Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed July 9 2014 15:24:21

Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

By: Ina Steiner

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In what smacks of desperation, eBay is considering compensating users in some way for posting on its boards. Each week eBay holds a chat session on a particular topic. Last week's topic: "The eBay Community team wants to hear your ideas about rewards & recognition for Community participation."

In response to a question about what the eBay moderator meant, the moderator replied, "For example, if eBay were to reward members for their Community participation, what types of participation should we consider? Number of posts? Number of correct responses?"

The moderator also asked what participants thought about "access to eBay experts or items to help you sell" as a reward for participating in Community features.

Several users said they participated on the boards to help other members out, and said that was enough of a reward for them.

Others were more concerned with the impact of Google actions taken against eBay and the impact on their exposure, traffic and sales.

"Honestly, I could really care less about "rewards and recognition" when my sales are down about 85% from a year ago," wrote one seller. "I can't even get 1 view any longer on some of my listings. This is how I make my living, and I am barely making fee costs at this stage. I need real help from eBay. Thank you for letting me vent."

A user who has been selling on eBay for 17 years said, "What I suggest is that the members who put time in might be given a special telephone number on matters that come up on the boards many times so we can make a factual statement other than our Best Guess."

He said the boards are filled with members concern over their decrease in sales thanks to eBay's hacking incident and Google's punishing eBay. "What would benefit eBay is to listen and get the people who care to have a way to express our ideas." For example, he said he felt it was critical for eBay to start advertising again.

Some participants suggested rewards such as the following:

- One eBay Buck for every kudo an answer gets. (Kudo is a feature of the eBay discussion board.)

- How about 50 free fixed-price listings per month for participating on a discussion board at least once a week?

- How about making certain that board/group participants' listings are made visible? It's very discouraging to list merchandise and get 0-5 views (and no sales) in 30 days, let alone 7 days.

- How about fixing all the glitches about which both buyers and sellers complain day in and day out?


- How about fixing the Group boards so that the original post comes FIRST? Many users want to read the messages for information but do not want to sign in - Groups need to be consistent with the Discussion boards.

- How about paying each board participant a daily stipend of $50?

- You could show recognition for community participation by simply monitoring the boards, when users report an issue repeatedly.

- I also like the idea of having a contact person when we need to get the correct answer from eBay - especially when some of the regulars are divided on the best way to do something.


The eBay moderator also asked, "If you are a member of other communities, what are they and what do you like about them?"

Those who no longer participate in the boards weren't there to respond, but one common reason cited for abandoning the eBay boards is censorship. Users are hampered in what they can say.

Another reason - frequent changes eBay makes to the boards. In fact, 2 weeks ago, eBay consolidated the boards and got rid of "Seller Central" and other popular boards.

A reason eBay is so interested in reinvigorating community participation may be due to lower traffic from Google, a result of poor SEO tactics. One flagrant practice was paying people to write reviews and guides. The fact that eBay is considering compensating users for participating in community features indicates it hasn't learned its lesson.

Comments (43) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 10:08:22 2014

For my first decade on eBay, I once looked at the sellers boards and was disappointed by what I read.  I never read another board in many many years.

Better than reading or posting to the “boards”, as one of eBay’s millions of “special” sellers, I enjoyed writing the occasional E-Mail directly to eBay for help on technical and buyer issues.  

Nothing like having an American teenager being paid minimum wage who never sold a thing on eBay advising sellers on how to sell.  I do great miss the opportunity to “let off steam” with civil E-Mails to “someone” at eBay asking why there are no sales.

And frankly, I did not have the time to look at the “boards” as I was busy buying product, preparing listings, relisting unsold auctions, and most importantly packing and shipping.  Plus planning how to expand my BUSINESS on eBay, my business partner for life.  

Today is the 10th of July and I have not sold anything going on eleven days.  Sadly, this is not the first time nor a rare or unusual event.   I am sorry to say that I do have time to read EcommerceBytes from front to last page and writing responses.

It appears that the eBay “boards” should be advising long time and once successful sellers due to lack of “cashflow” from lackluster or non-existent eBay sales with plans for:

1.) Applying for food stamps
2.) Running weekly yard sales.  
3.) Selling at flea markets.
4.) Moving in with one’s family to cut expenses.
5.) Starting a lawn mowing business with a 60 dollar used mower bought at a flea market.
6.) Free legal service with forms to file for bankruptcy from our business partner, eBay.


Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: bellafabric This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 10:14:33 2014

I used to post on the ebay boards, regularly. Until it became unrecognizable and ebay took away the community link. Even as a PS, I haven't been the boards in a few years.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 11:59:27 2014

I've been a regular poster in either the Answer Center or the Discussion Groups for years and years. Yes, there are some annoying characters, misguided ones, incorrect ones and just plain trolls, but that's true of most any forum. The clueless Lithium moderation is one new wrinkle, and they're still way down on the learning curve (I had to explain to one moderator what a troll was. Another one took offense at the use of the word ''carp.'' etc.), but it's safe to say that they'll go changing it all around again soon enough, so if you don't like something, wait it out.

One thing I have not seen mentioned here is that many years ago at Christmastime, I think around 2007 or 2008, eBay suddenly and with no prior announcement mailed gift certificates to a number of regular contributors, thanking them for their service to other members. Mine was for $35. Those were the days.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Jul 10 12:25:36 2014

Eliminating the Seller Central board pretty much sends the message there is no community. Ebay drove an intentional wedge between buyers and sellers. Now ebay wants to create a pseudo community. Well I guess this goes right along with all their other fake creations, like ebay's accounting practices. Ebay's financials are nothing but a big shell game.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 13:22:37 2014

Yeah---this DOES smack of desperation.

And do we not KNOW that ebay will find some way to PUNISH sellers who post on their compensated boards--and WITH HOLD the posters compensation if ebay doesn't AGREE with their posts?

Answer a question the "Wrong" way---Get a DEFECT rating.  Dare to not AGREE with an ebay policy?  Get a DEFECT rating.

If this was a newspaper it would be like paying the reporters to write the "Letters to the Editor" or to the Agony Aunts.  

I am a regular poster to one of the longest running ebay forums.  We used to get dozens of questions from sellers and buyers alike.  Several members have become good friends and have supported each other thru personal issues and have even traveled to distant locations to meet each other.  

Then--there was LITHIUM.  The forum pretty much DIED over night.  IT is still there--IF you can FIND it--but---from a few dozen questions a week and a hundred or so posts--IF there is ONE post a week it is a lot.  

And members on this forum and others were BOOTED for daring to wish one another Happy Holidays--this was NOT PC for ebay!  Oh no. The censorship extended to many   general use English WORDS---for one thing you could not dare to speak the word AMAZON.  Even IF you had a legit question on how to list---say----a bow and arrow set FROM THE AMAZON RIVER BASIN.  Nope.  This was TREASON according to ebay!

Do I think ebay has evil intent here?

Does the bear have Kohler fixtures in his bathroom???

PS---I am happy to report that altho we are not able to HELP people asking us questions we are STILL friends and post to each OTHER daily.  Despite ebays BEST EFFORTS to stifle us.  

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 13:31:16 2014

How in heaven's name would an eBay employee KNOW if advice proffered on the boards were right or wrong?

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Thu Jul 10 13:43:06 2014

@ David

Twice the compensation for twice the value? Sounds like a deal to me, but then I've always been a bit math challenged.

The idea of compensating board users should be explored more deeply because it reveals so much about ebay and .

First, it obviously smacks of desperation. How can ebafia maintain the facade of being a "community" when what little remains of the community abandons them?

Secondly, the concept reflects the mind set of those who posed the question and suggest compensation as the answer.

However, a percentage ebay members will jump on anything involving money -- the $20 coupons in exchange for their personal information that can result in their computers being hacked for financial information and other possible identity theft information, defrauding and extorting sellers, and so on.

As users we've taught ebafia that throwing money at a problem usually solves that problem, and that ebafia management core belief is why they think buyer money extortion from sellers is perfectly fine.

First you kill the community in order to disrupt it, and then you bribe the corpse to revive itself.

All ebay has to do to bring back at least some

1. fire the entire management team starting immediately with The Ho, Devil Wenig, Brian Burke, Marks

2. The new CEO makes a TV ad apologizing to users and commits to  restoring a fair system in the ebay marketplace.

3. New CEO consults with experienced sellers and fixes those things we've identified here as being serious, business killing problems ebay created for us.

The sharks are circling around San Jose, and the only way to save the sinking swimmer is to throw the current CEO overboard to provide a new target for the sharks.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 13:56:56 2014

I am sure there are a lot of sellers out there who will say good things about Ebay if the get paid for it.  

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: ThePenguin This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 14:07:45 2014

"I am sure there are a lot of sellers out there who will say good things about Ebay if the get paid for it."

Yeah, they're called eBay Certified Instructors. Like Danna Crawford or Marsha Collier or John Lawson who show up at every eBay conference and parrot the eBay party line.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 14:10:55 2014

Whatever happened to lucky bucks (or whatever they called them?)  I won it twice on the Art and Artist's Board simply for doing the right thing by encouraging other artists to post there.  They don't do that anymore and, in fact, Ebay has the opposite reputation...one that nobody wants to cross.  I think if Ebay cleaned up its own reputation first they would have a better chance of winning back the posters.  I know the Art & Artist Board is not what it once was....its no longer a gathering of artists - its merely dumpster divers who want to know if the painting they just found in the garbage is a masterpiece!  Most of Ebay's artists from that board can now be found in a private group on facebook!  Goodbye Ebay.....

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jul 10 16:35:50 2014

I like Ming's ideas.  I think eBay should not pay people to post on their discussion boards. They should be paying both Ming and Ric the big bucks (after, as Ming states, bringing in new management)to tell them how to salvage what the current management has destroyed.

Had the arrogant management listened to the voice of the customer (their sellers) they would not be in this mess.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 21:49:47 2014

In the meanwhile, censorship is alive and well on the eBay/Lithium discusion boards. A member of my Facebook group received the following message (after her post was pulled) from a Lithium mod earlier today: Sent: ‎07-10-2014 03:55 PM
Add li.varia to Friends
Ignore li.varia
Hi judyjudyenterprise,

I’m sorry to let you know that your recent post, "Re: What Small Ebay Sellers Want", has been removed because it violates the Community Guidelines, which prohibit: Posting material that in any way violates the eBay User Agreement or our values. Specifically post false, inaccurate, misleading, defamatory, or libelous content;
"From the SEATTLE TOPIX FORUM, the following post: Anon from Toronto: "All sellers that have been abused by ebay, suspended unjustly by ebay, stolen from by ebay, etc, can all do something to get the word out to the entire world about the criminal activities of ebay that are going on under the public's nose, with the complete complicity and approval of the United States government. Your help does not have to require involvement in facebook. The cause is much bigger and much more widespread to limit itself to just facebook.
Many sellers and former ebay sellers are speaking out with youtube videos, blogs, twitter, pinterest, commenting on other people's blogs, commenting on ebay's own discussion boards, and yes, speaking out on facebook's various ebay related pages.
Please help, any way you can, spread the word. Ebay unjustly harmed so many thousands of people that are just trying to feed their families, people trying to pay their bills, disabled people trying to make ends meet, single mothers, etc. The world must wake up to the fact that a site that was once loved by nearly everyone has become corrupt at the top and the entire website is rigged against buyers and against sellers alike. Ebay Inc would have you believe that by using their site, you agree to all their illegal behind the scenes behavior. No company can require you to give up your Constitutional Rights. No matter how many equally crooked lawyers ebay is paying, all that's needed is a few judges to listen and a dose of common sense for regulators to see behind ebay's criminal smokescreen.
Get involved, before the only sellers allowed to sell on ebay are the big companies or Chinese sellers, which is ebay's plan all along.
Thanks for reading. Please help"."

We ask you to please refrain from posting this type of content on the forums. Before posting again, please review the Community Guidelines. Please note that further violations of the Community Guidelines may lead to the loss of your posting privileges. For more information, you can review our eBay Community Resources page.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: E-pins This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 11 00:28:30 2014

NetWatch
"In the meanwhile, censorship is alive and well on the eBay/Lithium discusion boards."

Lithium at work on that thread?

What Small Ebay Sellers Want
https://archive.today/WUhTb
https://archive.today/XEdPw


mad-hatter-collectibles
https://archive.today/Nl5wd
"These
"groups" have no more interest in your being successful in selling than jihadist terrorists have in sitting down for Passover dinner. Trust me on that."

Like these defending ebay's stock dividends.

https://archive.today/h2tIj
https://archive.today
/4r66c

Great
laugh out of what this "seller" writes. They've been an ebay business since 2008, have 1317 feedback, and get 10 feedback a month.

The small sellers I used to buy from had more throttled sales than this, before they moved to their own websites.

Mad made 394 posts.
https://archive.today/zSreD
Love their ill use of copyrighted images.

mad-hatter-collectibles
"It would be OK so long as everything is separate, but let's face it...looking at your FB suggests you have a shady history"

Indeed.

Mad Man posters like this should receive compensation commesurate with the minimum wage Lithium contractors receive.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Blue_Prometheus This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 11 00:55:41 2014

Wow. I've spent over 10 years on the eBay Discussion Boards giving advice, answering questions (and always learning new things). I get by on the 'thanks' and the socializing. I was even one of the 'Boardies' given free airfare to a Discussion Board assembly to discuss how best to arrange the new Boards.

But since Lithium took over the boards have Mods who are paid to troll through every post on every board looking for infractions to edit, move or delete posts and sanction long-time users and helpers. I just now got off a 30 day ban after a mod didn't like something I posted in a private Group in 2012! I didn't even remeber that topic yet she must have dug and searched for the slightest thing.

Rather than pay moderators to edit the heck out of everyone ele's advice why not just pay THEM to give the advice? That's because people get advice from PEERS on the boards. People who buy and sell each day. Naw they could offer me a kudo or cash but they've blown their credibility in my eyes. Especially with this recent disatrous board mash-up!



Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 11 11:34:24 2014

Haha! They're not going to pay anyone when they have a plenty of people to post and perform for free. Do a little research. Look up Lithium Superfans, and be ready to laugh.

Lithium is very proud of the fact that they use their clients' community members to save big corporations millions of dollars on customer service costs.

It's a great diversion to take your minds off the lack of sales, traffic, broken search & website, the fallout of the breach and them getting penalized for spammming google. Sleight of hand.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Jul 11 13:00:55 2014

"Posting material that in any way violates the eBay User Agreement or our values."

eBay have values?  

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Fri Jul 11 14:55:25 2014

“CYNK Technology (OTCPK:CYNK) shares soared 3650% on Tuesday after paid promotion companies simultaneously touted the company's prospects in what appears to be a coordinated effort.”

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2274553-cynk-technology-promoters-
push-market-cap-to-655-million-despite-39-in-assets-and-no-revenue-100-percent-downside


Hey, maybe Johnny Ho could get these Twitterers to blow some hot air into eBay’s forums, and its stock price …

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

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

This user has validated their user name. by: Bidofthis.com

Fri Jul 11 20:42:16 2014

This user participation model (in part) was just launched with LTBcoin on Let'S Talk Bitcoin!
It's actually Brilliant---at least LTBs implementation of this is...

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: odona This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 12 00:13:37 2014

@David Steiner: I'll take no less than 100 times what you're paying now.
I don't think $1000. a post is worth exposing oneself to the insanity of the ebay inner machinations (if there actually are any)...Actually I'm beginning to think the whole site is an experiment in random logic generated once by Pierre and then ignored afterwords and for time immemorial.
AT this point there's always a gasp of surprise around here when something sells on ebay - it's like catching a fly with a fish net or something.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Cassie This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 12 18:26:32 2014

Most their boards are useless they only provide eBay ideas for making more money. They should belong toward sellers as a seller blog - with video capability minimum 1-2 minutes as communication advertisement for sellers to buyers. Pre-market up-coming sales, select items sold with free shipping or sellers features.

The issue these community posts get valid information blocked as some items that eBay is pushing small sellers but not enforce large Box retailers hedge on illegal practice per my nexus location. Besides Federal laws there are State laws and some local ordinances may have the same weight of law if that state grants them authority. The same other platform selling sites.  

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