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Tue Apr 30 2019 14:10:23

eBay and Etsy CEOs Insist: We Are Different from Amazon

By: Ina Steiner

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As frustrating as it must be to always be compared to your rival, eBay and Etsy's CEOs were both asked recently how their marketplaces were different from Amazon. The two executives had very different responses in their respective video interviews.

eBay CEO Devin Wenig told CNBC's David Faber that Amazon is really good at what they do, but there was plenty of room for both eBay and Amazon. "eBay is still the number one or number two ecommerce platform in every market in the world. Our pricing and our policies and our velocity is incredible for small sellers."

"But I don't want to compete with Amazon, I want to get as far away from Amazon as we can get, and build a moat around an independent eBay that stands for something different," Wenig said. "I want eBay to stand for a more human form of commerce, a champion of small businesses."

"There's no better place that you can find incredible value, or incredible selection" than eBay, he said. Customers want choice - "I don't want to be a commodity retailer, and we're not the drones and robots company. I think we stand for a more human form of commerce."

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman boiled his response down more succinctly, telling Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern that Amazon is a place to go to buy all the commoditized and disposable products you need every day, while Etsy is a place to go when you want to express your sense of style, or to show that you care for someone, or want an item that comes with a story. 

It's interesting to note that Wenig coopted Etsy's brand message when he said he wants eBay to be human. In 2017, Silverman had crafted a new mission statement for his company: "keep commerce human," explaining at the time that it reflected the marketplace's ethos and spoke to what made Etsy special, and Etsy has been repeating that messaging in the two years since.

We've included the links to the full videos above. Do you agree with the CEOs on what makes their marketplaces different from Amazon? And what advice would you give them to attract buyers who might otherwise visit their rival Amazon?



Comments (22) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy CEOs Insist: We Are Different from Amazon   eBay and Etsy CEOs Insist: We Are Different from Amazon

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 15:38:13 2019

what a idiot pathological liar the delusional ceo is
"eBay is still the number one or number two ecommerce platform in every market in the world. Our pricing and our policies and our velocity is incredible for small sellers."

"But I don't want to compete with Amazon, I want to get as far away from Amazon as we can get, and build a moat around an independent eBay that stands for something different," Wenig said. "I want eBay to stand for a more human form of commerce, a champion of small businesses."

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Apr 30 17:41:25 2019

ebay doesn't want to be like Amazon of be a 'commodity' retailer.

Almost every single thing ebay has done since Wenig took over is copy verbatim Amazon's model.

I bet about 20 million Chinese would disagree with his commodity statement. Particularly since he's said China is ebay's future.

This guy just makes stuff up. Spouts out words that literally have no meaning, and no connection to ebay's reality or any one else's.

Speaking of VELOCITY (ebay's buzz word of the day.) Seems ebay's VELOCITY is going backwards unless they are referring to fee-grabs.

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by: Freeeeeeeee This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 17:57:09 2019

Everyone competes with Amazon.  Etsy is  an upmarket version of ebay. I thought it was amusing how close the Etsy CEO came to suggesting Amazon was the place to go to buy crap.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 19:01:44 2019

"Our pricing and our policies and our velocity is incredible for small sellers."

What does that even mean?

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by: P.Dorf This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 19:54:20 2019

@ebayout

I think he means the method by which he rids the platform of small sellers asap, so his beloved chinese can sell more of their everyday disposable junk.

Wenig, the guy with the ulitmate forked tongue.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 20:31:04 2019

"But I don't want to compete with Amazon, I want to get as far away from Amazon as we can get, and build a moat around an independent eBay that stands for something different," Wenig said. "I want eBay to stand for a more human form of commerce, a champion of small businesses."
Obviously my complaints to Mr. Wenig never got to him or else he wouldn't have said EB stands for a more human form of commerce.  NO you DON'T.  You bleed the small business with unnecessary and penalizing fees!

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 20:40:22 2019

If they weren't so glued together at the hip one just might believe them.

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by: Jerad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 23:23:57 2019

@ebayout   "and our velocity"  That is a very strange statement. I don't know what that means in plain ideas.  

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by: Jerad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 23:32:47 2019

If he means growth or shipping? I don't get it. But bottom line.. a corps main goal is to feed the investors. And for some eventually to get bought by a bigger corp.

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by: Jerad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 30 23:59:41 2019

Made me think though. Just one of Ebay's problem's is lack of communication. Any one who has called Ebay as a seller knows this. You might as well be talking to a wall. No one really cares about your problem. They all read from a script. But then.. what do I know.. and why complain?

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 12:40:34 2019

Everything that made Etsy and Ebay different was long ago tossed aside in favor of chinese sellers.

Wenig is just an outright liar, there is no other way to put it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed May 1 16:49:15 2019

Everything that Wenig says is word salad.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 1 17:31:52 2019

""Wenig said. "I want eBay to stand for a more human form of commerce, a champion of small businesses.""

You're doing it wrong.

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by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 07:23:37 2019

I gave you ebay back in the early 2000's because of fraudulent return attempts on expensive items. I had my ducks in a row and got my money back - keep the mailing info and pay the extra for signature card!!

Etsy sales have tanked - 55% down from same time last year. People who usually sell something every day haven't sold anything in weeks. They seem to want to make money off seller buy-ins and you have to wonder if they haven't noticed that ppls bills are pretty lean month after month - what will the shareholders think about that.  They changed the teams to forums that they can control, now they are messing with the messaging system saying they're doing it to improve our experience, and, guaranteed it will be worse because all their changes ultimately are.  All this instead of dealing with real issues.

They prove over and over again that they don't care about most sellers, but love those Chinese and drop-ship people, while refusing to acknowledge that they exist and that that is where they as a company are heading. Etsy soon to become drop-ship hell.

I went back to selling on ebay and it was not without complications.  I have had to call them at least 3 times just in the last week and everyone there was so helpful and nice - most importantly, they knew the platform and how to advice me.

Try contacting Etsy, then see what level of knowledge or humanity they have over there!  They're all about young, out of school coders that they think will save the day.  They know nothing about e-commerce, what owners go through, what they sell etc, most especially nothing about vintage or antiques.

Saw a TV commercial the other day, focus is of course on so-called handmade OOAK (so much being drop-shop by the way) without even a hint of unique vintage and antique OOAK.

 Silverman has just made a bad situation worse over there as far as I'm concerned.  Scattered focus, sucking every penny they can out of shops, stupid excuses/reasons for everything. Every little money scam they can think of to make us pay more.  Seems to be heading to an ultimate control, big brother culture.

At least when you go to ebay you know who they are, they aren't pretending to be something they are not - Wenig can say whatever he wants but ebay has been around too long and we all know what it is, and what it is not.

Soul and a little humanity would go a long way if they could muster it up.

However, its still just about making money as a business owner, I want to see the sales which would make it easier to deal with all the other crap.    

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by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 07:29:42 2019

when these 2 venues stop penalizing sellers for them hiding our listings , charging fees for this and other phony crap , fees for promoting nothing for you , etc. etc etc. , then they will be what their lies say they are.

how can a real man or woman steal fees off small sellers for shipping , that are just trying to make some money and feed their family. what a disgrace they are.

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 08:08:41 2019

SammyCat- excellent point about Etsy and all too true.

As far as the phony Etsy/Ebay competition with Amazon, who are Wenig and Silverman kidding?  If there was ANYTHING they could do to make the money that Bezos makes, including  making a pact with the Devil, they would do it in a heartbeat.

They have zero loyalty to the SELLERS who have made the platforms what they are.  Think about it- neither Etsy nor Ebay owns anything they sell.  

We are the ones that buy or make the products, list them, ship them, do all the work and take all the risk.  

Etsy and Ebay are supposed to be providing the buyers and traffic but they have stopped even doing that in recent years.  As our listings get throttled and hidden, it's hard to figure out exactly what services they ARE providing in return for ever rising fees.

Here's what I don't understand, and maybe someone out there has an answer.  We know that there is a huge market out there for quality handmade artisan goods and authentic vintage items.  We know that there is a potential to make millions of dollars as we see from E&E.

So why aren't there any investors or entrepreneurs willing to take a chance and do a start up that would take advantage of that market?  (think Shark Tank).    

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 10:37:36 2019

I've been hearing that many of the big-time Etsy sellers are seeing a huge drop in their sales. I'm very small time ... as in I'll probably NEVER get a 1099.

My Etsy sales are up 10% for the year and my revenue is up 33%. I've noticed a similar trend in the past when big-time sellers have experienced drops in sales.

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by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 16:52:49 2019

Maybe its a 'spread the well' mentality. They swear they don't turn off servers, but I call foul to that.  It makes no sense that you can be going gangbusters one month and then down to nothing the next. That suddenly people are who are used to multiple daily sales are not selling day after day, and week after week.

Let the products speak for themselves instead of playing games with search results.

There's a woman who I have befriended and she's freaking out ... mortgage and insurance to pay, and she went from making good money to not having money for gas or choosing between it and bloody food.  Its not a game or pocket change for a lot of people.  They expect the platform to function, to bring in buyers and let products stand on their own merit like I said.

You don't screw around with people lives and call yourselves human or pretending to give a damn.  

So if they're not making money off of product sold fees, how can they be satisfying their wall street masters ... people who have bought into their stupid plans can't be making up for lacks of sales fees.

Are we that are not buying into them being penalized and basically turned off?  

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 19:09:01 2019

I may be small-time, but the income I make from selling on Etsy is used to help pay my rent and bills. I'm hoping my Etsy (and perhaps Facebook Marketplace!) sales will add to my retirement income in a few years.  

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 2 20:31:14 2019

"I want eBay to stand for a more human form of commerce, a champion of small businesses."

Define "small business" , cause you are killing the mom and pop micro business with whatever games you keep playing.  I see my sales vary from a dozen in a day to nothing for a week.  My feeling is i'm often on the losing end of some random test.

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