back to article eBay revenues defy worldwide army of bitter users

Despite a flagging economy - and some serious vitriol from longtime users across the globe - eBay is raking in serious dough. During the financial quarter ending June 30, the world's most popular online auction house nabbed $568m in profits, a 20 per cent increase from the same quarter last year, and net revenues grew from $1. …


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  1. Dick Emery

    Isn't it about time...

    ...that Paypal and Ebay were investigated for duopoly and being in cahoots with each other?

    I can sell you a nice coat but you have to Paypal it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The "Collective" good of the market place my ass

    More like Kollective. I'm sorry but something smells of cooked books in this story. With all of the screw ups that have stemmed out of pay-pal, and their policies that pretty much offended just about every hand that feeds the beast, in one way or another? This flat out doesn't pass the smell test.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The art and science of our business

    As if eBay has either. As if this clown would know art and science if they bit him in the arse.

    I hate business people. (Anon because I work for several).

  4. Steve Roper

    The power of sheeple

    It's not cooked books and duopolistic policies that power eBay. It's the endless hordes of mindless, Big-Brother-and-Idol-watching, Daily Wail-reading, propaganda-swallowing idiots who drive the profits of companies like eBay. The same lot that mindlessly click on email attachments and visit dodgy websites to add their computers to the powerhouses of spam servers and botnets. The same lot that are the first on the phone to us Reg readers crying that their computer's broken and can you pleeeeeze come and fix it. Yes, even your non-computer-literate mums and dads, brothers and sisters and uncles and aunts and so on. Sheeple, all of them!

    These people don't care about being forced to use PayPal. They don't care about buyer feedback, or user security. Until they get burned, and then they join the ranks of disaffected users bitching at eBay. The problem is, for every disaffected user created by eBay's incompetence, ten more idiots are born to take their place. We call them "sheeple" but they're more like rabbits since they breed faster than they can be educated. That's why companies like eBay, Google, Microsoft et al can treat their customers like shit and get away with it - because the vast majority of the human race is too stupid and too easily led around by the nose to see the reality they live in.

    Orwell probably expressed it best, when he wrote of the 'proles': "Until they become conscious they cannot rebel, and they cannot become conscious until after they have rebelled." ... "The proletariat will never rebel... They are helpless animals. Humanity is the Party."

    I don't know which is more to be despised: the power-hungry exploiters of the world, or the brainless sheeple that empower them.


  5. Alistair

    Info for Dick

    Back in 2002 Ebay bought paypal, so you would kinda expect them to work together.....

  6. Jes

    Weeds in the Garden Dont pull the Flowers

    Paradise it is not... Beware the pitfalls of Paypal chargebacks, inadequate investigations, payment holds, multiple user IDs, false claims and feedback extortion. Ebay should put more of the profits into a better support system. A real member rating system is in order along with selectable performance levels. Let users determine how much risk they can afford. Every category of product is different and some at least should get extra protection. Otherwise the whole place loses its relative charm. Many big ticket items are being lost to competition, many upset members. A better Transaction Report System is the key. Ebay is hanging in there but where will they be in 2 years? Forcing Paypal is OK with a security system that works. They cant see whats in the box. Rely on reputation, like a smart seller does. Volume isnt everything.

  7. Eddie

    No surprises here

    Ebay's the top choice for people selling off all the baubles and trinkets they've bought on credit cards over past few years to now pay the mortgage/fuel bill/taxes. Expect profits next year to slide as the supply of nearly new tat dries up.

  8. Andy Worth


    "In recent months, the company has ticked off countless users with an endless stream of sweeping sales changes"

    Yet they still increase their profits. So whatever they seem to do to their systems doesn't actually seem to deter the vast majority of the customers.

    I remember when they were talking about preventing negative feedback aimed at buyers and plenty of people said they'd never use Ebay again. Sadly it doesn't seem to be enough, as the 10 (for example) people who left were replaced by a hundred others.

    It's unfortunate, but Ebay is such a beast that even its attempts to wound itself seem to have no effect on its momentum.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Dragged down by the stone

    "the vast majority of the human race is too stupid and too easily led around by the nose to see the reality they live in" - Steve Roper, you are actually Roger Waters posting under a false name. I claim my five pounds.

  10. George

    Hurrah for Steve Roper

    Alot of people on here need to see the wrongs on the internet and networks of the world are not committed by experienced techs but by the millions who just browse the internet to chat, look at porn and discover how popular they are (or not!).

  11. Anonymous Coward

    eBay profits

    Of course their profits are up. They rearranged final valuation fees "to help people who list alot". i.e. those who pile junk on which is never sold. People who do sell however saw massive percentage increases.

    It's getting to be that fleamarkets and car boot sales offer better profits for offloading tat.

    Mines the tat coat

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Steve Roper

    Wow, we're lucky to have a guy like you on here Steve, to point out the inadequacies of 99% of the population. In fact, I would go further - its everyone except you, isn't it. Go on, be honest, ever since you achieved omnipotence by masturbating for 12 hours straight in your bedroom, the entire human race has become your plaything. Good to see you're prepared to make the tough decisions and stand up to the tide of consumerism by posting a comment on a message board. That will show them.

    But wait, who are the "we" you refer to? Are there other magnificent beings who see with the clarity you have attained? Perhaps they too could help to guide the foolish mortals, just going about their daily lives, sometimes foolishly using ebay if they want to sell stuff they don't want anymore.

    Get a life, switch off your computer, unplug the catheter, go out into the sunshine and meet some real people. It might help with the rage, Steve.

  13. Sean Aaron

    If there was a viable alternative...

    Basically I still use eBay because I cannot find a lot of stuff like import/rare Gamecube games any other way, and if I want to sell something I usually use amazon marketplace, but the fact is that people don't search that as much for anything other than a cheap book, DVD or CD, so trying to sell 2nd-hand consumer electronics is a bust.

    Like it or not eBay is here to stay.

  14. Big Dave

    Perhaps I've just been lucky

    But I've managed to use Ebay for several years without a problem.

    Dozens of purchases I would have paid more for elsewhere and dozens of sales I would never had made otherwise.

    As for being forced to use PayPal: I prefer to use PayPal - no forcing needed. Another facility that has never been anything but useful and efficient.

    Get a grip, folks. Not everything that doesn't work the way you'd like it is evil.

    Sure, just because millions of people like something doesn't make it right (the circulation of rags like The Sun always amaze me), but it doesn't make it wrong either.

    To expect something with millions of users to keep everyone happy and have no problems is ridiculous.

    "I don't know which is more to be despised: the power-hungry exploiters of the world, or the brainless sheeple that empower them". And which is more sad? The blissfully ignorant prole or the ranting misery-guts?

    Surely there's only so long you can moan about how society (and Ebay) is all wrong until you realise that, perhaps, if everyone else is ok with it, YOU may be wrong?

  15. spam

    Paypal is the Problem

    From both a buyer's stand point and a sellers. There has got to be a way to disconnect that sucker from sucking all the funds out of people's accounts. As a buyer the way it stands now, when I search for an Item, the first thing I look at is the bottom of the page to see if there is ANY OTHER PAYMENT METHOD THAN PAYPAL. And as a seller, we'll we just haven't become a seller because of Paypal.

  16. Mark

    Dropped eBay

    And I never even used it.

    Olympus don't do a T2 mount for their digital E series, they will do an E-series to OM adapter and then you can but an OM-T2 adaptor, but they sell the OM adaptor for £99.

    Sod that.

    But a japanese company would sell an E-T2 adaptor for about £8 on eBay.

    They required PayPal, so I didn't bother.

    Another said for £12 they'll sell one and it didn't have to be via PayPal. So I signed up, went through registration and the ordering process which then said it wasn't available unless I used PayPal.

    So I cancelled the eBay account without paying squat.

  17. sg

    ebays dirty tricks

    I've just noticed that another "glitch" has prevented ebay Australia from forwarding sellers bank deposit details to buyers, this is the third such glitch this year and it usually lasts for weeks. Not surprisingly Paypal never seems to suffer from these errors.

  18. G R Goslin

    On the plus side, however

    It has to be said that the old system of feedback was a complete shambles. It took a long time to assemble a reasonable level of positive feedback, and almost nothing to lose it. Dodgy sellers, and I've met a few, would delay setting your feedback (as a buyer) until you'd set feedback for them. If you had the temerity to assign negative, or even neutral feedback to them, they would instantly stick you with a negative rating on entirely spurious grounds. The only recourse was, of course not to give feedback on dodgy deals, which of course defeated the whole reason for feedback in the first place.

    Of course, they've gone about it in the wrong way. There are probably as many dodgy buyers as there are dodgy sellers, and disallowing negative on dodgy buyers is helping nobody. I don't know why they didn't adopt the idea of holding back the publication of both sets of feedback until buyer and seller had both submitted.

    Having said all that, I continue to use the service, and have found, with very few exceptions that the people I deal with appear to be sensible, honest types. Yes, I know that some of the stuff will have been knocked off, but anything you buy, particularly second hand, from someone that you don't know personally could be knocked off, and that includes shops, even charity shops.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    He is good at PR... 84 million users, all buyers... Genius.

    A seller who complained because of the negative feedback issue cost her a sale to a time waster that got off scot free and nothing can be done.

    Ebay listened to the criticism, refunded after a while the cost of selling but not the actual sale, and then failed to listen or actually respond when said seller pointed out the fact this was the third time this person had done it because sellers pass on the information outside of Ebay. No warninga could be given that she was a waste of time prior to the auction.

    Still waiting on a reply....

    Paris because you need her kind of cash to buy PR that good.

  20. Steve Renouf

    @ebays dirty tricks

    'I've just noticed that another "glitch" has prevented ebay Australia from forwarding sellers bank deposit details to buyers'.

    What!?! Those fools are giving their bank details to complete strangers!?!

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Bears and woods?

    Of course eBay is raking it in! What's the first thing you do when you think the finances could a get a little shaky? You get up the spare room and you find all that old tat you bought when you were flush and you find a big load of mugs to buy it off you!

    Hardly takes a degree from the (insert alma mater here ) School of Economics, does it?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Give us a credible alternative ...

    The reason that eBay has so much momentum is that it's pretty much the only show in town - oh, there are undoubtedly other auction sites, but eBay has the 'mindshare' of the sheeple. As far as the lumpy proletariat are concerned, online auction==eBay. End of.

    I've been fortunate - I used to use Fleabay quite a bit, and it provided a useful means of raising a bit of extra cash after I was made redundant a few years back. However, the sheer ineptitude of PayPal, not to mention the excessive fees, changes to customer service and the sheer hassle of listing items means that I don't bother with it any more. Much as I hate myself for saying this, I almost wish that Google would come up with something along similar lines even though I trust them about as far as I could physically spit Scotland.

    Now, anyone want to buy any hi-fi gear ....?

    Mine's the one with the pockets full of cash ...

  23. Robert Moore

    Not a fan, but I do use it.

    I find eBay is a good way to source those hard to find bits for my cars.

    I just bought a soft top for my Jeep, Cost me $340 Canadian delivered. I can't buy that top for less than $600 + taxes, + my fuel to pick it up.

    For those of you who complain about eBay, I say stop whining and go make something better.

  24. rick buck

    payNow cashcow

    I too, have received Fake DCM speakers in an auction on E-Bay, and have thus NOT spent much more time and money there.

    While many of the problems may be with sellers, and not with the system, If they are not willing to police their sellers better, I will not use the service anymore.

    On the other hand, I have had great service with PayPal, when buying items.

    It would be nice for PayPal to Guarantee the products (as far as Authenticity), in a way , as most bancards have a function to handle "Disputes" over products and services rendered (at least in the US).

  25. Jeffrey Nonken

    I used to use eBay...

    ... both for buying and selling, and got fairly good at it. And I have 100% positive feedback. But the latest fee schedule, plus the impossibility of giving buyers negative feedback, mean I'll probably stick to Craigslist or some other venue.

    I may still use them if there's something I can't get anywhere else, but otherwise I'll be avoiding eBay.

    @G R Goslin:

    As for the remark about dodgy sellers withholding feedback until you gave them yours: but there's also a legitimate reason for doing that. I used to give feedback as soon as I received payment, but somebody pointed out later that he waits until the user shows that he's satisfied. Just because you've shipped the product doesn't mean the user can't still screw you over. Best to wait until you're sure he's satisfied. So I no longer give the buyer feedback until I receive his.

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