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Sat June 21 2008 12:24:17

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

By: Ina Steiner

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Jim "Griff" Griffith moderated the Town Hall meeting, which took place at the eBay Live convention in Chicago. It's also being broadcast on eBay Radio.

Lorrie Norrington, Stephanie Tilenius, Todd Lutwak (Seller Development), Jeff King (Finding), Kristina Klausen (Shipping), Monroe Labouisse, Dineshe Lathi, Brian Burke, and David Pride (T&S).

Larry Phillips of IMA asked the first question about feedback. What are you doing to educate buyers that a 4 DSR is a failure. I had to cover my ears the applause was so loud. He also said he was disappointed to hear that there would not be changing to the wording til the end of the year.

David Pride - made changes for collective good, make marketplace healthy and vibrant. But we are heading in the right direction, we will course-direct. We do acknoweldege the feedback :
MFW - we need to come up w/ a better solution - no later than the holidays.
UPI process & Neg feedback  - we'll go back andlook at that
Neutrals - it may have been a surprise th way we did that. We will look a the data and be deliberae about changes if they need to be made. We'll change what we need to do.

Brian Burke - One thing we' re looking at is the entire leave feedback flow. DSRs is one aspect of the entire flow we're looking at and to imrpvoe that flow.

Reason for eBay Live is to get input, we meet every night at 9pm - recognize we're here to make you successful, at a hilgh level is to grow this business.

Tracy, rayfield designs: I have more than 20,000 fb -and I use the eBay Giving Worlks program. But eBay hasn’t' haven't done enough.

Applause.

Question for Dinesh: You sent all announcements to community last night when we were having fun - why didn’t' you tell us first.

Answer: Basically - okay. Thanks.

Joe: Predictability of seller discount - can you put it at beginning and end of month. Can you do it on the same day every month. (applause.

Answer from Todd Lutwak: explained how process works.

Karen: has an eBay store and does auctions. How to marry brick and mortar biz with eBay business.

Griff: is it a T&S issue (shill bidding)

Dinesh: I'd like to understand more about what you're trying to get done. Let's get together. [--break--]

Kim: the netural fb counting against seller is unfair (applause). Why do you only count for the past year, I've been building fb for 5 years (applause). What's the reason for that?

David Pride: we think neutral will go back as buyers are less fearful about leaving negs. We felt 12 months more indicative of performance.

Brian: DSRs are aligned w/ 12 months. But your total score does account for the entire feedback.

Griff: it's a better balance, and you can retire old negs.

Lorrie: most of our sellers benefited from that change due to aged feedback.

Next Question: linking policy - need more info. Can you promote off-ebay site but not link to it? Can you link to your own site on classifieds sites.? Yahoo Sponsored Ads is contradictory to the new policy and takes away from sellers. (Applause)

Stephanie: we recognize that advertising is taking biz off the site. We are experimenting, w/ a longterm goal is for you to buy advertising on the site. So that will benefit you. We got great feedback. How do we morph to allow sellers to still grow their business at the same time, we're trying to limit fraud.

Brian Burke: Announcement may have been made prematurely w/out the details. Wait for those specifics in the coming weeks, and we'll get those out to you. I don't want you to be fearful.

Joanne (The Queen's Treasures): thank you for the conference, I've learned a lot (Applause). We're concerned about customer satisfaction too, we want people to order multiple items. She was concerned about the way eBay was counting feedback.

Brian Burke gave an answer and said it had to do with issues of feedback manipulation.

Ben Flyleaf Electornics: Neutral feedback - buyers impression is that neutrals don't negatively effect sellers. (applause).

Brian: we need to have clearer text. The text is accurate, but it's incomplete, because it doesn't state it impacts the percentage, and we've got to get that text on the site.

Griff: We need to work on educating buyers.

Question: What is your vision of Stores, what kind of searchability, so we can know if we need to replan

Stephane: Stores not going anywhere. (applause) Stores is integral to us.

Followup: Even mom & pop stores?

Griff: Yes, and he reiterated they are important. "You are the heart and soul of eBay," and "we depend on you," and we are sorry if that's the impression we gave you. (clapping).

Lorrie: I'd reitierate what I said the other day, there is no small, there is no large, we want to understand if we are disadvantaging anyone. Want to reate the best seller growth.

Question: I teach folks how to sell houses on eBay. They are smart, but have no eBay knowledge. Anyway we could have an eBay video hosting so they don't have to go to Youtube and grab HTML?

Stephanie: We're looking into video and rich media. We get a lot of requests, particularly in Motors. It's something we think we should do longer term.

Question: w/ DSRs, why eBay doesn’t feel it's impt for selers to see buyers so we can see which buyers. If communication isn't going well, we could blcok them.

Brian: anonymity around DSRs goes back to when buyers feared retaliation. We didn’t' want to introduce it when people feared. We'll look and see if it makes sense for it to remain anonymous.
Dinesh: We understand how impt DSRs are to your biz. We're looking for more granularity to help you run your biz.

Australian Seller: you're introducing paypal-only marketplace in Aussie, if the ACCC allows it. Are you planning to go PP only in the US?

Monroe: we're not going to make any announcements about doing the same in other countries. Going to PayPal only was a decision that the Australian team made, appropriate for their country. In the US, we'll definitely not go to a PP ony situation. (Applause)

David: PayPal is the safest way to pay online. Listings that don't accept PP are twice as likely to have UPIs. You can put that in your Buyer Requirements.

Question: (SEO company) Is there away to create sub-accounts  And by the way, Lorrie rocks. (laughter)

Dinesh: There's not one right now, but we've heard that consistently. As they scale their business, they need to have administrative rights with multiple employees.

Gary Crawfod (from Montreal, but lives 3 blocks from here): Where's John, I have a Cubs World Seires cap to give him. I was a PowerSeller. What is eBay doing nationally or int'ly to drive traffic to eBay.com? "IT" sucked (referring to the ad campaign from a few years ago).

Stephanie: Thank you for your feedback (laughter). We take it seriously. We are driving buyer demand. First - coupons. By end of june, we'll have add'l loyalty programs. We do Search marketing to drive traffic to your businesses. We continue to improve our marketing engine (?). And we are expanding our phone support to top buyers. New initiatives, and you'll see more.

Followup: what about people new to eBay?

Stephanie: we're focused on top buyers, but also all buyers.

Stephanie: We must create a good buying experience for growth.

Dee: I'm a P/S Everything Under the Sun eBay Store. Good feedback and DSR. (Panel applause). There are always exceptions to rule. Why for a buyer with a UPI, or 3 weeks to pay, why can't I give them bad feedback. (Applause from audience)

Brian: One reason to make decition, when we looked at what happened to buyers who rec'd neg fb, we looked at cream-of-crop buyers - receipt of neg fb was top reason for them to leave the marketplace. We could not allow that to continue.

W/ regard to UPI, we improved that process, we knkow we have more work to do to improve the process, and that the seller isn't negatively impacted. We want buyers to be accountable as much as sellers. (dead silence)

Dwayne: We sell online through our website and through eBay. We have a merchant account and don't want a PayPal account. You have to take PayPal to take advantage of some of eBay's programs. Merchant accounts vet me. Don't forget about people who are real businesses and only want to use their own merchant accounts but want to take advantage of all the upgrades.

Monroe: we do allow sellers to use their own merchant accounts. Integration into checkout isn't full (or complete?). we are looking to integrate them into Checkout. Paying w/ paper (checks and money orders) is not as safe. In the US, a buyer is 80 percent more likely o file a dispute than when they pay with electonic methods, such as a credit card. We don't have plans to go to PayPal only, but we want to use payments to make the marketplace safer. We'll continue to look at payments to make it safer.

Brian: I'm a Half.com seller. After leaving feedback, you are pulling my customer back. It's time to bring customers back to Half.com.

Stephane: Youll see things around the holidays around that.

Haley: Mother of 3 childrens, and I happen to make a living on eBay. I've done the corporate things. I don't have time for all that stuff. You really do want big sellers, mostly new items. That's fine, I've been in that world, and everyone wants to make money.But I want to make money, can you make an ebay One, can you bring back the old eBay. LOUD APPLAUSE. Can you have one and two?

Lorie: There's a need for buyers on the Internet to get allknds of experiences. How do we take this incredible tradition, and make sure it takes care of the good, and how do we bridge that and - thereare a lot of searches werher we don't have inventory.

Bueyrs tell us they want both the unique things, as well as more things they want int heir daily life. There's one big eBay out there. We aren't trying to exclude anybody. One of our biggest challenges/goals s to bring back the best of eBay so we can all continue to grow.

I find the stories inspiring that I can quit my job,and I want it to be like that in 10 years.

There are other alternatives, and we need to play a better game altogether The best of everybody all together.

Griff: End of our time. Gala is free tonight. Thank you for coming, very valuable to us. Enjoy the rest of your time here.

(applause).




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging

by: JC

Sat Jun 21 12:36:55 2008

Wow this is cool! Where the heck is John Donohoe?!? What a wussy - can't face the crowd in an open forum!!

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: M.C. Nygard

Sat Jun 21 12:45:21 2008

On the topic of neutrals count as negative ... At least Brian Burke is admitting that eBay needs "to have clearer text. The text is accurate, but it's incomplete, because it doesn't state it impacts the percentage, and we've got to get that text on the site."

I filed a complaint with the better business bureau on that very issue! I encourage all sellers in the U.S. and Canada to go to BBB.org and file a similar complaint.

Take action. Make noise.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: eBay: Fraud Central

Sat Jun 21 13:13:25 2008

Okay, they just KEEP talking out both sides of their mouths!

"Lorrie: I'd reitierate what I said the other day, there is no small, there is no large, we want to understand if we are disadvantaging anyone."


WHAT THE HECK? What about the fact that they give Power Sellers preferential treatment? What is she saying? This makes no sense at all.

The spin. The spin. The spin.

My head is what's spinning here.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: eBay: Fraud Central

Sat Jun 21 13:28:24 2008

"There is no small, there is no large."

WHAT A FREAKING CROCK!

What about the fact that they only let volume BUYERS have a "customer service" (and I use that term loosely) phone support number?

Power Sellers AND buyers are the only ones who really count at eBay. They are totally contradicting themselves. AGAIN.

Man, the LIES these people tell is almost too much to take.

EVERYTHING at eBay is geared towards volume. There IS no level playing field.

Amazing.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: me

Sat Jun 21 13:38:34 2008

where was the answer to why is a 4 out of 5 a fail?


pathetic.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: Lisa B

Sat Jun 21 13:44:59 2008

They sound so sincere and nice. You want to believe them. I think they knew exactly what they were doing when they set these policies in place. What they didn't realize is the repercussions that have followed. Mainly all the noise.

I would like to see them follow through and make positive adjustments for the sellers, but I'm hesitant to believe them at this point. Will see.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: Marc Lubin

Sat Jun 21 13:57:36 2008

I am the Australian seller mentioned above.  I did NOT ask whether PayPal only would be introduced in the US - I asked whether they would like to take this opportunity to make any announcements regarding the introduction of this policy to ANY of eBay's global sites.  And the answer was ducked by starting with the statement that they would not introduce it in the US which of course brought applause.  However I would caution US sellers that they still may be forced more and more to use PayPal only through other means.  Not that I'm anti-PayPal - I offer it and appreciate it as a time-saver, and it suits my business - I'm just pro-choice!

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: stevie b.

Sat Jun 21 14:04:18 2008

you mean Jeff King was there and no-one asked him why he's about to trash collectibles with the new search (?) - which is totally biased towards mass-merchandisers.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: dimes

Sat Jun 21 14:16:50 2008

How to lie with statistics:

eBay says:
''In the US, a buyer is 80 percent more likely to file a dispute than when they pay with electonic methods, such as a credit card. ''

What eBay doesn't say:
People who use credit cards don't file disputes, they go to their credit card companies and file chargebacks.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: RichardC

Sat Jun 21 15:50:30 2008

I hope they shut out the lights, and close the door whent he last seller leaves.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: eBay: Fraud Central

Sat Jun 21 16:28:02 2008

I had to take a small break and come back and look at this again. I re-read the answers by the eBay soldiers they sent out to the front lines and I came away with a deeper meaning of what I just read.

What they are REALLY saying to us is:

BLAH BLAH BLATHER BLATHER BLAH BLAH BLAH. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

I get the hint now. As we ALL should.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: bizzy

Sat Jun 21 17:01:35 2008

Notice they rarely ever actually answer a question.  I'm reminded of the Charlie Brown cartoons where all the adults speaking sound like "Wah wah wah.... wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah..."  That's about how much sense their sound-bite responses made.  I'm not holding my breath for any real changes to occur.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: Tired

Sat Jun 21 18:19:20 2008

Did anyone reading these things expect anything positive for the sellers.  Bottom line is these people are talking out there butts, both sides of their butts!  They don't care about 99% of the people attending the conference!  I spoke to a friend who has been to several of these and he said things are very subdued and the number of people attending is way down.  I used to love eBay but I hate it now and all of the corporate idiots should be fired!!!!

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: bite me

Sat Jun 21 19:04:01 2008

its ok with me. more pro sellers = worse prices.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: bonni

Sun Jun 22 06:33:02 2008

"Going to PayPal only was a decision that the Australian team made, appropriate for their country."

Except that it's not appropriate for our country, and it's not even legal in our country.

Clueless. eBay management are clueless. Or, I supposed, they're in serious denial. Or they're lying. Or, and this is the most likely, all three.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: *HippieChick1969*

Sun Jun 22 13:01:46 2008

EBAY SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: Fruity

Sun Jun 22 13:47:14 2008

I haven't been able to listen to the Town Hall audio since they changed their format last year. If anyone has a way to send me an alterative file format please let me know. I can play these types elsewhere but only on ebays I can't hear it. I dont know, whenever I call in to ask a question its like they know its me they always refuse to take my call. Maybe they dont want me to listen either! waaaaa

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: Fruity

Sun Jun 22 14:18:24 2008

MC, I'm not filing with the BBB, I'm gonna haul them into small claims court so they can explain the Dashboard DSRs feedback under oath for the record. Just doing that is worth it, they can't bring in an attorney, just them. I think more of us need to start doing that so we can match up their lies! how many people have rotated throughthe DSRS/Feedback controversy? 5 people. Who has every explained it in any real world example. NONE OF THEM. For $50 any one of us can file a small claims case. Lets see if a judge believes us or them

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jun 23 03:46:42 2008

After reading numerous blogs and articles across the net that reported ebay executive comments during EBAY LIVE, the only logical conclusion that can be drawn is the following:

1. They're either lying through their collective bloodthirsty sharpened fangs OR they make terrifically important decisions on the fly with little comprehension of or regard for the facts and even less interest in a thorough analysis of the all the consequences -- intended or otherwise.

In either case, stockholders should have dumped their stock yesterday because these geniuses ain't going to get religion any time soon and clean up their shabby little road show act.

Stockholders should ask themselves what else these captains of business and industry are hiding and lying about.

It is incomprehensible that no one made ebay back up their absurd feedback premise that buyers left ebay because they "feared" retaliatory feedback.

This is hogwash of the first magnitude.

Buyers leave ebay because of amateurish, incompetent, and generally non existent customer service and rampant fraud caused by ebay's encouragement of shill bidding and the proliferation of counterfeit goods in order to collect fees.

Buyers leave ebay because ebay has driven up the cost of doing business for many sellers that they can find identical merchandise easier and less expensively elsewhere.

Buyers leave ebay because ebay paid attention to the recommendations of the sorry, criminal likes of Bear Stearns (see last week's report about criminal charges against BS executives) and made their site "stickier" aka more difficult to navigate and use by adding the me too blogs, neighborhoods, and other vanity 'features' that make ebay slow and cumbersome to use at best.

Buyers leave ebay because they seldom could find IT, and when they did, IT was cheaper elsewhere. IT wasn't a counterfeit elsewhere, and that cute little Yahoo link took buyers to the Yahoo site where they bought IT instead of from an ebay seller.

Buyers leave ebay to follow their favorite sellers who are abandoning the Titanic by the thousands each month.

A good performance at Ebay Live? Only if anyone believed three days of carefully scripted lies.

eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)   eBay Live Town Hall Meeting Live Blogging (Ina)

by: z

Mon Jun 23 08:47:56 2008

I'm surprised that forcing paypal onto our australian friends illegally, was never brought up. I think every lawyer should go after donahoe ONLY! Put all the preasure on the captain of the ship. Make him feel so overwelmed by all the trouble his company has caused. Spin it on him. He makes me so MAD! Ebay could have been such a leader in online shopping, paving the way to a  new century. But instead, he bullies his way. Australian AAAC say
"NO"  Ebay says screw you, we do what we want.  I say go after donahoe. Make him pay for his crimes. Destroying once was a great way of selling and buying to people all over the world. Ebay is like our current prez. He is there, but all the confidence is gone, making anything HE/ebay tries, will be a smokescreen for what they really intend.
Why are they allowed to get away with this. I hope australia kicks ebay out of there country entirely. PFFfftt good
ridence.
  and this is why ebay live/dead is truley a failure.

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