Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu July 2 2015 22:37:19

Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

By: Ina Steiner

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Everything is riding on eBay's new catalog strategy, according to longtime employee Jim "Griff" Griffith - in fact, it's make or break for eBay, he said. On Monday, June 29th, the marketplace began requiring sellers to add Product Identifiers to their listings, such as UPC codes and ISBN numbers, in order for eBay to build out its product catalog and get more exposure in Google.

After explaining the requirements and then listing the advantages of adding identifiers in a post on Wednesday, Griff wrote, "All of these points are why I believe that this is the most important project we have launched in years. Its success is critical to our being able to compete. And we cannot do it without you! Your contribution in providing this information - Brands, MPNs, and GTINs when you list - will determine whether or not we continue as a major marketplace in the world. THAT is why we have launched Product Identifiers."

He called the project "literally, make or break," and asked sellers to pitch in by adding as many Product Identifiers as they could to their new and existing inventory.

Incoming CEO Devin Wenig had told Wall Street analysts in April that adding a structured data catalog would give eBay persistence and link equity in search engines like Google, making sellers' inventory more discoverable, both on and off eBay. "We'll move toward becoming the world's first online global marketplace to use structured catalog data at scale for all listings," Wenig said at the time.

Sellers discussed Griff' plea for them to help eBay create a catalog on an eBay discussion board.

"Sounds like Griff is saying the writing is on the wall for the end of eBay and the product identifiers are the last hope to salvage this sinking ship," wrote one seller.

"eBay is building a catalog that they are going to make money off of and they are asking their indentured servant-uh sellers to do all the work for them. And are dangling the carrot promise of better sales to motivate us," wrote another.

Another seller said Griff's explanation made it sound as though eBay wanted to focus more on new items and distance themselves even more from older items, "even though they've been talking a bit like they want to rebuild the old eBay. It's rather ominous actually."

Tomorrow's Newsflash (available now) has more information, and let us know what you think.

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Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

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

Thu Jul 9 06:07:51 2015

"Can eBay reform and prosper after the PayPal spilt?

"In the 16 or so years I’ve been associated with eBay, I’ve always been a champion. I like the idea of what it is and what it can help people do. At a most basic level, opening up an international, internet audience of buyers to ordinary people is still an inspiring ideal. I worked at eBay from 1999 – 2006 and after that I’ve been an outsider and watcher.

"But the eBay/PayPal split is on its way and I really wonder if eBay has what it takes to survive and grow purely as a marketplace business.

"Come the 17th of July, eBay will be flying solo once more. There will be buyers circling, wanting to snap it up and all of a sudden it won’t have the PayPal screen to cover its not so glam performance of late. More worryingly, I think they’ve spent nearly a year working on the terms of the split and spent very little time serving sellers and considering what comes after.

"Let’s be clear. eBay isn’t growing at anywhere close to the ecommerce average. There is enormous discontent among the seller community. eBay is widely perceived as distant and unbending by the sellers who all pay good money but get shoddy customer service as standard. Pundits and commentators don’t look at eBay and see an innovative, exciting or vivacious company.

"So what is to be done? eBay must reform if it is to prosper. The question is whether eBay wants to change. I don’t know. But I hope that it can. CEO Devin Wenig seems capable and willing to transform the company.

"It would be easy to dwell on very specific changes that would be desirable but the problems that need solutions are bigger than that. It’s more than a tweak here and a fumble there that’s needed. eBay must surely embrace massive reform if it is to not just survive but prosper."—Dan Wilson

So, it would appear that even the eBay cheerleader, Tamebay's Dan Wilson, has doubts about eBay's future—he's not alone ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 9 08:49:14 2015

Although an unrelated specific issue, Grief struck again.

This guy (and ebay) believes anyone is going to do their busy-busy work? Ha!



http://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/Guess-We-Got-O
ur-Answer-On-INR-After-120-Days/m-p/24222360

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

by: nicklsu1 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 9 13:32:07 2015

About 11 years ago, I opened an ''ebay'' business, and griff's book was a great guide.  For years, I've tried to take some perspective on the changes.  For years, I've rolled with the changes and continued scrutiny for sellers.  Some of these changes, I must admit, made me a better seller.  Some of them were unfair, and the latest mandated ones (automated returns and the defect system especially) are insane.  Not that the defect system is in of itself bad, but the fact that a message causes a defect is literally a blatant attempt to take away discounts and remove small sellers altogether.  I've spoken to Griff a number of times, and I can honestly say that he's not a bad guy... or so I thought.  I've tried to listen to his advice on perspective before but at this point, he is either blind to the current seller experience, or he has sold his soul or both.

Ebay - if you're reading this, this man is no longer your asset as he is like Jared is now to Subway or Cosby to America... a complete embarrassment and someone to be ashamed of.

Griff - see above.  At the end of the day, I hope the money that you've made for yourself at the expense of others fills that void that used to be filled with respect and credibility.  Take it from me... I've had both.  After a certain point, the money isn't what counts in life.  It's how you treat your fellow human being.

Sleep tight

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 11 14:26:59 2015

Griff really doesn't care about connecting with any Sellers or Buyers, here is his Linkedin Profile. Nice! Griff, you sir are a PHONY PoS!
----------------------------------

Requests to Add Griff To Your LinkedIn Network

PLEASE READ: I DO NOT USE LinkedIn FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING.

I will only consider ''add me'' requests from people with whom I have worked directly in the past and in a professional capacity, specifically:

You are or were an eBay employee or you are a vendor with a company (not a buyer or seller) with whom I worked directly on behalf of eBay.

or

You are one of my clients, contractors or associates from my past businesses as decorative artist, musician, antique business or through my connection with The Carving Studio.

If we have not had an actual working relationship as described above, I will not grant your request to join my network. There are no exceptions to this rule.

ALL OTHERS: If you are an old or new friend, eBay seller, eBay buyer, Trading Assistant, Education Specialist or someone that I have met at an eBay event or through email, feel free to connect with me though my FaceBook account at griff@ebay.com.  

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Sun Jul 12 15:44:04 2015

I sell only vintage so this is a non issue for me.

Call me paranoid (just cause your paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you) but if I did sell items with a upc code and such I would be a little wary of Ebay changing one or two items in the specifics,  (an accidental glitch of course) just to misdirect buyers or redirect them to another listing. IE  shoes leather , become fabric, or size 9 becomes a 7. It would also facilitate their efforts to bring more defects to small sellers. I guess I'm just saying it gives them more electronic control over our descriptions, where as now the bots cannot auto tell what we have said in the listing description.

Just a rambling thought on Ebays control issues that may or may not  be applicable. Everything new they do scares the beJesus out of me!

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Sun Jul 12 16:08:16 2015

Maybe this is part of the Ebay strategy to explain the future bankrupsy. I can see the press release now, ''Ebays pleas for sellers to create UPC codes went largely unheeded and the company was unable to keep up in the competitve technology race with Amazon. ''
Or some such drival as they attempt to write their own eulogy.  

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

by: pjjc1 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 13 10:41:11 2015

Ebay Execs, especially CEO Donahoe ruined this site.  Eliminate the unfair defect system and keep your hands off our dealings with the customers and the problem is solved.  And these escalating fees are another problem.  Protection from bad buyers, global shipping handled by a company with thousands of complaints, lack of customer service.  Ebay is not addressing any of the problems THEY created.  This catalogue idea is stupid and time consuming for the seller.  If they had not misused google in the first place we would not have a problem with them.  If it is between Ebay not changing their policies towards sellers and crashing and burning I vote they crash.  Karma is a b__ch.    

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

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

Tue Jul 14 20:43:16 2015

@pjjc1,

Yeah, if only there truly was the possibility of some karma for these Keystone Kops; the cretinous Johnny Ho is about to collect another $23 million for the damage that he has done to the eBay marketplace; the only question I have is, how much of that payment is this cretin kicking back to those who approved this obscene payment to this cretin?

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Thu Jul 16 14:12:33 2015

One problem to keep in mind with UPCs is that some manufacturers reuse them. I've had that happen on Amazon, where another seller changed the catalog page to their item with the same UPC, causing me to have to cancel an order (which Amazon doesn't like) because the listing no longer matched my item. I don't get any kind of warnings from Amazon when listings are changed, so I don't expect Ebay would handle it any better.

As for Griff, I have to give the guy credit for getting himself a good-paying job for doing what he was doing anyway. I do believe he's a bit out of touch these days with the rest of us sellers working down here in the trenches. And really, Ebay is hardly "the world's first online global marketplace to use structured catalog data". Amazon has been doing this for years.

Perminate Link for Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative   Griff Calls on Sellers to Save eBay with Catalog Initiative

by: onesopionion4u This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 30 13:28:28 2015

Sellers are the ones that made eBay.  eBay changed their mind on Sellers in 2008 when Meg Left.  Now eBay again is asking the Sellers to save them.  What a Joke since eBay hasn't taken a stand to Help their Sellers since 2008 and now they want the Sellers to make this Catalog for free by the Sellers.  eBay could have paid someone to get all the data and put it together.  Instead they gave hundreds of Millions of Dollars away with paypal and their former officers as a gift.  

How does the old saying go...Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice shame on me.  

Now the Selling platform on eBay is not even equal any longer.  eBay is selling position of the search engine and the higher one pays the better placement.  By paying 30 percent you get the best position.  Wow, how much does a Auction House charge and a Seller can save?

We the community asked the new CEO to attend our boards, but according to Griff in the weekly post http://community.ebay.com/t5/Weekly-Chat-with-eBay-Staff/Weekly-Chat-w
ith-the-eBay-Community-July-29-2015/m-p/24306369#U24306369
 ''At this time, there are no plans by members of the executive team to participate in the Weekly chat''  So asking for months not one of the executive can walk across their location to participate or get the feeling what most eBay Sellers and Buyers feel.  Why would you ask, because they know and don't care!  Sad, eBay will not be around much longer if they continue their actions as they do today.  Thank you Meg for running eBay into a fun place to participate with Sales, and Sorry to the executives who took over eBay for milking the Community that eBay has exasperated itself from.

As for Griff, he is a company puppet and he does not care about anything else but himself and not the Sellers who he is suppose to represent.  All Smoke and Mirrors and if you talk about it than your Sells slow down to a stop!

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