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Thank You eBay, It's Been a Great Run

Many of you have probably been noticing the changes at the auction-giant’s website. Most have been subtle, but the intent is obvious: The day of the “private auction” is coming to an end.

Perhaps you have read some of the “leaked” intelligence from former eBay insiders, or just noticed that the way you post or bid is a little different. Change is in the air, and it is signaling the end of a great collecting era.

From a collector’s point of view, it has been a glorious period. From the earliest days of eBay, wonderful items have appeared for sale that would never have seen the light of day. Closets emptied, attics filtered, and old trunks burst forth with great, never-before-offered items. We all gobbled them up. We even were some of the folks pedaling the goods.

But all good things must come to an end...and eBay has implemented the beginning of the end. First to fall are outside photo hosts and invoicing services. It’s eBay’s way or the highway. And forget about “just say ‘no’ to Paypal. EBay is sick of having to police transactions outside of their control, so are about to implement a “Pay by Paypal only” attitude. This is great from a buyer’s point of view. Nothing is more frustrating than a seller demanding, “I only take money orders or certified checks”. Thanks for this change, eBay.

However, the reaction to seller and buyer whining doesn’t stop there. Currently, eBay is providing big incentives to sellers who list with “buy it now” and with multiples of the same items. They encourage sellers to establish storefronts (the current “buzzword” in the “let’s make money for nothing” corporate idea of the Internet).

Sure, lots of folks are going to complain. They are going to cry out, “it isn’t fair!” Well, boo-hoo...eBay offered collectors a great venue for buying and selling between collectors. But, you know how collectors and weekend dealers can be... ‘high maintenance’ doesn’t begin to describe them! It seems the folks at eBay have tired of dealing with low-end sales and all the drama that go with them.

But, it is eBay’s window...if they want to close it—whether it is good for you, me or the man in the moon—it is up to them. All I can say is, ‘thanks for the good run, eBay’ and hope that supply and demand will prevail. If they close the window to private collectors, well, that just might open a door for something new...

 – John Adams-Graf
Editor, Military Trader and Military Vehicles Magazine

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