eBay Forum Community

IMPORTANT NOTE: These ebay pages are online for historical reasons. I would now advice my visitors NOT to use ebay. There are alternative sites which provide a far safer experience. Read my Ebay - Work From Home page for more details. However, for those that are required to use ebay for some reason, the information is retained below.

First, let me say a warm Thank You to all of the supportive email I've received about the eBay forum situation I went through. I really appreciate your support and encouragement. It is amazing how many people read the forums and are afraid to post because they don't want to get blasted by the Forum Members. They only felt safe emailing me privately so they didn't expose themselves to the wrath of the forum group. That fact alone should be a warning sign of how the ebay forums tend to go.

The week I spent in the eBay forums changed me from an enthusiastic supporter of the eBay system to someone who swore never to support eBay going forward. Given the amount of traffic I was driving to eBay and PayPal through all of my sites, this was an extensive decision I made. It will take me about a month to remove all the links and unlink all of my PayPal usage. It was a very serious decision I had to make, but given the moral issues involved, I felt strongly it was the right one.

When I had an issue with Tracking Issues - this involved my first ever issue in 10 years with someone claiming he didn't get what I sent him. I was so shocked by the sequence of events that I went onto the eBay forums for help and advice. Having run several forums for many years now, what I expected to find was help and advivce.

Instead, almost immediately I was deluged with snideness and rudeness. I tend to be a very upbeat, encouraging person, so I took it as a challenge to respond politely to each message, to thank them for their help (when offered) and to admit where I had been wrong with humility. Slowly the atmosphere warmed slightly and I did actually learn some wonderful information. The thread stretched out past 100 messages and I began enjoying it. I started up a new set of auctions for some GameCube games based on their suggestions, and then learned more as the week went on.

However, in the first message I had mentioned the buyer's name - so eBay deleted the ENTIRE THREAD. They didn't just erase the one name in all of that, they killed off everything.

I hadn't copied down the information I needed, since I had no idea that a name should not be mentioned (see the Issues with eBay Help for more details on the many issues with their help documentation). So I took a deep breath and started again, this time being VERY careful not to mention any names. I hoped to be able to write down this time the information a few forum members were providing. In my new message I mentioned briefly that I apologized for being redundant, but I had to start afresh because the old post had been deleted.

At that point I was told the NEW post would be deleted, solely for mentioning that another thread had existed that had been removed! Even though it was a brief comment and only meant to apologize for asking the questions again!

So now I had to start up a THIRD thread. In this one I was very careful not to mention any names, and to not mention any deleted threads. However, now people forgot the sequence of what had been discussed in the first thread.

For example, when I began my GameCube auctions, everyone told me to be sure to include delivery confirmation and insurance. I discussed with them a $2.99 price to cover it and they agreed. So the listings went up that way. Then over the ensuing week they discussed getting delivery confirmation more cheaply by ordering it online, and getting insurance more cheaply by using a "self funded risk fund" instead. So I was learning valuable information, but the GameCube auctions were already running with the initial set of parameters

Now, in this third thread, forum members started yelling at me for not listing my GameCube auctions with the cheaper price they talked about AFTER I had set up those auctions. They completely forgot that they had given me one set of information when I set up the auctions, and then explained in more detail what other options were AFTER the auctions were already set up. So it frustrated me, that they were yelling at me for doing what they had initially told me to do. They were calling me names because I hadn't somehow had prescience to know that in a few days they would tell me something different.

Then it got worse. One forum member started yelling at me saying "self insurance" was completely illegal. Other forum members said me using the USPS insurance was stupid, that I should self insure instead. So I had two different sets of people providing diametrically opposed information and both yelling at me. By this point I had been patient and understanding with the forum nastiness for over a week, and it really started to wear on me. Finally it got to the point where someone sniped at me, and I sniped back. I knew at that point that this was a toxic environment, and that very moment I deleted all my bookmarks and drew a line. This was not helpful for my psyche, and certainly it was not helpful for anything I planned to do in the future.

The people in this forum had one thing in mind - making money off of buyers. I enclose cute origami in my sales because it makes me happy to make my buyers happy. I was told it was "stupid" to give buyers free gifts. I was told I was stupid for not doing everything in the cheapest manner possible. I was stupid for offering buyers choices in their shipping options. I should simply choose what worked best for me and force buyers to go with it.

This is SO different from the other forums I participate in that I find it hard to even compare. The other forums are supportive, encouraging, brainstorming, full of joy and fun and welcome. Even despite my very best efforts to remain friendly and thankful and grateful, the eBay forums destoyed all pleasure I had for eBay's system in one short week.

To summarize, I would never go anywhere near the ebay forums. If you really want to use ebay and need help with it, find one of the many third party forums and ask for assistance there.

I was a long term member of ebay - from 1999 through 2009. In the beginning years, ebay was a fantastic community, full of fun bargains, friendly people and a general feeling of joy. It was like going to a fun garage sale on a sunny day and spending time with friends.

However, starting in 2009, changes made to the ebay system altered it overnight from a joy to a horror. In one auction set alone I had three different buyers attempt very questionable refund operations. I went on the forums to get assistance. The forum members' derogatory comments and snide responses shocked me. Literally in one week I went from being from a staunch promoter of ebay to someone who swore never to use the ebay system again.

I am maintaining these pages online for historical reasons, but I would now wholeheartedly warn visitors NOT to use ebay going forward to sell items. The risk to you is too great. Feel free to contact me for all details on the situation. Instead, I highly recommend these systems:

Amazon Sales for selling used CDs, DVDs, books and other products
Etsy for selling personal items (crafts etc)

I have used both of the above sites and they are wonderful.

eBay Working from Home

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