James Clifton

A man and his blog.

Ebay and scalping

The big event in Australia this year is the cricket, apart from the Ashes, this is as big as it gets Australia V India. This year will be huge news, and not just because of the cricket action on the field. This year the news includes scalpers and in a big way as well. If you go through ebay listings for ‘cricket tickets’ then you will see there are over one hundred listings (116 as I write this article). Currently CA (Cricket Australia) is trying to get ebay to stop the resale of tickets while ebay has refused, stating the fact that it is not illegal. Meanwhile the Australian Government has said that it may bring in laws to force sellers to display the identity numbers of the tickets while selling them; this is so CA can cancel the tickets if they wish (or any other promoter that sees their tickets being sold on the Internet). Ebay has stated that they only facilitate a market place and cannot be held responsible for any items that are traded on their site. So what does all this mean? Ebay’s motto seems to be Caveat emptor, which is Latin for “let the buyer beware”. For buyers this is a scary thought, you would think that if you bought a ‘Louis Vuitton’ handbag then that is what you will get, but the amount of fakes from Asia is astounding. As a seller you need to overcome this obstacle. The ebay feedback system is the method that ebay claims stops dodgy sellers; but this can be easily manipulated by those with a good understanding of how it works. The biggest problem with the feedback system is that you get feedback for both sales and purchases, so a person with a large feedback score may have never sold an item before. Who benefits from all this? Those with good customer service! I’m not referring to those with a high feedback score; I’m talking about repeat customers. If you believe that the Internet is a faceless marketplace that needs no personal touch then you will be missing a lot of sales; even though you can’t see your customer face-to-face there is still email with which to communicate with. Treat your Internet customers well and they will return, just as in real life.