Is Ebay Losing It Grip On The Online Auction Market?

Ebay has been long established leader in the online auctions market. It has become a verb ‘to ebay something’. The brand recognition for ebay is extremely highly but its position at the top of the pile in online auctions is slowly being eroded.

From a personal point of view I now find ebay more like an online market rather than a charity shop or boot sale. Ebay used to be a great place to browse for bargains, for rare records, Star Wars figures, crockery, old coins, newspapers and a million other esoteric things. The site was filled with all manner of flotsam and jetsam, the lost and neglected belongings that had been inhabiting peoples garages, attics and sheds.

It was like the world’s best boot sale or the biggest charity shop in the world. Even better than the great Charity Shop I once stumbled across in the Mission Rock area of San Francisco. Now it tends to be dominated by power sellers and online shops who list 1,000 of duplicate items drown the real bargains’ in a sea of cheap products from the Far East.

I struggle to remember the last thing I bought or sold on the site. That’s even before the changes to the feedback system and listing fees that has resulted in so much outrage from the sites users. The feedback system has been altered to stop negative feedback being left by Seller for buyers. The aim is to end the negative feedback cycle that tends to occur when I buyer leaves negative feedback for a seller. The problem is that it removes a sellers right to reply. The old feedback system was far from perfect but gagging the sellers is no way to solve the issue.

Ebay have also removed the buying and selling of “virtual game items” from its sites in the UK and US. These game elements from the likes of World of Warcraft and Second Life where a major part of the ebay economy. They have removed for fear of being open to legal action from the creators of the virtual games.

The trust in the products sold on ebay has also been eroded by the recent fine of $63 million for selling fake goods. The court case in France fought between Ebay and LVMH, who own brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, found that ebay had acted negligently in allowing sellers to pass off fake goods as the real thing.

I have been searching for other outlets to buy and sell a variety of different items, including children’s toys, used games, records and old newspapers. It seems that the future of online auctions may lie in the niche markets.

Source by Andy J Williams

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