eBay does it again; whimsically dismissing their customers as "noise."

With a stroke of a pen, eBay launched a devastating policy attack against small businesses already struggling for survival -many operated by those supplementing a fixed-income including; women, seniors, the disabled, and disadvantaged citizens from across the third-world. eBay's digital download program allowed vendors to sell digital content such as graphic design services and information products without requiring products to be delivered on physical media. As many seller's have commented; the requirement to physically ship items such as CDs and DVDs destroys their business model. The policy change is designed to thwart "feedback manipulation" wherein unscrupulous members trade items for as little as $.01, at less than break-even, in order to earn higher feedback ratings -a measure of an eBay member's reliability and standing in the online community. eBay's solution offered to affected sellers would see their transaction fees raise 2,000% -from less than $.50 per listing up to a staggering $10 in eBay's classified ads format. The move would force all transactions to occur "off-eBay", and outside the protection of the community feedback system. Simply banning sales of items sold at a loss, intended only to buy feedback, would seem to have been a solution to the problem. Instead, the corporation seized the opportunity to justify a huge money grab. eBay's recent series of hammers to fall on the monopoly's customers is sure to spawn new opportunities for competitors in the online marketing and auction house arena. Taken aback by suddenly being put out of business with virtually no warning or notification; many eBay store owners are ready to close down their shops in anticipation of the policy, effective April 1, 2008.

UPDATE: Please read this important post: eBay Class Action Lawsuit

Stay tuned for alternative workarounds! Sources: http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?messageID=2009858122&#2009858122 -Wayne Doucette


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