THE JUNE/JULY EDITION OF MEDAL NEWS IS NOW ON SALE! Medal News is on sale at newsagents, from our website www.tokenpublishing.com or through the Token Publishing office, tel: 01404 44166. There are many interestng features in this month's magazine.
This increase in “part -time” dealers inevitably leads to some dodgy goings-on, with individuals who are either ignorant of what they’re selling or who deliberately misrepresent it to increase the price. If a reputable dealer who relies on his reputation to survive in business tried half the scams that seem to be used by many individuals on-line he’d be out of business within a week. Of course, I’m not talking here about genuine collectors who sell items on to fund their next purchase (although all of us who do that are guilty of taking money away from dealers I’m afraid), but the shady characters who seem to have been coming out of the woodwork more and more in recent years and who, it seems, have no morals when it comes to making money. Take “shill” bidding for example:
the practise of getting a friend to “bid up” your item to ensure that it fetches an exorbitant price. In a conventional auction room such practise is easy to spot, but on-line it’s impossible. This is especially true now that eBay have introduced the system by which bidders aren’t seen by their user name but rather simply by “Bidder 1, Bidder 2”, etc. Sadly, with such secrecy, the potential for illegal or immoral activity is huge. Now it seems there are even more obstacles in the way for those of us who had hoped that eBay would make our hobby more mainstream: we have now learned that sellers can no longer leave negative feedback against buyers. For those of you who don’t know, the “feedback system” was one of the best things the auction site had going for it—it allowed both buyer and seller to share their experience of the transaction for all to see. It allowed both sides to build a good reputation, or run the risk of being exposed. However, under the new rules it seems that a buyer can mess anyone about as he so chooses: fail to pay, bounce cheques, etc., etc., and the seller has no way of telling the world at large what a dreadful experience he’s had. Couple that with eBay’s insistence that all sellers now accept Paypal, eBay’s own escrow and payment service which charges an average of 4 per cent (that is on top of any eBay fees a seller might incur), and you will begin to see why the darling of the internet is losing its shine for some.
The purpose of this Editorial isn’t, however, simply to badmouth eBay and the internet per se. I still believe the potential offered to the hobby by the internet is huge. However, I can’t help thinking that with all the changes and the potential for misdealing on the world’s best known auction site, maybe its time for us, as a hobby, to look elsewhere. eBay may well still have a place for us but they need to look carefully at some of their policy changes and realise how damaging they could be for a