EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 150 - September 04, 2005 - ISSN 1528-6703     8 of 8

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters from Readers

In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From feedback to payment services, from increased fees to posting policies, AuctionBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.


I receive your newsletter and was one of the eBay Live attendees who also visited Alibaba and participated in the MP3 contest. I won. This week I received an email that mine was one of four names chosen.

I was about to put an entry in one of the discussion forums and I'm not sure which one I should use - I'm curious if any of your readers have been to China, if they have perhaps attended any trade shows there. (The contest pays for my air travel but I believe I handle the hotel & other arrangements; your reader's feedback would help.)

Do you have any suggestions where I could start asking for feedback?


Dear Ina,
I wanted to ask you this question, why is that bidders wait till the very last minute now to bid, than a few years back you saw bidders right away. I do understand about the snipe program (which I think never should have been allowed on Ebay, it has taken all the fun out of bidding to lose by 50 cents), plus its no longer an auction between two bidders, its a mechanical auction, anyway.

For instance I have some very inexpensive things on right now, with starting bid of $2.98 etc., I can see they are on someone's watch list, at that starting bid. What's the point of watching and waiting. It's a question many Ebayers have been asking this past year.


Hi Ina,
I was just suspended from ebay. I don't know why, they didn't email me or notify me in any way. I don't even know what I have done. I've been an ebay seller since 99 and have around 1600 feedback at 99.6% positive. ...

I'm not a big seller, so I know that I probably don't matter to them. I have emailed them asking what happened, but the response was that it will take 24 to 48 hours to contact me back. This is taking away from my business and I don't even know why. This just doesn't seem right to me. It appears that I have been convicted before the trial, so to speak. I contacted Live Help asking what was wrong and they couldn't help me just gave me a link to the email, which I had already done. They don't have phone support. I wonder why that is. I would be more than happy to be able to call them to get this straightened up so I can get back to business. Is there anything that you know that I can do to find out what I have done or what is wrong? Any help would be appreciated.

I really feel that my business must not matter to them. I have always paid my fees and have been a very good seller. This just seems totally unfair to me.

Thanks for listening.


We received several letters from readers regarding our announcement that Verizon subscribers are now receiving AuctionBytes newsletters again:

I'm so glad to be getting your emails again!
Christie & Patrick

Welcome back! I thought that you had gone out of business. Had no idea that Verizon was blocking you.


Re: Double Your Pleasure, Double Your eBay User IDs

Hi Ina,
A recent issue of your newsletter quoted a big eBay seller who uses multiple IDs. As I understood it, he specifically stated that when he (started to???) use a Store, his AUCTION sales percentages declined significantly. This was presumably because the store items were "hiding" the auction items. He divided into two (or more?) IDs for auctions vs store and apparently his sales percentages went back up.

This caught my attention.

In May/June 2004, we started using an eBay store and our AUCTION sales CRASHED (from 40-45% down to 15-20%). We thought is was a "summer problem" and thus we stopped AUCTION selling for the summer (we sell stamps). We tried to restart AUCTIONS in September and then again in October, but AUCTION sales never recovered past about 30%. (Our product mix was similar, we kept the mix fresh with new material, and we continued to do our own email advertising to our own list of 3500 clients.) Even at 30% sales, it was completely uneconomical; we were paying eBay $1300/month and not making any money. Also the store sales were DISMAL. Thus we eventually closed our store and did NOT attempt to again restart selling by AUCTION on eBay.

Since we have an extensive mail order/Internet business anyway, I simply reassigned auction staff to further building up our website (with very good results).

Someday we will experiment again with eBay, however, eBay has to prove itself economically viable for us AND be "nice" to deal with. Every time I have a problem with eBay and/or PayPal, I feel like I have to take a shower to get the stink off me. (Sorry, but it how I end up feeling after dealing with them.)

Now I am wondering if the auction/store issue may have been the cause. I can't prove anything - it is all anecdotal. However, maybe this is something you can investigate and ask other readers to let you know of their experiences. Maybe there is something to this???


Regarding "eBay Adds Family, Roommates and Employees to Shill-Bidding List"

Ebay continues to make up rules as they go (and claims violating them is a "crime" that will be referred to law enforcement.) While once allowing consignors to bid on their own lots, Ebay decided that it's a crime, despite real auction houses and the Uniform Commercial Code providing that right. Most recently, Ebay thinks that if a bidder knows the consignor, and thus might have "inside information" about the quality of an item, that it is also a "crime." Somebody should tell Meg that Pez dispensers are not stocks and bonds.

Do you think Ebay is going to call the FBI on one of their biggest "live auction" partners? (Link modified)

Consignors or their agents may be permitted to bid on their own lots in the sale and may receive a rebate commission in whole or part if successful.

... may have access to information concerning the lot(s) that is not otherwise available to the public. Any claimed conflict of interest or claimed competitive advantage resulting therefrom is expressly waived by all participants in the Sale.

You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to and either link to the original article or to
All other use is prohibited.