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Wed Sept 23 2009 14:53:45

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay CEO John Donahoe came out swinging at companies competing with eBay when the topic came up during a Q&A session at Shop.org's annual summit taking place in Las Vegas this week. He told Patti Freeman Evans, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester Research, "eBay is not a retailer. We will never be a retailer. We will not compete with our sellers."

 "We are not going to buy a shoe retailer, for instance. We aren't going to develop private label products. We are not going to use the data on our marketplace to compete or give to other sellers. We are going to be a marketplace that will not compete with its sellers." The statement was an obvious reference to Amazon.com, which some Amazon third-party merchants feel have taken advantage of their sales data to compete against them.

He went on to say, "When I read about Wal-Mart's third-party marketplace, it struck me that the great news is that Wal-Mart has a great history of cooperating with other businesses to help those other businesses succeed. It's deeply in their genetics." The remark was obviously sarcastic, given complaints Main Street brick-and-mortar retailers have made against the giant retailer. And while the audience laughed and there was some applause, it's pretty certain the Wal-Mart executives in the crowd were not amused.

Donahoe told the audience that he understood they might build marketplace businesses, but all he could say is that if they sell on eBay, it would not compete with their businesses.

Having seen John give presentations to crowds before, I was surprised by the self-assured confidence and ease with which he spoke. Either he feels more comfortable presenting to executives from branded retailers than with eBay users, or he has grown more comfortable in public speaking in the last year.

I'll likely be posting a few snippets of video from John's keynote address in a few days, along with more impressions of Shop.org, so stay tuned.




Comments (88) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Dan

Wed Sep 23 15:04:06 2009

He says ebay will not compete with it's sellers. But we all know that ebay is giving private, negotiated deals to large retailers like Buy.com...so, if ebay charges its longtime seller base the standard rate card fees and only gives standard exposure....but gives a large retailer like Buy.com better fees and better exposure.....

Yes, ebay competes with its own sellers. The secret Buy.com deal overwhelmed my selling catagory. Will yours be next with another secret, negotiated deal?



eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Sep 23 15:09:45 2009

FOR SALE SOON: PayPal! Or ebafia.

Wouldn't surprise me at all if The Ho isn't on prescribed anti depressants which might account for his new found ease at the podium, false bravado, and spewing unwise mocking sarcasm at this competition that might come back to bite him.

We can hope.

DEATH to ebay corp. in 2009.

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: christine

Wed Sep 23 15:14:19 2009

Donahue is sarcastic, yet blindly naive. eBay could learn from Wal-Mart and Amazon -- as they both have shopping cart features, which is the NUMBER ONE REASON they fare better with consumers. The shopping cart feature ensures a co-branded experience, and allows buyers to consider the overall cost of shipping multiple items before committing to the purchase. eBay on the other hand, gets complaints from sellers that buyers ask too many questions (particularly with multiple item orders). If eBay had a shopping cart feature they would probably reduce the number of inquiries, and eBay might also reduce buyer's remorse as well (as it would make it easier for buyers to back out of a sale).

Donahue is a probably also saying that eBay is not a retailer to help mitigate some of the lawsuits in Europe with regards to forgery of name brand merchandise. In essence eBay claims to be impartial and "not a retailer" yet they will quickly act on behalf of the buyer to recoup funds from paypal in the event of a claim.

-- Former eBay Platinum Powerseller

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: cc

Wed Sep 23 15:36:19 2009

No they are not competing with Amazon. That's why they limited our shipping fees in media and made us stop charging for insurance. Funny they said it was because other stores online didn't do that! Hum sounds like they think they are Amazon. What a liar!

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Hillary

Wed Sep 23 15:38:34 2009

I was just saying the other day on TameBay that I hate the way Amazon competes with their sellers. Hmm, I hate agreeing with Donahue.

The Walmart thing does seem like a terrible idea to me. They force every wholesaler they deal with to give them such ridiculous discounts to begin with, how is any smaller third party seller ever going to compete.

Oh who knows.

All I care is that sales on eBay are still rocking so until that changes, I'm there.

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: John (ColderICE)

Wed Sep 23 15:39:27 2009

Insightful comments from the 3 proceeding mine....thanks guys! I would like to ad something here.

We over at ColderICE.com just posted our results to a poll where we asked people if item of the same price are found on eBay and Amazon, which one would you buy from?

71% say they will buy from Amazon which smokes eBay! John D can seem more confident, but some of that has to be bravado. There has to be some concern inside of eBay just looking at these numbers.

The strength of eBay was/is the brand and the has been eroded overtime and now has to have FOCUS on re-establishment.

My concern is that eBay keeps focusing on Paypal as the holy grail...but our numbers show on our website that buyers will use their OWN credit card vs. Paypal 6 to 1.

Again...I think eBay should be concerned because if they feel that eBay is going to be saved by Paypal, they are possibly missing the mark. If eBay evaporated tomorrow, Paypal would most likely go with it. They MUST focus in on the Momma Bear and that is "eBay"!

john (ColderICE)

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Hillary

Wed Sep 23 15:39:28 2009

Donahoe. Serves me right for copying and pasting from the comment above. LOL

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: RicRoe

Wed Sep 23 15:39:31 2009

''Either he feels more comfortable presenting to executives from branded retailers than with eBay users, or he has grown more comfortable in public speaking in the last year. ''

When you are systemically destroying a community from within, it is hard to address those that will be negatively impacted by your words and actions.

That is why Donahoe was so uncomfortable speaking directly to eBay users.

This is why Donahoe eliminated eBay live, why he is slowly and steadily killing off eBay's sense of community and why he makes it harder and harder for buyers and sellers to communicate in the course of a transaction.  

Donahoe never understood that the key element to eBay's past success was it's strong sense of community.

Donahoe has replaced the eBay community spirit with an approach that pits buyers against sellers. This methodology is the reason eBay has been in steady decline.

The community spirit which Donahoe has worked so hard to eliminate was one of the fundamental cornerstones of what set eBay apart from other marketplaces and helped drive sales to record levels.

It is no coincidence that as Donahoe worked to decimate the community within eBay, sales have continued to decline.

New leadership, tasked with restoring the community spirit that enabled eBay to stand out from other marketplaces is the only thing that will allow eBay to once again become a thriving marketplace.

The current sterile marketplace which Donahoe claimed would bring buyers back to eBay has proven to be a dismal failure.

Donahoe and his team should be shown to the exits, let the rebuilding begin.

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: bonniesplants

Wed Sep 23 15:48:02 2009

Bullcrap!  I have been on ebay since 2001.  I have over 14,000 positive feedbacks, 5's on all of my stars. Many buyers come back to me year after year because I sell live plants.  Now they will buy direct because I will make it worth their time!  I will loose my silver power seller statis soon. Feedback 99.3%

WHY?  Because ebay hides my listings so I can not sell anything.  Most of my listings are at the bottom of the line up. Sellers who have been here a lesser amount of time, have 4.6 on stars, lesser feedback percentage are ranking in search higher than me.

I have 21 days left on my fixed price listings and then I am out of ebay.  I am no longer going to pay fees that equal what I make or are more than I make.

I have every email addy from every buyer and will email them and offer a super discount to buy direct from my web site.

I was one a wonderful buyer here but no longer, I buy on searches on Google and I will never buy here again.

Bonnie

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Larry Dickerson

Wed Sep 23 15:49:21 2009

It is apparent to me that eBay makes such rush and haphazzard business decisions that no company would want to be seen associated with the constant flux of badly thought out changes in their business SOP unless handed the on-line venue on a golden platter with such concessions that no matter the outcome,it will prove financially workable.That would be either from a profit or tax advantage on the end results.

The old saying of measure twice but cut once holds true for any decision making process.That sure cuts down on gross errors.

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: urkmonster

Wed Sep 23 15:49:59 2009

unwise mocking sarcasm

I think it was wise, accurate and very appropriate sarcasm.

You are worried about ebay making sarcastic comments about poor little vulnerable walmart?

Walmart has a history of not only assasinating their competition, but they even kill their own VENDORS.

Even Amazon is already eating their own 3rd party sellers 'best sellers' for lunch. Whatever do you think that walmart will being doing with YOUR hot item that you sell as a walmart 3rd party seller?

BWAAHAAHAAAHAAHAAA!

You kids are so smart - fly quickly from the ebay devil!

Run straight into ... a false hope!

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Larry Dickerson

Wed Sep 23 15:54:01 2009

It is apparent to me that eBay makes such rush and haphazzard business decisions that no company would want to be seen associated with the constant flux of badly thought out changes in their business SOP unless handed the on-line venue on a golden platter with such concessions that no matter the outcome,it will prove financially workable.That would be either from a profit or tax advantage on the end results.

The old saying of measure twice but cut once holds true for any decision making process.That sure cuts down on gross errors.

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Pat

Wed Sep 23 15:55:39 2009

Here's the difference between Amazon, Wal-Mart, Sears, et al - and eBay.  These were EXISTING retail sites that opened up their platform to 3rd party sellers. Merchants go into the these venues with their wide open to the fact that their host may compete with them.

Ebay, on the other hand, prefers to pit seller against seller - like a cockfight. Small sellers not filling the bill? Give preference to PowerSellers. PowerSellers not keeping up? Bring in Diamonds.

The point is, Donahoe is playing games with semantics. eBay may not be a retailer in the classic sense. The way they constantly shift the landscape in favor of larger retailers, they're more like retailing ''pimps''.

And a quick message to John Colderice...it seems that every time you post on this blog, you shill your own. If people wanted to read the cr@p you post, they'd go there already. Sorry Ina - I'm pretty sick of it already...

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: bonniesplants

Wed Sep 23 16:03:05 2009

Please do not dis the power sellers, we are not all bad!  Hubby and I are a mom and pop who works 7 days a week, 18 hour days.  Because we sell live aquatic plants  and breed and ship live fish (koi) and have a commercial greenhouses, there are hours and hours daily spent in the greenhouse because we grow everything we sell.

Bonnie

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: ebay is dead (like the wicked witch)

Wed Sep 23 16:07:32 2009

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please! Somebody grab my head and stop it before it spins right off my neck!!!

Now they DON'T want to be Amazon or Walmart? Wasn't it just a few weeks/months ago that that was EXACLY what they wanted to be? LMAO

Ming mentioned antidepressants, I'm thinking j'ho is completely OFF his meds along with his rocker! lol

I'm a wigwam, I'm a teepee!!! No, you're two tents!!!

Dear Lord they drive me to want to pop pills and drink! Somebody please pass the valium and tell me when this craziness is over, thank you! lol :D

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Joe Average

Wed Sep 23 16:11:19 2009

Uhm, we wont compete with out sellers. But, we will gladly sell ad space to third partys who will compete with them!

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: urkmonster

Wed Sep 23 16:16:09 2009

Joe, are you saying that you can't easily compete with a stupid ad? You should analyse your business a bit more, and complain a bit less.

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: ebay is dead (like the wicked witch)

Wed Sep 23 16:16:31 2009

"Having seen John give presentations to crowds before, I was surprised by the self-assured confidence and ease with which he spoke. Either he feels more comfortable presenting to executives from branded retailers than with eBay users, or he has grown more comfortable in public speaking in the last year."

He's probably much cooler standing up there in front of fellow corporate CEOs without feeling the need to wear his bullet proof vest, unlike when he speaks to the actual sellers that he's blatantly belittled, bent over and had his way with. lol

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Guest

Wed Sep 23 16:19:02 2009

@urkmonster
You should use spell check and check your nasty attitude at the door. Thank you.

eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart   eBay CEO Takes Jabs at Amazon and Wal-Mart

by: Henry Neff

Wed Sep 23 16:20:30 2009

Nice to hear eBay acknowledge that they are not Amazon and don't want to be. Now if they will back that up with seller friendly action eBay can get back to business.

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