Monday, October 23, 2006

eBay Finally Allows PS3 Pre-Order Listings.

It all started this month when it was deemed too early to have PS3s in eBay. An eBay admin removed all PS3 and Wii pre-order listings on their site, to the disappointment of many sellers.

Now, it seems that eBay has had a sudden change of heart a mere week after the mass listing pull-outs, and many are left to wonder if there would be another about-face anytime soon.

That's right, the people over at eBay have finally made the decision to allow PS3 and Wii pre-orders to be posted on their site, but only if the sellers meet certain conditions. Though those conditions haven't been directly pointed out by the auction site's admin, it has been noticed that many of the allowed listings have the following going for them:
  • A Feedback of 50 or more .
  • Feedback score must be 98% or above .
  • Sellers may only list one system. They may list one PlayStation 3 and one Nintendo Wii with a photo of the pre-order receipt for each system .
  • Sellers must accept PayPal as their only payment option .
  • Sellers must include a photo of the receipt in the listing .
  • Buy It Now will not be allowed .
  • One-day listings will not be allowed.

On their policy page however, what eBay DOES specify is that:

The seller must guarantee that the item will be available for shipping within 30 days from the date of purchase (i.e., the day the listing ends or the date the item is purchased from a store front listing). The seller must also clearly indicate within the listing the fact that the item is a pre-sale item with a delivery date that indicates the item will be shipped by the 30th day from the end date of the listing. Additionally, this text must be no less than the default font size of the eBay Sell-Your-Item form. Currently, the default font size is HTML font size 3.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:

  • Listing cancellation .
  • Limits on account privileges.
  • Account suspension .
  • Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings .
  • Loss of PowerSeller status.

Now that eBay has allowed these kinds of listings to be placed on the site for the public to bid on, one speculation on how this happened is that they may have realized the revenue potential that the sales from these pre-orders may generate. After all, eBay does charge listing fees as well as - correct me if I'm mistaken - a small percentage of the final bidding price. Considering that these pre-orders reach past the thousand-dollar mark, we're talking about good money here.

And yes, you heard us right. There are already ongoing auctions for PS3 and Wii pre-orders, which are nearing the TWO-thousand-dollar mark by the hour, as shown in these screenshots that we took just now.Nintendo Wii units, meanwhile, are hovering around the US$ 500 to US$ 700 price range.

On the other hand, considering the fact that scammers are prevalent on online auction sites and their favorite baits are "hot" electronics such as cellphones, gadgets, and laptops, perhaps eBay also does have a good reason to be more cautious in handling this whole next-gen hullabaloo.

So, if you plan to order your console on eBay, just remember to stay safe, follow the safety guidelines, and if it's too good to be true, then it most probably is.