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."

Comments (85) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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: Bedding This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 23:17:18 2014

1st. class postage...really
This is just a touch of the iceberg.
As a used auto parts seller I offer 100% refunds with no questions asked. Most of the time buyer ordered wrong part.
Other time ordered right part but has other problems and returns.
Some even opens "not as described" for above reasons.
ALL DEFECTS UNDER NEW DEFECT policy.
Bottom line
Don't care anymore about TRS status.
The goal I think is to elminate TRS and re-coop the 20% fees for the bottom line.
So be it. I'm lucky to enjoy high margins due to my relationships parts source.

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: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 23:19:17 2014

I had a package go to the PO last week and something about the Delivery Confirm did not process right---the clerk somehow KNEW this was an EBAY item and re-did the form for us.  

Now---this is at a PO we do NOT use often (we rarely use our hometown one either as they are SO incompetent)  so--HOW did he know?  Good guess? Law of averages? Does ebay somehow code into the USPS when an item sells so the buyer address shows up?  

I admit that last seems well beyond the scope of ebay's programmers but hey ya never know.

Just---odd.  

AND::::

  @REDINK---Ebay MAY accept an off ebay email IF you can provide them with the HEADERS---this is the code part we DON'T see but is on EVERY email sent---it proves where it came from and went to.  Worth asking about.   The specialized CSR's can tell you HOW to get these and forward them.   And YES you should very much get on to the  buyers PO and the Regional PO (Usually in the largest local town---Google is your friend here)  to register a complaint about the doings at the small town PO--we live ruraly and we have had SEVERAL of these sorts of things and the PO people DO take it seriously but they have to KNOW it is going on and WHO is doing it.  

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: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 14 23:30:46 2014

If THAT was an "Earful;"  can you IMAGINE if they let US in a room with this crew????

They would need Tasers at the very least.  And buy stock in tear gas before you get in the car.  Don't forget to have your lawyer on speed-dial.  

How much DOES a single share of ebay stock COST???

Who lives close to San Jose?  I will chip in to buy that single share to send someone to the NEXT shareholder meeting-how about YOU???

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: BB2 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 00:58:31 2014

I'm still not over the ''Girls Who Code'' initiative. As far as I'm concerned, a ''girl'' is a ''girl'' until she graduates from high school. Then, she is no longer a ''girl.'' I find the name of their initiative offensive, and I passed that milestone three decades ago. It speaks volumes about the core values of the organization.

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: The End

Thu May 15 03:04:27 2014

"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."
So, J.D. alludes to the idea of boycotting BIG TIME in order to bring down the take rate to 2.5%.
Only then can sellers succeed.

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: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu May 15 07:47:58 2014

>They are supposed to scan all packages with tracking, whether it's 2 ounces or 2 pounds.<

I send almost all my orders via 1st class mail and they usually weigh 3-4 ounce  with an occasional one weighing 2 ounces and some being heavier. All my orders are shipped with tracking and their initial cost for me (with my endicia program) is minimum $1.93. To have tracking on 1st class, the package has to be a particular size and thickness. If not, even with a D/C label to scan on the package, it won't be. You can't get a 1 ounce or even a 3 ounce LETTER sized envelope scanned. You can get a 1 ounce 'package' scanned by it would cost $1.93 (as if it weighed 3 ounces) which increases postage cost greatly. Sounds like this guy is not aware of what it takes to get his items scanned, or if he does he is trying to make an end run around the PO faulting them because he isn't following the rules (trying to get non-trackable items scanned).

Follow the rules and your items get scanned (except for the rare accident). Don't follow the rules and they won't be. It is as simple as that. This wasn't an ebay or PO problem but a seller problem. I would though how many sellers think that they will not have to heed the tracking rules by what JD said, since if most CEOs made a statement like JDs the people involved could take it to the bank, but not at 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: DD@Phila This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 07:55:32 2014

All of my lightweight items - under 4oz - are scanned and have tracking. This person's beef is with his PO not making a childish scene at a Stockholders' meeting.  

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: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 07:55:41 2014

I am sick and tired of all the complaints and whining about Ebay from make believe "business owners" who sell a few things online and think that they're captains of industry.  With all its flaws, Ebay is an example of a successful capitalist enterprise that was started by a brilliant entrepreneur who had a great idea and saw it through to fruition.  All of you complainers and malcontents are lucky you have a place to sell your crap and make some money because if you didn't have Ebay, you'd be out there hustling flea markets.  This isn't The Government.  Nobody is forcing anyone to participate in this marketplace, buyers or sellers.  That's why they call it the free market.  If you think you can do a better job than Ebay, nobody is stopping you from starting your own website and setting up shop.  See if you're still a top rated seller on your own.

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

Thu May 15 08:05:44 2014

Hmmm, notwithstanding that the eBay Dept of Spin likes to claim a “400% increase” in eBay’s share price since the GFC, just what does the "smart money" on Wall Street think about eBay? Well, the fact is, in August 2007, prior to the GFC, when the "Pain From Bain", Johnny Ho, was already effectively in control of eBay, the share prices of eBay and Amazon were both ~$40; with eBay recently ~$51 and Amazon ~$303, clearly, Wall Street (now) considers eBay to be a "dog", and Johnny Ho to be a very poor dog handler ...

One also has to wonder if founder Omidyar has ever thought about just how much more fabulously wealthy he might now have been had he not ok'd the handing over of the control of eBay to the delusional, destructive, incompetent, unscrupulous, narcissistic, sociopathic Johnny Ho? Indeed, had he, in August 2007, traded in just the ~108 million eBay shares, that he still holds today, for shares in Amazon, instead of ~$6 billion, his worth would now have been ~$32 billion! Now that, surely, is something for all of eBay's long-suffering "long" investors to think about, is it 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: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu May 15 08:07:16 2014

>>I am sick and tired of all the complaints and whining about Ebay from make believe "business owners" who sell a few things online and think that they're captains of industry<<

@Flying Childers - I find it interesting that as you make comments that while you seem to include all posters here, you left us no way for us to validate you and your comments, ie. no website address so we can see what kind of 'captain of industry you are. I think it was a rude and uncalled for remark as you were attacking others, not making a comment as pertains to the topic at hand. I'm personally glad to have left ebay for other venues. While I know I'm not a 'captain of industry' I do have a very legitimate business that steadily makes a profit each year which is better than some big business can say.

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: eBoy

Thu May 15 08:20:11 2014

The likes of Donahopeless deserves the likes of the race-hustling Jackasson - as Jackson's grievance industry meets Donahoe's grievous industry!  

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: The End

Thu May 15 08:25:44 2014

Flying Childers = Donahoe

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: The End

Thu May 15 08:30:23 2014

Wikipedia :Flying Childers was a famous undefeated 18th century Thoroughbred racehorse, foaled in 1714 at Carr House, Warmsworth, Doncaster, and is often cited as the first truly great racehorse in the history of Thoroughbreds.

My above post is NOT a compliment to the UNQUALIFIED Donahoe.

Only an airhead would choose "Flying Childers" as their handle. And surely they can't hold a candle to that noble beast.

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: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 08:35:49 2014

The mystery seller that gushed about eBay that everyone is talking is your favorite race pimp Rev Jesse Jackson.

*

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: Danni Ackerman This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu May 15 08:42:21 2014

Unfortunately that TRS asked the wrong question.  The uploading tracking is an old issue long dealt with... more urgently needing addressed is the fact that a buyer can now open a case for item not received and even though we can provide proof we did everything we should as sellers, it will count against us no matter how well we take care of the customer.
This is a much more disturbing change of events with eBay and one that more sellers should be proactively engaging with eBay about, in my opinion.
We prove customer service not when things go right, but when something goes wrong.  eBay is losing site of this and going to penalize good sellers who take care of their customers.

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: simerivergun This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 08:50:50 2014

The last time I left a comment with my URL all my items that I had up for sale on Ebay became invisible.  I sold 300 items last Mother's Day and 12 this Mother's Day.  I called Ebay and they said they had a "glitch" in their site which did not allow my items and a whole host of other items to be displayed properly.  I assume that they were all Top Rated like myself.  I have a store which I am closing, I am going to only put up a limited amount of items, I am closing my hassle-free return policy (if I can't sell, how can I get returns)

About the Post Office Scanning. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PACKAGES AT THE POST OFFICE UNLESS YOU SEE THE ITEM SCANNED.  At my Post Office I had to report a "Supervisor" to the Post Master General, his direct supervisor and anyone else that would listen to me.  He refused to scan at all and said it was below his pay grade  to have me watch him scan the packages.  He said if he failed to scan a package he would pay me $200.00.  Honest to goodness this happened to me.  He now scans packages and I am sure he spits on them if he can.  So so sad that a great Post Office has become a place for malcontents.  Thanks Sime

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: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 15 09:07:08 2014

As expected, no discussion of the point that I made which was essentially about free market capitalism and competition. Instead of engaging in a thoughtful dialogue, the malcontents' answer is to call names and shut down the debate.  

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: eBoy

Thu May 15 09:18:52 2014

(Flying Childers)

That's right, all you sellers!!  Shut up unless you have something highly complimentary to say, you malcontents!!!  Ok, let me get it started.  Donahoe is God's gift to business, industry and humanity in general!

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

Thu May 15 09:43:07 2014

Flying Chitlins says "If you think you can do a better job than Ebay, nobody is stopping you from starting your own website and setting up shop."

And that is exactly what we did, and we are extremely happy.

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.

Thu May 15 10:09:39 2014

Flying Childers,
Ebay is about as far from ''free market capitalism'' as you can get!  

Remember when ebay was ''only a venue''?   That was free market. Individual sellers listing amazing items, often items that you couldn't get anywhere else, and they had to do it so buyers would want to buy them to make money. The price had to be right but your policies could reflect business realities- for example if you sold something very cheap you could charge for shipping. You could sell for no returns, and if the price was right a buyer might find it in their best interest to buy cheap.

Now, with ebay dictating that sellers have to give buyers free packing, free express shipping with end to end tracking, free instant hassle free returns paid by the seller, and all at unreasonably low prices, and if you don't do all this your listings become nearly invisible so you sell nothing, ebay is not profitable anymore for many sellers.  How can you sell cheap and give all those other things that cost money?  Someone has to pay business expenses.

Sales are very low.  If we do sell something a buyer can return it and get a full refund including shipping.  I just had a buyer return two rack mounted computer devices that he bought from us for 95% off- for no reason, he just said he ''didn't need them anymore''.  We are gonna be stuck with the cost of the packing and outbound shipping, about $90.  

How can you run a business that loses money on items you sell? That's the problem with ebay today.



 

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