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If you sell on eBay (even occasionally) . . .

9 months ago

In January I will have been selling on eBay for 20 years. I'm what might be called a "hobby seller"--I sell mostly to get rid of stuff. I love to sell books (they don't break when you ship them) and jewelry (it doesn't weigh much), and I dislike selling clothing. I did the last a year ago with my daughter's higher-end garments, and I said "never again." All that measuring, and all those hard-to-take photographs! But I know some people do very well with clothing sales.

Anyway, eBay has changed a lot since I started selling. Now they want the listings to be extremely detailed, with their increasingly longer list of "Item Specifics." And they encourage sellers to pay extra to have their listings "promoted"--that is, if you don't promote them they sink quickly to the bottom and practically disappear. (Note to more experience sellers: Feel free to correct me on this or anything else.)

My latest annoyances surfaced this week when I listed a cell phone. I filled out the listing form, which took some time since phones have a plethora of Item Specifics. When I finally finished, I clicked Preview and watched the little circle spin and spin while my listing was erased. Yes, the only thing left was the title. This is not the first time this has happened. I tried again the next day, and this time was able to post the listing.

But when I looked at the published listing, I scrolled down and stared. "Unhappy!!" it read. EBay had added a 5-year-old negative consumer review of the phone model I'm selling. That was it. Just one review. I randomly checked some other listings for the same model. Two of them had five positive reviews--no negatives--and three had no reviews at all. I really don't understand this.

I sold a lot of stuff via Facebook's Marketplace a few years ago, and maybe I'll go back to that. EBay sellers, how has your experience been going?

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