I’ve recently started listing items on eBay again and it got me thinking about the changes I’ve seen in the past 10 years.
When I first signed up on eBay, a little over 10 years ago, you didn’t need a credit card and there was no such thing as “Buy it now”. eBay was still full of Beanie Babies and Pez dispensers. At that time your user ID was your email address and it was publicly displayed, there wasn’t much worry of your inbox being harvested for spam.
At one time you could sell firearms, animals, and human body parts. Most of those categories were short lived because eBay soon found out there was lots of liability associated with them. Then there was eBay Motors, a separate place to sell your used cars and parts cheap reception dresses. There was no such thing as Half.com, Paypal, or Skype. You had to sit around and wait for a cheque or money order to show up in the mail and then hope it didn’t bounce.
When I first signed up, people used to actually take care when they left feedback. Buyers didn’t leave negative feedback on whim just because there was a speck of dirt on the box. Buyers and sellers actually communicated and solved their problems, what a strange concept. I remember when Safe Harbor was put into place, what a relief it was to have a way to solve those extra difficult problems.
So many things have changed over the years, some good and some bad came of it. The one thing I really do miss about eBay is the true sense of community. Now they have communities (forums and such) but you don’t make the personal connections you once did. I’ve made many friends over the years on the site but that happened mostly in the past.