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Thu Oct 2 2008 10:45:54

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

By: Ina Steiner

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The PESA organization of eBay PowerSellers issued a statement yesterday critical of eBay. The group, which had called for eBay to create systems based on the same principles behind Best Match and DSRs, criticized eBay's implementation of eBay's DSR system. It also objected to increased Final Value Fees and competitive ads on the site.

PESA only recently opened its doors to low-volume sellers. It now appears PESA, which has, in the past, promoted special treatment for large sellers, finds itself with the proverbial shoe on the other foot. No longer the big fish in the small pond, it finds itself competing with big-box retailers whom eBay advantages.

Most PESA members I've spoken to say they benefit from networking with other serious sellers within the group. At least one has spoken out publicly against yesterday's position paper. Elizabeth Bennett said she relies on eBay for the continued success of her business, and would rather have seen a constructive approach taken by PESA. She does not frequent the boards often so was unaware of the paper was being published and was unfamiliar with the process PESA took in formulating its position.

You can read about the paper in today's Newsflash article.




Comments (59) | Permalink

Readers Comments

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Marty

Thu Oct 2 11:16:10 2008

When eBay was 1-3 years old, they weren't so big and did well, why always 'be bigger' and 'be 'the best" why not just be happy doing what they did years ago.

I an a one pony show, and I reached a certain level (Gold with 30,000 FB) and am fine with that, I could sell millions but don't because I don't need to, I live within my means and am fine with that.

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: disappointed powerseller

Thu Oct 2 11:17:14 2008

Wow.  The wheels are really coming off.

I've gotten to the point where I'm not even angry about how badly eBay has been managed.  More deeply disappointed, tired of fighting the venue & the glitches, & moving on.

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Patricia

Thu Oct 2 11:20:19 2008

Be careful what you wish for :-)  I'm happy to hear PESA feels the burn just like us small sellers....its only fair!  FAIR - a word PESA and Ebay long ago forgot!

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Nancy

Thu Oct 2 11:22:40 2008

Bravo Ina! eBay and PeSA can both go float down the river together as far as I'm concerned!!!

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Will

Thu Oct 2 11:40:10 2008

I do find it hard to feel sorry for PESA, I do agree with the statement that they put out. But in a way PESA may be partially responsible for the very problems that they are complaining about.

PESA need to take a lesson from this and realize that what they ask for may not be granted to them. Until this year eBay was never about special privileges. You had just as much pull as the next guy.

But now eBay is saying to HE** double hockey sticks to the very group of seller that made them. Not PESA, Not Big Box, these came along later. It's the guy who puts up his G.I. Joe collection, that he found in the attic. It's the gal selling her old jeans. These are the people that made eBay.

When the big boxes leave eBay. What will they have left, I wonder? The Guy and Gal that made them will be long gone. Run off by politics, and unfairness. The Big Box and PESA sellers, they really don't need eBay, they can and will move on. It is a shame but I feel we are in the end of days for eBay.  

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Daisy

Thu Oct 2 11:40:23 2008

John Donahoe set out to destroy small businesses on Ebay-the very small businesses that built Ebay into the giant it is. Sure, he'll get his golden parachute. Good for you, John. But you're going to be so mentally, spiritually, emotionally bereft when the truth is finally exposed to the whole world, it won't be worth a penny.

I doubt huge houses, cars, luxury vacations, and loss of respect and pride will put much salve on the grievious legacy you imposed on Ebay back in Jan. 08 when you intentionally set out to destruct the sellers and buyers who depended on Ebay and loved it.

You dug Ebay's grave and you're the one who will be buried in it.

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: past seller

Thu Oct 2 11:43:50 2008

I'm at the point where I don't care about ebay or pesa much anymore.  I stopped selling on ebay months ago, moved to Bonanzle and Etsy.  Took a bunch of my customers with me and am able to offer them better prices because the fvf-s are lower.  Bonanzle seems like it could be a great site.  Its really small right now, but I've had sales on it and customer seem to like how easy it is.  

I guess I'm a still a little bitter over how ebay treated the small seller.  So I get some sort of sick pleasure watching them sink into the quagmire.  For years, the sellers kept telling them what was wrong, but they didn't even bother to listen. (They still don't). They have only themselves to blame.  I still miss the way ebay was in its early days.  Maybe I need an ebay recovery group. ;-)  I bet there are a lot of us out there.  

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: RatherRuss

Thu Oct 2 11:55:19 2008

Can't say it surprises me...watching the graduates of Bain & Co...Romney, Whitman and now Donahue operate is like watching most privileged folks tell us how sound the economy is...really.  Let's start with how sound Ebay is under the current regime, almost as sound as wall street, sorry couldn't resist.  Closed my store on ebay after trying to keep going since May...now no more sales, but no more headaches, overpricing or worry about what bumble ebay makes next.  To those still there, good luck, until they come for you....RatherRuss

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Linda Grindstaff

Thu Oct 2 12:19:00 2008

I am not a member of PESA and am but an humble eBay Seller caught up in the midst of all the political hubbub.

My comments address issues all Sellers are dealing with. One item is that eBay has crippled Sellers from being able to leave HONEST feedback about some Buyers. The Buyers, however, can leave any kind of negative feedback they wish whether it is warranted or not.

Two is that eBay does NOT need another FVF price hike. They just finished ripping us for the last one, and PayPal is always on board with their 3-5% (though they tell you otherwise-do the math). Soon, we will have to take only PayPal payments, and continue to pay exhorbitant fees for selling. Buyers are walking away from eBay and going to less expensive venues to buy. Sales are down on eBay and will continue to drop. Some of it is caused, in part, by the economy. A lot is caused by eBay wanting more than they can possibly be deserving of. In other words, we can all go down, and eBay will still make a very good living off front end fees, final value fees, when we are lucky enough to sell anything, and finally PayPal. PayPal is the only one doing their share of work to deserve their cut.

As I said, I am not a Power Seller, and do not want to be one. I am a regular seller who has a quiet little store and am trying to make a little money to supplement disability check by selling some quality items I'm having to move out for the extra dollars. There are many like me, and we are requesting that either eBay stop raising fees or get ready to lose some more of their most important people-their Sellers.

I do agree with all of PESA's concerns and then some. More power to you all because whatever good you do will trickle down to the rest of us.

Linda

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Keith

Thu Oct 2 12:30:45 2008

Hey Cortese, first of all - how do I unsubscribe from getting those emails you send out from PESA?!? I never subscribed, I don't know how you got my name, and you don't seem to aknowledge my requests to UNSCUBSCRIBE!!  

Secondly, do us all a favor and shut up!! Weren't you the one who initially called this group EBAY ELITE?!? Lord knows it seems that everytime you open your mouth, my eBay fees go up!

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: laura

Thu Oct 2 12:43:42 2008

After reading (skimming) the June 2007 pesa document, it does seem that pesa got exactly what it wanted, only to complain about it now. Ina, your editorial on the main page sums it up completely.

Ebay --- Its apparent that you listen.... to the wrong people. Now FIX IT!

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Wilhelm

Thu Oct 2 12:49:33 2008

Kind of ironic - ''Super-Duper'' ebay sellers were puffing out their chests and asking for special privileges in the way of discounts and other perks. They asked for it, they got it! Now, PESA is beginning to feel the pinch along with us 'little sellers'. Kudos to Ina for being neutral on this issue.

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: roo

Thu Oct 2 12:55:57 2008

Ina,

So, Diamond PS Status 2008 = PeSA Membership 2006?

Boy, I don't recall having such a great "advantage" over other sellers for my membership in PeSA.  Wonder where this concept came from?  Misplaced "envy" by those who had a distorted perception of what being in PeSA really meant?

I think the points made by PeSA are spot on. I stand behind them as a member. The point of advantaging those who have a history of providing a good buyer experience is what we wanted.  What we didn't want is an environment where an experienced seller needs to create multiple "new" IDs on the site in order to get an advantage over someone with a "true" multi-year history with thousands of transactions. We did not ask for a DSR system that obviously doesn't deliver a true value to buyers.  We did not ask for a broken search system that puts frauds at the top of the list because they have fresh IDs that look better than those of us who have been battered by eBay coercing them into leaving "honest" feedback on thousands of transactions.

The fact of the matter is that PeSA correctly identified a goal, and eBay missed the goal.  How you could turn this into a statement of hypocrisy is beyond me.  I have known you for years, and have defended you from those who criticize you for having certain types of bias.  I guess I can see how some have arrived at their criticisms now.

The current qualifications for getting into PeSA is $1000 per month of sales on the site (being a Bronze Power Seller).  Certainly, an extremely low qualification to be in a group cannot possibly be equated with $500k per month Diamond PS status.  You must be kidding.

I am disappointed that you would cross those of us who have spent our FREE TIME to help our brothers and sisters in eCommerce.

roo

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Nina

Thu Oct 2 13:00:56 2008

PESA - A self pronounced closed group of elite sellers who thought they were better than everyone else. Now I guess they are just like the rest of Joe normal sellers and being treated as such. Waaaaaa, waaaaaaa, PESA is whining about not being treated fairly like the rest of the Ebay pee ons that they thought they were so superior to.

PESA - this group was involved in internal wars and power struggles, too many egos, too many people thinking they were so amazingly special and above all other Ebay sellers. PESA - too freaking bad. Go whine somewhere else.  The rest of us small Ebay sellers care as much about you as you cared about us.

PESA sucks.

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Doctor Deals

Thu Oct 2 13:03:10 2008

I was part of PESA at the very beginning, it had good intentions and does good work for its members overall.  There are still issues I have with the way the organization is run and thus I am not active in what they do.

With that said, PESA is getting for the most part, exactly what they asked for.  And how do I know because I was right there for years before PESA existed and throughout the past several years harping on eBay for the same exact things.  Take action on poor performing sellers that create bad buying experiences or brake the rules, promote sellers that perform well, give pricing incentives to higher performing sellers, etc...

Well eBay has done a lot of that, and yes the DSR system has flaws, especially for low volume sellers that can be devastated by just one or two buyers.  And our biggest problem, International buyers that rate us poorly on ''Delivery'' time instead of the time it took us to ship the item and on rising international shipping costs we have no control over.

However, overall we see improvements that are paying off for us because we carefully watched and adapted to what eBay was doing.  Yes, I for one bitched and moaned to eBay trying to get them to improve some flawed implementations, but at the same time I adapted to what they were doing.

Because our small company did what eBay said we needed to do we have received 15% discounts on FVF's for the past several months due to our 4.8 & 4.9 30-Day DSR's and the rest of the year we should see 30-40% FVF discounts as we are only a couple hundredths of a point away from 4.9 DSR's across the board.

http://tinyurl.com/3py2us

Our listing fees have dropped to almost nothing compared to what they once were and by the end of this month we should only pay about $300 a month to list our items where at the beginning of the year we were paying thousands of dollars a month to list those same items.

Since the Sept 16th change to BM Search our sales have more than doubled from the week before the change.  Again, because we followed eBay's guidance on the changes we were able to succeed by adapting our listings strategies to them.

We may be the exception, but we have seen far greater sales volume and much lower selling costs as a result of these recent changes.  I see them as a move in the right direction, but as with any eBay change they may still need adjustment along the way.  Maybe these changes do not work for every business model, but if you provide eBay buyers with ''Great Buying Experiences'' and list products people want at a price point they feel is fair you should see vastly lower selling costs and higher selling volumes as we have.

Unfortunately, there are still far too many sellers out there that feel just because they sell A LOT that the rules should be different for them.  And from personal experience of running a $500,000.00 a month eBay enterprise years ago, I know eBay has fostered that in the past.  Well DSR's as flawed as they still are, are the SAME for everyone.  If a business Big or Small cannot afford to provide good service or charge a ''reasonable'' S/H fee then they get the DSR's they deserve for the most part.  By whatever measure you set for us as to the size of our eBay business, we have been able to please the eBay customer so they return to the eBay marketplace again and again.  If your business is not able to do that, then maybe it is your business that needs to change too and not just eBay.

DD

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: laura

Thu Oct 2 13:07:00 2008

I am not looking forward to the next Pesa letter.

I am still processing how a company (ebay), whose future depends on the their entire seller's base would listen to just a small sampling of sellers (pesa) and do exactly EVERYTHING they wanted.

Is ebay winging it? Do they have an actual plan? Or do they just only listen to a specific group of sellers and base their decision accordingly?  I don't know which is more troublesome for me.

Are we sure that ebay and Pesa are working together, and Pesa will make demands for changes as ebay requested? Something just doesn't add up. Maybe it’s my inability to believe that eBay could be coerced that easily, when they NEVER seem to listen.

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Doctor Deals

Thu Oct 2 13:35:47 2008

Laura,

''Listening'' is all relative when it comes to eBay.

There are a couple hundred million users all clambering for eBay to ''Listen'' to what they have to say.

I was in the eBay ''Voice of the Community'' program for a while.  A group made up of a couple hundred eBay users that represent a broad cross section of community members.  This group is a sounding board for ideas and many of the changes that end up on the eBay marketplace.  Even this group that has regular weekly contact with eBay feels that eBay does not ''Listen'' some times.

We all feel at one point or another that eBay does not ''Listen'' because we feel they are not doing what we as individual users want them to.

EBay users focus groups, Voices, online surveys, in person meetings and organizations like PESA to gather input and they make decisions and changes they feel meet THEIR, eBay's, business needs.

Remember eBay is a BUSINESS and they are going to make the decisions they feel are going to be most successful for THEIR business in the long run. And that can include running some poor performing sellers of the marketplace.  The balance is to not run the good ones off as well with overly oppressive changes.

If driving off good buyers or good sellers is bad, then they should address that.  They started first by addressing the Buyer's needs.  Now they are trying to address the Seller's needs.  And if you look at what they are offering, the ability to list unlimited quantity of an item for 30-Days at only $.35 it is a great deal compared to what they used to charge.  And for FP items if your item is popular, sells regularly, then it is even higher in search.

Plus, if you provide great service that will attract more buyers and keep those active on eBay coming back then you can get up to 40% savings on FVF fees for the rest of this year.

If you really look at these changes, what eBay has done is make it MORE EXPENSIVE for POOR Performing sellers on the marketplace and LESS EXPENSIVE for GOOD Performing sellers.  I think that helps everyone.


DD

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Bill B.

Thu Oct 2 14:07:41 2008

Wow Ina, you must have struck a nerve with the boys at PESA, because their forums are burning up! And it looks like they're starting to crawl out of their hole.

@ roo says:
Boy, I don't recall having such a great "advantage" over other sellers for my membership in PeSA.  Wonder where this concept came from?

Probably from the marketing material on your own site
http://www.gopesa.org/index.cfm?page=membership

and from your creepy president who cornered me for nearly half an hour at eBay Live to tell me all the advantages I'd have joining PESA.

@roo says:
The current qualifications for getting into PeSA is $1000 per month of sales on the site (being a Bronze Power Seller).  Certainly, an extremely low qualification to be in a group cannot possibly be equated with $500k per month Diamond PS status.  You must be kidding.

The operative word being CURRENT. I know - I was a member very early on, when they were still called EBAY ELITE. (tells you something about the mindset) Until recently PESA was open only to PowerSellers who attained - and I quote from their own cached EBAY page on Google:

1) $25,000 per month in Gross Merchandise Value.
2) $1,500 per month in eBay fees (including both Listing and Final Value Fees).
3) 500 positive feedbacks in the 30 days prior to Membership Committee review.
4) 500 active eBay listings in the 30 days prior to Membership Committee review.

Read it here: http://74.125.45.104/search?q=cache:JSZhLbzVAC4J:groups.ebay.co.uk/clu
bcategory.jspa%3FcategoryID%3D18000000549+ebay+pesa+per+month+in+sales&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

Sell
your line of bull somewhere else, Roo.....b.  We ain't buying.

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Leonard

Thu Oct 2 14:12:59 2008

As a buyer of lots of antiques on eBay for 9 years I was routinely semi-ripped off by item descriptions that conveniently left out that ONE little flaw that made the item worth a lot less than first appeared, and by inflated shipping charges. So I see why eBay set out to address these practices.

I also see whey they took the opportunity while doing so to create a DSR system that disadvantages small sellers: They wanted to ghettoize those sellers because they often sell collectibles, and, as your ''collectibles guru'' Harry Rinker has revealed, this subset of eBay transactions stopped growing significantly around 2006.

But I think the ghettoizing effect is so unfair to the kind of sellers I like best that I've stopped buying anything  on eBay in protest.

And under no circumstances would I SELL anything there. Selling on eBay looks to have become a monstrous pain in the butt. I find it kind of amusing that the big sellers are now just discovering that.  

 

PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace   PESA Issues Official Statement on eBay's Marketplace

by: Dustin Jones

Thu Oct 2 14:24:47 2008

I'll be looking forward to Diamond Powerseller status sometime in early 09 for our company.

We started selling our first piece out of my desk 9 months ago and will achieve it in one year.

The thing is, in this computer age ...its almost unacceptable to just offer a low price and ship the item out. You need customer service (answering your ebay questions 3X a week doesnt cut it)

Change is one that that will always be constant in e-commerce. Those that want ebay to stay the same will only shoot your self in the foot in the long term. Don't you realize, buyers were leaving before they ever even announced a change to policies?

Who's going to buy a bluetooth headset from me when they were ripped off buying their cell phone 3 months earlier? All you commodities/vintage/rate items sellers shouldnt be effected, but in the popular mainstream categories such as electronics and media, Ebay wants a SUPERB buying experience, not an above average one.

Complaining about the fees?
Out of the box, yes they are steep. But tell me why this is so bad
1) Decrease in listing fees
2) tiered discounts of %5-%20 for good DSR stars
3) DOUBLE the discount on free shipping items, meaning 10-30 and 40% off of fees.
4) Less managing auctions with fixed price multiple quantity listings (saves you tons of time)

For once, ebay is allowing a scalable format where the big guys can get ahead (and small if they handle their customers in the right way).

We are in an electronic category dealing with USED, refurbished and new products. It's a nightmare, but somehow we are able to qualify for 15% off on fees.

I do feel for some, but I think for the overwhelming majority, you havnet given it the effort the changes demand.

Ebay is a business, you need more than just  product and an auction template.

To succeed you need business savvy, business smarts and th e resources to make changes when they are put in front of you.

Before I would complain that ebay was unfair beacuse we did EVERYTHING right and couldnt get ahead. How was that fair to the larger user names?

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