Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon July 27 2015 21:30:28

eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

By: Ina Steiner

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Two years ago, things were going very well for eBay's CEO John Donahoe. A Wall Street analyst talked of eBay's "Marketplace Momentum," writing, "Management's execution of the turnaround of core Marketplace has been impressive."

The following month - August 2013 - Donahoe told Bloomberg he believed its eBay Now one-hour delivery service was economical and indicated eBay could innovate better than Amazon or Google. Donahoe also talked about the touchscreen window it had developed for retailer Kate Spade. 

We wondered at the time why Donahoe was putting himself in the limelight: "Donahoe seems to be everywhere these days," we wrote, "granting interviews to the financial press and writing essays on outside sites like LinkedIn and LeanIn. He has been sharing his management techniques such as his unique "thinking days" in which he spends time in an empty office at eBay HQ organizing his thoughts on a white board, and sharing his philosophy on the benefits of taking time away from the office altogether and the importance of family."

Just a few months later in January 2014, Donahoe met his nemesis in the form of Carl Icahn, and things went downhill from there. Now, Donahoe is gone, eBay is a much smaller company after it was forced to spinoff PayPal, and it's made further cuts as well with plans to sell its enterprise unit (eBay Enterprise, formerly known as GSI Commerce).

Today comes word that Donahoe's pet project eBay Now is being terminated. (See Tuesday's Newsflash.)


Above: A slide of eBay's 2015 goals shared with analysts at eBay's 2013 Analyst Day in March 2013. 

Many factors helped lead to eBay's decline, including Carl Icahn, hackers, SEO penalty - but there's no question it should have been able to fend off these assaults. 

What's really striking is the fact that Amazon started competing with eBay as a retailer, and now 45% of the paid units sold on the Amazon platform are from third-party sellers, which had been eBay's core competency.

Sellers don't have any say in where a marketplace places its priority, but they feel the impact of managements' decisions. As eBay's new CEO Devin Wenig kills off his predecessor's pet projects, what else should he cut, and where would you tell him to focus his attention?

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Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 03:10:16 2015

Couldn't find enough newspaper trucks, I guess.  

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Tue Jul 28 03:11:47 2015

PS: Lose the cart or make it work.  Fix calculated shipping, it has never worked properly. Make sure we can always Opt Out of any crazy ideas ie: Managed Returns

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: nsc This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 03:12:16 2015

I am somewhat encouraged by the fact that some of Donahoe's pet projects are being dumped so quickly. At least that shows that current management knows they have to go in another direction...but whether it will be an intelligent direction remains to be seen.

It's a real tribute to the genius of the original business model that eBay has continued to mint money during such a long period of utter mismanagement. Let's hope that new management can remember what eBay's strengths are and play to them.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Tue Jul 28 03:20:25 2015

PPS: No more advantages for Chinese Sellers.  They need to follow the rules too.

Did I forget anything else?

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Jul 28 04:49:52 2015

@IDK

Make Time: Ending Soonest the default and NOT Best Match

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 05:35:15 2015

Yea im not telling ebay anything on this blog what they need to do. Unless they drop 5 million into my account they can just go fish. And keep drowning in their own changes.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 07:07:15 2015

Other acquisitions that Ebay need to rethink are Ebayclassifieds and Half.com.
I had my first sale, a book, a day ago from Half.com.  What in heavens name is Ebay doing with that site?

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jul 28 07:12:24 2015

A Wall Street analyst...I'm surprised that these Wall Street analysts didn't drown drinking JD's Kool Aid.  Thinking days and white boards. What utter nonsense.  The Emperor truly had no clothes. 90% of the sellers posting here knew that all along.

eBay really need to start listening to their customers, and I'm not talking Chinese and Enterprise.  Bring back the ecommerce ecosystem that once was.   Small sellers said all along "if it ain't broke don't fix it" but JD was too hard headed to listen.

I hope that one day he will divulge why he had such disdain for the hardworking small seller.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 07:16:50 2015

Donahoe et al seriously need to be investigated for stock manipulation.  It's doubtful that he really believed his idea of utilizing empty newspaper delivery trucks would make Ebay Now profitable. If he did, then he needs to be involuntarily committed to the nearest psychiatric institution as a menace to society.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 07:24:05 2015

When you put lipstick on a pig its still the same thing A PIG.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: cosqueen This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 07:46:07 2015

Why can't Ebay take these suggestions from sellers and implement them?  What do they have to lose now?  Ebay needs to realize sellers = buyers.  LISTEN TO YOUR SELLERS!!!!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 07:47:06 2015

* "He has been sharing his management techniques such as his unique "thinking days" in which he spends time in an empty office at eBay HQ organizing his thoughts on a white board," *

Didn't anyone see that he was in that room in a white jacket with arms tied behind him and a piece of chalk in his mouth writing on the boards?
Turn a blind eye.....

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 08:11:43 2015

If FleeBay would just go back to being a Market Place, rather than the Seller.
But the 1%'ers, job creators need just a little bit more, and a little bit more than that!

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 08:39:44 2015



Donahoe has done so much LARGE SCALE damage to the ebay brand in the minds of the core customers which happen to be sellers,

It will be a HUGE task that not too many companies in the history of business could possibly pull off, they would literally have to pay us to list again.

After being a happy ebayer for 15 years,  we thought the day that we would HATE ebay would never come, but here we are today, with enough hate, to last several years, and the funny part is we don't even sell there anymore,

IMO ebay is not fixable,  

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 09:28:44 2015

If I could offer one bit of guidance to Wenig it would be that Ebay should minimize its efforts to micro-manage how sellers use the company's platform and instead focus on providing sellers with a predictable, stable sales platform on which sellers can prosper or fail based on factors under their own control.

Eliminate all programs that promote or suppress items in search, let the customers decide what they want to buy; and

Make a commitment that the fee structure in place will remain unchanged for a minimum of three years.

If those two changes were made 95% of the problems that are dragging Ebay down would immediately disappear and the company would begin to recover.

The only part of Ebay that still functions is the excellent selection and service provided by the same selling community that management has alienated and abused over the last several years. Those sellers are the only valuable resource Ebay still possesses. The company's management has proven time and time again they have nothing positive to offer. They should just get out of the way and allow the sellers to revive the site.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

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

Tue Jul 28 09:37:10 2015

In the spirit of continuing its long and consistent tradition of hits and misses, eBay should now change its name to "Amayazoo" in honor of its cloning misfires.  

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jul 28 09:39:34 2015

In addition ("JQ"),
LOWER THE TAKE RATE to 3%, and BAN PayPal, for a 100% reduction of Ebay's problems and hinderances.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 09:42:09 2015

Dump Cassini immediately, default to ending soonest. Then the potential buyer misses nothing.

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

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

Tue Jul 28 09:42:19 2015

@DingDong - I'm betting it was a laptop-sized white board downsized from an easel ... and his dry-erase marker was more eraser than marker ;-)  

Perminate Link for eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project   eBay Dismantles John Donahoe's Pet Project

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 28 10:21:35 2015

the only thing I see eBay Dismantles is their USA seller base everything else seems to be a farce there is no way that ebay will do anything but get rid of but the good sellers

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