Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Mar 14 2013 22:06:29

eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

A lot of eBay sellers have complained that they've been excluded from participating in the invitation-only promotions the company has been running since last summer. But according to the Director of Pricing & Monetization (an interesting name for the department), the majority of sellers should be able to participate in at least one promotion a month.

We get into the reasons why you may never have received an invitation in Friday's newsletter - "technical difficulties" at eBay is one of the culprits.

But how important are the promotions? Does it save sellers an enormous amount of money to be able to list a few thousand auction or fixed price listings (depending on the promotion)?

What would your ideal promotion consist of in terms of format, duration and quantity? And should eBay run a few free listing day promotions for everyone throughout the year, or run frequent promotions on a rotating basis?

If you've participated in the free listing promotions, has it been worth your time and energy? Do your sales go up, or does sell-through go down?

eBay's goal is to increase the gross merchandise value of items sold as a measurable result of listing promotions, so let us know what you're experiencing.

Comments (49) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Mar 15 12:13:07 2013

@Frank

On the free auction promotions, it has been my experience they cap it at 5,000.

On the free 30 day BIN listings, They cap it at 75,000.

My opinion is that each number is just a feel good number.  It's a worthless, meaningless number.  I don't believe these promotions are extended to sellers that might actually post that many listings.  They are just meant to be impressive numbers.  At least that is my take on it.

And as I previously stated, the BIN 75,000 listing is mostly worthless to sellers with stores.  Sellers with stores post GTC and these promotions do not cover GTC, not even for a 30 day period.

Now lets say you have a Basic store.  BIN listings are 20 cents each.  Lets say you are ready to list about 250 BIN listings.  This promotion would save you $50 in listing fees.  Now a seller needs to weigh out, is it worth your time to come back after 30 days and relist those listing that did not sell in the first 30 days.  And of course change it to GTC.

For a premium store owner it is 250 x .05 = 12.50 savings on listing fees.

I submit that for most sellers with stores, this is not a promotion that makes you tingle with joy.  While you may have a few things you can take advantage of these types of listing, it won't be the best thing for your regular listings or your time management.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Mar 15 12:38:23 2013

Yes, my eBay sales increase whenever I take advantage of the free-listings offer. --- BUT KEEP IN MIND, that the *reason* my eBay sales increase, is because the ''free-listing'' period is the ONLY time I'll list anymore.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a DEMONSTRABLE FACT that paying listing fees is a complete waste of money.

Others have observed that during the ''free-listing'' promotions, the site is flooded with ''junk'' and ''leftover'' items... so I MUST CONFESS. Yes, it's true. I'm guilty. --- You may include me among the group that uses the ''free-listing'' period to list those types of items.

In my defense, I don't list junk-items *ONLY*... but I do take advantage of the (long-shot) opportunity to clear out some old inventory.

And even then, I'd only list a grand total of 100 items. (Nowhere NEAR the extravagantly high limit of 1000, 5000, and higher.)

If eBay wants to control the influx of ''junk'' listings, then they should stop with these MASSIVELY HUGE numbers. For my purposes, these huge numbers are unattainable and meaningless! I'd never be able to list 50-thousand items, and I'm content to list 100.

In an effort to generate excitement with outrageously large numbers, it is eBay ITSELF which deserves most of the blame for so many junk listings. They enable it!

Looking at the big picture, whenever eBay has ''free-listing'' promotions, they are letting us know EXACTLY WHAT AN EBAY LISTING IS WORTH THESE DAYS. --- ZERO! NOTHING! NADA! ZILCH!

Considering how our listings are buried and hidden; and how our listings have ''above-the-fold'' ads inserted in them (for direct competitors and off-eBay sites)... it seems completely appropriate that eBay should ONLY make money **IF** our item sells!!

Why should eBay get anything up front (at all... EVER!) if sellers are not getting any value from the listings?

Considering what sellers receive in exchange for paying an insertion fee, it makes no sense to me why anyone should PAY in advance for something that has such little value!

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Fri Mar 15 17:44:57 2013

The eBay lies just keep coming...
ereslove said, "There are some technical difficulties." eBay wants users to know about the promotions, he said - the vast majority of users should get a promotion on a monthly basis. "We want you to know, we ache when we hear that (people aren't receiving invitations)."

eBay wants to write off their cherry picking process by labeling it a "GLITCH".

The whole damn site is one big glitch!!

Why not just come out and admit that invitations are sent out to targeted sellers and be done with it?

Do they not realize that sellers see through the lies disseminated by eBay in an attempt to cover the truth?

Or does eBay management really exist in an altered state where by they believe what they are told to say in order to conceal the truth?  

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

by: KV This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 15 17:49:55 2013

I wish eBay would just do away with listing fees. I don't see any good reason to have them.

When eBay runs a promotion, I list my entire inventory as 1-day auctions, and keep relisting through the duration of the promotion. I get good sales this way. When eBay is not running a promotion, I divide the 50 free listings a month into weekly allotments of 10-13 7-day listings, and get lousy sales.

What does it accomplish for eBay to keep most of my inventory off the site? They're losing money and I'm losing money. Last week I finally got around to giving Webstore a try. No sales yet, but it was easy to list.

The sell-through rate on eBay is not sufficient to justify paying listing fees. They accumulate rapidly to eliminate profit on each item.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Mar 15 18:24:17 2013

KV observes: ''The sell-through rate on eBay is not sufficient to justify paying listing fees. They accumulate rapidly to eliminate profit on each item.''

Yep! That sums it up right there! Even the store subscribers ''discounted'' listing fees ended up being a good chunk of my profit (not to mention the cost of the store subscription itself).

For me, the only benefit of having a store subscription was so that I could have a few categories (nice, but not necessary) and so that I could put my eBay listings ''on-vacation'' in the event of having to be away unexpectedly (or in unlikely case that I was *actually* taking a vacation.)

Once the store-to-core happened, there was truly NO REASON for me to have a store any longer. Then, when the free-listing promotions started coming around like clockwork... and when store subscribers were ALWAYS excluded... that's when I cancelled my store subscription.

I was paying more, and getting less (and less, and less).

Best decision of my life! Listing only during the free-listing periods was a big breakthrough for me.

Recently, when I missed the deadline for a free-listing period, I had another big revelation. The sky didn't fall! My website sales actually INCREASED during that month.

It finally hit me! I had successfully weaned myself from eBay!!

My slow process of transitioning from eBay... step-by-step... week-by-week and month-by-month had finally reached the point where I no longer ''needed'' eBay for anything.

Now... my (decidedly sour) attitude toward eBay can be summed up with a shoulder shrug and one word: ''Ennh!'' --- If a free-listing period comes around and IF I happen to feel like listing, then I will. If not, well... no big deal.

eBay... now I can take-it or leave-it. (And most days, I choose to just leave-it!)

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 15 20:16:54 2013

Like most of us here at this site, I am ''in the know'', thanks to Ina, and know that there is a promotion on.  When I don't receive an email, and then specifically go check to see if I am included (even without receiving the email), and find out I am NOT, then eBay's wishy-washy ''excuse'' that the only problem was that I just didn't get the email is proved a lie.  Just like most things they say.

This has happened on every promotion since last August (except 2 FP promotions which aren't really worth bothering with much).  For auction format promotions, the last one I was invited to was August 2012, and I think there's been 5 or 6 more since then.

And, PLEASE, folks, don't start harping on the ''leave eBay'' bandwagon.  There truly are some of us who simply cannot, and are being held prisoners here.  With what I sell, there absolutely are NO other venues that I can sell even a tiny fraction of what I do on eBay.  And with hit or miss on values, and sometimes crazed bidders who bid things up to insane prices (I certainly wouldn't pay them!), I cannot abandon the auction format for what would be FP on my own website.  I can think of one item in particular where I had a quantity of 9.  A reasonable price for them would have been $9.99, and that was my start price for the auction.  Imagine my surprise (and incredulity) when each and every one of these items topped $175 every time I listed one.  $90 on a website turned into almost $1600 on eBay.  And it seems like about every 2 weeks or so, some nutcases go insane and prove my decision to stay correct by grossly overbidding on something that really isn't worth the price they're paying.  Of course, I say thank you very much and take their money...after all, I'm only crazy, not stupid.

If someone started an auction website for car parts (specifically OLD car parts -OOAK, not Chinese reproductions every Tom, Dick and Harry sells) and it was SUCCESSFUL, I'd leave eBay in as long a time as it would take me to end currently running auctions.  But, for now, I'm stuck.

Gee, just can't wait for the Spring announcement to see how badly we're going to get screwed this next go-round with the devil.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 16 03:39:56 2013

I got an an e-mail from Ebay today:

''500 free listings—Auction-style or Fixed Price'' This runs from the 16th to the 19th.

It was for an account I haven't used in over a year. I have two accounts I use regularly now, one with a store and the other not. It is after midnight, and so it is the 16th right now. I went to both accounts, clicked on my ''Unsold'' listings, clicked ''Sell Similar'' on the first one, and both came up for either auction or BIN as being no charge.

On those two accounts, I have not received any e-mails, or messages notifying me they qualified for the 500 free listings.

Might be a good idea to test your Unsold listings.

Anyway, thought I would let you know.  

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat Mar 16 10:25:45 2013

Dan's Parts makes a good point regarding the reality that for many sellers, it's nearly impossible (or very impractical) to easily ''leave eBay''.

Indeed, there is no single solution that is appropriate for all sellers... and, as Dan has done, each seller will have to make a business decision that's best for them.

I wish Dan the best of luck in finding ways to cope and adapt with eBay's ever-changing rules and hostile environment. He does have a particularly challenging road ahead.

It's clear to me that for some sellers, eBay is the ''best'' available option and venue to market their wares. --- My biggest concern for those sellers is this: Is it wise to put all your ''eggs'' in the eBay-basket?

Over the past few years, we've seen example after example of how fickle eBay can be when it comes to putting restrictions on selling accounts, financial holds, and forcing sellers to completely close.

An honest, long-term, hard-working seller's history and track-record will make no difference. Such indicators of a seller's TRUE worth are routinely disregarded as the eBay bots (both human and digital) make major decisions about the seller's future.

Consider this: An honest seller who sells 20 items with hidden defects is likely to receive a flurry of negative feedback and low DSR's. Even if the seller makes-good on every sale (either by refunds or new merchandise) their future at eBay is AT RISK!

If eBay is this seller's ONLY VENUE and their ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME... then they are at eBay's mercy.

Even if eBay is a seller's ''best'' venue... there's NO GOOD REASON that any smart seller would allow it to be their only venue.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 17 12:21:07 2013

I can see JD "aching" up in his LEAR JET., aching that he is out of the 59 Dom Perignon and that he has to drink the 63.
MH

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 17 23:47:52 2013

I was planning to list a bunch of 5 day auctions last night, regardless of the free listings for all, but the free part would have been very welcome.

Since I have a store, I don't get the offers for listing promotions. Have had the odd one for free fixed price, but I find those to be a pita.  Free auctions are the only promotion that really interests me.

That all being said, I just checked my seller account and see that I have not received listing credits for the items I posted last night. SURPRISE SURPRISE.....I used Turbo Lister to do the items so I knew that I would be charged at time of listing, but ebay says the credits would be done later.  LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE.....it is now almost 24 hours later and no credits.

Incompetent???????? Perhaps......Sneaky?????????? Get to keep the listing fees from sellers who don't check their account item by item and go through the hassle of contacting ebay and getting the "error" "glitch" "oversight" fixed.

Either way - typical disgusting behavior from a company who has absolutely no credibility left anymore.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Mon Mar 18 00:14:26 2013

Remember look eBay like a tool to make sales. Run it using the calculator not your feelings.

@Anonymous Annie, agree also be careful with double edge of the promos. In my opinion some of the reason of the promos are to stop emigration from sellers and start a return from sellers in other marketplaces.  

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 18 10:35:18 2013

Did anyone get an email on the new promotion for ALL sellers running the 16th through 19th?  I have two accounts and I didn't get an email to either.  My smaller account has never had a problem getting emails on promotions before.

My opinion of this is that Ebay intentionally created problems with sending emails on this one to bolster their claim that they have a problem with previous promotions.  Yet they offer no answers as to why those that were SUPPOSINGLY eligible for the promotion but did not get the email due to technical difficulty, also did not get the promotional rates when they posted listings.  Guess they think we aren't smart enough to realize they didn't address it.  I guess they think this new promotion for all will make us forget.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 18 14:05:05 2013

@Ebay's Slow Death and @Marie, Everyone got the 500 free auction listings for March 16-19. You obviously either have your notification turned off inside your ebay settings or the email went to your spam folder. You might be better off bookmarking the announcements page on ebay: http://announcements.ebay.com/  or if you have a news feeder on your phone put that page in there so when then they do put an announcement up you can read it as they release it.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 18 14:13:19 2013

@bb6

Thanks for the suggestion, but it is not correct.  If you read back earlier in the thread you will see a more complete explaination.  But there is nothing wrong with my Ebay settings and nothing is going into my spam folder.

I also stated that everyone is eligible for this promotion currently going on.  However that does NOT mean everyone got an email.  Just means everyone is eligible.  That is two DIFFERENT things.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Mar 18 15:25:32 2013

Marie, I usually get notified of ''specials'' in my regular email. This time I did not.

I found out about it by listing some things and the fee zero'd out. I double checked regular email accounts. No notices.

I then checked eBay messages and the notice was there in messages inbox on all accounts.  

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Mar 18 15:31:30 2013

I seem to get invited to all the promotions, but it doesn't seem to make much difference for my actual sales. I sell mostly OOAK long-tail items, so paying listing fees repeatedly can wipe out any profit I might make due to the length of time items need to stay listed before they sell. eBay doesn't seem to care about that. They prefer the fast turnaround commodity goods(as does Amazon). The problem is simply that they are trying to shoehorn all sellers into the same model when the business models are all vastly different.  

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 18 15:33:22 2013

That's my point Basset.  I don't think anyone got it.  Everyone I've chatted with never received the email.  And I'm of the opinion that Ebay did that on purpose to help add evidence to their claim of Ebay messaging problems when sending these types of emails out.  '

So if someone complains about this, they will just say they had techinical difficulites, like they do when they send it to a select number of sellers.  Ebay is completely aware that they do By Invitation Only promos.  We know they do it too.  And we know that many sellers are just left out in the cold month after month on promotions and other sellers aren't.  

My two account, my small selling account gets invited to EVERY promotion.  My main selling account only got a couple all of last year and only recently received a couple for the BIN listings.

Now the BIN only promos are really quite useless for sellers with a store.  These promos are only for a maximum of 30 day listings and can not be used for GTC listings.  So unless a seller wants to have to relist everything after 30 days, it is useless.  Relisting would most likely take far more time than the savings could or would pay for.

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Island_Sam

Mon Mar 18 18:25:42 2013

Lost sales (DOLLARS) vs saved fees (PENNIES)

The promotions only clog search results. I always keep an eye on number of items listed for my particular category before and after these promotions. Number of items shoot up, my sales go down. I do participate, but don't really care for them. I have been a power/TRS seller for over 7 yrs. Providing ebay with a consistent flow of revenue. I believe sellers like me are negatively affected by these promotions. Although, people out there seem to think that selling on ebay is as easy as taking a picture of a rock, list it on ebay, collect your money, start planning trip to Tahiti.  

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 18 19:56:30 2013

OMG, At least Ebay is good for a laugh.  At 4:20 PM today I received the email notifying me of the listing promotion that started on the 16th and ends tomorrow.  Now mind you, this so far as only come through on my smaller account.  Oh they just never cease to amaze me !!  LOL

Perminate Link for eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties   eBay Snubbing of Sellers Due to Technical Difficulties

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Mar 18 20:48:15 2013

Mine showed up in my email accounts this evening.

Maybe at eBay someone was reading this discussion & suddenly smacked their head saying ''I KNEW I was forgetting something!''

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, 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.