Is That Old Auction Site Dying?

Pete Steinmetz Jun 8, 2008

  1. riverotter1948

    riverotter1948 TrainBoard Member

    I'll be setting up a website shortly as I begin to thin out my over-endowed inventory of freight cars and locomotives. I like the idea of being able to offer items to forum members through a link in the footer.

    I wonder if other venues like craigslist would produce useful results (after screening out the Nigerian Bank Officer and other scams).

    What about using eBay's Classified Ad format to refer people to your website? It's only $10/month. I know there are restrictions on this format, but how could we use it legally? Maybe you could give away a free eBooklet that contains a link to your sales page? Or what about your AboutMe page (free)?

    I'm just throwing out ideas (some of which might need to be thrown out :rolleyes:).
  2. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Those are some nice items for sale there. :thumbs_up:
  3. davidone

    davidone TrainBoard Member

    I still use ebay to buy and sell. I see no slow down at all except for the usual seasonal slow down. Although i still buy most of my N scale from a well known e-tailor i can always find a gem on ebay. You just have to look and bid with your head. I just bought a nice maxi iv set by Kato at a very reasonable price.

  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    I hear about this kind of stuff, but I've never had any problem.

    I always make it clear in my ad that I accept cash only, and I use the free anonymous email address thing (mainly so that some bot or whatever doesn't pick my address up and sell it to a bunch of porn sites). I don't offer to ship anything via Craigslist, but then again most of the stuff I have sold on Craigslist has been large - things like used appliances and a palm tree.

    I search eBay for buys but I've never gotten much into selling. I don't like having to monkey with packaging stuff to ship it.

  5. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member


    She has never tried Craigslist. She uses overstockdotcom, etsy and ePier. You can sell anything on those sites. TASTWANSTMOTAF does have the best indexing, sorting, searching system of any of them, but people do sell trains on those sites. It is not as easy for the buyer to narrow his searches, though. You must wade through much.
  6. hnipper

    hnipper TrainBoard Member

    To quote a politician: "It's the economy....." plus I agree that the auction site's feedback policy changes need to be more carefully thought out. Shrinkage of numbers of auctions is one gauge of fall-off, but the other is what seems to be lower auction prices on common items. Are we getting saturated? Fewer newbies buying common items for their hobby?

    As a seller and buyer, I have been generally satisfied with my eBay experiences. Also sell books on

    For those interested, consider Amazon's feedback policy: Seller NEVER can leave feedback for buyer. Buyer can leave feedback for seller, but Amazon doesn't push it like the auction site does..... Some buyers we have run into on Amazon are real douzeys, and there is no way to warn anyone about them......

    I'll stick with eBay for a while longer!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2008
  7. chartsmalm

    chartsmalm Passed away May 1, 2011 In Memoriam

    I'm surprised that no one responding to this thread has mention N Scale Supply's Preowned section. I have purchased several items here and have been very well satisfied with all aspects of the transactions. I have now idea how they deal with the "preowners". But, I highly recommend to buyers.
  8. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

    With much fairness. I have sold a few items to NSS. Always satisfied.

  9. NikkiB

    NikkiB TrainBoard Member

    I don't use eBay as a place to obtain regular run items, I use eBay as a place to obtain hard to find items. For me it serves a purpose, and I'll be using it as long as it is availabe.

    Regular run stuff I get through the LHS.
  10. galesburghead2

    galesburghead2 TrainBoard Member

    It seems to me that ebay has a monopoly - trains or not. Where is there a serious alternative to sell anything over the www that has the same audience?
  11. christoph

    christoph TrainBoard Member

    I have used a few times, and quite often to buy model railroad articles. My experiences were good, and I also align my expectations with the price, i.e. if I buy some real cheap cars, I expect they might be junk, or need some repair.
    What I buy there is normally stuff that I did not preorder because I was not that interested, or I found some cheap offers where no one else was bidding like a MTL FT set at less than 70$.
    Normally sellers are happy because I try to pay very fast to have the transaction finished, don't see any sense in waiting with payment for days or weeks.

    I think that feedback mechanism is a problem, but I am not sure there exists a way to solve this problem in a perfect way.

    My 2cts, as always :)

    P.S.: I am in Germany, so things may be a little different here, or maybe not. Just to avoid misunderstandings.
  12. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    I'm doing less buying on eBay and I stopped selling in 2005.

    The killer of eBay is spelled t - a - x - e - s.

    First shoe to drop: New York won a ruling to require to collect sales tax on all items shipped into the state. It's only a matter of time before this catches up to eBay. (Of course, all of us dutifully report and pay our sales tax to the appropriate state, right? Er... right?)

    More hypothetical second shoe: eBay being required to report all sales to the IRS for purposes of income tax collection, plus self-employment tax (the substitute for Social Security) for those who can't prove that they are otherwise employed.

    By the way, unless you have receipts to the contrary showing the price paid for your rare collectible 0-2-0, the entire sale price is considered to be taxable income under current IRS rulings. No amount of shipping uplift will negate that resulting "cost of doing business." Of course, eBay is hiding behind the "we're just a venue" defense, but I don't see that lasting forever.
  13. Benny

    Benny TrainBoard Member

    Ebay i first killing the auction and then saying "see, the auction is not popular anymore, so we SHOULD do away with it!"


    It's called a Sell Fullfilling Prophecy, and once someone catches on, this Bay is DEAD!!!

    If Ebay does not want the online Auction Market, someone else will step in and TAKE IT ALL!!!

    Ebay has become too big - it is no longer a couple of happy people content to make $30,000 a year doing nothing but providing server space - it has grown into a large stockholder portfolio index, and it comes with ALL THE GOODS too!

    This includes investors who want to see CHANGE no matter what, particularly an INCREASE. They are not Content with growth - they want to see growth UPON the growth.

    This is what has killed ebay.

    This feedback thing is the final nail for me. That and the Fee increase - sure, you may pay a lower final value fee after the sale of a $25 item, but they NAIL you up fornt with the listing fee of said $25 dollar Auction!

    The Feedback was already Perfect - Sellers AND Buyers had a perfectly level playing field - what was not present was a mediation center, a litigation center [to get unwarranted "he posted negative feedback for me so I am posting negative feedback for him] center, and a corrections center - to get erroneous feedback replaced and fixed.

    But no, Ebay sticks its head in the sand...or right up the rear of Amazon and claims Amazon is how they want to be....yuck!
  14. TrainCat2

    TrainCat2 TrainBoard Member

    Something new and it SUCKS!!

    We would like to tell you about a new security initiative. To help protect the Community against fraudulent access to our members’ accounts, eBay has started noting which computers members typically use to conduct their buying and selling activity.

    Sometime this summer, eBay will begin checking to ensure you are logging in from the same machine you have successfully used previously, whether it is a home or business computer. If you attempt to list an item from a different computer – for example, from a PC you are borrowing in a hotel or library – eBay will ask you to confirm your identity.

    The best way to confirm your identity is to choose an automated phone call – either now, or in 2 minutes -- that eBay will make to the number you have registered with us. The phone call will provide you with a PIN number to use to complete the confirmation process. This allows the system to confirm it is really you logging in to list items.

    If this is not possible, we will provide alternatives such as confirming through Live Chat or receiving a call to a new number. These alternate methods will require you to provide more information (such as your secret question answer).

    Most sellers will need to confirm their identity infrequently. By making sure you have a current phone number and a secret question and answer on file with eBay, you can help ensure this authentication process goes quickly and smoothly.

    Have a cell phone? Registering it could save you time
    If you carry a mobile phone, we encourage you to add this number as a secondary phone number in your registration details, so that we can reach you when you are away from your business or residence where you normally use your trusted computer. Your secondary number will not be shared with other members and will be treated in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
  15. John G. Adney

    John G. Adney Passed away May 19, 2010 In Memoriam

    I'm shedding eBay. I've been robbed twice by sellers. No big money involved, and I eventually got my money back after months of fiddling with eBay and PayPal.

    I've decided to use the Trainboad Store, N Scale and N Scale Yard Sale. If I can find other similar sites, I'll try them.

    I plan to put up some rolling stock and a couple diesels as soon as I have the time to catalog everything. I was planning to use eBay, but not anymore. Their recent and future actions are too arbitrary and take the fun out of bidding.

    I'm not sure if I'd like to see our Train Store turn to auctions. Bidding has its merits but I'm not ready, yet, for auctions on Trainboard.
  16. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

    My bank does something similar but not nearly as complicated. If it sees you log in from a different IP, you need to answer a few questions, that is all. The phone call thing is beyond overboard.
  17. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    In terms of logging in from an "unfamiliar" PC, one of the financial institutions offers a phone call option also. I've used that option as it's easier to just stay on the site than to open another window, check e-mail (usually in "suspect mail") and write down the PIN. The phone rings right after I click that option, so it's fast. I would not expect eBay's response to be that quick.

    But note that clearing cookies from your browser can also make your PC "unfamiliar" so those of us that have a habit of clearing cookies after each session are going to be doing a nontrivial amount of validating.

    It was noted elsewhere that this new tactic could also allow eBay to trace IP addresses of bidders on items, and disallow bids coming from the same IP that was used to list the item. i.e. shill bidding.
  18. Benny

    Benny TrainBoard Member

    There are 1,000,000 people in Pima County and 45,000 people on the U of A Campus. The U of A library had over 500 computer access points. Go ahead, stop the shill bidding, go ahead, try to tell the people who must use public computers for their activity that they are some how tied to shill bidding.

    Ebay needs to die.
  19. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    Very good point, Benny.

    I'm aware of someone in another hobby who was arbitrarily NARU'd (Not A Registered User i.e. "unregistered") because eBay "decided" that he was geographically close to a suspect seller and therefore "must" be involved with said seller. No recourse, decision of the judges is final.

    Nice being a monopoly, ain't it?
  20. riverotter1948

    riverotter1948 TrainBoard Member

    That's why I've kept all receipts for everything model railroading I've purchased since I got back into the hobby in 2005.

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