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Fri June 20 2008 19:56:02

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

By: Greg Holden

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I'm afraid the Safe Payments session I went to was a big yawn. There were only about 20 people in a big room--this in contrast to the feedback session this morning, which was in a much smaller room, where people had to be turned away. It was surprising because some potentially controversial topics were being discussed, such as new safer payment option requirements for sellers, and the fact that eBay, as John McDonald told the audience, will "hold payment for a certain amount of time if we see a risky transaction taking place." He didn't say what "a certain amount of time" meant though I have heard this is as long as 21 days. He acknowledged that "Sometimes these requirements will cause more friction for you as a seller," but it will be good for the eBay user community as a whole.
 
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As soon as Matthew Schuchman found out I was a writer--a writer for any publication, it didn't seem to matter which one--he started giving me a piece of his mind. " Schochman operates three stores that have PowerSeller status. "I don't know any PowerSeller who isn't really unhappy with the new system," he said. Many PowerSellers are opening stores on Amazon.com, he said, because it's getting harder to sell on eBay. "Amazon actually answers the phone when you call. When they say they're going to get back to you, they really do." All of that is in contrast to eBay, which doesn't contact sellers and which seems to pay less and less attention to them.

Greg Holden, who lives in Chicago, is an online business consultant and the author of eight books about eBay, including "How to Do Everything with Your eBay Business," second edition, and "Secrets of the eBay Millionaires," both published by Osborne-McGraw Hill. Find out more on
Greg's Web site and blog, http://www.gregholden.com.




Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: eBay: Fraud Central

Fri Jun 20 20:14:02 2008

EXACTLY!!

eBay customer service is NON-EXISTENT.

"eBay Customer Service" is an oxymoron.

PERIOD.



A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: Kal

Fri Jun 20 20:38:16 2008

''this in contrast to the feedback session this morning, which was in a much smaller room, where people had to be turned away.''

Gee, you don't suppose they planned it that way do you? The most controversial item of the conference, and it's held in a small room and people are being turned away.

STUPID!

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: tj

Fri Jun 20 20:51:39 2008

eBay customer service worldwide is just plain cr@p...too many ignorant, dumb people who have no idea what their job really means..and don’t give a damn about you as a seller

Live help is the biggest laugh..more like how to waste 20 minutes  

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: James Fraser

Fri Jun 20 21:38:31 2008



I have traveled all the way from Australia for my 3rd conference and this is by far the worst I have attended.

I have been a seller on E Bay for over 6 years now and have a 73300 feedback rating. My business grew rapidly on E Bay from 2001 - Step 2007. From February 2008 till June my business has dropped 70%. My feedback was 99.8% positive on nearly 100,000 transactions, it dropped to 98.6% thanks to neutral feedback when the changes came in. I would put some of that downturn to the world oil price as I sell DVDs and CDs, and these items wold fall into discretionary spending. I came here to find out what other things might be contributing to this downturn and came away with no answers.

Day 1 was very flat, and the only energy I could detect was the anger, hurt & distrust amongst the power sellers, and rightly so. There was a very luke warm welcome by the Power Sellers to the presenter. None of the energy I had experienced in previous years.

Whilst I thought the Power Seller orientation was well presented, it glossed over the numerous issues that sellers are aggrieved with. Understandably, it tried to point out the positives, of which there are some, but I do not think the audience was completely convinced and this was evidenced by the average applause at the end of the session. The presentation  also failed to point out that a lot of changes made, are not available on other E Bay sites around the world, so if you have traveled all the way from another country to get a better understanding of what is going on with E Bay, you would have been sorely disappointed. It is no good presenting all this good news when it only applies to 1 or 2 countries. E Bay is a global company and has a responsibility to implement consistent policies across all sites, not just the USA & Canada. I look on with some envy as you have far better support than Australia. I was lucky to get a Canadian account manager after much complaining about the crap service I was receiving, and there are no FVF discounts for Australian sellers at this point.

The solutions center was also very quiet when I attended at around 9.30am and there was a distinct lack of solutions providers. The suppliers section at the back was a joke, in my opinion. E Bay really could have used this opportunity to invite a large range of wholesalers to connect with sellers looking to grow their businesses. I for one was looking for a major distributor here that I could import goods from into Australia to sell on E Bay AU. All I found were small stalls which I thought were simply businesses which had hired space to flog their wares, not engage potential sellers.

I also paid for a Priority ticket that did not get me any priority seating or entry. I got an invite to meet E Bay executives for lunch on Friday but the way the invite was written, it was as if I had won lotto. This practice of management being almost unreachable and only available if you pay for it, I find insulting. It confirmed in my mind that E Bay is an extremely arrogant company that listens with a closed ear. Today I see that the Australian media is reporting that E Bay will be fighting the consumer watchdog in Australia over its bid to force E Bay sellers in Australia to only offer PayPal. Rather than accept the umpires verdict, it will fight it. Further evidence that my intuition about this company is correct.

This will be my last trip to an E Bay conference. The only positives I take from this event are the wonderful people of Chicago and their beautiful city.

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: Another powerseller

Fri Jun 20 22:30:33 2008

James thank you for your insights regarding the conference- your sentiments speak for many of us who were formally thriving Australian Powersellers, I am quite sure.

I have read all the ebay live announcements and followed the news with interest and fingers crossed.

As understandably disappointing the news has been for our American friends, its is magnified 100 fold for us.

Why have Australians been left out from any of these improvements'?  

Why are basic listing fees with gallery still $1.09 each and in the USA they are only 10 cents each? Why don't we receive powerseller discounts?

I don't know about you, James, but our formerly thriving ebay business could sure use some relief and some hope. Sales are down about 50% for us, fees are higher than ever, and listings are not converting to sales. We are not getting any value for money from ebay listings any more.

If this keeps up, our ebay business will go under by Christmas. Ebay keep grabbing at us for more money. But the money just isn't there to grab. They can try to bully us into paying more fees via paypal, but all that doing is forcing our heads under the water. We're drowning. Don't they realise we have to pay taxes and eat?

We feel that its time to cast our sights on an exit plan from ebay as well as alternative sales platforms such as google. I wish you and your business the very best, James!



A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: bite me

Sat Jun 21 00:07:09 2008

gl selling on amazon. The buyers are even less forgiving. FB is maybe even worse than it is on ebay

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: tj

Sat Jun 21 00:50:56 2008

The last 3 posts really sum up the problem with eBay; 2 international sellers doing the right thing and getting nothing in return (only massive selling fees)…then 1 jackass who basically is the no1 cheerleader for eBay with his pathetic comments...
I truly sympathies with the 2 sellers…No one is listening at eBay

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: bite me

Sat Jun 21 01:51:55 2008

I'm not a cheerleader, I'm a realist. If you look at the fees from amazon, in many cases selling on ebay is cheaper. It's also easier for buyers to get their money back

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: loathing ebay

Sat Jun 21 01:52:10 2008

while I am only relatively new to the world of ebay I have been in business for myself for the last 25 years

during that time I have dealt with many different companies in one way or other

I have to say I find ebay's customer service to be not only insulting but a complete waste of time and the attitude of the company in general to be pompous, arrogant and hubristic

ebay & paypal are a law unto themselves where you are guilty until proven innocent but never given an opportunity to state your case

in Australia the Federal regulators are about to knock ebay off their high and mighty horse

what a delight it will be to see them tumble

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: disgruntled ebayer

Sat Jun 21 08:35:47 2008

Totally agree with loathing ebay's comments. Reminds me when i was in the comics business and the big & might wholesale Diamond thought they knew everything & did whatever they pleased but did nothing to help their own customers. i left them & i left ebay. NO REGRETS.

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: CashBackAtEbay

Sat Jun 21 12:34:55 2008

Interesting how the feedback session was a small room. It shows that eBay understands exactly what they've created. Turning away sellers to control the crowds was a wise move for security purposes.

>>> To "bite me" regarding Amazon. Please give us your feedback. We think Amazon is terrific.

http://www.cashbackatebay.com/Amazon

>>> TO disgruntled eBay sellers, we have some cool resources for you:
http://www.cashbackatebay.com/eBaysellers

>>> To stock watchers! eBay stock has been hovering at $28 when it was formerly at the $30 range. Amazon has been holding steady in the $81-$82 range hovering above its $80 range. Sellers should continue to make noise with investors -- its the only clear way to get our point across.

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: Mike

Mon Jun 23 08:53:26 2008

Amazon the eBay alternative?  You've gotta be kidding me!!!  Amazon.com is a great place to buy, however it is a joke for sellers.

Why?

Because few people understand that Amazon will suspend you from their site for the slightest misstep - and when they do, IT'S FOR LIFE!

Yes, it's true.  No warning, no second chances.  If Amazon discontinues your membership, you have no recourse.  You are permanently suspended - there is nothing you can say, or do, or anyone you can speak with.

And it takes virtually nothing to get suspended from Amazon.  In fact, they will kick you off simply for not acquiring enough positive feedback!  No, I'm not kidding...it happened to a friend of ours. One day she simply received an email that said she was suspended...and it was permanent per Amazon policy.  

And while we're on the subject of feedback, Amazon buyers tend not to leave it...and when they do, it tends only to be negative.  Also, Amazon buyers expect you to honor the Amazon policy of paying for their return shipping (regardless of the reason for the return).  So when you don't - you guessed it - you receive negative feedback.

Also, Amazon is able to police FAR better than eBay.  Get suspended from Amazon, open a new account, and you will find yourself suspended once again within about a week.  That said, however, they are terrible about removing banned items.  Stun guns & pepper spray are not allowed on the site, but you can readily find them there.

So as much as I hate to defend eBay (a company I abhore), Amazon respects 3rd party sellers even less!

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: Juliana

Wed Jun 25 01:20:45 2008

"He acknowledged that "Sometimes these requirements will cause more friction for you as a seller," but it will be good for the eBay user community as a whole."


Sellers, bend over and take it up the wazoo (once again) for the good of the whole.  

Socialism again rears its ugly head at Ebay.  Nuthin' new here.

And while I'm at it, when has Ebay EVER had a clue about what their user community is really all about?

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: david

Wed Jun 25 14:28:52 2008

Well, I used to sell on ebay a lot, and I have been sell amazon for past 2 month. Here is some of my thoughts:

1) To bite me: ebay's fee is cheaper than amazon? if you only sell with auction and have 100% STR. amazon's selling format is pretty much like ebay store. last time I check, ebay store FVF is 12% + 3% paypal vs amazon's 8% (you will also pay $1 per transaction, but if you are a pro seller, it's waved). Not to mention ebay store get much much lesser exposure.

2) amazon and it's buyer are less forgiving? yes, that's truth. you want to be very careful on amazon. However, since amazon have much lesser competition, you get much higher profit, thus you can offer better service.

3) Amazon don't have as many seller software as ebay. so there are lot of more work compare to ebay where you can do the job automatically most of the time


Overall, amazon is a better place for me (if you know what you are doing).

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: Kathy

Mon Jun 30 20:30:53 2008

Hmmm, am now more discouraged than ever as I assumed eBay's new feedback and PayPal retention policies were designed to 'clean up' their user base, get rid of potential fraudulent occurrences, etc. Had even though eBay would use these policies such that they got rid of small sellers, saved themselves man-hours, server space, etc. (I've sold on eBay for 10 1/2 years in a pt-time capacity, making PowerSeller only twice, but had been planning on doing it full time now.) Am very sad to learn there are so many PowerSellers unhappy with these new policies. Am even more frustrated since I'm now faced w/an underage buyer who's left neg FB accusing me of being an ex-convict that eBay refuses to remove. Am even more perplexed since eBay did remove another neg FB she left for a 2nd purchase she made.  That simply accused me of being a stinking, cheating liar.  Have never had this stuff happen in all these years; do we have any viable alternatives?

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: Kathy

Mon Jun 30 20:33:13 2008

Thank you for your post, David, about Amazon...I used to sell there and think I'll go back.  Perhaps as eBay's stock plummets, Amazon's will go back up.

A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live   A Couple of Thoughts at the End of Day 2 of eBay Live

by: Jay

Tue Jul 8 03:51:04 2008

Kathy, I afraid that getting away from ebay and Amazon would be the solution.  I was suspended from selling on Amazon and I am a current seller on ebay.  Neither one is guaranteed income due to the fact that they can shut you down based on one psycho buyer's complaint.  I am looking to create my own site and sell from there.  



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