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Is eBay losing it?

A while ago, I discovered eBay. It had all the required attributes (for me) to make itself an indispensable companion: Simple, free and efficient. And I created my first Paypal account, which had all the attributes required (for me) to make the perfect payment system over the internet: Simple, free and efficient.

Some time ago, eBay wasn't free anymore. They would take away 1% or 2% off of the auctions that would sell. And I thought that was well and good. After all, they provide the service that allowed me to sell in the first place.

At that time, I sold numerous stuff on ebay, and I failed to sell others. Anytime I had something lying around that could remotely interest someone, I'd list it up on eBay. And it worked fine.

But that time is long gone. Listing on eBay isn't free anymore. Charges on a successful auction aren't 1% anymore and Paypal is rotten to the core. When you sell something on eBay (with Paypal), you'll be lucky if they take away less than 10% of the overall transaction. And if you're unlucky and your auction doesn't sell, you will actually lose money.

And more recently, someone got hold of the classified market: craigslist. When I first had a look at it I wondered how did something like that (I mean it's gotten better, but it used to be real ugly) could overshadow eBay. And I started using it. And I realized there was another contender that had all that eBay had - and had lost: Simple, free and efficient.

eBay will probably not die, but it has lost what made it what it is: People wanting a quick buck out of their stuff lying around.

The competition is open again.