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What happened to ebay?
Old 12th February 2019
  #1
What happened to ebay?

I mean i know it's a piece of hot, burning trash these days im just curious where all the funky junk and deals went too?

Reverb?
Old 12th February 2019
  #2
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mamm7215's Avatar
My local Craigslist is usually where I look. Plus Amazon rarely. After the inflated shipping on most things, EBay loses its appeal for me. There’s still a couple of sellers I keep tabs on but it’s kind of passé now...
Old 12th February 2019
  #3
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Space1999's Avatar
 

Reverb
Old 12th February 2019
  #4
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noah330's Avatar
eBay kind of shifted to focus on larger merchants vs smaller sellers. It really changed what eBay is all about.

I still use it now and again, but back in the early 00s I used it a lot more.
Old 12th February 2019
  #5
Completely. I've been trying to get out of ebay entirely because of the shift. I quit selling all together, but i still get parts pretty regularly on ebay.

I kinda just browse casually now at music stuff. But boy is it slim pickin'! All that seems left are the crazy flower pot types and big box.

Guess i finally got to get on reverb.
Old 12th February 2019
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I saw the title and immediately checked CNN.com, looking for latest-update live video of a big, smoking crater. No such luck.

On the other hand I did just get a mintish Mackie MCU for $244 shipped, which is a smokin' deal.

And as Sameal says, it's still the place to get component-level stuff. Also, check out the eBay sites in other countries. Items from from those places will only appear in your search if the seller specifies they'll ship there. But if their item hasn't moved for a while you can often talk them into shipping to you anyway.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 12th February 2019 at 05:15 PM..
Old 12th February 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

EBay didn't shift, its sellers did. eBay doesn't actively look for sellers and other then some introductory discounts, they don't interact
with buyers or sellers unless there is some kind of issue and you ask them to intervene.

If you've ever sold on eBay, the percentage Ebay takes is pretty steep. I sold a synth there a year or two ago and they took 10% I believe.
If sellers can sell some place else and make more profit selling their used gear, why wouldn't you sell some place else.

Shipping costs for the most part have nothing to do with eBay either. Its the carriers that raised their shipping costs back when gas prices were high.
Its amazing how the gas prices are an excuse to raise shipping costs, but when they come back down you never see the cost or goods or services follow.

Many shippers used to use actual shipping costs based on buyer and seller zip codes. I'm pretty sure many opt for a fixed rate because of how the search categorizes the listings when shopping by price.

I do believe there are just as many sellers of Funky Junk listed, it simply gets buried by tens of thousands of listings coming out of countries like china.
I just did a search for Guitar pickups and it lists - 1-48 of 65,903 Results. If there are listings for used gear you'd going to spend a whole lot of time digging for them unless you use the search refinement tools and narrow down the brand, cost, new vs used, etc. you can filter away allot of the BS listings if you use that tool, but its still allot of searching involved for finding anything worthwhile amongst the cheap junk the site is over saturated with.

What eBay needs to do is limit the number of single listings these sellers post, or start charging them for flooding the site with items that don't sell. Some of these Chinese sellers will put up a listing every minute and there will be thousands of the same item listed clogging up the pages. They should put cost caps on how many listings they post so a seller doesn't post 22,000 pages for 2 cent screws. Put a limit on the automated computer listings and nail them with huge surcharges when they go over their limits with junk no one buys.

EBay should know, people are only going to view their site for a limited amount of time before they get tired at looking at the same junk over and over. Heck even retail stores know how to display goods to get the most sales.

Of course some of the other sites can be just as good for price. Reverb is one of the latest, but you need to be a bit cautious and cross reference their prices. I've seen used gear sell more then it does new, and when shipping costs are factored in, its often cheaper to but new.

Craig's list? I'm not eager to meet up and buy used gear from people I don't know. I realize its likely the best option for larger pieces of gear, but I have heard many stories of people getting fleeced and even robbed when meeting for a Craig's list transaction. Tales of gear that was obviously stolen, and tales of people being robbed because the crooks knew the person was coming with cash to that meeting site way out in no mans land.
Old 12th February 2019
  #8
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
EBay didn't shift, its sellers did. eBay doesn't actively look for sellers and other then some introductory discounts, they don't interact
with buyers or sellers unless there is some kind of issue and you ask them to intervene.
eBay changed how they treat all sellers in about 2005. They became very militant about how things are listed. Huge sellers are very clearly categorized, whereas smaller sellers benefit from choosing the listing category. e.g. a large seller who is selling mass numbers of guitar setup instruction books wants to list in the "instructional books" category. A small seller wants to hit people who are looking to buy guitars, and will do better listing in the "instruments for sale" category. EBay stopped allowing this, thus pushing out a lot of smaller sellers.
Old 12th February 2019
  #9
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post

Craig's list? I'm not eager to meet up and buy used gear from people I don't know. I realize its likely the best option for larger pieces of gear, but I have heard many stories of people getting fleeced and even robbed when meeting for a Craig's list transaction. Tales of gear that was obviously stolen, and tales of people being robbed because the crooks knew the person was coming with cash to that meeting site way out in no mans land.
Do craigslist deals in the local police station parking lot.
Old 12th February 2019
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
Do craigslist deals in the local police station parking lot.
The police station in N Hollywood CA has a big, open 24/7 lobby, but the light in there is bad. They're cool with it as long as you don't make noise. I've also done CL deals inside bank branches and Denny's.
Old 12th February 2019
  #11
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The police station in N Hollywood CA has a big, open 24/7 lobby, but the light in there is bad. They're cool with it as long as you don't make noise. I've also done CL deals inside bank branches and Denny's.
Yeah, I’ve also done them at public libraries, banks, and in front of McDonalds.

But last time I was buying a guitar in a police parking lot, some people a few parking spaces over were doing the same thing!
Old 12th February 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

I have to agree, eBay has changed out of recognition, and it is rarely of any use to me these day.
My score is 366, so I have used it a good deal over the past 20years or so, both as a buyer and a seller. They have re-organised it so that it is difficult to browse a whole category, and there’s little worth having anyway. I think they are trying to become another Amazon, but they won’t appeal to, or keep, those who used eBay as a good way to get discounted or pre-used gear at lower prices, or sell unwanted goods.
Always a shame when organisations turn their backs on the most faithful users . . .
Old 12th February 2019
  #13
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ponzi's Avatar
I look at ebay or reverb, and we have for sale here on GS as well. Ebay does take a big cut--they charge on the sale and charge on handling the payment, so it totals up to a lot, but its convenient if you want something out the door in a week for a price resembling the marketplace. To me, reverb looks like a museum for equipment where sellers are dreaming about unrealistic prices, but there can be good deals. Craigslist is nice and convenient, and IMHO, the only way to go for large items.

Yes, shipping has gotten a lot worse, and yes, the fuel surcharge never goes away. I alternate between fedex and ups. Good news for me, I have sold most of the junk I had and most of what I wanted to get rid of, so not selling much these days.

When I was starting out with guitars in the late 70s, we had to pay to place a want ad in the newspaper, so craigslist is a nice improvement.

When I do sell on reverb or ebay, my practice is to figure out what it would take to ship it the farthest distance from my house and make that a fixed shipping price. I feel things sell better when the buyer does not have any uncertainty about shipping cost or getting ripped off on that end of the deal.

Be careful, once I was selling a 4x12 on craigslist and some a-hole from out of state convinced me he would pay shipping on it. Tons of work to get a rude ups store owner to do an estimate, and in the end not only did dude start talking about me eating some of the shipping cost (fraud in the inducement as he promised otherwise up front), he let it slip that he had done the same thing to others.
Old 12th February 2019
  #14
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tedtan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
To me, reverb looks like a museum for equipment where sellers are dreaming about unrealistic prices, but there can be good deals.
The thing with Reverb is that sellers typically expect to negotiate the price, so they ask a higher price up front so they have room to come down. Don't be afraid of the make an offer function, because those asking prices are not typically the selling prices.
Old 12th February 2019
  #15
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Reverb is where everyone lists the exact same items they have on eBay and GS classifieds, but at a higher price.
Old 12th February 2019
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
Reverb is where everyone lists the exact same items they have on eBay and GS classifieds, but at a higher price.
Sure, but Reverb has haggling built into its process.
Old 12th February 2019
  #17
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Sure, but Reverb has haggling built into its process.
I’ve seen countless listings of the same item by the same seller on all 3 platforms, sometimes also craigslist and make an offer is an option on all of them, not just reverb. Why would anyone start to haggle through reverb with a higher asking price?
Old 12th February 2019
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
I’ve seen countless listings of the same item by the same seller on all 3 platforms, sometimes also craigslist and make an offer is an option on all of them, not just reverb. Why would anyone start to haggle through reverb with a higher asking price?
Dunno, that doesn't make much sense.

Sometimes I do the opposite and list the same thing on eBay and Reverb, but make the eBay price higher. Mainly because eBay takes a bigger cut, but also because it makes the Reverb listing that much more attractive.
Old 12th February 2019
  #19
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ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by UKMK00 View Post
...The Vintage Gear market is a dumpster fire. Everybody wants the prices of the 2000 - 2006 market to return.
So I understand this correctly, you are saying prices were much higher back then--correct?

The overall decline of the number of young people who want to get guitars--when they can produce loop based music has been much discussed and speculated on--I think its happening.

Another thing is my generation--close to retirement or retired--are unloading guitars as they either retire from music, need retirement money, cant play due to arthritis, so they are flooding the market with vintage gear as well.

So there is lots of used gear due to both factors--and lower prices.

PS. I am not immune--I have a great river pre that I think I paid way too much for used, and wrestling with how much of a hit I take when I sell it... Not going to break even on that non-researched purchase... At least I didn't buy it new...

Last edited by ponzi; 12th February 2019 at 07:44 PM..
Old 12th February 2019
  #20
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ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tedtan View Post
The thing with Reverb is that sellers typically expect to negotiate the price, so they ask a higher price up front so they have room to come down. Don't be afraid of the make an offer function, because those asking prices are not typically the selling prices.
I agree and have done that. I do have a sense I have developed over the years that if someone is too far from reality, its pointless to negotiate--maybe I am wrong in some instances. Last thing I want to do is deal with an angry guy as I explain why his dream is not going to come true... Been there, done that. But, yes again its a good point--and the listing tells how long they have been selling. I myself will not drop price in first couple of weeks, but as time goes on, I can tell my price is too high and can drop it if I want to sell.

From the late 70s when I started the guitar buying and selling, I think we developed a norm that one asks a bit more than they expect to get--10/20%. The buyer, if of my generation, sort of knows that and knows they can make a lower cash offer and at the end, both parties feel better for having done so. Seller got what he wanted, buyer saved money just by talking.

Another thing I see is the exact same item, say a motu 1248, used minty and one is asking $900 and two others are asking $1,400 or higher. Sooooo, how do these high priced dudes every expect to sell their gear? Wait till all the folks willing to sell for less sell theirs first? What if the lowest priced item has been there for 90 days? (I am kind of making up prices to make my point, and electronic gear in minty condition is equal to others in same condition as far as I am concerned).

Now, its a free country, no harm in asking too much, but I do wonder if people are more interested in cashing out versus feeling like they have a $1,400 dollar piece of gear on their shelf.

Again, my experience is just one person's but when something is a mass produced electronic item, folks will not pay more than 60% of retail--even if the gadget is 2 hours away from the original sale. Just a rule of thumb.

I suspect this applies to mass market guitars of the under $1,000 category. I think folks will pay closer to retail for an american gibson or fender. Having said that, I got my son a new american strat for under $1,000 in the first place.

I also suspect that folks who are all jazzed up because they bought a custom shop 'limited edition' 'john dingleberry' guitar made to his specifications same as the one he played on the #1 hit of 1982 "Lets all rock"--and it cost 4 times what the regular model costs--are going to lose their shirt on re-sale because most folks don't really care about a dingleberry model. He11, I don't even care enough to pay more money for an exact replica of Jimmy Page's guitar, and I worship him.

Some folks want 90% because its mint, never used, and all that--well, if nothing else they just shaved off the original warranty when its not the original owner--and I would rather buy new than save a pittance and lose the warranty.

Well, in any case, as I said, this all beats the want ads when I was young--we have access to more items as the sales are national not city local--and they can sit there for months as opposed to a 1 week want ad--on ebay we only need one person nation-wide who wants the item even though nobody in your city does. The costs are known up front, and even if ebay gouges us for their pound of flesh, we have still taken a dust covered item and converted it to cash.
Old 12th February 2019
  #21
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
with the advent of the mobile phone, ebay slowly transitioned its format towards that platform. so the change in platform would switch its aesthetic allegiances from the neo chav to the neo liberal. is how I look at it.
Old 12th February 2019
  #22
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toledo3's Avatar
 

I’ve had a lot more luck with eBay as far as people accurately describing things, sending them after payment, etc. I’ve also had more luck with the eBay dispute process.

Reverb will process refund requests differently depending on how you pay and will only personally provide protection if you buy through the Reverb payment system. That said, they do not require sellers to use the Reverb payment system, so...
Old 12th February 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
There are still some things that can be found quickly on ebay that it would take forever to find locally if you could find them at all. I'm reluctant to sell anything on ebay because I don't want to sell something to a buyer who claims some fault that isn't there, not to mention the fees and the shipping hassle.

The times I've advertised on Craigslist lately, it seems like I get those nutty emails from people that either must be scammers or nutcases. Then there is the concern of who is going to show up and all the safety issues.

Both make the dumpster look like a better option.
Old 12th February 2019
  #24
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ponzi's Avatar
There are some things I will donate due to the idea that its too much of a hassle to sell. When I sell something like a guitar or amp, I want people to be able to play it and know it works as all sales are final--I am asking a lot of money. "It works now, but if you take it out of your car when you get home and it doesn't work, that's not on me" These are expensive guitars and amps and I have been lucky in that I have never had a prospective buyer in my home that made me feel uncomfortable--thus far. Most of the time we end up having an enjoyable chat about the music biz. Just sold a stand up bass--not going to ship that no-how... But fortunately, my impulse buying has slowed down so more down to a keeper set of core guitars and basses in my old age. Every time I think of buying something, I force myself to think about how much of a hassle it will be to sell it someday--and I simply hate losing money on something.

Getting away from music gear, ebay/amazon can be a miracle compared to olden days. Anybody ever tried to find one of those daggon funny-threaded screws that holds the vintage marshall or hiwatt chassis in the wood case? The screws are some oddball british thing, and I bought a small bag of them on the internet--never in 100 years going to find in a local store. I used to get the marshalls with the missing screw or the american screw cross-threaded in--as nobody can find the da*n things. So, for hard to find items, the online world is great. And we also have the reviews, so we can be a lot more confident an item is reliable.

2manyrocks--I am pretty sure the craigslist email robot prevents folks from getting or actual email unless you have it in a signature at the bottom of your emails. Not 100% sure, but pretty sure--you can look into it to be sure. Yes, there are lots of scammer emails and lowball offers designed to get your email: "Sir, I will offer you $200 for your item"

I also don't give craigslist buyers my phone or home address until planned day of visit--that takes care of most of the ones who change their mind--and there are plenty that say they are coming over and don't show up. Maybe I should get with the times and do more of the parking lot sales--what if my luck runs out.
Old 12th February 2019
  #25
Gear Addict
 

I've had good luck and bad on eBay (as a buyer -- as seller is another story); mostly good, though, except for a few areas:

1.) people don't have any dang idea how to pack heavy items -- especially those with rack ears -- unless you provide explicit, written guidance (MOST sellers have followed my suggestions, and when they haven't the equipment usually arrives damaged)... and for that matter, I recently asked a Reveb seller to pack an item in a certain way and their reply was, "don't worry, we have a shipping department and they know how to pack". Any guesses what DIDN'T arrive undamaged.....?

2.) some of these "electronics recycling" places will sell items as-is without describing OBVIOUS faults that could have been spotted without any technical knowledge whatsoever. In one case, I bought a solid-state stereo SD card recorder. The ad showed it powered on and in various diagnostic screens, but what it didn't show was that the OLED display was so badly burned-in that when the main recording mode screen was up, it was hard to read certain portions of the display. They HAD to have noticed this, because it was plainly evident during the boot-up splash screen. It was, however, not obvious in the small-text-only diagnostic menus.

3.) People selling items as "new" that are not; I bought an inexpensive condenser mic on eBay and the thing was corroded and smelled like it had been buried in the cat box for a week. I contacted the seller and he said, "I used it a couple times, but what's the problem -- you got a good price?" Well, the problem is, it's NOT new... I'm sure I could have won in a PayPal dispute, but it was such a low-value mic that I decided to hang onto it and scavenge components from it. I see this sort of thing fairly often, where people select "New" in the item descriptors, but then state that it's "like new" or "lightly used". In my case, the guy didn't even include such a "disclaimer".

And yes, I do recall a statement a number of years back that eBay was trying to transform itself into more of an Amazon-like marketplace.
Old 12th February 2019
  #26
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
EBay didn't shift, its sellers did.
Not true, I worked a number of yearly online sales conferences 8-10 years back in which ebay representatives stated clearly the goal was to move to more of a retail experience, and diminish the presence of auctions. Essentially go head to head with Amazon; stated goal. At that time, auctions were down to less than 10% of total ebay business. It's probably a very small fraction now.
Old 12th February 2019
  #27
I basically buy nothing anymore. And i actually probably have ebay to thank for it. The process to sell items basically made it almost impossible to recoup any cost on a new purchase, so i quit selling and turned to my project pile.

Which at that time, got pretty rediculous! But now i just buy parts to chip away at that.

I kinda miss being able to sell off a few bits for a nice something or other. But on the flip i just use what i got now more then i did when i could sell. If after a few sessions it just is totally not doing it for me it usually goes to the music go round.

I kinda miss browsing exotic funky junk for kicks though.
Old 12th February 2019
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

I remember the day ebay died, as it was when I was working for them.

It was a really big deal internally and it was met with considerable amount of resistance. They allowed buy.com to list millions of listings all for free, flooding the site with product but alienated their small sellers at the same time. It was completely against everything the site was founded on. Then final value fees started getting to where they are now, people left in droves.

I was also around when they got rid of sellers leaving negative feedback, that was a MESS, ebay didnt handle it well and sellers felt they were getting shafted (even though it really made sense). I was in the feedback queue when that happened people got ugly.
Old 12th February 2019
  #29
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ionian's Avatar
I used to sell on Ebay but ebay has gotten so hostile to sellers that it's not worth it anymore. There's way too many buyers scamming the sellers that it doesn't make it worth it. Honestly, I think ebay wants to get rid of the sellers so they make it as hostile as possible for regular people to sell stuff and make it very easy for sellers to get scammed, and quite often is complicit in it.

I tend to sell my used gear now through the classifieds. I have found some good deals on Reverb but I don't buy anything big that often - mostly guitar pedals. But I did find an excellent, brand new version of the AT5040 mic for $1000 less than anyone else was selling it. And it was a music store. I didn't even bother haggling at that price.

Also, I think the sellers on Reverb (or I hope) are more gear people so if there's problems, it's easier to resolve them. For example, I did buy a stereo compressor not too long ago from Reverb but it arrived with a serious mismatching problem between the channels. One channel compressed about 10 dB harder than the other. Linking didn't fix it. The seller was very courteous and right away took it back and refunded me after I told him about the tests I did and offered to provide him screenshots of all the test results.

There's too much of "Don't have a power cord. Not tested. Sold as is" on ebay for my liking. Even friggin' electronic stores are selling crap and claiming they don't have IEC cables to test it.
Old 12th February 2019
  #30
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ponzi's Avatar
One not good ebay development--its getting pretty hard to find out about people's negative feedback if its over a year old. The numerical summary does not include negative feedback over a year old. Last time I looked closely anyway.

I bought something from a guy and it was broken in one aspect and he did not refund me repair costs promptly. I looked close and found he had negative feedback from over a year ago. Ironically I gave him negative feedback and he ended up paying my repair costs like 9 months later after I forgot about it. I got the money and had to call paypal to try and figure out what it was for as it did not post into ebay properly.

ionian--iec cable ironic as well. I think I am not the only longtime computer user who has a whole box full of iec cables from scrapped computers. I even went through my box and sorted them by quality and tossed out the lesser ones.
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