I’ve been cleaning out my house and selling things online, but I’ve started to have a lot of frustrating experiences with flaky buyers on eBay and Craigslist.

I always expect people to be flaky on Craigslist because 50% the people who reply will ask if the item is still available (and then never respond), 40% will give you a low-ball and sometimes insulting offer, and the remainder may actually be motivated to buy. This is my anecdotal evidence at least.

On eBay there is supposed to be an explicit commitment to buy when you win an auction, but twice in the last month I’ve come across buyers who don’t pay and never respond to me. This is especially annoying because eBay has a 2 week process to re-list an unpaid item (and to recoup the listing fee).

I would prefer if eBay maintained an active credit card or PayPal account for buyers and automatically charged them when an auction ends. Without this, how can sellers have confidence in a buyer? We Especially now that sellers can’t leave negative feedback for buyers