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Wed May 19 2010 10:18:38

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

By: Ina Steiner

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Just a few years ago, Wall Street analysts told eBay it needed to make major improvements to the marketplaces business. eBay has rolled out new radical changes over the past 2 years, and this week we found out what analysts think about eBay's turnaround, in Monday's blog post and in today's Newsflash newsletter.

Yesterday I asked Deutsche Bank's Jeetil Patel what he was seeing with the latest Spring changes at eBay, rolled out at the end of March. He said he has spoken to large sellers, small sellers, auctions, fixed price and platform companies. "It's been pretty consistent that it appears that everyone seems to be feeling the pressure, feeling the impact of these changes on a negative basis."
  • April was tough - are you doing better in May? What percentage of your revenue comes from each channel, and what about the profitability of each?
  • What channel is growing the fastest? Slowest?
  • Are any slowdowns in your business marketplace-driven or economy-driven?
  • Is the eBay issue a traffic/buyer issue, interface issue, eBay perception/image issue?
  • Are analysts correct when they say eBay's new fee structure makes eBay a more compelling marketplace for merchants and offer higher selection for buyers? Or has supply outgrown demand?
I've always been impressed with sellers' ability to analyze how marketplace changes affect their business. Think of this post as your chance to tell marketplaces, analysts and industry observers what you're seeing, and explain it in terms that they can relate to - sales revenue, profitability, supply and demand and competitive factors. 




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Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Gary Overton
Web Site

Wed May 19 10:49:21 2010

My sales were actually up a bit in April but no where near the level of where they were 2 years ago. This may be because I had almost 3000 store listings.  I am selling about 50% less now than I was 2 years ago with almost 4 times as many listings.
BTW, my fees for April remained about the same.
Sales so far this month are up a little over April, probably about 10% overall.
So far this month I have not added ANY new inventory. As best I can remember this is the 1st time since I started selling on eBay that I have NOT increased inventory.
I am spending the time I normally spend adding inventory testing ways to move up in search. So far I have had some luck with this but it is too early to tell if I have it figured out. Since I am not adding any new inventory my fees are running a little lower this month than last.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: My Own Website Not Quite Paying My Bills Yet

Wed May 19 11:07:49 2010


Next to Bernie Madoff, analyst's on Wall Street are the biggest scammers.

Also, what economic downturn are you referring too? Amazon sales and profits are way way up. It's all about executing a better business plan. For most of us, the old Ebay business model should not be part of that plan.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: ebay seller

Wed May 19 11:12:47 2010

My sales are at the level they were 10 years ago when I started doing ebay part time.Last months sales for the whole MONTH WERE A LITTLE OVER WHAT I MADE IN 1 WEEK THE MONTH BEFORE.This month is looking about the same.When will the board of directors and big stockholders in ebay decide ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!!!Pull the plug on this failed amazon clone plan and get ebay back to it's original roots.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Lynn

Wed May 19 11:17:20 2010

I am an eBay PowerSeller and Top-rated Seller with perfect feedback and  stars.

I experienced a big drop in April sales. Now May is even lower...possibly only 1/2 to 2/3 of April...unless things pick up in the next ten days.

With new rules effecting sellers, I'm having trouble understanding why buyers have decreased. I thought they would increase after new rules and with many of my competitors leaving.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

This user has validated their user name. by: Pete

Wed May 19 11:27:31 2010

Four years ago we had 2 eBay accounts and made a good living from eBay only sales.
We now have 13 eBay selling accounts and sales do not even equal the 2 accounts of 4 years ago,  we sell in demand brand items at discounted price ;BUT the other 5 non eBay outlets that we sell on;  are selling more that the 2 accounts 4 years ago, eBay for us is a waste of time. All the idiotic hoops to jump thro and the ridicules DSR feedback seller performance is will too childish and were so tired of all the glitches etc (this month we can’t use 3 accounts as they as locked due to a glitch even eBay technical dept can’t figure out)

eBay is done

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Kal

Wed May 19 11:31:12 2010

"Just a few years ago, Wall Street analysts told eBay it needed to make major improvements to the marketplaces business."

This is what eBay deserves for listening to greedy Wall Street Idiots who know nothing about what eBay way. They just wanted to milk it for more money rather than leave alone what worked and what earned a good ROI. No, they wanted more More MORE.

Well, now you got less Less LESS

You're NOT NOT NOT.

Greedy bastards.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 19 11:35:45 2010

I think Johnnie is oblivious to the fact that both buyers and sellers want Ebay to go back to the way it was.  They are showing their disillusionment with the site by LEAVING!  There will be no "turnaround" because Ebay's USERS don't want it.  Not only should they go back to their roots but they're going to have to part with some of their billion dollar profits to TELL the public about it!  When was the last time any of us saw an Ebay ad?????

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: horrible

Wed May 19 11:39:09 2010

Since April 1st I'm almost out of business after 10 years of success D-Ho has finally wiped me out.

March was decent but all of April and so far all of May have been horrendous.

Who has 6 to 12 months to lose while ebay "HOPES" things balance out?

Ebay has made themselves almost irrelevant in online shopping. People came for the fun and excitement of auctions, the unique hard to find items.

Walmart has all the toasters anyone would need. Why would I go to ebay to buy a toaster?

The more new normal everyday merchandise they load on, the more ebay dies a little everyday.

Donohoel will probably finally be let go after the 4th quarter, of which will likely be a HUGE HUGE dramatic slump in marketplace sales.

Amazon will have a champagne popping HUGE HUGE record breaking holiday season for SURE again this year because the HO HO is making sure of it!

The saga in 2011 will be...can this new CEO guy or gal save ebay?

I wonder who DOHOLE's replacement is going to be in January?

Going to be interesting to find out. I just hope it's someone who has a clue!

Just as we all know ebay is dying/DEAD, we all know DONOHULE was never going to make it.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Harmony Grove Antiques
Web Site

Wed May 19 11:45:51 2010

Our sales are markedly DOWN since the latest round of utter stupidity coupled with desperation executed by Ebay March 30th. We continue to sell the same quality antiques that used to do well on Ebay but which now languish in a sea of cheap Chinese junk and store return crap.

We have invested a significant amount of time with the slow period granted to us by Ebay in listing on alternate sites including Bonanzle, Ioffer, Ecrater and Etsy. We have had a couple of sales on these sites but that is fine with us since the costs to list are free or almost free and the FVF is very low (or Free also!). The environment at Ebay is nothing less than TOXIC. Ebay has pitted buyers against sellers and has given buyers every tool imaginable to steal our items or hold us hostage for partial returns after the sale. We have lost $919 on one sale since Paypal felt it appropriate to let a buyer have for free a set of antique chairs including free shipping paid by us! We have also had 2 other buyers hold us hostage for returns of several hundred dollars or they would also file a chargeback, just like the shyster with the set of chairs did. We paid up as Ebay was utterly USELESS in trying to help us resolve both of these cases of outright fraud and thievery.

The analysts just take in whatever BS Ebay spoon feeds them and wait for this miraculous turnaround. New Flash - It isn't coming!

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: TV

Wed May 19 12:06:43 2010

This eBamazon philosophy is slowly but surely reducing our sales.  

After 10+ years, we're seeing our worst sales week on record.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 19 12:21:14 2010

Tell the analysts if they added up all the extra users on other sites they will come up with almost the exact amount of losers on Ebay's site.  Since they depend on numbers only - this should be an eye opener for them.  If they're looking for Ebay's turnaround...its happening NOW with users leaving on a daily basis to go elsewhere.  What analysts do not understand is that Ebay was built by its small sellers who are also its buyers.  By calling sellers ''noise'' John Donahoe put the first nail into Ebay's coffin.  He built on that almost daily with outrageous new policies and restrictions and when those failed he raised fees while stupidly calling it a fee decrease.  Can that man even open his mouth once without insulting and disrespecting his own customers???....the SELLERS who pay the bills????  

Ina - tell the analysts to get their heads out of the numbers and see the rot that is Ebay today! Present management has turned off Ebay users - both buyers and sellers and no amount of anything at this point will turn it around.  The buyers/sellers who left are turning Ebay's reputation into mud and rightly so!  They've been damaged by Ebay management!

Donahoe and his team must GO and a turnback to its roots must begin or Ebay is doomed!  Ebay needs to stop the destructive innovation - its NOT WORKING and never will.

Analysts:  get your head out of the damned numbers!  As I said before the only way to turn this company around to Donahoe's plan is to oust ALL users, close the doors and reopen under a new name and start from scratch again and we all know that's not going to happen.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Echoes

Wed May 19 12:35:23 2010

We've been selling on ebay for 12 years and have seen profits drop to less than half of what they were five years ago.  I don't really mind that we work twice as long to make the same money since we work at home but there are only so many hours in the day and we are reaching the breaking point quickly.  Auctions used to be our sole listing format but with the changes it's just not profitable anymore and we've switched to store/fixed format - growing slowly, but it takes thousands of items in inventory just to make a common days wage.  

When I first started on ebay, every collectibles/antiques dealer I knew sold here. I am not lying when I say there is not a single one left besides me of the dozens that I know.  

It seems ebay management only wants to impress stockholders, and if it's at the expense of customers, both buyers and sellers, so be it. Not a smart business plan, and Im shocked they still pursue it.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: ddmusk
Web Site

Wed May 19 12:42:12 2010

Like way back when Ebay was nice, the first few pills are free, but once you're dependent on us, WHAM!

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: echoes

Wed May 19 12:45:36 2010

One major difference in my world that comes out of the ebay changes of the last year is that I never, ever mention at antique shows or in brick and mortar shops that I'm an ebay seller. All that you get, every time, is a rant on how much they hate ebay, don't sell there anymore and would never, ever think of buying there.  Try it - go to any antique shop or show and mention the name 'ebay' to any of the sellers and watch the veins in their necks grow as their faces go red with hate. It's a national phenonmenon.  So much for image and branding.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Jim This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 19 12:49:18 2010

**April was tough - are you doing better in May? What percentage of your revenue comes from each channel, and what about the profitability of each?

No, Sales range 25-50% of pre April and I have had to discount 30% or more.

** Are any slowdowns in your business marketplace-driven or economy-driven?

Yes, I sell salvage to be used as parts or rebuilds by other sellers in the eBay universe.  So when eBay falls so do they.  

**Is the eBay issue a traffic/buyer issue, interface issue, eBay perception/image issue?

Traffic is way down.  The interface is not first rate in an universe that is becoming more competitive.  The image thing hurts too.  

   * Are analysts correct when they say eBay's new fee structure makes eBay a more compelling marketplace for merchants and offer higher selection for buyers? Or has supply outgrown demand?

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Russ Ketter
Web Site

Wed May 19 13:14:04 2010

First off, Wall Street and Bankers as analysts, yeah that works well doesn't it.  Especially from someone not involved with the said business.  How many washers, driers and customer returns from amazon have you bought on ebay, Mr. Patel, how many years sellling.   Pretty much like the dope they have running it (not to mention the previous dope who's trying to run California, give it up.)  I've watched every stripe of Harvard, Stanford etc Business School grad try to put their template over businesses from my own biz, the record/cd etc biz (now in the wind) to almost the auto biz, to the Bain & Co template of come in, goof it up, charge a quarter million and vanish.  Donahue and the machinations at ebay are pure garbage, not one thing has worked for their customers, who are the sellers, in case they forgot or would like to....they/we are leaving, buyers go where they can find what they want.  If they want Chinese goods, they can go down to the nearest wal-mart.  There may never be a turnaround, that would be the basic screw it into the ground, take your golden parachute and talk some other corporate sucker into hiring you.  The analysts will say what a good job johnny did out there on the Left Coast.   Who's kidding whom, here?
Rather Russ

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: Mary C.

Wed May 19 13:27:59 2010

I had just barely started selling at eBay in February.  I was very excited!  By the beginning of April, I was selling nothing.  It has been a very sad and disappointing experience for me.  

With all of eBay's changes, they have created a very unfriendly atmosphere for the seller.  There is no protection left for the seller.  Buyers can ask for a refund and keep the item, too.  They can refuse to pay yet still leave negative feedback.  Also, eBay is using the DSRs as a tool to take away a higher status and thus the discounts that came with it.  

They need to remember that the sellers are their customers, not the buyers.  As the decent sellers leave, so will the decent buyers.

The greed of eBay is going to be its undoing.    

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: FeeBay

Wed May 19 13:38:42 2010

eBay has best match all screwed up. I am a TRS and my auctions are getting buried behind all the fixed price listings, even in the final hours.  eBay’s core is overloaded with listings, and I think auctions are becoming the thing of the past.

I used to love selling in an auction format, and my items would sell for alot more. Now days I am lucky to even break even. I think making good money on eBay is becoming the thing of the past.

Buyers come to eBay to bid on auctions, and to get a good deal. If eBay eliminates auctions, then many buyers will leave, because there won’t be any good deals left on eBay. Sellers will be raising their prices to compensate for the high fees, and lack of sales. Once buyers realize that there is no good deal left on eBay, the other alternative websites will probably start picking up most of eBay’s business.  eBay will soon become an over-priced made in China,” flea market “.  Thanks to JD.

Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: RicRoe

Wed May 19 13:53:39 2010

All signs point to John Donahoe's makeover as being a spectacular failure.

April sales on eBay were the lowest we have seen.

Profits are higher on smaller venues than on eBay, and sales on those smaller venues are eclipsing eBay for the second straight month.

Despite being a Bronze Power Seller, TRS with 4.93 and higher DSR's, it would appear that any alleged boost in listing visibility has been negated by the crush of stores in core.

eBay's constant tinkering with Best Match algorithms are the primary reason buyers can not find what they want, and sellers are losing sales.

eBay needs to retire Best Match, and all the behind the scenes manipulations that are part of this failed search method.

If eBay restored Time Ending Soonest as the default search method, sales would spike across the board.



Donahoe's changes may be filling the store shelves, but he has failed to notice the aisles are void of shoppers.

How much more evidence is needed to determine that the makeover has fallen flat?

Changing eBay to appease Wall Street is a total failure. Donahoe should have been concentrating on appealing to Main Street where the buyers are.

Removing the existing anti seller culture which prevails at eBay is a necessary step if eBay is going to recover.

The only way to accomplish this is to terminate John Donahoe and the majority of his anti seller management team.

New management that has proven brand building experience in a retail environment is the medicine eBay needs to take in order to rebuild after this Donahoe led debacle.


Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround   Sellers - What Is Your Experience with eBay Turnaround

by: cfire

Wed May 19 13:55:14 2010

One sale in 8 days!
Since the latest changes sales have been very sporadic:
one day of mediocre sales followed by 3 or 4 days of nothing.
I've been with ebay since 1999, am a top-rated seller and now my items are showing up way down in their "best match" search behind new sellers.
Ebay is delivering the exposure like they have or should.

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