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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: lol

Wed Oct 6 11:07:26 2010

Bobblehead Meg sighting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmudJbnELoc

it's a good one.

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by: another side of the coin

Wed Oct 6 11:52:05 2010

lol Thanks I needed a good laugh. She looks better as a bobblehead than the real life wornout Quaker Oats lady.

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by: BOXWOOD

Wed Oct 6 12:23:26 2010

eBay Buyer Protection has been around for months and I have tried to use it to get back what I paid for an item that didn't work. However, apparently (although it doesn't say this in the Ts & Cs) because I had seen the item after I had paid for it but had not been able to test it, I was not entitled to EBP. Basically, EBP is not worth the paper it's written on.

DON'T BE TAKEN IN BY EBAY!!

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by: Donewithebay

Wed Oct 6 16:30:21 2010

Here are two more examples of why ebay is the poorest run company ever to exist:
E takes automatic payments out of pay pal for their fees.  Well, because of disputes the fee money wasn't there when their greedy paws tried to take the money. The next day some money had been deposited in pay pal, so I tried to contact them to run the fees thru...I AM TRYING TO PAY...Should be easy, no, I was on the phone for (embarrassing to admit) 2 1/2 hours wrangling with them to please take the money.  I got nowhere.  So as last resort I withdrew all the money in pay pal. They are still trying to run the fees thru my checking account (just for ebay) which I will close.  I will send them a check when I get good and ready.
And here is one episode that clinched the deal for a lost cause.  I had a Chinese buyer who claimed he never received the item (106.00)...He did a dispute, and got every cent he paid. I looked up his feedback and found (using toolhaus) that he had left 30 negatives in the last year for non-receipt. This guy is a petty criminal who gets a steady stream of free mechandise thru ebay. I as well as many others complained and got nowhere.  He is still active on ebay and I have had to leave because I can't afford to be vulnerable to these kind of scams...Yah, we've got you covered, what a sad joke...

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by: Beenthere

Wed Oct 6 17:30:14 2010

Hello everyone,

I'm new at online selling. I can easily see that I stepped on a hornets nest with my timing. Happens to me all the time...
I put a post in a couple of days ago on a different topic, ''What does 'whatever' do for you''? Something like that. Anyhow, I read yesterday that Meg was a Billionaire from Ebay getting into politics in Ca.. At first I thought there must have been a typo and it was supposed to be millionaire. Now I'm just not certain.

As I stated in my previous post, I worked in northern China in 94 and 95. It was rough. But I say again, dealing with China is very difficult at best. What most people do not know is that the government bankrolls ALL of the companys that have international dealings or Joint Ventures. It is still a Communist country in fact. Just like all the other ones, it is not a true communism because people are involved with their greed, etc. Government officials there basically still have the mindset of tribal barbarians, they just don't fight with themselves anymore. They fight with, and takeover, foriegners. If the CEO of Ebay is trying to make deals with the Chinese, he is lost. Didn't the Chinese already buy Auctivia?

The average education level in China is 6th grade, with a PHd. in street smarts and gang activity.

It doesn't look good at all. I'm thinking that I should start a blog about my dealings in China. It's their mindset that is the problem. And it's not the common people, they're great!. They want the same things that we do. It's the bosses, or in this case the government mentality that controls them, that is the primary problem. We had a saying, (there were only two of us), ''Be careful what you ask for, you might get it!'')

Out of everything I have read about running an online business, RESEARCH! is pounded into the brain. I think that JD will see this after the fact. Hindsight, etc..

I really didn't want to be negative but knowledge is the best defense. There is so much to be said.... I'm thinking about the blog.

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This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Wed Oct 6 20:38:54 2010

@beenthere: Absolutely... go for it- I've burned your last post into wood and shellac'ed it!

An acquaintance worked as a millwright and was tasked with moving an assembly line to China and setting it up. When the equipment was loaded onto the ship, GE USA used cranes, gantries and slings. When they unloaded it however, GE China used hundreds of laborers who carried the machinery uphill from the port like so many ants. It is exactly like you said.

For a moment, I thought you were him!

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by: Irene

Wed Oct 6 22:45:52 2010

I've had several, longtime buyers, email me to ask me about Ebay's new "insurance" program.  They are under the impression that Ebay is now insuring all of their transactions.  So I guess the message is clear as mud even to experienced buyers.  How this is helping sales, I don't know.  

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by: ILoveAmazon

Thu Oct 7 07:33:49 2010

I long ago left the craziness at ebay and built my own site. I also sell on Amazon. I am far past the dollar revenue I use to scrounge for on Ebay and pray I got to keep my money!
I am happily shipping packages every day! If there is a problem at amazon, wow, a human assists you and guess what ebay, the buyers are not allowed to steal from the sellers at amazon!
Just a thought to ponder ebay, without sellers, you have no buyers, that is just a big DUH!!!

Furthermore, I can maintain price integrity on Amazon, I do not have to try to compete with sellers on ebay who price their items in the toilet and obviously make no money. What is it with these sellers anyway? They erode price margins and compete with each other to be the cheapest.

I left Ebay and never looked back. I do still enjoy Ina's emails tho, lots of news besides ebay.

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by: BigCommerce

Thu Oct 7 07:39:14 2010

I noticed one poster looking for a home. There is a site called bigcommerce.com. It is super easy to build your store there.
I did not and I know nothing about html. They have humans that speak english that answer the phone, and they actually know the answers!
If you are looking for a home, I found this to be a great place for me. Active forum, responsive techs. Nice place.

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by: Kitty

Thu Oct 7 08:28:07 2010

This week several of my eBay emails received a ''Trust us'' email and a ''100 free listing per month on eBay'' email.
I read through both of them and deleted them.

Trust us?
Why?
eBay flooded the market with scamming sellers, refused to do anything about them.  Opened the market to unverified Chinese sellers of knock-off products.
I have been plagued with spam emails on my eBay seller and buyers accounts.
I have had items refunded to buyers from PayPal after I proved with a signature confirmation and a feedback saying ''great item, fast shipping''
I was a happy eBay shopper and seller for over 10 years.
Now I cannot search anything easily
I cannot sell anything without worrying that I will be kissing my item and money goodbye.

Even the ''free to list'' email. when read further, I did the math and I will be paying almost twice as much in FVF...Twice as much!  That doesn't sound like a bargain to me.
Wondering how many new sellers are going to wander into eBay Q&A, asking where their money is...

Sigh....

Is  the fat lady singing?

Kathy_the_green_fish
and yes, I'm keeping the seller ID active in case
in case...I have no idea

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Thu Oct 7 08:40:11 2010

Here'e some eBay doubleplus speak for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YjXZ3RLT58

Forward backwards - when their lips move they lie.

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by: Rupert Pupkin

Thu Oct 7 08:57:30 2010

John Donahole, the King of Kliches and Grandmaster of Konvulated Thinking.

And, if he cannot come up with a cliche, he will invent some nonsense term or asinine observation in a cryptic attempt to put his benighted point across.

To wit:

"Sales funnel"

"Bigger share of wallet"

"Neutral feedback is negative because it's not positive"

"Lowest selling fees ever..."

"We have modeled out, if all sellers took their 2007 volumes and put it through the new pricing, the majority of sellers have lower fees."

"I am not a crook."... in the fashion of Richard Nixon

When the board approved this jerk as CEO, they all thought that the resume was from Phil Donahue.

Disruptive innovation - It failed as innovative but it sure as was proved disruptive.

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by: Keep Trying Ebay

Thu Oct 7 10:27:02 2010

I saw the letter and it lost a link I was following into Ebay from a Google search to look at an item. So the stupid letter is costing Ebay sellers sales because everything deadends at that letter. My Google search would not take me past Donahoe's letter and I couldn't find the item on Ebay in a search. (No surprise there either.) Good job Ebay you screw your sellers out of sales yet again.

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by: JIM

Thu Oct 7 14:40:34 2010

Dunceahoe is a failure, it is time for him to go. Your policies, your insane little innovative disruptions are now the laughing stock of the retail world. That is correct you should really have no problem making the top five of the worst ceo's this year anybody could do better, what a joke you are. People are looking at each other and scratching their heads as  to why ebay's board has kept him there, it is time, really time for somebody to wake up, what are you waiting for?

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by: Digby

Thu Oct 7 17:33:44 2010

What they are waiting for if ebay's sales and revenue to go down drastically.

But it never seems to.

They will wake up and drop JD when their sales falls by say 20%. The 22nd of October is coming up. lets see what their figures are like then. I note that their Alexa is still up at no 21. Listings are still up at 118 million. That is 23 times the next highest site (etsy)

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by: Changes we CAN'T believe in

Thu Oct 7 18:16:36 2010

Fellow ebayers, here is another thing I am mega sick and tired of, after waiting 2 to 3 hours to get a broken english speaking customer rep, and I vent my frustrations to them about unfairness etc., they say " I know I am a seller also " like it comforts me ? YEH RIGHT !

No you do not know ebay phone rep !!!!!!!

You get a paycheck each week for being a lousy customer rep from ebay !

The only way you would really know, is if you depended on ebay as a vehicle for your ONLY way to make a living/paycheck since the 1990's !

Ebay is so infuriating, why are we hanging on ? Because of what eBay once was ?

I noticed changes around 2005 - 2006 and did not like what was happening, auctions pulled for nonsensical reasons, if I am correct I think John Donahoe arrived at ebay around that time

Silver Spoon rich boy, who said he never sold anything on ebay has done a helluva job in killing off small, medium and some large sellers

I want to vomit everytime I see his face starting back at me on that buyer protection letter

What is going to do keep it up till 2011 ?

Donahoe, the profits we make and the line we have to toe is just plain bullsh*t !

Trust me when I tell you that the sellers you think are jumping through hoops are in fact really looking for a permanent exit strategy from your new ebay !

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by: Paul

Fri Oct 8 01:05:41 2010

Seems like this is the ''Chicken Little'' forum.

One poster says ''I had a buyer claim empty box from 12 different sellers (one was me) in a 30 day period and he got refunded from all of them.''  One wonders how one would get that information.

Another seller says ''I've had several, longtime buyers, email me to ask me about Ebay's new ''insurance'' program. ''  Hmmm.  Well maybe.  But  I've been a seller on eBay for over 11 years, with two stores and two other eBay IDs on which I run 100 free auctions a month with links to my stores.   I have 1000s of longtime buyers none of whom have sent any such emails.  Maybe I'm just lucky.

There are many other examples of claims just a bit beyond the pale among the above comments.  Too bad we can't just stick with the facts.

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by: Geo

Fri Oct 8 10:33:32 2010

Is it just me, or have sales come to a standstill since they put this ridiculous letter on the homepage? We were having decent sales this weekend, then boom, not a single sale since Monday! Which is very unusual for us, even with low traffic.

And responding to one poster above, I HATE IT when the CS reps say oh yes I understand because I'm a seller too. I told the last one politely, unless you are supporting your family with an online business, no you do NOT understand.

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by: Kathleen58519 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 8 13:24:37 2010

I have had the opportunity of experiencing eBay's Buyer's Protection Plan.  I sold three items to a woman.  She chose to have her items sent to her from Canada via surface to Israel.  I informed her that this could/would take up to 75 days for arrival.  No problem.  Off they go.  About 55-60 days later no product in Israel, she opens a complaint as not being received.  I was speaking with this woman and the resolution centre.  One Saturday night the Resolution Centre is cleaning up their files.  They have decided that she should have received her item by now and were giving her her money back.  I promptly got an e-mail from eBay stating that I now owed eBay money which they paid on my behalf and if I was not forthcoming with money promptly then my eBay store could be shut down.  What choice did I have other than expressing to eBay that I thought my grandfather fought in World War II for our freedom and did not have accept disctorial policies such as Hilter type thinking.  (Can you tell I'm popular with eBay).  Anyway, another couple of months go by and lordy lordy who gets delivery in Israel.  She writes me to inform me that if I wished she would return the product to me, all it would cost me was the cost of return shipping.  When I told her that was not aggreeable with me I was told pity, the product will stay there.   When I contacted eBay to rectify this situation - like going to bat for the seller and not the buyer I was told to send them an e-mail.  This e-mail would be answered in 24-48 hours.  That was Tuesday past, this is Friday, I count 72 hours, I wonder what clock eBay uses?

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by: Bob@eBay11K

Fri Oct 8 15:46:03 2010

Bad enough this massive 'marketing' campaign cleverly disguised as a 'buyer encouragement' actually does more to discomfort the buyer than reassure them.

Bad enough that all the 'improvements' made to date that were supposed to clean up the seller grift apparently (surprise!) haven't exactly done what they were guaranteed to do (and that all those dolphins were caught in the tuna net in the meantime - oops!).

And bad enough that NOW we have to look at Mr. 'Trust Me' hisself every time we log in. (insert appropriate retching noises here)

But what's worse by far is how this great 'program' is being implemented.

First - they've all but hidden the ASQ (ask seller a question) link to the 'bottom of the listing' in much reduced font.  (Apparently all the mega diamond sellers can't translate English into Chineese - and prefer not to be bothered by so many pesky buyer questions).  Of course, eBay states this is to reduce those which are based on 'not reading the listing'.  

Would that be the same listing that states the sellers terms and item descriptions that are summarilly ignored in favor of ANY buyer claim, BTW?

Second, they removed the interstatial page from FB pages that 'reminded' the buyer to contact the seller directly with issues prior to leaving FB.

Third, they now 'encourage' opening claims as THE way to contact sellers.  And then they count that claim opening against the seller - whether the claim is warranted or not!

And if one CAN get ahold of CS these days (imagine the increased wait times NOW as more 'deserving members' have to deal with unwarranted claims), guess how they end the call?  "Is that all?  Did you have any issues needing claim processing?"  This is a fact.  See for your self (when you have a couple hours to kill).

Meanwhile, I asked the eBay mediators that ran the July town hall special discussion board about this very issue BTW (claims counting against sellers no matter what) - why can't eBay require direct buyer to seller contact prior to allowing a claim?

Answer?  We have no insight into message exchanges.  Follow up:  Really?  We thought eBay controlled eBay messages and has some insight into them?  Answer - Oh, yeah, right, of course.  Uh, ok, great idea. We agree this is a good requirement. (Yes they actually SAID that). We'll look into it and pass it up the chain so we can implement it.

And we now see the result of this 'due dilligence' don't we?  There IS NO requirement to contact the seller before opening a claim - in fact eBay advertises that opening a claim IS the best method for contacting the seller.

Poor buyers - they know not how they're being used to line eBay's pockets with the remaining pittance of seller profit left after resultant sanctions and loss of discount earned for otherwise stellar service.  Much more so than eBay themselves ever provided - much less provides today.

They know not how this is (once again) going to add to the increasing exodus of good sellers from this decrepid venue.  Lowering variety.  Lowering availability.  Once again increasing prices as fewer sellers strain to absorb the increasing costs of trying to eek a profit from this cesspool.

Still think that eBay has 'Best Buyer Experiences' as THE paramount objective?

What ELSE could possibly make this place worse now?  What else?

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