Scott Hardie | November 27, 2004
If you haven't heard, the city of Chicago is about to launch a massive series of auctions on eBay to boost the city coffers. (link) As there are several current and former Chicagoans here, what's the consensus on this act?

Myself, I think it's a bit tacky, and I doubt it will raise as much money as the city seems to be counting on it raising. In my own eBay experience, the profit margin was slim-to-none when you factored in other expenses and time spent selling and shipping. Now, obviously the city is selling much more valuable stuff than I ever did, but they also have more overhead, such as an entire accounting staff to keep track of all of these transactions, and the publicity needed to bring in the bids. They'll make a nice sum of money, but I expect them to fall far short of wiping out the city's debt.

Another question is, would any of you want any of this stuff?

Lori Lancaster | November 27, 2004
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Todd Brotsch | November 27, 2004
Police auctions usually do pretty well, I'm sure that's what Chi-Town has in mind.

Anna Gregoline | November 27, 2004
It seems like they'll do quite well with some things - a vintage 1960's Playboy Bunny outfit? Some collector will pay top dollar for that.

Scott Hardie | November 27, 2004
Not to turn this into an eBay-specific discussion, but my pet peeve is when the bulk sellers rely too much on their software to do the accounting for them. I've paid for items and had Paypal confirm that payment was received, but a glitch in AuctionHelper (or whatever transaction-processing assistant they use) was making the program tell the seller that I hadn't paid. That wouldn't be a problem if the seller would just trust me for thirty seconds and look in their Paypal history to see that my payment is there, but it's like pulling teeth getting them to take even this little step. They automatically assume I'm trying to cheat them and take the software's word over mine, or worse they don't listen at all and act like drones, ignoring my pleas and repeating again and again that I haven't paid. It's aggravating, and has been happening often enough that I'm nearly turned off of eBay altogether.

Anna Gregoline | November 27, 2004
I was angry with a seller the last time I was on there because we had a smooth transaction and then a month later he sends me an email saying,


I wrote him back and said that feedback is optional, not required, and that he certainly wasn't going to get any from me now that he's yelling at me over email. A polite request when the transaction first happened might have made me do it, but no way now. We wrote back and forth for awhile and he finally went away. I don't know why people get their panties so bunched up, but man.

Scott Hardie | November 28, 2004
Yeah, that was uncalled for. Had he left feedback for you already? A lot of eBay users, including myself, wait to see what is written about them before they write feedback for others. In my case, I was just burned one too many times by black and red feedback after I had left green, and I wasn't going to let it happen again. Anyway, maybe this seller really wanted to gripe about you and was waiting for you to leave him a green mark first? Who knows.

Lori Lancaster | November 28, 2004
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | November 29, 2004
He had left feedback for me, as far as I know, but I never even look at feedback. I don't give a shit. We had our transaction, it worked, end of story. So I was baffled at this angry feedback email. If he'd just asked, or stated why he wanted it so bad I might have been more inclined to help him out.

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