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Thu July 19 2018 23:32:45

eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay asked sellers for help in building a product catalog on Wednesday as it transitions to a Product Based Shopping Experience. 

But with its launch of the "Product Experts Program" (PEP), eBay isn't looking for sellers to provide casual input - it's looking for sellers with "deep expertise" in 12 product areas and invited sellers to "pour your far-reaching product knowledge into eBay's catalog & in return have the opportunity to help shape the future of the category's structured data experience."

It's hard to imagine Amazon making such a request on its seller forums - presumably it has some system in place for collecting product data for its catalog and employs retail experts. 

So it's unclear why eBay is relying on volunteers to help fix a major part of its Structured Data initiative, which has been Devin Wenig's clarion call since he took over as CEO of eBay 3 years ago this week. A couple of sellers wondered if the new program was related to eBay's recent layoffs.

When a seller asked how eBay would compensate sellers for their time, an eBay moderator responded, "I think our expert sellers time is far too valuable to be compensated by some token financial gifts" and said eBay was considering lots of incentives for sellers to participate in the program.

But sellers responding to eBay's invitation made it clear they were not looking for a "token financial gift" - they wanted to be compensated for they work eBay was inviting them to do on its behalf.

One seller noted: "What I've learned over the years is that none of these ideas translate into financial rewards for individuals willing to give their time for free. You have a job and you're getting paid. How do you see fairness or equality in me not having the same? I don't want a company's recognition, I want a check deposited into my bank account," and he said, "You and others get to keep your jobs and investors get more dividends and higher payouts."

The seller who originally asked how eBay would compensate sellers for their time in helping eBay build its catalog said they sold fulltime on multiple channels - "giving my knowledge and skills to eBay so others become better at selling the type of items I sell, for free, seems, well, counter productive."

One seller was more receptive to the idea, pointing out that some sellers would participate "simply to have the correct information on their listings  and to make sure "fakes" are easier to spot and avoid by the buyers and to be pulled by eBay."

Another seller said there was value in a seller adding their experience to the platform on which they sold.

Another seller responded, "No doubt all knowledge accrued will be funneled directly to China, right?" 

That's not as far-fetched as it might sound. eBay has openly said it tells Chinese manufacturers what people are searching for on eBay.com and helps Chinese companies develop tools using Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.

eBay's invitation to sellers follows:

Calling All Product Experts!

Do you have deep expertise in any of these product areas?

Cardio Equipment
Cell Phones & Smartphones
Computers/Tablets, Networking Tablets & eBook Readers
Humidifiers
Internet & Media Streamers
Major Appliances
Portable Fans
 Programmable Thermostats
Small Kitchen Appliances
Space Heaters
TVs
Voice-Enabled Smart Assistants

Are you a frequent buyer & seller in one of the above categories?

Do people consult your opinion before buying those products?

Are you passionate about a community powered selling platform?

The Product Experts Program (PEP) invites you to pour your far-reaching product knowledge into ebay's catalog & in return have the opportunity to help shape the future of the category's structured data experience.

We invite you to apply to PEP & share a bit about your expertise.

A team member will get back to you with follow up questions & next steps if you're accepted into the program.

Product Experts accepted into the program will be asked to submit feedback on catalog products which will be immediately actioned by our team of agents. They will also gain access to a private discussion board where other experts & ebay employees will take & action the Expert's higher level category feedback.

We are eagerly awaiting your application!
The PEP Team

Let us know what you think!



Comments (33) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 01:26:13 2018

Sorry Ebay BUT your catalog won't even be fit to put in my outhouse.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 04:41:00 2018

I do not have the expertise in that area, but if I did depending on how much time I spent on it I would be looking for a minimum of 1 year of free Anchor Store since I  already sell on there, plus reduced if not free FVF for that entire year also (roughly $5K for the year).  If it took considerably more of my time then maybe an enterprise store with free FVF for a year or so (roughly $40K),  again depending on how many hours i spent on the project.  I would be looking for a minimum of $100 per hour either in cash or cashiers check (no I do not trust EBay to pay me via paypal or any other electronic method that they can reverse,  If it was in writing and signed by the CEO with a personal guarantee from the CEO i would take the payment in free stores and FVF but my attorney would definitely have reviewed it prior to them getting anything at all from me.

But the days of donating my time to help Ebay are now long gone as they have shown just how much they appreciate the help they got.  They ignore everything we said and in fact when the new Discussion Boards were being discussed many sellers took a lot of time to explain what would help us the most to be able to help others in the group and we got complete and total silence from Ebay.

Then when they rolled it out, it was a complete disaster and they once again had no idea how to fix it properly as i think they were once again trying to do it without involving Lithium as that would cost to much money.  I still believe the only reason it got fixed is that Kupbens had just become Ebays public Mouthpiece and believed what he was told about everybody loving it.  His blog got hammered with so many negative comments that Ebay had to shut it off.  Then a day or so later on the Weakly Chat he walked out after 15 minutes of actually not all that difficult level of questions, but obviously he was not prepared for the Sellers Noise Level.

That was pretty much the last help they got from most of those that were so helpful prior to that and many of the really helpful posters never came back and I am not sure  they are even on Ebay still.

But if the CEO can get millions of dollars in bonuses and fly all over the world on the corporate jet because the BOD fears for his life for destroying the company, then we should get compensated VERY WELL for trying to help salvage Wenig's  disaster that he has created by not having a clue as to what he was doing.

Ebay does nothing for free for the sellers so why should/would we do anything for free to help Ebay so they can then once again raise the prices for having a working platform.  Hire some talented people Wenig out of your bonus money and pay them what they are really worth instead of trying to squeeze every cent from them in salary and then wonder why nobody busts their rear end for you.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jul 20 06:39:16 2018

No, no and no.

You only cozy up to your sellers when you need something.  You have crushed most sellers' businesses.  You hide them in search.  You throw them under the bus.  You manipulate them with your policies.  You allow them to be defrauded.  You punish them with your unfair metrics system.  You steal from their shipping. You always side with the buyer, regardless of circumstance.  You force them into your schemes, which only benefit you, and  never them, against their will.  You blame them for all of your shortcomings.  You favor brand new sellers (in search) over your tenured sellers, who give excellent service and who helped to build eBay from the ground up.  You plaster third party advertising all over your site, including on sellers' pages, which takes buyers off-site.  You accuse sellers of taking sales off-site when a buyer proposes this in eBay communications, and you take a fee for it even when a seller didn't take the bait. A delivery confirmation means nothing to you when a buyer files INR.  Evidence means nothing to you when a buyer files SNAD.

No, no, and no.  We are not your indentured servants, although you have certainly made us feel that way.  You give nothing.  You just take, take and take.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 06:42:13 2018

With wig making all those millions every year LET HIM FIGURE IT OUT. I don't have the time or desire to aid and abet stupidity.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

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

Fri Jul 20 07:13:53 2018

As far as I'm concerned ebay can take a long jump off a short pier.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 08:53:41 2018

I have the expertise in most of those fields .... being Ive been in the electronics field since 1984 .. but I have no interest in helping eBay.

If I need to list any item in that category - Ill complete the listing myself - and the heck with their catalog.

eBay has harassed me too many times for me to feel inclined to help them. If it was a seller here and THEY needed help - Id be "johnny on the spot" to help.

eBay just wants sellers to do it for free - for sellers to shoulder yet another responsibility AGAIN. It seems that its ALWAYS on the seller on eBay .. shipping (usps speed), returns, pictures, listing content - on and on and on.

When eBay shows IT cares about sellers - I'll help - Id even do it for free - but I cant at this time.

Meanwhile, they can take some of the millions they have sitting off shore and license data from https://www.upcitemdb.com/ or https://icecat.co.uk/us

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

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

Fri Jul 20 09:28:27 2018

This is a complete failure in Wenig's leadership and execution.

eBay has been working on their "structured data" initiative since 2014  _at minimum_ (and possibly even earlier).

There is no acceptable excuse for a desperately pathetic plea for free consultative expertise at this 11th hour, especially from sellers for all the reasons that SIK, Rex, and Pace outline above.

Wenig sicced Griff to make public eBay's manipulative ask back in 2015 in his infamous "make or break" dramatic plea for help. ➽ http://bit.ly/2NvOHwx

Why hasn't eBay managed this project? Who is in charge of it? Why is it failing?

I'm also reminded of the video Griff did a couple months ago with Mat Ste-Marie, the guy in charge of the go-to-market strategy of PBSE, structured data who couldn't remember what a GTIN was (hint, it's not a Google Transaction Identifier Number). I wonder if he's still around or was in eBay's recently departed...

Expertise exists in these subject matter areas but unfortunately eBay's leadership doesn't have the broad business acumen to be consciously aware of their own deficiencies.

Unfortunately (and ironically) for Wenig, eBay likely had the bench strength subject-matter expertise in-house to assist in this area back when they owned Sterling Commerce (eBay enterprise).

But again, ultimately this is an alarming late-in-the-game red flag that eBay doesn't really know what it's doing here and is indicative of Wenig's inability to execute.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 10:33:12 2018


ok, I will get right on it

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 11:03:30 2018

If "byte me" isn't your knee-jerk response, it's likely that something worse is.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 11:04:43 2018

eBay security needs to remove Devin from the HQ building, this is the only hope for the company.

Devin is still in the process of destroying the MyeBay interface, they have no forced all buyers into their new purchase history page within MyeBay and it is just a matter of time before they force sellers in MyeBay into the new Seller Pages that we all keep rejecting.

Now the moron and the new idiot Cutler who is just as bad or worse than Devin, eBay has been a mess since Cutler took over in early this year since Cutler took over the marketplace, wants us to help him destroy eBay further.

Wenig and Cutler both need to be fired along with their delusional CFO who has been cooking the books for years.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jul 20 11:28:21 2018

"I think our expert sellers time is far too valuable to be compensated by some token financial gifts[.]" Okay, then what do they get for their hard work? A personal 'thank you' from DW? A participation trophy? eBay better spell out how they plan to reward the sellers if they're too cheap to hire a team to do the work.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 11:41:41 2018

Devin's Structured Data business plan is, put an idiot in charge of creating a catalog, then beg sellers to work for free to built it out.....

What a waste of time and a Titanic disaster Devin Wenig has been for eBay and it's sellers.

Devin, you should have been fired 2 years ago, how you still have a job is the mystery of the ages and shows the utter incompetence of the eBay Board of Directors.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 14:17:00 2018

A reminder from 2015
Everything is riding on eBay's new catalog strategy, according to longtime employee Jim "Griff" Griffith - in fact, it's make or break for eBay, he said. On Monday, June 29th, the marketplace began requiring sellers to add Product Identifiers to their listings, such as UPC codes and ISBN numbers, in order for eBay to build out its product catalog and get more exposure in Google.

After explaining the requirements and then listing the advantages of adding identifiers in a post on Wednesday, Griff wrote, "All of these points are why I believe that this is the most important project we have launched in years. Its success is critical to our being able to compete. And we cannot do it without you! Your contribution in providing this information - Brands, MPNs, and GTINs when you list - will determine whether or not we continue as a major marketplace in the world. THAT is why we have launched Product Identifiers."

He called the project "literally, make or break," and asked sellers to pitch in by adding as many Product Identifiers as they could to their new and existing inventory.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 15:07:17 2018

That worthless old eBay shill is simply trying to brainwash naive sellers, buyers can find any item and they are sorted by keywords in search, no numbers have been needed for decades.

This is all hype Devin came up with in an effort to fool investors, copying Amazon in everything is not going to help this inept executive team raise the stock price with coders who can't program themselves out of a wet paper bag.

AI for eBay is II, Idiotic Intelligence, that is all we have witnessed from Devin from day one, pure BS in a vain attempt to fool Wall Street, well the joke is on Devin and the truth about him has been exposed, he is nothing more than a con man and a White collar criminal.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Jul 20 17:15:57 2018

Sorry eBay I can be of no help!

My items are old and used, no UPC numbers

Besides, I have no time for that. . .Unless you're willing to pay me.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 19:01:22 2018

Every day it gets more desperate and incredibly far-fetched.  Maybe another boatload of programmers from New Delhi can fix this.  You can pay them in Fee Bay branded packing tape and boxes.  I have a better idea, outsource it to "lithium".

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 19:33:06 2018

Grady, Devin is depending on his next Buzzword to keep investors fooled.

You did not know eBay is going to be everywhere with 'Augmented Reality'?

This goes to show you how delusional the guy is, thinking dropping Buzzwords in interviews about how eBay is going to build all these wonderful systems while they are cutting costs laying off the workforce.

Dude is exposed, time to fire Devin has long past, sellers can't live in Devin's "Augmented Reality' world any longer, it is not paying the bills.

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jul 20 21:25:45 2018

July 21, 2011: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) (TRI.N) said Markets division head Devin Wenig is leaving the company and that it is reorganizing the unit, where growth has been “somewhat slower than anticipated” in the second quarter."

What we need is some deja vu.  Reuters saw the obvious.  When will eBay?

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Fri Jul 20 23:27:06 2018

I have 2 responses from the middle finger on both of my hands!

eBay = Dead Man Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog   eBay Turns to Sellers for Help with Catalog

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 21 01:36:18 2018

Maybe their buddies in Guangdong can build the catalog for them. Who else is left?

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