sellam at vintagetech.com
Thu Jan 18 09:09:17 CST 2007
I thought I'd weigh in on the latest policy change on eBay. I didn't know
about the new change until someone e-mailed me about it. The only change
I've noticed recently is that one is not now allowed to randomly send a
message to another user with whom they have not done business, which leads
one to ask why they have the fucking contact link there in the first
Through the years there have been these recurring bitch sessions over
eBay's increasingly idiotic policies. In the meantime, I and Patrick set
up an alternate for the computer collecting community that was tailored
for our specific needs and desires, taking into account all the bitching
and pissing and moaning over eBay's abominable system. We got the first
implementation off and running with big plans to expand it further, which
have yet to materialize, and I'll get into that in a second.
But first I want to take the time to congratulate the community for the
big fuck you they gave to the VCM. It has always been the intention that
we would start charging at some point for using it, but we never got to
that point. The usage was so minimal anyway that it didn't make sense to
start charging until we could get a reasonably active user base.
Granted, we could've done a lot more to promote and advertise the site,
but the CC list community here damn well knew about it and was constantly
reminded about it by myself and Marvin, and inspite of that the activity
just never materialized.
Patrick has since gone on to bigger and better things, having washed his
hands of the CC list and community at some point last year when he
couldn't take anymore of the petty bickering and flame wars that regularly
erupt (this is paraphrasing what he told to me). He turned the site and
its maintenance over to me and I've been running it solo ever since,
mostly just approving all the new accounts and handling the very rare
issues that crop up.
For the most part, the VCM has been there processing transactions (for
FREE) on autopilot, and running rather well considering. If it wasn't for
Marvin--who was fed up enough with eBay but, more importantly, savvy
enough to realize that the VCM is better for selling a lot of stuff,
especially when there are no listing fees--the VCM would effectively be
I know people are using it, because I see you swooping in and grabbing
some of the better stuff being offered for great prices (someone just
bought a nice IMSAI 8080 for around $1,200, which is a pretty good deal).
I buy a lot of stuff from Marvin, who is listing a lot of fantastic stuff
for extremely reasonable prices. There are other people regularly selling
there too and probably making a decent amount of money, COMMISSION FREE.
Now, getting back to the expansion of the system. I do still have a lot
of plans for the service, mainly in the area of making it a bit more
friendly in the interface. When we launched it we had a service that I
felt was superior to eBay's crap system. In the meantime, eBay used their
billions of dollars of capitalization to make their system easier to use,
integrated a lot of stuff, etc. Me, I'm still sitting on my IPO until the
next irrational dot.com boom, so my funds are limited, as is my time, as
is my ability to make any changes to the VCM since Patrick owns and
controls the server and wrote all the code (based on a system he'd already
designed for a past client of his). Now that Patrick is out of the
picture, I'm faced with having to port the entire system over to my own
server, which I would like to do so I can finally take it into Phase 2 and
But quite frankly, why the fuck should I even bother? You guys don't use
it anyway. You keep using eBay, and you keep bitching about how stupid
they are and get all up in arms when they make yet another bone-headed
policy change, and there sits the VCM doing everything you want, allowing
you to communicate with whoever the hell you want without any over-bearing
surveillance system in place to make sure you aren't doing something
sneaky to deprive us of revenue, with the guys who built and run the
system completely available directly via e-mail for any suggestions,
complaints, praise(?) [hardly any, if you're wondering], and doing it
without asking you for one god damn penny.
So tell me, seriously, why should I bother moving forward with the VCM?
You want an alternative? It's already there, and I'd like to continue to
build on it and improve it and make it the premier place for trading in
old computers, a de facto replacement for eBay, like I originally
intended. But I'm certainly not going to waste my time unless people
actually decide to USE IT.
Is there a reason you don't use it? Is there something about the
interface you don't like? Is there one or two or three or five reasons
why you don't like it or don't want to use it? If so, why didn't you say
so? You could've always e-mailed either myself or Patrick, and like the
few people who did bother to give us feedback, your comments and
suggestions would've resulted in immediate changes to the system. Try
getting that from eBay. As O. Sharp pointed out, try even finding a
fucking way to communicate with eBay!! They make it nearly impossible for
you to get a hold of them because THEY DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU. They
just want you to buy shit from sellers to that they can get a cut of their
money and they want you to shut the fuck up.
I see now that I've been relegated to ranting about eBay it's time to
start winding this up. In conclusion, I'm quite serious about my queries.
The VCM has been out there for years and inspite of the lack of
advertising 1,881 people have managed to find it and sign up for an
account. Logically, that would make for a very strong and active user
base. As far as I can tell, about 1,800+ of them don't actually do
anything once they get an account. Why? Why didn't they spread the word
to other collectors and to sellers on eBay so that they could convince
them to sell their stuff on the VCM instead? I'll tell you one reason
why: sellers make more money on eBay. And that's fine. eBay is good for
making money selling crap. eBay is a crap market. The VCM is a
marketplace for the serious trade of vintage computers for serious vintage
computer collectors, hobbyists and afficionados.
If you want to buy/sell/trade crap, continue using eBay, and give them
your money and shut the fuck up because they don't care about you (only
your money). If you want an alternative that caters specifically to the
vintage computing community, use the VCM. Tell everyone you buy from
about it. Sell your fine vintage computers on it (sell your crap on
eBay). Use the god damn system. It's there and for the foreseeable
future, it's free. Use it or lose it.
In closing, many thanks to Marvin (whom I am also proud to count as a good
friend) for utilizing the VCM to its fullest, and congratulations for the
many thousands of dollars he's made COMMISSION FREE selling his stuff
there for the past several years, and congratulations to the other
sellers, and to the many people who have bought stuff in the simple and
relaxed environment that is the VCM. Marvin and the others are the ones
who deserve the credit for keeping it alive. YOU could be the one who
helps to make it THRIVE if you would just USE IT.
Please direct any replies to me via e-mail. I am not subscribed to the
list and might not see any follow-ups you post.
Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org
[ Old computing resources for business || Buy/Sell/Trade Vintage Computers ]
[ and academia at www.VintageTech.com || at http://marketplace.vintage.org ]
More information about the cctalk