Ebay question. Or pet peeve. Or maybe I'm the crazy one?
When you yourself personally go to the store, or to Amazon, or pretty much any retail website you can name, when you buy something, you pay for that item instantly. There is no option to "buy" the item and then maybe pay for it 2 or 3 days later, when you finally get around to it, or maybe you just never pay for it because you got sick or forgot about it.
So why does eBay work that way?
Twice recently I've sold a couple of mid-range items ($100 to $350) with this issue. The first buyer bought an item (a newly listed item, pretty hot with 10 watchers and 100 views) on Sunday night/Monday morning. They messaged me late Monday to say they would pay Thursday. They are a seasoned eBayer with 200+ feedback. That's against eBay policy--which allows 48 hours for payment (correct me if I'm wrong). I messaged back to say that I had no control over how eBay moves a non-paying buyer through its dispute system. Lo and behold, they paid last night (Tuesday). About 48 hours after they clicked "buy".
The second made an offer 20% lower than my sale price, which I accepted, within about an hour of their offer. In this case, a new eBayer with just a few feedback. And now 72 hours later there has been no communication and no payment. Three days and nothing. eBay automatically reminds the "buyer" that they are expected to pay if they haven't 12 to 24 hours after they "buy". And then they send a more firm message a little later. But you, the seller, can't cancel the sale and relist with no fees for four days. My gut tells me there is a bit of a stigma attached to an item that "sells" and then relists 4 or 5 days later. Especially in a field like ours where we look for specific items with specific attributes. Like the item was returned for having issues. On that your mileage may vary. But it certainly doesn't seem like a positive.
Should buyers on eBay be allowed to "buy" something and not pay for it instantaneously? If yes...why? I get that eBay is eBay and they get to set the rules. But what good does it do the seller, the buyer, or eBay to facilitate a sale when there is no sale? Why should a new buyer with low feedback be able to take down a legitimate listing, blocking actual sales that generates revenue for eBay and for the seller, with essentially no consequences? Or why should a seasoned eBayer be able to get a four day lay-a-way at the expense of the seller?
Here's a coin, because Peace dollars are super hot right now
--Severian the Lame