Friday, June 20, 2008
Recent changes to ebay.com.au have royally pissed off sellers and buyers alike - limiting payment method to PayPal (or cash on pick up only), and removing the ability to leave anything other than positive feedback for buyers, even if they don't pay.
As someone who has regularly used ebay as both a seller and a buyer since mid 2004, I am one of the people who is very unhappy with the changes. Although ebay claim they are making it "safer" to buy / sell, all they are doing are reaping higher profits for themselves (since they own PayPal and get extra fees per transaction there), and making it so that problem buyers can no longer be identified in advance via negative / neutral feedback. Every way you look at it, there are no pluses for buyers, only big reasons to leave and move to a competitor's site. And that's exactly what I've done.
At first, I had no idea what other Australian auction sites existed... after all. ebay is pretty synonymous with online auction. But thanks to a facebook ad, I discovered Oztion, and through another ad I've also found BidMate. Unsurprisingly, both have experienced phenomenal growth in the last couple of months, in light of the notification from ebay about their changes.
Both are sooooo much cheaper than ebay. The cost of setting up a shop was prohibitive on ebay, but for $5 a month on Oztion I figured I'd give it a go! And a shop looks to be completely fee on BidMate!
On first impressions, Oztion is a very professional, well thought out site. I think it will become the replacement for ebay in Australia.
BidMate is not nearly as professional (it looks to be a one man shop - more power to Ron!), and information is scarce - you basically have to ask a question on the forum to find out how anything works... but that aside, BidMate has the cheapest fees, plus it offers a very generous $80 in seller credit right now, so sellers won't have to pay a thing for quite some time after signing up! With that in mind I figured, why not!
I've created accounts on both, and will test them both out. Watch this space for further impressions after I've used them a bit more!