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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “eBay and Craigslist changes, problems could affect students”

    Recently, eBay rose the percentage of the amount it takes from online sellers through its site, limited transactions to PayPal, credit and debit cards, and placed a cap on how much sellers can charge for shipping and handling. eBay did not have any comment on this.

    But UA students did.

    “”I hate PayPal,”” said psychology junior Megan McDonald. “”I tried it when I bought my schoolbooks and it’s not user friendly.””

    Naomi Cummins, a nutritional science junior, prefers this method of payment for its protection, but doesn’t feel she has to be limited to only PayPal.

    “”I think PayPal does protect people,”” Cummins said. “”But I don’t think you should be limited to just PayPal.””

    In an effort to attract more buyers eBay raised the percentage of the amount it takes from the products sellers place on the site.

    “”I think that is really mean. It’s like a monopoly,”” McDonald said. “”More people aren’t going to buy your book because it’s going to be more expensive and the shipping is more expensive.””

    Pierre Omidyar created eBay in 1995. It is now known in the whole North American continent as the world’s largest online marketplace-where practically anyone can sell practically anything at any time. With 39 marketplaces, 84 million users, and in 2007 its trading platform was $60 billion, according to eBay.com.

    eBay Inc. has also expanded to include some of the strongest brands in the Internet, including PayPal, Skype, StubHub, Shopping.com and others.

    Problems have also risen for Craigslist.org, a central network of online communities featuring free classified advertisements and forums on various topics, as fake ads and competitors ejecting each other’s ads.

    The problem with fake ads on Craigslist apparently started when the Internet classifieds site became a popular venue for writers to post satirical ads.

    “”Well it’s the Internet and a public site, it’s going to happen,”” said theater production senior Christopher Anaya-Gorman. “”Just if you know your smarts I think you can just press on from there.””

    Johnna Gattinella, a 31-year-old writer from Santa Rosa, Calif., wrote fake Craigslist ads for a year-then wrote a book about the experience, according to a New York Times article. Other writers are honing their satirical chops on Craigslist and a few are writing books about it, too.

    People who aspire to be writers are using Craigslist not just as a place to get rid of their stuff, but also as a writing workshop where they test their shots at social satire on some of the more than 30 million visitors that the site draws each month. Their personal ads seemingly seek a soul mate, but what they’re really looking for is an audience, according to reports from the New York Times.

    Jim Buckmaster, Craigslist’s chief executive, told the New York Times that spoof ads are OK even though (“”false or misinformative”” ads are prohibited), as long as they don’t run afoul of other standards, like being defamatory.

    In contrast to these sites, other Web sites offering freebies have started popping up. One of these is Freecycle.com, a network built to form a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves resources and eases the burden on our landfills by posting things you don’t want and giving them for free to someone else.

    “”It helps with not having to waste your old or still good stuff,”” Anaya-Gorman said. “”A lot of students at the end of the year throw away absolutely good things in the trash.””

    Students still think using online sellers is a good way to find things they need, and it doesn’t always work out badly.

    Anaya-Gordon said that it was beneficial to use Craigslist in searching for a place to live that is close to campus now that gas prices are so high.

    “”My roommate and I were able to narrow down what we wanted before driving around town and in the heat,”” he said.

    And what about that which could spell doom for eBay’s reign of terror, even with freecycling sites on the rise?

    Google did not comment about the possibility of starting its own auction site, but that may be for the best. Students weren’t thrilled with the idea of a Google-bay.

    “”It wouldn’t hold up to the eBay name in which they have become iconic for that sort of site,”” Anaya-Gorman said.

    Others were open to the idea, but hold eBay as more secure for its experience.

    “”Id try it, but I think I would probably stick with eBay because it’s more well known and I haven’t had a problem with eBay,”” Cummins said. “”And if Google is starting out, it’s more critical.””

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