Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Nov 21 2015 22:13:06

eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Earlier this month, eBay CEO Devin Wenig received a proposition from an eBay user. He was asked to close a transaction off-eBay in order to save $20. (Clearly they weren't familiar with his compensation package.)

Revealing the incident on Twitter, Wenig added, "You my friend win the lottery (1/160mm) for worst choice of co-conspirator."

But how common an occurrence is it for sellers to try and conduct transactions off the eBay platform in order to either a) save on listing fees, or b) engage in a questionable or scam transactions? (eBay doesn't protect buyers if the transaction doesn't take place on its platform using PayPal for payment.)

As it happens, I had just received an email from a reader who wrote:

"I am just writing to let you know that (beginning recently) I have started getting messages from buyers who are including their email addresses inside the message.

"As you probably know, eBay prevented this before in their messaging system. Now I am getting messages from people wanting to do business outside of eBay after leaving the email addy."

Sellers are wise to be wary of buyers wanting to take transactions off platform, since they're just as vulnerable to scammers as buyers.

Have you seen a change in eBay's messaging system, and have you seen an increase in off-eBay propositions? What do you do when you receive invitations to go outside the marketplace boundaries on which you sell?

And what's the strangest or most outrageous proposition you've ever received as an online seller?

Comments (58) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: 1st Armored Div. 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 10:49:53 2015

Been on ebay since 1999 and it has always been a pain to communicate with my customers. I never know when I am going to run afoul of some Bot and get my message blocked. Most of the time it has nothing to do with off site sales. Normally just run of the mill communication and some phrase attracts the attention of a Bot and email gets blocked.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 10:53:54 2015

Tool - Ive been on eBay since 1998, I can ASSURE YOU - that what RIC said (& more) happens each and every day - whether it happens to you OR NOT.

MOST people havent been ripped off by VERO. I have. Just because they didnt do it to YOU (the manufacturer of the items you sell didnt pay off eBay to remove competition) doesnt mean it doesnt happen.

I was accused of selling fakes - even though in a letter to my attorney they stated that "they never ONCE purchased an item to determine its authenticity". We sent them back a cease or desist letter and you better believe that the company who made the complaint slinked back to the hole they came from.

That company paid vero (through the now defunct verowatch.com website) to remove any sellers of its items that they "dont recognize" ... only problem is ... its against US trade laws.

THEN they paid eBay again by opening a Platinum store.

If you need MORE stories - Ive got PLENTY.

What I dont have are stories where eBay stood up and did the right thing.

I have no stories where eBay took my side in a dispute, even when the buyer had less then 5 feedbacks and openly lied (in his email to me).

I also have no stories where an eBay employee would call and work with me (as a TRSP who hasnt had a negative in 2-3 yrs) and work WITH me instead of against me.

What I do have is story after story of vindictive, arrogant behavior with condescending speech telling me that its an honor and privilege to loose money on eBay so that "THEIR" customers will stay happy.

If you dont have these issues - you're lucky. For the rest of us who dont sell the things you do - we have it, we have it all the time.

Just because you sell electronics, clothing, antiques or other things that arent big and heavy and are not common - DOESNT mean that its ok or that theres license to be stolen from or abused by eBay.

 

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: mazelgirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 10:57:23 2015

That one's actually funny.  I have a friend who regularly sells off eBay -- to buyers who find herself on eBay.  I always tell her you have no idea who is on the the other end of those missives--She hasn't been caught-yet.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 10:57:48 2015

I have been ripped off by eBay soooo many times that I don't mind getting a little of it back every once in a while!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 11:18:54 2015

We all have that love hate relationship don't we? I've sold on ebay for years under a few ID's. I too got fed up and opened up my own b/m venue. It was like going to prison for 3 years or what I think prison would be like. For 3 years I paid the rent ($4000 per month)- the lights - the phone - the trash - all the dreamed up city - county - state and federal taxes - I paid the bank to have the cc processing - the gas company - employees - insurance - and on and on and on. I quit ebay because I was so danged busy just trying to keep the doors open that I couldn't do both. I worked 7 days a week and never took home a paycheck - all the money went to someone else - ALL of it. My lease was up - I slammed the door shut so fast nobody even knew what was happening. In this economy - trust me - be grateful that ebay is still here. I'm back doing ebay and I couldn't be happier. FYI my store name on ebay is the same as my website - if a buyer wants to find me it's pretty danged easy. I kinda prefer to let ebay handle all the transactions - their my business partner and so far have treated me like their equal.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: queenfloraday This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 11:33:59 2015

If I recall, just a couple of years ago DW was bragging publicly about sending popular vintage item ideas (like vintage Pan Am travel bags) to China to be knocked off. Is this type of items he (and his crew?) are selling?
So if I think this is true (worse possible case scenario), the CEO is using information about hot selling items on eBay, ordering knock-offs from China, competing with vendors he takes fees from and undermining the item's value, uses Cassini to his advantage to drive searches to his site, places ads on his eBay competitors sites and then gets upset about buyers wanting to buy outside of eBay using email addresses????  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 11:39:59 2015

He thinks this is new ? What the CEO doesn't have anything better to do than to try to sell off the last rejects desk mementos?

Whatever he's selling must be in his own exclusive category because the Chinese listings are flooding most other categories where you can't get a question, offer or a sale.

Hey Wenig, quit playing on company time and get to work on fixing the damm site.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 12:03:48 2015

When I saw the headline of this article, I thought it had something to do with the idiot who apparently tracked down Wenig's niece (or similar relative) on Facebook last week and proceeded to harass her over his getting ripped off for a stupid sale to Uzbekistan in which the buyer filed an Item Not Received and he had no proof of delivery.

He posted a loud proclamation in the Selling discussion forum of eBay to say that he planned to sue over it, but most reaction he got was in the form of sheer amazement that he would go stalking the family of the eBay CEO. That thread has since been deleted, and I imagine the user probably was also. :-)

As regards off-site transactions, it's always been the rule that after your first eBay sale, you have a pre-existing business relationship with your buyer and don't need eBay anymore (unless of course either party wants to retain whatever transaction protection they can get through eBay).

Email address filtering in their messaging has always been a bit of a game. My experience had been that their filtering is pretty good at identifying disguised forms of an address tied to your eBay account, but tended to let other addresses go through. For example, I would get slapped for mentioning (or hinting at) the Hotmail address I use for eBay business, but had no real problems pointing to a gmail account of mine instead. After my first sale to any given buyer, of course, that subterfuge was no longer necessary, since I had their PayPal email address from their payment, and we could communicate directly after that.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 12:10:09 2015

Years ago when Ebay was my only online selling venue, like toolguy I too felt loyal to Ebay. I felt as a seller that as Ebay seemed to have my back and had gotten me that customer and I wasn't about to jeopardize my position with them by saving , what was at the time-less than 5% commission.
Then Ebay turned against us. They forced us into accepting only Paypal, stifled my business while placing a rope chokehold around my throat with insane anti seller policies. They informed me via every updated user agreement that my listings may not get seen-that they WOULD put my competitors listings onto my own pages and so on.
My loyalty is now equivalent to theirs.
I am grateful to Ebay-I would never have sought out Ruby Lane if they did not make selling untenable on their site. I rarely list on Ebay anymore and I would not hesitate to take the fee away from them. Any sale over $100 I make on Ebay I include a card encouraging my customers to seek me out on Ruby Lane.
I loathe selling on Ebay-every sale is an ulcer waiting to happen-buyers are not customers but potential enemies and I do not like doing business feeling this way.
Selling on Ruby Lane made me realize how toxic it is to sell on Ebay-I have wonderful customers on Ruby Lane and after sale emails contain nothing but ''Thank you so much-I love this item and will be shopping here again''.
How many people on Ebay can say they do anything other than clutch their stomachs and groan ''oh no...what NOW...'' when THEY get an after sale email from an Ebay customer? I'm wagering that besides toolguy-very few....

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: Winkle Me Evilbay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 15:27:22 2015

While I'm not fond of those ads on listings either ... if you advertise your item on Ebay and you get a buyer, you owe the fees to Ebay. Period. Simple ethics and honesty.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: exdwh This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 17:31:55 2015

Doesn't PayPal offer pretty much the same buyer/seller protection as eBay without the potential feedback issues? I tell buyers looking for a deal to purchase a $0.99 item on eBay and then await further instructions.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 23 18:26:41 2015

I have gotten multiple messages thru eBay asking for alternate payment options. I've never had an issue with PayPal but some of these people must have had a very bad experience with them and refuse to buy off eBay because of PP!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

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

Mon Nov 23 19:58:59 2015

@ Tool

who opined:

""Charging listing fees yet having a hidden limit on income you can make" ~ I don't pay listing fees and my account has no hidden limit.

"Refunding buyers your money without them giving a tracking for return" ~ I've never experienced this."

Whether you know it or not, ebay places ceiling limits on all non Diamond sellers -- you just either haven't paying attention or haven't figured out what your hidden limits are -- number of listings each month, number of sales per month, and your monthly earnings -- each of these categories have secret, hidden limits.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

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

Mon Nov 23 19:59:45 2015

This kind of proposition is likely the only kind of proposition Devin Wenig will receive.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Nov 23 23:21:25 2015

@ Ming the Merciless

I can guarantee you my account has NO LIMITS of any kind.

I've been over this subject more then once.

An old friend used to work in Provo Utah in Customer Service.

At eBay live 1 I was introduced to Meg Whitman from this friend. We had a nice 5 minute private chat about my eBay. Meg was doing this for a few hours, giving sellers a chance to express their feelings about eBay one on one. She must have put a "gold" star on our account if there is such a thing ~ LOL

PS: My VW account has limits as you say and I can see them on my dashboard.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

by: No Princess This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 24 00:32:40 2015

This past month I had an issue when trying to arrange alternate shipping for an international buyer.  For whatever reason, he could not send any address information through the eBay messaging portal.  I did invoice him through Paypal, but he decided to complete the transaction by paying the invoice generated by the Global Shipping Program, resulting in higher shipping costs to him.  
All this, when trying to complete the transaction above board!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Tue Nov 24 12:48:00 2015

Welcome to reality. If eBay doesn't want Members to transact business off eBay then they should build a better mouse trap. What fool believes he can control millions of people around the world by posting messages on a web site with arbitrary and unenforceable "rules"?  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Gets Propositioned   eBay CEO Gets Propositioned

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Tue Nov 24 13:05:31 2015

Of course, when the other shoe drops we'll find that Wenig as Buyer "took the deal", saved himself $20, and then berated the Seller ;-)  

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, 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.