I would pinpoint the time Ebay went off the rails to many years ago, when they changed their feedback system. The whole beauty of Ebay was that it was based on reputation. If I was selling something for thousands of dollars, I would only allow buyers that had plenty of good feedback. This simple system allowed you to avoid 99% of scammers. The only scammers that got through were people who spent a long time acting legit and building up lots of positive feedback, then "going rogue" and using that built-up goodwill to pull off a scam. This risk was small and worth taking (happened to me twice after hundreds of sales).
At some point, though, Ebay changed their feedback system so that sellers could not leave buyers negative feedback! You could only leave positive feedback, or refuse to leave feedback at all. Overnight, the entire reputation-based system of buyer/seller reputation was destroyed. Within three months of the change I was hit by three scammers, after selling less then ten total items. This was more scammers than I had to deal with in a decade of prior Ebay sales. There was simply no way for me to figure out which buyers were legit, and no way to warn other sellers which buyers were scammers. As evidenced in the article above, Ebay has absolutely no interest in blocking these scammers. Contacting Ebay inevitably results in a canned response that has nothing to do with your issue. Shortly after they changed their feedback system I stopped selling on Ebay all together. It just isn't worth dealing with the scammers, and Ebay seems to think that their current business model is fine.
It was so obviously corrupt and bullshit and undermining their basic platform function of connecting buyers and sellers. I refused to accept the shift, it felt so shitty. I stopped using it immediately and scoured online for alternatives and eventually just gave up and resorted to the limited local audience of Craigslist.
I bought things on eBay BECAUSE I felt it would be easy to sell them again on eBay if I changed my mind. It was superb. NOTHING has replaced it. Craigslist is local only, nothing else has brought back the eBay that once was, and now I buy less PERIOD on ALL platforms because I have no good way to sell things I later decide to pass on…
They want to sell themselves as a place to buy stuff, like Amazon, not so much as a marketplace of individual sellers selling stuff.
By basically removing buyer feedback, they've made the experience buyer-centric. All the safeguards (which are still fairly questionable) focus on the buyer's experience with the seller, and the possibility of the seller being dodgy.
Also, I'm not sure how it use to work, but how can a seller reasonably refuse a buyer when a transaction has already gone through, without their intervention?
A couple of ways. For one, you were able to set up filters to filter out anyone below a certain amount of feedbacks or anyone with X number of negative feedbacks from bidding on your item. Obviously by eliminating the ability to leave negative feedback to buyers eliminates this.
You could also cancel the bids of buyers and offer the item to a different bidder if they violated the terms of the sale (or didn't pay). As absurd as it sounds, someone can bid on your item, not pay, and still leave you a negative feedback. For example, they place the "winning bid". After the auction ends (and before they pay) they contact you and tell you they want the item shipped to Nigeria. Even if Nigeria isn't listed as a place you sell too, and you explicitly point out in the item description that you don't ship out of country, they can still leave you a negative feedback - all without paying! In the past buyers were hesitant to due that, because they'd certainly receive a negative feedback in return. Now they can be as scummy as they want without consequence.
How large of an market is there for "original ebay" today? If it's big enough, I wonder how much longer it will take for a competitor to rise from the ranks.
Obviously this isn't a worldwide market, but for used phones or mac laptops it works.
$500 for a Mesa Boogie Subway Rocket amplifier--maybe, if it's pristine
"It has new tubes"--that are never standard Mesa tubes
"Just got it serviced"--never has a receipt
On an amplifier that the reverb is clearly not working, knobs are cracked or replaced with generics, the jack is flaky, looks like it has been thrown down several stairwells (at least try to fix the Tolex as that's cheap unless you try to do a full re-covering), etc.
And then they get really incensed when you show them that the last successful ebay auctions were all under $350.
Have some realistic expectations, dude.
Charge you to list stuff, whether or not it sells. Would not use again.
Of course that's a compromise (I'm sure it reduces the audience), and that may not work good enough in some countries, or for some type of sales (I've sold up to ~1700$, I think), but I think it's preferrable [where it works] to stop using eBay at all.
Regardless, this is serious though:
> Ebay has absolutely no interest in blocking these scammers.
When I tried to expose the "scammer", eBay was essentially not interested.
¹=except the occasional one who attempts the ridiculous nigerian release-after-receival scam.