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Marketplaces Are Horrible, So Why Do We Sell On Them?

By Matthew Ferguson

Every day marketplace sellers deal with returns abuse, unfair metrics, rude buyers and declining sales. Why do they put up with it?

Marketplaces Are Horrible, So Why Do We Sell On Them?

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Steven Thompson

A great read. The last straw is when an account is suspended! Fortunately there are lots of precautions you can take to keep your account in tip top shape.


Replying to Steven Thompson

Agreed! Proactive procedures are the best method.

Mark Hetherington

Sorry but reading that, and with all due respect, with regard to eBay that’s a ridiculous response You stated: Use tracked couriers and make sure your refund policy is clear on what is, and isn’t, allowed to be refunded. eBay will mediate when you and a buyer are in disagreement, so simply make sure if, and when, that happens, your position can be strongly argued: “I gave the buyer the exact information on my policies page”. That’s total garbage, and I’ll tell you why (and sorry if I’m not exactly being subtle here but this really angers me). The reality… Read more »

Andy Geldman

Replying to Mark Hetherington

Thanks for commenting Mark. I’ll leave most of that to Matt, but on your last point, Toys R Us have filed for bankruptcy in US and Canada only: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41316205


Replying to Mark Hetherington

It’s bad and getting worse, and much of it is due to “international” buyers. They mask themselves in the US through a US buyer, and commit fraud consistently without repercussions. It’s especially bad with electronics, iPhones,… eBay is effectively a scummy swap meet which I now avoid at all costs.


Replying to Paul

Electronic’s is affected by this, agreed. I saw first hand a colleague sell his secondhand iPhone, have it returned, only to find a knock off case in the box!

Thankfully, after 2 months of hassle, he got the funds pack through PayPal.


Replying to Mark Hetherington

The overall picture is what you’re failing to catch here. Manufacturers / suppliers are undercutting retailers. That is already in play and will continue to be the wave. So you’d best be asking yourself if you can even stay selling. Does a site like “webretailer.com’ by its very nature want to advertise or much less address this aspect of the problem — no, so I give them mad props for that. Sellers did a mass exodus from eBay many years ago – I know, because I was one of them. I’d been with eBay from the beginning. Did it hurt… Read more »


Replying to Chris

Good input, thank you Chris!


Replying to Mark Hetherington

Hi Mark, No worries on being subtle. I like honesty. Allow me to reply in the kind. Firstly, are you making money on eBay / Marketplaces? I assume so, or why bother. If yes, we’re still debating buyer actions and systems we cannot control or change. I’m a firm believer in the common biblical motto of accepting what you cannot control, working on what you can, and learning the difference between them (paraphrased). I’m not religious, but its good wisdom to live by. If you’re not making money, maybe you should drop the topic and move on to something else?… Read more »

Mark Hetherington

Hi Matthew, It’s good of you to reply. Just to explain, my biggest gripe with some of the advice I read – and I am generalising here, I’m not pointing at WebRetailer who are better than most, otherwise I would not be here – is that if offers “solutions” or advice on the basic everyday problems which in most cases the seller posting should be aware of, otherwise they are not sufficiently astute enough to be in business. I also get the old favourite, “if you don’t like it then don’t sell on ebay”, i.e. if you can’t take the… Read more »

Critical Bill

Sweet Mother of God! I’m just a beginner to online selling. I have a number of items, according to my research, that are quite rare and “should” bring a decent price. What the heck am I supposed to do when I read these horror stories about 100% honest, reliable, reputable online sellers,who are in possession of a solid gold “moral compass” and then have to go through in this type of nonsense just to run their business. Man, did that take the wind out of my sails going forward to sell these “niche” collectables that I was going to try… Read more »

PayPal Terminator

Might be a little later in answering but here’s why. 1. the reason why sellers change descriptions can be for past disputes filed by buyers for not as described. They are changing descriptions to remove any compatibility or opinon based statements. Any information that gives the buyer an impression or false conclusion. Buyers will take any ammo you can shell at them to use against you to try to get the item for nothing. Leaving out opinon based information and sticking to the facts. Dont ever talk about compatibility because you just dont know, tell them to go to the… Read more »


Certainly a valuable perspective on the topics and questions. Im not sure these points are as nefarious in nature, and they are understandably through the lens of sellers. Feedback for example is much appreciated from the everyday buyer, so to say its ‘the worst thing’ is really a matter of what part you play. One can argue the buyer’s power is a little more inflated than it should be for a fair outcome to always be reached, but the buyer drives the success of the marketplace and the seller at the end of the day, so attracting them to make… Read more »

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