AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Sun Jan 3 2010 23:36:40

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

According to sources, eBay has an ambitious agenda for 2010, with three seller releases planned for the New Year. eBay promised sellers in 2009 that it would release its changes together and give them 60 days notice of major changes, so the earliest the first release could roll out is March.

I've put together an article for Monday's Newsflash newsletter describing the changes I'm hearing about and ones that appear likely. I organized them into major areas:
  • Feedback Change a Forgone Conclusion;
  • Stores in Core (possible elimination of Store Inventory Format);
  • Changes to Fees;
  • Policy Changes;
  • and Other Changes.
It's getting more difficult to assess the monetary impact of eBay changes on a seller's business due to the way the changes are structured. For example, if eBay eliminates Store Inventory Format and changes the fee structure for Store sellers, it would likely cost more but boost conversions - how do you determine the net effect on profits?

eBay will report fourth quarter and full-year 2009 financial performance in 2 weeks (January 20). It will be fascinating to hear how eBay performed during the holiday shopping season and what expectations eBay will set for the year ahead. If eBay's March 2009 Analyst Day is any indication, it will continue to pin its future on PayPal's potential.




Comments (101) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: cricket

Mon Jan 4 00:18:14 2010

as a seller on ebay, i feel like a dog being jerked on a shorter and shorter chain as each year brings more and more seller-detrimental changes. change is inevitable, but change for change's sake is of little value. when this dog's chain gets too short, i'm going to sink my teeth in - deep! come on! we all know what breeds revolution.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Matt Price

Mon Jan 4 00:27:34 2010

As of November 1, I have ceased business activity on eBay.  Here is the reason:

We had books that were mailed via Media mail, and when a person ordered multiple books, it was cheaper flat rate.  eBay took 90% of our listings down because of excessive shipping.

Shipping was $2.97, which was the USPS rate for media mail.  When the Post Office went up to $3.87 - they dumped our listings that were still listed at $2.97.

Furthermore, we find it a conflict of interest to have both the venue and the payment system.  There are quite a bit of people who have been defrauded by shipping $5,000 worth of items that they paid for, and then shipping back broken glass and getting their payment back.  That is a $10,000 fraud claim that PayPal helps them with.

We had a person do that with a notebook.  Proclaiming that it was not what it was advertised as and PayPal reversed the $3,000 - and we were out one of the state of the art notebooks.

We later took the buyer to court.

We have just had it with eBay squeezing the sellers, raising rates, in fact, if you attempt to view the consignment shop that you see here, it continues to shrink.

If you are a seller on eBay - it's past time to find other venues.

eBay is no longer relevant to eCommerce.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Mon Jan 4 00:38:35 2010

I really do regret having to display my total cynicism every time I comment on matters eBay, but the only reason eBay offers anything for free (if indeed the net effect of the offer really is free and not simply some devious loss-leading gimmick), is because they are now in absolute panic mode with respect to the continuing fall in revenue from the eBay marketplace.

Obviously, the extension of any deal to 31 March tells us that the preliminary figures for the December quarter are indicating a continuation of the very slow-motion train wreck accident that the incompetent “engineer” at the controls of this train has brought about.

In my mind’s eye I can so clearly see the headless head turkey and his gaggle of gobblers, like the little kafula bird, running around in ever-decreasing circles, at ever-increasing speed …

Why is ‘Noise’ Donahoe still trying to destroy eBay?
http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: DWM

Mon Jan 4 00:41:30 2010

I hate to say this because I agree with all that you all say regarding being pushed around as a seller, BUT in my opinion sellers have to be out of their minds to just completely dump ebay as ebay still to this day is the driving force for buyers. Sure you can list more of your items on say Bonanzle, eCrater etc.. but if folks are trying to make a living this way its really impossible to make steady sales without the help of ebay's traffic force. Again im not supporting ebay at all but its sad to say that we sellers still can't dump ebay all together.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Mon Jan 4 00:44:03 2010

The reality is that the PayPal model would work perfectly if it was an extension of the banking system—as is the credit card system. Under such circumstances the banks “know” their customers and therefore don’t interfere in the activities of account holders unless something very unusual is happening.

I have had such an experience with my bank: I received a phone call from the card company and the matter was sorted out, without any of the unbelievable nonsense so typical of PayPal, as expressed below, with PayPal undoubtedly trying to protect itself rather than the customer.

“Is PayPal good for your ... business?” A short PayPal horror story
http://blog.apparentsoft.com/business/124/is-paypal-good-for-your-micr
oisv-business-a-short-paypal-horror-story/


I find it quite amazing and extremely disappointing (and distressing) that the banks and their credit card company partners have not yet introduced a like system and put this miserable, amateur excuse for a payments system out of its misery.

Why is ‘Noise’ Donahoe still trying to destroy eBay?
http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Paul

Mon Jan 4 00:46:36 2010

I have two main objections to the (possibly) new feedback page:
1.  Net Promoter Scores are particularly bad for sellers in collectible categories as buyers often prefer to keep their sources secret, especially if they are resellers.  So an honest answer, after a wonderful transaction, may be ''not very likely''.

2.  The shipping time question is still wrong since sellers have no control over how fast the shipper delivers the package.  The question should be ''Are you satisfied with how quickly the seller shipped the item?'' or ''Did this seller ship your item in a timely manner?''  We sellers are not happy getting blamed for slow shipping when we get the package out immediately and USPS sends it via the scenic route.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Patricia

Mon Jan 4 01:37:48 2010

If they insist on coming out with that stupid long form for buyers to fill out in order to give feedback I sure hope they won't hold it against sellers when many buyers simply walk away without bothering to fill it out.  I can go into any store in the mall and buy whatever I want and I don't have to fill out some stupid long form that means absolutely nothing to me!

When are these people going to grow up???  John Donahoe has been treating Ebay like some huge game....and he's losing and can't see it!  Sheesh!

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Henrietta - Red Ink Diary

Mon Jan 4 02:53:52 2010

Ina wrote "how do you determine the net effect on profits?"

You SILLY girl Ina! The only profits which matter, those of eBay and PayPal will benefit very nicely, thank you.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: FedUpwitheBay

Mon Jan 4 03:36:46 2010

I sell on eBay and I sell on Amazon. You know what I like about Amazon? About two years ago I did a few hours of data entry, and ever since then all I do is fill orders and cash checks. It is painless. I don't know how Amazon priorities search and I don't know how to optimize for it - but it's all fine and good.

Meanwhile, eBay about every four-five months rolls out changes that require me to spend dozens, sometimes hundreds of hours in order to be compliant. Like last year when they all-of-a-sudden said "no money orders". When you have 400 products with 5 templates each, just removing a few excess words is a major pain in the rear.

Again: Amazon: No work. eBay: Constant work just to stay afloat.

Amazon: Once I day I check it and fill orders. eBay: I need to nurse that baby every waking hour with ridiculous customer communications, rampant buyer fraud, and endless policy/format changes.

Amazon: When I get a sale, I know I will get paid, I know the address is correct, and I know everything will be smooth. eBay: When I get a sale, I have to spend days chasing down payment, catering to bizarre buyer requests, wrong addresses, and a return policy that screws me every time.

If eBay ran like Amazon, I might be able to take a vacation every now and then. But after reading this post, it sounds like I'm going to be spending countless hours in 2010 just to keep things the way they are. LAME!

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Why eBay Sucks!

Mon Jan 4 03:43:46 2010

In the last week on eBay, I have had the same fraudulent bidder open repeated new buyer accounts, swoop in, and tie up large portions of my inventory. As a high-volume seller, I have an account manager who knows my name --- but I still can't get even the most basic protection on eBay.

And it isn't just constant buyer fraud -- most of my competitors are Asian counerfeitters who open new accounts, flood ebay with phony listings, then go NARU. Then they open a new account. It happens over and over and yet eBay does nothing. Zilch.

And now I read about all these changes. A major overhaul of feedback (the well-functioning system that eBay was built on) and barely any mention of trust-and-safety issues. Can you believe it is **2010** and eBay still doesn't even require a credit card to open a new account? That one simple step would eliminate countless fraud.

Sellers: how many times have you been the victim of fraud on Amazon? How many of your Amazon competitors are fraudsters? My guess is the answer to both questions is: ZERO. But on eBay, dealing with fraud is a way of life, because eBay isn't serious about fraud and doesn't appear to even care about fraud. Absolutely sickening that they make sellers jump through all these hoops and yet won't even do some of the most basic things necessary to ensure a safe marketplace.

As a seller, I would welcome every bizarro change eBay makes with a huge smile if one of the announcements would be the verification of all users. I mean, really.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Tom

Mon Jan 4 07:05:34 2010


I purchased an item on ebay a couple weeks ago. Went to give the seller positive feedback and I was asked to answer all these childish questions. I tried skipping over that part to leave feedback the usual way and it wouldn't let me without answering that silly questionaire. Does eBay really think buyers are going to want to fill out questionaires for each seller/transaction? Most sellers nowdays won't leave feedback first, and I'll be damn if I am going to fill out questionaires for every seller I purchase from just to get feedback in return. It's just not worth it and I have more important things to do with my time (like reading auctionbytes).

My New Years Resoulution is, I'm never buying another thing on ebay. I hope other buyers get fed up too and say good riddance.

You suck eBay.




What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: g

Mon Jan 4 08:26:59 2010

Why do we want to wait 6 months to see what new policies/hoops eBay comes up with to shove down our throats?  Do any of us really have faith that the changes are going to benefit us sellers?  History, unfortunately, would say otherwise.

I just want a simple site that makes selling reasonably easy.  eBay hasn't provided me with much traffic in 2009, so a smaller site might suffice and I'll spend the time finding my customers.  Yes, I'll still keep a presence of eBay, but I'll treat it as an advertising source.

Now I just have to identify a site that doesn't require me to be a techno geek (nothing wrong with being one, I just want to spend my time more on selling).  And one that makes selling the primary emphasis for sellers, not a social site.

Any suggestions welcome.

But I can't afford to give eBay another year to get straightened out.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Marty

Mon Jan 4 09:25:05 2010

Ina, thanks for the excellent overview . While im probably in the minority always seeing tremendous potential on Ebay, I really think these guys still just dont get it.

Id like to talk about 41% of Ebay's registered users being active on the site in 2005/6 and that number being 17% now.

Id like to talk about ending the feedback nitpicking and using the process to SELL MORE DAMN ITEMS. Your happy like in 99.% of Ebay transactions , then thanks for your business this seller has dropped a coupon in your box. Remember when you get 100 feedback you can spin the wheel for prizes or discounts.

Im all for Stores in core search but the pricing has to be very  good or they will risk a huge exodus AGAIN.

Messing with feedback in the wrong way can also hurt.

Whatever happened to MORE BUYERs and MORE SELLERS and making the marketplace work?

They just dont get that they cant out Amazon , AMAZON, they cant be a Walmart or Best Buy, their strength was their customers buying and selling her and their excitement over this site vs others. You cant let your user base deteriorate like this and have anything but headwinds for any plan you make.

Ill give you one frightening statistic. Go look it up in the quarterly reports.

In the last 12 months Ebay had to add 150 million NEW user accounts just to eek out a gain of 2 million new active users. (370 million to 520 million).

Users are going inactive at an alarming rate. I know why, people here no why, you probably no why, but why dont they get it?

Ill tell you one reason. Few people at Ebay even trade actively on the site. If they did they would understand. The now departed Stephanie Tileneus (spelling?) had the most feedback I believe and other people that are "in the know" have left also.

In any case, I hope the new year brings good things for everyone , both on ebay and wherever else they sell.

Marty

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: John's Girl

Mon Jan 4 10:00:15 2010

Personally, I like the 10 point rating system for feedback. It gives a much better indication of the transaction than feedback. Also, if stores go back into core, my sales can only go up. I was planning on re-investing more of my efforts into an eBay store, and I suspect my efforts will be rewarded!!

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Mon Jan 4 10:36:52 2010


I'm just waiting for another "that's it, I'm leaving Ebay" rant. If Ebay sellers haven't left or diversified their business by now, they risk going out of business.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Jan 4 10:45:14 2010

Time for eBay sellers to start printing new stickers and post cards to badger buyers for 10 points instead of 5 stars.

There's a growth business for you!

Wouldn't it be ironic if the 5 star concept was so ingrained that buyers leave just 5 points instead of 10.

Always something to worry about on eBay, isn't there?

eBay is like that Monty Python sketch: ''You came here for abuse? Well this is DRAMA!''

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: still*disgusted

Mon Jan 4 10:59:37 2010

I am terribly disheartened about the upcoming changes. I have been selling on ebay for almost 12 years and can't believe how so many supposedly smart people have managed to almost destroy a fabulous site.

New feedback is even worse than the assinine system we have now. I do not understand why ebay insists on rating sellers on shipping times and costs. Both of those are out of my control - how do they not get that! Go after the 99 cent sellers who have $55 shipping and leave the rest of us alone or let the buyer decide what TOTAL amount they are willing to pay for a specific item!

I sell antiques, collectables, glass & pottery/china so auction format is the most important to me in terms of profits. I do  have a store with about 300 items in it, but those sell in dribs and drabs and only make ecomomic sense to keep listed at the current low fees.  I guess I have to start clearing out the store over the next few months because I will not maintain a store with fix priced items at the proposed new rates.

I'm happy for the sellers who are doing well on Amazon, but it is not a venue for everyone. Will not work for me at all. I have tried many, many other sites over the last 4 or 5 years and none has ever produced even 5% of what my ebay sales are. I have just pulled my last items off Etsy - nice site, but moving away from "vintage" which they never promoted worth a darn anway, and I don't have the time to be "on" there all the time, chatting and schmoozing and sucking up to the in crowd which seems to be the only way to get any sales there.

Bonanzle  is a very attractive site, easy to use, but suffers from lack of buyers. I think that having only fixed price format is what is holding it back from making some waves. Also dumb name and no advertising don't help.

I know that generally new goods and media sellers are content with fixed price formats, but they don't work for me. AUCTIONS are what are successful for sellers like me and auctions are what drive my store sales as well.

Once again my wish for the New Year is that a viable AUCTION SITE  opens up - I will be there in a flash!!!!! I can't leave ebay unless and until that happens, pure and simple. Actually, I could of course, but it would mean going from a full time seller, back to being a hobby seller and I don't want to do that.

Ina - can you give us any hope that there are even rumours that there is even a glimmer of a  possibility that any of the "big boys" is interested in entering the online auction business???? No start ups need apply - we need someone who can open the doors and have the net presence to make the site viable from day one......please :)

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: Norbet used books

Mon Jan 4 11:07:34 2010

Ebay for me is Home sweet home and has been since 2001.It has always lead in sales in all my online stores of which I have 8.Business is Business and they are in it just like me to make money and I have to give eBay allot of credit for my business.

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

by: jim

Mon Jan 4 11:26:32 2010

Ebay/paypal are the most difficult entities I have ever dealt with, and that includes the government during an audit.  They are extremely seller unfriendly and have empowered absolute MORONS to take advantage.  Many good sellers are leaving because they can't take the abuse anymore.  I recently had a month long fight with ebay over a fraudulent buyer who had been naru'd twice.  He had a ZERO feedback and a week of memebership against my 10 years and 100% rating with 7,000 feedbacks but they took his word over mine; AND I PAY THE BILLS! I sell ALL my more expensive items elsewhere due to fraudulent buyer paypal claims; 95% of my inventory is sold away from ebay ENTIRELY due to their anti seller policies.  

What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?   What Changes Will Impact eBay Sellers in 2010?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Jan 4 11:45:45 2010

@jim

Is that you Uncle Griff?

You don't have to answer here. Just leave a condescending, vague answer in the Ask Griff column and I will know.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4 5 6  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.