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Wed Aug 24 2011 21:17:05

eBay Denies the End of Auctions

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay denied it was ending the auction format in October after a report surfaced on its Seller Central discussion board today. After being inundated with emails about the report, I checked in with eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff, who said the rumor was absolutely untrue. "Auctions make up 40% of our business; we are not ending that format."

The allegation that eBay was ending auctions came from someone who posted using a newly created User ID who claimed to be an eBay employee by the name of John Delson working in "Seller Development." He wrote that on October 1st, 2011, eBay, Inc, on ALL eBay country locations (.co.uk, .jp, .com, etc) would be ending the auction listing format, and that on February 22nd, anyone selling on the eBay website would have to have at least 7,500 items in stock and ready for shipment and would have to submit proof of ownership.

While the original post looked like an obvious hoax, eBay removed the entire thread from the Seller Central board - but not before numerous people had copied and spread the post.

When a user posted a copy of the letter on page 49 of an active eBay discussion thread about the recent redesign of the boards, eBay moderator John Bodine wrote, "No, that person was not an employee and none of the information was factual. Sad people resort to such tactics."

The letter was reminiscent of another supposedly written by an eBay employee that made the rounds after the company began making significant changes in 2008, one that was more plausible but was posted anonymously.

Both letters claim eBay is unhappy with the small, low-volume seller, something that resonates with longtime sellers who have seen an upheaval in their business model.

At its analyst day in February, eBay said it would focus on fixed price and business sellers - but it said that the auction format would remain relatively stable over the next few years. Executives said auctions brought unique inventory and buyers, but said their focus was on driving the company where growth is - business sellers and alternative formats.

eBay's processed $4.9 billion in auctions in the second quarter of 2011, 29% of its total GMV for the three months.




Comments (85) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: #1 Ming Fan

Wed Aug 24 21:50:39 2011

Before anything else, let's not forget...
#1 Ebay lies! Always has, always will...
Need I go on?

Props to the Mingster and auctionbytes

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: Paul Benson

Wed Aug 24 22:06:50 2011

For anyone who is interested, here's the text of the message. I looked for a screen snap captured picture, but was not able to find one. So form your own opinions.
---------------------------

message from (former) eBay employee
Aug 24, 2011 01:20 PM

This is John Delson, an employee for eBay, Inc.

I know this will get me fired, but I am walking out today, so it does not matter anymore.

I work in the Seller Development department .

This department handles the future of how eBay members list, how they sell, what they sell, detailed seller ratings, feedback, etc.

Just about anything you do with selling is regulated with this
department.

I've been with eBay for over 9 years, and I am one of the longest
working employees in this department.Many others have left, or have been terminated, due to being "lenient towards sellers".

Anyway, I want to bring up ome key points that were discussed at the last "work shop".

This workshop meets for about one hour on every Wednesday. This work
shop consists of several "upper level" eBay employees, and from time to time, John Donahoe, president of eBay, will stop in to make sure everything is "up to snuff" (as he puts it).

Anyway, after all the wrong doing eBay has done to sellers, what was
discussed today was the final "straw that broke the camel's back", after posting this, I'm walking out after 9 years of putting up with eBay's unfairness to sellers, non sense, often immoral (bordering illegal) policies that I personally have had to develop and implement into the eBay website.

The upcoming event, will be the final "nail in the coffin" for many eBay sellers, however I want to get this out here ahead of time, so you can prepare for it. This was actually going to be announced one week before being put into place.

On October 1st, 2011, eBay, Inc, on ALL eBay country locations
(.co.uk, .jp, .com, etc) will be ending the auction listing format.

After October 1st, 2011, all auctions will cease to exist on eBay, in favor of Donahoe's plan (more on this later).

As you many know, we at eBay implemented a 9% final value fee on shipping costs.

Our official statement was released to the public stating it was done to prevent excessive shipping charges.

In reality, eBay was suffering profit losses, and this fee was a must in order to keep a positive income.

We understood that this would make a few sellers upset, this is why we also announced a new fee structure, and gave sellers 50 free auction listings.

This was done in order to keep our company looking untarnished for investors of eBay shares. We wanted to make more money from sellers, but keep them on here at the same time.

Many of you may wonder why eBay allowed numerous sellers from China to list on the eBay.com website.

We did this because:
- Not only can buyers from china purchase things from eBay China,
buyers can now purchase things from china all over the world. China is a largest seller, and allowing them more search exposure would increase our fee income, and increase our GMV.
- It undersells sellers from other countries, and allows China to be the leader in sells for eBay.

Now you may be wondering why John Donahoe wants to get rid of auction format.

Here are some of the reasons that were mentioned at today's workshop:
- When buyers bid, they are not purchasing unless they win.
- The more buyers purchasing, the higher our fee profit is from sales.
- Time wasted bidding, is time that could be used for buying.

So there you have it, from the words of John Donahoe himself.

There will be another update released in February 22nd, 2012, that will get rid of small and medium volume sales.

eBay is tired of small sellers, because:
-They can't self sustain themselves, and tie up our customer support system.
- They often list junk, we don't want to look like a flea market.
- They make us fees, but not enough for it to be worth them on our trading platform, due to all the issues they have.

On February 22nd, any one selling on the eBay website, will have to
have at least 7,500 items in stock and ready for shipment.
-This number may increase.
- Sellers will have to submit proof of inventory, any documents
proving they own the inventory, and (maybe) pictures of inventory.
- This will not apply to sellers who currently sell at least 5,000
items a month, since their selling volume is generally enough to satisfy our
per-seller fee goal.

Well, that's all I have to say, its been a unpleasant 9 years at eBay, and I hope all sellers reading this will take proper measures to ensure their success on eBay. Thank you for your time, and good bye:

John Delson
Employee, eBay, Inc.
Sellers Development Department.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

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

Wed Aug 24 22:44:17 2011

1. Ming's ebay Law #1, redux. Thank you, Ming Fan!

2. Some of "Delson's" post makes perfect sense if you understand the Machiavellian, psychopathic mind of The Ho and all the little Hos and how they implement their corporatist business plan.

OTOH, some of this post does seem more than a little over the top.

3. Ina, I hope you'll ask Hoff to deny this post point black allegation by allegation especially the one that in February sellers will havebto have at least 7,500 items in stock. Allow no wiggle room.

4. Why would it be so difficult to verify the existence of a "John Delson." Most people don't walk away from their jobs in mid week and at a odd time during the month.

In retrospect, the much lengthier 'ebay employee' post of 2008 proved to be nearly prophetic in its accuracy with most but not all things mentioned coming true.

Whether this one will remains to be seen.

If it is mostly accurate, ebay had better give sellers all of 2012 and 2013 to get rid of their merchandise or face the granddaddy of all class action lawsuits.

And don't forget Ming's ebay Law #2:

Ming's ebay Law #2:

EBAY REMOVES, TRIES TO GET REMOVED, OR DISCREDITS SPEECH THEY DON'T LIKE ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET.

Ina, please make them go on the record denying this post llegation by allegation and denying that any ebay emplpyee past or present posted it.

The poster suggests he or she oposted these comments from work. Ebay has the IP numbers of the poster so they can definitively deny or confirm.

Ina, please make them to do so.

Sellers going on fall buying trips for spring merchandise need to know.

All sellers need to know as quickly as possible, and ebay SHOULD have the courtesy and decency to say one way or the other,

Ina, please don't allow these slimy sleazeball PR people avoid answering questions directly and unequivocally.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: John Delson

Wed Aug 24 23:01:45 2011

Thanks for bringing this forum thread to the general public. Today was my last day at eBay, and since I had nothing to lose, I thought I would "open the book" on the coming changes to eBay. As I said in my eBay forum post, these changes are going to decimate small sellers. One thing I didn't mention in my forum post is that eBay will be designating certain high-volume sellers to act as channels for merchandise that eBay themselves have purchased from China. Watch closely the auctions of eForcity, as they will be a primary seller of goods for eBay, and will be given preferential positioning in search.

If you think the last couple of years has been challenging, wait until you get a load of what is coming.

John Delson
Former eBay Employee

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: Trying not to worry

Wed Aug 24 23:44:51 2011

Mr. Delson,  Many on the Seller Central posting board are saying you were only pulling a prank when you posted that message and many are seriously worried it is factual.  If you have the ability,  is there anyway you can prove it's all accurate on the SC board?  Many of us who rely on eBay as a sole source of income are a bit tense as a result of this.  Yes we are branching out and have our own website now and are building another one currently to pull some of our eggs out of the eBay basket.  If you can shed some more light on this touchy subject you started please do so.  Thanks

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: JM

Thu Aug 25 00:10:40 2011

Whether John Delson is real or imagined

Someone has privy to some information that has truth to it.

''merchandise that eBay themselves have purchased from China.''

    stay tuned to Auction Bytes for further news mid september.

    this is going to be an extremely dreadful Christmas season for anyone who finds themself competing with eBay and the Chinese goods.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: frogprince

Thu Aug 25 00:15:37 2011

I would like to see Mr. Delson provide proof that he is or has been an employee of eBay.  There is an old adage in journalism that says, "If your mom tells you she loves you, check it out."  I'm willing to be that John Delson does not check out.  Multiple searches based on that name didn't appear to bring up anything related to eBay in any way, shape or form.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

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

Thu Aug 25 00:17:05 2011

If what Mr. Dleson says about ebay's inventory and eforcity is true, I can't help but wonder what Randy and Rakuten might think and how they might respond.

Again, I think this claim is right in line with the duplicitous, greedy SoBs who run ebay.

Please offer evidence for your statements. Send Ina copies of memos, emails, etc -- anything that substantiates your claims.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: Scott

Thu Aug 25 00:18:13 2011

This is clearly a hoax.  However, it effectively demonstrates the level of distrust that many (if not most) small sellers have with eBay.

I doubt if eBay will ever completely remove the auction format.  That said, I have no doubt that eBay has intentionally gutted the auction format and purposefully decimated the ranks of Mom & Pop, Small Sellers.  You know, the people who made eBay a household name and kept it interesting and fun?

Ebay is no longer interesting or fun.  It is merely a last resort/necessary evil.  Sure, eBay still pays the bills, but it is consistently much less profitable, much more difficult and much, much less fun than it ever used to be.

Auctions weren't dying, until Donohoe decided to kill them.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: Mr Obvious

Thu Aug 25 00:20:32 2011

Hmmm Would ebay tell a big fat lie in order to squeeze holiday profits, then kick them to the curb?

Have they ever lied before?

Have they ever had any other back door or unnanounced changes?

Do you trust them with your well being?

Is, or has it proved to be a stable and reliable platform?

"This is not your Mother's ebay."

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: nosnevada

Thu Aug 25 00:29:55 2011

reminds me of a groom lake/area 51 employee that related to a reporter, a "reverse engineering" program. he'd been dismissed the morning after he led some friends to an offsite/hilltop evening viewing party of the weekly test flights of the craft. the government denied that the fellow ever was an employee. months later, a local investigative reporter found an original, internal telephone book for the "non existent" facility with the fellow's name and extension number.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: Phil DeBasquet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 25 00:43:46 2011

75,000 items minimum? Not likely. If this did happen, it would just hasten the death of ebay. All the little guys would go somewhere and the customers would follow. Donahoe is just such a genius.....

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

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

Thu Aug 25 00:53:22 2011

If Delson's claim about ebay using a third party to launder inventory, the true purpose of their domestic warehouse construction becomes crystal clear.

DEATH TO EBAY CORP.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Thu Aug 25 01:03:08 2011

Waoo! Nice sci-fi story created from all our opinions and some facts.

If eBay drop the auctions that can happen. I saw it be myself every month from 50 items to sale. I sold 5 items, 1 BIN, and 4 auctions with only 1 have multiple bids.

eBay is making ''free'' way to China's sellers because like everybody who read/watch the news know that China is becoming a super economy. Also they prefer to maintain happy these sellers and not loose them to Taobao.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Thu Aug 25 01:25:24 2011

Oh! I forget something.

About the 7500 items. It is the only thing that make clear this letter is a hoax.

As a buyer I took 10 Top Rated Sellers from my ''Purchase History''.

- Only 3 has more than 1000 items and from that 3 only 1 has more than 7500 items.
- Seven sellers with less than 1000 items and from that 7 only 3 have more than 500 items.

If eBay will drop 9 sellers for that single seller with 7500 items. It is clear that somebody isn't using even a calculator to know that these 9 guys with less items can make more money and take less data space in the eBay servers. Yeah, remember hosting isn't free.

eBay isn't good and imperfect. But I don't see people working to create something different.

My recommendation. Next time try with ''November 5 killing letter like Facebook''. You will get more exposure and more ''promo'' for eBay.

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: pete

Thu Aug 25 01:50:16 2011

A Chief eBay spokesperson absolutely denies the complete pack of lies made by JD about the 1st Oct changes, this is defamation and eBay will take full legal action against such blatant lies …......it is going to be 1st Nov; NOT Oct

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: JB

Thu Aug 25 02:06:42 2011

If eBay eliminates auctions which they say they make 40% of their business from. Which means 60% is from buy it now.

Remember how it is said eBay fudge's numbers for shareholders and the stock market....well if they remove auctions then 100% of their sales are buy it now.....eBay achieved this goal..... eliminate small sellers with the 7500 listings.....eBay  achieves this goal.....If Time ending soonest disappears from search you can pretty much figure this guy is an employee

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: John

Thu Aug 25 02:40:31 2011

relatively stable over the next few years (????)

Business sellers (diamonds), and Alternative Formats (China),
(State surplus)

diamonds sell in quantity. If china comes online in the same capacity, and States are looking into selling surplus then the numbers these three entities produce would  offset any small sellers removed by the 7500 listing statement.

It think this has some merit.

Any small seller able to meet this 7500 listing requirement will stay, all others get shown the door.

Look at it as a warning from eBay. There giving small sellers a heads up to bone up or step out. You've got a few years.

Time ending soonest...hmmmmm interesting

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: EveryBodyAbandonedYou

Thu Aug 25 06:46:15 2011

Subject is moot because selling on ebay in any format now days is like buying a lottery ticket.

ebay said their focus was on driving the company where growth is - business sellers and alternative formats. OK, but suppose:
There was another company (Walmart) with over 400 billion in sales that you could buy from locally or online and suppose that company made hundreds of thousands of additional products available to their customers by letting retailers sell through them and suppose there was another established site (Amazon) that just showed a 51% increase in sales that also let individuals and retailers sell through them.  

Now suppose you are CEO of a site that doesn't even rank in the top 20 worldwide.
Suppose one of the best financial publications in the world doesn't list you at all in their top sites for:
Computer and electronics -iPods etc.
Books
Gifts
Toys
Outdoor gifts
Casual apparel

Might be only a maniacal delusional egotistical nitwit would think they have a prosperous future ahead. Might be they traded the golden goose for a possum.

ebay is still riding on the reputation built by the small seller but like prunes through a widow woman that too will pass and when it does might be ebay stands for:
Every Body Abandoned You

eBay Denies the End of Auctions   eBay Denies the End of Auctions

by: kevin

Thu Aug 25 08:37:47 2011

I would have bought this up until the 7500 items line....that's just not feasable even for alot of their diamond sellers.  

Although I have no love for ebay and their stupidity continues to amaze me even this is over the top.  A few pieces will probably come true, but this has got to be a hoax.  

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