New article on Dogeared: "Ethics & eBay - No, Really!"

JOSEPH HILL goodbooks at
Mon Jan 30 13:13:16 EST 2006

A major news story yesterday,Tiffany says,it has had it with ebay and has brought suit,it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the end.



-----Original Message-----
From: J B Krygier
Sent: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 09:33:41 -0800
To: modlib at
Subject: Re: New article on Dogeared: "Ethics & eBay - No, Really!"

On Jan 28, 2006, at 4:49 PM, Scot Kamins wrote:

> Here's an article I wrote at the request of the editor of an online  
> magazine for bibliophiles.

Overall excellent, with a couple of comments, devil's advocate, etc.

I suspect the ebay Seller / eBay Buyer relationship is much like the
landlord / tenant relationship.  Yes there are confused, evil, or
incompetent landlords, but so to can tenants be the source of all
that is idiotic and wrong.  The article tends to focus on sellers
as the problem.

With that in mind, I find the examples of "deceptive" seller practices
a bit weak.  When I see someone claiming a 1st edition, or "rare" or
whatever, I know in a second if the claim is accurate because I know
a bit about ML books.  Thus it is worth mentioning that knowing what
you are buying is a good thing.

The campaign to educate eBay sellers ("Ignored Expertise") seems a bit
over the top.  Maybe with big ticket items, or if the seller is selling
many MLs.  Overall the tone in this part of the article is just, well,
a bit weird.  The ideal listing tips at the end are great.

I think one's attitude about what they want to buy is important to
stress.  If you really want VG/VG or better books stick with the
handful of ML dealers who know how to describe a book, or stick to
buying books in real bookstores.

I have said this before, but I depend on the fact that eBay is full
of poorly described items sold by sellers who don't have the time to
accurately describe the books they are listing for a few bucks.

I have acquired about 300 MLs on eBay, 98% of which were acceptable
to me (G/G or better), and almost all were priced below, sometimes
way below, what they should actually sell for.  In a world where a
well described, well-photographed, nice (yet still common) HC copy
of Hardy's Tess can sell for over $50 (like last night on eBay) ...
I can't compete!

John K.

More information about the ModLib mailing list