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Wed Mar 3 2010 15:49:13

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

By: Ina Steiner

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Wednesday's AuctionBytes Newsflash covered news of eBay's automated phone campaign alerting sellers about a special 1-day promotion on auction listings. As we learned from sellers, some were unhappy that the phone calls came so early in the morning, and those who received text messages believed they would have to pay for them. eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff provided us with a statement explaining the campaign:

"Sellers often tell us they would like more notice of limited-time pricing promotions - like Tuesday's 50% off one-day auction promo. We've generally used email and on-site placements to let sellers know about new promotions, but those can be missed in the flurry of day-to-day business activity. To help ensure sellers can take full advantage of limited-time pricing promotions, we've started testing new ways of communicating with them - through SMS (text messaging) and automated voice messaging - as an extension of the Seller Alert program.

"Before today, we targeted eBay PowerSellers and Top-rated sellers who are opted in to telemarketing preferences. Today was the first time we ran an automated voice messaging campaign, which enabled us to broaden the scope of contact to all professional sellers. For some sellers, this was the first time we'd pro-actively reached out to them via phone. In all cases, eBay pays for the text messages and automated voice messaging; the seller receives the service free of charge. And, starting the calls early helped make sure sellers had enough time to take advantage of this one-day-only promotion. In the future, we may give sellers even more advance notice.

"The Seller Alert program provides information on specific topics that can help sellers grow their sales on eBay via outbound telephone campaigns and text messages. Representatives may contact sellers to discuss growth opportunities and share important seller updates, including limited-time listing promotions.

"Sellers who would like the opportunity to work with the Seller Alert and Outreach teams can opt-in by visiting My eBay / Account / Notification Preferences / Promotions and Surveys / Phone updates and promotions. As always, we welcome feedback about the program and sellers can contact us directly at SellerAlertFeedback@ebay.com"

Johnna also said that all sellers who were contacted had opted in for marketing contact. "The difference between the contact groups is in the phone numbers they've provided to us. Not all of our sellers have a cell phone number in their profile so we weren't able to SMS them previously. Now that we've expanded the program to include voice messaging, we're able to contact all of those who have opted in."




Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: walker

Wed Mar 3 16:05:15 2010

They called me at 8:45 AM yesterday.  I don't go to bed until 4 AM because I work shift work.  I double checked and I had opted out of phone marketing.  They are wrong.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

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

Wed Mar 3 17:33:20 2010

@ walker

eBay are never "wrong"; they are simply outrageous, disingenuous, liers, whenever it suits them.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 17:44:56 2010

Bull puckey. I have never opted in for phone messages on either account, but yet they called me twice. Ebay, I give you permission to call me again when you REGISTER YOUR BUYERS and listing fees are 0, otherwise, save your time.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Smitty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 17:59:43 2010

''And, starting the calls early helped make sure sellers had enough time to take advantage of this one-day-only promotion. In the future, we may give sellers even more advance notice.''

WTF.

Ms Hoff intends to get your lazy butts up however early it takes, to get you listing and take the Wall St. heat off JD. It sounds like Johnna is going to start the Robo calls at 3am next round.

Smitty

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Marvin This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 18:37:13 2010

@SellerAlertFeedback@ebay.com

eCrater is free, stuff sells, I can take any type payment I want. When you can beat that johnnie call me.
HeHe.


eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 18:54:36 2010

Didn't you sellers ask for it?....and ebay heard you?  Isn't that the excuse they usually make?....or yes, the "testing" excuse!  As an adult (and a retired one at that) I just have to sit back absolutely amazed at Ebay's childish and immature business measures.  Other businesses (like maybe Amazon?) must be rolling in laughter!

Had they been looking ahead (like they try to make us believe that they do) they would have had weeks to announce this one day half price auction special.  Instead, they came like gangbusters on automated calls starting early in the morning hours.  Sorry, no way can they make me believe this was planned ahead of time.  It seems like sheer panic time on their part!

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: AlG

Wed Mar 3 18:58:26 2010

I got the robo-call @~~0800 hrs EST - can't remember, not enough coffee yet, quick & too the point. The only problem is I missed approximately 5 hours of prep time to get movin'&shakin' to flog the merchandise out.

It would be nice if greedBay would give you a little more notice.

Naturally, here on the right coast, we are usually asleep when eBay e-mails us with the upcoming opportunities @0300.

As an aside, I do detect a little amount of desperation or anxiety with 2 discount opportunities within 8 days and the upcoming "lowest prices - highest fees" ever event coming to you in April.

Oh yeah, even got a call suggesting I up to the $15.95USD subscription/month "opportunity". Sheesh - I get the New York Times for only $10 more/month which provides me with more entertainment.

I make my living off of eBay, but the alternatives are calling, calling, calling - and I'm doing something about it. Once the eyeballs are gone, so will I.

Selling collectibles only and a little media.....

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 18:59:27 2010

Another reason for the panic?  This didn't escape me either:

3/3/2010

EBAY 23.51 Down 0.48

AMZN 125.89 Up 0.36

Its been going down (in an UP market) for a couple of days now.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 19:01:18 2010

Is there a BoD meeting or maybe an analysts call in the next couple days? Why the desperation?

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Mar 3 19:09:09 2010

I have not bought or sold on eBay since the February boycott 2008. eBay no longer even has a valid credit card number associated with my ID. I have even been known to be a little vocal in my disdain for the platform. Imagine how touched I was that eBay reached out to me at 3am. I guess the Robo-caller is confused between the east coast, the west coast and the west west coast. I hope its little ears did not turn blue.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Humptey''s Revenge is Arrogant

Wed Mar 3 19:49:24 2010

Wouldn't you love to have Ho's number so you could Robo call him about 200 times at 3am?

This company is so mis-managed it is not even funny.

Better wake up eBay, Google has your playbook now and they are going knock you off of your high horse.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 20:44:09 2010

Re the following update, here's my comment to Johanna Hoff



oh yeah, that's an awfully convenient defense of waking someone up in the morning. Hey, if we told you we wanted a call when you change the user agreement or when you decide to flag our accounts for reserves would you? You ain't listened to any of us for 5 damn years, you expect us to swallow that backwash

Update 3/3/10: eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff said sellers often tell eBay they would like more notice of limited-time pricing promotions such as Tuesday's 50% off one-day auction promo. She confirmed that Tuesday's initiative was the first time eBay ran an automated voice messaging campaign, and said sellers who received a text message from eBay will not be charged. "In all cases, eBay pays for the text messages and automated voice messaging; the seller receives the service free of charge." For more on Ms. Hoff's statement, see the AuctionBytes Blog.
.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: joe

Wed Mar 3 21:09:17 2010

Johnna also said that all sellers who were contacted had opted in for marketing contact

Re the above:  Baloney.  I specifically unchecked ALL boxes having to do with promotions/surveys/etc.  I still got the call AND the text.  Cost me money, annoyed.

Joe

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Ron

Wed Mar 3 21:27:34 2010

It may be a panic or maybe it was planned, either way, without advanced notice (which is not the same day), promotions like this do not help me. I have 2 employees that I might have changed their priorities for the last several days to take advantage of this.

eBay did not increase any volume from me today, they just gave me a few bucks off, didnt really help either us.

If you want a promotion to work try this.....
Dear Seller, in 7 days we are going to have a free listing day. To qualify, you must maintain your daily average of listings (so if I usually list 10 things a day, I need to have 70 items before sale day to take advantage of it). Now I have enough time to plan, get extra stuff done, etc....

and guess what eBay is still the winner... because I post the usual daily amount so no decline before the sale.... I have enough time to post more... they make more money, I make more money... and when the next sale happens, my daily average is actually a little higher now than 10 items a day, because of the bulk listing sale I actually had time to plan for.

There might be a little decline in after sale postings but not bad, because I still need to post the usual stuff that I do every day.

eBay, this is not rocket science here, try talking to some of your veteran sellers (10+ years)

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Ron

Wed Mar 3 21:34:26 2010

Just seen the note about eBay stock down and Amazon stock up.

My eBay sales have been declining for a long time and I am putting in more work just to maintain that.

My Amazon sales for first two months this year are double last year.  

I have 4500 listings on eBay, 2500 on Amazon. If things stay at this pace, it may be time to divert all my focus to Amazon and ignore eBay (until Google enters the market, and I hope this is reality and not speculation!)

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 23:09:37 2010

I took advantage of the last fantastic 1/2 off fees sale, sold 4 items, barely covered the listing fees. No thanks, i need my sleep, I'm tired from listing & listing EVERYWHERE BUT EBAY, LOL~! Funny, Turbolister damaged my computer, mouse still not working on the lapbook because their update is garbage and the EXE file does not function, begging emails to "so called tl support" for help go unanswered, but these idiots had no problem waking us up in the morning.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: another side of the coin

Wed Mar 3 23:26:33 2010

They knew well in advance to even set up the automated calls. It's hard to focus with lack of sleep after being rudely awaken with this spam call.

Note to self: If eBay makes a call like this again, I will do the opposite and list even more on other venues.

Another note to self: Do not relist ever! Instead put on other venues bonanzle, ecrater, and amazon. Better yet continue to list less and less on eBay until you are free of their evil grasp.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: Buck Efay This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 4 00:11:04 2010

I stopped relisting once I realized Bonanzle could export my listings free, LOL!

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: JAV This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 4 04:30:30 2010

Multiple calls, multiple text.
We are opted out...

...they must really need the money.

eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting   eBay Alerts Sellers of New Promo via Calls, Texting

by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 4 05:10:50 2010

I didn't get a text or a phone call but I suspect they aren't paying your texting fees as they claim.  I've never heard of any company being able to pay the texting fee for you.  I pay $0.05 for every single one I receive except for the ones direct from T-mobile.

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