The Burlingames

Chronicling the adventures of the B's

Category: What Burns Me

Boycott eBay

by Dave

I have decided to show my support for my fellow eBay members fighting for fair treatment by participating in the forthcoming eBay boycott. I will refrain from buying and selling February 18-25. Please see my previous post for a short explanation of some of the issues created by eBay’s recent changes.

One of the main challenges we face is the lack of a true competitor for eBay. Some members are trying to organize a mass migration to a new site as voted upon by all those interested. My hope is that these steps will create enough commotion to force eBay to revisit their policy changes. As many have stated elsewhere, the purpose is not to destroy eBay, but merely make it a better marketplace.

eBay's Rate Changes

by Dave

eBay has changed their fee structure effective February 20th. Like any corporation worth its salt, they’ve tried to disguise a rate hike as a discount to sellers. What a screw.

They claim to have reduced the risk associated with selling by decreasing the insertion fees. To offset their loss, they’ve increased the final value fees. I calculated the break-even point of the new rates, which is $11.43. Any auctions ending below that price will be charged a fee that is slightly less than under the previous system; any about that price will be charged a higher fee. I made a chart to show some sample end prices and their associated fees, as well as the difference between the new and old system.

eBay Rate Comparison Chart

I’m guessing that eBay is going to come out ahead in this. A few pennies per auction might not seem like much, but, given the volume of auctions, those pennies are going to add up quick. I understand that companies up rates now and again, but I take offense when they try to disguise it as something that’s supposed to benefit me.

Some other changes are looming as well. One that I, as a seller, find particularly disturbing is that I will no longer be able to leave neutral or negative feedback for buyers: positive only. I assume it will be positive or nothing, but leaving no feedback seems like a pointless gesture as it doesn’t say anything about the buyer’s reliability, unless it somehow figures into their feedback rating (which I doubt is the case).

There are some positive changes as well, but they are outweighed by the negatives in my mind. Click here to see all the new stuff.

Fun at FedEx

by Dave

I spent today learning some defensive driving skills as well as familiarizing myself with the standard delivery truck at FedEx’s airport facility. One of the things they taught us (which, by the way, we’re not supposed to actually do if we can help it) is how to parallel park. It’s not as difficult as it first seemed. But, really, when am I ever going to find a spot large enough for the truck?

On my way to Wendy’s for lunch (in my personal car, that is) I encountered a roundabout. Having limited experience with them, I made sure to take a good look at the intersection to make sure I didn’t do something stupid. It was then that I realized another car was going the wrong direction in the roundabout. Genius. Fortunately there was only one other car going the proper direction. I have a feeling that, as a courier, I’m going to be seeing a lot of stupid driving. I’ll be sure to share the really special stories here with you.