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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Fri July 27 2012 23:30:41

eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits

By: Reader
Sponsored Link
Dear Ina,
I've been following your blog for a short time about how eBay is losing sellers and felt it's time for me to chime in. I am/was a seller on eBay for 13+ years but as of yesterday I was suspended for non-payment with my store that was built with my blood, sweat and tears to be closed by eBay any day now. (User ID Style-Wizard).

My story might differ from others for the fact I wasn't only a "Top seller" before the "Top Seller" designation was even released to the public, I was one of eBay's elite "Top-100 Sellers Worldwide".

Most might agree my story is an interesting one, previously I've refused to tell my story but now since the nightmare is over I'm happy to share with hope to warn help others. I am now 50 years old, I've been married for 24 wonderful years and have 3 children and my eBay story begins around 1999.

Before my eBay days I had a very successful real estate development business, then with a few bad decisions I went from extreme wealth to extreme poverty in a short few months. I lost my company with over 110 employees, and my 10,000 sqft beachfront home, to eventually become homeless.

I was lucky to land a job as a driver, delivering hazardous chemicals, delivering on average 10-20 thousand pounds of chemicals by hand along a 200 mile a day delivery route. Times were rough going from a boardroom to a beat up delivery truck, trying to feed a family of 5 on a meager driver's salary, even with my wife working 70 hours a week as a waitress.

Times became so rough, one day while visiting my parents 60 miles away, my children were hungry while driving on the way home, begging for a Bob's Big Boy. I entered the drive-through only to find to my horror I only had $3 to my name. Unfortunately the $3 was needed for gas to get us home so I had to back out the wrong way, through the drive through.

After that my wife demanded I sell my old business suits that I used to wear when I was a CEO. We didn't own a camera so my wife scraped together money we didn't have and purchased one. She handed me the camera and said, "The kids need to eat so sell your suits on eBay! You no longer wear them as now your business attire consists of a blue jumpsuit with a name tag so they better be gone in 2 weeks!"

We were broke so I couldn't argue and reluctantly listed 5 suits. To my delight they all sold making more money than I made killing myself delivering hazardous materials in a week! This gave me an idea. If my old clothes would sell, then other people's old clothes would sell!

Since I was once wealthy, I knew quality and fashion, so I whipped out a Thomas Guide and mapped every single thrift store along my delivery route so every time I made a stop, I would rush into a thrift store, rummage through all their clothing looking for gems to sell. It wasn't long before I was making 3 times what I was making being a delivery boy so when I lost my job, it was scary but I had eBay to fall back on and took eBay full time.

Please keep in mind this was around 2001-2002. There were very few if any professional sellers on eBay. eBay was kind of new, most sellers were selling used, flea market/garage sale stuff, but I had another idea. I wanted a store. I wanted a store that sold new clothing, and I wanted departments to where one could buy suits, shirts, ties and accessories.

I went to the Los Angeles Fashion district & walked every block, checking out every vendor looking for unknown designers to sell. I wanted designers no one had heard of yet, but were of impressive quality. I found three designers and my business took off!

It was just my wife and I working out of our home, but our first year we grossed $1.2 million! That was unheard of on eBay or anywhere else for two people to turn those numbers without any money, funding, backing or help working out of their living room! I achieved the American dream on Ebay by making a million dollars with nothing out of pocket.

These numbers caught a lot of eyes. eBay called and assigned a Senior Account VIP Manager to help me along. PayPal followed suit as well as vendors like UPS etc. By 2003-2004 I was on fire so eBay calls asking if I would agree to be their poster boy for "eBay's success story". I was flattered. I was working so hard I didn't have the time to realize I was a success!

I tentatively agreed so Bay hired the Kaplow Advertising Agency out of NY to write my story; they faxed it over for my authorization but after reading it, and thinking about it, I realized I would rather have fortune than fame so I stalled and then I filed it.

Back then no one knew the profit potential of eBay, so by authorizing that story I felt I would be painting a Bulls Eye on my back. The story was scheduled to run on major publications nationwide which I felt would alert major manufacturers, my suppliers and just about everyone else, which in essence would let my secret cat out of the bag. eBay continued to pester me for a few years but I never conceded.

A few years later eBay invited me to their headquarters on their dime. They paid for my flight, they paid for my hotel, they paid for everything including food for three days, but there was a hitch. Whenever I was eating there were two eBay employees & two PayPal employees picking my brain! Ya got to love Meg Whitman! What a brilliant idea to fly the top 100 sellers to eBay to pick their minds to make EBay a better place!

Let's fast forward to when John Donahoe took over in 2008, because everything was beautiful until then. I have an inside track on eBay & PayPal so hopefully my story can fill in some missing blanks for others.

The first thing Donahoe did when he took over was moronic in my opinion. Back then eBay was filled with scammers so it took a full time account manager at eBay and one at PayPal to handle my daily problems, so what does John do? He decides it would be cost effective to combine them! He took my eBay account manager and made her my PayPal account manager too!

Well,... That didn't last long. LOL! Strike one for Donahoe. Next Mr. Donahoe decides to fix what's not broken. He decides to start tweaking the search algorithm to make things better and the result was my business volume gets cut in half, then cut in half again. My account manager and I worked very closely to duck and roll with each of Donahoe's changes so I was able to stay afloat but barely from 2008 on.

Enter around May-June 2011. I have approx. 4000 auctions going on every week and all of a sudden my sales drop dramatically like someone threw an off switch. I instantly check search results and I'm nowhere to be found. One might think with 4000 auctions one might find at least one, but no. So I called eBay, and my account manager, who was the BEST at eBay, figured it out. Donahoe decided to change the search algorithm to show multiple variation auctions first, and the more sales an auction got, the better placement it would receive.

There were other variables, eBay added things like free shipping, return policies, item specifics and keywords later. The problem I was facing I had no multi variation auctions so it took me 3 months of working day and night to change everything over, taking the store from 4000-5000 to about 400-600 auctions.

This seemed to patch the hole ever so slightly but business was still horrible and became worse with every passing great idea of Donahoe's to make what was once working beautifully, ugly.

Moving on to 2012, I had a stellar 2011 December because my account manager made me run four "Daily Deals" back to back. This is something I would never do again as almost killed me.

Shipping out 300-800 items within 2 days is almost impossible for two people, but then add in eBay glitches and a PayPal glitch that printed multiple shipping labels for hundreds of clients, some as many as four and some they would automatically cancel.

It was a nightmare, house of horrors trying to figure out who got shipped, who got canceled and who got 2-4 of the same item. The week before Christmas I worked five 20 hour days in a row.

January's sales were surprisingly just as stellar, so when February came around, I was ready for a break. Business slowed down and I was a little thankful for a breath of air, but little did I know business didn't slow down because of a slow month, it slowed down because of Donahoe messing with the search algorithm again.

My eBay account manager that has worked side by side with me in the trenches received a promotion so now I have a new kid that knows little, but is filled with ambition as an account manager.

It's now March 2012 and March is the start of my busy season but it's absolutely dead. March through July are my best months but this year they go down as my worst months in my history!

In 2002-2008, I would gross as much as 80k-$150k a month, and in December 2011 (December is a half month for online sales) and January 2012 turned out to be decent $60k months but March - June 2012 sales drop to $15K-$18K!. I used to do $15K some days, so it was like I didn't even exist on eBay!

My new account manager did his best "Sherlock Holmes" to figure out what was going on, because not even he could find my auctions by searching. We tried everything. I know every trick in the book for search placement, and after changing over thousands of auctions, it was decided multi variation auctions no longer get any search engine placement whatsoever.

Now I've got to go from 500 to make 5000 auctions again, but now I'm drained and desperate. I get all the auctions changed over, but there was no change in volume. My business was dead. I used to wake very morning to 20-80 emails and dozens of sales, but now I wake to no sales and no emails.

On top of that eBay offered a gallery picture framing service that I signed up for. It was easy to frame my gallery pictures in bulk using this service but then eBay changed their minds after every auction was framed. eBay indicated they did not have a tool for removal, the frames must be removed manually, auction by auction, and the auctions that have the frame will not show in search results

In a last-ditch effort, my account manager corners one of the IT guys to get some answers as to what's actually going on. Apparently Donahoe's vision is to align eBay with Google search to bring more buyers on to eBay from Google, and sellers that are not selling "Name brands" are not in his vision and are eliminated from search results.

"Unless a seller is selling a name-brand item on eBay they will not show in search results. The only way a no-name product will show in search results is if the buyer is specifically searching for an unknown, no-name brand by name!"

My account manager indicated there were really no ways around this and asked if I could change my store format to sell name-brands because that was the only fix. I just shook my head and laughed because that was impossible, then he tried a few other things like getting some of my brands listed in the item specifics, but nothing helped.

So here I am today. Neither my current account manager, nor my account manager that was with me for 8+ years, that I thought was a friend, will return my phone calls to assist me in reaching an agreement with eBay with regards to my fees. I do not feel it's fair for eBay to demand listing fees for listing auctions that were not really listed or visible.

Some might play Devil's advocate and say I lost the store because I'm a bad merchant, or sales went down because of my actions and I'm not taking responsibility. My response to that is; Google "Style-Wizard", or "Jeffrey Thomas-The Wizard of Aahs".

My reputation is a decade long without a single blemish. For 13 years I've made 100% of my clients happy 100% of the time and I have a huge following with over 100,000 sales under my belt. I feel it's safe to say I know how to run this business and I know how to work eBay. I was once the best in the business.

Additionally I have my traffic reports which clearly indicate eBay was referring on average 60k-80k clients to my store per month, and the same reports this year indicates eBay's search engine sent between 15k-18k clients to my store per month from February - July 2012

In retrospect I can say with complete confidence, eBay is a complete nightmare to work with. They are unorganized, unprofessional, they act like spoiled children with the worst case of entitlement, they change their minds and policies on whim that often create months of work and lost sales only to change their minds back again a few months later.

eBay has the philosophy of "One size fits all", all sellers are all the same regardless of their contribution to eBay and "Protect the buyer" sellers have no protection or rights even if they are being abused by the buyer.

Even though I was considered eBay's "Golden boy", they would do odd things like send someone to bring me breakfast as a surprise from a city that was 3 hours away, each way. eBay has given me free concerts, free dinners, free Las Vegas shows, but when it came to business, eBay treated me like dirt in most cases with my account manager apologizing profusely for eBay being totally unfair and abusive.

For example; last year I received two unjust negatives, eBay calls at Christmas indicating since they were undeserved and since I went so far out of my way to make things right, without a response from the buyers they were removing them as a gift. It never happened, my account manager got promoted, I reminded my new temporary account manager a few times about eBay's promise, and then eBay indicated they changed their policy and now feedback removal was not possible.

In conclusion, I feel eBay screwed me. eBay took one of their best sellers that was once paying them over $250,000+ a year in fees and ran me into the ground to be broke once again. Now the only contact I have with eBay is computer generated, threatening emails indicating they are going to take me to court and ruin my credit if I don't pay their ridiculous fees.

The only beauty to this was on my way out, seeing Google Shopping launch, welcoming eBay sellers with open arms to switch over to Google Shopping and Google Wallet. I have to comment "Great job John Donahoe! You did a great job of handing eBay over to your enemy." The enemy that eBay did everything in their power to keep from using Google checkout in eBay!

I'm confident Google execs are having the laugh of their lifetime right about now as every eBay seller that is fed up with eBay is signing up for Google, so not only is John taking down eBay, but PayPal as well! I have four PayPal accounts which I will soon close to run everything through Google Wallet.

I predict the final blows will come to eBay at their next Q3 earnings. I personally know of eBay higher-ups that are getting ready to jump ship and then taking into consideration eBay's stellar earning this quarter are a FAKE house of cards that will be exposed at the Q3 earnings

The only reason eBay shows a profit this quarter is because Donahoe FORCED every seller to add shipping into the sales price. This padded eBay's bottom line over previous earnings, but the next earnings will reflect the thousands of small and mid-level sellers that have either jumped ship or have been thrown off like me. If one trades stocks, shorting eBay right before 3rd quarter earnings would be a wise move. Take it from someone that has ears on the inside. eBay is doomed under Donahoe.

Warmest regards,
Jeff



Comments (194) | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: Starscream This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jul 28 00:51:58 2012
Jeff,

Your next chance at making big dollars is to write a book. A book compiling all the nightmare stories of sellers who have been destroyed by Donahoe's ''disruptive stupidity.'' A book like this has to be written to shame this man and force his exit from the company. The man has caused so much suffering and he truly needs to PAY for it. A book chronicling his devastation is the way to do so...



Ebay's next quarter earnings may not be the end all. The reason they have this new ''fee'' for ending auctions early will be the culprit. They know that they have killed off auctions so bad now that folks put things up and then pull them off in horror when they see their item selling for nothing. This is Donahoe's latest scheme to keep the ship afloat.

Donahoe has killed auctions, and you are proof of that.

Best of luck to you and your family
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 00:58:43 2012
Jeff, that is a sad story that is often repeated.

But I am afraid that JD and his board are pretty clever.

I predict that in Q3 and Q4 they will pull something out of the hat so that their earnings still look good. They have been doing that for every quarter for the last 3 years that I have been watching them.

Their listings remain about the same. Their Alexa (traffic) rating stays about the same.

So ebay are not going down anytime soon.

So many sellers "leave" and then go back as other sites don't cut it sales wise and ebay know that.

Best of luck.
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 01:00:22 2012
Jeff -- What a horror story.

You know who Donahoe reminds me of? Hugo Chavez. eBay is like Venezuela, a country with so much oil money it can withstand nearly any amount of controlling mismanagement. eBay is a corporate culture ruined by too much easy money.

I second the book idea. That was more of an inside story than I've been able to glean in the last five years.

Good luck with Google Shopping! And do write Ina to tell her of your progress. We will be waiting to hear from you.
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 01:11:10 2012
Digmen1 -- showing revenue growth by substituting tricks and gimmicks in the place of organic growth works until it doesn't work. It shouldn't have worked this long, but the Street is easy to fool if you tell it what it wants to hear.

One of my favorite sayings is ''If a trend is unsustainable, it will stop.''

eBay has been systematically abusing the customers who need it the most, to run after the customers who need it the least, and who must be paying it the lowest margins. This cannot be sustainable.

I don't believe there is much revenue to be gained from the fees to end auctions. People will just stop doing it and put it a higher start price instead.

Between that and the obvious effort to make excellent sellers lose TSR, eBay is starting to look desperate for revenue despite their good Q2, like they are now hunting for loose change in the sofa cushions.
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Jefft
       
Sat Jul 28 02:21:46 2012
Hello Everyone!

Thank you for your responses & kind words. I've never thought about writing a book before, but now that it's mentioned, this letter is an extreme Clift Notes version. I've got stories that are absolutely jaw dropping and I've even threatened  Ebay that I was considering taking issues to the media. I have proof Ebay allows known counterfeiters, liars & cheats to continue selling even after they've been reported to T&S time after time for cheating buyers.

I believe Donahoe is a snake but even snakes eventually will face karma for their deeds. I believe hes a misguided liar that has destroyed Ebay and has fooled investors on borrowed time. He's at the end of his run. I hear things, I know people & the dissent among the employee ranks has reached fever pitch. 

Everyone at Ebay knows what's going on but Donahoe runs that ship like a dictator or cult leader. It's like everyone that works at Ebay is afraid of something & they are always secretive like they are hiding something. All conversations are recorded and emails scanned. There have been times where my account manager has called me from her cell phone on the way to work because of Big Brother watching & listening & she honestly seems at fear.

I've had literally hundreds of conversations, I even have personal cell phone and home numbers of both Paypal & Ebay in case I needed something at night, weekends or holiday's and any conversation regarding a problem I know is affecting others they always pretend like they don't know & I'm the only one.

No my friends, I believe the time is at hand. The Myan's had it partially correct. December 2012 is the Apocalypse, but.....for EBay! The world will survive but like a disbanded cult I predict Ebay will not. The earnings will be the first blow & then with resignations to follow eBay will only be a memory 5 years from now as it's already walking dead. 

Since Ebay's stock is at an all time high based on lies, I would have been stupid if I didn't sell my shares for a nice profit this week. Buy on the low & sell at the high my old gray-haired daddy once taught me.

Now i've shorted Ebay BIG TIME just waiting for the inevitable crash to make more $$ on the  way down! 
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 03:54:05 2012
Jeff,

It’s all very strange. eBay, the greatest knowing facilitator of wire fraud the world is ever likely to ever know, is bending over backwards aiding and abetting the rampant shill bidding fraudster, Corri McFadden’s eDropOff. Maybe Corri is simply better looking than you ,,,

Take a tour of what the rampant fraudster McFadden is getting away with on eBay auctions …

“Shill Bidding Fraud on eBay Auctions: Case Study #5”
http://www.ecommercebytes.com/forums/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=16
7554


eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       
Sat Jul 28 04:58:54 2012
Glad to hear they knocked you down! Bravo!!!

It is comforting to know eBay is finally treating their cash cows like manure!

WELCOME to The Club!

There are thousands of people smaller than you who got screwed worse. They never got the advantages from eBay that you did.

The only person they had to fight for them was Uncle Griff.

There might actually be JUSTICE and EVERYBODY might finally get screwed this time.

I look forward to the day eBay starts to screw their big cheerleaders. All the people you cheerleaders introduced to eBay, only to be ripped off and cheated.

There must be some kind of retribution for leading trusting sheep to the slaughter.

PAY YOUR FEES YOU DEADBEAT!
You made the contract - LIVE UP TO YOUR END OF THE DEAL!!!

No sympathy here.

I give you credit for spaces between your paragraphs and you spell ''their'' correctly. Otherwise, not impressed.

Deal with Thieves and you get robbed.

''People are basically good.''

''It's an even playing field.''

''You asked - we listened.''

''Have you tried Free Shipping?''
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: nsc This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 05:22:20 2012
Jeff - never mind the sniping from people who are jealous of anybody who made a success in business. Go write your book and self-publish it on the Kindle.  
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: Skeptic This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jul 28 05:35:17 2012
Jeff, Definitely publish that book and get it out fast on the kindle.

I for one would buy it and the way eBay is throwing thousands of sellers under a bus I've no doubt many others would as well.

I look forward to a good read.
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 06:07:21 2012
Does anyone know how many staff ebay has

Eg top executives ?
USA based staff ?
Account managers, programming etc ?
Overseas based support staff ?
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: anon11151 This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jul 28 08:23:24 2012
Hi Jeff,
 Thanks for sharing! write a book sounds like a good idea. Anything to bring more light to ebay ways. TRS w/ 100% who just lost the TRS badge because i hand write my labels and most of my items are 1st class. they just killed a global market for all adult items. now i can only sell to US and Ca. No other international sales. My sales have dropped off since losing TRS badge.
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Doc
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 09:17:30 2012
Great story..

I started selling cars on eBay in 1999. It was great! I often said eBay brought honor to the car business. The greatest majority of the cars i sold were consigned by dealer friends. I drove and thoroughly inspected each one. I believed in the principals eBay was founded on and worked hard to ensure my buyers satisfaction.

The greatest majority of my buyers came from the NE area of the country, i was in Florida and some of these 8-12 year old retiree trades were in absolute mint condition. Folks would fly in to Tampa International and i would pick them up and deliver the car, not one broke down on it's trip home. The farthest away delivery was on an old Mercury Grand Marquis LS that a buyer flew in from Washington state and drove home.

Of course the scams and fraud, along with those AOL floppy disks that let just about anyone get online soon soured the buying and selling experience. Sellers flat out lying about a cars condition, yada, yada, yada. And with some college educated business grads running eBay Motors with no car business experience eBay soon mucked EBM up something fierce.

I long for the good old days again but know they are gone forever.. Sigh!
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: sassy This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jul 28 10:16:57 2012
well i haven been here since 2000 and no where big seller like u or a golden boy..and most i got from ebay was a letter and a biz card holder once, you had a good ride...thank god for that....im just lucky to pay my bills each month, im a disabled old gal and only source of money besides my measly s/s ck...i can only dream what it would have been like to get service and perks from ebay like you did....to bad they could not treat us all the same,...wow a personal acc mgr...how nice...heck i cry if i have to think of calling ebay and the wait and the incompetency you have to endure...yeah, you sure had it tough...write your book, good luck...you just got what us little sellers been putting up with for years...
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: sassy This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jul 28 10:22:12 2012
and i see your still selling and how do we know tnis isnt a *publicity* stunt you and acc mgr put together...to boost sales and drive people to your store,..i know if i hadnt paid my fees past due date i wouldnt be on ebay, 5 minutes later...but your still there 7000 plus listings...??...just saying!
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: JoelHellmann This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jul 28 10:49:19 2012
This story echos My wife and mine we were tossed on Black Thursday nov 4 2010. We have moved to Online auctions.com and our sales are down but because of no fees our profit is up and no stress. To any and all who are still on EBAY, get out now for some day the story above will look like your story
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
by: Soconik This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Sat Jul 28 11:33:47 2012
Thank you for this story! I get frustrated when people say ''You need to change your business model, nothing stays the same.'' How can you keep up with ebay changes? Your story proves that, you spent a huge chunk of your life trying to keep up with them.

I remember in March 2010 I had my best month ever doing, 25k in sales (across all venues but ebay was a huge percentage). I rented a warehouse, hired employees, invested in inventory thinking I can expand this. But the next month sales dropped to 17k, then 13k, then 12k and now I'm lucky if I eek out 10k per month. Most of those sales are on other sites, ebay has tanked. Sales on other sites are either the same or slightly up from that 2010 period. I am still hanging on expanding in other areas but I don't know how much longer I can take it.

I feel your pain and hope you are able to come up with something else that fulfills you both spiritually and provides you with a comfortable living.  
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Jefft
       
Sat Jul 28 11:43:50 2012
Hello,

Thank you for your reply. Trust me. If I was smart enough to do a publicity stunt the first thing I would do is plug my web site and I would be sure it was up and running on Google and Amazon. My web site is half finished and I never mentioned it. I never finished off Google or Amazon I'm not interested.

I haven't even announced to my long term, loyal clients an the fashion boards I'm done. I don't want the business, I don't want to answer emails, deal with whiners, hundreds of problems every day or get put into a bad mood because some child is screaming at me in an email in a manner that he would never do if in person because his package came one day late.

I've had my run and to be honest, I'm sooooo over retail. As the ship was sinking I created a life raft and learned a new trade. For the past 10 months I taught myself how to be an Equities Trader, and if I might say so, a good one.  I found my passion at 50. I absolutely LOVE everything about trading. I lover researching companies, finding the gem no one has found yet. I love playing chess (Cat and mouse) with market maker's.

I love being my own boss and am in control of my life, no longer at the mercy of eBay or anyone or anything else for that matter. If the economy is good I make money, if the economy is bad I make money. Everything that happens is a direct result of my decisions with no one else to take credit to be blamed and I love this control.  I finally turned Pro and since turning professional I consistently make more money before 9 AM than I did working Ebay all day and all night, during my best months and of once I have freedom.

Yesterday I made my money early, I could have shut down by 8:30 AM and told my wife "Hey! let's take the rest of the day off (Or week off!) and go t the beach!" That something I haven't done in 10 years and I live 15 minutes from the ocean. Being the psycho-workaholic that I am, I still didn't do it, but now if she pleads I do not have any excuses and she can actually force to have a life. ;-)

Working Ebay I never got a day off. Not one since I started. Oh wait... That's not entirely correct I took ONE day off once in 2007. I took Memorial day off and there was such an overwhelming back up of problems, emails and work, it took me 3 days to catch up. I swore I would never take a full day off again because it just wasn't worth it.  I worked every holiday day and night a minimum of 15 hours a day with few breaks. I worked Christmas eve,  New Years, The fourth of July, and day and every holiday you can name.

You have no idea how many freaks are out there that email Christmas morning asking "Where the heck is my suit I ordered 2 days ago?" when they ordered it Christmas Eve and paid for 6 business day shipping.  For approx. 10 years I never went more than a few hours without working, 356 days a year and never left my house longer than Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon and I'm over it.

One might say 'Why didn't you hire help"? For a few reasons. #1 I came up with a concept and business plan that turned out anyone could start a business with no money whatsoever and become an instant success. Albeit they will have to work their freaking asses off.  This is business concept I didn't come up with as a plan. I just created a business by busting my butt and looking back after a few years I was like "Gee that was really smart. Why didn't I think of that from the beginning? LOL"

The problem was if I let anyone know what I was doing and how I was doing it, they could do the same thing and be my successful competition overnight so it's something I will take with me to my grave. Plus I didn't want employee headaches. I was fresh out of having 100+ employees and their problems became my problems.

As for the book. I dunno...I've never been a writer. I haven't first clue how to write a book and to be honest I've never even seen a Kindle. Reading books I love, but writing is for writers and I'm an Equities Trader now, so as cool as writing a book concept seems, I know me and it will probably never happen. I was just letting off a little steam writing to Ina and she asked if she could publish it because many people in my position are afraid to speak out against Ebay.

If you read my letter I clearly indicated the store will be closed by Ebay any day now. Ebay is slowly ending my auctions as they have dwindled from 4000 to 764 and I suspect by Monday when I try to log on I will not be able to. If need proof here is a copy of my last letter.


Subject: ACTION REQUIRED: Your eBay privileges have been restricted.
Date: 7/26/2012 12:05:55 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
From: collections@ebay.com
Reply To:  
To: Send IM to: Jthomas808jthomas808@aol.com
CC:  
BCC:  
Sent on:  
 

Sent from the Internet (Details)  


eBay sent this message to (Jeffrey Thomas).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.
Learn more.  
 
 ACTION REQUIRED: Your eBay privileges have been restricted.    

 

You can resolve this. Please pay your eBay Seller fees today.

Dear style-wizard:

As a reminder, your eBay seller fees of $ 4,929.96 on your style-wizard account are past due. To date, we have not received your payment.

Your account is now on hold. This means you can no longer buy or list new items on eBay. To avoid account suspension and further collection activity, you must pay the amount you owe immediately.

It's quick and easy to resolve this today.

Sign into eBay, then:
Make a one-time payment using your PayPal, Credit Card or Debit card to bring your account up-to-date.
In addition, add or update your automatic payment method to have your future payments automatically deducted each month starting with your next billing cycle.

Or, if you prefer:

Log on to eBay
Go to "My eBay" tab and sign in
Click on the "Account" tab
From there, you can:
View your account summary and invoice
Make a one-time payment using your PayPal, Credit Card or Debit card to bring your account up-to date
Update your automatic payment method on file to have your future payments automatically deducted each month starting with your next billing cycle
If you have already paid your eBay fees, please disregard this message.

Thank you,
eBay Global Collections

Frequently asked questions:

What happens if I don't pay my fees?
Your account will be restricted, which means we will remove any outstanding listings that you have on eBay and you will no longer be able to buy or sell any items on eBay or communicate with other members through eBay messages. We may continue collection efforts, which may include sending your account to a collection agency for the balance owed, credit bureau reporting and possible legal action.

I have added an automatic payment method (PayPal, bank account, credit card), but eBay has not taken out the money.
You may have added it after your monthly billing was already in process for this month. Please make a one-time payment by following the steps listed above. The automatic payment method will be used to pay your next (and future) invoices.

I do not want to pay or do not understand why I should pay.
Fees are charged for eBay listings and services. When you list an item on eBay, you may be charged an insertion fee (just as you would pay to advertise an item for sale in a newspaper). If the item sells, you are also charged a final value fee. The total cost of selling an item is the insertion fee plus the final value fee.

I have additional questions and require further support.
Please use our Help system by clicking on the Help link at the top of most eBay pages. You may also click on the Contact Us link to send an email to Customer Support.






eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Jefft
       
Sat Jul 28 12:13:00 2012
Hey Soconik,

For those that have ears, please listen. A partnership is like a marriage and if you have a bad partner your life will be miserable. If you work Ebay, Ebay is your lazy, irrational, unpredictable partner that did not take his bi-polar medication.

Ebay is the 51% partner. They tell you want to do and how to do it with no rhyme, reason or logic. They are a bad partner in the sense they do not care if you make money, lose money to go broke. Ebay does not have your best interest in mind. Heck they do not even have their own best interest in mind.

In a nut shell you are working with a psychotic-cutter and you are putting your life in their hands. My advice is to run as fast as you can away from Ebay as if King Kong was chasing you right into the arms of Google.

Google is taking over. Ebay is counting on Google to complete ''Donahoe's'' vision of the future and I'm confidant Google vision is a future without Ebay. ;-) Ebay cannot survive without Google and to Google, Ebay is nothing but a cockroach.

Jeff
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Jefft
       
Sat Jul 28 12:35:30 2012
Whoa Ed!

Seriously? Nice display of compassion and kindness. Ya see people? Ed is the type of person I would have to deal with on a daily basis. The cruel, irrational jerk that you must be kind to because they can leave you an unjust negative and hurt your business even though than transaction went smoothly.

I dunno... Maybe Ed was abused as a child, he just lost his wife or his dog got ran over but whatever reason he apparently feels it's OK to be cruel to others. Ed That's not OK. You are welcome to your opinion but if you can't be kind then I'm confidant not many people want to hear what you have to say.

It's really sad there are people out there like Ed but I'm glad I do not have to deal with them or allow them anywhere near my life any longer.  Ed I hope you get the professional help you apparently so desperately need because you sound like a very angry person that enjoy's kicking people when they are down and adding to the pain of others which is not OK.  
eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits   eBay Top Seller Calls It Quits
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sat Jul 28 13:19:25 2012
@Jefft...

Ed has issues. I'm baffled why anyone would dish-out such scorn and ridicule. Those who take such delight at the difficulties and misfortune of others are truly sociopathic. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. Ignore the haters.

Thanks for sharing your story. Although my entry into eBay was not as dire as yours, I could relate to much of what you described.

I can also relate to the irrational customers you described. It's a phenomenon that appears to be unique to eBay. Although I'm sure these type of customers exist *everywhere*... the difference is that eBay coddles and CULTIVATES them... encourages them... rewards them.

From my perspective, eBay is only interested in short-term gains... superficial ones. Even if it's not sustainable, and even if it costs MORE in the long run. ~ Ebay is not my partner in success. They no longer have the philosophy of creating an atmosphere that's safe and fair... where EVERYONE benefits when the seller is a success.

In spite of it all, I must admire your courage and your attitude. In spite of the difficulties and the unfortunate ending, it's still an inspiration to others who find themselves in a similar situation... or who may SOON find themselves in that situation.

And, I retract what I said about ''unfortunate ending''... this is actually a new beginning, a new chapter as you move forward. You've gained a lot, learned a lot... and you'll take that experience with you. Closing the chapter on eBay is not a bad thing. You've met difficult challenges before (and in my estimation, they were far worse than this) and you emerged victoriously. I have no doubt that you'll do the same thing again.

Best of luck to you!
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