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August 22, 2008

Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes

Fri Aug 22 2008 10:51:24
eBay briefed reporters and bloggers about its major August 19, 2008 announcement. Randy Smythe was one of those invited to eBay headquarters in San Jose to hear the news directly from eBay executives. Randy had been one of eBay's top PowerSellers (GlacierBayDVD) until his business failed, and he is now a consultant and blogger who also sells on Amazon.com. He joins AuctionBytes Editor Ina Steiner to discuss the significant changes and what they mean to eBay sellers. Run time: 18:37

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Readers Comments for: Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes

Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Wondering
Fri Aug 22 2008 12:12:59
If these changes are so good for ebay sellers, then why aren't you selling on ebay? If your business failed on ebay because of ebay changes, how can ebay changes be good? Gotta wonder...
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Randy Smythe
Fri Aug 22 2008 12:54:41
@wondering

These changes are good for some categories and some sellers, but they are not good for all.

I shut my business down back in Jan of 2006 before any of these changes and I'm not selling on eBay now because my model is different. I also want to wait until the changes shake out before I would consider coming back.

I found some things in these changes that I do like and so have many other sellers, but eBay sure has a long way to go.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Lee
Fri Aug 22 2008 13:07:03
Hi Randy,
I am a new member of eBay and all these changes make me nervous to try and sell things, afraid I may do something wrong and be suspended. What advice do you give newer sellers?
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Randy Smythe
Fri Aug 22 2008 13:29:38
@Lee,

It is a tough time for new sellers on eBay, things are constantly in flux. My suggestion is to not over-commit to eBay. Grow slowly so you can adjust to the changes.

There are so many unknowns through the end of the year, its probably best to sit back and observe. Concentrate listing stuff you know will sell and make you money. In January re-assess your business.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Kurt
Fri Aug 22 2008 16:21:54
Randy, Did Ebay offer explain why they are raising the final value fee so much in the Shoes and Clothing categories. I think the increase is going to put me out of business.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Randy Smythe
Fri Aug 22 2008 16:59:25
@Kurt

They didn't really explain the FVF portion while I was there. If you currently list your items in in CORE with FP then you will save fees on the front end (listing) and depending on your conversion rate you should get more bang for your listing buck. The back-end FVF was raised to compensate for the reduction in listing fees.

If STR is the same or better you should pay the same or less in total fee as a % of sales.

I also think they wanted to coax some of that store inventory out into core.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: mindelec
Fri Aug 22 2008 17:34:33
interesting interview...  finally someone "got" how for media sellers this is really an increase based upon the store selling model.

just want to point out that media is not .05, it is .15 that is discounted through the end of the year.  i'm a bookseller and while the current rate might get me to bite, the .15 is still too high.

how many hoops have we had to jump through this year?
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: mindelec
Fri Aug 22 2008 18:14:48
meant to add the media sale is not global, it only applies to books published after 1970 which have isbn numbers.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: eBuyer Feedback
Fri Aug 22 2008 19:23:59
Actually most of these recent changes benefit me as a seller which I was really surprised about.

The thing I don't understand is why are they rewarding people for selling by giving them preferential treatment?  In Computer Science we call this starvation and you generally want to avoid such things.  This creates a huge barrier for entry for new sellers and also means that if I want to corner the market in my product I better start on September 16th or I'm never going to clear out my house.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Randy Smythe
Fri Aug 22 2008 19:50:27
@mindelec

The 5 cent promo goes through the end of the year, but I have a strong feeling it will continue after that. Non-catalog product will most likely have to remain in stores.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Chris
Fri Aug 22 2008 21:06:29
Why does ebay term a DSR rating of 4 in shipping time as quickly yet that same 4 will get you blocked from selling? Seems crazy to put the future of ebay sellers in the hands of buyers who in most cases don't take the time to accurately evaluate a transaction for the DSR's or don't understand that a 4 really is not good.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Randy Smythe
Fri Aug 22 2008 21:50:11
@Chris,

This is not a defense of the DSR system but two things are happening. Buyers rate based on the scale you mentioned and they leave 4's because that is considered good.

eBay on the other hand only looks at the numbers to help differentiate sellers for Best Match.

So the number 4 doesn't mean good for eBay, it is simply a number in the calculation. That is why 4.3 is considered bad and 4.8 is considered excelllent by eBay's standards. When they run the calculation there are fewer sellers at 4.3 and at 4.8.

It is just math and they use the DSR survey to come up with the number.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: mindelec
Fri Aug 22 2008 23:40:32
@randy

you might be right, but ebay might also let it expire and wait and see how many sellers stay at the higher rate.  their whole goal seems to be to see just how much money they can wean out of sellers for the same service.

is there any logical reason that they would want to disadvantage pre-1970 books?
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: wizard85
Sat Aug 23 2008 01:38:08
You kind of fluffed over the 4.3 DSR for getting kicked off?? eBay says that 4 stars is good when the buyer is leaving them but yet if you got all GOOD stars you will be booted from eBay permenently or until the star rating increases but it can't if you can't sell .. its bad especially if your a small seller selling internationally & you get whacked for shipping speed when your at the mercy of USPS .. This is going to put many dissabled people (some dissabled military, who have found a nich selling to fill the gaps in their income on here out into the streets ..  I kind of wish Ina would look into this & do an artical about it.. I have about 12 threads that were pulled from the 8/20 board where I asked serious questions about it .. This is peoples lives & lively hoods they are destroying here with this crap .. I'd be glad to send the threads they pulled to anybody to see what serious questions they avoided ..
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: wizard85
Sat Aug 23 2008 02:05:29
I meant in the interview .. not enough attention on this 4.3 number especially when you look at the averages for the whole site .. Thank You PK
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Chris
Sat Aug 23 2008 09:09:21
Exactly Wizard and that was what I was referring to. I understand how they come to that number. I am wondering why they are trying to put the small seller out of business. It just doesn't make sense. What about the person who goes on vacation for two weeks and comes back to ship all items yet still gets a bunch of 4's and sees their average drop below 4.3 because it is calculated for only 30 days? Gone! No longer able to sell!
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Randy Smythe
Sat Aug 23 2008 15:12:08
@chris, @wizard85

I may have glossed it over becasue I honestly don't think it is as big a problem as you think. It certainly is a perception problem.

4.3 is not good when compared to the rest of this marketplace, the number ceases to mean good immediately after the buyer leaves it.

4.3 is a very small % of sellers. 1% of 1.3 million sellers is 13,000 that is the population of some towns in the US but I sure do believe that there are 13K sellers out there who shouldn't be selling onlinne.

So I glossed over it because I honestly don't believe that good sellers will be clos to that. This is just my opinion.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: wizard85
Sat Aug 23 2008 17:37:27
well maybe if you were selling there you might take more notice of the gaming that goes on with the DSR's .. A competitor can bid on your auctions & tank your DSR's  or in My case, I am a small seller but need to sell to pay bils & such or I will be homeless .. What happens I sell motorcycle parts internationally which puts me at the mercy of the POSTAL delivery system .. My DSR's run 4.8 4.8 4.7 & on delivery time 4.2 because I got dinged for 1 item with a 1 star for a package going to italy .. I almost have to sell internationally because it where my items bring the most profit (double or more than usa alone), so just selling to the USA lower 48 like BUY does is out of the question .. My biggest point is I have been a great seller for 10 years on eBay but one 30 day period with 1 bad DSR can put me out of business .. If I was selling tens of thousands small items like you then the DSR's would be of little importance because 1 bad dsr would hardly show, but when you sell in smaller volume with original pieces every single DSR  can & does effect your future & well being in some cases .. The fact that you can get all 4's & 5's can still put you below 4.3 and have you removed from eBay, 4's by eBay standard being good & on time as they tell buyers as they rate the seller .... and for many disabled people selling on eBay is a matter of survival not just a trendy thing to do .. So the DSR fiasco CAN and will put some people out into the street .... so please re-think your position ...
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: EZisSoon
Sat Aug 23 2008 18:38:30
@Randy
any time frame a seller will be restricted out of business once DSR ratings go below 4.3???? i seriously donot understand how ebay can succeed at catching up to Amazon with such rapid changes but on the other hand amazon does not have to look back because they are moving at their own pace and succeeding. i am curious and let me say Very VERY VERY super Super curious about DSR ratings because it will knock alot of sellers out of the ring and i would like to know what and how long are the suspensions or restrictions last and how is it fair and what is ebays stand on DSR ratings how has it improved buyers experience on ebay? Did ebay note that buyers experience on Amazon in excellent and sellers are happy and Amazon is doing great without any dramatic chanages in recent years. i hope you can take a neutral stand because it seems you are very impressed by ebay because they invited you so i would like you to have mindset when you stopped selling on ebay and explain these questions. Thank You.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Randy Smythe
Sat Aug 23 2008 22:57:22
@ wizard85, @EZisSoon
I've always had this postion on DSR's,but up until now I never spoke/wrote about them. At least not until you called me out wizard85.

Skip McGrath made a point to bring up protections for small sellers and they at least listened to him. I have to admit my "big seller bias" probably has a lot to do with my position.

I'll try and look at this from the small seller position, but I can't say I will change my position.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: wizard85
Sun Aug 24 2008 00:08:12
THANK YOU!! I hope you think this through and relate this to maybe Your Grandmother or Grandfather selling things they have collected over the years after they retire to supliment their income to pay for medicine or for some well deserved travel & they  list 10-12 items a month .. Or a student selling a few items a month to pay for room, board or books, it will only take 1 jerk to put them out of business .. My self I was winding down for health reasons but got jammed up from a bad shipment to Italy which got me a 1 star for shippng but 4.8+ on all the other stars .. But again, once you put real faces & life experiences to this way of cutting sellers I think you will soon discover or realize that maybe there is another way reviewing these numbers .. If they just use the method now they are stating it will be in the thousands , maybe tens of thousands of sellers wiped out.. this will cause or impact real people with real life tragic experiences ..

All I ask why not average out the numbers, That will root out the real bad sellers, i have seen many sellers with  4.2's across the board .. But i don't think my numbers 4.8  for  accuracy 4.8 for communication 4.6 for shipping cost  & a 4.2 for delivery time really creates a smoking gun or do I feel I should be cut from selling .. PLUS I do have 10 years of selling history with no problems to back it up with a 99.6% avg .. But as it goes now I will be put out of business & here in the North east means I will not be able to heat my house or feed my kids ..

The way everybody talks about these numbers it all sounds so clincal like it is all just numbers (just like the administraition talk about the dead in Iraq, numbers not names), but each number is a real live human being or family and shutting down their business is going to create real life negitive impact issues .. It would be interesting to know how many disabled veterens or disabled people who really have no other way to add to their income use this to supplement their incomes .. as well as one single mom who wrote me to thank me for trying my damndest to  put a face on the all the numbers .. The small sellers are the heart & soul of eBay ... with this course eBay is taking now it will lose that heart & soul soon .. Go review some of the shanagins  that buyers are putting good sellers through now on eBay ...  Look at the number of NPB's there are now and the number of the NPB's that are using this as a blood sport giving neg feedbacks just for the thrill .. AND the ones that buy from competitors to post low numbers to wipe out their competitors selling account .. Thank You & sorry for the long post PK      
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Me
Sun Aug 24 2008 13:57:57
Wizard
  Dude chill out. If you are worried about one person lowering your DSRs then you prolly should not be selling on eBay. Randy is right, its a small % of sellers in the boat and most likely its those sellers who should be escorted from the pool for handing out bad buyer experiences.
 Sellers need to focus on the things they can control and stop the constant whining. Its making all us sellers look like a bunch of babies!
  Wizard, if you can say "Welcome to McDonalds can I take your order" outloud then you may want to consider that as a career or if you can say "Hello" outload, Im sure Wally World would help you pay your heating bill.
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: wizard85
Sun Aug 24 2008 16:13:19
"DUDE" it's not just me & you should think that through & really crunch the numbers .. It's not me I'm worried about, I'll do just fine & I'm not wining here either, just looking out for those who don't know whats coming .. Go ahead, start crunching the numbers for real, What is there like 4 million registered sellers on eBay or there abouts, 120,000 in the USA use eBay as a primary source of income another 310,000 use eBay as a secondary income? so lets say 5% of which number were to be cut? we'll take the lowest 120,000 where 5% is 6000 real living breathing people cut, isn't 6000 people being put out of work news worthy? but that's the lowest number & not the 5% eBay is talking about.. The number is really between 21500 to 200,000 people being cut from eBay .. I know that some deserve it but if even a third of those are cut because bogus DSR's isn't that really important & should be brought to light .. If general motors cuts a few hundred jobs its all over the news .. here it's safe to say after all is said & done 7000 real live breathing people are about to get the ax from eBay that don't deserve it .. Real live breathing people many who have been here up to 10 years wth 100% feedback, building an eBay business who may have no alternative for a source of income to feed their families .. for no other reason but one bad DSR even though they may have 10 years perfect selling record..

Your answer "get a job at wlley world" what a lame thing to say to somebody who put 10 years into eBay & myself have been a powerseller for 9 of those 10 years & always held a 99.2% or higher feedback .. can you feed a house hold of 4 people on the income from walley world? but to a vet who has a leg shot off in Iraq or to the single mother who choses to work at home on her eBay business because then she doesn't have to put her child in child care which cost more than your pay from your walley world ..

You have to look at this from other peoples perspective, not just the narrow minded mind set you have your self & that BS responce you gave, this is not a video game .. this is going to devitate a lot of people even make some people homeless .. It's several thousand, real living breathing people that "WILL" be put into devistating circumstances due to this sweeping the 5% out the door will no real review of their situations & if there bad DSR rating may be that of a bogus buyer just playing games on eBay like we have seen so much of since this rating came to be .. OR where like in the shipping DSR's where the actual reason for the DSR fall is out of their control like in shipping speed where the seller is at the mercy of the postal system ..

"me" as you signed in I'm glad you are doing well, but many others aren't as lucky as you & don't have as many options .. to many this is really a matter of life or death..
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Obama Rules
Sun Aug 24 2008 23:25:13
Wizard
 Be sure to vote Democrat in November. Obama is bringing change to Washington. Maybe he will be able to help all those people that eBay is screwing!

PS its America. Go to work and quit yer bellyaching!
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: brena
Tue Aug 26 2008 15:46:02
i think that wizard is dead on balls accurate there!  i have 100% FB and have been restricted on the searches!  eBay has screwed me for the last time and i am checking out other sites, but the truth is, they don't have the following, so it is not comparable in that respect.  but at least they don't put the screws to the small guys!
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: wizard85
Tue Aug 26 2008 19:23:01
Thank You!! What's the difference if your booted out of your job you have been at for 10 years, like as an auto worker in Detroit or a steel worker in PA or getting booted off eBay, eBay is still my job!! Its still 10's of thousands of people are about to be put out of their "JOB" .. I can't believe how the news services don't get this & its being treated so lightly .. If GM lays off 100 people it's front page news!! There is a large percentage of the 5% being kicked off with 98%-100% + feedback, with people happy to the point where their star for satisfied with their purchase star at 4.7-4.9 .. but got tanked for shipping stars for which they have no control ... eBay says 4 star means you are happy & satisfied with your purchase & 5 stars is for beyond good!! You can & will get booted off if you get all 4 stars rating with no negs?? .. I don't care how you twist it, those are eBay's words .. If your are an international seller you have 1 strike against you before you list.. USPS shipping time!!


I'm 55 years old, so It's not like I can just go out & get another job tomorrow where I can make a $1000.00 a week on .. & its not my performance & product that is called into play here, it's the delivery time of USPS that tanked my DSR's ... There's not much out there for a 55 year old machinist with 1 leg .. I think the fact I have 10 years in here & a feedback rating of more than 99.6% feedback (before they refactored it) should hold some weight whether or not I get booted & I think it should count for others as well .

 well enought that ..
 
Which of these 2 sellers should be booted off eBay ...

1)  http://tinyurl.com/6lkhfv  

2)  http://tinyurl.com/5pk3wp


It's a trick question.. One is a mother who got booted off for 5% bad performance even though when they canceled her 300 auctions her feedback was 99.4% & her DSR's were fantastic by eBay's standards .. I saw that the feedback changed over nite but yet there was no new feedback entered on the page at that time .. I think when I called Griff & lulu's attention to why was she  booted, it it may have caused a rift & it dropped more .. But sill in the 98.6 area i think ..

Now to the other where the buyer satisfaction is very good, but the guy is a car dealer here near where I live & he has bad shipping DSR's? He sells mostly cars? with buyer pickup? Most people must think that 3 is a neutral number for shipping if they pick the truck up there?? all his DSR's run in the 4.8+ range other than his shipping dsr with 100% feedback, but with the new policy he is about to be cut from ebay ..

So the truth is that both sellers are or will be gone soon :( ?? tell me why?? PK
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Michael Weiss
Thu Aug 28 2008 14:35:15
Randy wrote:
"4.3 is a very small % of sellers. 1% of 1.3 million sellers is 13,000."

The number is closer to 30 percent. According to Ebay's Top 100 worldwide seller stats, 40 percent of Ebay's 20 TOP INTERNATIONAL SELLERS have a 4.3 or LESS in one or more catagories. You can see this for yourself on Sellerdome. Ebay is lying to you...

Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: The Wizard
Sat Aug 30 2008 00:28:31
I want you boys & girls to get your paper & pencils out to do a little math .. According to Griff & several others on the eBay site a 4.3 DSR & lower in any category represents 4%-5% of the very bottom sellers .. OK write that down .. Griff & the team also state that if you offer free shipping the average DSR for you will be 4.8 average .. now that's FREE shipping .. acording to the sellers dash board the average site DSR for shipping time is 4.62 and the average S&H COST DSR is 4.59 .. OK write those down in your equasion .. Now i have scanned many a auction & I have never seen an active seller with less than a 3.9 DSR ever, I'm sure there maybe a few but its got to be a low count ... Now figure this all together .. What would the numbers be like if ONLY 4% of the sellers are below 4.3 but the site average is 4.59 OR 4.62 and free shippers got 4.8 .. Can somebody plot this out & give some numbers to this delema? ... I'm guessing that some where somebody may have smudged a number?? Just curious ..
Blogger Randy Smythe on Recent eBay Changes   Comment left by: Bill
Fri Oct 17 2008 13:22:53
Ya gotta love pro-ebay advice from one who failed on ebay!!!
 

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