thumbnail in the listings? That’ll be .50 please. Every little thing has a tiny fee associated with it. No wonder those buggers are making money.

I also learned that accepting credit card payments on eBay involves a small fee per transaction. How small? I can’t find out unless I sign up. Also clever. When I sign up, I’m told the small fee will be… “small.” And that’s after digging through a long agreement document. Getting a straight, concrete answer is an exercise in futility.

eBay loves when I log on. It loves it so much that it wants me to do it all the time. Over and over. It’s like the whole site has obsessive-compulsive disorder. Every time I moved from one part of the site to another, I had to log in again. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more, and clicked the link under the log on that promised a way to get around all these log ins.

I was told “You are already logged in.” Great. Oh well. Back to logging in.

I wanted to allow people to “Buy It Now!” which would allow someone to just take the item for a certain price, and skip all the bidding nonsense. I didn’t notice the tiny disclaimer next to the option, though. When I tried to save my sale, I got hollered at for not having a good enough reputation to do “Buy It Now.” That’s reserved for people who have done a bunch of sales already or people who have been “validated.” Validation involves, you guessed it, a small fee. At least this time I’m told what the small fee is. Why not, thinks I. Let’s get validated. eBay informs me that proceeding “may cause you to lose all the information you’ve entered on your transaction in process.”

If I go ahead with validation, I’ll have to reenter all the information for my sale again? Kiss my ass. Who designs shit like this? Screw validation, screw “Buy It Now!”, screw the small fee. Let’s sell this thing, damn it. Doing my taxes is easier than selling something on eBay.

Finally, my auction is up and running. The entry looks good, everything is just right, and the small fees only have added up to little less than $6.00. That’s presale, of course. They’ll get more when the sale is completed.

But after all this, they take down my sale before it begins. I find out that you can’t sell a kidney on eBay. What the hell is that about? It’s my kidney! I only need one, and I’m sure someone else would love to have the other one. You’d think they’d would have had somewhere in big bold letters NO ORGANS. That would have saved me a lot of time.

Damn damn damn. I guess you learn something every day.

So, I started all over again, and this time, I just am selling a dress that didn’t work so well with >Conny’s generous bosom. We got the dress from eBay in the first place, so the cycle continues. From eBay to eBay, and the small fees just keep adding up.

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