Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ebay`s Stupid Policy on Optional Insurance

EBay is merely running on the fumes of its early entry in the Internet. If it were entering the field today, given its complete contempt for its sellers, it would fail miserably. Ask any power seller on eBay and he'll no doubt have more than a 100 complaints about what's wrong with the company that seems to be run completely by idiots.

I will focus on one item today: eBay's policy on optional insurance.

Here's how it works. let's suppose you just sold a one hundred dollar watch and your listing says, "Shipping Insurance US $2.00 - Optional".

Now let's also suppose that the buyer decides not to take insurance and the package is lost - who is out the watch?

If you guessed the buyer - BUZZZZ - wrong answer. According to eBay the buyer never received the package and therefore, the seller is out the money.

But wait, if that's true, then no buyer should ever pay for insurance if the seller advertises "Optional Insurance."

Likewise, since insurance is the responsibility of the seller, sellers should always pay for insurance.

So here is my advice to my readers who are buyers: If you see "optional insurance" never pay for it since you cannot lose anything if the package is lost.

Here is my advice to my readers who are sellers: Always advertise optional insurance because not everyone reads my blog. If your buyer is smart enough not to take the optional insurance than insure it yourself. In this way you always get some money from buyers who are not familiar with eBay's' policies.

Of course, in time, eventually every buyer will know never to pay for optional insurance and therefore eventually every buyer will find even posting the words "optional insurance" as pointless and the feature should disappear since it is really a moronic piece of business.

Now you may object that eBay is right that the seller is always responsible for insuring the package. I happen to agree, the seller should be the one insuring the package; however, by allowing the words "optional insurance" eBay is facilitating a situation where a seller can con uninformed buyers into paying for insurance they shouldn't be paying for. There are also, no doubt, quite a number of sellers who have gotten burned because they thought that if buyers turned down "optional insurance" and the package got lost, that the buyer would be responsible.

Now take this situation: The buyer opted out of "optional insurance" - you the seller is now out the watch and the money because eBay made you give it back when the package was reported lost. A week later, UPS found the package and delivered it to your buyer who has already had his money returned. Now you are forced to beg the buyer to pay you for the watch. If he decides not to pay, what are you going to do, leave a negative feedback? You can't, which is a topic for another stupid business practice by eBay.

Then there are unscrupulous sellers who list "Optional Insurance" during the sale, but send an invoice to the final bidder as "insurance required".

If eBay simply announced that no one can put up an "optional insurance" feature then sellers won't get stuck in a situation as above, and buyers won't be fooled into paying for something the seller must always pay for anyway.

EBay shows contempt for both ends of its customer base. And that, my dear readers, is a business run by idiots.

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