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eBay: No Matter How Hard You Try, You’re Still No Amazon

eBayMy top issues with eBay: Prices aren’t that competitive, service is inconsistent, time is wasted, and the shipping is a wild card. It’s no wonder then that, due to lackluster growth, eBay recently announced changes including “holding sellers to higher customer-service standards.” But I gave up on eBay years ago when I discovered Amazon has all the same stuff at around the same price but with real customer service.

Just for fun, I thought I’d revisit eBay and see what kind of deals I skipped out on by searching for the last few items I ordered on Amazon. Here’s how the process works: you search for your item and get excited when you see an amazing deal! Oh wait, that auction still has 12 hours before it’s over. So you save it to your watch list and waste more time searching for other deals.

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SwitchPlanet: Mixing Netflix, craigslist, eBay, and Amazon but for Free

SwitchPlanet is one of the more compelling online communities I’ve seen in a while. Members can switch movies, CDs, books, and games with each other for free. The system is based on Switchbucs, an internal currency. You list whatever items you have for a Switchbucs price and get credited that amount when you ship an item to someone willing to pay that price using their Switchbucs. No real money ever trades hands, just switching with a third-party broker.

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Philanthropy 2.0: Kiva.org Teams Up with Google & PayPal for P2P Microfinancing

Most of us want to be more charitable, though somehow giving to a random charity often leaves us with too many unanswered questions: Where specifically does my money really go? How much of it actually makes it to the end destination?

Enter San Francisco based non-profit Kiva.org: a peer-to-peer microfinance gateway, which combines the Nobel Peace Prize concept of microcredit with the power of the Internet to facilitate micro-lending to small business owners in developing countries. Here’s how it works:

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eBay Revises Seller Policy, Excludes Google Checkout, Google Responds Defensively

eBay is making it nearly impossible for sellers to request payment through Google Checkout. The online auction giant updated and renamed its Safe Payments policy (now called “Accepted Payment Policy”) this week in an effort to add Google’s new payment service, Google Checkout, to its list of online payment methods not permitted. The reason?

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