eBay is a global phenomenon-the world’s largest garage sale, online shopping center, car dealer and auction site with 147 million registered users in 30 countries as of March 2005. You can find everything from encyclopedias to olives to snow boots to stereos to airplanes for sale. And if you stumble on it before the eBay overseers do, you might even find a human kidney or a virtual date.
eBay is, first and foremost. an online auction site. You can browse through categories like Antiques, Boats, Clothing & Accessories, Computers & Networking,Jewelry & Watches and Video Games. When you see something you like, you click on the auction title and view the details, including pictures, descriptions,payment options and shipping information.
If you place a bid on an item,you enter a contractual agreement to buy it if you win the auction. All auctions have minimum starting bids, and some have a reserve price-a secret minimum amount the seller is willing to accept for the item. If the bidding doesn’t reach the reserve price, the seller doesn’t have to partwith the item. In addition to auctions, you can find tons of fixed-price items on eBay that make shopping there just like shopping at any other online marketplace. You see what you like, you buy it, you pay for it and you wait for it to arrive at your door.
You can pay for an item on eBay using a variety of methods, including money order, cashier’s check, cash, personal check and electronic payment services like PayPal and BidPay. It’s up to each seller to decide which payment methods he’ll accept.
Just as you can buy almost anything on eBay, you can sell almost anything, too. Using a simple listing process, you can put all of the junk in your basement up for sale to the highest bidder. When you sell an item on eBay,you pay listing fees and turn over a percentage of the final sale price to eBay.
Once you register (for free) with eBay, you can access all of your eBay buying and selling activities in asingle location called “My eBay.”
A series of service disruptions in 1999 caused real problems for eBay’s business. Over the course of threedays, overloaded servers intermittently shut down, meaning users couldn’t check auctions, place bids or complete transactions during that period. Buyers, sellers and eBay were very unhappy, and a complete restructuring of eBay’s technological architecture Followed.
In 1999, eBay was one massive database server and a few separate systems running the search function. In 2005, eBay is about 200 database servers and 20 search servers.
The architecture is a type of grid computing that allows for both error correction and growth. With the exception of the search function, everything about eBay can actually run on approximately 50 servers-Web servers,application servers and data-storage systems. Each server has between 6 and 12 microprocessors. These50 0r so servers run separately, but they talk to each other,so everybody knows if there is a problem somewhere. eBay can simply add servers to the grid as the need arises.
While the majority of the site can run on 50 servers,eBay has four times that.The 200 servers are housed in sets of 50 in four locations,all in the United States. When you’re using eBay, you may be talking to anyone of those locations at any time-they all store the same data. If one of the systems crashes. there are three others to pick up the slack.
When you’re on the eBay Web site and you click on a listing for a Persian rug, your computer talks to Web servers, which talk to application servers, which pull data from storage servers so you can find out what the latest bid price is and how much time is left in the auction. eBay has local partners in many countries who deliver eBay’s static data to cut down on download time, and there are monitoring systems in 45 cities around the world that constantly scan for problems in the network.
Using eBay: Security
In order to make buyers feel safer when making purchases on eBay, all tangible (有形的) items are automatically insured for $200. A recipe that was supposed to be delivered to you via e-mail is not considered a tangible item.But if you purchased a set of speakers that never arrived, and you go through the dispute process and eBay determines you were defrauded (欺骗)， you can get your money back up to $200.
Buyer fraud is typically less damaging than seller fraud. The most common type of fraud a buyer can commitis simply not paying for an item. Sellers can deal with non-paying bidders by filing an Unpaid Item dispute. eBay will then attempt to contact the buyer and get her to pay. If she does not respond to eBay’s attempts after eight days, the seller is reimbursed(赔偿) for eBay’s cut of the final sale price and can relistthe item for free. If the buyer does respond, the dispute can end in one of three ways:
The buyer decides to pay, and everybody’s happy.
The buyer and the seller decide together to abandon the transaction,the seller gets reimbursed for the final-value fee and relists the item for free,and everybody’s happy.
The seller decides noe to deal with the buyer, the buyer gets an unpaiditem strike against her, and the seller gets reimbursed for the final-value fee and relists the item for free.
In the end, the damage to the seller is relatively small. Another type of buyer fraud occurs when a buyer sends false payment. In most cases,this is in the form of a bounced check, and the seller finds out about it before shipping the item. Bounced checks are as common on eBay as they are in the rest of the world, and many sellers choose not to accept personal checks for this reason.
Seller fraud is what most people think about when they worry about using eBay. There are two main ways in which a buyer can be defrauded by a seller: The item the buyer purchased is dramatically different from how it was described in the listing; or the item simply never arrives.
One thing to keep in mind when you think you’ve been defrauded is that miscommunication is common on eBay.For instance, if you didn’t read every word of the auction listing for your item, you may have missed the part that said the seller would be out of town for three weeks and wouldn’t be able to ship the item untilshe returned. This could be why you don’t have your item and the seller isn’t answering your e-mails. Also,e-mail is not the most straightforward form of communication. If your item hasn’t arrived after two weeks, and you’ve e-mailed the seller but haven’t heard back, it’s a good idea to check your junk mail folder. Your seller may have sent a response e-mail that just never made it to your inbox. If there’s nothing fromthe seller in your junk folder, you can request that eBay reveal your seller’s phone number so you can give him a call and see what’s going on.
If you don’t get an answer to your phone call (or if your seller lives in another country and it would cost too much money to call), your next step is to start the dispute process. When a buyer believes he has been defrauded, he can file a complaint, and eBay will work to solve the problem. When you file a complaint in eBay’s “Item Not Received or Significantly Not as Described” system,eBay will act as middleman between you and your seller to try to settle the dis pute. lf that fails, you can file a claim to get reimbursed for your purchase.
1. Which of the following may be banned by eBay overseers?
A) Virtual dates.
B) Any over-priced products.
C) Priceless antiques.
D) Rare animals for pets.
2.Sellers have the right to refuse the deal if the offer is lower tban__________________.
A) the minimum starting bid
B) the reserve price
C) the average market price
D) the wholesale cost
3.PayPal and BidPay are special names for_____________________.
A) money orders
B) cashier’s checks
C) personal checks
D) electronic payment services
4.On eBay, you buy or sell an item at______________________.
A) My Account
B) My Market
C) My Store
D) My eBay
5.At present, each of eBay’s server is equipped with_______________microprocessors.
B) about 50
C) 6 to 12
6.When you click on a listing on the eBay Web site,your computer first com municates to______________.
A) search servers
B) Web servers
C) application servers
D) storage servers
7.A recipe is not considered tangible item if________________.
A) it is delivered later than the contracted time
B) it never arrives at your place
C) it is delivered to the buyer through e-mail
D) it costs less than the market price
8.Sellers may contact eBay and apply for an Unpaid Item dispute against__________________.
9.Many sellers tend to refuse personal checks for fear of___________________.
10.During the dispute process between the seller and the buyer, eBay plays the role of_____________.
解析：题干中的have the right to refuse the deal是原文该句doesn’t have to part with the item的近义改写，因此答案为B。
解析：原文该句末的electronic payment services like PayPal and BidPay表明PayPal和BidPay属于electronic payment services，因此本题应选D。
4.[D][定位]根据题干中的buy or sell及选项定位至第1个小标题eBay Basics部分的末段。
6.[B][定位]根据题干中的listing和Web site定位至第2个小标题eBay Infrastructure部分的末段首句。
[定位]根据题干中的Unpaid Item dispute定位至第3个小标题Using eBay: Security部分的次标题Buyer Fraud下首段第3句。
解析：空白处应为名词(词组)。本题要求查找申请Unpaid Item dispute的用处，原文句中的deal with… by filing an Unpaid Item dispute表明卖方以此对付那些不付款的投标者，因此deal with后的宾语non-paying bidders为本题答案。
[定位]根据题干中的personal checks定位至第3个小标题Using eBay: Security部分的次标题Buyer Fraud下末段末句。
解析：空白处应为名词(词组)。只要在原文找到this reason的所指，就能顺利解决本题。根据该段的主要内容和末句的主语可以推断this reason指的就是bounced checks，这就是本题答案。