Why is it that so many people are beginning to see Craigslist as an alternative to eBay? Considering just how very different each of them are, a more likely comparison would be Amazon vs eBay in my opinion. Regardless, the fact remains that many casual sellers and buyers are turning to Craigslist as it is simply less hassle to deal with and you are able to often times make a transaction on a local level. eBay by contrast, seems to best fit power sellers and those who are in the business of selling, therefore by and large leaving the buyer to the constraints of eBay’s “protection policies”, as big of a nightmare as they are.

These days, I put very little faith into anything eBay spits out. Remember, even using Paypal to make a purchase means plenty of hassles should that purchase go terribly wrong. On the flip side, using Craigslist often means picking up the item in person, which translates into the ability to see it before money ever changes hands. This may not be perfect for electronics, but for other valuables, it sure helps.

What do you think? Is eBay a sinking ship? Do the bulk of positive transactions and ethical power sellers make up for the other horror stories being tossed around these days? Perhaps just importantly, are you better off using a standard credit card vs Paypal for the best consumer protection should you opt to do business via eBay? You be the judge.