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AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sun Oct 23 2011 18:11:08

Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
eBay CEO John Donahoe told Wall Street analysts on Thursday the company was working with brands such as Neiman Marcus Last Call and was still learning "how to really drive powerful incremental volume for them." He mentioned a special promotion with luxury brand Coach - "we were able to drive through a combination of, in essence, a flash sale and some other things, some nice incremental volume."

But "regular" sellers on eBay don't like the favored treatment, including a homepage link to Brands.eBay.com, and are skeptical that the big brands will be able to offer a good customer experience on eBay, since they say buyers there are more demanding than on other sites. Sellers worry about the effect of special treatment eBay gives brands on their own sales, and are also concerned that the brands are simply using their presence on eBay to drive traffic to their own websites.

Neiman Marcus Last Call, for example, with whom eBay is working, collects email addresses from visitors (not buyers) to their listings. The practice would appear to violate eBay policy. I signed up for the newsletter on Neiman Marcus' page on eBay and received my confirmation email from The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.



And despite the fact that eBay is working with the brand - last week John told Wall Street analysts, "we're making working with the Neiman team to really optimize how we take advantage of the 100 million active eBay consumers to drive incremental volume" - the company is racking up poor grades from eBay shoppers.

Neiman Marcus Last Call began selling on eBay in August, and despite a large number of negative feedback ratings, was a Top Rated Seller until several days ago. I took the screenshot below on Tuesday, which shows the TRS badge alongside 38 neutral and 46 negative feedback ratings over the prior 30-day period. This did not go unnoticed by other sellers in the clothing category who pointed it out to me.

Wrote one seller, "This is UNDENIABLE PROOF that Ebay is putting their big box stores on AUTOMATIC DSR OVERIDE. There is NO WAY with all those negatives and neutrals that they have not been sheltered and that the rules are DIFFERENT FOR BIG BOX SELLERS on Ebay."



One could also ask why brands want to risk their reputation on eBay? Neiman Marcus built its business through its reputation. Having negative reviews on eBay must be of concern to the retailer.

In addition, companies risk associating their brands with items that might not fit their image. In browsing the Jockey listings on eBay, I noticed some listings for dominatrix-style items showing up at the bottom of a listing under "See what other people are watching."

Shoppers might believe the listings are offered by Jockey, but they were listed by other sellers. This lack of control over how their brands are presented may be off-putting for big-name merchants and retailers.

Courting big brands on eBay is risky for both sides, but there are currently no signs of eBay slowing down. Mercent, which uses eBay's large-merchant on ramp to upload catalogs of major brands to eBay's marketplace, said it lists 1 million SKUs per hour onto the eBay marketplace for its high-volume merchants.

And for sellers who don't make it to eBay's Top Rated Seller status, the news is grim: 45% of the value of goods sold on eBay in the U.S. are sold by Top Rated Sellers, thanks to the extra exposure their listings get in eBay's Best Match search results.



Comments (29) | Permalink
Readers Comments

Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: TheirNoseIsGrowing
       
Sun Oct 23 19:22:53 2011
John change the 100 million active eBay consumers to 99,999,999 cause I just quit.

''45% of the value of goods sold on eBay in the U.S. are sold by Top Rated Sellers.'' In other words despite every dirty tactic you use to destroy small sellers and sabatoge their listings 55% of the value of all goods sold on ebay still come from small sellers. Your precious TRSs are in the minority

''eBay's marketplace, said it lists 1 million SKUs per hour onto the eBay marketplace for its high-volume merchants.'' That's 8 billion 760 million listing a year or 1 BILLION listings every 45 days. Well. well. well isn't that special?

Why on Gods green earth does ebay have to twist and distort everything they say?
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sun Oct 23 20:06:39 2011
The ebafia-Nieman relationship is a perfect example of circular greed.

In the end, those who collect email addresses win.

What's truly amazing is why this man is still alive after his extensive and far reaching seller extermination programs and policies.

He deserves the upper bunk with Bernie Madoff.

OCCUPY SAN JOSE EBAFIA.



Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Lace
       Web Site
Sun Oct 23 23:41:27 2011
Agree with Ina on how eBay working with big brands is risky for both (big brands and small sellers). Merchants work hard to achieve TRS status so eBay should try and explain the mechanics on how big brands seem to get it automatically.

Definitely this is one factor to be considered on putting up an independent online shop.

eBay is at risk of having the same conflict with small sellers just like what Taobao Mall faced.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Oct 24 00:29:27 2011
No more than they have been for the last three years plus. Remember how mad everyone was about Buy.com?

Big sellers come and go, it would not surprise me if eBay were paying Nieman Marcus to list for the publicity value alone. We know, thanks to Stephanie, they pay no listing fees.

The thing to remember is that unless you are selling the same type of product as Nieman Marcus at the same price point, they are no threat to you.

The real threat to you is the venue which happily takes your fees with no guarantee of visibility. You are paying to ''list an item on eBay'' that's it, period. You are not paying for a space, duration is not guaranteed, there is no guarantee your listing will ever be seen but if it should happen to be seen and sell you will be charged another fee.

I wrote about it in May 2010
http://200westmain.com/redinkdiary/?p=4034

Small sellers need to understand; eBay doesn't care if you get ulcers. They don't care if you quit, there is always another sucker walking in the front door as you storm out the back door.

What we think of as eBay, the marketplace here in the USA is a very very small part of eBay Inc., in terms of revenue. This is not 1996.

Imagine an ants nest in your back yard. How does that affect the value of your home? It is pretty important to the ants, but to you it may be a nuisance, no more than that.

If it still works for you, this is a good thing. If not, you need to come up with an alternative business plan or you will be throwing good money after bad, and don't forget the ulcers.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: ToPimpDaddy
       
Mon Oct 24 04:36:36 2011
ebay attracts large sellers by offering them corporate welfare. Join ebay and we will subsidize your listing and final value fees, we will offer you preferential treatment and protect you. All this is paid for by taking small sellers money to keep ebay going.

Your ego would not let you be seen as a CEO of a billion dollar corporation with tremendously loyal users because of the ''perceived'' flea market image. You sacrificed loyal users and the billions they brought in for a more ''Ego'' friendly customer.

Think about what you are doing john. Your large sellers have no loyalty to ebay they just want email address and to build customer databases so they can sell directly to customers and cut ebay out. They are just like ebay they have no conscience, they are greedy, they are only concerned with their own selfish interest. They will use ebay then toss you aside at the drop of a hat. The very businesses you are trying to attract will eventually destroy you. A mass exodus will occur they will no longer need ebay.

From flea market mogul with loyal dedicated customers pumping billions into your company to ''Pimp Daddy'' catering to those seeking instant gratification. What a move. Absolutely %$#@*^! brilliant. You should be proud.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       Web Site
Mon Oct 24 05:08:12 2011
It is astounding how many people continue to pay eBay to be abused.

eBay is stealing your money in drips and drabs and you allow it because there is not anywhere better to go.

How much proof do you need?

Oh - and to eBay's programmers - NICE MOVE with the suggested items. It's going to help careers when the Freddie Mercury look-alikes start appearing in your browser - decked out in their leather gear.

Sweat and worry about those DSRs little sellers. eBay has to show you who's boss, to teach you how to be proper business people. The buyer needs to be happy. Small sellers need to learn this.

The 84 people who has neutral and negative experiences last month from last call_by_neimanmarcus... bet you wish you HAD THAT MUCH BUSINESS in a Month.

Have some kool-aid!

Invite your desperate friends and relatives to sell their heirlooms on eBay!
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: John
       
Mon Oct 24 06:56:08 2011
Big brands tried selling on eBay when Whitman was in charge. The failed miserably. They needed to tweak the system so the big brands could succeed.

Thus the DSR was born, and of course the discounts had to follow. Discounts is a way of life for big brands throughout the country they are charged cheaper rates, why not on eBay.

The DSR system was designed specifically for the big brands. Without it they would fail miserably once again on eBay.

The listing of volume works in favor for them and lack of volume works against the small seller.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: JBjsbaze@gmail.com
       
Mon Oct 24 07:19:14 2011
TRS has been removed, but 55 neutrals and 60 negatives out of 4,000 sales is a lousy rating. Funny the DSR numbers are still 4.9's and 5.0's.
As posted in a previous comment this does show how the volume selling works in there favor. ebay removed the trs status because they have one of there trolls reading Ina's thread, and probably reported it.

Imagine how many more TRS's would get removed if we only new who all the Diamonds sellers were.

Ina is there any way you could find that out.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Charlie W. This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Mon Oct 24 07:22:33 2011
@''Red Ink Diary'' ... I love your blog! I've bookmarked it and will check-in regularly. :-)
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Barb
       
Mon Oct 24 09:24:28 2011
As a clothing seller for the past 12 years on ebay, it boggles my mind why any big brand clothing company would list on ebay.  I looked at the fashion outlet.  The prices are high.  I sell what Neimans sells for a fraction of what they sell it for.  Mind you, my stuff is pre-owned, but I do not sell anything that doesn't look new.  For example, I was at my local Last Call and found some items from a high end designer who is very popular.  The item Neimans was $238.  When it got to last call, it was marked down to $159.  After all the markdowns and the additional discounts, this $238 item cost me less than $20.  Brand new!  

So, I buy at $20... sell for $60.  Free listing.  Even with final value and shipping, my profit is good.  Last call doesn't have that item for less than $60.

So who are you going to buy from?  And I have almost 11,000 feedback... no neutrals... 1 unjust negative in the last year 99.9% positive rating and I am NOT a top rated seller. Go figure.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Greed smells
       
Mon Oct 24 10:54:38 2011
WELL, let me see !
eBay and Wall street have ALOT in common. Greed ~ GReed GREed and MORE GREED. The purpose of both are to lure you in, wanting to become part of the Wealth being made off the work of others. The TRUTH is : You become the working back for the ELITE CEO's, who forever tell you WELCOME to the team.
Sometimes the cost is NOT worth the reward.
Remember, Almost ALL of these CEO'S where given these jobs. They did Not create these corporate machines. The Ford's, DuPont's, Firestone's and even Bill Gates created Empires which in turn employ(ed) many persons, these men where visionaries whom started with an idea and followed through to the creation of JOBS. These visionaries deserve the wealth they created. The CEO's of today are not there for creating a better America, I believe they are there to make Wall street and thier own bank accounts happy. All others are just FLUFF.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Phil DeBasquet
       
Mon Oct 24 11:24:30 2011
Stevie Wonder can clearly see that Ebay is giving away the store to big operators. Could it be any more obvious? When you scorn and abandon the people that built your business, it does come around to destroy you.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: John
       
Mon Oct 24 11:55:37 2011
It is all about large retailers and their greedy wall street ceo's. John Donahoe is banding them together to fuel that greed in the form of 15-20 million dollar bonus checks that is for just one person a year. John Donahoe and his buddies are the perfect example of why there is a movement called occupy wall street. It is a peaceful movement now but many feel it will turn to violence because of the greed and the bribe taking politicians who enable them. Plain and simple "greed"
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Jenny
       
Mon Oct 24 14:38:41 2011
Have you seen Drustore.com store or Buy.com? eBay is really killing the business, they do feel they are too big to fail, as soon as a big law firm goes with the class action suit against the paypal rolling reserve scam, they will learn that the small sellers will be necessary, then again, who do they think will buy from the 5 big stores they help? is the small seller who used to be also buyers, nothing to sell for them, nothing they buy. eBay CEO you really su** badly
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: ThisIsNotYourGrandmothersEbay
       
Mon Oct 24 18:53:12 2011
All eBay is, is a glorified shopping cart where eBay gets a percentage of the sale. It is in merchants BEST interest to keep control of the message and the format and to keep give a third party a cut that has not effectively drive sales to your store.

And Steve Jobs said it clearly

"Said Jobs of Facebook's founder, "I admire Mark Zuckerberg. I only know him a little bit, but I admire him for not selling out, for wanting to make a company. I admire that a lot."

and you should really read the entire interview as you can see this is a direct jab at CEO's in general with the exception of a few.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon Oct 24 19:10:16 2011
what exactly is "incremental volume"?

the big sellers on ebay worry me less than the fact that end of june my sales took a turn up and then about the same day on the end of sept they took a sharp dive down.  obviously a test was being run that just happened to be in my favor.  it's this constant tinkering that makes me nervous about my future on ebay.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Y.D.D.D
       
Mon Oct 24 19:56:28 2011
Keep in mind folks, when you work your @ss off to become Top Rated and better exposure, all it takes is just ( 2 ) pricks to ding you even if not justifiable and your out !

Back to watching 45% of Sales from TRS - See to stay Top Rated you need to sell a TON of items.

TRS is a special club for mega sellers by John Donahoe, Donahoe does not given a damn about smaller sellers, their kids, their mortagaes their struggles etc. in my opinion he is THE ADVERSARY !
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Mon Oct 24 20:35:53 2011
Even though TRSs apparently represent only 45% of the GMV of eBay’s Marketplace, still you all have to come to terms with the fact that eBay habitually lies to you about what is happening with your views (or the lack thereof) on eBay and it appears that eBay could not care any less about small to medium “flea market” sellers.

eBay is obviously now using all their bandwidth to give maximum exposure to their preferred sellers (ie, all their Chinese-made big brands, who also have their TRS status, relatively speaking, set in concrete).

The only alternative is that the turkeys running eBay are indeed totally incompetent and the eBay Marketplace is simply continuing its long slow journey down the toilet, but that does not explain the obvious variation in views that many sellers receive from time to time.

This latest nonsense with TRSs openly attempting to harvest viewers’ email addresses indicates just how out of balance this system now is and how little value this fool Donahoe puts on the business of non-TRSs, even though they still represent 55% of his GMV. Go figure …

The fact is, the turkeys currently in control of the eBay Farmyard are indeed headless.

Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: Y.D.D.D
       
Mon Oct 24 21:21:22 2011
Hey people, if your not TRS your basically not welcome on ebay. I say anyone that loses TRS or is not one, boycott ebay !

Let them survive on the 45% TRS
If he doesn't want the other 55% for equality to h*ll with Donahoe !

I cannot belive ebay has consumed so much of my life since the 1990's and that man ( Donahoe ) has made me hate this company, him and myself for continuing to take the abuse from his policies and seller extermination, and the @sshole buyers !

See Donahoe is out of touch, he doesn't get it, he never will, why does he need to ? With the Millions he has been paid by eBay for seller extermination and discriminating policies he will soon be in the country's top 1% with all those millions he gets for literally ruining peoples lives who were good sellers and depended on this site

eBay has bit the hand that fed them ( small to medium sellers ) and gave us a Royal "F U"

K A R M A is a B*tch Donahoe and henchmen ! UNIVERSAL LAW

Evil comes back around !

Nuff said
Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?   Is eBay Giving Away the Store to Big Brands?
by: pace306
       
Mon Oct 24 23:59:40 2011
During the summer months, the company my brother works for - who does ALOT of eBay business - got a visit from the boys in black from eBay to ''discuss things''.

They explained where eBay was going and how and why things worked. Basically - almost everything people ''say about eBay'' is true.

1) eBay is copying Amazon by letting big box stores ''run the show''. Ebay wants consumers to believe ''ebay is a real website/online merchant'' and not just an auction house.
2) They like other diamonds have A) reps to override any issue ala Jackie Ma and B) the sheer # of transactions and the money they generate makes eBay look the other way.
3) eBay lets those companies eliminate small sellers of thier items by letting VERO run wild. If any merchant - even another diamond gets in the way of a branded store - they WILL and DO get Vero'd - until they say uncle. Just look to Skullcandy (who also always gets ''Deal of the Day'' as proof.)
4) Auctions are being marginalized and the push is eBay stores with fixed priced merchandise. Ebay believes auctions have thier ''place'' ..but thats a SMALL place in ebays future.
5) UPC codes will be manditory for all new items sometime early 2012 ... now its optional.
6) More items are being added to the catalog - which will also be manditory in 2012 (its now only a must for some categories). Large gaps are in the areas that are not manditory yet aka electronics, as alot of makers refuse to give ebay permission to use thier info. The deal that is being worked on is .... use VERO to remove sellers - using threats of law suits for A) trademark issues B) Copyright issues C) Tortious Interference in a Contract. The last one is Denon's new game - they have been using it to chase away sellers for the ..... Denon Outlet (comming soon mid to end of 2012).

Everyone says ''leave ebay'' but its not so simple for alot of us. Amazon blocks entire categories for most sellers (shoes, clothing, watches etc) and even in open categories such as electronics - entire brands are blocked - Sony, LG, Denon, BA, Clarion, Tivoli, Tanita and more. So if you are a seller of those items - you are SOL.

There is no real alternative - even your own website isnt a complete replacement .... as I introduce you to NETENFORCERS. If you think VERO sucks - you aint seen nothing yet - these guys will drag you into court FIRST .... ask anyone who sells SONY video or camera equipment.

The best solution is to do abit of everything and not limit yourself to any one platform.

Best of luck my fellow sellers :)
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