Changes are afoot at eBay
Let me go over a few of the new measures to protect bidders and sellers, along with a quick closing remark on each one.
- The feedback ratings that have been a signature staple on the site will change, with a broader range of scoring options and a grading window that will only span the previous 24 months. News you can use? You can finally breathe easy over the Milli Vanilli CD you backed out on after you sobered up in 2004.
- New sellers will only be able to accept merchant credit cards or eBay's own PayPal as a payment of choice to complete a transaction. News you can use? That Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG)Checkout platform sure seems to be breathing hard on eBay's neck.
- In an effort to scale back bogus Second Chance Offers (where eBay allows sellers to sell items to second-place finishers if the original high bid backs out), eBay is now withholding bidder names for pricey options that top $200. High bidders used to attract fake offers that way from imposters claiming to be the original seller. There's a user groundswell against this initiative, claiming that it will be easier for sellers to bid up their own items in anonymity. In eBay's defense, it is providing detailed information about the history of the auction bidders, but that is still unsettling to some community members. News you can use? Get used to terms like "Bidder 3 sniped me on that one."
How will this all play out for eBay? I've seen it over the years. Whenever eBay moves the cheese, there's always a group that feels the auction site's days are numbered as a marketplace powerhouse. However, competing sites run by the likes of Yahoo!
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied eBay user with 170 positive feedback reports to show for it. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story, and he is a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. Overstock was once a Rule Breakers selection. The Fool's disclosure policy will bid on that Milli Vanilli CD if you don't want it.