Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 13 2014 13:24:20

eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

By: Ina Steiner

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An eBay shareholder who also happens to be a Top Rated Seller asked eBay CEO John Donahoe and the board of directors why he was being punished for something outside of his control. The seller raised the question at the company's annual shareholder meeting in San Jose, California today.

The seller, named Dave, said he was a hobby seller (since 1998) with over 1500 positive feedback ratings who listed things around his house, from laptops and hard drives to coins, baseball cards and bobbleheads.

He said he would lose his TRS status in August due to new tracking requirements that will require TRS sellers to upload tracking on 90% of their shipments. Dave said he places his lightweight items into USPS First Class envelopes along with a tracking bar code, but the Postal Service won't scan them.

"I think everybody in this room probably does not think that anybody should be punished for things over which they have no control. I have no control over the Postal Service."

The seller suggested eBay make an exception to the tracking requirement for small, lightweight items that the Postal Service won't scan, perhaps for items that are four ounces or less or for domestic shipping where flat rate shipping costs less than $3.

"I'm sure there are thousands just like me," he said, and it would benefit buyers as well.

Donahoe thanked the seller for his suggestion and said "I'm certain Devin (Wenig) and his team will take it."

The tracking requirement was first announced in 2012, when sellers of lightweight items like postage stamps, coins, ephemera, labels, etc., said the requirement would make it impossible to sell those inexpensive, lightweight items on eBay.

It's rare, though not unheard of, for eBay sellers to use the company's annual shareholder meeting to talk about challenges they face and make suggestions to the top executives gathered there.

Also new this year - after the formal voting (everything went eBay's way, including the rejection of a shareholder proposal) and a presentation by John Donahoe, Rev. Jesse Jackson was allowed to make a statement calling for tech companies to take action to promote diversity, part of the Rainbow Push Coalition's "digital inclusion initiative."

Rev. Jackson called out Silicon Valley firms for the lack of diversity on their boards and C-Suites (chief officers), and in their financial transactions, advertising and professional services.

Donahoe pointed to the challenge of diversity when hiring engineers, though I'm not sure how many eBay board members and senior executives are actually engineers. He pointed to eBay's Girls Who Code initiative and said he would spend time with Rev. Jackson after the meeting.

Update: Here is a link to the article covering the Annual Meeting, "eBay CEO Asked About Amazon, Bitcoin and Unpopular Seller Policy."

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Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed May 14 10:51:19 2014

''congratulated eBay on its new seller procedures, and said he's been a seller ''forever,'' and he's ''never had it so easy to sell.''

A seller is actually getting some visibility?  He must know someone.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 10:56:01 2014

It sounds as though this seller is frustrated just like the rest of TRS being hammered by ebay's one way street called John Donahoe I made a policy and I am always going to be right Avenue.
It isn't enough to have buyer protection which is being consumed by fraud, sellers being forced to give refunds to shoplifters so ebay does not have to with their 100% guarantee. We deal with horrible and I mean really horrible customer service and you cannot get past that if you have a complaint about the way your problem or issue is being handled.
This is like a dictatorship.
I do not get treated this way on other venues......
If you get upset with a horrible csr and tell them they are not doing their job your sales drop, IMAGINE THAT!
It is a waste of time to tell John Donahoe anything he only sees final value fees that ebay gets first right off the bat.
He is going to tell Devin and his team to come up with something? you mean your gestapo, correct?
I had my worst experience on ebay after 14 years last week and I told a ebay csr that he was rude,a jerk, and usless and he deserved it. A buyer bought a item and claimed non receipt I recognized the name from years ago and low and behold I had her listed as a problem and do not sell to, she had a new user id since then.
She has a sister who is the postal clerk in a tiny town, guess what she did not scan the item and gave it to her sister. I lost $30.00 because ebay made me refund her. After she got her item she sent two emails taunting me and telling me he could not believe how easy it was to rip me off, and another proclaiming how she was going to enjoy her item. This email account is the one linked to my ebay messages but since ebay will not take emails I am out. Thank you ebay!!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 10:58:41 2014

okay, ridiculous comment/lie #1 ''''congratulated eBay on its new seller procedures, and said he's been a seller ''forever,'' and he's ''never had it so easy to sell.''

i'm guessing it's so EASY because there are NO sales.

comment/lie #2 (in re: to lighter weight envelopes/usps/trs)  
Donahoe thanked the seller for his suggestion and said ''I'm certain Devin (Wenig) and his team will take it.''

how come no one at the meeting asked Donohoe to elaborate and show statistics on his last statement/paragraph in the article? based on the 17 sales i had in April, i'm not feeling all that successful on ebay........

''I think an important move we made several years ago is now, eBay doesn't succeed unless you succeed. If you don't sell, we don't get anything. And I think that's an important move where our fees, our take rate, our revenue, our profits only occur when sellers like you all over the world successfully sell something.''


Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 13:56:15 2014

LOL whoever the "seller" was who made gushing remarks about the way sellers will be treated was an obvious plant.  Nobody in his right mind would think Ebay was doing something right ;-)

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 14:22:51 2014

I really would like to know that  shareholder/seller's first name or his ID or something so I can use his comments as my new sig on the boards. It's been a while since I've had anything so funny and I would like to be sure he gets credit for his words. :)

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Wed May 14 14:23:30 2014

'' a shareholder congratulated eBay on its new seller procedures, and said he's been a seller ''forever,'' and he's ''never had it so easy to sell.'' He also said he believed eBay and PayPal should stay together, and commented about eBay's diversity. Nobody knows who buyers are or what they look like, and ''it couldn't matter less. Everyone has an equal opportunity,'' he said.''

Corporate planted ringer.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed May 14 15:56:56 2014

Now, I could not possibly believe that eBay would employ shills at their AGM, or would they? Surely not ...

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the criminal … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 16:10:13 2014

From the blog:

During the Q&A period that followed the presentations, a shareholder congratulated eBay on its new seller procedures, and said he's been a seller "forever," and he's "never had it so easy to sell." He also said he believed eBay and PayPal should stay together, and commented about eBay's diversity. Nobody knows who buyers are or what they look like, and "it couldn't matter less. Everyone has an equal opportunity," he said.

OH L:ORD!  Plant much?  Yeah - he's spo planted his roots are ten fet deep!  And as to his reference to Reverend Jackson's presentation - WHAT THE F!?!?!  Jackson was talking about EMPLOYEE DIVERSITY.  Donohoe's plant was toeing the party line - then he decided to add his own 2 cents  (trying to impress the boss?).  So stupid was he, that his two cents were overspent.  Not worth a penny because his comment was too stupid to believe.  FAIL!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 16:11:40 2014

Forgive my mispellings - why can't I edit a comment?

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 16:14:01 2014

"CEO Gets An Earful"??  

An earful of PABLUM!!  What a lame statement the "shareholder/seller" given all that is going on with FraudBay.

Oh a high note - that's Dono-ho's way of saying we screwed up and will change the requirements and PLAY like it came from the helpful suggestion of a "shareholder/seller".

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 16:17:56 2014

HELPFUL HINT:  When I have to send a postcard of other light paper/ephemera item, I put in a piece of cardboard add a small piece of bubble wrap (small bubble), write "DO NOT FOLD" on it, and TAKE it to the PO to mail.  I ask them to do 'package rate' as opposed to first class rate.

I either add the shipping onto the price, or charge 2.00 for postage.  I INCLUDE the words in my postings "THIS WILL BE MAILED IN A REINFORCED ENVELOPE SO THAT TRACKING CAN BE ADDED".  It's working so far!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed May 14 16:43:10 2014

"We think Bitcoin will play a very important role in the future. Exactly how that plays out, and how we can best take advantage of it and enable it with PayPal, that's something we're actively considering. It's on our radar screen."—Johnny Ho …

In other words he hasn’t got a clue …

"We are blessed with a business model that if we deliver for all our buyers and sellers, our marketplace produces profitability and cash flow, …

"I think an important move we made several years ago is now, eBay doesn't succeed unless you succeed. If you don't sell, we don't get anything. And I think that's an important move where our fees, our take rate, our revenue, our profits only occur when sellers like you all over the world successfully sell something."—Johnny Ho …

If sellers don’t sell, eBay doesn’t get anything! Wow, what insight Johnny Ho has finally developed …

And, why do you think that eBay is thinking about repatriating all that buried treasure from overseas? Because they want to express their patriotism by paying the U.S. tax thereon? Not likely! More likely, simply because the eBay balloon is starting to deflate and they now need the cash to fuel the hot air generators to try to stop the stock price from collapsing and, apparently, to try to buy some more petty sellers/buyers at $15/head ...

Of course, eBay and “PreyPal” should stay together, for without “PreyPal”, eBay’s overall revenues would be atrophying at an even faster rate; regardless, they should stay together and comfort each other as they continue their journey down the toilet …

Also, the “PreyPal” pie charts clearly indicate that although >30% of PayPal’s revenue comes from eBay transactions, ~50% of PreyPal’s profit comes therefrom, indicating that PayPal’s off-eBay operations are problematic, as one might expect from such a clunky operator when it has to try stand on its own to feet—at places like Home Depot—LOL …

And clearly, you know things are getting desperate when one of the “Reverends” is invited to speak to the congregation …

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the criminal ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: Oh Really? This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 18:04:20 2014

You can thank "Dave" for the new tracking validation requirement.

Don't have to look to hard between the lines the "Dave" has either been shipping via letter Rate and isn't currently TRS or "Dave" has been uploading bogus tracking numbers.

USPS do on occasion miss a scan but how often do they not scan a package ever? No acceptance scan, no scan at the first sort facility, no scan at an intermediary facility, no scan at the local post office for delivery and finally no scan by the carrier.

Does anyone really believe that it's any kind of a problem to get at least one single scan at least 90% of the time?

Yeah it's a problem for the cheats (sellers) who have been gaming the system.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 19:28:24 2014

Look, the handwriting is on the wall.  

Ebay can't come right out and say it but they want us to sell more expensive stuff.  

They want us to ship with real tracking, and USPS is entirely too flaky in that area, unless perhaps if you pay for express mail.  They are calling their watered down delivery confirmation USPS tracking, they even got a federal trademark on it.  But it's hardly tracking, their employees don't take it seriously.

But until they take it completely seriously those drone union members at the USPS are not gonna scan reliably.  They obviously have a resentment at being made to do it.  

Ebay knows this, they know the USPS tracking is unreliable but they are pretending it is and they designed their system so if you don't ship with real tracking you get disciplined. Is that intentional? I don't know.

The solution is to sell much more expensive items, use real shipping with real tracking, and just charge for it.  The days of selling a postage stamp for $1.36 or a postcard for .79 are over.

Customers are not going to be able to get everything so cheap on ebay and that is a good thing!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed May 14 19:43:18 2014

@Steevo,

“… they want us to sell more expensive stuff.”

When eBay did away with the tiered FVF structure, much of the high-valued items took flight. eBay is never going to get high-valued stuff from sellers while they have the flat FVF in place; let’s face it, their introduction of a flat rate FVF was a sign of desperation that even an idiot child would have known would blow up in their face—but not the MBAs at eBay, apparently …

Traditional action houses have tiered commission structures; not even the majors are as stupid and/or greedy, or maybe just as desperate, as eBay has obviously become …

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the criminal ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 19:48:58 2014

More expensive might be $20 items. They don't want to have to deal with customers who were cheated out of $1.37, and for obvious reasons.

I think a fair number of the sellers who frequent this place do that, sell cheap stuff.  

I think that's a waste of time, and I think ebay thinks so too.  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed May 14 20:38:34 2014

@ebay refugee camp - You need to report that postal clerk. I'm sure you can find out which post office handles your buyer's mail, and send copies of all the correspondence from the buyer to the postmaster of that branch.  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 20:44:45 2014

@RedInkDiary

That isn't the case here, though. This seller is saying he has a tracking barcode on there and it's not being scanned. He isn't saying he sent these letter rate.

I'm sorry....but if the extra dollar (and it's literally a dollar between a stamp and a first class package at 1 ounce) is going to kill your sale or make you go broke as a seller, then you aren't doing something right.

I also don't get all the people who depend on the TRS discounts......it's like some of you don't make any money unless you get the discount? I just don't understand that, I guess.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

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

Wed May 14 23:01:08 2014

Sometimes I think ebay pays the USPS no to scan packages, the USPS service is now so bad, the scan 70% of all items, compared to 95% 3 years ago  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting   eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 23:13:08 2014

Perhaps this was intentional to have an eBay seller complain about something to make it look like Donahoe's not ignoring sellers etc and try to look good... This way he can't say he didn't address an issue and even at the board meeting. This way Donahoe can say he has been doing all he can if something worse happens...

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