Doohickamabob

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Everything posted by Doohickamabob

  1. This is generally irrelevant since we're discussing the principle when applied in general rather than the current reality of a single company. The consequences of your own line of reasoning here eventually becomes, "If the company is doing well, the ethical equation surrounding how one interacts with that company changes."
  2. "Pleasing the shareholders" is another way of saying "maintaining profits." In any company, "shrink" or other areas of profit loss can add up, and they take it seriously enough to hire new workers and set up new departments just to offset it. You're right that it's a small percentage of the big number, but for billion-dollar companies those small percentage points really add up. I'm not sure how this makes a big difference for your purposes, but it does highlight the analogy between stealing or shoplifting a material good versus the inherent theft of avoiding fees for a service already rendered. Regarding the price hikes being tied to profit loss from fee avoidance, or for any other company that factors in "shrink," I realize this is part of a bigger picture of how companies look at their profit/loss scenario, but it still plays a factor in the equation. You brought it up but don't want it discussed... Okay... It's a political question at this point, but pretty much most of corporate America has been part of this, and unfortunately that means many of them feel they have to be part of the process (of shipping jobs overseas) in order to stay competitive. Naturally a great many of them had a hand in lobbying for the trade laws etc. that made this possible at this scale. Unfortunately what you're also getting into here is the "two wrongs make a right" thought process that others have already brought up. If I use a company's services and I know that company has done things that are questionable, do I as an individual feel justified in taking advantage of the company in ways that I would find unethical if the company's past and present behaviors were above-board? Why would I let this question affect my behavior one way or another? My own decisions about ethics are not relativistic that way. It seems like you're arguing that people's personal ethics should incorporate situational relativism based on judgments about the parties with whom they're dealing. Politics.... And I probably agree with you on some of this... But I will say that when a person avoids paying fees for a service, or violates pretty sensible company policies, that person probably shouldn't congratulate themselves much for stickin' it to the man. Yep -- it's annoying... That's one way to look at it. Though I find that if 10% by making an off-site deal is what's needed to complete a sale, most of the time I could just as easily wait for another buyer to come along who is fine with the setup as it is. Also, maybe you can save a few bucks here and there by repeatedly making off-site deals, but there's going to be that one scam buyer who comes along and rips you off for a chunk of change, taking advantage of the lower transparency and reduced consequences of the situation, and that one ripoff will offset much of the advantage of doing the outside deals. It's easier, from my perspective, to just play within the rules, lobby for improvements I think make the system suck less, rather than finding what I consider to be shady methods to cut corners.
  3. Two wrongs make a right Everyone else is doing it Can anyone come up with any other rationalizing slogans? I'm sure there are others How about "an eye for an eye". It was the prevailing form of justice for hundreds of years... and to some extent still holds true. It works for the mob. Great, now we're using the mob and the Old Testament to make a case...
  4. For all the sellers who eBay should block who don't seem to be blocked, I've also seen several listings get pulled and users blocked. It often happens here, where somebody posts the link to a fraudulent auction, then later in the message thread somebody writes "poof" and the link goes to an eBay page that shows the listing has been removed. eBay definitely should keep fighting fraud as hard as possible. If they don't, they risk more than fee avoidance. They risk losing a lot of longtime buyers and sellers altogether. It's like you don't think they have all of this figured out in their business model. Huge stores like Walmart and target add a percent onto each item sold to cover theft. Even if there was no theft, they would still add it. Ebay is a huge company that has pretty smart people working for them that have already thought of what you are saying and already came up with a solution. You pointing it out just sounds funny. It seemed relevant to the discussion. There's plenty else written around here that "sounds funny"...
  5. Sometimes I avoid the toll road to avoid paying the toll. I drive a little extra but it never feels like stealing, but rather saving. So you use Craigslist? Not in the last 2 yrs Well Craigslist would be the equivalent to what you wrote. Or some other service besides eBay. I'm talking about "avoiding the fee for a service that you've been using," not "avoiding the fee for a service by not using the service," which is equivalent to your non-toll-road example. I drive home through the toll rd cause they only charge in bound. Thats stealing I guess. Your analogy doesn't even make sense now. Avoid taking the LSAT...
  6. Sometimes I avoid the toll road to avoid paying the toll. I drive a little extra but it never feels like stealing, but rather saving. So you use Craigslist? Not in the last 2 yrs Well Craigslist would be the equivalent to what you wrote. Or some other service besides eBay. I'm talking about "avoiding the fee for a service that you've been using," not "avoiding the fee for a service by not using the service," which is equivalent to your non-toll-road example.
  7. Sometimes I avoid the toll road to avoid paying the toll. I drive a little extra but it never feels like stealing, but rather saving. So you use Craigslist?
  8. Id complete a transaction off of ebay to save $5. Uhhhh.... I'm just gonna go find a cash machine...
  9. For all the sellers who eBay should block who don't seem to be blocked, I've also seen several listings get pulled and users blocked. It often happens here, where somebody posts the link to a fraudulent auction, then later in the message thread somebody writes "poof" and the link goes to an eBay page that shows the listing has been removed. eBay definitely should keep fighting fraud as hard as possible. If they don't, they risk more than fee avoidance. They risk losing a lot of longtime buyers and sellers altogether.
  10. Your post was pretty good up until the line above. Instead of offering an argument, you make a statement without offering any supporting reasoning: "Stealing and fee avoidance are completely different." Then you add: "Let's not be overly dramatic." Those are just your opinions. What's your reasoning? Though I can see a case for stealing and fee avoidance having subtle differences, there are also many similarities. It's not "dramatic" for me to say so. If you go out of your way to avoid paying the fee for a service you're using, then there's certainly a form of stealing going on. Whether you care about this form of stealing, or whether you can find a way to justify it as an acceptable form of stealing, that doesn't change the question of whether it is stealing. Historically, and realistically, the one way we are most "free to act" is by not using eBay's services if we object to something about them. In your posts, I do not see you making any substantial objections to eBay's current system that would justify action on the level of fee avoidance. Nor do you make a case for how fee avoidance behaviors can "instill change" that you seek. Often such behaviors actually make companies worse -- they have to charge higher fees elsewhere in order to make up for the shrink when people steal. I agree that people shouldn't be calling other people evil, etc. But some of this stuff does make people angry, and that's their right. Buyers renegging on deals is a different matter than using an ongoing system to avoid fees. There's a simple way to deal with buyers who reneg -- you can block them. You can even share their names on this forum so others can block them. And eBay notices when buyers have multiple unpaid items, and takes some action (though I don't know what actions they take exactly -- it has probably changed over the years). The fact that buyers can back out on deals shouldn't be a justification for fee avoidance. I've heard people discussing this matter on here. Many of the big-ticket buyers/sellers do pay taxes on their sales and they'd be on the line legally if they didn't. I think there's a threshold under which hobby profits do not need to be reported as income. Last I head it was $20,000 per year.
  11. No need for me to respond. You've dug your own hole here.
  12. Not an argument just a question to you - Lots of LCSs have Ebay stores as well. If I saw something on their Ebay store I wanted, the next time I stop in I could walk in and ask to see it in-hand. At that point - am I an off-the-street face-to-face LCS customer of theirs or am I an Ebay customer still bound by Ebay policy agreements? I meant the argument that if someone tried to save $400 out of $5,000, then they shouldn't be buying the book. That's a terrible argument and not relevant to the discussion. (1) Your paraphrase is a misrepresentation of what I wrote. (2) If it's a "terrible argument" then the burden is on you to show why, rather than just labeling it "terrible." (3) How is it not relevant to the discussion when it directly addresses the example given? So to clarify: I didn't say they shouldn't buy the book just because they want to save -- there's nothing wrong with haggling or doing a best offer within the boundaries of the selling scenario you're in. What I wrote was that if you're in a position where you're willing to step over a contractual/ethical boundary in order to save $400 on a deal, but you're unable to pay the additional $400 if that ethical boundary is maintained, then you need to question whether you really can afford the book to begin with. Which is a completely different thing than your paraphrase of my statement. The situation with high-volume dealers and shop owners who double-sell in their own venues as well as eBay changes the nature of the ethical boundaries in some ways. Most notably there is already a situation in place where the buyer is aware of the seller's venue outside of eBay, so neither the buyer nor the seller need to use eBay's messaging system to change the nature of the transaction. The eBay policy states, "We don't allow our members to use eBay to contact each other to make offers to buy or sell items outside of eBay." So if you see your LCS selling a book on eBay and you then walk into the LCS and make a deal, that's pretty different from seeing a comic from a seller you've never heard of and then using eBay's own system to circumvent any situation beneficial to eBay. There is another discussion to be had about whether it's right for dealers with their own selling venues to use eBay as a marketing venue by double-listing their items on both venues. That's more of a question between the seller and eBay and it would be worth looking into the eBay policies or message archives to see how they address that. My guess is that there is some sort of tacit agreement that the sellers not in any way advertise their lower prices elsewhere using their eBay listings or messages.
  13. "These arguments are terrible" is so much better.
  14. If you're buying a comic for $4,600 even though you're in the kind of financial position where $400 is a significant sum to you, can it really be said that in any practical sense you "saved" money after shelling out $4,600? You could have "saved" a lot more money by waiting for a legit deal that you could afford at the asking price -- or by not buying at all.
  15. I know, right? And that money you save really adds up over time!
  16. That part is true. And I think it does have some gray area in terms of questions about future sales -- the stuff the seller has not listed yet, etc.
  17. 10% adds up for books over $1k... If you can't afford to pay the price and abide by the policies of the forum in which you're shopping, why are you buying? I love getting a deal, but it's far more fun when it's legit.
  18. Splitting hairs? The seller does have an agreement to abide by eBay policy. The policy is pretty clear: "Policy overview We don't allow our members to use eBay to contact each other to make offers to buy or sell items outside of eBay. Also, members can't use information obtained from eBay to contact each other about buying or selling outside of eBay. If you receive an offer to buy or sell outside eBay, please report it. Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, you may be subject to a range of actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account."
  19. My own view: If I'm ever in a selling situation where I need that extra 10% so badly that I'm willing to break a contract to get it, I'll just make it easy and charge an extra 10% in the original price. Then I'm covered and have no incentive to break any contract. If I encounter a buyer who wants what I'm selling, but wants me to break a contract so he can shave 10% off the price, my immediate assumption is that he can't afford the book at all if the deal is made or broken over 10% of the cost.
  20. Ethical egoism is an oxymoron. There's nothing ethical about making "me first" the overriding basis of all moral decisions. Ethical egoism is what leads people to drive through gas station lots instead of waiting for the light to become green so they can make a right turn.