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Mon Oct 4 2010 15:40:13

Homepage Letter from eBay CEO Kicks off Holiday Marketing

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay took an unusual step on Monday when it posted a letter from CEO John Donahoe on its homepage. The letter contains a special message for shoppers informing them of the company's Buyer Protection policy, which covers purchase price plus original shipping.

The letter takes up the entire homepage except for a category list in the left column, and features a picture of a smiling Donahoe, who signs off with a friendly message, "On behalf of our employees and 25 million eBay sellers around the world, thanks for shopping with us."

The home page messaging is part of a multi-million dollar marketing campaign designed to inspire consumer confidence in the marketplace by raising awareness around eBay's Buyer Protection policy. In addition to the special CEO message on the eBay.com homepage, the campaign includes postcard mailers and coverage across the web.



Lynda Talgo, Senior Director of eBay Buyer Protection, told users in an announcement that it was eBay's goal to "make sure buyers, both current and new, know that eBay Buyer Protection has them covered, so they'll have the confidence they need to do even more of their shopping on eBay.com this busy holiday season."

She also said the marketing push "comes at a great time for sellers, as we've announced recent and upcoming enhancements to feedback and eBay Buyer Protection designed to ensure that seller performance ratings truly reflect the great service they provide."

eBay's Buyer Protection policy is outlined on this page.

Update 10/5/10: AuctionBytes conducted a podcast interview with Lynda Talgo about the marketing campaign. She revealed eBay would send 1 million postcards and 27 million emails to buyers informing them of the Buyer Protection program as well as placing advertising across the Web. Also see today's Newsflash article.

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by: Change we CAN'T believe in

Tue Oct 5 07:24:55 2010

One thing eBay does not do ( INTENTIONALLY ) is educate the buyers in bold writing that buyer protection does NOT cover buyer remorse !

So these knee jerk buyers think they are covered for being angry at themselves for buying an item accurately described.

Really ebay, you make us sellers life a living hell, and Donahoe says Dear eBay shoppers ?

How about Donahoes face on a letter saying Dear eBay sellers ? Saying I am sorry for punishing all you decent folk sellers, and decimating your income the last 3 years cause of the few bad apples ?

Again eBay HIGHLIGHT or make it stand out for these dumb buyers that BUYER REMORSE is not a valid reason that is covered from Buyer Protection !

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This user has validated their user name. by: Nan

Tue Oct 5 09:26:28 2010

@On Lies and Secrets re: the Tony Hayward reference.
I got the same creepy feeling when I saw the home page.

If JoDon is going to follow BP's failed attempt at confidence building, he should have kept his face and his 'heartfelt' (gak) message off the front page and, instead, featured some of the excellent sellers that are still at eBay making money.

Or maybe he couldn't find one.

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by: v wilkie

Tue Oct 5 09:27:15 2010

Obviously, JD is not a popular guy. Want to know why folks who sell on ebay are so outraged? Read the open letter to JD on auctionbytes. It is ALL there! This ship needs to be turned around or they might as well ship it to China!

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by: Step by step

Tue Oct 5 10:18:39 2010

Translation: "Those bad sellers, we will rip them off so you do not have to"  Here ye Here ye, all scammers aboard the eBay ways to commit fraud boat.  Come to eBay and use PayPal where we teach buyers to become criminals.

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by: Rick1313

Tue Oct 5 10:23:13 2010

To change we CAN'T believe in above post.

Actually, eBay can not state that buyer's remorse is not covered by the site literature, titled ''Buyer Protection Policy'', simply because it is now somewhat covered.

I wonder how many sellers actually know the vast amount of changes that eBay.com did to BPP and the site literature with the heading ''YOUR USER AGREEMENT''.

Both had changes with a start date of Sept/07/2010.

In the case of the BPP, one such change was in their handling of buyer's remorse cases.

In the old one, it stated (and I am quoting from the hard copy I have on file), quote...

''Moreover, a good faith dispute does not include buyer's remorse (that is, the item delivered was as described in the item description, but you no longer want the item regardless of the reason)''.

Unquote.

That's it. Buyer shuts the door on the buyer, protecting the seller.

Now, let's see what eBay.com has added to it, shall we?

The above clause is still there in its entirety, but this now immediately follows it, quote (bold caps mine)...

''However, even in a case of buyer remorse the buyer may OPEN A CASE  and EBAY MAY REFUND the buyer and RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE SELLER if at any point AFTER THE SALE IS COMPLETED, the seller AGREES IN WRITING through eBay messages to provide a refund upon receiving a return from the buyer. Once the buyer returns the item using appropiate tracking, THE BUYER MAY OPEN A CASE AND EBAY MAY REFUND THE BUYER AND RECOUP FROM THE SELLER. If, however, a buyer returns an item without agreement from the seller through eBay's messages. we will not cover the buyer's case for the return and will not hold the seller accountable (even if the seller's original eBay listing stated a return policy).

Unquote.

Quite a mouthfull, hmmmmm?

What is the impact on seller who, in goog faith, agrees to accept a return on buyer's remorse purchase?

1. Buyer may send back a damaged item (or something completely different) and it will then be handled like a regular Item Not As Describe case by eBay.com. That is, eBay does not require that eBay must wait for seller to say everthing is okay with the return. Buyer just shipping back something is enough for eBay.com.

Any seller allowing this ''out for buyer'' must really be sure about the buyer (not a scammer) and their packing skills.

2. eBay.com has transferred the possible backlash from buyer to seller instead of themselves. In the old BPP, eBay.com said no to the buyer in case of buyer's remorse (seller had it, to back up denying the return). Now, it will be seller saying no to buyer, instead of eBay, as seller cannot use the BPP to say that they have eBay.com's full support in refusing the return.

3. This is the one I ''like''. When buyer returns item, eBay.com says that buyer should open a case to get full transaction payment refund.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Full reimbursement! Even shipping cost? Shouldn't it be just reimbursement of purchase price (and prorated sales tax if applicable)?

Why would a seller want to lose out on S&H cost because of buyer's remorse?

Try again eBay.com.

4. Another good one. You say, ''Okay! Return item'', to buyer. Once buyer ships it back, buyer opens a case to get back money.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!

Is this eBay.com open case now counting against me for giving buyer something eBay says I did not have to do in the first place?

Try again, eBay.com.

So, to sum up, as eBay,inc. likes plastering how sellers and buyers should be acting in good faith in the transaction process, it seems that eBay,inc. does not feel obligated to return the good faith with their ''trading partner'', the seller.

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by: Rick1313

Tue Oct 5 10:28:21 2010

Correction to my post above...

I meant to say...

That's it, EBAY.COM shuts the door on the buyer, protecting the seller.

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by: buck efay

Tue Oct 5 10:45:35 2010

Whenever you see a huckster like this 2 faced git saying trust me, it's time to grab yer shotgun or run for the hills, you are about to get screwed! Funny how the other sites advertise selection & promote goods, while feeblebay has to promote fake buyer protection. I wish the average buyer was smart enough to understand Buyer protection only applies to US sold goods, since the vast majority of fraudsters are now in China or the orient, and thanks to Ebay negotiating with China Post, the sellers get free tracking, but you'll have to pay $40 to return that POS to them with tracking in China. That's how BUY avoids giving refunds on the 500 negative transcations(like the ones on the Ebay Daily DeaL Heavy steel pots that hundreds in neg f/b noted were thin tin) they have a month on ebay. Were Ebay serious about "Buyer Prptection" they would kick off BUY. But Guff said stated as a percentage of their sales, 500 customers robbed a month is only a small percentage of them, and Ebay has no problem with that.

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by: Rick1313

Tue Oct 5 10:49:05 2010

And add to this what eBay now says is not EXTORTION, quote....

''A buyer says he or she will leave negative Feedback or low detailed seller ratings (DSR's) unless the seller accepts a return and pays for the return.''

Unquote.

So you agree to accept the return, but then eBay will allow buyer to demand their return shipping costs also be reimbursed with no fear of being penalized by eBay.

In fact, eBay will allow buyer to penalize the seller.

My, my, my!

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by: 348038

Tue Oct 5 11:52:08 2010

Sure, trust ebay. Trust Donahoe.

ebay database & employees fall victim to phishing attacks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKsZKQb21YU

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by: Rick1313

Tue Oct 5 12:12:11 2010

I forgot to add....

5. eBay.com is allowing buyer to open a dispute, after shipping back the item, even though they do not have the seller's authorization to do so.

Again, is this opened case counting against the seller?

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by: JD

Tue Oct 5 12:12:17 2010

To me this just says to customers that ebay is NOT a safe place to buy, if they have to greet you with a shield/police type emblem, and tell you that they will "protect" you from BAD sellers. What kind of a message is this? I would not as a buyer want to shop here! Its bad enough that there are still many people out there paranoid about buying anything online, this message just reaffirms their fears. This is the same old 'one size fits all' attitude that ebay has to solving problems. If a few bad apples misbehave, lets take the lazy/cheap way of correcting the problem by creating rules that punish ALL sellers instead of actively weeding out the bad ones. This place sucks. Over time I see how others such as myself have developed this animosity towards ebay, they deserve it.

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by: thinkingman1962

Tue Oct 5 12:13:10 2010

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for the (I don't know) eighth or ninth time but never again, shame on me.  A leopard can't change its spots.  Hope you don't have any luck fooling more people.

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by: Allison Wanda Lande

Tue Oct 5 12:31:21 2010

Someone Wrote: ''To me this just says to customers that ebay is NOT a safe place to buy''

EXACTLY!

Imagine this: An amusement park posts big signs at the entrance and throughout the park stating... ''Your children are safe from the sexual molesters in our amusement park. And if anything does happen, we'll take care of it.''

After reading such a ''reassuring'' sign, do you think ANY RATIONAL PERSON would bring their children inside?

Same principle applies here.

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by: make it stop

Tue Oct 5 12:55:04 2010

Wow, why am I not surprised?

They've been trying every way possible to screw sellers, and this is just another example of how they're doing it. It makes me (an honest, hardworking seller for a decade that gives 100% effort for good customer service)look like I'm just another one of ebay's crook sellers!!! My customers don't need to be protected--if they have a problem, I'm always more than willing to work with the buyer. Apparently, that's not enough.

If only they'd taken the millions they are spending on this marketing campaign and spent it where it's really needed: driving buyer traffic to the site; improving seller relations and getting the counterfeits off ebay!

How ironic it is that ebay has openly allowed millions of counterfeit goods to flood the marketplace in the last couple of years...this last year is especially bad.  And now they actually believe that by offering ''buyer protection'' that they (the buyers) are guaranteed to not get fake merchandise? Hate to tell you John, but you WILLINGLY allowed the counterfeit goods to flood your site, and no amount of buyer protection will save your sorry a$$ now.

Just go. NOW. You've done more than enough damage in your tenure. And don't let the door hit ya...

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by: Dman

Tue Oct 5 12:59:11 2010

Why do I have this strange feeling that more buyers will steal from me this holiday season than ever before?

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by: Steve

Tue Oct 5 13:22:25 2010

The words "trust me" flanked by Donahoe's photo.  Hilarious.

Will this man ever take responsibility for what he did to eBay?

Can't wait for him to march out again when the next earnings come out to blame someone or something for eBay's woes.    Shameless

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by: jsgeare This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 13:40:27 2010

Now let me see if I understand this: JD spent thousands of dollars with the Harris organization to learn that most buyers feel better about buying from a site with a buyer protection plan than buying from a site without one. Who knew?! I wonder if I could sell John on a survey to determine the percentage of people who think gravity tends to make things fall to earth as opposed to those who believe gravity tends to make things levitate from the ground and float in mid air.

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by: byebyebay

Tue Oct 5 13:44:31 2010

I never understood how ebay has this idea that all buyers aren't sellers and all sellers aren't buyers. Hey big JD probably 1/2 of all ebay buyers also sell on ebay regularly. You anger one side you're angering both. I know of many many who fit that category who left when they came up with this pointless positive only for the buyer and this DSR garbage. So you lost not only a good seller but also a good buyer.

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by: Helen Highwater

Tue Oct 5 13:55:03 2010

In Ina's podcast interview, Lynda Talgo said: ''Our research shows us that shoppers who are familiar with eBay Buyer Protection spend double with our sellers than people who aren't aware of it spend, and they're 30% more likely to recommend eBay to friends and family. It's a win for eBay and definitely a win for the sellers too.''

This statement is a fallacy because it draws a conclusion from premises that do not support that conclusion. For example:

-- Argument: If it rains, the ground gets wet. The ground is wet, therefore it rained.
-- Problem: There are other ways by which the ground could get wet (e.g. dew, water sprinkler).

Her statement is carefully crafted to imply a causal relation. Here's another example of this type of argument:

-- Argument: More cows die in India in the summer months. More ice cream is consumed in summer months. Therefore, the consumption of ice cream in the summer months is killing Indian cows.

-- Problem: It is hotter in the summer, resulting in *both* the death of cows and the consumption of ice cream.

What Ms. Talgo clearly wants us to believe is that people shop more *BECAUSE OF* the eBay Buyer Protection. That's what she's implying. However, she fails to provide evidence of this correlation... there is no cause-and-effect.

What she wants us to believe is that ''A causes B'' ... or ''the Buyer Protection program *causes* people to spend more''.

However, a more plausible explanation would be that those eBay shoppers who spend the most money on eBay are the ones who ALSO spend a lot of time on eBay. As a result, they are more likely to have clicked on a with information about the Buyer Protection program. (In other words: The fact that they spend so much time on eBay increases the likelihood that they've come across information about the program.)

Further... these ''30% more'' shoppers are probably more experienced shoppers who know how to spot the tell-tale signs of shady sellers, and therefore don't need to worry about being taken advantage of. So it makes sense that these well-seasoned and sophisticated shoppers would have no qualms about recommending eBay.

Ms. Talgo has offered ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF to convince me that the Buyer Protection Program (in and of itself) is the actual reason that these particular shoppers spend 30% more.

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by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 5 14:04:32 2010

How much nicer it would have been if he published something like this:

Ebay welcomes shoppers to our 2010 holiday season.  We hope you will shop with us and take advantage of our millions of sellers who stand ready to offer you the very best service and the very best items. We are a unique storehouse crammed full of new or used electronics, clothing, housewares, etc. as well as rare hard to find vintage items...all in one spot for your shopping convenience. If its not on Ebay, perhaps it doesn't exist.

In the rare event a transaction should go wrong, we stand ready, through our unique new Ebay Buyer Protection program, to get with both the buyer and the seller to make things right.

Welcome...enjoy our site and our offerings and have a pleasant holiday season.

JD

Then he should shake out some of that moldy off shore money and at least take a full page ad with the same thing in each major newspaper across the country!  Let people know Ebay is still in existence!

I've just given the boob good advertising worth its weight in gold!

NEVER ONCE has he included the sellers - NEVER ONCE has he even said a nice word about the sellers.  Since he has been in office he's turned things around alright - to make sellers look like criminals...which is why so many good ones left.  The real criminals will never leave on their own - they are the ones who need to be ousted.

PS:  a good motto for them:

''If its not on Ebay...perhaps it doesn't exist''

sounds familiar to me but I can't place it.

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