Archive for the ‘eBay’ Tag

ReBay: Rent Anything

For most things I buy, I don’t expect to keep them forever. There are companies that fill specific niches for item rentals, like DVD and game rental. But I don’t necessarily want to pay the subscription fee each and every month when I’ll go a few months without the desire to watch any movies or play any video games.

Lala, a service that lets you list the CDs you don’t want and exchange them with other users for credits to get the CDs you do want, has the right idea. But again that fills only one specific need: music.

There is one web site that has nearly all the pieces in place to harbor the people’s market–buy something then sell it back when you don’t need it anymore: eBay. Brad Templeton introduces the idea of ReBay. While it could technically be done now, he has some good ideas for eBay to promote the process and make it easier for users.

Essentially eBay should add an option to quickly relist an item you won in the past, working from the original descriptions and photos. In addition, there would be a place to note any additional wear that the item underwent while in your possession. Options to easily specify that the buyer be within a certain number of miles of your house to make a drop off easier would also be a nice feature to have.

As someone who often auctions video games or gadgets a few months or years after I buy them, I have to say that the ReBay would make the process much more pleasant.


Find Garage Sales Online

The Internet has done a great deal for the concept of garage sales. Auction web sites like eBay virtually put an end to the need for a lawn sale, allowing sellers to get rid of a piece of junk at any time by connecting with potential buyers from around the world.

But the old-fashioned method of laying out random trinkets ornamented with post-it note price tags hasn’t gone away. Not even close. And those garage sales are begging for a place on the web.

The best database of local sales I’ve found online is at Craigslist. I can organize the listings so I only see the ones in my region and the dates they’ll be happening. Some even list the types of wares they’ll have, like baby clothes or kitchen appliances.

However, this system leaves so much room for improvement. People plan sales weeks or even months in advance. There should be a web site to help with the planning stages.

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