While I’m sure it’s still possible to buy and sell certain kinds of things on eBay, I’ve been thinking for a while that eBay has reached the point where they simply cannot police the volume of activity taking place on the site. If you become a victim of fraud (I’ve been burned twice), it’s virtually impossible to get eBay to pay attention, and you have basically no recourse. You pays your money, you takes your chances.
A great illustration of just how bad eBay has become is related at The Consumerist: It’s Now Completely Impossible To Sell A Laptop On Ebay
What used to be a [great] ‘virtual yard-sale’ has now turned into a hybrid mass of
scammers and shady garage-retailers, clumped together with a straggling, dying breed
of people who used to be excited about eBay, but who are now wishing it would return
to what it used to be.
It’s an instructive read, and mirrors my own attempts to report receiving counterfeit goods (plastic “Laguiole” steak knives). My experiences indicate, at least to me, that the problem is not limited to expensive electronics (though that’s certainly the most broken part of eBay).
Fundamentally, the problem is one of scale. There’s just too many auctions, too many people, too much fraud for eBay to be able to cost-effectively deal with every issue, or even a sizable percentage. So, as the article illustrates, about all you can hope for is a form letter. The same form letter. No matter what your problem is.