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Fri Sept 19 2008 10:19:53

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

By: Ina Steiner

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When eBay rolls out changes, such as the new format that rolled out this week, my email inbox gets swamped. eBay is holding aTown Hall meeting today, hopefully sellers will call in with their questions. Here are a just some of the reports I've been getting.

With regard to the new 30-Day Fixed-Price Format: "There are several things that eBay fails to mention with regard to the multiple listings in FP/30. If you have an enhancement to a listing that charge is multiplied by the number of items available....like listing on other eBay sites, highlighting, etc. Also if you change anything in the title of the listing the benefits of multiple items sold from that listing end and the count starts again. And I'm sure there are other nuanced fees as well."

-----


"We have a confirmed bug from ebay on Pickup only / free shipping store listings. Apparently, the GTC option stops on 30 days, requiring a manual relist. We have received a confirmation that this is an issue, but no idea as to when eBay will correct it. The problem? We have to manually relist dozens of items each day until this is resolved."

-----

Regarding Best Match "Yesterday Sept 16 and again today Sept 17, I noticed seeing the same items show up TWICE (old, regular search with Best Match sort order), and this also means that lots of items are not showing up at all in a search. Here is a screenshot that I captured on Sept 16, after doing a search for STONEWARE BOWL. Followed by another captured on Sept 17,...because some items are appearing twice, I'm concluding that some items are NOT BEING SHOWN at all."

-----

And then there are the Seller Non Performance issues, such as this one described in the eBay Feedback forum.

Post your questions in the comments, but even better - call in to the meeting so you can get answers!

 




Comments (33) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Brenda

Fri Sep 19 11:06:25 2008

I have questions, but what would be the point, Ina?  People were asking questions the other day when they re-opened the 8/20 forum and receiving nothing but spin and avoidance.

Pre-screening the participants just insures that no one will ask them any hard questions they don't want to answer.
Two questions of many that have been asked repeatedly with no clear answer-Why does eBay tell the buyer that a 4.0 DSR rating is Good, Satisfied, etc., then punish sellers when they receive those ratings?  And why did eBay levy a 15% FVF on the fixed-price Clothing category, which is higher than the FVFs for most other categories?

When you ask a question repeatedly and get nothing but hot air about the "customer experience", you are forced to draw your own conclusions.  What most of us have concluded about these two questions is that eBay is using the unreasonably high DSR rating to get rid of small volume and occasional sellers.  And they are charging a 15% FVF to Clothing because used clothing folks can't flee to Amazon, so they can get away with it.

"eBay pre-screens callers and their questions."  That pretty well negates any usefulness the Town Hall might have.  Heaven forfend they might have to answer tough questions from a disgruntled seller who has been harmed by their new policies.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: ss

Fri Sep 19 11:12:18 2008

Well after the next quarter report maybe Ebay can ask the government for a bailout for being grossly stupid.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Patty

Fri Sep 19 11:20:40 2008

EBAY LIES!

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Brenda

Fri Sep 19 11:24:42 2008

Here's another I'd like to see eBay asked-

You've jacked your rates up twice already this year, with no commensurate increase in customer service or value.  The buyers these policies were supposed to bring have not materialized, in fact STRs have plummeted and NPBs have increased enormously.  Why exactly should someone list on your site?

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Kp

Fri Sep 19 11:28:20 2008

''Why exactly should someone list on your site?''

NOTHING.

If everyone stopped listing, I think eBay might get the idea ''enough is enough''. Unfortunately that isn't going to happen. There will always be scabs.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Lisa

Fri Sep 19 11:41:10 2008

Ina-that feedback forum you linked to is becoming commonplace. People are being suspended with their auctions going poof gone, leaving the seller perplexed with no one to go to for answers.

It's not so much the stupidity that bothers me, it's the arrogance. I've backed up all my auctions on Bonanzle and a couple of others. You can't trust Ebay. "We believe people are basically good" philosophy" no longer should be used as one of their founding principles as the management proves day in and out this is a farce.

The sooner they implode, the better we will all be.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: John

Fri Sep 19 12:09:46 2008

I posted my response to the non performance issue link in your article. Here is what I had to say.....

lostworldbooks....

Sorry to see this happen to you , and I am sure to many other GREAT sellers. I to cannot sell anymore on eBay also. Not because of a bad bidders feedback but because I have 100% FB, High DSR''s, and 50% repeat buyers, but I ONLY take paper payments....Funny we sellers do everything right, and pay our eBay bills on time and we get scr_wed for it. But hey if you want to buy PORN ON eBay they will graciously accept paper payments

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Henrietta

Fri Sep 19 12:54:49 2008

Ditto to John

How do you rationalize that mature category sellers can take paper? Or will they be forced over Merchant Accounts through PayPal?

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: nonya

Fri Sep 19 13:20:04 2008

Sounds like it's time for another BOYCOTT. None of us are listing anyways, due to NPB, DSR fear, Extortion fear, Low STR, and other assorted headaches that have made ebay increasingly difficult or simply too confusing/risky to list with.
I vote for a TWO WEEK boycott.

If they really wanted to get rid of small sellers it would be a lot easier to simply say so. I really feel that this is a ship steered by fools who fail to realize we the Sellers are the customer not the buyer. I am Ebay's customer and the buyers are MY customers and MY responsibility. The ability for my customers to rate my service via feedback, and my ability to leave feedback as well was working fine. Once the feedback became one sided the equation of give and take was blown to heck. The even ground between buyer and seller is now tilted with the customer high on a hill and the seller under foot. This is no way to run a business. My customers need to have the ability to leave honest feedback, but I also need the ability to protect myself (and other sellers) from every yahoo who thinks I/we should be giving items away. This is not a charity event, I am running a business and need to turn a profit.

The lack of two way feedback has resulted in sellers being held hostage for partial or full refunds for increasingly flimsy reasons. As we have all experienced, NPB are WAY UP. Paypal's deeply tilted refund policy has left sellers holding the bag and losing their profits.
Unfortunately MY customers, the buyers, have been unsettled by the decreased listings (due to the the escalating shabby treatment of sellers fewer ''quality'' items are being put up), more ornate and confusing searches *especially the offsite ads being placed before the next page of results, increased ''features'' that make the  buying experience more of a hassle, and ebay's continued insistence and reminders to the buyers that they need to be protected from unscrupulous sellers. Didn't you know all sellers on ebay are dangerous scam artists out to scr*w the buyers?

We collectively pay the bills through our listing fees and yet we're running around whining about needing to be heard and understood. We have the power to stop footing the bill.
STOP LISTING.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Restricited seller

Fri Sep 19 14:00:00 2008

I too was just restricited from listing for 30 days.I had just gotton 2 negatives from 2 different buyers.One wanted to keep the item and get her money back and I said no send it back(oh and I do pay return shipping for my buyers so they are not out any money)and you will receive a full refund and she was not happy with that so left a negative and the other had buyers remorse as she found it cheaper elsewhere and I would not let her return it(as she admitted to using the item as well).

So I have been restricted for 30 days and told to improve my customer service(hey ebay did you forget who your customers are? That would be us the sellers who pay your fees! IMO your customer service sucks bad!).Yeah how? I can't sell anything so how can I improve?

Oh and know what my PS rep told me? Ebay sellers have got to be exactly like retail stores! Except I am not a huge retail store and don't have thousands of paid employees and billions of dollars.I am one single person doing the very best I can.

Ebay expects us sellers to be 100% perfect 100% of the time and we can not make any mistakes or we will pay.I think they forget we are human and yes EVERYONE makes mistakes!

I really do believe they want all the sellers gone and for retail stores to take our place.Afterall these policys are set up so the sellers do fail and get restricited/suspended.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Qwerty

Fri Sep 19 15:03:25 2008

eBay sucks!

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: rick

Fri Sep 19 16:00:21 2008

@Restricited seller

Always have a few 99 cent bs (stickers, buttons, whatever) items in your store so you can have sales ready to execute if you should get neg'd.  Have a friend buy them and leave you 5 star feedback.  Do this right after a neg, or even just to artificially pump your DSRs.

You can achieve anything on eBay as long as you're willing to pay the greedy pigs for it.


Wanna make a small fortune on eBay?
Start out with a large fortune.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: New info today from Channel Advisor CEO

Fri Sep 19 16:09:08 2008

Direct quote from Scot Wingo, left today, at his ebay stratagies blog; I cut and pasted it here for auctionbytes readers...Scot says,

''Search (ok, Finding) Finding on eBay just seems systemically broken.  They are changing so much so frequently that I can't get a consistent result day after day. For example, yesterday I was trying to show a reporter how the catalog is integrated in eBay and I literally could not find a single catalog item in the new or old finding experience.  Where the heck did that go? We're constantly seeing weird things like TES upside down, FP's at the back of search, etc.  While I think Jeff King and co are very sharp, something is going on behind the scenes that looks to have destabalized things to the point where Finding has turned into a new search each day.

Some days the deduping is on, others it's off.
Some days things are inverted
Some days the 10 listing/seller/page is on, others its off.
DSRs seem to count sometimes and others they don't
Sellers that create multiple IDs see a new ID with 1/4 the inventory have 2-3X the conversions of those that are multi-million/yr long-term accounts with eBay.  Nobody knows why.
Indexing of the new fp30's seems to be 6-12hrs behind so it might as well  be a fp29
The bottom line

Search chaos results in seller chaos- Search is the Yin to the seller's Yang.  Sellers can't settle on a strategy with search changing. If you want to learn more about this, just go to this forum and spend about 20hrs here reading all the problems people are reporting with search.  It's easy to take the position that these are a bunch of wackos and there is definitely some noise/signal ratio problems here in the eBay forums, but peel that away and you find many many reports of finding just plain 'broke' as we say where I'm from.

I sincerely hope eBay can get this resolved or at least stable to some degree before the holidays or we'll (continue to) have complete chaos''.

Scot's opinions are very, very educated, hardly ''noise'' from the blogger wackos, so his insights should speak volumes for full-time ebay sellers still trying to make it work....

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: eCryBayBay

Fri Sep 19 16:36:51 2008

File this one under : makes me vomit


EBay seeks EU investigation of distribution deals

   * Reuters
   * , Wednesday September 17 2008

By Darren Ennis
BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Online auctioneer eBay asked the European Union's antitrust chief on Wednesday to investigate a number of distribution agreements across the bloc, calling them an illegal barrier to competition.
''We have requested (EU Competition Commissioner Neelie) Kroes to carry out investigations into distributors of sports goods in Spain, schoolbags in Germany and pushchairs in Britain,'' eBay Vice President Tod Cohen told Reuters.
''We think there are a number of anti-competitive and abusive distribution agreements that are prohibiting sellers in the EU from offering goods online. They are manipulating and controlling the markets beyond EU market rules.
''There are many distributors who say to retailers or sellers that they can't sell their goods on eBay or other online commerce platforms,'' Cohen added.
He was speaking in an interview in Brussels after meeting Kroes, EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva and EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy.
A spokesman for Kroes said: ''If eBay provides Brussels with detailed information, the Commission could take the matter further if the information indicated that there were anti-competitive practices.''
In June, McCreevy said he would crack down on some retail distribution agreements that were denying consumers the opportunity to buy and sell online, notably to and from other member states or from outside the 27-country bloc.
''Ebay and similar sites level the playing field, allowing consumers to buy both outside the EU or within the EU where one product may be cheaper online in one country from another,'' Cohen said.
''Europeans should not pay higher prices than people from another country or from outside the EU for the same goods. Those who cannot afford to travel and buy those goods in person are the ones being discriminated against.''
Cohen also welcomed Kuneva's plan to propose rules next month to make it easier and safer for the EU's 490 million consumers to shop online in any corner of the bloc.
Some 150 million EU citizens turn to websites such as eBay and Amazon.com for shopping but only 30 million buy goods and services from another EU state, spending on average 800 euros ($1,136) a head.
''Harmonisation of a single online EU market only benefits the population, both sellers and buyers. It gives both industry and consumers the certainty they require,'' Cohen said. (Editing by Dale Hudson)



Wow, eBay double standards at work.
Piss and moan when someone doesn't want their respectable product soiled with the eBay brand, but first in line to ban all competitors (like Google Checkout and Amazon payments)

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: ss

Fri Sep 19 16:57:11 2008

Ebay is circling the drain and I for one would love to pull the plug.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: sam

Fri Sep 19 17:56:19 2008

Here is the most recent of petitions that have gone to Google requesting a strong alternative to eBay:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/please-google-we-need-an
-auction-site

If
anyone can bring eBay to its knees, it's Google.
And when eBay needs a bail-out they can go to Meg and Pierre for the $, not the Feds.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: HaHaHaHa

Fri Sep 19 19:58:48 2008

Hardly a shocker:
http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/09/ebay-sun-ceos-a.htm
l

EBay,
Sun CEOs Among Least Popular Chiefs
By Betsy Schiffman EmailSeptember 18, 2008

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: HaHaHaHa

Fri Sep 19 20:01:22 2008

Hardly a shocker:
http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/09/ebay-sun-ceos-a.htm
l

EBay,
Sun CEOs Among Least Popular Chiefs
By Betsy Schiffman EmailSeptember 18, 2008  6:56:35 PM Categories: ebay, Sun Microsystems  

EBay CEO John Donahoe (right) and Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz (below left) are not the most popular guys in the office.

Their approval ratings on Glassdoor.com -- a site where employees review employers -- place them as the 11th and 12th least popular CEOs on the site.

Donahoe's approval rating came in at a dismal 30 percent, while Schwartz edged ahead with a 31 percent approval rating. (The rankings only included CEOs who had been reviewed by 50 employees or more.)

Of course, the competition for the title of least popular CEO is fierce. Motorola CEO Greg Brown, however, handily won with an approval rating of just 10 percent.

''Lots of talent in the company. Senior management (unfortunately) is not one of these places,'' writes one Motorola employee.

----
I'm sure if sellers were surveyed Donahoe would rate much, much lower.

Donahoe: Merry Christmas employees, you're fired... Merry Christmas customers, here's a fat fee increase and some stupid policy changes to stick under your tree.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: jeff

Fri Sep 19 22:29:02 2008

Just listened to the Town Hall. WTF was the point of having it today? All softball questions....nothing at all about mutual feedback withdrawal that is supposed to be in effect in weeks. Nothing about seller non-performance policies....nothing at all of substance.

Typical Ebay BS. All the same answers they have been giving everywhere....the politically correct answers that avoid the questions and issues.

Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting   Expect Questions at Today's eBay Town Hall Meeting

by: Jack

Sat Sep 20 00:25:05 2008

Saw the following description of eBay's management team in the comments of another article.  

Ebay management is ''the unknowing telling the unwilling to do the unnecessary''

Kinda fits.

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