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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 250 - November 01, 2009 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 7

AuctionBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor

By Ina Steiner

November 01, 2009

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

Send your letter to the editor by emailing ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line. (Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear.)


We have TRS status and used to sell around $1500 per day, but on September 26th our sales went down by around 80% literally overnight; we assumed this would be a temporary glitch, but a month and our best efforts later, we can see little change. Is something going on or do we just pack and move to Amazon. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Ina,
I would just like to say that Amazon has shown John Donahoe and Ebay that its not all the economy. I also would like to congratulate all of your readers and bloggers who have said all along that Ebay should have been prospering in the bad economy as people bought used, refurbished and clearance to cut there spending.

This is little consolation for the people who lost their ebay businesses or have lost income due to his interference and his constant ill thought out changes, but it should bring a smile to their face a little awhile. I think that if all of us who were sellers or are leaving ebay know that this man is way too stubborn to admit he is wrong, so they is no hope of ebay returning to be king again.

John Donahoe as of yesterday is still touting his TRS program which is the nightmare that is just beginning and his stories about sales, listings and users being up just are not true. I called ebay "ebayron" a year ago and we are about to see that come to fruition.


I would like to comment about the new DSR program currently in use by ebay. I am a power seller but not a top rated seller and have over 1500 feedbacks at 100%.

I feel ebay has done this DSR program to give their very high volume sellers an additional advantage over us normal sellers by changing the search results and to move us on down the line so the very high sellers can sell more.

Ebay use to be so much fun. Everyone paid their listing fees and so far as I know we all paid the same amount per item and than we all had an equal chance at sales in the normal rotation depending on a 3,5,7,10 or30 day listing and by the buyer reviewing our feedback. Bad sellers had bad feedback and buyers could stay away from those sellers…..and it was their own fault.

Now a buyer that sells say for example cd's could buy a cd from me who sells cd's and give me a 1 for no reason other than to eliminate other sellers. These very high volume sellers can absorb the 1-2 by the sheer volume that they sell and have a huge advantage over the low volume mon and pop sellers.

With this current DSR program the normal feedback system is useless and ebay has given an advantage to them over others sellers. Why do I want to spend 4/5 hundred dollars per month, have a store if I am so far down the chain in searches that I have no sales. My current sales have dropped off from 10-17 items per day to 2-8 items per day.. I do not call that a level playing field because I do not have the large numbers to off set the percentage of any 1 or 2's that or if I am given for what ever reason.

Another problem I see is if a buyer buyers a item from me I am required to sell/and ship it, and that is just fine but when that buyer is also a seller selling the same items as I do that they can leave what ebay says is anonymous feedback in the DSR's and glowing feedback in the regular feedback system thrust helping them selves by removing competition.

I am a good seller, I take great pain in giving a good product but I feel I am now wasting both my time and money in this unfair ebay DSR system.


Dear Ina,
I recently read a comment by a reader on your site regarding choice of name for a new auction venue. The reader suggested that without a hip, catchy name, any new website was doomed to fail. There is so much more to building and promoting any new business than just choosing the right name. Here are a few thoughts on SEO and e-marketing.

As a web designer, I get a lot of customers asking about the effectiveness of SEO (search engine optimization). Unfortunately there are a number of unscrupulous search engine optimizers who will manipulate search engine ranking, over-promise results, or simply oversell services to naive Web entrepreneurs.

As a result, many website owners confuse SEO with plain old marketing and promotion. Consider, what good is pretty HTML code if you don't have visitors coming to your website? You still need to get your message out in front of customers! SEO is just one factor among many that will determine the success of your web-based business.

Although the Internet does have many natural advantages, the idea that establishing a website will cause an immediate stampede of customers is a misperception. Any seller who wants to make a showing on the Internet should establish their own presence and begin to build their own brand. This is especially true of eBay sellers who feel like big fish in a little bowl. The ready availability of open-source, cookie cutter-style ecommerce sites puts web store ownership within easy reach of everyone.
Steven Arnold, Foothill Web Design


Ina, Have you seen the latest scam from Ebay: (link). The catch is you pay the fees and the donation, and you will receive a credit in 1/10.

Nice way to pump up this quarter's revenue, huh?


Also visit the Letters to the Editor Blog, here are links to letters published from October 18 to present:

Buyer Angry at Seller over eBay's Unpaid-Item Dunning (October 30, 2009) - Link to letter

eBay Needs to Get Back to Basics (October 29, 2009) - Link to letter

eBay DSRs Hurt by USPS Media Mail Restrictions (October 27, 2009) - Link to letter

eBay, Clear as Mud (October 26, 2009) - Link to letter

Special Treatment for eBay UK Outlet Stores (October 25, 2009) - Link to letter

Sitting Out the Season (October 22, 2009) - Link to letter

It's Not Easy to Ask eBay Sellers a Question (October 21, 2009) - Link to letter

eBay Number of Registered Users Inaccurate? (October 18, 2009) - Link to letter

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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