eBay introduced a Woot.com-like microsite in which a few sellers offer quantities of a one item for one day (link)
There are several complaints coming in from sellers about this merchandising promotion. First is the classic "big seller versus small seller complaint." The opportunity to participate in eBay Big Deals page appears to be limited to large PowerSellers.
In the real world, this seems like a strange complaint. After all, the promotion is based on having large quantities of like items. But one of eBay's core principles is that of being a "level playing field," and sellers question eBay when they believe it is being inconsistent.
The second complaint revolves around excessive shipping. One reader wrote to me, "This past month eBay has been going around killing thousand and thousands of sellers items in the cell phone accessories categories, citing fee avoidance for putting $2 too much shipping , yet they advertise the people charging $19 to ship an Ipod, $14.00 to ship an MP3 player, and $9 to ship perfume?"
A third complaint is that at least one of these sellers has put as their location the name of their website - including the .com. eBay prohibits sellers from linking or writing their website URL in listings.
One seller compares the Big Deals promotion to Kmart promotions, and another questions how the Big Deals helps the "magic of eBay," referring to CEO Whitman's recent criticism of Store inventory: "The marketplace has been overwhelmed with identical, often poorly-priced items that have diluted the magic of the eBay experience."
A discussion is going on about this in the eBay forums (link). What do you think?