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Mon Feb 18 2019 00:15:33

Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

By: Ina Steiner

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A letter to an eBay seller from an 86-year-old buyer has gone viral, and it could hold the answer to solving eBay's problems.

The senior who wrote the letter (people presume it's a man, though I can't decode the signature) came across a collection of his old VHS tapes and, since retailers no longer carry VCRs, he turned to eBay for the first time in his life to purchase a "VHS player" so he could watch them.

The item he bought on eBay wasn't just a piece of electronics - he purchased precious memories. He told the seller he was able to watch tapes of his retirement party from 25 years ago, his wedding, his children - "each one more fun than the last."

The letter is in stark contrast to how eBay markets its site as a "deals" site featuring commodity goods. Here's today's email I received from eBay - the subject line read: "$ Heads up! Your bank account will thank you for checking out these savings ... $" and featured womens' designer purses and some GNC Triple Strength EPA 1000 mg. "Not Just Any Deals. Your Deals," the email read. 

But what makes eBay special are the rare and unusual items for sale that elicit the kind of emotions that prompted that buyer to take the time to write a letter to the seller. 

Here's a tweet containing the image of the letter. Will it inspire eBay to rethink its marketing strategy?



Comments (44) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

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

Mon Feb 18 01:07:15 2019

All Ebay wants is new items selling so they do not have to listen to the comments about being the worlds largest flea market or garage sale.  It is all about their damn egos and not caring if the company is profitable or really growing, but is it something they can brag to their friends and girlfriends about at the parties and social gatherings.  Wenig has no clue just what a laughing stock his name has become and really believes all the manure he spouts out each quarter as Ebay continues to do worse and worse.

Hasn't anybody else noticed that all of Ebays new ideas for revenue are never related to actual sales, but are related to everything but sales.  They want you to buy a store, then its promoted listings, next its going to be managed payments where each time the buyer charges something back Ebay earns another Chargeback fee or the new Clickthrough program that Ebay is going to introduce where buyers pay Ebay not for a sale but for each click that a person does on the box for your item, whether they even get to see your listing.  I can see it now over in China where Ebay has partnered with another Chinese city to hire their people to sit in a cubicle and do nothing but click on the links hour after hour while Ebay collects all these pennies from the sellers for the clicks that result in nothing but additional revenue for Ebay.  This program will be just like the Ebays penalty for excessive SNAD's of 4% where nobody but Ebay can ever verify that this penalty should have been charged and they naturally will always say yes.

That is the only Mojo that Ebay cares about, money in their bank account while doing nothing to help the sellers because we are overpaid for what we do in Devins' mind as he is the only person with any intelligence at Ebay and is the only one who deserves to get paid for it.  Cutler found out what happens when you stick around to long and discover just how worthless Wenig is.  I figure Fisher is next and then it will be the CFO who will have signed off on the errant numbers and will get the blame for having cooked the books and then pulling the wool over Wenigs eyes, just in time for him to be there when Ebay forces all the sellers into the Managed Payments fiasco.  Who will you blame then Devin??

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 03:10:14 2019

If ebay had smart people at the helm, they would be where Amazon is now.  They had a running start and fell flat on their face in money grabbing schemes instead of growing the business. As a result Amazon just flew past them.  
When your seller base drops so does your buyer base.  Does anyone get that concept????
Seems  starnge that DW went to GM and shortly after GM announces masses layoffs and closing....Is GM  that dumb that they are using ebays playbook.  He is the reason I was  worried about buying a GM car.   Ended up buying a Subaru.  

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Mon Feb 18 04:38:27 2019

Going public ruined Ebay and a lot of other companies. Got to keep the almighty investors happy and be damned the sellers and buyers that are the sellers customers. No one HAS to use them for anything. They don't OWN a stitch of merchandise. So sick of the antics of the ecommerce websites. Etsy, just look at the mess going on with their "glitch" billing mess! Some people have had their accounts charged as much as over $10,000 according to their post on the Etsy forums. Ridiculous!

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 06:27:00 2019

Ebay doesn't care. Its all about the bottom line. The rest is just NOISE.

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 09:04:41 2019

eBay USED to be the place where you could get "anything".

Sadly, DW bumped his head a few years back, and ever since then thought he was Jeff Bezos (without the inventory or the infrastructure).

As an example - I was at Toy Fare yesterday in NYC. I went to a booth, saw an item and asked to buy it. I was told that due to licensing restrictions, THIS particular model wasnt available in the USA. I asked "so then what do I do - I want it badly" and he looked at me and at the same time we both said "eBay".

Thats eBays true legacy.

Theres nothing wrong with trying to sell common goods, if you set it up correctly - but they dont.

DW would like you to sell $5 deodorants with free shipping -somehowhe thinks "theres a business there".

Sure, at MAP you can sell a Sony 70" OLED TV with free shipping and PRAY the delivery people dont break it - but how many sales will you make at FULL MAP???

Until DW hires people (NOT LAWYERS) who understand how to make eBay work .... it will continue to have quarters like the last one - %1.

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 09:13:09 2019

''Thank you for offering this item.  It was very special because...''

Those words, which catagorize hundreds of post sales communications common to the eBay era of their ''sucessful past'', do not have tangible value to the boardroom.  The irony is, they should, because they represent the only true value that was eBay.  

In a world of mass consumption, it's the niches where the size challenged survive.  They're the ones who claim minimal effects from fallout, right?  Can't compete for dino-meal when you have the mass of the lemur.

But there is sustinance in the cracks, always was because the human connection is a priceless currency in the market that eBay abandoned.  It buys the loyalty eBay can't seem to 'afford' with all their money machinations.  It enhances the 'service' eBay can't even do consistently minimal.  And it bonds a deal no written 'contract' can ensure better.  

None of these things can be scripted.  Now it remains interesting to see how eBay may react.  Do they acknowledge the PR laden praise at the risk of revealing their true hypocracy in current culture?  Or do they ignore this re-emergent root as being an eyesore in their envisioned garden's view lines?


Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Feb 18 10:24:20 2019

ebay has no soul and has no time for heart warming stories like this. They are too busy strengthening their alliance with Communist China and figuring out more ways to charge more fees to their dwindling customer base.

If they do respond at all, it will be nothing more than a fusillade of the usual buzz words.  

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Feb 18 10:31:06 2019

As long as Devin is running eBay, there's no hope that their mojo, or profitability, will return.  

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Feb 18 11:05:54 2019

I'm loading 38 S&W thanks to eBay!

I wanted a hand loader made by Lee in the 60's, it's long out of production and the kits are kind of hard to find.

On Gun Broker I saw 1 for sale and it was $150, way over priced.

On eBay you see 1 come up about every other month.

I bought a great example for $39, the seller wanted $49 and had no best offer. That didn't stop me from offering $39 and he accepted.

ONLY ON EBAY

Right now I'm searching for a sight screw for a Browning Challenger III, long out of production and the only place I hope to find one is on eBay. . .

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Feb 18 11:07:35 2019

@iheartjacksparrow

"As long as Devin is running eBay, there's no hope that their mojo, or profitability, will return."

The same was said of Meg Whitman, John Donahoe and now Devin Wenig.

The same will be said of the next CEO even if it's Jesus himself. . . .

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Feb 18 11:11:38 2019

It's gone semi-viral on Twitter. The first reply is a thank you from ebay.co.uk.  

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Feb 18 11:17:01 2019

Twitter link

https://twitter.com/OriginalYoni/status/109710955352991744
0

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Feb 18 12:55:03 2019

@Toolguy

Not sure exactly what you're looking for but the first result in my Google search returned a front and rear site screw from a gun dealer for a Challenger III. $5. Not sure it that includes shipping. Seems like he had just about every part made for that gun.

ebay has become my last resort when I'm looking for something. Inventory is shrinking while prices and scams are increasing. Too many other online stores out there now.

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Feb 18 13:12:53 2019

@NoMoreEbay

I chipped mine back in 1990 (long before ebay existed)

Never really thought about Googling it up.

Midwest Gun Works ~ $5 (who cares how much shipping is, I need a new screw)

THANKS (I can end that eBay search)

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 13:16:05 2019

TOOL - did Jesus/Mohamed/Moses (covered all 3 there) ever sell anything (besides religion)?

I give you the following example (and Ill use myself as the subject).

If I or a loved one had to do a brain/tumor operation or a heart operation - would I go to the best hospital around and search out the best doctor? Or would I get some random lawyer from Harvard?

Well ...the guy from Harvard MUST be smart - right? He MUST be the best (after all - on tv, every person that ever went to Harvard - even the groundskeepers scored 1600 on their SATs and slept through all the classes and got 5.0 scores) ....

I know what I'd do - get the best DOCTOR.

On eBay - you need people in charge who actually have experience in SELLING/BUYING etc.

BTW - none of the 3 you mentioned have that kind of experience, SO .... Sparrow's statement holds %101 true

:)

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

by: Iwishiwaskidding This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 18 13:35:03 2019

There is always hope. Ebay was my first and for a long time favorite site to sell on.  They could regain that place very easily.  They have the customer reach.  They have the site.  They have the selling tools.  Presently, they lack honesty and they lack vision. Maybe, this letter will start a revival.  Ebay needs it.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Feb 18 14:18:48 2019

@Iwishiwaskidding

I'm not so optimistic it can be turned around that easily. The mishaps, mess ups, UA, IA, MP Uh oh....... It's going to be a long, arduous process and will take a pool of absolute geniuses. Even then I don't think it will happen.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Feb 18 15:15:27 2019

@pace306

Has the CEO of GM ever built a car?

Has the CEO of Boeing ever built a jet?

A CEO needs to be business savvy, nothing more or less. . .Being a lawyer is a plus. . . .

Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Feb 18 15:16:48 2019

Regarding a solid leader (DW, Jesus, etc.) I too disagree that the same would be said about anyone.

Case and point. Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon, started with them in 1975 as a Civil Engineer. Then worked his way up through the ranks until he became CEO in 2006. He had 31 years of oil company experience under his belt before becoming the top dog.

In contrast, Wenig took over his father's pharmaceutical company until 1993 where he joined Reuters an International news organization until 2011. He then joined ebay with literally no experience in that space and became CEO four short years later in 2015.

In order to lead, to make policies and decisions. You better darn well know your product inside and out.



Perminate Link for Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back   Letter Holds the Key to Getting eBay's Mojo Back

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Feb 18 15:42:57 2019

@NoMoreEbay

Succinctly put. There's just too much bluff and bravado these days. How many people say, "I could do that, or this?" Yet when they try they fail. I don't believe that anyone is good at everything. We have our betters and worst.

Ebay's top end is so full of the worst bluff and bravado. Completely delusional of their complete lack of management and business skills. No ethics of any kind. They have ruined a company that had its own market. It's own premise. To think it could fail back then was not in anybody's head. At the beginning, there was only one eBay and it should have stayed the leader of the pack for decades to come. But with this management team who are devoid of any ability other than thievery, abuse and self-righteousness, the only way to go was down.

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