Hardly Using eBay Anymore

I've bought several thousand items on eBay since 2000. But I hardly ever use it anymore. I usually find better deals on Amazon (local and US), local retailers, online stores, Kogan, Aldi etc.

Just today I was pricing a $1500 drone, $1499 on eBay and $1480 on Amazon. Bought the Amazon one.

I have not seen a decent discount code at eBay for a year or so now. I don't like their "eBay Plus" program (not an Amazon Prime fan either though). Tried eBay Plus just to get the discount, and straight out again.

I don't like the way they are hiding which items are discounted under their eBay Plus program. It's not clear. The same goes for the few non-eBay-Plus discount codes: it's not straightforward to find the discounted items, at least not for me, a 20-year user. And they allow price jacking during their sales, which is illegal. I hate that. You need to keep items in your watch list, and make a note of the usual price as a "note". Then watch how the prices bounce during the so-called "sales". It's sickening.

I don't like the way overseas eBay sellers can sell to Aussies and not declare the GST payable. Not all of them do this, but for example I was able to go all the way to checkout and cancelled at the final screen, on a $1000+ item, still no GST or import duties payable statement anywhere. Unwary people could get a nasty surprise from Customs.

Their software feels dated and clunky. I see that their US customers have a slightly slicker interface (I have Aus and US accounts).

Anyway, I'm drifting away from them, made only 2 purchases in the last 6 months, whereas I'd usually have made 50.

Anyone else?

Related Stores

eBay Australia
eBay Australia


  • +79

    Weird flex but ok

    • -24

      Might want to look up what flexing means.

      • -11

        Might want to look up what modern slang is

        • +17

          I'm talking about the colloquial definition. The OP isn't showing off. timthetoolman is misusing the term.

          • -12

            @Burnertoasty: See when you take a word in a joke, and use it literally, or colloquially in this case, you ruin the joke.
            Stop ruining fun

          • -14

            @Burnertoasty: It's a joke phrase. Quite clear you're a boomer to not know.

            • @gram: Oh look, another child who doesn’t understand the words they are using. You’re going to get blown away when you find out what boomer actually means.

              • -17

                @Burnertoasty: Ok boomer

                • +4

                  @gram: Pathetic

                  • -2

                    @Burnertoasty: Well trying to explain to you that "weird flex but ok" is a valid term didn't work out either. Old timers just can't take the hit to their ego to learn something nowadays.

                    • +5

                      @gram: You literally have no idea what you are saying.

          • +40

            @Burnertoasty: "Look at me, I've bought several thousand items on eBay in the last 20 years. I just dropped $1.5k on a drone today. I was about to drop another $1k on another item. I have all this money to spend, but I'm so awesome at finding deals from these other websites and I'm too smart for eBay's tricks. Look at how rich and smart I am making all these large purchases."

            That's not necessarily the impression the OP was trying to give, but I can certainly see how someone would get that impression.

            • +4

              @saintmagician0: This is the vibe I got too. Not so subtle flex IMO.

            • +17

              @saintmagician0: I didn't feel like OP was flexing at all. Didn't even cross my mind. Flexing is those posts where everyone talks about their 300k salary and BMW.

              I was too focused on the point OP was trying to make….about eBay. Reminds me of people fixating on race, for example, when it had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

            • +8

              @saintmagician0: OP isn't flexing. If someone's taken it as such, then it speaks more of that person's sour grapes jealousy (for what is really, not an unreasonable purchasing scenario) than OP daring to talk about a semi-major purchase.

          • +1

            @Burnertoasty: It's used so badly and often now it feels like a 90s teen girls use of "Whatever"

  • +25


  • +55

    Anyone else?

    Ozbargain - Australia's preferred method to seek validation

    • +20

      TLDR: ebay is a car crash

      ms paint please

      • +46


        • +32

          Draw ebay crashing into a car.

    • +1

      This struck a very sensitive nerve and hit way deeper than it should have.

    • -4

      If only the vic premier follows that trend to get a vote on lockdown extensions and what knot…

  • +15

    Yes, I make far fewer purchases now. I really only go there looking for second hand items. Anything new, I buy direct from the seller unless there is a special eBay only deal that makes it worthwhile to go through their eBay page.

    • +16

      Something that annoys me with eBay is that you buy a product listed as being in Australia for fast delivery, and it actually comes from overseas (China mostly) with slow delivery.

      eBay doesn't care about this.

      • +15

        Another problem ebay ignores is the one where you search for, say, the cheapest of a common item - let's say HDMI cables.

        And the first 20 results are scam listings where the price is shown as "$1 - $10", and then when you click on it, it's one of those "choose which one you want" listings intended for collections of old star wars figures or whatever, except the $1 item is some worthless USB adapter or something, and the basic cable in the picture is what's priced at $10.

        There's no option to report it under the "misleading" category, and so ebay is riddled with them and you can never find the actual cheapest item.

        • +3

          i have this exact gripe as well, the misleading nature of it makes the exercise exhausting enough to make me head over to amazon or avoid ebay in the first place. that and the drop shipping RedHab mentioned

        • +1

          This. The number one reason I barely use ebay anymore, so frustrating and ebay couldn't care less

  • +8

    Eh majority of my recent pc build came from ebay, although prices do get jacked, still better than most brick and mortar stores specially if you are patient enough to wait for prices to dip a little.

  • +4

    Very rare I buy from eBay and only when I can't find something anywhere else or it's cheaper (which basically never happens).
    Had PLUS for 30 days and never used it. It seems when the members do get specials, they aren't really that great anyway.

  • +3

    My ebay purchases have also dropped but I have a feeling that we are in the minority. They must be doing well in the current environment since they don't feel the need to offer as much discounts as they used to.

    • Perhaps the JS and JK payments, and people bored at home and shopping online….

      • +3

        What a waste, billions in taxpayer funds flowing out of the country to overseas vendors :(

  • +76

    Fake local sellers with no local stock > slow delivery
    Fake items/does not match description
    Item never arriving

    • +4

      Wow, yes, forgot to mention this!

    • This was the exact reason I requested to close my ebay account few weeks ago.

    • And if you buy something fake you are on your own while they count their money.
      Paypal is useless.

    • +9

      and as a seller you can get screwed over by dishonest buyers/paypal too.

      I sold some stuff a while ago on ebay and realised at the end of it all, for all the time spent making listings/packing/visiting the post office to send/following up, once paypal and ebay had eaten most of my margin it wasn't worth the bother. If just one of those buyers had been dishonest I would have been in the red overall!

    • +1

      Sounds more like Kogan…..

    • +1

      Plus Ebay doesn't care about about any of this. Under the ACL, some of these sellers would be breaking so many laws but somehow they're allowed to.

  • +29

    Biggest detracting feature is the huge volume of counterfeit products offered for sale. eBay does nothing to address this issue.

    • +3

      Amazon is unfortunately in the same boat, I purchased a counterfeit pair of sunglasses from a 3rd party seller at the start of the year, which were almost identical to the real deal.

    • I won't lie, i'm into high end replica bags, the best ones are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing unless you're sitting it next to the real one and know exactly what to look for. It's so so easy for people to get scammed buying luxury items. Some replicas have even made it through the authenticators on websites like "The RealReal". I don't want to know how many people paid $1000s for a replica.

  • +86

    My main gripe is paying extra for stock that's supposed to be already available from a seller in Australia and when it arrives a month or two later it's been sent from China.

    • This

    • +12

      That's a massive issue. Always gets first scanned at Chullora NSW too. Ive been asking them for lodgement receipts to prove they posted on the day they did, when they can't show these I tell them I'll give them a neg unless I get cash back

      • +1

        Look at the address listed on the parcel if you ever receive it - if you google them they tend to be Chinese logistics/freight forwarding companies

    • +2

      Some kind of reverse drop-shipping scam they are using, to get listed as 'Local'; really frustrating, deceitful, and hurts local businesses in the process.

    • +18

      Somtimes it helps to check the seller's profile, it tells you what country they are based in. I've written a Tampermonkey script which display's the sellers location and as well as their registration location on any eBay/eBay AU listing:

      Script URL: https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/410587-ebay-seller-locatio...

      Screenshot: https://greasyfork.org/system/screenshots/screenshots/000/02...

      Hoping it helps people out :)

      • That looks great!

      • +1

        Ozbargain needs a Useful-Community-Tools section or something for awesome people like you

  • +33

    Hmm. I could buy from Amazon, a retailer with a direct sales relationship and a clearly outlined liabilities…


    I could buy from eBay, a marketplace that tampers with listing/search results, enables price jacking all whilst having no liability.


    • If you put it like that …. yes 👍🏼

  • +7

    Same. I only really buy second hand items from eBay now. Practically all of my new purchases are via Amazon.

    • +2

      And now the retail landscape is falling into ruin! JUST LIKE GERRY PREDICTED! 😭

  • +3

    I agree with most you points but as I am a small eBay seller when I buy an item I try to look for an item that just has a picture of the box of the item nothing too professional as most of the times it will then be the opposite of all your points

    • +2

      Never thought of it that way. Thanks for the insight. I will attempt to do likewise.

      • +1

        Cheers as before I was a seller on eBay I once got a counterfeit product since then I have manly only bought from sellers who have pictures of the actual item on the listing or on any of there other listing as a last resort

        I myself have only one item listed with a professional picture currently just as an experiment (and its mixed in with just pictures of the box)

        But that is the first time I have ever used a professional picture I only just take pictures of the box

  • +12

    eBay: I used to buy $5,000 last year(2019), first 6 months this year $1000, this FY $100. Amazon Last year $100, first 6 months this year $1,500, last 2 months $1,000.

    I start to buy big-ticket item from Amazon as I know their after-sale service is way better than eBay, no need to talk to the seller when the thing is lost/damaged in transit or item go dead after 3 months.

    • +9

      After sales is a BIG consideration. I agree with you.

    • Finally we are starting to see some real benefits from Amazon AU!

  • Same.

    Do ebay gift cards expire if you have entered them into your account?

    • I found the ebay system really hard to track GCs - having to select each one to use. Much prefer the Amazon method of it all being added to a wallet.

      I believe they do expire after a few years but don't quote me on that.

  • Amazon is the best. Incredible deals to be found on there, decent cashback offers on top, fast and free shipping coupled with outstanding service..love it.

    • +8

      BUT…. Bezos…
      Do you really have to make him richer than the bottom 150 millions americans?

  • +18

    ebay scams the seller with exorbitant fees, so the seller scams the buyer with price jacking, ebay always refunds the buyer in 99% of disputes, its like the circle of life, but just scams instead.

    • With respect, I don’t think that they “scam” the sellers. It’s their marketplace, they’re transparent with it and it is how they generate revenue.

      • +4

        Nah, ebay fees used to be close to 3%. It's now closer to 13%.

        Do you really think it's gotten more expensive to run a website in the last 20 years, and not less?

        Let alone 4 times more expensive…

        • -1

          Still not a scam. They are transparent about it. If a seller thinks it’s too expensive then they can stop using eBay.

          P.S - I rarely buy from eBay and most of my experiences have been bad. As a buyer I lost the PayPal dispute case too. So I believe they always take side of seller.

          One of the items never arrived and when I checked eBay it was too late to lodge a complain or take refund. Why is that? It’s not my fault that item not arrived. I think the seller was blacklisted. But eBay never refunded my money. It wasn’t a big amount but it’s about the principle.

          I bought slippers from Amazon worth $8. Size didn’t fit me. As per the website I went to a store which take Amazon returns and those stores didn’t need me to print the return label. The store declined my request saying I need to print the label. I didn’t have access to printer and was too lazy to print it. Talked to Amazon support and told them the shop is not accepting return without label, whereas they should have. They asked me to keep the slippers and refunded the full amount to original payment mode. This has happened more than once, other time it was a different reason and they gave me $5 voucher for inconvenience.

          So, I know where to shop again in future.

        • Running eBay is a huge operation. It’s not simply running a website, there is a huge amount of staff from engineering, customer support, Human Resources, legal etc. their source of revenue is primarily listing fees while they are trying to diversify.

          They wouldn’t be able to sustain this as they lose market share in the future due to an increase in competition.

          It is their marketplace, sellers are free to use others. It’s not a scam, it’s completely transparent and up front and there is nothing clandestine about it.

          Their fee is less than 11% for stores, which is still high. But they are providing the infrastructure, marketing etc to facilitate the sale. Online retailers would typically factor all of these variables into their sale price.

  • +4

    I use eBay a lot. Sometimes they are cheaper than Amazon, but usually they have in stock what AU Amazon does not. In the US you can order your random widget on Amazon no problem, but in Australia it's not even an option for many things. eBay often has them cheaper and can ship them sooner, even with Oz Post taking two weeks sometimes to get a package across state lines. Sometimes something is the cheapest on eBay because the store behind it happened to sync their inventory on eBay, so they drop the price on their regular website and the price drops on eBay too, plus whatever coupons or free shipping deal Ebay is offering.

    I wish I could figure out a way to make money with eBay affiliate marketing, but I can't think what eBay has a lot of around the world that's worth trying to pimp out. There's some sellers that only put their stuff on eBay, some authors only offer signed copies of their books on eBay too.

    • +1

      I'm glad you are still finding value. One of the few.

    • I still tend to use eBay and Aliexpress for these reasons. If I am looking for a washing machine gasket or a photoreflector, I'll usually find them there. Amazing just what you can find, really.

  • +7

    The good old days of 20% off major eBay stores. Jeez I haven't seen that in a while.

    I still go to ebay for my cheap & nasty items, plugs, clips, I pad holders etc. Amazon seem to charge a ridiculous price for the cheap items.

    • Yes correct. The two things I bought this year were both cheapies.

      • I've bought twice from them this year too. From last year I stopped buying frequently as the deals were just not there, plus Amazon growing in range so much and were generally cheaper. Spent 10s of thousands of dollars on ebay for last 15 years but they've really gone downhill for me. So barely check on the site if I'm after something. Prime is great value with video streaming service, music app, kindle, free shipping and more for $60 a year. No hassle returns even from US Amazon and legitimate products when labelled as Prime so you know you're not getting screwed. In the last year probably spent a few grand on Amazon to what I would usually get from ebay. Hard to choose ebay when the other option is better in almost every way. Slowly many people I know are finding out the same thing.

    • +3

      I try to go to other sellers for those - like bangood or geekbuying. I hate having to deal with the ebay interface since they allowed grouping of "similar" items (which may vary wildly in price).

    • Yep same. The thing that gets me though is when you sort from "price plus postage lowest first" but you get sellers, selling something cheap and not what I wanted for $1, but the actual product ends up being $20!

  • +4

    Ebay is really the only place to buy preowned items, like collectables and rare things but for technology and computer purchases I can understand buying at a stores own website, or alternatives. I am probably buying more than usual as I buy lots of used items not easily found on facebook or gumtree either.

    • +5

      I would bet that eBay has suffered huge losses since the introduction of FB marketplace. It is such an easy platform to use for cash transactions and it is free! Surely eBay is only an option for really specific items.

      • +2

        I have to admit I am out of touch, a 50 yr old told me to put my ebay items on Facebook. I got 10x the views, and sold much quicker.

      • +3

        eBay can be very very easy for selling second hand items.

        If it’s low value (eg less than $500, people will have different thresholds), in relatively high demand and you don’t mind the (still relatively small) risk of scams and returns, you stick it on eBay for $1 starting bid.

        The market sorts out the price, you slap one of ebays shipping labels on it, stick it in a red postage box and you are done.

        The eBay/auspost shipping labels are a great feature. Credit to eBay where credit is due.

        • How profitable can it be for eBay though, its just scrubbers like us selling our bits and bobs, and them having to deal with complaints when it all goes pear shaped.

          I think you're going to see a bifurcation whereby scrubbers are all on gumtree and fb marketplace, and the ebay power sellers all go over to Amazon.

          • +1

            @cannedhams: They make a significant amount on advertising I would assume…

      • -1

        Marketplace is full of moron lowballers asking for "last price" though. All the same nationality too. Do they have nothing better to do with their time?

        If you can put up with that irritation it's OK. Ebay lost me as a seller when the final value fees went from reasonable to a joke a few years back.

      • I sometimes use FB marketplace to give away larger items around my properties. I set up a completely separate FB account with minimal private information for this purpose. Just wondering if many others do this as well?

      • i feel like FB marketplace is more similar to gumtree

        if you're happy to muck about it's ok (non serious buyers, no one showing up etc), if you want a more genuine buyer/seller, ebay is better

    • Thats weird, my experience is other way around… These days you can find pretty much anything on marketplace

    • … or Gumtree

  • +9

    I don't understand why you're not an Amazon Prime fan. It gives you free, expedited postage, free music/video and easy returns. It means that you don't have to pay for postage on small things (like you need a new iphone charging cable, you could spend $20 at coles, you could spend $5 on Amazon and get it the next day, or you could spend $3.99 on ebay, $3 for postage and wait a month for it to get delivered from Hong Kong.

    • I guess I don't buy enough to justify it. But you've made me think, and I could reconsider. Thanks.

      • It's $60/year. So really you need to work out if you've spent more or less than $60 in shipping, in a year

        • or whatever the increased speed of delivery or the streaming service is worth to you. all the benefits here, but these two that are valuable to me: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/help/customer/display.html?node...

        • +5

          Well you also get free amazon prime video, amazon prime books, Amazon twitch gaming, and amazon prime music. IMHO it's worth it for delivery and video alone.

          • @lunchbox99: It's worth is different for each person, for me Twitch, Prime video music books are worthless - not at all interested.

            • @dojomojo: eBay is still okay for some things. I just use it much less these days.

              With amazon prime, I can order cheap stuff and not worry about postage. It comes fast too, much faster than most eBay sellers.

              I recently ordered 24 can pack of Schweppes ginger ale mixer. Cost $15 and I can’t understand the economics of how it’s shipped to my door in a big heavy box for that price.

    • +1


      Amazon Prime streaming has some good stuff on it, and I was able to get rid of Spotify which easily covers the cost of the Prime service.

      It is an absolute bargain.