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Mon May 18 2009 22:38:29

eBay Survey Queries Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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As reported in Tuesday's AuctionBytes Newsflash, eBay recently conducted a survey asking sellers how satisfied they were with selling on eBay and which areas related to selling on eBay they would most like to see improved.

One seller who completed the survey thought the most interesting section was the one that dealt with whether certain types of information, such as item condition, return policy, payment information, and shipping information, should be included only in eBay's pre-specified fields, the seller's own description of the item, or in both areas. 

He said he would welcome cleaning up the description and getting all the legalese moved elsewhere, but felt it would be laborious to move all the information from the description into separate sections. 

"If done properly it will take time & complaining, but will be a HUGE success. HOWEVER if it isn't done well it could EASILY be the straw that broke the camels back, ie sellers don't have room to include most info (the return policy / checkout instructions currently are limited to like 500 / 1000 CHARACTERS which is TINY), buyers don't learn until after they buy/win, you could end up with a BUNCH of unhappy buyers & MAD sellers."

The seller also worried that eBay would make a major change during its fall update, "just in time for the holiday season." Sellers are often worried that eBay changes will be disruptive to their selling activity.

Given some of the questions in the survey, it's possible eBay may be gathering data to present to developers who are interested in Project Echo, aka Selling Manager Applications Beta. eBay is opening its platform to third-party vendors through Selling Manager Applications where they can build applications, such as listing, supply management, inventory management, picture management, shipping solutions, CRM, and profitability analysis. The upcoming eBay Developer's Conference has several sessions for vendors interested in Selling Manager Applications, including one on June 17 called "The Project Echo Opportunity," where it is possible eBay may share some of the survey results with vendors.

Finally, there was much attention paid to Turbo Lister, which opens the possibility that eBay may be planning changes to the tool.

Comments (51) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Patricia

Mon May 18 22:56:29 2009

What a joke!  In the end they'll do what they want regardless of what their survey showed and then they'll say this is what the sellers they surveyed want!  There aren't many sellers who aren't on to that fact!  Ebay is treating us like dirt and now they want us to agree that we like it that way?

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Oh brother!

Mon May 18 23:10:21 2009

Why do they even bother?

Nothing they do protects the seller.

Just more lies and BS.

Maybe it's another one of their "let's convince them we're listening again, after our latest blunder, so we can squeeeeeeeze that last dime out of them for as long as possible, while we screw them from behind"

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: KE6HTS

Mon May 18 23:16:16 2009

I think the survey is a great idea, but 1) it should have been done a number of years ago before the "disruptive innovation" destroyed some sellers businesses, and 2) the trust level from this ex-seller for a useful outcome is very low.

I still like to keep track of what they are doing though, and many thanks to AuctionBytes for providing current news!

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: bruceanddota

Mon May 18 23:16:29 2009

I think it is unfair when eBay supplies a buyers address that is incorrect as the buyer has moved and not updated eBay & Paypal records... That I as a seller can have negative feedback left due to delivery to the old address and resultant destruction of live plants.
In this case I supplied additional stock twice to the buyer but he still left negative feedback.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: notyetdisgruntled

Mon May 18 23:18:19 2009

There's a lot of derision in the posts above, but mostly a great deal of skepticism on the parts of those making comments. Simply put, they don't believe eBay at all!

While my business on eBay continues to grow and, if not thrive, proceed apace and healthily, eBay has done very little...ok, nothing that I can perceive that has had any particular benefit to the sellers.

More rules, constant changes, lack of trust of those working on the site as sellers...presuming that they'll do all they can to move business off of eBay and from their coffers.

Well, yeah! The draconian measures they've enacted, the top-down screw you we don't trust you energy is literally creating the culture of distrust on the part of the sellers towards eBay. A bad spiral, I think.

I'm still doing well and don't begrudge paying my tithe to eBay in fees, but their slurry of changes, adjustments, fee increases, policy crap changes...all have made working with eBay more difficult and costly.

Yah, I still sell on eBay, but I am also selling more and more on other places like Amazon...because eBay is driving my business in that direction.

Do I 'cheat'on eBay by getting customers to buy OFF ebay to avoid fees? Yes, but only a little bit, and never through their proprietary network of email. My off eBay billing is probably around 1-2% of my business. They've lost more due to their policy changes.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: MacwriterM

Mon May 18 23:34:22 2009

I filled out this survey and returned it, wondering why eBay bothered and wondering why I was bothering. I don't believe for a second that any seller approves of virtually any of the hundreds of changes eBay has made in the last couple of years, nor do I expect eBay to change anything as a result of what any sellers think. I do think eBay will claim otherwise, and I no longer believe anything they say.  It's all smoke and mirrors.  I still sell on eBay as it's still possible to make some money there, but it's getting harder and harder to do that, to put it mildly.  If it weren't for foreign buyers I'd have to give it up completely and go drive cab or tend bar or something that paid more and was a lot more fun -- like selling on eBay used to be.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Sandy

Mon May 18 23:54:42 2009

I got a different survey. I am primarily a seller.  Maybe the one I got was a "pre-survey".  It asked only a couple of questions and that was it.  Since my answers were largely not favorable of eBay, I may have been disqualified from getting the survey you're showing. Could be that they issued it randomly.  I can't recall ever getting a survey that would be this extensive.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Sally

Mon May 18 23:59:47 2009

I took 2 of the surveys.  The one on listing and the one on shipping.  Neither provided any area for ''What would you like to see'' to improve your selling capability.  This is a business.  I need tools to spend less time on that business and more time buying.  At no time did the survey even remotely seemed concerned with any independent thought I may have for improving the seller experience.  

I am really committed to a good buyer seller relationship, but eBay keeps spending time redesigning the look and feel of a listing page.  I called eBay 3 times to find out what the ''Related Items and Services'' tab really meant.  2 reps told me they would use this area to improve the buyer experience by showing items from other sellers, commercial and eBay.  When I go to KMart, I don't expect to see a Walmart add inside their store.  I was told that I could opt out of this program, but then I wouldn't be cross promoted on other stores.  When I insisted on opting out, they put me on hold and I was told that this had to be done manually.  30 minutes later I hung up, they never came back.  

I called a 2nd time and said that a friend and I were going to buy items from each other so that we could compare what they see as a buyer vs. what I see as a seller and I was told this was against eBay's rules.  

I offer this comment.  The survey will NOT promote a better conduit for buyers and sellers to exchange or communicate.  It will simply be used as a ploy to justify cross advertising inside ''your store''.  Be sure to call eBay and opt out of the new ''listing page'' and see how difficult of a job they make for your to do that.  

I just want to sell on the internet and have a professional relationship with my buyers.  The ability to charge fair prices, communicate and process orders (including returns).  eBay is intent on improving their advertising revenue for their share holders.  This is similar to credit card companies raising their interest rates during a recessing.  It is a sham and very discouraging to me as a seller because I use the eBay platform to subsidize my Social Security for the purchase of groceries.  

Thanks for providing me with a spot to vent.  


eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: mindelec

Tue May 19 00:14:48 2009

" wondering why eBay bothered and wondering why I was bothering"

that is kind of my view these days.  i really don't think that they give a rats a** what i think or need from ebay.


i've been drafted into only seeing the new item page on my listings (grrr), i can't see any opt out unless i choose each time to see the page in the old way.  the only related service i see is them hawking their credit card, we were told that sellers during this time would see exactly what the buyer would see on their page.  why don't i believe this is true?

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: FrankN. Stein

Tue May 19 00:36:58 2009

What kind of idiot would take the time to offer these answers for free? What kind of idiot would accept the findings of such a self serving, self praising bunch of leeches? The fact is, NO information coming from this ompany or its cheerleaders can be trusted.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: shipping out

Tue May 19 02:27:25 2009

Ebay has done endless surveys they also did a buyers survey last week which I filled out slatting them heavily .
end of the day most are cosmetic excercises with nothing to show at the end
why should the current ones be any different
as above ebay will do what it wants to do regardless of the effects
would I recommend ebay to anyone ?
not any more
the sellers are trodden on to extreme buyers become more ignorant and demanding by the day never happy no matter what changes are made for their benefit its never enough

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Bruce

Tue May 19 03:35:56 2009

When I answered it, my main thought is that they are trying to come up with more of their additional services. More things that they can charge us for.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers


Tue May 19 06:39:06 2009

It's just another ebay trick. They will lie about the results as usual. Ebay does NOT want you. You would be better off not to answer their slanted surveys.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: richard

Tue May 19 08:09:30 2009


in 10 years selling on eBay, Ive NEVER been asked to fill in a SELLER survey.. but I wouldnt fill one anyways.. every change they introduce usually leads to more clutter on their pages and more complexity in listing. In all my communications with them over the years, I never felt they were really actually reading what I wrote about.. so a survey seems like a waste of my time.

I also sell a few things on kijiji. There, collectibles do not move, but household items do sell. They would probably sell faster, but the site is so incredibly cluttered with junk ads... and unlike on craigslist its so deliberately difficult to flag the spam ads..

anyhoo today, I went to delete some older Kijiji ads.. and was served this survey  on why I was permanently deleting them.

Delete Ad

The ad "little girl doll / young girl doll +2 dolls" can be deleted because:

   * I received a sufficient number of responses to my ad on Kijiji
   * I received a sufficient number of responses through a different source
   * I did not receive a sufficient number of responses to my ad or my ad is no longer relevant
   * Prefer not to say

   * Cancel

This is a new process. I had never been asked these before.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Peter Leeflang / LEEFLANG ARCHIVES CORP.

Tue May 19 08:48:55 2009

Asking us sellers how we list our items, AFTER having introduced a new listing display???

Isn't that like putting the cart before the horse?

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: lcole

Tue May 19 08:48:58 2009

Isn't it a bit late for a survey when the changes will be here in June.

Why are they asking now?

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: djm

Tue May 19 09:36:33 2009

smoke and mirrors.  did you expect any less?
Ebay's rap on the entire survey in a few months will be or surveys indicate that sellers are happy.....end of story...
i don't know ONE seller that is even a little bit happy and content with ebay and the way THEY are running and dictating MY business.  Just a arse!!!

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Gailete

Tue May 19 09:38:51 2009

I've received several surveys from ebay recently and deleted them promptly without opening them. I've left ebay and have no plans to go back as I don't trust them. Why should I give them any knowledge about my selling process? They are able to make lots of dismal changes without my help. Let them continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Jim McClure

Tue May 19 10:03:26 2009

I would love to see an dashboard that rates eBay from the seller viewpoint.  I wonder if they would get a 4.9 rating like they expect from us.

eBay Survey Queries Sellers   eBay Survey Queries Sellers

by: Steve

Tue May 19 10:04:31 2009

I received this survey and filled it out. I started and abandoned two previous surveys that I received from eBay because the questions were obviously slanted to get the results they desired. This survey was different. It covered a lot of ground, addressed a lot of problem areas and did offer some opportunities to add your own comments. The very existence of this survey shows that at least some people at eBay are aware that there are problems that need to be addressed, of course that doesn’t mean they will be.

I remain hopeful that eBay will change course and return to the things that made it successful in the first place. Of course while I remain hopeful I have also moved my business off eBay. Two years ago 90% of my sales were made through eBay, now less than 10% are. Amazon has taken the lion’s share of my business and is not only easier to use it also returns higher profits and charges lower fees than eBay.

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