At first, I really enjoyed this site with the 3000 credits I received for signing up and the few hundred I earned for connecting through Facebook and listing my first auction. In the year since I've signed up the amount of free credits one can accumulate has dropped dramatically. During the year I've noticed some disturbing trends:
- The credits needed to win many auctions is ridiculously high, up to triple the amount that was needed a year ago.
- There are quite a few traders that begin their listing at 0 credits but always ask for the highest shipping fee of $5.99, do not offer combined shipping, and sell their items on other sites like eBay with free shipping. It's clear that these people are using Listia to make money through shipping and are taking advantage of the insinuation that the buyer is getting an item "for free" when in reality they are overpaying for an item available elsewhere for pennies. Many of those sellers are overseas and while the product they are offering is described correctly, this goes against the spirit of the site.
- An unusual amount of transactions I've been involved with ends up with me never receiving the item and having to contact Listia for a refund. They do provide the refund quickly but it takes up to weeks before you realize you're never getting the item and in that time those credits are unable to be used to win something else.
- The worst offense from this site are the incredible number of options to "earn" credits through advertisers and the incredible number of times the advertiser DID NOT give me the credits I earned. It's IMPOSSIBLE to contact the companies to dispute them and Listia offers NO HELP WHATSOEVER! On top of that, by attempting to earn credits my email is now filled with spam and no matter how many times I unsubscribe it's clear that my email is being sold on a regular basis, not by Listia but by the companies that offer credits by doing certain things like entering a contest or purchasing a product.
The bottom line is there are some interesting things available on Listia and the concept, at first, worked quite well, but at this time the problems I've mentioned above along with how expensive it's become (since purchasing credits is now the only way to really participate) have made Listia more of a scam then an actual free bartering site.