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.
Wed Nov 11 2015 21:50:28

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is no longer going to try to compete with Amazon on speed of delivery, but rather, it is moving to expand its longtail inventory - the kinds of items you won't find elsewhere. Devin Wenig, who replaced John Donahoe in July, said eBay can compete on its seller and inventory advantage.

And, in some remarkably candid remarks, he said eBay can't compete at logistics - it's something eBay isn't good at. "We're not a logistics company, and we're not going to win on logistics. What we're gonna win on is predictability, great value, and "fast enough,"" he said.

"I don't want to compete on instant."

eBay sellers may not have recognized the lax talk on delivery time, however. eBay judges seller performance on on-time shipping (that's actually a new metric it created as part of the Fall Seller Update).

It's also not clear how eBay is going to attract unique inventory to its site beyond its "sell to buy" strategy to try and get shoppers selling on the site. eBay remains ambivalent about auctions.

Wenig was more down to earth about eBay's strengths and weaknesses than his predecessor - but then, it's a very different company than the one John Donahoe inherited from Meg Whitman in 2008. For one thing, it's much smaller - there's no PayPal, no eBay Enterprise, and it has more debt/less cash.

Check out the details about Wenig's remarks on delivery speed in Thursday's newsletter (available now). 

What do you think of Wenig's comment about "fast enough"? 

He also makes a perfect argument why a one-size fits all policy for sellers doesn't make sense (read the commodity versus 1947 Ford bumper section).

Let us know what you think.




Comments (44) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: ConnecticutGal This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 00:27:20 2015

Sounds like he might have a plan to segment the business down the road.  I think that could be a sound strategy.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 00:37:52 2015




I agree when he says that eBay  sellers and inventory are different and a lot of times better. The items that I find on ebay are not found anywhere else. Its buyers are mostly different too. At least is been my experience. Lets just hope he treats us sellers with the respect we deserve unlike the idiot who use to run it...



 

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 00:57:51 2015

I have seen a tiny bit of improvement in Ebay this past month in getting exposure in search. Hopefully, Mr. Wenig will turn Ebay around. It should be the biggest venue out there and would have been if Donahoe had not stomped on it.
As for shipping, I do hope they relax that a bit. I just paid for Express mail from one California town to another California town. Four days later, I am still waiting for it to be delivered. Not impressed by Post Office at all.  

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Nov 12 01:14:31 2015

I think Devin Wenig doesn't know what the left hand is doing from the right hand.

My items are unique, hard to find and one-of-a-kind, you know, the kind of items you can't find anywhere else. Supposedly the items Wenig wants on eBay but yet the ONLY listing promotions I get are:

SELL IN DEMAND ITEMS FOR FREE Popular gifts sell out fast, which can drive prices up. Plus when you sell items like the ones below, we'll credit your selling fees*— up to $500—with an eBay Gift Card. (All new items by the way)

As a seller, this does not make me want to be a buyer on ebay. Wenig may want to look into why Top Rated Sellers are now Above Standard and why sellers with unique items have left ebay taking buyers with them. Dropping visibility to my items>no buyers>no sales. I have had no policy violations, 100% feedback, 5.0 on all DSRs and no defects. THIS is the damage Wenig's predecessor Donahoe has left behind.

''It's also not clear how eBay is going to attract unique inventory to its site beyond its ''sell to buy'' strategy to try and get shoppers selling on the site. eBay remains ambivalent about auctions.''

And here we go back to Wenig's intentions about wanting unique items that you cannot find anywhere else. These items use to always sell higher than fixed with default Time Ending Soonest and only when items were actually shown. It created buyer excitement and usually with a near certainty the items would sell unlike fixed price items relisted into infinity.

Wenig needs to walk the walk instead of just doing the talk. Once this is done then we can address the fast enough delivery speed. IMO this is putting the cart before the horse.  

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 01:26:10 2015

I agree---Wenig needs to actually have a clue about who buys and who sells--or TRIES to sell--on ebay.  And I do NOT mean Chinese phone case sellers.  

The LACK of exposure via SEARCH is what is causing both sellers and buyers to LEAVE.  IF I can't SELL--I can't and won't BUY there.  If my items can't be SEEN--I can't sell them;  if I can't SEE the items I WANT--I can't BUY them.

It't a simple enough thing-drop that absurd CANTSEEME program and put back in place whatever we had BEFORE that disaster.  Write off what they spent as a loss.  Fire whoever it was who thought that was a GOOD IDEA.

I used to list things and a day or so later they would have bids;  often with a flurry at the end.  Now they have bred entitled thinking buyers who demand that the items be in their hands before the check even clears over at Paypal.  

There is not real NEED to compete timewise with Amazon---as long as WENIG doesn't decide to make this a crusade like the other absurd things he and The Ho have done in the past.  

Prove to us that you really are different Devil Wenig.  

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 01:37:59 2015

LOL---Just read the attached interview with Wenig.  I think he has the sads cause HE didn't think to charge a FEE from buyers like Amazon did.

And--does he really WANT that seller of the '47 Ford bumper on his precious baby site?  OR does he want Chinese sellers of crappy LED headlights that you can't USE (cause they don't fit or don't work)  and you can't RETURN (cause it costs US a fortune to send them back to China!).  

He SHOULD be sending out the message that eBay is PROUDLY NOT AMAZON.  They both have their places in ecommerce.  But eBay has what Amazon doesn't--hundreds of thousands of UNIQUE items;  many of them vintage;  that Amazon has made it plain they don't WANT.

Play to your strengths ebay and stop trying to be something you are not.  You are NOT Amazon--and that is a GOOD THING.    

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

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

Thu Nov 12 01:41:52 2015

Hallelujah, a CEO who at last understand what business eBay is in, and isn't trying to turn it into some other kind of business!

Maybe with luck he might also be able to recognize who eBay's customers are? Hint: the ones paying money for the service. Not the buyers.

@comet, I agree that eBay Search is an unholy mess, but Step One is recognizing that you are in a longtail business that must have good search. Without that, you don't even try to clean it up. Improving search will be a long job no matter what approach is taken, so I don't expect to hear much about it now.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 01:48:12 2015

@NSC----They HAD a good Search and they packed it up and put it out with the trash.  Who knows why.  I suspect some one told the Ho that this was the answer to those pesky Small Sellers once and for all.

Putting a similar search BACK into play would take programming and finesse but it COULD be done.  

Not hiring your brother in laws nephew twice removed who moonlights as a programmer after hours at the bowling alley--now THAT would be genius.  

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

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

Thu Nov 12 02:31:24 2015

@comet, I can give you an educated guess why they scrapped Voyager for Cassini.

First, Voyager was old and limited (title search only) so it did need upgrading.

But more importantly, Cassini provided management with the ability to manipulate search, to play favorites among listings and sellers.

Which they promptly began to do, with an eye to maximizing short-term revenue. Diamond sellers were favored so they would reap the returns that eBay had promised them. Other listings were promoted or suppressed based on secret algorithms designed to promote those listings deemed more likely to sell quickly.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 12 02:57:31 2015

Only time will tell if he can really turn this around.  I do find it rather comical that some posters are attacking what he is saying when many posters here have repeatedly said Ebay needs to get back to its roots.  Which is what I think he is saying, just with different words.

Ebay started off being a very unique site with unique items.  So if he wants to get us back to that or at the very least get more of that going on, what is wrong with that?

Also the Fall Seller Update does significantly reduce our grief over shipping/tracking/delivery and how we are rated.  So again, what is wrong with that?

The site has a long way to go to be a healthy environment again.  I get that.  But we have to start somewhere and JD has only been gone a couple months.

I also agree with the other posters about Cassini.  Now that is one hot mess.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Nov 12 06:47:48 2015

This may be one of the wisest things that I have heard him say. Good for him for saying it. I honestly don't want to sell at a company that promotes instant gratification. I am hoping that eBay will message some realistic shipping expectations to buyers.

Now if he will trash Cassini and bring back a level playing field he may just have my ear.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 06:49:18 2015

First I admire Wenig's honesty and agree with him about competing with AMZ.  The two are totally different business models, with AMZ having streaming services and data centers and much more.  I don't think anybody can compete with AMZ.
As for "delivery" time....the metrics should apply to "handling" time.  How long does it take a seller after getting the order to ship....not how fast it gets there because we have no control over that.

Just yesterday a customer wanted expedited overnight shipping and I asked him for his Fedex account number - and he gave it to me to ship via Fedex.  I told him there's no guaranteed overnight delivery with USPS.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 06:50:42 2015

BTW, I don't know what switch EB turned on, but I'm getting orders every week.  I practically have no inventory and this started happening around September - when Wenig took over.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 08:16:46 2015

This is ridiculous. If Wenig really thinks eBay should be growing its inventory of hard to find unique items that are listed on the site consistently then how does he explain the policies he has introduced to the site that have made listing that type of inventory much less attractive than it was two years ago.

Specifically,

1. Increases in listing fees. Unique hard to find items tend to sell at a slower rate, thus rack up more listing fees. Logically, if Wenig wants to see more of these items on the site he should reduce (or eliminate) listing fees. Instead listing fees under him have increased. Increased by 500% in the categories where many of those unique hard to find items would fall, - book, music and older movies.

2. Cassini promotes newly listed items aggressively, and buries items that have been relisted a few times. Under Wenig, if an item does not sell in the first month or two receives much less exposure and progressively becomes more and more hidden to shoppers. So, Wenig supports a "search" system on the site that actually makes it rather difficult for buyers to find the exact items that he claims to see as the most essential element to eBay's survival. And why does he do this? He is catering to the Diamond sellers who bulk list common easily found items at rock bottom prices. And since these warehouse sellers receive all the fee breaks and enhanced exposure that eBay is capable of offering, each month the push more and more small and medium sellers off the site, the same sellers who are likely to list the unique and hard to find items that Wenig claims to love.

Either Wenig has little ideal of what is actually happening on eBay, or he simply makes public statements about eBay that in no way correspond to the actual policies and values of the company he runs.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Nov 12 08:17:55 2015

I'm with you Devin!

I sell used American made aircraft tools, the kind you DON'T find on Amazon!

I'm a eBay loyalist. . .Have been for 15 years. . .

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 08:27:17 2015

One note on the "If I can't sell I won't buy" theme:

I used to buy a lot of used carburetors on the site, rebuild them, and resell for a profit. I've stopped that b/c the sell-thru collapsed. That's just one example; no doubt there are thousands of others out there who employed their particular buy-and-resell strategy.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 09:14:32 2015

Finally some one at ebay may be focusing on the product.

For years ebay has thought they were the post office and focused on delivery times or thought they were security personal focusing on the evil sellers.

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 09:21:45 2015

The more I hear Wenig speak, it becomes clear he understamds what ebay is and isn't unlike his predecessor.

I am encouraged by may projected dashboard for February.  All the stupid defects will be gone, and I can get back to operating a business.

Now, If we can just get visibility back, and get rid of all the chinese junk, and favoritism to chinese sellers.

He's off to a great start though....

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 09:22:28 2015

Finally a one bit of common sense from ebay CEO. Thank you!

Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed   Devin Wenig Says eBay Can't Compete on Delivery Speed

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 09:44:33 2015

Yay!!

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [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.