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.
Tue Aug 17 2010 22:45:48

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

By: Erika Garnica

Sponsored Link

I worked at eBay for 6 1/2 years. I came to work there knowing next to nothing about eBay, but after just 4 weeks of training, I was thrown into Live Chat almost immediately, and out of necessity, I learned about eBay very, very quickly.

I had been at eBay just over 3 years when I became a Top Seller Account Manager (TSAM). I was assigned to personally manage and assist 218 of the top 1% of eBay sellers, all of whom were generating at least $25,000 a month in sales on eBay.
 
I spent my last 3 years at eBay as a TSAM, and was able to help my already-profitable sellers make even more money, as well as improve everything from their listings, search exposure, and policy compliance, to their marketing efforts both on and off eBay, their overall business strategories, and their expansion plans for their businesses.

When I left eBay in October 2008, I realized that everything I had learned working eBay could be really valuable, not just to the Top Sellers who were already doted upon by their TSAMs, but to anyone and everyone who wants to be successful on eBay. After all, there were a lot of things I had learned over the years that most sellers never find out.

Now that I'm no longer beholden to eBay's well-known mystery and secrecy, I'm more than happy to share a few of the interesting tidbits I acquired over the years. Not all of them will move mountains for you - some of them are simply amusing. But hey, we all need some entertainment from time to time, don't we?



1) eBay Account Managers are glorified firefighters - Ideally, eBay Account Managers are supposed to focus on analyzing their sellers' businesses and helping them grow and scale them. But obviously, it's impossible to help a seller improve their eBay sales if they're suspended. And most of my sellers were often in danger of being suspended. So I spent the bulk of my time putting out fires, trying to help my sellers avoid getting suspended. You would think that high-volume eBay sellers would be too savvy to get trapped by minor issues like eBay violations, but in actuality, eBay policies are the bane of their existence.

From keyword spamming to links violations, VeRO trademark infringement, shill bidding and even fraud on occasion, I felt like a schoolteacher, slapping my sellers' wrists all day long, bending over backwards trying to prevent them from being suspended. Many of my sellers complied with policies on the basis of how much it would cost them in sales to comply with a particular policy. If it was too much, they would freely break the policy until it was no longer cost-effective to do so, i.e. until they were threatened with suspension for multiple violations.

And then there were that handful of upper-echelon sellers, the ones that were so     big it seemed no one could touch them. I remember walking through one of the departments in Trust and Safety and seeing the following sign posted on everyone's desks (name slightly changed to protect the guilty): "NO TOUCHY JOHN CHANG". You can imagine what that meant....

The easiest and best way to avoid receiving violations is to become intimately familiar with eBay's policies. There are several Trust and Safety tutorials you can take regarding some of the most important policies on the site, and you should spend some time reviewing the eBay Security Center at least once a week to keep updated on the latest policy changes.   

2) Segmentation - How eBay Cracked Down on Sellers - In about 2005-06, eBay conducted a huge study to try and figure out why almost half of their buyers had left the site. To no one's surprise, buyers spoke up and revealed how sick they were of getting ripped off, getting sent the wrong item or a poorly-counterfeited one, and after all of that, getting retaliatory negative feedback for their trouble. One of the surveys eBay conducted found that over half of all eBay sellers (52%, to be exact) admitted to leaving retaliatory negative feedback for buyers on a regular basis, while only 6% of buyers did so.

As a result, eBay decided they needed to act quickly and severely, and oh boy, did they ever. They proudly introduced "segmentation", in which sellers would be grouped into different groups, or segments, based primarily on their feedback scores, disputes, and DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings), in proportion to their overall transactions, to see who the worst offenders were and get rid of them while putting the fear of God into all the others.

Well, the main problem with this "ingenious" plan was that it left little wiggle room for common sense or understanding. Some sellers were so large that they remained safe from suspension, even though they had dozens of negative feedback comments, low DSRs and buyer disputes on their accounts all the time.

Yet other sellers were getting taken down for having just 2-3 negative feedback comments within a 6-month period, due to their overall sales numbers being smaller than other sellers.

During that time, I dreaded coming into work and finding out which of my sellers had been placed into Segments C or D, the "worst offenders" among sellers, since that meant I would have to call them and warn them how close they were to being suspended.

Although I have reason to believe that eBay's segmentation program has loosened up somewhat in the past 2 years, it is still extremely important to avoid negative feedback, low DSRs, and buyer disputes at all costs. Be kind, generous, and honest with your buyers, and go the extra mile to satisfy them. Be flexible, negotiable, and responsive, and make your policies equally so, and you should never have a problem with segmentation.

3) The Excessive Shipping Dilemma - Before eBay began enforcing shipping costs, they had gotten out of control on the site. It was a normal occurrence to see an expensive cell phone listed for 1-cent Buy It Now, but with a shipping cost of $299. Not only were these listings extremely misleading and deceptive buyers, but they were considered to be violations of eBay's Fee Circumvention policy, since sellers were making all their profit from the shipping charges, which weren't subject to eBay fees.

So at first, it seemed like good news when eBay began regulating how much sellers could charge for shipping. The problem, though, is that once again, eBay tried to apply a strict, one-size-fits-all policy to a very large and diverse group of sellers, and many problems ensued.

Just as they did with segmentation, eBay set up very strict guidelines and rules for the excessive shipping policy. They researched shipping costs across USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc. to the penny, and oftentimes, if a seller charged even one cent over the allowed amount to ship a particular item, eBay would take the listing down.

One major problem, though, is that once again, the policy was applied unevenly. Smaller sellers were getting auctions removed left and right for having shipping costs that were only a few cents over the established limit for the type of item being shipped, while the policy didn't apply to multiple-quantity purchases at all. Therefore, while sellers were limited to charging no more than $10.70 to ship one cell phone, for example, they were allowed to charge $107 to ship 10 cell phones, which of course is ridiculously expensive and excessive.

Additionally, the excessive shipping policy wasn't applied to international shipping costs, so while sellers had to be careful with their U.S. shipping costs, they could charge basically whatever they wanted for international shipping.

Now to be clear, I don't know if the policy is still being enforced this way, but it     was up until I left eBay in October 2008.

In short, the best way to handle shipping costs and comply with eBay's Excessive Shipping policy is to keep these costs completely separate from your profit calculations. In other words, don't try to make any money from shipping charges, and stick to eBay's requirement of only charging actual postage plus a couple of dollars for handling/packaging materials.

Not only will this keep you in full compliance with eBay's policies, but you'll benefit greatly through happier, repeat buyers, higher DSRs and much less likelihood of suffering from buyer complaints and disputes as well as negative or neutral feedback.

4) Gaming The System - One of the most disturbing issues I encountered while working at eBay was how freely some eBay sellers engaged in underhanded and unfair tactics to sustain their sales activity on the site. Instead of spending their time coming up with new, creative ways to market their products and promote their listings, many sellers made it their primary marketing tactic to try and get as many of their competitors suspended as possible. Some of them would spend countless hours scouring their rivals' listings looking for violations they could report; occasionally they would even ask us to submit these reports on their behalf.

One very large seller had a program created that would automatically report hundreds of a seller's listings every few seconds, causing him to be able to bring down the entire inventory of many of his competitors within a day or less, sometimes for something as simple as a stray keyword in an item description that didn't relate 100% to the item being sold. Once he happened upon a small violation in one of my seller's listings, and was able to get all 50,000 of the seller's listings pulled down within a few hours.

These sellers spread negativity and distrust among the entire eBay community, and nothing good ever came out of their efforts to hurt other sellers. There's one seller in particular who I will never forget, so vicious were his efforts to get his main competitor suspended. He and his competitor both sold Airstream trailers, and he contacted me at least 2-3 times a week for a period of over 2 years, writing massively long emails containing dozens of accusations, assumptions, and judgements he had made about his competitor. He also faxed in over 100 pages to us on one occasion for the same purpose.

The last straw for me came when he sent me an email claiming that he had researched his competitor online and had found out that this man was a convicted sex offender in the state of Florida. He sent me a 10-page treatise via email explaining why this man should be suspended from eBay due to him being a convicted sex offender. I mean, seriously.... Anyway, after I received this email, I told the seller that I could no longer take time out of my schedule to review his accusations about other sellers, and that I would only help him engage in positive, beneficial marketing techniques for his business.

This should be a no-brainer, but anyone who wants to engage in this type of behavior doesn't belong on eBay, in my opinion. There are enough of us who truly believe in the main ideas on which eBay was founded, that people are basically good, and that an open and honest trading environment brings out the best in people -- eBay doesn't need people who don't support those tenets.

Although in the past there have been some extremely large, high-volume sellers who have profited greatly from their unethical behavior on eBay, most of them are long gone, and I assure you with 100% certainty, based on my own firsthand knowledge and experience, that the vast majority of top sellers are honest, fair, cooperative, and responsible, and that these sellers have been even more profitable than the sellers who don't play fair.

5) Problem Buyers - Although I've encountered many eBay sellers engaging in unethical and unfair practices and behavior, I'm the first to admit that eBay has its fair share of bad buyers as well, and they should be mentioned as well.

While I agree with eBay's policy to no longer allow sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers, there are still many areas in which buyers can manipulate sellers unfairly and hurt their businesses with virtually no compunction.

Malicious bidding is one of the most insidious ways buyers can hurt sellers, and many times, these "buyers" are actually sellers themselves, and are often direct competitors of the sellers they're harrassing. They set up separate buying accounts on eBay, solely for the purpose of buying a few items from each of their main competitors so they can then leave negative feedback, file disputes, and wreak all sorts of other havoc with their competitors.

What's scary is that, if they're careful about it and aren't blatantly obvious about who they are and what they're trying to do, they can often get away with it. Malicious bidding is extremely difficult to prove, since it's so easy to make it appear like the purchases, concerns, claims, and/or negative feedback in question are legitimate.

If you're the victim of malicious bidding, the best thing you can do is to be very aggressive about adding unwelcome bidders to your Blocked Bidder list, maintain strict buyer requirements, and be dogged about contacting eBay over and over again until something is done about the situation. At the same time, though, realize that action most likely won't be taken unless there's clear evidence of malicious intent on the part of the buyers, so collect as much evidence as you can to submit to eBay.

Along with malicious bidding, many sellers are still beset by non-paying bidders, unfair negative feedback, and buyers who make unfair demands and/or threats.

As far as non-paying bidders are concerned, the best thing to do, again, is to maintain very strict buyer requirements and to require immediate payment on ALL of your fixed-price items. And now that you can open an unpaid item dispute after only 4 days and close it after 8, it should be much easier to minimize the negative effects of non-payment.

Now it's true that non-paying bidders can still leave negative or neutral feedback in some situations, unless they fail to respond appropriately to unpaid item disputes, so I've found that it works best for me to be very assertive about trying to contact the buyer before filing an unpaid item dispute, but then cease trying to contact them in any way after filing it.

By then, I've accepted that they're probably not going to pay for the item, so at this point, the best thing for me to do is to "go silent" and hope that the dispute is opened and closed without their awareness or response to it. That way, if they leave negative or neutral feedback for me after the fact, eBay will remove it.

When buyers make unfair demands or threats, I do everything in my power to take the high road and try to resolve their concerns to their satisfaction. I bite my tongue and "kill them with kindness", no matter how mean they are to me. And if they still end up leaving negative or neutral feedback, at least I know I did everything I could to prevent it.

Once the feedback has been left, I suggest immediately requesting feedback revision, but if that doesn't work, at that point, you have to just let it go. If you don't, it can have a long-term negative impact on your reputation and even your success and profitability on eBay going forward.

Specifically, I'm referring to what happens when a seller tries to lash out at a buyer by leaving angry, insulting feedback replies and/or follow-up comments, or by writing a negative comment while selecting a positive rating, which is incidentally another violation of eBay policy and will probably result in eBay removing the feedback comment.

Most sellers I've worked with never realize how horrible it makes them look to other eBay buyers when they post a rude, angry feedback reply or follow-up comment. It won't do much if anything to hurt the buyer in question, but it could possibly do a lot to hurt your future sales. Whenever someone looks at those angry replies on your Feedback profile, the fact that you received a negative feedback comment won't be nearly as important as how childishly and angrily you responded to it.

Believe me, the best way you can minimize the negative impact of a negative feedback comment is to post a reply to it that is nothing short of saintly, something like this: "I'm so very sorry you were unhappy with this transaction. Please contact me - I want to resolve this for you!"



In closing, I want to say that I know for a fact that most eBay employees do indeed care about and genuinely want to help eBay users, both buyers and sellers. I personally know hundreds of them who work long hours doing their best to help them. Sure, they're not perfect, and neither are eBay's policies nor management, but they truly and honestly care deeply for the success and well-being of their sellers, and they do everything possible to help their sellers succeed.

When something negative happens to them on eBay, a lot of sellers are quick to not only blame eBay for it, but even worse, to quickly conclude that eBay intended to hurt them, doesn't care about them, is out to hurt all of their sellers, etc., when that couldn't be further from the truth.

If anyone has any solid evidence to the contrary, I would be more than happy to review it and comment on it, but so far, I've never seen any evidence that eBay intentionally hurts or disregards its sellers, or that eBay doesn't care for their sellers or their success.

And by solid evidence, I don't mean one or two random one-off instances where eBay has made a mistake, but solid, concrete data proving that eBay doesn't care about or has deliberately and intentionally hurt large, significant numbers of their sellers.

I no longer work at eBay, so I have no reason to be biased in their favor. I love eBay because I KNOW from my own experience that it's a great place to buy and sell, with great employees who care very deeply and work very hard on behalf of its sellers.

Erika Garnica
eBay User ID theauctionguru
http://stores.ebay.com/theauctionguru
eBay Powerseller and Top-Rated Seller
Former eBay Top Seller Account Manager

 




Comments (210) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: W@W!!

Tue Aug 17 23:10:08 2010

This is very indicting. So you're telling me that there were cards with the racial slur "NO TOUCHY JOHN CHANG" on the desks in T&S? Under Meg? Someone get California on the phone!!

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: D

Tue Aug 17 23:16:49 2010

If I had to guess, John Chang is slang for Jack Sheng.

++

What's she got going on with item # 220514282211?

The seller, theauctionguru, has a store called The Auction Guru: http://stores.ebay.com/The-Auction-Guru

The item description, however, also contains a link to a store called Herbal Diet Central: http://stores.ebay.com/herbaldietcentral (apparantly dead).

The item description then continues and includes a link to a Favorite Sellers for eBay userID "juanboy": http://my.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?AcceptSavedSeller&sellerid=juanybo
y6&sspageName=DB:FavList

Makes
me wonder whether the author of the article was a) once-upon-a-time breaking an eBay policy by cross-selling across IDs; b) lifting content from others; c) both; or d) if she's been hijacked.

Something wierd going on with that listing.

The advice was meh, but thanks anyway.

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Richard M.

Tue Aug 17 23:18:15 2010

I guess this pretty much confirms that top sellers play by different rules that smaller sellers...should we be surprised?

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: eBay commodity seller 1998-2009

Tue Aug 17 23:28:51 2010

RE: ''I remember walking through one of the departments in Trust and Safety and seeing the following sign posted on everyone's desks (name slightly changed to protect the guilty): ''NO TOUCHY JOHN CHANG''. You can imagine what that meant....''

Before 2008, eBay allowed many of the large high volume commodity sellers to break eBay's own rules in a big way because eBay was making tons of money by looking the other way. Take some sellers down but let others stay up and treat eBay buyers like pirates...no wonder Amazon is thriving now....

In 2005, Eforcity was the first large DVD seller to charge $6.99 for media mail shipping of a single DVD, with no combined shipping to buyers. And this is just one example of one large seller, there are plenty of others who built entire business out of selling below cost of goods and gaming the shipping volume factor....

You are right, many of those bad guys are gone...but the worst offenders are still there and thriving...Why is that?

Gaming the system, gouging buyers with shipping, ignoring Paypal claims, ignoring buyer email, etc, etc.....that is how the largest eBay commodity sellers of today got to the economies of scale that enabled them to survive eBay's changes post-2008. eBay helped them then and helps them now...

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Randi

Tue Aug 17 23:31:45 2010

Absolutely terrific article  I'm a seller on Ebay, and sometimes it seems as though everything on Ebay is set up to penalize the seller in every instance, and to always protect the buyer. Yes, I know that's paranoid, but after reading comment after negative comment on here and other sites about the trials of being a seller on Ebay, it's a bit heartening to hear that yes, some Ebay employees are trying to look out for us.  But my question is this: Is there as much care given to the mid range to small seller on Ebay as there is (or was) given to the Top Sellers?  Paranoia and some of  my own frustrating experiences with Ebay/Paypal says no, the care and concern is not there if you're not a member of the elite sellers. But my thanks again for such a well written, informative article and I hope it gets much positive feedback (along with the complaints I'm sure will be popping up.) What a great insider's look!

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: gonefromebay

Tue Aug 17 23:38:13 2010

I was never in the top 1% sellers that had a TSAM when I sold on ebay.  I have no idea what it would be like to actually speak to an ebay employee who cared because I didn't bring in enough revenue for them to bother (Silver powerseller isn't good enough).  And THAT is the problem:  most of us could never reach the heights of a NO TOUCHY JOHN CHANG.

I did use live chat a couple of times and found that I knew more about ebay policies than the rep.  That's a reflection on top management .. not the rep, who probably was some poor untrained person doing their best.

As long as ebay continues to cater to Diamonds, big box retailers, and the top 1% of sellers, I have no interest in buying from anyone on ebay.  I won't support a corporation that segments their sellers by revenue.  

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Digby
Web Site

Tue Aug 17 23:48:53 2010

Great article Erika.

I have no chance of getting up to those hallowed levels. But it was very interesting to see the problems that ebay had to deal with.

A lot of us would love to read a similar article from an ebayer that knows about the site from a technical point of view. Why is it so hard to get ones auctions viewed these days. Is it just that there are too many listings for any system to handle, or is it something that ebay does to take pressure off its servers, or to favor certain types of sellers.

Kind Regards
Digby

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Aug 17 23:54:14 2010

I'm not fooled - this is a soft Ebay plant article - come on - it leans toward the "Ebay is a good guy" all the way................ what a joke - read between the lines

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Angela

Tue Aug 17 23:56:47 2010

Whatever.  I guess I shouldn't expect somebody who didn't know anything about eBay prior to working there to truly understand how and why the community used to work.

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: The buck stops where?

Wed Aug 18 00:00:04 2010

Erica writes:
"And by solid evidence, I don't mean one or two random one-off instances where eBay has made a mistake, but solid, concrete data proving that eBay doesn't care about or has deliberately and intentionally hurt large, significant numbers of their sellers."

So what you're saying is, we need to prove ebay has not only neglected and/or hurt our former business, but we need to provide you information of ebay abuses to "large, significant numbers of their sellers"... each of us individually means nothing?

Except ebay hurt each and every one of us individually, which is why we left after a decade, powersellers with 100% positive feedback and we said C-YA!

Because that's where the problems started with ebay. Ebay refused to fight fraud, and in fact, coddled and cuddled with the fraudsters 2003-2004. Hey, fees are fees, right? They allowed it to run rampant and totally out of control by neglecting the enforcement of their own rules and regs and simply booting the bad sellers out, but it's every sellers' fault?

Did they serve you that koolaid in a chilled glass or just hook you up to an IV in your cubicle?

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Glenna

Wed Aug 18 00:03:22 2010

The auction guru doesn't have a single auction listed. Heh.

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Doug Zakro

Wed Aug 18 00:13:33 2010

I enjoyed reading your comments.I have been selling on Ebay for 12 years with almost 8000 feedback.As of today I have reduced my listings from an average of 135 to 11,and will be totally off Ebay within a couple weeks.I have simply had enough.When a company does not accept 98.9% feedback as acceptable,4.7,4.9,4.8,and 4.7 dsrs as acceptable it is time to leave and go where my dollars and my efforts are appreciated.Two recent negative feedbacks,they always come in pairs on very inexpensive items, with the 2 low dsrs prompted a phone call from Ebay stating my account is in danger of suspension for poor customer service.
My wife and I have been self employed in owning hair styling shops for 35 years. We have employed 18 employees at our peak and still keep contact with many employees and even more former patrons.I never needed to be told how to respect or treat customers.I was in business longer then Ebay.
Ebay holds absolutely no stock in what my past performance has been or the years the money I have spent in fees or the goods I have purchased on their site over the years.As of today,I will never purchase another good or service on this site.
I believe the author of the article is living in a dream world.If she does not realize the rampant abuse that buyers have over sellers,she is naive.If she feels the standards are fair and reasonable to small sellers,not only is she naive,she is blind.Ebay has stacked the deck against us.The bar has been raised to a unobtainable height especially if you sell vintage or used items.
I knew this day would come and it is a sad day.We depended on this income for our livelihood.I am no longer a young man but will survive and find a new opportunity.One that will leave me with less stress and a great deal more dignity and self respect.Good luck to all.
DZ

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: pete

Wed Aug 18 00:13:41 2010

There are enough of us who truly believe in the main ideas on which eBay was founded


Pity eBay have totally forgotten what they are all about and by who they were created

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Peter

Wed Aug 18 00:16:53 2010

Good job you left when you did as you have been brainwashed.

Some interesting points but it still comes out that average sellers are the anti-christ to eBay

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: angryjim

Wed Aug 18 00:18:12 2010

''In closing, I want to say that I know for a fact that most eBay employees do indeed care about and genuinely want to help eBay users, both buyers and sellers. I personally know hundreds of them who work long hours doing their best to help them. Sure, they're not perfect, and neither are eBay's policies nor management, but they truly and honestly care deeply for the success and well-being of their sellers, and they do everything possible to help their sellers succeed.''

- I have my doubts about the complete veracity of these claims.  The author's selling tips also tend towards the obvious - although I compliment here on confirming once again that eBay has created policies that discriminate, infuriate and make the site a hostile selling venue.  So glad I stop listing on eBay before the crazy Donahue-era disruptive innovation garbage was implemented.

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Josh Weinsten

Wed Aug 18 00:22:56 2010

I appreciate your comments and whilst you meant well, I find the article distressing because it backs up the vast majority of the negative comments on blogs and editorial blog posts about the direction Ebay continues to go along.  You worked in a segment of Ebay that offered specialized customer focus service, the foreign based customer ''service'' are often extremely rude whilst also lacking the skill-sets needed for effective communication or comprehension of the English language, they are also seemingly  unfamiliar with Ebay's policy and procedures en masse.  My employees are constantly walking Ebay's employees through their own Seller Policy Handbook, on the the 3rd or 4th call to achieve the end result of enforcement,if not, then Ebay employees cherry pick what they want to apply to buyers leaving the seller to the brunt of ebay fees, PayPal shut outs, unnecessary negative feed backs, derogatory email and the list can go on this is not an occasional event but approaching a daily occurrence

What stands out  most in your article ,ma'am, is the blatant disregard of Ebay's upper level management and Board of Dir.s to pay attention to detail and to effect the type of change that allows for sustainability, and that is the disappointment.  

I suspect the policy creation cycle goes something like this-- outsourced consultants, who read about Ebay and used it once to buy a cellphone cover, create a policy in some conference room based on all the ''data accumulated and crunched'', lawyers apply the legalese, marketing creates the buzzwords then sellers bear the brunt, then comes the b-tching with Ebays customer Service cookie cutter response to everything'' These are the things the sellers wanted when asked'',we have never been polled, our alliances whave also indicated they have also not been polled.  A few months later the goal post is moved again and the cycle is recreated

Alert,Alert Alert hold your noses for penalties for blocking buyers or canceling bids from narued buyers under other ids, we many not be far off


To the editor  since you are no longer tied to eBay, except emotionally, I sincerely ask you to name one policy that is supposed to improve the seller experience that a buyer cannot get around with ease and continue with impunity

How about sellers that operate honestly and break their backs for one dollars, name one policy that we do not bear the brunt of that does not have severe consequences if we do not follow to the letter

Josh Wienstein

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Buck

Wed Aug 18 00:23:07 2010

Hi Erika,
Thank you for all the details. The sad part is there are thousands of sellers who have been taken back from all the policy changes. Since the majority of your message focuses on evil mega sellers, ebay had many honest good sellers. It is with total sadness that I say we were one of them.
Ebay has done the same as any other corporate business's by going after the true source of the funds, the seller. It is for this reason the sellers don't feel any love for or from e-bay. All the changes have hurt buyer/seller relations and it's not getting better. Ebays honest sellers are becoming more savvy, they've grown tired of the ebays restrictions.
I don't see this as positive in the long term. As the good honest sellers return ebays favor, many of us are pilfering more buyers to our own sites for direct sales. I would have never done this before but now I take very opportunity to circumvent ebays fee's and quite honestly, they deserve it.
We don't plan on leaving ebay soon but are ready to at any moment. We will work the system to our favor. We will continue to drive more business to our own sites and yes, would-be-ebay buyers love getting a discount from the honest sellers personal web sites.
Buyers don't care about ebay, they just want a deal.

Ebay was a great idea, it worked for a while but as with all good things, it too will meet it's demise.

Ebay has harmed too many small/medium seller's livelihood's to recover. The ship is sinking, this is for sure. They are becoming a whole new animal with a ugly face. Buyer and seller alike can see it's deformed face so with all the other changes e-bay has forced down the thought's of their buyers and seller, too much bad blood has spilled as it has become more then personal.

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: buck efay

Wed Aug 18 00:33:06 2010

No surprises here. Ebay encouraged & indeed profited from fraud upon fraud for years, while Meg fiddled & beat up employees. Hundreds of fraud reports from customers go ignored, because Ebay was too CHEAP to protect the market, then wants revenge on us, the sellers. It's Ebay's fault. They had every tool, knowledgeable sellers willing to help, but all ignored because FEEBAY refused to do anything until the problems were too much. Now it's too late. Ebay is Thru.

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: Smitty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 18 00:51:45 2010

Erika

''If anyone has any solid evidence to the contrary, I would be more than happy to review it and comment on it, but so far, I've never seen any evidence that eBay intentionally hurts or disregards its sellers, or that eBay doesn't care for their sellers or their success.''


Here are four examples of how eBay ''intentionally hurts or disregards its sellers''.

1. Allowing buyers to leave 1 star for ''Shipping and Handling Charges'' when the seller has provided ''Free Shipping''

2. Allowing buyers to leave 1 star for ''Shipping time'' when the tracking info the seller provided to ebay proves the seller shipped the same day and the item was delivered the next day.

3. Allowing buyers to leave 1 star for ''Communication'' when the data in ebay's message center proves that to be absolutely false.

4. Allowing non paying bidders to leave negative feedback and ding the stars of a seller.

Any of those four can have a financial benefit to ebay by disqualifying a seller from their TSR discount.

Not making 5 stars the default rating for ''Shipping and Handling Charges'' when the seller provides ''Free Shipping'', is proof enough to me that ebay does intentionally hurt and disregard its sellers.

Smitty

Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM   Guest Post: Confessions of an eBay TSAM

by: EventHorizon1984 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Aug 18 01:03:39 2010

> Erika Garnica
> And by solid evidence, I don't mean one or two random one-off instances where eBay has made a mistake, but solid, concrete data proving that eBay doesn't care about or has deliberately and intentionally hurt large, significant numbers of their sellers.


Your own testimony on eBay Policies points out:

1)  ''most of my sellers were often in danger of being suspended.''
''I spent the bulk of my time putting out fires, trying to help my sellers avoid getting suspended.''
''in actuality, eBay policies are the bane of their existence.''

Quantified by:

''I was assigned to personally manage and assist 218 of the top 1% of eBay sellers, all of whom were generating at least $25,000 a month in sales on eBay.''

You (Erika Garnica) spoke of eBay Policy and multiple sellers:

2)  ''Yet other sellers were getting taken down for having just 2-3 negative feedback comments within a 6-month period, due to their overall sales numbers being smaller than other sellers.''

You (Erika Garnica) spoke of eBay Policy and multiple sellers:

3)  ''The problem, though, is that once again, eBay tried to apply a strict, one-size-fits-all policy to a very large and diverse group of sellers''
''One major problem, though, is that once again, the policy was applied unevenly. Smaller sellers were getting auctions removed left and right''

You (Erika Garnica) spoke of eBay Policy and multiple sellers:

4)  ''causing him to be able to bring down the entire inventory of many of his competitors within a day or less''

You (Erika Garnica) spoke of eBay Policy and multiple sellers:

5)  ''there are still many areas in which buyers can manipulate sellers unfairly and hurt their businesses with virtually no compunction.''

As solved in real world retailing, buyer verification would eliminate some of these, as you put it, ''bad buyers.''


''some of them are simply amusing. But hey, we all need some entertainment from time to time, don't we?''
Erika Garnica

We here are curious though.  What parts of your testimony are ''amusing''?  Because it wasn't.

/*

''I like to have answers before I ask questions.''
Brenda Leigh Johnson, The Closer

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11  [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.