eBay fury fires competition

As the controversy surrounding eBay’s decision to compel sellers to use its PayPal service builds, a group of ex-power sellers have banded together and left eBay to launch their own auction site.

The co-founder of bang4bucks Gary Breit says he wanted to create an all Australian auction site. It launches on 1 May 2008.

Chief executive Debbie Williams, who has made her living from eBay during the past five years and is a power seller, hopes that over 500 sellers will be listing products and more than 5000 buyers will be active on the site in the first month.

bang4bucks is pitching itself as a better alternative to eBay because it charges no listing fees on unsold stock, lower fee structure for sellers, and there are no overseas product listings that will require higher freight charges.

It promises a better complaints and feedback system, verification for buyer and seller security and all payment facilities will be accepted, including PayPal.

eBay’s announcement that it would only accept online payments through its PayPal system from 17 June has compounded an image problem among sellers and buyers, reports ITWire.

There is reportedly a substantial website with attached forums, called PayPal Sucks, aka No PayPal, which is devoted to “expose the nightmare of doing business the PayPal way”.

eBay sellers are angry over changes to both charges and terms and conditions that came into force on 29 January.

There was a global sellers’ boycott of eBay in February and another boycott is planned for 1 May. A long list of grievances in an email circulated by a sellers’ group which labels itself “Death of eBay” includes changes to the PayPal system such as holding sellers’ payments for 21 days.

The global eBay community is worried that Australia is just a test market for a worldwide rollout of the PayPal policy and is watching the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission examination of the competition implications of the eBay action closely.

Co-founder of bang4Bucks Breit claims that in the last 24 hours over 160 sellers and over 600 buyers have signed up to his site.

Starting an online auction to compete with eBay from this far behind is brave, but there are many disgruntled eBay users that will hope it is a success.


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