Why is an eBay Seller Limited

eBay classifieds as a gateway to hell: the misery of sales chats

Christmas in Berlin and the lockdown: the shops are closed, except for books you can only get gifts in the supermarket or pharmacy in the city. Who doesn't look forward to a family pack of cream cheese or a new clinical thermometer? Everyone else has to switch to the beautiful world of digital commerce and pursue their urge to spend online at Amazon, Zalando & Co. Or on eBay classifieds. Real abysses open up there.

Trading on eBay classifieds is a double-edged sword. Are you a buyer or a seller? Most of them have already been in both roles. As a buyer, it is still reasonably easy. You find the object of your desire and contact the seller. In the best case, you agree on the pick-up date or shipping, agree on the payment modalities and the deal is concluded.

In the best case. Mind you. It gets nasty if you don't get the pick-up date agreed. Is constantly being postponed and postponed by the seller, at some point the seller does not respond and at some point the advertisement disappears. A lot of stress for nothing. Is this Tinder or did you just want to buy a lamp?

No exchange because private sale, the seller yells

Or the seller has described the product incorrectly. They wanted to have the big cuddly Falmingo and a week later the DHL courier with an oversized pelican is in front of the door. What now? No exchange, since private sale, the seller yells in the chat and he is not a zoologist either. Now you have to make friends with the sacrum. Gone stupid.

In the case of cars, smartphones and game consoles, there are always problematic product descriptions. The matter is not limited to exotic water bird toys. "Hey, the iPhone has 32 GB not 64 GB" or "The palm is not a palm at all". Potential buyers like to play the role of the senior student council and tend to give lectures. The Instagram channel “Best of Classified Ads” brings together gems on the art of classified ads communication and, in general, on the absurdity of classified ads culture. Here is an (instructive) example:

The great abysses, however, open up when you try to sell something yourself. For example, a large table at a fixed price and only for people who collect them. The first message: “Last price?”. It's a fixed price, you think, it says there. 300 Euro. But on eBay classified ads, any amount is fundamentally questioned. Whether FP or VB. Everything is a basis for negotiation. With a little creativity you can achieve your goal, like this clever guy.

Clearly a grand master was at work here in negotiating matters. Someone who is about to embark on a great career in high-level diplomacy or in the financial sector. But actually it is an ignorant and extremely nerve-wracking affair when you say a fixed price of 300 euros and then have to answer messages like “are 220 ok?”. No they are not.

Also, you don't necessarily want to send the 1.60 meter long table and wisely write in capital letters ONLY TO SELF-COLLECTORS under the advertisement. Prompt, that's as sure as the amen in church, writes a furniture friend from Saarland or Schleswig-Holstein and asks whether, only in this case and really, really, as an exception, the table would not be sent after all. Because his aunt had a table like this in the 1950s and she would like to have it now, because of the memories and ...

eBay classifieds cost time, money and annoying: NO, ONLY SELF-COLLECTORS

Nobody wants to know all that and no, the damn table won't be sent. You have to call forwarding agents, look for packaging material, dismantle and pack the table, arrange pick-up appointments with the forwarding agent, pay the bill, have the money transferred to you in advance. That costs time and money and is annoying. NO, ONLY TO SELF-COLLECTORS.

Sometimes you have to deal with real geniuses, for example selling banana boxes. After all, an item with 22 of these practical cardboard boxes is offered. But of course you have to ask critical questions. "Hello! What do the boxes weigh when they are full? " Gorgeous!

And so it goes on forever. Absurd inquiries, instructions, cheeky price proposals, complete ignorance of the shipping policy and occasionally insults and threats. Just set a smartphone that is not that old and see what happens. Have fun with it.

Classified ads have many advantages. You can buy something cheaper or get hold of rare things and the second-hand market is also sustainable and environmentally friendly. All right. All well and good. And yet the matter is sometimes borderline and gets on my nerves. That is perhaps the price that you have to take into account in classifieds business and Albert Einstein's famous quote should resonate in the back of your mind: "Two things are infinite ..."


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Going beyond retail: Which shops in Berlin are still allowed to open now. All information about the hard lockdown in Berlin. Cultural institutions such as theaters, cinemas, museums and concert halls remain closed. Anyone who wants to be tested can have both rapid tests and regular corona tests carried out at various Berlin locations.

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