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Should you join the eBay boycott?

User revolt over new eBay terms

PC Advisor has been swamped with comments from campaigners keen to raise awareness of the 'global boycott' of online auction giant eBay.

The backlash started when eBay removed the ability for sellers to provide negative feedback about buyers earlier this year. Under new rules introduced by eBay president and chief executive John Donahoe, sellers can only leave positive feedback about those buying goods.

Although some users are concerned that the changes will make it difficult to alert other users to fraudulent or malicious buyers, eBay claims it will make it easier for sellers to report 'bad' buyers and will remove unfair feedback.

Contrary to our original report, Balzenawe pointed out that some US eBay users started to strike in February, with even more due to join the boycott on May 1.

"We have tried to communicate with eBay for a reasonable compromise on these severe changes that are being implemented in its worldwide sites, to no response," said Balzenawe, in response to our story on Monday .

In fact, the campaign has gained so much momentum in the US that Jim from Golden Colorado USA directed us to his boycott eBay website - a resource for campaigners which offers, among other items, sample letters designed to be distributed to the media to raise awareness of the cause and up-to-date press cuttings charting the boycott's coverage.

Some readers claim eBay risks permanently alienating loyal users, and that the time could be right for alternative auction sites to capitalise.

"eBay has transformed from an online flea market to a wannabe corporate business," said Rikki. "It's now a great time to launch a new e-site that's aimed at the small or personal seller which deals only with local area/one country market."

Henrietta added: "Most of the boycotting sellers have closed our eBay stores and moved to other venues, taking our customers with us. You may check this by looking at the listings increases since February on iOffer.com, eCrater.com and OnlineAuctions.com to mention just three.

"eBay has shown itself to be an unreliable and unpredictable venue with no consideration for its customers or concept of the realities of retailing."

And while eBay's decision to remove sellers' ability to leave negative or neutral feedback for buyers together with the rising costs associated with using the online auction are the main gripes in the US and the UK, Australian users have additional concerns. Simply Jewelry highlighted the fact that from June 17 the only acceptable payment method that sellers on eBay Australia can offer will be PayPal.

What are your views on the eBay boycott? Use the comments box below to let us know your views.


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