Wacky Mall
Why eBay has Become the Worst Marketplace of All Time
And How The Wacky Packages Hobby is Fortunate to Have an Awesome Alternative
Safer, Cheaper, Friendlier, Easier

Educate Yourself, Knowledge is Priceless
Ebay was born around 1995 and for the first few years, give or take, it was fantastic. Fees were nominal and your user ID was your email so it had a social media aspect, you could meet people and form relationships.

In 1998 eBay went public with an epic IPO, early investors made fortunes. But with a publically owned company on the stock market, before long investors wanted more profits. They always want more. Bit by bit eBay started turning the screws.

They knew they had a natural monopoly. There can be only one such auction site, once established, nobody could compete. Everybody tried, microsoft, amazon, apple. But no seller would list items on a new site with no traffic yet and no buyers would go to sites with no items listed. Ebay was it and they knew it and they took full advantage of their monopoly status by doing anything they could think of to squeeze every last penny out of us.

First they decided they should own our relationships for life. No longer were you allowed to even talk to people off their site, they implemented their own message system so they could monitor us. Threats and suspensions became common.

Customer service deteriorated, with long waiting lines to talk to a minimum wage burnout millenials who could care less and less about helping you. This is now a common experience for all of us internet-wide, but eBay was definitely a pioneer.

The institution of fascist rules that boggle the mind. I had the original art to Hostage hanging on my wall. At some point somebody downloaded the scan of it on my website and made a fake ebay auction, pretending to sell it. The most obvious fraud. I reported them to eBay a bunch of times but was completley ignored. So, I posted in their discussion forum to beware of this auction as 100% guaranteed fraud. Ebay responded by deleting my post and suspending me for reporting it. And they let the auction run to completion. The item ended up selling for like $10,000 and somebody was probably severely burned. That was before eBay had customer protection, that's relatively new. So eBay got their fee, which is all they care about.

It was my 10th anniversary to the day when I get a message from eBay telling me my account is suspended and I'm not welcome back. I asked what I did (becaue I had done nothing wrong) and they refused to tell me. They said that info was proprietary. Eventually after expending huge effort and time wasted I found out it was because I logged into my account from my friend's office, so they decided I was him. No due process, they are judge, jury and executioner. I was suspended for something like 6 months because of this.

For a spell eBay pretended to care about shilling. There was a time when people could not get away with shilling, because feedback and bidding history was transparent. But they changed all that, opening the floodgates for shillers. Every successful shill bid raises the fee and puts money in eBay's pocket. As soon as they implemented these protections of shillers, they must surely have seen a tick up in their profits.

So incentive runs the wrong way and the result was predictable. The profit motive brings us a lot of good. But it's not a panacea, this is a perfect case in point, where the profit motive has brought us the worst possible result. And not just in terms of quality, but in terms of basic human rights. Ebay believes they own our relationships, for life, and they demand to be judge, jury and executioner - you're not even allowed to know what you've been charged with. And since they have a monopoly on a critical marketplace, they have tremendous power over all of us, and they exercise that power in every way possible to squeeze every last dollar out of us - our dignity has no bearing on their algorithms. It's indeed a Brave New World, just not for the reasons we anticipated.

As soon as eBay went public, fees started to creep up continuously, going from just a couple percent to now over 16%. And if you sell a low dollar item in the $1 to $2 range you can pay 50% in fees. Ebay decided to focus on big dollar items, they cared very little about people selling $1 items. The forms you have to fill out to list items have become so long and painful that you'd make more money working at McDonalds.

At some point they decided (they claim for our own security) to stop letting sellers have their money when the customer pays. Now ebay holds our money for as long as they want and give it to use when they feel like it. Basically they've helped themselves to an interet free loan on our backs. They used this new power against me in the most wicked way imaginable. Read on.

In June 2022 after 24 years on ebay without a single (legitimate) violation of any sort, without a single negative feedback, without a single unhappy customer, I get an email from eBay saying they are unhappy with the level of information they have on me and they want me to send them a copy of my tax return and my paystub, my driver's license, and they want proof of employment, or proof of non-employment (why? Obviously I'm one or the other). I ignored their message because it was so ridiculous. A month later they suspended me. I could no longer list items, I could no longer bid on items (I was spending tens of thousands of dollars a year on ebay, so they've also punished all of the sellers I was buying from). I could no longer message anybody for any reason. But they left my current items running. So things continued to sell. When customers messaged me questions, I was blocked from responding. And I could no longer use their shipping feature, so I mailed them the hard way. I did it because I thought it was money in my pocket. But after about a year and a half I realized they were collecting the money for my sales but they were just keeping it. They never gave me a penny. It's now a month short of two years and they owe me about $5000. The level of corporate arrogance required to do this to me is beyond stunning. And it cannot possibly be legal. I did go on chat with customer service to try to get my money. But that went in circles after circles (I'm not giving them my tax return, it's none of their business, period). They just bounced me around acting all confused, then my phone rang so I needed them to hold on for one minute but they just hung up on me.

Their site is far too generic. They know about Wacky Packages, it's a category. But that's it, they don't know any of the details of the hobby so they cannot organize items in any rational way. If you want to search on singles from one particular series, you'll have to get creative with the search.

We the people need an online marketplace. But why do we need one for which a small group of rich people get a major slice for doing nothing? It's not like building an airplane, it's easy to make a website. I could write an ebay site myself in a week. So why does it need to simultaneously be a device for funneling 16% of our money to a group of rich fat-cat investors? In fact it makes zero sense at all, and if we had a media who weren't in bed with it, they'd talk about this. The online marketplace, if it has to be a natural monopoly, should obvioulsy be public and maintained for the benefit of the people who now depend on it for a living, many of them just barely subsisting in these days of rampant out-of-control economic polarization. And it should be for the benefit of the customers, who just need basic items. As it is now, obtaining basic items on ebay involve a 16% "tax" delivered directly to the wealthy for doing nothing. There's everything in the world wrong with that. But nobody talks about it, because rich investors also hold the reins of information. You know largely what you're allowed to know, and nothing dangerous gets through. What I'm talking about here is dangerous to rich privilege. You're not going to see it on television and you're not going to read about it in the paper. But it's the most important thing you'll read today.

Well, until they kill me, The Wacky Mall solves every single one of these problems:

So the question remains, why after two years do so many people continue to shop exclusively on eBay? And why are some of the big dealers still exclusive to eBay? It's not for the sake of time. The Mall is designed to save seller's time. A lot of time. You can even import your items that are already listed on eBay by just providing the item ID.

I have no idea why so many of us get in line for corporate abuse. I see people pay for more for items on ebay every day. In fact I see dealers buy stuff on the Mall and then list it for a markup on eBay where they continue to sell to the uneducated. Do you really want to throw your money away? Do you really want to give eBay 16% of your money? I hate to say it but at this point those who continue exclusively with ebay are fools being parted from their money. Sure if an item is only on eBay, that's one thing. But why pay double for something you can get on the Mall? People are now lining up for abuse when there are exceptionally good alternatives. That's both sellers and buyers. Do you really want that to be you? Meanwhile, sellers on the Mall are laughing all the way to the bank.

How many of you have complained severely about eBay, yet now do nothing to take advantage of the solution we worked so hard to provide for you (and for free)? Now you have nobody to blame but yourself and when eBay turns the next screw, the whining is going to fall on deaf ears.
Your Truly,
Gregory Robert Grant