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Tue Feb 10 2009 13:30:25

eBay - No News May Be Bad News

By: Ina Steiner

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I've received several inquiries from sellers wanting to know if I've heard whether eBay will increase fees or not. They are basically in maintenance mode, fearing to invest too much time on eBay activities in case the company announces significant changes as they typically do early in the year. If eBay doesn't have any news on the horizon, they better let sellers know soon!

New eBay Stores Experience May Jam Google Base Feeds
Some sellers who have opted in to the new eBay Stores experience have reported a drop-off in traffic to their stores. Users on the Google discussion boards reported they could not send their eBay Stores product feeds to Google Product Search via Base because of the change in their Store URLs (temporary until the new experience is no longer optional at the end of March). But when they opted back out of the new Stores experience, the problem resolved itself.

In addition, eBay has said some sellers have reported their Google page rank changes depending on which version they use. An update on this thread would certainly be helpful!

Look for Merchandising Feature of New View Item Page
In June, eBay announced it would roll out a new View Item page starting with a small percentage of users and a full launch by mid-2009. One feature was called "Improved merchandising integration."

A reader wrote this week to say he had spotted the new View Item page on the UK site, but was disturbed that the merchandising section included links to other sellers' listings. (The section is called, "More items you might like" on the right side of the page.) Since sellers pay for listings, they're hardly likely to want to display another sellers' listings on their product pages.

One year ago when eBay began testing the new design, sellers were concerned over a similar feature. eBay said at the time, "There's a new "Related Items tab," and from there, we do show similar items from the item's seller and other sellers. We use logic to determine which items to show based on a number of variables. Having a wider selection to choose from means a higher chance of showing relevant items, and consequently a better buying experience. Currently, there is no ability to opt-out in the test. This type of merchandising is something online shoppers have come to expect, although we understand this is a critical area and we need to do it carefully. Sellers should keep in mind that their items are also appearing on other sellers' listings, so everyone is getting an increase in potential exposure."

Keep an eye out, and let us know if you spot any other sellers' listings on your View Item pages.





Comments (31) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Mitzi

Tue Feb 10 13:53:37 2009

I had a problem with opting in to the new stores "experience" - I opted in when it was released, and my traffic was cut in half and my sales dipped to nearly 0. This went on for a couple of weeks before I realized what the culprit was, and I quickly opted back out!

My traffic is back to normal and so are my sales. I've been reading and talking about this issue on various boards and Twitter. Some people are reporting problems, while others are not - it's very weird.

The Google Base issue makes sense, but I never was able to get my store onto Google, so that wasn't my issue.

Another seller who was also having the same problem called eBay, and they said it takes several weeks for the new URL to get indexed, so tough it out. Unfortunately I can't afford to do that, my rent is due at the first of the month no matter what!

Needless to say I am worried about what will happen come March and we all have to opt-in - will we be stuck with the new URL? Or is the new URL temporary until everyone switches, then it will go back to the old URL that has page rank and is already indexed? I would love an official statement on this from eBay, has there been one?

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: M.C.

Tue Feb 10 14:06:11 2009

eBay is busy calling their "valuable sellers" to inform them of how the views will change in March. Funny, I haven't sold since May of 2008. I'm not sure why they're still bothering with me.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: John

Tue Feb 10 15:52:06 2009

If ebay was to increase it's fees, it would be a major fiasco! Last time I checked the sites traffic is down. If they are not bringing in more unique visitors how can they justify increasing their fees? As a seller it looks as if they are unable to maintain their earnings and are trying to squeeze their sellers for more profits. Why don't they have confidence in their business model and try to grow their earnings by increasing their sales.  

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: eBuyer Feedback

Tue Feb 10 15:56:44 2009

I really hope they don't raise fees.  But remember eBay doesn't raise fees.  They always claim it is either a decrease or neutral (if its neutral why bother?).

Speaking of news my website has a major announcement today but I'm not going to post it here.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: ebay=penny stock

Tue Feb 10 16:57:08 2009

Why would anyone even think that fleabay won't raise their fees.

Do you really think donna hole listens to any of us.

Ebay stockholders are a greedy bunch and will believe any reason that donna hole gives.  ie its the economy stupid

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Kitty

Tue Feb 10 17:13:43 2009

Related items tab?
To suggest items based on logic?
From other sellers?
Didn't eBay just have a major tab malfunction?

Here is a suggestion: stop creating a new experience and "enhancing" stuff everyday until the stuff that was "fixed" actually works.

I have other stuff to say, but I will hold off until after I see the pages in action (or stagnant as the tab function breaks down again)


eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: nadine

Tue Feb 10 17:53:54 2009

Ina, thanks for trying to mail eBay a clue about how their communications andor silence is being received by their customers. They don't get it, and I doubt they will - but thanks for trying.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: On Lies and Secrets

Tue Feb 10 19:43:45 2009

''We use logic to determine which items to show based on a number of variables.''

I laughed out loud when I read the quote above.  I forgot that ebay employees were also comedians when it comes to making public explanations about proposed decisions that do not sit well with their paying customer base.  That quote is right up there with Donohoe's ''we had to create a vision of the future so people could let go of a very successful past.''  IMO, if you have to deliberately tell your paying customers that you will ''use logic'' in providing your services to them, you have already lost the argument and conceded any moral high ground you may have had in the matter.  I think including links to other auctions from competing sellers within a listing is a very bad idea which will rankle the very few loyal sellers left on the site.

I think fee increases of any kind (no matter what they are called and no matter what ''new experience'' they are attached to) will not work to increase revenue for the ebay corporation.  Sellers actually do need some profit in order to exist. Many sellers are struggling with less site visibility, increased costs and dramatically increased risks from the past year's changes.  Enough is enough! IMO the ebay corporation really needs to deliver solid services and a lot of good buyers to their sellers if they expect to keep them. The ebay corporation has spent the last year blaming ebay sellers for the lack of results on the site, but what has ebay management done in this last year to make things better?  I think sellers (and buyers) along with shareholders need to make ebay management accountable for their decisions and the consequenes of teh changes to the site.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Daisy

Tue Feb 10 20:27:07 2009

If Ebay raises seller's fees and continue to put links in their listings, they will be sending the arrogant message that 2009 is going to be as painful as 2008. Donahoe needs to speak to the users and let them know what Ebay's plans are so that sellers can decide if they want to work with them or against them.

The Ask Griff thread is losing steam as Griff rarely visits. Our one and only seller advocate and we only get him on his free time.

Has there ever been another corporation in history that has so disastrously plunged a very successful enterprise in such record time???

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Meg's Toy, A Hungry Boy

Tue Feb 10 23:23:25 2009

eBay Store sellers must be suckers for punishment. Given eBay's failure to promote stores in the past ( abrupt removal from search), why would anyone invest in a store?  Fixed price lisings are the wave of the future.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Wed Feb 11 01:59:05 2009

@Daisy-

Why on Earth do you even bother to read anything Griff has to say?

Just listen to me...  "eBay is making this change in order to better serve the community of sellers and buyers, and our research has shown that this is the best and most efficient means of addressing the issues that the community faces in 2009."

There, read that again.  Now you have no need to ever read anything else Griff has to say.

Anyone hoping to gain anything beyond that sentence from Griff is just plain stupid.  Wake up.  Did you hang on every word and believe everything every Bush Press Secretary had to say about Iraq?  If not, why would you listen to anything Griff says and believe any of it?  He is a PR tool, spouting scripted PR bullshit.  He couldn't run his own business if he tried.  He's cute, he's cuddly, he's got a well-groomed beard and a baseball cap.    ....give me a set of clippers and I'd be him, minus the scripted messages from eBay execs.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Kitty

Wed Feb 11 08:07:05 2009

@ Bob

Well put.
Yes, Griff is just a mascot, as real as Tony the Tiger or Mikey Mouse.
As real as the eBay started by Pez collectors.  Cute, warm, and fuzzy to read, but pure fabrication.
I'm still waiting to hear "the big news"
and I'm not holding my breath

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Patricia

Wed Feb 11 11:44:07 2009

Its not ''if'' ebay will raise fees its ''when'' and ''how''.  I'm sure it will be couched among some miserly goodies - crumbs they'll be tossing their sellers.  I'm afraid whatever they do will be wrong and will be too late.  They're batting zero and have been for over a year now.  Until the board of directors gets out the butterfly nets and captures this gang of nitwit management nothing will change for the better but only continue down the rocky path to doom!  Sure they'll raise fees and sure more sellers will leave.  Donahoe feels at some point you'll just have to come back anyway...therein lies his reasoning for continuing to take Ebay apart.  We're already seeing some of Ebay's crumbs tossed to us to make us feel good about them.  The new format for the discussion boards is one...Griff being a seller advocate is another.  Doesn't matter if they're ineffective or even hated.  Ebay considers them improvements to show you how much they ''care'' about you and will proudly proclaim ''you talked, we listened''!  LOL

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: a_c_green

Wed Feb 11 14:15:14 2009

It occurs to me that within a year or two, someone is going to release a hugely-popular tell-all book about How Not to Manage a Company, in which the entire saga is laid out on how management took a high-flying company like eBay and flew it into the side of a mountain.

Over the past couple of years, it's been a simply jaw-dropping fiasco of boneheaded decision-making and corporate blunders, every one of which has left sellers shaking their heads. Just when you think you've seen the craziest, most lame-brained decision ever, another one comes along to top it.

As far as the latest fiasco is concerned, the redesign (not upgrade) of the Discussion groups, what adds insult to injury is the fact that not only was the redesign a bad idea, but also none of its unwanted functionality even works properly. It's one thing to fly in the face of all common sense and redesign software that was working perfectly well to begin with, but it's something else altogether to install your amateur code without even testing it to see if it works properly.

The only way to compound the outrage is to then ignore all debate and refuse to discuss it, which is where we are now. As before, we can only wait to see what on earth is going to happen next.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Laurie

Wed Feb 11 23:12:16 2009

A modest fee increase to say 11.25% as the base level for items selling for less than $25.00 would be well within industrey standards.  Hopefully, the fees for items greater than $25.00 can be kept less than 10.65%.  The real gain should be in listing fees.  eBay could make a mint by doubling listing fees.  I'm a buyer of this stock id they do that !

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: i'd rather not say

Wed Feb 11 23:31:27 2009

laurie = sockpuppet.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Fed Up

Wed Feb 11 23:55:26 2009

John
(quote)If ebay was to increase it's fees, it would be a major fiasco!

Everything eBay has done this past year has been a fiasco!

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Black helicopters are circling Ebay!

Thu Feb 12 00:37:46 2009

Ebay can't raise fees they are already the most expensive venue out there. If anything they better institute FREE insertion fees right now before the last few sellers jump off the sinking ship. I'm noticing big increases in sales elsewhere, and only about a month til the flea markets start to open, can't wait, I'll be dumping my Ebay bill until next Xmas, that is if they even still exist in a year!

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Sandy Purina is Paypal's lawyer

Thu Feb 12 00:47:25 2009

Laurie, respectfully, you're an idiot. Raising insertion fees at a time when most other venues have none would be committing suicide. Too late anyway, there's a bunch of other great venues springing up with NO INSERTION FEES. The insertion fee is Ebay's biggest ripoff. especially at a time when they can't even deliver a lousy 10% STR.

eBay - No News May Be Bad News   eBay - No News May Be Bad News

by: Ann

Thu Feb 12 01:10:01 2009

@Laurie

C'mon people. "Laurie" is Laurie Norrington of eBay management. No wonder she's touting eBay fee increases. Just watch and see if what she suggested here suddenly comes to pass. The rate increase (never a neutral or decrease as claimed - do the math!) announcement will match her "prediction" and price eBay right out of the marketplace.

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