Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Buy more sales


eBay's feedback system is intended to help potential buyers and sellers to gauge the likelihood that the transcation will occur with little post-sale trauma (not covering buyer's remorse, of course). A higher rating implies more reliability, less chance of being scammed, etc etc.

Ironically you can now buy a higher rating on eBay itself. This could easily become a positive feedback loop, except that eBay allows only one rating per buyer-seller pair.

But is this really so bad? Or, to put it another way, how is this different from what is already happening? You could just do loads of transactions through eBay and earn the points the good old way. This auction just skips most of the eBay ads and fees.

This reminds me of the short-lived period that a locally well-known mail-order retailer had an outlet right next door to a Bang & Olufsen shop in an upmarket mall. I realised that both shops had similar philosophies - serving a particular price-point in the market with innovative products. It was just the price points that differed. Interestingly the mail-order outlet is still there, while the B&O shop is no longer.

Thanks to The Inquirer for the pointer to the auction