Discover more from Shoemetrics
20+ years in the game has me realizing how toxic my partner in crime has become.
The other day I saw mjo23dan post about some more changes to the eBay ‘authenticity guarantee’ (for sneakers) and I put it on my story…a bunch of people were surprised with what I said and hit me in the DMs asking if I could better explain my position…I told them to subscribe to the newsletter. And they did! So thanks!
If you’ve been following me on IG for more than a few months, you’ve probably seen at least one of my rants about eBay. After all, I have been an active member of eBay since January 18, 2000. Only recently (ie: within the last 6 months) have I given up selling on eBay almost entirely. I’ve canceled ‘The Sneaker Savant’ store and liquidated just about all of my inventory (sent on over to my people Chad & Adena at Anotherlane).
I’ve been rocking with eBay for more than 20 years…and as ridiculous as it sounds, it almost feels like I’ve been in a relationship with eBay. eBay was the tool I used in order to find my livelihood (which has turned out to be sneakers), and now that things have gone sideways, I feel like I’ve been burned. I know it sounds funny, but it’s really the best way I can describe it. eBay has played a HUGE part in my life, for better or for worse. If I tried to calculate how many hours I’ve spent on the site searching and listing and buying and selling and browsing that number of time spent would be nothing short of astronomical. So here we go. I’m gonna spill it all. There is going to be a mic drop at the end of this.
The good memories:
I first discovered eBay in 1999 shortly after a trip to New York City. This was my Sophomore year of college, and my mother and I went to visit my grandfather in Staten Island. One day, we went to the city and walked the Broad Way…basically along Broadway from Canal up to Union Square, train to 34th, train to Times Square. In 1999 NYC there used to be a lot of hawkers selling bootleg CDs on the street - and these weren’t like bootleg new releases or official releases - these were bootleg CDs full of songs that never came out. Think of unreleased Wu-Tang or Notorious B.I.G. or Nas or whatever. That’s the kind of stuff they were selling. Being an avid reader of The Source magazine back in 1999, I had heard that there were hundreds of unreleased 2pac songs and (me) being the biggest 2pac fan in Northern California, I absolutely HAD to find ‘em. I figured they’d be $5/each or something and figured I could afford a few, but I just wasn’t finding any. At every bootleg booth, I looked for unreleased 2pac music and eventually only found one dude who had ‘em. He wanted $70 for 6 CDs and wouldn’t break up the set. Too rich for my blood. I couldn’t afford them.
A week later, mom and I headed back to California - her to Tahoe and me to my dorm at UC Santa Cruz. Those ‘Pac CDs fresh in my mind, I finally figured out how to hook up my 2GB Dell Laptop to the internet and started searching. I quickly happened upon Yahoo auctions, kinda like a bootleg version of eBay, and found one dude selling a shitload of them. When I started digging into his profile, I realized that the dude who was selling them was this dude Adam who literally lived in the exact same building at UCSC as I did…he was like 5 doors down. I knew of him (friends with a few of his friends) but I didn’t know him. And what’s REALLY weird is that I didn’t even think to go and talk to him even though that was one of the craziest coincidences in the history of the internet. So I just kept looking. And back then, in 1999, when you were looking for something on the internet, you didn’t just ‘find it’. You looked one day, looked the next day, and probably the day after that. So if you really wanted something you really had to just look and keep looking until you were satisfied.
Eventually, I stumbled across eBay. And I was super hesitant about buying anything from the internet at that time. And the prices for the 2pac bootlegs were out of control. Everything was an auction back then, so watching the prices climb and climb made my head spin. And being that buying stuff off the internet was only something ‘weird’ people did, I decided to take it a little slower. So I looked through my CD collection and tried to think of a CD that I could find that I needed that was real cheap…if it worked out, cool, I had another place to find CDs. If not, minimal loss.
Even though I had the cassette since November 24th, 1993, and knew all of the words to all of the songs, I figured Snoops Doggystyle was a CD I needed in my collection. I found one to bid on and the auction ended at $8 plus shipping. I messaged the seller, got his address, wrote out a check, slid it into an envelope, licked a stamp then sent the check to wherever it went. About a week later, the guy contacted me and told me he received the check, but had to wait until it cleared. About a week later, he messaged me and told me it cleared so he shipped it out. Imagine having to wait two weeks to hear an album you’d been waiting to hear. Every day after class (until it arrived), I went straight to the mail room: ‘Anything come in yet?’ Eventually, Doggystyle came in and I STILL have that CD to this day.
My roommate asked me where I got the CD and I said ‘eBay’. His response was: ‘oh I thought they only sold Beanie Babies.’ Seriously. Ask someone old - that’s what eBay was known for at that time.
And thus began my life as an internet consumer.
The first pair of shoes I bid on (and LOST) on eBay:
When I was in college, I had maybe 10 pairs of shoes total and they all served a specific function. I’m talking DC’s, Jordans, Puma California’s, Etnies Czar, Koston ES’, and maybe a pair or two or Air Max Tailwind IVs or Shox. And people thought I was some kind of weirdo. Like who has 10 pairs of shoes? What could anyone possibly do with 10 pairs of shoes? I always bought shoes at places like Copelands or random Skate shops, or, if I were lucky, thrift stores. The notion of buying a pair of shoes on the internet (a pair that you couldn’t try on) was foreign to most people. It didn’t even register as a possibility.
We used to watch the Blazers battle the Lakers and the Kings a lot during the early 2000’s and I remember Rasheed Wallace’s shoes always caught my eye. The first pair of shoes I took to eBay to find - Air Force 1 Black/Red Jewels - I bid $15 on and I lost them at the last second to a dude who bid $16. This was my first time on eBay getting ‘sniped’ and I was furious. I emailed the buyer and flipped out on him…told him that was a shitty thing to do and he was an asshole and blah blah blah. And - check it out - this is how crazy the internet was back then: this dude actually responded, apologized, and told me that it was a strategy that eBay actually recommended. From then on…sniping would be mine. (20 years later I finally got my hands on that pair: I recently purchased these from @digglahhh and they were re-soled for me by @157restorations )
The first pair of shoes I sold on eBay:
I came upon a few pairs of shoes while in college - I answered a bunch of NBA trivia questions during the debut of a new basketball-related website and was sent 3 pairs of shoes in return. Those are the first two pairs of shoes I ever sold on eBay in the summer of 2000 (pics are A1).
I made a nice lil comeup on ‘em, especially since I got them for free.
The first pair of shoes I bought and actually won on eBay:
Nothing interesting about these at all, but they were some OG Comet Red Air Max 95’s. And I was super disappointed in them when I received them. They were really uncomfortable and weren’t in as good of condition as I had hoped. I don’t even know what I ended up doing with them. I think I ended up paying around $40 shipped.
The first pair of fakes I got on eBay and wasn’t able to tell:
I don’t know why, but I saw a pair of Fire Red Jordan V’s for mad cheap on eBay in probably 2004 or 2005. I’m talking like $105 cheap. I copped with a quickness, and when they arrived, I was just kind of perplexed. Fakes weren’t much of a thing at the time and the fakes that did exist were super bad and easy to tell. They looked good, they felt OK (ran a bit small), and good fakes weren’t really like a ‘thing’ at the time so I wasn’t sure what was going on. I quickly posted them to Niketalk and NOBODY could come to any kind of conclusion…it was a lot of confusion all around. Just about everyone said ‘those look good and that’s a steal’. But because they didn’t fit, I got rid of them soon after…and thinking back on it now, I bet that was the first pair of good fakes I ever purchased on eBay.
My first real sneaker come up on eBay:
At risk of saying too much, I’ll just say this: My search term was ‘Nike Jordon’ and the dude used stock pics for the auction. This is what I received. 100% Authentic 1999 Black/Cement Jordan IV’s. $29.99:
The first pair of fakes I got and could immediately tell:
I bought a pair of Concord XI’s from some dude who had about 20 pairs. As soon as I received them I hit him up ‘hey man I think these are fake’. His response: ‘damn that sucks…I don’t know anything about shoes but came across these and thought they were a good deal. Anyway, I’ll refund you.’ And he did. Crisis averted.
The thing about eBay during those days - it was fun. The auctions were fun. They figured out a way to gamify purchasing something that was fresh and new and didn’t feel scammy in the least. Remember, they didn’t have ‘Buy It Now’ until much later - everything was an auction. There was even a whole industry built around winning eBay auctions - there were websites you could sign up to that would ‘snipe bid’ for you (bid for you at the last second before an item ended). If you’ve never been on the ‘bidding at the last second’ end of things, I’d suggest giving it a go…it actually gets me kind of amped even to this day. My palms get sweaty, knees get weak, moms spaghetti. And one other thing about eBay - it was pretty much the ONLY place to buy and sell sneakers on the secondary market from 1998-2015…and when you have that type of monopoly you’re sure to make mistakes. And mistakes were definitely made.
The bad memories:
Early on, eBay was great for sellers. I think most of us felt like we were on par with the buyers and the transaction was as fair as it could be: I commit to buy something, you commit to selling it, I commit to sending you payment, you commit to sending the item, we both commit to leaving positive feedback and we keep it moving. Things were great for a while. And then eBay started messing around with the fee structure for sellers. If I remember correctly, fees for most transactions started increasing, but there was no improvement to the service. I mean, that’s all fine and well if you’re providing a better experience, but if there is no improvement to the service what exactly is the reason for increased fees? I remember dudes on Niketalk were pissed…I think some people even started online petitions. The thing was the fees just kept piling on for sellers and we really couldn’t see any reason why.
After the fees, I remember one business shift they implemented that still perplexes me to this day: eBay removed the ability for sellers to leave negative feedback on deadbeat bidders. I want to say this happened around 2008 or something because I was so riled up and I had a conversation with this dude I went to college with and we were talking about creating our own version of like a social rating system. Almost like an app that gave you honest-to-goodness ratings of p2p people in commerce. Not my most brilliant idea, but the impetus being the fact that none of us wanted to waste our time with deadbeat bidders. I still - to this day - don’t understand why they took that ability away, but I suspect it was because they felt the need to retain or attract buyers, at least in the eyes of their shareholders. This bothered a lot of us on Niketalk, so, in (what turned out to be) a pointless act of protest, I summoned the folks on Niketalk (NT) to share the user ID’s of deadbeat bidders so we could blackball them from bidding on our items…little did I know that that was a pretty fruitless cause as they capped your ‘banned bidders’ list at only 5,000 - an amount with which we all capped in the thread over the course of maybe 2 pages. In my experience - eBay never addressed the fact that nearly 1 out of 3 sneaker sales on their platform resulted in a non-paying bidder (this is MY statistic, but also corroborated by the guys over at Sole Supremacy who did $3M/year on eBay at one point). And as if that weren’t enough, they continued raising fees on sellers.
Now, you might say something like ‘who cares about deadbeat bidders?’ Deadbeat bidders are an INCREDIBLE waste of time. It’d be comical if it wasn’t so sad. Let me explain: Say I list an item for auction…and it used to take 7 days to get the most out of any auction for me. I’d start it on a Wednesday night, let it ride for 7 days. Dudes would bid it up, they’d win, and then they’d ghost. eBay had a policy in place that you’d have to wait 2 weeks after an auction’s end to determine whether or not a buyer was a deadbeat. And then after the 2 weeks, you’d have to submit a case to get your final value credit back. And then you’d have to wait another week before they’d approve your request. And then it’d take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to actually get your final value credit on your account statement. As we all know, when you’re dealing with sneakers - recency matters. If one day a shoe is super hot, it might not be the next. And waiting nearly 4 weeks to re-list…it just adds up. And eBay removed the ability for us to voice our frustrations and concerns. Why? Can anyone explain that?
To summarize: they made selling a real pain in the ass.
It WAS a good time to be a buyer, though, because if you’re buying on there and you’d complain about a seller, you’d likely get all of your money back AND the product. 99% of the few complaints made against me were unfounded or simple breakdowns in communication, but they sided with the buyer almost every time. 100% of the complaints I made were completely founded and they sided with me as the buyer every time. Sellers kept getting the short end of the stick.
From what I understand, these minor changes weren’t really a big deal to people who were just discovering eBay. I don’t know if they even knew these issues existed. They came to eBay to find rare shit, and…being that eBay was the ONLY place to buy stuff - they usually found it. Auctions were fun, but they started dying off and Amazon started eating up some of their customers…not in terms of sneakers or collectible items, but more for things like toothpaste and scotch tape and blank tees. Because of this, eBay added a ‘Buy Now’ feature, which wasn’t really a ‘feature’ but seemed more of them just trying to compete with Amazons business model. As such, they started killing off auctions, which was the main reason people found them in the first place. They killed them off by charging sellers to list in auction format (and letting BIN listings go up for free).
In my head, I felt there were a million different ways they could improve the buying experience by gamifying it - y’all know I used to work on Wall Street and was familiar with all types of ways to spice things up; I even hit up Jayssee at Urban Necessities (before he built Urban Necessities) with a business plan for a shoe selling app comprised of reverse auctions (ie: starting off at a high price and dropping the price incrementally until someone bit) or dutch auctions. I felt like the StockX model (before it was created) could have worked and the idea of futures options would have been dope too. But eBay just seemed to be stuck with trying to copy Amazon’s success.
When it came to sneakers specifically, eBay had no way for buyers (or sellers) to actually authenticate shoes…so most of us learned the tricks of the trade. The main tricks of the trade:
if it’s too good to be true, they’re probably fake
if a seller has stock pictures, they’re probably fake
if a seller has a massive quantity of the same (rare) shoes, they’re probably fake
if the box on the pair of shoes is crushed in any way, they’re probably fake
if the seller has even ONE negative feedback with mention of fakes, they’re probably fake
there were all kinds of red flags, but these are the ones that I remember.
For the most part, we’d help each other out on Niketalk. If we saw something we liked, we’d hit up the boards and ask our community what they thought of a particular seller or a particular auction. It was kinda rough at first - I remember one time @danposite (RIP) and I were chatting on AIM and I was so tempted to buy this pair of Military Blue IV’s off eBay but he talked me out of it. ‘Nah Jay, those are fake. Look at the wings.’
One thing was good about this period, though - their customer service was top-notch and you could almost ALWAYS get a real person on the phone with pretty minimal effort. Even if things didn’t work out in your favor, you could at least talk with someone who could, at the very least, empathize with you. There were several transactions I had with folks where we couldn’t come to any sort of agreement and eBay let us both walk away happy.
When I decided to leave this toxic relationship.
When StockX entered the game, I don’t think eBay took them all that seriously. I was actually kind of shocked at how people took the whole StockX thing…or…didn’t take it. I was pretty amped when StockX started out because (A) I ‘knew’ Josh and (B) I was happy someone might give eBay a run for their money. (Let’s not forget (C), where I thought Josh was going to hire me to run the grading division that never actually transpired). StockX was off to a slow start…I was kind of confused because I was following Josh through the whole thing and I assumed everyone was following Josh and the whole thing. But most people weren’t. I thought EVERYBODY knew about StockX and when I went to check out Niketalk to talk about their launch, I found a thread just ripping them to shreds. I was confused because I thought it could be a real dope idea. As part of StockX’s go live, I think they had Sole Supremacy add a few hundred pairs to the site to kick things off with giveaways, so when they launched, I was kind of shocked that no one seemed to care or understand what it meant for the sneaker marketplace. What I realized really early on: StockX didn’t put the types of stuff I was looking for on the site - mainly obscure, vintage, samples and other rarities. So I stuck with eBay.
GOAT came around, and Mercari, Depop, Grailed, Klekt…all kinds of competitors. Still, eBay had a stranglehold. But then things slowly started to change. To me, it felt like youngsters and people who were new to the space googled their favorite shoe and StockX did a better job with keywords than eBay did, so that was their introduction to the ‘game’. I noticed a lot more people messing with StockX and posting screenshots on social media than were doing it with eBay. I *couldn’t* sell on StockX because I was mostly selling gently used shoes I’d find at thrift stores…shoes I’d clean up…grade and list. And eBay actually became a boon for me because everyone else was migrating to the new platforms and only a handful of us consistent sellers were still hanging around eBay.
Maybe a year or two ago, eBay forced this new payment platform where eBay and PayPal were no longer one and the same. PayPal decided to take a step back from eBay and payments were no longer managed together. So instead of me getting money immediately to my PayPal, it’d go into my bank account a few days. And, sure, that sounded fine because they took a step away (eliminating the ‘transfer to bank’ option), but it backfired. I realized that eBay no longer had any control over customers who would decide to be scumbags and would request their bank to stop or reverse payment on purchases. Payments would be reversed out of your account (by the payment institution) without a formal review of the situation.
Example: In November (of this past year) I sold a Nike SB backpack. $150. I sent it out ($17), had a bit of an issue with the mailing label so had to re-send it ($17). Two separate tracking numbers. You can’t EDIT a tracking number on eBay so I added both. Item was delivered within 5 days. I’m assuming it’s all gravy, I go about my life. SIX months go by and I get a message from eBay telling me that the buyer never got the item that I sold SIX MONTHS AGO and they’re deducting $150 from my account and hitting me with a $20 fee. I clicked on the item, saw both tracking numbers, and the second one says ‘delivered’ SIX MONTHS AGO. I do my best to get in contact with eBay and it takes me nearly an hour to get someone on the phone. And after explaining the situation to him - that he needs to look at BOTH tracking numbers - he agrees that the buyer is trying to snatch the chicken out of the chicken burger. The guy then proceeds to tell me that, because of their ‘managed payments’ system, they no longer have control over the payments and he can’t do anything for me because the buyer’s bank already deducted the amount from my account. After 4 phone calls over the course of 2 MONTHS - they FINALLY reversed the original reversal, which was never supposed to take place in the first place. Was that $170 really worth 4 hours on the phone? Hard to say. It became more about the principle for me. Why would I just let these nameless, faceless, assholes bully me around?
After working in a tech company, you start to see how little issues can compound and how things start to break. As a customer, a page isn’t updated and you’re putting all of your efforts into submitting requests and then one day you realize no one is actually even seeing your requests. And a behemoth as big as eBay - with something like 20 million items ending every minute, stuff starts to break. And stuff starts falling into a black hole. And plenty of stuff just stopped working. Back in the day, eBay would call me about an issue. Now, I have to chase them down for hours for someone to even acknowledge me. Unbelievable.
And so now the straw that broke the camel’s back. @digglahhh said it best - he said something along the line of 'these sneaker employees are about as passionate about sneakers as are McDonalds employees about chicken mcnuggets.’ Bingo.
I’ve given eBay the benefit of a doubt time after time and now I’m just over it. Maybe I’m getting old and don’t like change and…I dunno…but it’s also like…if they made a couple of small changes, I’d be down for it. I like progress. But I don’t like not having a voice. I was not happy when they brought out this new authentication program and have been posting about it ever since I heard about it.
Why wouldn’t I be happy to have this program? Because I’m a scammer and sell fake shoes? Uh. No. I’m not happy about it because I deal in shoes none of these mcnugget connosseuirs know anything about. I stand by my history and I stand by my pedigree and I stand by my place in the community. Plenty of times potential buyers would reach out to me and say ‘how do I know you’re legit?’ and I would just say ‘Google me.’ Invariably, the deal would go through and everything would be gravy. And sometimes I’d even end up creating a long-term connection through the sale. It’s how I met Jayssee. And OGTheShoeGame. And countless others. I’m a huge advocate of peer to peer. I have zero interest in a company pushing their way through the door telling me that they know my product better than I know my product. And ain’t no one gonna tell me different.
I don’t trust anyone who tells me they are ‘authenticators’ and I damn sure don’t trust anybody who tells me they’ve never gotten a pair wrong. Bullshit. EVERYONE gets it wrong. Nobody is that good and to profess to be that good is pure blasphemy. I live and breathe this stuff - you seriously think that some numbnuts new hire who doesn’t know the difference between a Jordan VII and a Jordan Flight is going to tell me what I need to know about this obscure, 20-year-old pair I’ve been looking for longer than this ‘authenticator’ has been alive? No thanks. I don’t believe anyone can ‘guarantee’ anything in the sneaker world. It’s a niche market and a partially undocumented hobby and its greatest proponents are those that thrive in nuance. And the nuance is where I’ve fallen in love with this stuff. But is there such a thing as ‘too much nuance’? That definitely depends. Am I going to cancel a purchase because someone swapped out the laces?
If you haven’t yet been blessed in dealing with eBay after they’ve instituted this program - let me tell you how my first transaction went: I sold a pair of normal shoes that fake manufacturers haven’t bothered creating fakes of. I’ve NEVER seen a pair of fakes for the Air Max 98 Cargo Khaki’s that I sent and that’s because they’re not an in-demand shoe. Sure, fakes probably exist and blah blah blah, but I’ve never seen them and I’d be shocked as shit if anyone in the world would waste their time faking them. And yet - I’ve built up my rep on eBay for 20 years - my rep should speak for itself. 100% positive feedback in over 2000 transactions with zero complaints. These 98’s are not a pair that anyone is losing sleep over and it’s not a pair 99% of people who would buy would even think of looking for fakes of. So…I send the shoes the following day and get a note a few days later that eBay has the item in its authentication queue. Cool. A week goes by. No word. 10 days go by and they tell me it’s still in the queue. You’d think they’d tell the buyer the status, but apparently not. 2 weeks go by. 2 weeks to the day, the buyer opens a case against me - ‘where are my shoes?’ Payment is frozen and taken from my account. My first instinct in this situation is to reach out and figure out what the issue actually is. Did eBay NOT actually send the shoes? Did they not update the buyer on the new process? So I hit the ‘Send a message to buyer’ button and get kicked back. eBay disabled that ‘feature’, basically saying ‘we don’t allow members who participate in our authentication program to contact one another.’ So now, in my head, I’m thinking…I can’t even contact this dude, he’s reached out to me, and if he leaves me negative feedback, I’m going to have to spend another hour on the phone with eBay to try to rectify the situation. All for some shit. I didn’t even want in the first place. I can’t imagine what the benefit of preventing people from talking with one another would be WHAT.SO.EVER. Anyway, they freeze the payment even though THEY are the ones holding up the transaction. I mean…just dumb shit. And I no longer have the patience for it. Everything worked itself out eventually, but those policies make no damn sense to me whatsoever. If something is unnecessary, the time it takes to institute it and follow through with it is completely unnecessary. I didn’t choose to participate in this program, yet I suddenly have to adhere to these new rules? I’m good.
Mjo23dan has been very vocal about the point of conditional pairs - he’s a collector who likes to buy old original vintage Jordans. If you know anything about vintage Jordans, you know that most of them didn’t hold up well over time. It can be something really special to find an in-tact pair that hasn’t cracked or crumbled and that special pair needs to be treated as such. I think he bought a pair of OG Olive 9’s on GOAT recently and en route from the authentication center, they didn’t properly package the shoes. They arrived to him in pieces. I know GOAT is not eBay, but after that experience, do you think he’d want another pair of vintage shoes being handled by the Mcnugget connoisseurs? Again, this is the type of stuff that happens with businesses who are jumping into things that they don’t understand nor respect.
Aside from conditional pairs, what about shoes that are simply un-authenticatable? eBay WAS the only place you could buy and sell samples and player exclusives - how do they ‘authenticate’ shoes with which there is no basis for authentication? How do you ‘authenticate’ something that technically shouldn’t even exist in the marketplace? How does a mcnugget connoisseur become the judge, jury and executioner for something so obscure that it hasn’t even been documented?
The post that I made that got the most amount of hate (towards me) was a pic of Jay Z and Nas with big red X’s across StockX and eBay and and I wrote ‘I feel like a Sneaker Republican’ because this song was going through my head at the time.
I made the argument that I didn’t want any intervention in my sneaker transactions. And I don’t know why that was such a hot button issue, but at least one semi-notable person in the comments felt the need to sound off in a completely destructive manner…
I’m still of that belief. I don’t need ANYONE whatsoever telling me what to look for in a sneaker. I’d bet my life savings that I know more about this sneaker stuff than 99% of the people working at StockX, eBay and GOAT combined and I damn sure don’t need ANY of them making any decisions for me when it comes to buying a pair of shoes. If I want some help, I know who to ask. The amount of hate I got from talking about my beef with it all was eye-opening, but not exactly startling. I suspect that majority of that hate was from dudes who don’t have the history I have with eBay and really can’t even comprehend the sheer amount of hours/days/weeks/months/years I’ve actually spent on eBay. I also assume these are the kinds of dudes that just believe whatever they’re told, even if it goes against their better judgment.
The good thing is, all of this bullshit got me to realize that I don’t want anything to do with selling shoes anymore - so I recently sent all of my pairs to my people Chad & Adena at Anotherlane, a white-glove service where I can actually TALK with the people I am dealing with. Not to say I made a ton of money selling sneakers, but I’ve made enough to know that I don’t want to do it any longer. I’d much rather write these articles and talk with people and help shed some light on the deceit…and I’d much rather build out my card sets and figure out dope ways to present NFTs. I have no interest in following anyone else’s jackass rules for something I’ve more or less spent my life understanding. I was a merchant about a year ago, and now I’m a creator.
At a moment in time, eBay was a magical place for me. It helped me navigate the world of e-commerce and helped me establish a business model on my terms. The beauty of eBay was that it was a true P2P and there was no regulatory involvement…and that’s where it broke down for me. My terms were no longer ‘my terms’ but the terms that eBay forced on me. No mind that I’ve been doing it near flawlessly for damn near 20 years - they still thought it fit for someone else to come in and tell me how to run my business. If there’s anything you take from what I post or write or talk about (ever, at all), I want you to think just beyond the surface of what all of these shoelebrities and sneaker influencers and massive corporations are trying to get us to buy into. Think about it. No one is doing this for the good of us…they’re doing it for the good of them…and that’s fine, you just have to know where you stand. All of these companies professing to have all the answers - they don’t. None of these corporations are going to be able to convince me that they know what’s best for me at this point in my life and anyone who believes that might want to take another look at how things actually work.
And to cap it off. For good measure.
After several hours of writing what I wrote above - here’s the kicker: even though I’m pretty much done selling sneakers - if eBay allowed buyers and/or sellers to make the decision on whether or not they want to participate, I think it’d work and I think they could be an absolute powerhouse once again. I think they’d really be onto something and I think they could, once again, achieve market dominance by taking a slightly modified approach. If I had the ear of the CEO or the head of the sneaker department (‘hey y’all hit me up about grading’), I would suggest that they stop trying to copy what everyone else is doing and stick to doing what made them the go-to in the first place - they created their own lane. There are so many *fun* ways they could engage the community…what do you think?