I joined eBay about ten years ago when I discovered that trends are regional even global and that it was possible to buy popular and expensive items from elsewhere for next to nothing.
I drove Nick Rhodes absolutely crazy by trawling through listings of CT70 motorcycle parts.
I bought all sorts from America and built an American spec monkey bike.
What I found incredible was a motorcycle frame that was popular here and would sell for a couple of hundred pounds, was virtually worthless in the US and would sell for a few dollars.
The gap in the global collectors economy has narrowed these days though I still buy motorcycle parts from India from time to time.
The other thing about eBay was, when I decided to live on a boat (for the second time in my life) I was able to sell all my possessions and raise the purchase price of the boat and a lot more besides.
For me, eBay was the place to bargain hunt and trade, I even made a few friends along the way.
These days I almost never use eBay to sell.
When I do, I tend to have a negative experience.
I just sold a huge American style fridge to a woman who called me and left a long voice mail complaining it would be too large to fit in her new extension.
I actually rewound the message and listened again.
Yes, I was right; she explained she had made a mistake and went on to say what a pain in the arse everything was, however, not once did she venture an apology.
There was no “I am so sorry to have messed you around”.
Just “See if one of the others wants it”.
Final value fees are based on the value an item makes when it is sold.
I don’t think the woman appreciates she has just caused me a considerable amount of inconvenience (in that I now have to find someone else to buy it) as well as costing me money.
The real sting in the tail?
The fridge is still available new for £850.
My fridge is in outstanding condition.
The selling price £280.
Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.
So what has changed?
My observation is that nearly all the original cool traders on eBay have moved on culturally.
We are all on Freecycle; giving things away, being of service to others and playing a new karma game.
The joy has gone from eBay and the vultures have moved in.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain as much as the next person.
But at what price.
Do I need people who can’t muster an apology and feel the World owes them a favour?
I have Aspergers and can manage not to treat another person with such contempt.
So this woman really has no excuse!
See you on the other side of the looking glass,