My First eBay Seller Experience

My hobby is film photography. I love shooting photos on old cameras, and over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of old cameras people have just given to me.

Recently, I decided to get rid of all the cameras I never use, figuring I might be able to make a bit of cash on eBay, and give someone else a really good deal.

Just a Tiny Fee First

Creating an eBay account and listing my items were easy enough. However, the fees structure is very confusing (maybe on purpose):

So, for a $190 camera lens, we have (50 * .08) + (140 * .05) = 4 + 7 = $11 in eBay fees.

Don’t Forget Collecting Your Payment

Paypal means another $0.30 + .029% of total price, including the shipping ($10 in this case). This brings the middleman’s total up to $17.10 on a $190 purchase. No big deal.

They’re taking a realistic 9% total cut from your sale on the cheapest item category. But it’s not immediately apparent based on their page.

A little misleading, but no big deal. But then, you meet the hidden dragon!

eBay’s “Security Features”

It doesn’t say it anywhere on the site when you begin selling, but you’re not given access to your money after you’ve sold and shipped an item. Instead, the money is transfered into your Paypal account, where it’s locked.

You wait until your customers say they’ve¬†received¬†your packages, and then maybe a few days later, Paypal decides you’re entitled to money. Or not.

More “Security Features”

Well, as soon as my payments went through (still locked), and I’d shipped my items, I got a nice little email from Paypal. Apparently, they don’t think I’m who I say I am:

As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system. During a recent screening, we noticed an issue regarding your account.

To meet financial service industry regulations, we need more information to help confirm your identity. To provide this information, please go to the PayPal Resolution Center.

To find the Resolution Center, log in to your account and click the Resolution Center subtab. Click Resolve under the Action column and follow the instructions.

So, I’m out $40 in shipping fees, and I’ve already shipped all my items, and yet, I’m not guaranteed I’ll ever be able to access my money. Ebay already has my credit card number on file, and my bank account information. Now they want my photo ID, and proof of my address.

Loose $300 worth of my cash, or play their game? I decide to play along.

Another Email Arrives!

Dear K.P. Kaiser,

We’re writing to let you know that any recent bids by XXXXNAMEOMITTEDXXX may have been placed by someone who was not authorised to use that account. We’re currently restoring the account to its true owner and have cancelled all recent bids.

The item has shipped, I was told to ship as soon as possible to get access to my funds. And now eBay is telling me the person who they said was safe, really was a hacker.


How did eBay and Paypal become so dominate? I literally cannot believe this seller experience. There are thousands of sellers on eBay, they can’t all deal with this crap, can they?

Someone please, destroy eBay and Paypal. The world needs its evil destroyed.

2 thoughts on “My First eBay Seller Experience

  1. Agree, fsck PayPal. They suck. So, goddamned much.

    This is where I think a trusted escrow service could provide something really useful.

    Seller -> Sends expensive item to escrow company
    Escrow -> Checks goods match description, awaits funds from buyer.
    Buyer -> Pays escrow company.
    Escrow -> Sends goods to buyer, pays seller

    Seems like it’s a service that a company like FedEx could provide quite easily.

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