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eBay Looks for Volunteer Mentors to Help New Sellers

eBay sellers were astounded to hear that the marketplace expected them to consider helping mentor new sellers for free. An eBay moderator started a thread in the discussion forums last week announcing a new eBay Mentorship Program and asking if weekends or weekdays were better for those interested in participating and what hours they’d be willing to work.

Some eBay sellers were annoyed that eBay would suggest its users provide a service without compensation – particularly since attracting new sellers has the potential to add new competitors.

Some said eBay’s own customer service staff didn’t provide accurate, consistent answers and suggested the priority should be fixing those problems if eBay wished to help new sellers.

Others were irritated that eBay would use the discussion boards to propose such an idea since the participants were already providing free help to other sellers on a daily basis.

eBay has a program called the eBay Education Specialist to help experts make a career helping others sell on its marketplace, though it’s not clear if eBay still supports the program. The current move to launch a mentoring program that competes with its Education Specialist trainers is similar to eBay eliminating the Trading Assistant program and replace it with eBay Valet, which competes with independent consignment sellers on eBay.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.