|A few months ago, I was pretty mad at eBay because of the whole sniping thing. A few recent experiences reminded me that eBay can be a useful service if used properly.
Since getting a new cell phone, I had been thinking about selling my old one. After looking at some of the Treo 650s currently being sold on eBay, I was unsure if I could sell mine at all, let alone get a decent price for it. I decided to try it out and see what happened. About 15 minutes after I listed it, somebody bought it. I still don't know why the person bought mine as opposed to any of the other ones listed in better condition and for better prices. It might've been because I uploaded detailed pictures of it (showing scratches and wear) and I wrote a good description. But whatever the deciding factor was, I don't really care. I got a portion of my money back, and it happened through eBay.
Last week, I was looking around eBay for some accessories for my new phone. That's when I discovered a great thing: Because my new Treo 700 is essentially the same shape and uses the same hardware as my older Treo 650, all the accessories are the same. So the market for Treo accessories is absolutely flooded with 3-4 years of aftermarket products, and many of these products end up on eBay. It's capitalism at work: Supply outweighs demand, so prices go down. All this benefits me, and it makes me conclude that eBay doesn't suck as much as I thought.
In conclusion, eBay is good for selling things that have a high demand, and for buying things that have a low demand. Also, I find the Buy It Now option the only way to go. Buying things through auctions is essentially useless, since you're bound to get outbid by a computer. eBay should consider changing its focus from auctions to simple marketplaces. #business