eBay madness

From: Ronald Wayne <AppleTO_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed Sep 1 15:05:57 2004

On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 10:20:50 -0400, Roger Merchberger
<zmerch_at_30below.com> wrote:
> That's easy for you to say -- you probably live in a decently populated
> area. In the area that *I* live in, almost 50% of the classic computers in
> the area are owned by 2 people, a friend of mine and me.

While you are correct in that assumption, there are many ways to find
stuff. For example: the last city I lived in had a buy/sell paper,
and people from surrounding communities would pick it up (or, more
recently, get it online). That expanded the radius to a 100 km or so.
 For one particularly hard to find item, I had a buyer who was willing
to drive 300 km to pick it up.

Even so, my problem isn't so much with buying/swapping stuff online as
it is about eBay-like institutions. eBay is a culture without a
community. That is to say that you have buyers and you have sellers
and you have an established set of behaviours, but there is very
little social interaction. When you go into a small shop, you get to
know people and they get to know you and you talk. When you buy
things off a mailing list or usenet or web forums, there is a "shop"
(so to speak) for people to meet.

Buying or selling on eBay seems to parallel buying stuff from a
department store. You end up with salesmen who may or may not know a
thing about what they are selling. Either way, their job rarely
involves the customer. Either way, you and the people around you are
trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. Which may be why I
avoid that type of store in every day life.
Received on Wed Sep 01 2004 - 15:05:57 BST

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