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Tue Nov 10 2009 21:27:08

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sent a survey to sellers asking them a broad range of questions about eBay policies and about their selling activity on and off of eBay. It asked sellers about their satisfaction with selling in general; listing items; managing communication; packaging and shipping items; managing their business and selling on eBay; and problem resolution and returns. It also asked sellers which of those areas they would most like to see improved.


eBay also asked which features, tools and services they currently use or would have an interest in using in the future, and asked about their awareness of specific tools from eBay and from third-party companies.


The survey also asked questions about the following:
  • eBay's requirement that sellers state a return policy on all listings (even if that return policy is "no returns accepted");
  • eBay's new Top Rated Seller program;
  • The types of problems they have experienced;
  • The current feedback system;
  • Sellers' satisfaction with eBay's search engine and with Best Match;
  • Seller Dashboard;
  • eBay programs such as Turbo Lister and Selling Manager;
  • How familiar respondents were with Selling Manager applications, and what additional features or functionality they would want to see.
One seller who took the survey said she was struck by a question that asked respondents to agree or disagree with this statement: "The benefits of being a TRS outweigh any additional costs to my business model (which I may have to undertake to become Top Rated)."


"TheBrewsNews" blogger, a multi-channel seller, wrote his thoughts after taking the survey in a post entitled, "New eBay Survey Asks Sellers About Everything but the Kitchen Sink," which includes screenshots.  




Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: The Trust Is Gone!

Tue Nov 10 22:17:02 2009

I'll never go back no matter what. I simply don't trust them regardless of what they fix.

They've burnt my bridge by their continued arrogance and greediness. Even after Donahoe and his crew get ousted, I'm still not going back.

He took food off the table, and the livlihood from hundreds of thousands of outstanding sellers who built the company from nothing.

One sided feedback = Stinks
Non Paying Bidders = Quadrupled
Outrageous FVF = Stinks
Donuthole = Stinks
Norringdone = Stinks
Paypal Only = Stinks
McGriff = Stinks
Best Match = Worse Than Stinks
Top Rated Seller Program = Stinks
DSR = Stinks
Overall Seller Experience = Stinks
Customer Service = Stinks

And the list goes on.... Want to know more?

Ebay Stinks!!!!!!!!!!! PERIOD.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: On Lies and Secrets

Tue Nov 10 23:19:05 2009

I don't think they need a survey to answer most of these questions - ebay management should just take a look at the current trends in listings, sales, ending prices and reports (SNADs, INRs, etc.)  Ebay management should take a look at the many, many posts they deleted off of their community forums about the issues in this survey.   Ebay management already has all of the information they need about the issues in this survey.  Sellers have not been quiet about how changes in the site have affected their business.

This survey seems like either make-work in order to look busy or an attempt by management to claim ignorance about the deteriorated conditions on the site.  

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: RicRoe

Tue Nov 10 23:35:19 2009

eBay needs to run a survey to find out why people are unhappy????

The data crunching CEO's must not be reading their own quarterly reports which show a full year of declining sales.

Maybe if the CEO had listened to the "noise" instead of arrogantly ignoring it eBay would not need a survey to tell them why people are so unhappy.

Donahoe & Co have been working diligently to silence, censor, antagonize and run off thousands of small sellers; their voices will not be heard in the survey eBay conducted.

Other voices that will not be heard are the thousands of buyers that no longer visit eBay and instead have been finding their needs well served over at Amazon.

Of course, JD & Co believe they know what is best, so the results of the survey will likely be dismissed as more 'noise' instead of managed as a road map for improvement.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: mindelec

Tue Nov 10 23:42:27 2009

"The benefits of being a TRS outweigh any additional costs to my business model (which I may have to undertake to become Top Rated)"

huh?  wonder if they are going to start charging a subscription fee to those sellers?

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: sparky

Tue Nov 10 23:52:07 2009

EBay has known everything before the survey.  The psuedo interest in 'finding out' info is ridiculous. It is a multi-level scam of unseen proportions to make money for the corporation. Sellers and buyers are just pawns to generate fees. EBay pulse is nearly flatline. Great Customers are leaving.  Great sellers are leaving.   No one in the upper corporate offices wants to be in touch.  PayPal is generating so much profit for the corporation that eBay likely doesn't even need to exist.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: jojo

Wed Nov 11 00:28:48 2009

Ebay SUCKS. Gosh I really hate ebay. They have got to be the stupidest company in the world. They dont have to send out a survey like this, just listen to the constant complaints of your sellers over the past 2 years! Did you hear what DonaHO said today. They decided a couple years ago to focus on their CHINESE export base customers. That is a conspiracy. They have ruined the businesses of most of their American sellers over the past 2 years, which were so so successful for so many people, so that they could help and promote CHINESE SELLERS>? WHHAAATT?? How does that make any sense. Read the Bloomberg article. I am so happy that Google announced their main partners are Ecrater (of course), Etsy and Ebid! I have gone from a Gold Powerseller in JUNE to selling 1/4 as much this past month. Thanks to the brillant (cough-cough) top rated seller program. Bunch of idiots run ebay how sad.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: jojo

Wed Nov 11 00:36:53 2009

By the way, one thing I really loved about the Bloomberg article is it FINALLY acknowledges that US SALES have slowed for ebay. No spin from the stock writers this time. And here I thought those TRS changes were just the thing ebay needed to expand (right--well at least according to the liars who right about its state each quarter). Here is an except:
“What we decided to do a couple of years ago was to focus our China business on cross-border and export,” Donahoe, 49, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview. “The Chinese domestic market is going to take several years to work its way out. Local companies have some advantage, so we’re going to partner in the domestic market in the short term.”

EBay, the most-visited U.S. e-commerce Web site, is expanding internationally after its U.S. sales slowed this year.
on bloomberg.com. Just came out 3 hours ago. I am surprised DonaHO is so carefree to admit his focus. It was either a conspiracy to destroy the successful US sellers so all the CHinese sellers could sell to us Americans on ebay (because Walmart doesnt do that enough for us right), or that DonaHO can no longer hide the ABISMAL state of ebays sales, sell-through-rates and low traffic and is now basically saying, Well we planned it that way along.... un huh. What a loser.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: Former ebay "powerseller" (puke)

Wed Nov 11 01:33:41 2009

In regards to jojo's mention of the Bloomberg article... thank you for that!

J'Ho has become quite the media whore lately... trouble in paradise lil' johnny? Desperate to grab as much air time as possible to spew your spin doctor vomit?

It's funny, when ebay first started the powerseller bs, they kept sending me invitations to accept the new "status", but it was 2 years before I would, because I felt it was not only arrogant, but divisive.

Then it became the "norm".

And now they have the ridiculous TRS bs, that some of the worst sellers on all ebay qualify for. Amazing.

The questions above about "understanding what it takes to be a TRS"? Easy! Just pay ebay 9 times what you're making off of your merchandise.

Dumping ebay 2+ years ago, after over a decade with them, was the best move I've ever made.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: shipping out

Wed Nov 11 01:37:25 2009

Its pretending to do something while actually doing nothing at all. When did any of ebays surveys actually change anything. The results will be skewed to the way they want them then they will tell everyone its what they voted for. I cannot believe the number of people who continue fall for it.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: fruity

Wed Nov 11 01:46:56 2009

How come we never get the James Bond ebay survey.

Do you expect us to talk?

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: fruity

Wed Nov 11 01:48:08 2009

theyre just overloading us with surveys so they can get the results they want. They're hoping we get so exhausted that the only ones filing out the surveys are going to be ebay employees and their SO's

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: Daisy

Wed Nov 11 08:10:03 2009

I started taking this survey and less than half way through, I quit. It was so lengthy, so many questions. It was taking too much of my time.

What a circus Ebay is. I cannot say enough times what a mess Donahoe made out of a productive, lucrative venue. And he keeps doing it, instead of returning to the basics of what made Ebay successful.

It's a shame. He ruined and uprooted small businesses ONLY because of his massive ego. He could not stomach the idea of being the CEO of a flea market business, EVEN if he made tens of millions of dollars. Well, you got your money and your way, are you happy now, John?

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: fast freddy

Wed Nov 11 08:39:52 2009

Yep the delete button on my computer works just fine.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: turned-off-by ebay

Wed Nov 11 09:17:13 2009

   By driving off more and more sellers, they are also losing those continually departing sellers as future potential buyers . . . and, with fewer and fewer future buyers . . . how many will be left to buy the Chinese goods(?)

  . . . and what further damage is continually being done to ebay with negative ''word-of-mouth'' comments from more and more ebay departees (?) . . .

 The Ho must have slept through Marketing 101, and much of the Social Science classes during the academic years.

 The absurdity of ebay's dismal recent plans and resultant track record and its current ''growth'' (LOL) plans should highlight new college textbook revisions in Marketing and Business classes, on how absolutely not to run a corporation.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: Rob

Wed Nov 11 09:41:44 2009

My fiancee and I both had stores on Ebay for 6+ years, have nearly 28,000 combined sales between us, we are both TRS/powersellers, and we rarely ever get any of these types of surveys.

My fiancee closed her ebay store down last fall after having been a gold PS for 6 years with 100% lifetime feedback rating, had almost 20,000 sales and was shelling out nearly $2300 in monthly fees. Yet, Ebay didn't even contact her to inquire as to why she closed her store. Shows ya just how much Ebay is concerned about their customers.

Interestly, she was also a power buyer of sorts spending about $5k monthly on stock for her local store. Ebay is constantly contacting her trying to entice her to come back as a buyer. She basically tells them to get bent! She's so fed up with Ebay jerking around the sellers in the community that she completely stopped shopping on ebay over a year ago. It's interesting how hard Ebay has tried to lure her back as a shopper, yet they make no attempt to lure her back as a seller.

While I still maintain a few listings on the site throughout the month (merely to pick up some new customers, I moved 99% of my inventory to my website last summer. My Ebay bill dropped from roughly $1200 monthly to about $60 (mostly FVFs), and I now use those marketing dollars to advertise my website instead. Again, ebay never followed up with an inquiry of any kind wondering why I opted to list a few items monthly after running roughly 1000s core listing monthly, plus had 400-500 store inventory items. Again, goes to show ya just how much ebay values their customers (sellers).

Apparently we have been so vocal about our dissatisfaction with sleazebay over the past year and half (via ebay forums, emails and telephone contact) that the powers that be already know how we would rate all their undermining and unethical services if they did actually send us a survey like this.

EBAY SUCKS!

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: STOP IT JOHN !

Wed Nov 11 10:00:10 2009

@Dasiy, please take and finish that survey, it is long, but it lets us tell ebay how unsatisfied we are, it should take you a 1/2 hour. Please tell them what us noise thinks !

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: Quicksilver Messenger

Wed Nov 11 10:04:50 2009

I really like the one that states, "I haven't experienced any problems on eBay for the last 6 months". I darned near spit coffee all over my monitor, besides I don't have the time to write a dissertation on THAT subject as it would likely be as lengthy as Tolstoy's "War and Peace". I'll leave that to the expert authors.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: Bye Bye e bay

Wed Nov 11 10:05:15 2009

I was not asked to take the survey, I did however speak with my new account rep yesterday for a little more than an hour( the 3rd in the last year ). She did ask why my listings have dropped from about 800 a month until June too about 150 a month now. Three of my DSR’s are 4.9+ , She was nice enough and told me if I just work on my shipping cost, I would become a TRS.
I have just under 7000 transactions in the last year, but because 67 ratings of 1 or 2 in shipping cost,( still less than 1% ) I am not a TRS. She said I should give free shipping, and to cover that I should raise the starting price on all my auctions, ( all my listings are auctions that start out at .99 ) when I said to do that I would like a deal like the Diamonds, free listing and a lower FVF..she then said e bay was a business that needs to make money to grow, and how they are working on all kinds of ways to bring more traffic to the site, that’s when I told her I was thinking of the 20,000 something thousand I spent in fee’s so far this year, and open and promote my own site, I have lost faith in their management and that the last time someone gave me stars, I was in grade school, and now  I have 500,000 in inventory, it’s not a game…
 Sorry to ramble, I have had it up to my neck with e bay, up until a year ago I made good money on e bay, I see more and more sellers leaving every day,  as they leave they take their customers with them.. and Ming..I think I took a line from you..e bay lies, always has, always will

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: wassamattau

Wed Nov 11 10:40:17 2009

Like jojo, I went to only 1/3 of my previous sales thanks to TRS and Best Match. Not worth the listing costs anymore.

Most customers have migrated to our dot-com store (read: no fees).

Not sure which up and coming ecommerce site will prevail (etsy, ebid, bonanzle, etc)but eBay clearly is not interested in small to medium US businesses any more.

eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey   eBay Takes Pulse of Sellers through Survey

by: On Lies and Secrets

Wed Nov 11 11:48:27 2009

@jojo

Thanks for mentioning the Bloomberg article.  Donohoe's statements confirm what many ebay sellers have been suggesting for a couple of years now.  It is really sad - ebay management is cannibalizing US small businesses to give advantages to offshore firms.  And Meg Whitman, who chose and worked with Donohoe, wants to run for public office so she can do for California what she has done for ebay.  To add insult to injury, ebay buyers apparently don't want the merchandise the offshore sellers have to offer - it is widely available elsewhere and there is no advantage to buying it on ebay.  

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