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Thu Feb 14 2008 22:39:30

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Former PayPal executive Dave McClure interviewed author, journalist and blogger Kara Swisher of All Things D and asked her what she would do if she were CEO for a day at Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, MySpace, & AOL. What she had to say about eBay will probably resonate in a particularly profound way with sellers in light of the changes eBay announced on January 29th.

"I was always worried about what happens to eBay when the Internet gets as good a marketplace. I think it's really hard for them, they have to really open themselves up in a much more significant way and allow people to do what they want more.

"I've always felt they were a little bit too fascist in their treatment of sellers and how people buy things and I think once the Internet becomes more and more perfect, it's hard to be the marketplace when the Internet is the marketplace."

Kara's take on eBay is about 2:30 minutes into the video interview, but the entire clip is worth watching.




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: techslinger

Fri Feb 15 00:04:24 2008

DEAR BUYERS:

WANT TO GET FREE STUFF OFF EBAY?    HERE’S HOW:

Buy using PayPal.  Then, after you have received the item, file a claim with PayPal and use these magic words: ''NOT AS DESCRIBED.''  PayPal will immediately HOLD the money in the seller’s account--just for you.  Next, send back an empty box, for proof of return of course.  After that’s done, PayPal will instantly give the buyer their money back, every time.  My friends and I have claimed thousands of dollars in free stuff off eBay this way.

Also, ''NOT AS DESCRIBED'' works in cases of buyer’s remorse.  It doesn’t matter if the item is described accurately, or even if the seller has a “no return” policy. PayPal is so stupid; they will refund your money back again, and again, and again.  You won’t believe how easy it is.   Thank you PayPal, you are a pal.

This is not a joke.  If you don’t believe me, try it one time, you’ll see.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Brian B

Fri Feb 15 03:12:07 2008

What are you going to do after May when are very few sellers  left to scam , exactly the reason ebay will eventually go down the gurgler pandering to fraudsters like you.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Sue @ TameBay

Fri Feb 15 06:59:04 2008

Wow, if ever there were an argument for deleting a comment, it's right there :-(

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: jsicolts

Fri Feb 15 08:43:27 2008

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT sleazy ebay is doing today : THIS IS WHAT MESSAGE YOU GET WHEN LISTING:
Attention Seller!  
We noticed your shipping cost looks high compared to other listings in your category with similar shipping services. .

We've found that buyers are sensitive to shipping costs. Items with high shipping costs may be less likely to sell and may get less visibility in search results. Listings that violate the eBay Excessive Shipping Charges  policy may be removed from the site.

Please review your shipping costs and make changes if necessary. For help, click the Research rates link in the shipping section.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Troy

Fri Feb 15 10:21:22 2008

Fasciast ?  What ?  This is outrageous !
Ebay sellers have the absolute best sales venue available, and a few in the minority are crying like a bunch of spoiled brats.  This is appalling

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: concerned citizen

Fri Feb 15 10:54:52 2008

It's over ebay, I'm tired of corporate nabobs who ''know what's best for us'' and ''do it our way''

good bye and good riddence

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: dimes

Fri Feb 15 11:07:26 2008

I think some people may be missing the intent of techslinger's post.

Main Entry:  sat·ire
Function:     noun

1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn

2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Ruth

Fri Feb 15 11:23:53 2008

Yes, Troy, eBay has become a Fascist state. Letting buyers trash sellers with negative feedback, while refusing the same right to sellers is a perfect example of Fascism at it's worst. It wasn't enough to create the super secret detailed seller ratings. That didn't get the desired result of making good sellers look bad so they could harass those sellers into accepting their bogus Paypal payment service. Nope, now they have to encourage buyers to leave negs for ANY reason at all without "fear" of sellers defending themselves. That will allow them to try and force ALL sellers into accepting Paypal with no choice, since merchant accounts are too expensive and Google checkout has been banned from eBay. Think about that for a moment. A totally legitimate payment service is banned on eBay for having the nerve to try and compete with Paypal. That's not only  Fascism, it's a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Marla

Fri Feb 15 12:29:14 2008

Ebay is trying to change itself from what brought it to it's height as being ''Americas Greatest Garage Sale'' to The Worlds Best All around Internet Shopping site, is just NOT going to happen. The allure was the lack of Corporate dictatorship. There are other ways to get bad sellers off their site than to punish the sellers who are unfairly given poor feedback may it be via Feedback or DSR's. Seems as if they are going about things the wrong way.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Jamie

Fri Feb 15 12:32:06 2008

Since eBay is so huge (not to mention diversified) that they don't really need to worry about a few thousand bleeding sellers, why not look for a different venue and help build it into a site that useful for YOU?

Quoted in a CNN Fortune interview:
"Should OnlineAuction reach the 250 million-strong user base that eBay currently holds, the company could be six times more profitable without being as greedy." - Chris Fain, CEO of OnlineAuctions.com

Why not take a look?

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Trish

Fri Feb 15 12:48:38 2008

Troy, please refer to post #1. If you think this does not happen ALL the time, then hey, call me a whiner - yup yup!

Next, I bet you are either one of the buyers that does things like this, OR perhaps you are the one that keeps creating multiple ID's to purchase my items hold them up while I wait for ebay to refund my fees before I can re-list them, OR perhaps you are the one that threatens me because YOU did not know how big 4mm is but that item sure looked bigger in that picture that says ''enlarged for detail - NOT actual size''??

Yes, that must be you, and if THAT makes me a whiner, so be it! I should not have to hold a buyer's hand through the entire process and then get chit on for it in the end, which is EXACTLY how ebay works!

I was a buyer for YEARS before I ever became a seller. Then, I sold only as a hobby - off and on - so, that I was sure I knew what I was doing BEFORE moving my business onto ebay, and to be honest, I have NEVER dealt with so much grief and headache and so many illiterate, non-informed, fussy, whiney and flat out MEAN buyers in ANY other sales venue, whether online or in person - EVER EVER EVER!!

So much for ebay's seller protections! I have been attacked on all fronts - from people stealing my merchandise, extorting feedback, money or items, and non-payers who treat ebay like a shopping cart system in a webstore and then picking and choosing what they will and will not pay for! And, now ebay tells me that I cannot warn other respectable sellers of these rip-off artists?? NO THANK YOU!

Color me gone!

Sign me,

EX-EBAY POWERSELLER

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Mary

Fri Feb 15 19:06:05 2008

Well, I'm a powerseller and I'll get the max discount under the news rules. But for how long? It wouldn't take much negative feedback from a spiteful competitor, striking seller, or from techslinger (thanks a lot, techslinger, for disseminating those slick ideas...satire or not) to ruin that discount. E-bay is SO concerned that sellers give buyers a ''good experience'' -- have they completely LOST TOUCH with their own customer's needs?? (Note to any e-bay managers: your customers are your SELLERS. You seem to have forgotten that.) E-bay offers no protection to good sellers, period. We're on our own. P.S. I've got some ideas to improve the feedback policy, but when I e-mailed e-bay, they referred me to the ''UNSOLICITED IDEAS'' page...where I was insulted by the legal page that pops up that denounces any unsolicited ideas. I wish e-bay still wanted my business, but I don't feel it with these changes. I'm looking for another home.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Giovanni

Sat Feb 16 12:48:16 2008

Thanks Ms Steiner for your post. Of course  Kara Swisher is only joking. The same way I am when I say it is more like Korporate Kommie Krapitalism.

"ridendo dicere verum"

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: jsicolts

Tue Feb 19 06:31:09 2008

a few thousand? there are over 500,000 signed to to boycott ebay site petition and still growing. Yes, ebay will lie & fudge numbers. The boycott is working.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Julieanna

Wed Feb 20 10:22:19 2008

The USA has gone to war for less (fascism).  It's time the courts raged war on Ebay.  Soldiers, pick up your weapons and attack.  Join the boycott.  Lawyers, gather your evidence and create a class action lawsuit.  Sellers, bail out now and don't look back.  

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Michael

Thu Feb 21 09:45:58 2008

eBay is turning back to its garage-sale roots.  Their fees are going up every year and for those of us already on thin margins, it's very nearly to the point you can't make any money.  Between eBay and PayPal fees, they take at least 12% of the gross revenue of every sale.  Profits are down to almost nothing and competition is as fierce as ever (most of our competitors are not doing the math on a per-item basis, else they would see that they are actually losing money by selling certain items).  And let's not forget that the post office is raising their rates once again in May!  So the only people who will find eBay worthwhile, very shortly, will be those people selling junk out of their closets.  They're not turning a profit or running a business, they're just conducting a garage sale, which means that people actually running a business selling new-in-box items can't compete when selling side-by-side with used merchandise.  We've noticed a steady decline in completed sales on eBay, so that combined with increasing fees means that eBay is not really a good selling venue anymore.  Granted, it still generates traffic, but it's more a bottomless fee pit than a genuine opportunity.  And they will continue to run it into the ground until all that's left is one big garage sale.  Then the buyers will go away when they can't find anything decent.  5 years from now, it's possible eBay will no longer be a household name and few legitimate sellers will still be there.

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Shadow Fire Promotions, Inc.

Thu Feb 21 21:09:55 2008

Actually, dimes, techslinger is 100% correct in his post.  Call it satire if you so desire, but satire generally is over the top and untruthful.  Everything techslinger mentioned is 100% true.  If you have never experienced it, don't fret.  You will.  Multiple times.  Every Paypal seller gets robbed from Paypal at LEAST once.  

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Mr. Kroy

Mon Feb 25 09:55:41 2008

An investigation currently underway suggests that an individual is using this site in a libellous attempt to defame an Ebay business. I urge this individual (initials K.W.) to reconsider your actions and cease your defamation activities immediately. You are flirting with a lawsuit and a total ban from Ebay.  

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: Mr. Kroy

Sun Mar 2 09:50:29 2008

My Mistake--
An investigation currently underway suggests that an individual is using this site in a whiny attempt to defame an Wishfilter. I urge this individual (initials C.E.) to reconsider your actions and cease your defamation activities immediately. You are flirting with a lawsuit from Quebec and a total ban from Canadian Ebay.  

Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers   Internet Guru: eBay Fascist in Treatment of Sellers

by: silverthefox

Sat Mar 15 13:16:08 2008

Great blog and absolutely correct! I have been a silver powerseller on eBay and now am a bronze powerseller.
I sell coins and have collected them for over sixty years.  I know a lot about coins and of course you never end learning!
I got my first negative from a buyer who knows nothing about coins especially sealed proof sets!
He paid 24.00 for one proof set and I sent him a 1964 in perfect condition!
Next thing I know I get an email saying You are a theif (misspelled of course)!  This is followed by my first negative from a buyer and 11 more harrassing emails even calling me a crackhead, crook you name it!
I reported this person to eBay and of course got nowhere!
I sent the 12 emails to eBay so far no response, do not think they even read them!
Point is:  After my auctions end no more listing on eBay.  Not a cry-baby over a negative!  No just an outraged seller who does not believe in eBays policies that they write and do not enforce!  Anyone on this site who is for eBay does not have the experience with them that I do or is an eBay shill!  Love the comments by the one guy who uses Paypal to get money back that is great integrity!  If they meant it as a pun I can forgive the comments!  Simple truth is this: Ebay is an auction house.  If you do not have sellers you have no auction!  Sellers pay the outrageous fees buyers do not!  Buyers know nothing of postal rates, time and gas!!! spent going to the PO, packaging materials and yes:  eBay lowered the listing fees right?
Yes and raised the selling fees 75% on me!!!!  Short of it is that when my auctions are over eBay losing thousands per year in fees.  Bye bye eBay!  Thanks

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