What are the similarities between Yahoo Auctions and Sungei Road? People can buy and sell anything and everything (not necessarily old stuff) on Yahoo Auctions, just like in Sungei Road. But there are things that are strictly a 'no-no' - controlled drugs
A few years ago, the news reported a Sillyporean trying to auction off his skills to make a projectile or a rocket! No doubt that the Idealogical Social Department must have intervened to counsel that guy and probably even
Both means are free for sellers - no auction fee is levied by Yahoo Auctions and no rent or GST is collected from sellers in Sungei Road. Unscrupulous sellers abound in Yahoo Auctions, just like in Sungei Road. (Sorry if I sound like a worn-out record, repeating the same old advice i.e. caveat emptor or buyers beware.) Not only that, unscrupulous buyers also abound on Yahoo Auctions too, but that should be regarded as a difference rather than a similarity with Sungei Road.
What about the other differences? For one, the Yahoo Auctions seller does not need to watch over his wares like a hawk. Neither the seller nor his wares need to be physically present (at one place). He can be anywhere else doing anything or nothing. All he needs to do is to log into his Yahoo or e-mail account at least once a day to check if there are any interested buyers who bidded or asked any questions about the item on sale. The item will be offered 24 x 7, i.e. round-the-clock, rain or shine. The seller could choose up to a 10-day expiry for the auctioned item and also re-submit the auction for the item automatically for up to 5 times. If after 50 days, the item is still left on the shelf, the seller should seriously consider pricing his item more competitively. Of course, the sooner he does this, the better will be his chance of selling off the item. After all, in any market place, the basic rule of supply and demand applies.
Sellers too should beware of unscrupulous buyers on Yahoo Auctions because unlike in Sungei Road, a Yahoo seller has not met the buyer face-to-face yet even at the time when a deal has been struck. Most importantly, the seller has not received payment yet. Every now and then, one would come across a dubious buyer, usually a non-local, asking silly questions and then making an offer-to-buy that is just too good to be true. This buyer's intention is probably to get the seller to send him the goods first. If the seller is naive enough to do that, he will probably find out later (and too late) that the payment never arrives. I do not know if anyone has been cheated this way. There must have been quite a few who are. But there are many sellers who could recognise such a scam right away. They would
Sellers could be unscrupulous on Yahoo Auctions too. Some sell items that are defective. (If an item is defective, it should be declared to buyer beforehand.) Some items may be older or are in worse condition than claimed. Some sellers would register several Yahoo accounts each and then single-handedly bid up the prices of the items that they themselves are selling, just to create an artificial demand. Or they could ask their friends or colleagues to do the same. Some sellers may not even actually have the items for sale or any intention to sell but are only 'testing the market'.
Then there are sellers or buyers who back out of successfully closed auctions for a variety of reasons - they realise they have been duped, they change their minds, buyers found a cheaper alternative elsewhere or sellers found another buyer willing to pay a higher price. Of course these practices are unethical to say the least. Unfavourable ratings (an open system for successful buyers and sellers to appraise each other) will then probably be exchanged between buyers and sellers. Nothing to worry about. If one collects too many unfavourable ratings, one can always start afresh on a clean slate again, just by registering for a new Yahoo Auctions account using a different username
I have successfully bought and sold a handful of items on Yahoo Auctions and am proud to say that I have so far not had a single bad rating yet. (That is without registering for fresh accounts). In fact, Chris has been saying that I always spoil the