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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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Perminate Link for Homepage Letter from eBay CEO Kicks off Holiday Marketing   Homepage Letter from eBay CEO Kicks off Holiday Marketing

by: summer in the city

Tue Oct 5 15:58:14 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.''


Thirty percent more likely!
Whoop de ding dong doo. Let's throw a party.

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by: Helen H.

Tue Oct 5 16:21:24 2010

summer in the city comments: "Thirty percent more likely! Whoop de ding dong doo. Let's throw a party."

Indeed! It's not as though those people are recommending ME personally. And even if they were limiting their recommendation to just one seller, it only means that they they're "more likely" to recommend... it doesn't mean that they actually DO recommend.

It also doesn't mean that any of those recommendations turn into visits to eBay... and it's even LESS LIKELY that those visits turn into actual sales.

This is a case where an eBay rep is cooking (and interpreting) some cockeyed non-scientific survey results to fit the message of the day.

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by: RIck1313

Tue Oct 5 17:14:38 2010

I'm still waiting to see eBay,inc. put in print or have some news organization ask eBay,inc./eBay.com, how exactly the Buyer Protection Plan jibes with what eBay.com has in their site literature with the heading, ''Your User Agreement''.

In the liability section, eBay,inc./eBay.com states, quote...

''We are not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers.''

Unquote.

How can eBay,inc./eBay.com NOT call refunding a buyer's payment and then expect seller to pay eBay.com back, as taking part in the transaction?

Any seller who has had a BPP dispute opened on them and had eBay.com do such an action should seek having eBay.com refund the monies involved or a more ''civil'' solution will be persued.

If any BPP cases are currently pending or will be opened up, I would suggest that affected sellers insist that eBay.com uses the out clause that is on all eBay,inc. sites.

Specifically, that eBay,inc/eBay.com finds neither seller nor buyer at fault and eBay will reimburse the buyer from eBay's pocket, not the seller's.

If not, then it will be time to show ebay,inc. some ''civil'' manners.

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by: Rick1313

Tue Oct 5 17:24:25 2010

Companies like eBay,inc. will formulate/tailor ''surveys'' and ''fact finding missions'' to get the response results/findings they want, to justify that they are proceeding to everyones benefit and further their planned agenda that it aimed at only benefiting themselves.

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by: Average Bowler

Tue Oct 5 17:36:36 2010

I'll bet a dollar that eBay has already modified their terms of service to allow this type of transaction interference and manipulation.

All they have to do is add a few cleverly worded clauses and our continued use of eBay AFTER the date that the revised terms go into effect is an indication of our approval of those new terms.

Sellers have no legal recourse when it comes to eBay's current policy being in conflict with earlier policies (or promises) to not interfere with transactions.

IOW: We're screwed.

I often wonder why eBay so strongly encourages sellers to state a returns policy. Such declarations by sellers are 100% worthless when eBay will override our returns policies.

When we (try to) sell on eBay, our returns policy is dictated to us by eBay.

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by: Digby

Tue Oct 5 19:11:39 2010

Gee, three pages and once again not one comment supporting the idea.

Do ebay shareholders every read these comments ?


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by: Bye Bye eBay

Tue Oct 5 21:19:35 2010

We've got you covered?  

You do?

Does this man (JD) have any idea as to the level of customer service that eBay is providing (or more aptly - not providing) both buyer and seller?

We've got you covered?  Heavens - your call centers can't even deal with your existing business, your existing clients - you want to bring in more? I’m all for growth - we all need sales, but how about  servicing your existing client base FIRST? Then see what sort of business is generated from that!

Last week I called customer service to speak to someone about opening / moving my items into store format. I wanted to open a store. To spend more money as a seller. You’d think eBay would like that, right?

The tiered store system is hard to understand, ok, call me dumb. I can't figure out which level would be best for me. So I began in the chat window, waited almost 30 minutes and was then told by a CSR to call the main service number and someone there would walk me through the process. Ok, I won’t grip about this, only  1/2 hour  lost.

I called the 1800 number given and waited 85 minutes on hold. When the CSR finally answered my call, I was politely told me he could not help me and directed me back to chat! He also did not end the call with eBay's famous line:
"Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

He spent less than two minutes minutes on the phone with me!   At this point I had invested almost 2 hours and was no further ahead! This is such a common theme when dealing with eBay - I just can’t stand it anymore. I decided to take that two hours - and invest it in my web store. Screw it. If eBay doesn’t want my business - fine.

Mr Donahoe, one of these days, please pick up the phone using an anonymous number, and try calling your client service centres. Spend an hour (or two!) waiting to speak to someone. See how they deal with your problems. Then come back on the front entry page and tell me you’ve got us covered again. Without fibbing this time!

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by: Donewithebay

Tue Oct 5 21:53:31 2010

I woke up this morning and I had been laughing in my sleep. A good sign! And I'm sure a direct result of quitting ebay after 13 years.
Being a creature of habit, I still look just to see what is going on at the old "E". Good grief, saw the homepage...is it even possible to pull any more stupid tricks out of the Don-ho bag?
Right at the end of my long ebay career I had 3 non-paying bidders and 3 disputes. And I thought right then enough is truly enough...I am out of here!
All I can say is god help the sellers who try to tough it out because complaints, charge-backs, disputes, thievery, and general unfairness is going to esculate dramatically.
Just another tiny thought...didn't the president of marketing just "step down"?
Well, now we've got the Don beating a dead horse with renewed gusto...same old policies that didn't work.  Maybe he thinks if he kicks that horse hard enough it might come back to life.

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by: Change we CAN'T believe in

Tue Oct 5 22:38:05 2010

@bye bye ebay , don't feel bad their customer service is a damn joke !

I waited 2 hours to be disconnected !

Those reps that speak english as a 2nd language are of absolutely no value to any sellers concerns

I truly think John Donahoe thinks he has turned ebay around, and is doing an awesome job !

Let's face it, eBay is dead, a thing of the past, it was dying before Donahoe, he just sped up the process !

Selelrs are getting screwed right and left, leaving right and left, and Donahoe can't get it through his head, without sellers, there is no salary for him !

I have wasted enough of my life on eBay, especially the last 3 years, I am working actively each day to find a way to leave eBay and never look back myself ! I have seen all kinds of good sellers leave in the last 3 years cause of Donahoes Bullsh*t

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by: And the beating, beat goes on

Tue Oct 5 22:54:33 2010

Yeah, we got you covered! If the seller doesn't oblige with all our cow prodding, then we allow you to keep the item and the seller's money. Afterall sellers are expected to pay their fees and dues, nothing more and nothing less. Hail Hitl...JD!

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by: visa decline

Wed Oct 6 00:22:50 2010

Dear eBay Buyers:

Buyer protection is here for you--so if one of our unscrupulous sellers screws with you...or if you even think that you've been screwed by one of our many actually reliable sellers, well--we'll just rip them off so that you'll be happy! Hey! You might even get to keep what you bought as well as get a refund!

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by: Bucky Fromage

Wed Oct 6 00:28:38 2010

My messages have already been written!
I am moved to puke every time i see that Ahole Donahoe.
He has destroyed what was left of my business when Megbeatch left.
Ebay has over 16000 employees? This guy will put them all in the street.

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by: nobody

Wed Oct 6 00:45:12 2010

wow, if he was going for the pathetic, desperate, corporate criminal trying to cheat anyone who'll buy this into this bs for one last attempt at a gigantic money grab, he nailed it! lol :D

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by: Kevin

Wed Oct 6 01:18:25 2010

I agree with earlier statements that some is up at ebay. No one puts something like that up. It is eerie almost for an ecommerce site to have that up. I wonder if someone got told if this holiday season is a bomb then they are going to be walking. There is more to it than just being inappropriate.

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by: Carole

Wed Oct 6 01:44:37 2010


Mr President,

You claim:
FAST -  I say BS! Sorry, nothing on eBay is fast, including search, and least of all your customer service. More lies.
EASY - I say even More BS! Nothing about eBay is easy and you continue to make it harder and harder for buyer and seller alike. More lies.
FREE -  I say the ultimate BS!  Anytime eBay tells me its free, I know there's a finger crossed behind someone’s back! For sure someone is gonna pay here and  for sure, it won’t be eBay!   Wouldn't want to give those pesky sellers too much, or something for free now would we? Except when ya need listings because nothing, absolutely nothing is drawing traffic to the site anymore. More lies.

You continue to try and attract more buyers - all the while forgetting that at least 50% (if not more!) of your sellers are also your buyers! Treat them like gold and with the respect they deserve (just as they treat their own eBay buyers) and  I believe they'll continue to spend spend spend!  Treat them like some great thorn in your side, a necessary evil ....and well... ya reap what ya sow.

And while we’re on topic here, who is doing your marketing? You’ve heard about the pink elephant right? Tell me not to worry about fraud, and you bet I will worry constantly about fraud!

As a poster wisely noted earlier, if the user made it to sign in, they’re already on the site. Why not spend some of that hard earned money I paid you last year and run some truly creative radio, print and TV ads?  

And please, don’t mention anything negative - you’re trying to sell something here right?  Focus on the positive; those reliable top rated sellers touting that shiny badge you sold us on! Tell your buyers the one-of-a kind items are still on eBay, that auctions are alive and great fun! Bring some LIFE back to eBay - let them shop victoriously and not worry about fraud durning the holidays!

Sheesh John,  who the heck ever taught you how to sell?  Amazon is set to have their greatest Xmas season ever!

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by: The Mad Man @ eBay

Wed Oct 6 02:34:49 2010

Not sure how many fans of the series Mad Men are also fans of Auction Bytes, but last Sunday episode 11 aired, and was called “Chinese Wall”.

In this episode, the company is losing accounts left, right and centre so the creative director pulls in his team and tells them point blank:

“We’re in some trouble here, so for the next few weeks, I’ll be out beating the bushes for new clients. In the meantime, you address every client as Sir - and anything they suggest sounds like the greatest idea you’ve ever heard. You baby sit those accounts!”

I know Donald Draper is a just a fictitious character, but the way he handled that crisis was exactly what happens in most companies when accounts start to go south. You pull your people together; you refocus on the business you do have.  You’re not going to lose them too!

Will someone please send this episode to the eBay management team? Maybe include a bag of free popcorn (eBay often suggests sellers include freebies!)

While new business is obviously important to eBay and every seller on the site, perhaps now is the time to work on keeping those seller accounts they do have?

Imagine calling for a feedback revision and hearing, “You know MS Smith, I agree with you. In does seem unwarranted. I will have that removed right away.”

or

“I noted you lost you TRS status by a fraction of a point. That doesn’t seem fair to  me with Bob. Ebay values the many years you’ve worked with us, I see no reason for you to be penalized here. Allow me to take care of that today for you today.”

OK...changing channels. Won’t happen!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Wed Oct 6 04:27:59 2010

“eBay said since launching the Buyer Protection program nationally earlier this year, it has seen significant increases in trust, confidence and spending from shoppers familiar with the program, creating clear benefits for independent eBay sellers and small business entrepreneurs. eBay Buyer Protection covers the purchase price plus original shipping of qualifying purchases on eBay.com.”

All directly from the eBay Dept of Spin. If you can believe any of this disingenuous nonsense you are obviously capable of believing that there are fairies at the bottom of your garden too.

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by: Melanie

Wed Oct 6 06:22:21 2010

Something didn't sit right with me. A trust and promise letter from John Donahue along with his photo? And  how are the two equated?

Trust, (Antonym) John Donahue/Ebay.

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by: jsicolts

Wed Oct 6 06:51:39 2010

How silly is this? "Trust us?!" Yeah sure. This is after donuthole dumped all that stock, neg meg losing big ground fast & looks like a sure loss(great), and BooCoo shows THOUSANDS of new sellers & buyers. and eBay is flooded with cheap china junk and corrupt buyers. "trust us" ..thanks for the laugh.

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by: buck efay

Wed Oct 6 10:33:05 2010

Obviously JD had a hangover the day they talked about customer retention in business school. Once you lose a customer, you can't get them back & it's way cheaper to keep customers happyb then try & find new ones. Too bad Dummyho was puking that day instead of going to class.

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