I've been an Ebay user since the early days, back in the 1990's when it was new and really just getting started. I can even tell you the very first thing I purchased--a stuffed bear, holding a pine tree, intended to be a Christmas decoration. I don't have it anymore, I got rid of it when we did a massive purge of our Christmas stuff a few years ago, but I remember it well. Over the years I've not only bought a few things, but I've sold quite a bit too. To me it beats having a yard sale, and it's a great way to get rid of things that you don't want anymore and make a little extra cash.
Unfortunately, nothing stays the same, and Ebay has evolved too. But not for the better. I will say that some of the changes have been improvements. Others not so great. My complaint right now is because of the sheer amount of junk being sold on there. And I don't mean in terms of people doing household clean outs. I mean cheap, imported from China crap. It's taking over. And because of the way Ebay has changed things, it's getting harder and harder to do any searches without this stuff coming up. Sure, you can specify that you want only items being sold in the US to come up, but even that doesn't work because there are people all over the US selling this junk. I'm about to give up on looking for anything there, it is beyond frustrating.
I'm wondering though if we are going to see Ebay become a thing of the past because of this mistake. Would serve them right. After years of gouging little guys with fees, I get the distinct impression that they are losing some ground. I'm constantly getting notifications on "how to improve your sales" and "list 1000 items free". Geesh, I'm lucky to get 10 items listed in a month! And I can't help but think that they are doing this because everyone else is getting as annoyed as I am and are leaving. I know there are several groups who have left and an entire former Ebay contingent that refers to is as "FeeBay". Sad, because it used to be a really good place to find things you couldn't find elsewhere as well as sell stuff you didn't have need of anymore. Now it's like looking for the needle in the haystack. I feel bad for many of the sellers who used Ebay as a way to make a living or to supplement their income. For me it was just found money as I was cleaning out my house, but I've known people who used it as a way to feed their families. I know I'm having a more difficult time selling the things that I'm listing, and I think it's because many people like myself are tired of sorting through the junk to find the good stuff.
I bring this up because today another of my favorite sites became a public offering-Etsy. I discovered Etsy a couple of years ago when I was looking for a particular handcrafted item, and was able to find it there from a nice gal from Michigan. I've since bought quite a few things there, but in recent months Etsy has been under scrutiny for not keeping their original philosophy intact. What was supposed to be a place for artisans to sell their handcrafted items now has people selling various other wares that didn't used to be permissible. I'm afraid now that they've become an IPO, their original idea is liable to go out the window. I hope not, but I'm not extremely optimistic. I did run across something recently that in my mind didn't qualify, so I turned it in and the item did get removed, but now that they are no longer a privately owned and operated concern, will that still be enforced? I know that there have already been issues with some of the same Made in China junk, how long before it takes over there too.
Even though the internet has been around for a while, it's still somewhat "uncharted" territory. For every successful new idea, a zillion will fail. I just hope that somewhere along the way, someone with both of these companies will realize that sticking with the core philosophy from when you started is sometimes the way to go. I hate to sound like an old fart, but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"