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Wed June 4 2008 23:27:18

And Now For Something Completely Different...

By: Ina Steiner

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As you can imagine, I receive a lot of email from sellers sharing their opinion about eBay's changes. Much of the letters point to flaws in eBay's new policies and programs. Tonight I received a positive letter from a seller I've known for a long time. This person has been selling on eBay for many years and knows their way around the site. I thought it would be interesting to share their perspective:

I ran some numbers on my eBay business today now that most of the big changes have been in place for a spell....and these facts are signs of improvement

l. I made more on eBay in May than I have made in any month since 2005 (excluding Decembers when eBay has always been really good)

2. My fees for May were 9.6% of my sales....the lowest since 2002 before the 25 cent listing disappeared.

3. I was able to move my monthly fee discount up to 15% in May (just missed it in April).....

4. I leave standard feedback for every customer who pays and receives their goods in good order....I have had no issues with any customer (one wanted to talk about shipping and we worked it out) since the new feedback rules were begun

5. For me, the best way to sell on eBay is to stock my store with fixed price/ best offer items and list cheap at auction with low or free (not often) shipping with directions to similar items in my store.....

6. The promotions featuring lower fees have worked very well for me in the last 3 months if I use them sparingly to put pricey stuff up and leave the regular stuff in the store.

7. My DSR's stay at about 4.8 or better with cost of shipping being the lowest. I am less than 100 feedbacks from being a shooting star and my feedback stays at 99.8% positive even with the recent changes.

Right now I give eBay a B+..... and I hope that they are still looking at the idea of having store in core with some higher monthly fees......say 5,000 listings for $99.00.....as I would sign up immediately.

PS: I think my success could go south if I run into one or several nasty sellers (knock wood that never happens).....but I'd be OK if this continues.

If my friend is having success, I have to believe there are others out there too. How would you grade eBay these days?

 




Comments (34) | Permalink

Readers Comments

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: hans garcia

Thu Jun 5 00:35:20 2008

I think everybody has samething to share about ebay and some they have good things to said sae have bad things to said but is personal and about me I feel that ebay is no longer good bussines for me but is my only income I'm lookin other auction sites but most are very small I'm really ungry really really my hope is google wil came with a auction house thanks just another ungry seller sorry about my bad english

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Patricia

Thu Jun 5 01:12:50 2008

Sorry Ina - but your friend's story sounds like a fisherman's tale to me.  Perhaps he is a high volume powerseller?  I've learned that's a different breed - treated differently than the rest of us.  I'm a 10 year small seller - generally had 50+ auctions running at all times and hovered just below powerseller status most months.  My feedback (total over 3,400) has been 100 percent for the past 10 years, my DSRs 5, 5, 5, and 4.9.  Yet, I was rated as "standard" and pushed to the back of the listings.  My sales dropped to almost nothing when instantly best match took over and most had few views.  Well, I'm not listing there anymore - after 10 years!  What's the use of simply paying the same fees as your friend there but getting nothing in return.  That's my story and its quite a common one if you read the discussion boards.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: tj

Thu Jun 5 01:48:27 2008

sound like someone similar who sells tobacco related items......1 in a million comes to mind; as almost every seller I know is well down on eBay sales, takings & most important PROFIT...Alexa shows very clearly eBay is going down, Med shows STR is not going anywhere only down ..So this guy is the 1 in a million ...LOL

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: christmascruise

Thu Jun 5 05:33:47 2008

I wish your friend luck.

Here is my experience with ebay:

Since 1999, I've maintained 100% feedback, with no negatives, no neutrals and no withdrawals, EVER.  My DSR ratings are 5 stars in EVERY category. I've always charged EXACT shipping and have NEVER charged ANY handling fees, whatsoever.  I have NEVER had any restrictions of ANY kind on ebay or Paypal and have NEVER had a listing removed.  

Ebay TELLS the media they want to keep & reward the great sellers...that the new policies are only to rid themselves of the ''bad'' sellers and that they want to retain powersellers and small sellers who provide great service.

THAT IS A LIE!

According to my dashboard, my ''Search Standing'' is ''Standard'', though ''RAISED'' is the highest placement score.  Why would a 100% Feedback, 5 star DSR seller who charges exact shipping NOT be placed in the ''RAISED'' status?

A foreboding message on my dashboard reads, ''Although your risk of restrictions is low, a policy violation can result in the removal of some of your listings''.  I have NEVER been at risk!

My Dashboard rates my ''Buyer Satisfaction'' as ''Good'', yet my buyers have rated me as ''Excellent'', per ebay's own definition to buyers.  Buyers are told 5 stars equal ''Excellent'' and 4 stars equal ''Good'', yet there is no ''Excellent'' rating on any Dashboards.

A couple of my repeat buyers emailed me to find out when I'd be listing again.  I had auctions running at the time, but they were unable to find them.  That's when I discovered that ebay had buried my listings behind sellers with lower feedback, lower DSRs and even some sellers with 0 feedback!

Since ALL of my buyers have rated me with the HIGHEST possible scores on EVERY aspect of ebay's rating systems, the ONLY conclusion is that ebay is penalizing me ONLY because I am NOT a powerseller.  

Ebay has raised my fees, hidden my listings, denied me discounts, erased all but my last 12 months of excellent service and allows buyers to leave negative feedback, while stealing my right to leave honest feedback.  

I'm yet another EXCELLENT SELLER who is DONE with ebay!  

Now BOYCOTTING EBAY with the other excellent, yet unjustly punished, ebayers!  


And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Tired

Thu Jun 5 07:13:18 2008

@ Ina...

Without knowing any details of what they sell, the volume of items and the actual feedback scores IT IS NOT A FAIR REVIEW!  I know based on my experience and experience of other powersellers I associate with business on eBay is down, way down!!!  There is something more to your story if it's true.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: MERMAIDMONKEYS

Thu Jun 5 09:10:38 2008

Is it an anomaly? It's odd how a seller could actually improve during the changes designed to degrade sellers en masse. Ina, is someone paying you under the table to report soemthing good about eBay? The story smacks of a bogus claim.

We are likely on our way out of our Platinum PowerSeller status for inactivity. Our DSRs are dropping daily from inactivity -- we stopped listing May 18, 2008 when we learned our perfect 100% feedback score would drop to 99.8%. It's currently at 99.7% because some of our last feedbacks were neutrals. Our seller dashboard results were 4.9 in all except shipping at 4.8. Our dashboard has dropped from RAISED to STANDARD, simply because we haven't listed. eBay had not accounted for sellers who go on vacation or seasonal sellers.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Gary Overton

Thu Jun 5 09:45:58 2008

I don't care for the eBay changes and have been very vocal against the feedback changes BUT my sales the last 3 months have been the highest ever on eBay. I have given Griff such a hard time that he no longer responds to my e-mails
I think one of the reasons for this is the lower listing fees. I have always listed everything at auction twice before putting it in my store and before the changes I saved a lot of listings for special days. With the lower fees I list with wild abandon. I have a feedback of almost 15,000 and have sold over 20,000 items in the last 3 months. I have linked my e-mail so anyone that would like to discuss this can send me an e-mail. I would be glad for you to look at my items and maybe we can discuss different ways to help sales.
BTW, selling online is 100% of my income and has been for over 6 years.
I think one of the other reasons my sales may be up is because the items I list take a lot of work to list and a newbie selling in my categories has little chance of success. I also have built up a very loyal customer base over the years that buy regularly because I put up a lot of unique items EVERY week.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Gary Overton

Thu Jun 5 09:48:37 2008

OOPS!
That is over 2000 sales in the last 90 days NOT 20,000

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Unbeliever

Thu Jun 5 09:50:16 2008

Oh dear, I think Howard's been eaten.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWlUu54muOs

Let's all celebrate
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMKCLyhBBwI

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: plmay

Thu Jun 5 12:57:40 2008

I agree with mermaidmonkeys above. Ina must be working with ebay in some capacity. Always trying to spin this entire ebay fiasco into something positive. I stopped selling completely over a month ago. I was not a power seller (I was a happy, steady,customer service seller) so I figured why bother?
100% feedback rating but a small seller of under 100 items per month. No complaints, just feel we've been bullied out!

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Laura

Thu Jun 5 14:24:34 2008

I figured there MUST be a couple of happy sellers left. But it would have been nice to know more information about what they sell and etc otherwise its of no value.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Gary Overton

Thu Jun 5 15:00:34 2008

Laura,
That is why I made it so you can e-mail me. I will gladly share any information I can. You can look at my listings, etc.
Aw Heck! Here's my store address
http://stores.ebay.com/Got-The-Shirt
Ina, if you don't allow this please remove. Just trying to help

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: laura

Thu Jun 5 17:32:48 2008

@Gary
Thank you very much for providing the information. I saw your prior post but didn't "get" that you and Something Different were the same person, that is what you are saying, right?

I am glad to see a vintage seller doing well. You said you would share info....do you still do research on your items or do you just know what sells through experience?

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Gary Overton

Thu Jun 5 19:44:42 2008

Something different is a different seller. I seldom do research on items. I price for what I want to get for the item. If an item does not sell right away it is ok with me because I know it will sell sooner or later in my store. My sell-through rates on auctions is just a little over 20% but I make up for it in my store. One of the keys to my success, I think is having so many different items in my store. I do work a tremendous # of hours to keep my store level at where it is.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: I wrote to Ina

Thu Jun 5 19:54:05 2008

I'm the one who wrote to Ina. I'm not paying Ina anything and eBay and I don't have any special arrangements and I'm dead certain Ina doesn't. I don't sell tobacco, not given to fishing tales, and I'm a woman.

The one thing that makes all the difference is being a Power Seller. It is primary to the new ways at eBay....and I don't think that's going to change. So the first thing I did was set up my work program so that I was real sure I would maintain my PS status and everything else improved.

I think many of eBay's new rules and policies are both unfair and damaging to many fine sellers. I think they are especially hard on quality small sellers and the big high-volume operations (I am not one of those, I'm a one-person seller). But, for now, they are in place and none of us can do much about it. My best advice is, if you can find a way to move up to PS status, do so...it's worth it.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Shelley

Thu Jun 5 22:32:29 2008

I think it is enlightening to read about someone with a positive outlook.  All the whining gets old after awhile.  

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: Tatyana

Thu Jun 5 22:50:56 2008

BALONEY.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: gcarr

Thu Jun 5 23:23:05 2008

Business as usual during an economic downturn is not possible. Is the bad economy eBay's fault? Stop whining and work harder to overcome obstacles...Or worry about changes and wollar in failure.
BTW, I truly hate the ebay micromanagement.

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: ma

Thu Jun 5 23:43:24 2008

I would never accuse Ina of being an ebay secret agent. She works hard. Im sure some have done well in may with so many on strike. I used to be a power seller. for years actually, then my sales just dropped like a rock. then as they were changing I started getting hope of PS again, no such luck, last three days of May only one sale or was it two, like 14.00 total. 50 dollars short again. I used to make 1-1.5k gross with 20-25 auctions ea week plus my store. Now if I dont have 50+ auctions I have no bids. My fees to list are down (overall) but so are the tiny refund fees, I used to get 10$ or so back every month, now its 50 cents. same with paypal. over all fees are lower per item but so are sales therefore income. I do everything, use keywords, GB, counters to double check, check my omniture stats, reword things, clean up html. Im also working longer hours, plus another job. And ebay wont even discuss problems. Its like being lost on a raft and no rescue boat in site. ma

And Now For Something Completely Different...   And Now For Something Completely Different...

by: simply

Thu Jun 5 23:59:34 2008

IF this seller is doing so well, he must be located in the USA for his store to do so well. (as ebay.com has a visible link to stores, just as some other countries do)
Here in Australia, our management is backward. Our stores are hidden behind colourful solid walls with very little visible linking to encourage ebay users to visit them!
Our management is also backward in thinking by chasing buyers away with constant reference to "scam" on the website and encouraging distrust in sellers. In addition to this, they chase buyers and sellers away by wanting Paypal only here! If Paypal IS so good, why isn't it Paypal only in their home country????

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