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Thu Feb 12 2009 09:26:50

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

By: Ina Steiner

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Jim "Griff" Griffith gave listeners some tantalizing hints on his radio show this week about some upcoming eBay announcements and the direction of the marketplace. He said, "This is a big month at eBay. We're working on some interesting things, and a lot of them will be revealed in the next 30 days." Griff said he would announce the topic of the February 25 Town Hall meeting next week.

Griff also talked about the evolution of outside advertising on the site. He said eBay connects buyers and sellers, and advertising is a traditional form of connecting buyers and sellers. He went on to say:

Advertising is a way of monetizing the site. Everyone knows that that's a way,..free services usually have some form of advertising. Monetizing the site in a new way to allow for a restructuring of the way we currently monetize it. And I'm not saying anything else. I'll let you draw some conclusions or maybe let that take your thought process.

One AuctionBytes reader interpreted this as a hint that eBay is going to no listing fees. "Am I the only one that hears these hints?" he asked me. (I had speculated about such a move last summer.)

Griff talked about targeted advertising, which he said eBay is testing, versus slapping a banner ad on a page. "The idea of targeted advertising as a way of making the eBay option a more compelling option for buyers and sellers to connect only makes sense."

In December, eBay acquired Positronic, and its founder Chris Payne is now eBay's Vice President of Search. It's possible eBay could be using Positronic's search technology to help it roll out a contextual advertising program (pure speculation on my part). Payne had previously worked at Microsoft where he focused on "delivering the best search experience for customers and helping them find the information that is important to them," and oversaw Windows Live Shopping. He also spent 3 years at Amazon.com.

I also found some recent comments from Buy.com's CEO Neel Grover interesting. He told Internet Retailer that Buy has yet to experience big returns on its eBay investment, and that he would like to see diamond merchants like Buy.com given more prominence on eBay. "The overall benefit of what shoppers get with the diamond tier and the advantages of such merchants could have some branding around it," Grover told the magazine. Is he talking about a special icon next to Diamond PowerSeller listings? Is it possible eBay might give in to such requests?





Comments (72) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Get Real Ebay

Thu Feb 12 09:30:56 2009

Correct me if I am wrong but don't we pay fees to monetize eBay?  EBay is lost and confused.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Clay

Thu Feb 12 09:34:48 2009

New Icon for Diamond Sellers to attract buyers to their ever increasing Negative Feedback listings. 2 sellers have Neg ratings of 30 negs in 1700 sales, and 34 negs in 2700 sales. Perhaps eBay will wipe the slate clean of negs for these sellers when the new icon is given out. IMHO

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: John

Thu Feb 12 09:51:47 2009

"The idea of targeted advertising as a way of making the eBay option a more compelling option for buyers and sellers to connect only makes sense.".....OK Griff is saying that this is an option....An option meaning what? eBay is thinking about doing this or is it an option for sellers to have or not have....If you opt out you still pay fees, and if you opt in your fees are reduced?...IMHO eBay will never get rid of a cash cow completely, and their record towards sellers is not stellar so I am guessing that advertising is going to be a mutual both party pays option.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Harriet

Thu Feb 12 10:17:13 2009

''We're working on some interesting things''

They are just busy bees! They are always working on some interesting things.

Question is who thinks it is interesting?

Unfortunately lately the only interest they are getting is negative interest.

Given that track record, I cannot imagine that any of the sellers will find ''positive interesting things''.

Gee I hope I am wrong.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: auntlollie

Thu Feb 12 10:33:57 2009

New Look for eBay's 'Product Pages' in Media Category.

Pretty much effectively kills the storefronts.

I should realize that any time an eBay telemarketer calls me with "exciting new features," that means that eBay is about to nail another nail in my coffin.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: voodoo

Thu Feb 12 11:29:24 2009

THIS SITE SHOULD BE RENAMED "WOO HOO POOR IS ME"

Is there anyone that has anything positive to say????????????

If you don't like what Ebay does then get the hell out of there. Gotta remember Ebay doesn't do anything to appease anyone but its stockholders.

As long as they are happy you can whine all you want. It will fall on deaf ears.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: John

Thu Feb 12 11:34:11 2009

"""Gotta remember Ebay doesn't do anything to appease anyone but its stockholders."""

Then I guess eBay is failing miserably.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Christopher

Thu Feb 12 11:45:03 2009

@voodoo - Funny, a negative comment complaining about negative comments.

You just have to roll with the punches and do the best you can. Stay lean, adapt and change as necessary. We have changed 90% of what we are selling, as compared to what we were selling 6 months ago. We have been on ebay for 4 years, and it hasn't improved at all for the seller, I don't expect it to, but we do still make a profit there. We will use it the best we can, for the benefit of our business, while also building up other income sources. We already know that they don't listen to us little guys, so how can we work together to help out each other?

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Dman

Thu Feb 12 12:50:03 2009

''free services usually have some form of advertising''

WOW! What a relief, Ebay isn't going to have advertising all over my listing any longer. Because if  there's one thing I know Ebay ain't free!

oh, now back to the real world.

Griff, don't come pimping that we're saving you money line of .... When you remove listing fees and raise final value fees again. I'm listing 20-100 items for $0.35 in BIN listing, so any increase in FVF cost me money, it will not be offset by getting rid of $0.35.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Ebay No More

Thu Feb 12 13:04:14 2009

''The idea of targeted advertising as a way of making the eBay option a more compelling option for buyers and sellers to connect only makes sense.''

Ebay will do targeted advertising as poorly as they run their site. Same ole, same ole. Problem now is too few buyers left on the site to show the ads. Targeted advertising does nothing to fix the problem. It only adds revenue and a bandaid.

''Gotta remember Ebay doesn't do anything to appease anyone but its stockholders.''

Not many happy Ebay stockholders left. Ebay stock price today is $13.24. The 52 week high is $33.47. That a substantial amount of stock deflation in a year's time. Ebay needs to be thinking up new and exciting ways to make money. Unfortunately for sellers it's always at their expense. Maybe the anointed ones (Top Sellers) can take up a collection for Ebay at their summit.



eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Standing Ovation

Thu Feb 12 13:04:26 2009

This is how I see it: eBay is going to a free listing model, with a higher FVF on the backend. Expect to see more competitive ads on your listings, and instead of the Diamonds negotiating fees with eBay, they'll be negotiating exclusive view item pages (no ads) and search engine placement.

Think about it. All the "noisy" little sellers will have no basis for their complaining. "Hey, eBay is a free site - we don't have to give you support or placement, or anything for that matter. Don't like it? There's a Bonanzle down the road."

Nice job, eBay. You just cut the legs out from under all the dissenters, saved millions in customer support and made your lives a whole lot easier! Brilliant move!

If only Yahoo! Auctions had used this type of model....


...oh wait.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Patricia

Thu Feb 12 13:17:46 2009

Ultimately, Ebay does nothing that doesn't improve its own revenue and doesn't care who suffers because of it.  Griff's playful ''hints'' may be fun to him but it damned serious to sellers.  Nothing short of some backpeddling on recent past outrageous policies is going to help now....but I'm sure Ebay still hasn't realized that.  They'll throw some meaningless crumbs to the sellers then clap their hands gleefully and feel they've done something great.

I'm sure part of this announcement will be free listings with yet another raise on FVF.  Makes sense since now listing views have dropped so dramatically that most sellers are running to places where listings are free.  At this point - Ebay is NOT bringing buyers and sellers together....and they KNOW it!  So, don't everyone get their hopes up because at this point Ebay is not even WORTH free listings for most of us!

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Lisa

Thu Feb 12 14:11:20 2009

So now we know how Buy.com feels about eBay, any idea how eBay feels about Buy.com?  Buy lists hundreds of items with quanties of hundreds available and ends the listing after only one or two sales.  Gee, I wonder why Buy isn't seeing return on investment.  What does eBay get from this partnership?

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: 144041

Thu Feb 12 14:24:11 2009

Who knows what Griff is "hinting" at -I hate hints- if you know what you are going to do just be straight with us sellers and tell us. I don't like games, my business isn't a guessing game.

Sure eBay could be about to offer free listings with raised final value fees. That seems logical. Sellers have either stopped listing items on eBay due to the low-to-no sell through rate or they have moved their inventory to other free to list sites.

I have to wonder what are the other "costs" of this "free" stuff, if thats even the case. Are sellers going to be required to buy a subscription? Can you buy placement? What about DSR's? Are we only going to be able to list if we have our own website and hence buy adds? You just never know with eBay. Who knows, but I feel confident that whatever great news is out there isn't for the small seller.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Ebay No More

Thu Feb 12 14:33:15 2009

What does eBay get from this partnership?

Artificially elevated listing numbers for Wall Street and the hopes of improving the buying experience and retaining more buyers. Although Buy's inventory doesn't provide product diversity for the site only more duplication of their own sellers products. Ebay also thinks that by using diamond sellers they will see improved buying experiences and more repeat buyers. Interesting approach that Ebay sellers get disadvantaged in search, disadvantaged in listing fees, and then Ebay implies they aren't good enough to provide the necessary good buying experience.  

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: Oh good Griff (grief)

Thu Feb 12 14:39:43 2009

Free listing--
You need to buy placement with free listing unless your item is extremely unique. Even then it will be hard to locate with all the added listings.

Plus, the prices on EVERYTHING on eBay is about to go down. Supply VS Demand.

All the changes they have made in the past year seem to point to free listing.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: eBay is scum

Thu Feb 12 14:42:21 2009

griff makes me sick.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: 3rd commet

Thu Feb 12 14:53:50 2009

Ina,
How do we listen to this ourselves? I followed your link  but there are a number of different titles. I really don't want to listen to anymore then I have to. You help would be appreciated. Just the title would be good. I see 9 listed.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Thu Feb 12 14:55:53 2009

It was in this segment:
"03 Open Phones"

hope that helps.

eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says   eBay News Coming Soon, Griff Says

by: harriet

Thu Feb 12 15:34:56 2009

I find this interesting.

eBay is trying to force all sellers to sell at low prices with free shipping.

eBay itself, is not adopting this attitude. They are raising their rates higher and higher, while telling the sellers that they are giving them a break. :)

Many sellers are now thaking their listings to other sites where it is either totally free (eCrater.com), or lower in price like Etsy.com and Bonanzle.com

I think this is quite ironic.

They turned the tables on the sellers, and the sellers are turning the tables on them.

And for you ''other site'' nay-sayers--those other sites are doing very well. Right at the moment, I am selling about twice as much as I am selling on eBay. :)

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