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Collectors Paradise Lost

 Not so long ago Ebay was a collectors dream come true. It was an easy and economical way to sell duplicates as well as the happy hunting grounds for buyers. As time moved on Ebay gradually became ever more restrictive and “politically correct” by banning many legal items from the site like medals with swastikas, badges and US military medals. Corporate greed also grew as reflected by their rising fees. Now as of October 2008 Ebay is banning all forms of paper payments like checks and money orders from the site and requiring sellers to have and accept only Paypal or a few other plastic accounts that do not compete with Ebay’s Paypal. To say the least this is the double dipping level of corporate greed. Is it an illegal restraint of trade? Maybe, but only time will tell. If one would want to choose another Ebay acceptable form of payment be sure to read all the fine print. You will find that the standard fees and potential additional charges appear to be more expensive than paypal until you read Paypal’s terms of service and understand the rights and legal protections that you are signing away if you agree to open a Paypal account.

If anyone reading this thinks Paypal is a good system I would ask them, and all of us, to read Paypal’s terms of service. Just how dangerous can Paypal be? There are several internet sites full of the Paypal horrors experienced by too many victims to dismiss. One of these sites also has statements from several former Paypal employees that are a must read. Disgruntled employees? Definitely, but remember the old adage “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” Check out these sites and decide for yourself:

http://www.paypalsucks.com/

http://www.paypalwarning.com/

http://dan.tobias.name/thenet/paypal/

Final observation, the SEC has reported the Margaret C. Whitman, a lady who must know more about Ebay than all the rest of us combined, has legally sold 715,000 shares of Ebay stock. What does that mean? I’ll leave you to decide that for yourself.

As for myself, I have been on ebay since Jan. 2000 and have almost 600 feedbacks which are 100% positive. I have a star rating of 4.9 all of which I managed to do by using only paper payments without ever having subjected myself to Paypal’s onerous terms of service. Regrettably by the end of October I will no longer be able to sell on Ebay. Will I still buy on Ebay? Maybe, but only if the item is very rare and only if I can do it without having a Paypal account.

There is a bright side and we should all take heart. Yes Ebay’s actions have alienated and cast out a large percentage of it’s collector base but that has created a new environment in which competing internet sites now stand a good chance of succeeding. As for me I have established a new home on ecrater. Please stop by and check it out at: http://freds.ecrater.com/

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