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The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: eBay jacks up fees, removes negative buyer feedback 1

Last week, in response to widespread complaints from users, incoming eBay CEO John Donahoe promised lower listing fees. Now eBay has released their new fee schedule for 2008, and listing fees for items under $25 have been lowered by a whopping nickel. Meanwhile, final value fees in the same range have been increased by 3.50%, from 5.25% to 8.75%. So, to put it in concrete terms, if you sell an item for $20, instead of paying $1.65 ($.60 listing fee + $1.05 final value fee), you'll now pay $2.30 ($.55 listing fee + $1.75 final value fee). Wow, thanks a lot for that "price break," John. Listing fees have been decreased more for higher-priced items, but not nearly enough to offset the price hike. Moreover, there have been additional changes made to the feedback structure as well, including this gem: "Buyers will only be able to receive positive Feedback." What could possibly go wrong?
User Journal

Journal Journal: eBay Forcing Sellers to Upgrade Paypal Accounts

I don't know why Slashdot rejected this submission, so here it is:

Paypal (which is owned by eBay) is now forcing all eBay sellers to accept credit cards through Paypal. "Beginning August 19, 2005, if you sell on eBay and offer PayPal, your PayPal account must accept all forms of payment including payments made via credit card, regardless of whether you display the PayPal logo with credit card icons. You must have a Premier or Business PayPal Account or be willing to upgrade from a Personal PayPal Account to a Premier or Business Account if you receive a credit card payment. You may not communicate to eBay buyers (e.g. via your eBay item description) that you only accept, or will not accept, specific forms of PayPal payment." Because Business and Premier accounts charge a fee to receive any funds, this means eBay/Paypal will receive a chunk of every Paypal transaction payment you receive going forward, no matter whether it was for eBay or a credit card, and no matter whether the seller already had another (possibly cheaper) way to process credit cards. Frankly, eBay sales have been on such a steady decline over the last two years, a lot of sellers have been considering switching to selling through Amazon or using using Google adwords. I susect this will make the choice to leave eBay a lot easier for many people.

And of course, I continue to sell books directly through Lame Excuse Books.

User Journal

Journal Journal: An Astroturfing Story Slashdot Rejected 1

Evidently, Astroturfing is only important if done by Microsoft; when it's carried out by Slashdot's darlings on the left, it ceases to be news.

Moveon.org has been Astroturfing for Michael Moore's Farenheit 911:


In fact, you can reach the Astroturfing page yourself. What's even more amusing: You can use it to send letters to newspapers telling them they've been Astroturfed!


And just in case it disappears, here's the Google cache confirming its existence:

Props to National Review Online's always great The Corner for point out the story:


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"Would I turn on the gas if my pal Mugsy were in there?" "You might, rabbit, you might!" -- Looney Tunes, Bugs and Thugs (1954, Friz Freleng)