Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Nov 6 2019 20:50:30

Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay executive Jordan Sweetnam returned to the eBay Seller Announcement Board today with another message for sellers. The head of eBay Americas rejoined the company in July after a 3-year stint at Walmart, and we covered his initial September 30th post where he addressed the change in top leadership and said eBay wanted to hear from sellers to ensure their success.

In today's post, Sweetnam announced that his colleague Marni Levine, Vice President of Merchandising, was now Vice President of Seller Operations and Engagement:

"Marni will partner closely with our product and engineering lead Harry Temkin (VP, Seller Experience) to hold all of eBay accountable for delivering only the best end to end experience for our sellers. Marni and her team will bring your voice into everything we do, reboot our engagement through events and regular touch points, and foster a strong spirit of community."

Sweetnam also addressed three key areas in his post: Internet sales tax, Marketing spend, and Category focus.

He said eBay would use its strong marketing budget to drive buyers to sellers' listings through a variety of channels: advertising, search and owned channels, social media and more. He said eBay is expanding its "channel mix." 

And he had this to say about buyer promotions:

"While we previously cast a wide net, we now have more knowledge of our customers and their behavior. This means we can use incentives to meet their specific needs, allowing us to "surprise and delight," but not rely heavily on site-wide coupons."

Sweetnam used some of the stock messaging sellers have grown accustomed to: "We don't compete with you and we never will," and "multi-year journey," for example.

He also told sellers eBay allows them to build their brand on eBay. "We allow you to build your brand on eBay, because we firmly believe eBay is strongest when you feel a strong connection to the customers - from hobbyists to small businesses, and everything in between."

We're curious if readers agree or disagree, and if you have specific concerns about branding your business on eBay. Here's your chance to weigh in.

One statement jumped out as a potential sign eBay may be open to paying more attention to non-commodity goods:

"Protecting and growing our ownable selection of things you cannot find at mainstream retailers. New: from espresso machines to the exact car part; refurbished tech and tools from your favorite brands; hard to find collectibles and comics; and the magic of mainstreet, from toy stores to local artists."

Let us know what you think of Sweetnam's second post, which you can read in full on the eBay website - keeping it constructive is appreciated! And be sure to send me promotions you encounter, we're curious what how eBay will be enticing shoppers to buy.

Comments (77) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 17:32:09 2019

The call it 'their advertising inventory', eBay really thinks they are Google or Facebook when it comes to ads, too bad they do nothing but plaster Google ad modules all over every page they can.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Thu Nov 7 18:40:45 2019

Mr. Sweetnam:

I'm certainly not surprised at the responses here. Words mean absolutely nothing to the sellers who have been beaten down, robbed, derided and ruined. Instead, DO something that speaks volumes. No one is listening otherwise.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: elcheapoposters This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Nov 7 18:58:49 2019

You can't post and email, a website, a phone number, or put a logo on your images... Please explain what 'build their brand' means when you can't say anything about your business other than 'buy it on ebay' :)

...''He also told sellers eBay allows them to build their brand on eBay. ''We allow you to build your brand on eBay, because we firmly believe eBay is strongest when you feel a strong connection to the customers - from hobbyists to small businesses, and everything in between.''...

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 19:02:29 2019

Well, he use to work at eBay a decade ago, he might not know how paranoid Wenig was about sellers having real contact with customers or the removal of email addresses from PayPal and so on.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: Handyman Lapeer This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 19:54:26 2019

My sales have dropped SO Much it isn't even funny.  I am one of the little guys on Ebay.  My yearly sales peaked about 6 years ago when I was selling about $45,000.00 a year, HOWEVER, Now I'm lucky if I hit $10,000.00 this year and I Haven't changed the type or amount of items I list.  It's this STUPID RE-LIST IT UNTIL I DIE that has taken away all of my buyers. Also I cannot emphasize how important having a 7 day or 10 day listing was.  My peak buyer days are Wednesdays and I would purposely list my items so they ended on wednesdays  so the buyers had the best chance of getting what they wanted, BUT NOT ANY MORE!!!
Ebay is cutting their noses off despite their face by making it so impossible to find anything anymore.  Just getting to the page that shows what I owe has become a Hide & Seek Game.
Put Ebay back to the way it was when the most important thing they had was their sellers.  It has become almost impossible to refuse a return anymore.  I can sniff out the buyers trying to "Work The System" just so they can get free stuff and make ME Pay for their mistakes! THIS HAS TO STOP!!!
HELP!!!!!

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 20:23:37 2019

Handyman, eBay is extorting money from you and holding you hostage, you have to watch your listings daily, sometimes 5 times a day if you have more than one account so you can pull the inventory by ending the listings, in that way you will not get fee churned by the automated GTC relisting script.

I don't like being held prisoner by dumb executives at eBay, this is something apparently they will never understand. What they will understand are numbers, we are taking inventory from eBay and putting it on Amazon, there is the net result of eBay loony tune policy.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 20:24:29 2019

It's not often that eBay is honest, but you don't need to look past the title to find the most honest statement I've heard from eBay in many years: "Your business: Our Results."  Translated: "sellers do all the work, eBay makes all the money."

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 7 21:57:34 2019

Mr Sweetnam

If you want to show Sellers that Ebay really wants to try and fix all that is wrong, it is very easily done.To Quote a famous line that would completely show that Ebay really wants to allow us to build our brands here is all you really need to do:

''SHOW ME THE MONEY''

When Sellers start making money because Ebay shows their items 24/7/365 then Ebay might begin to show they care about their partners more than themselves.  If we are able to sell our items as we used to without all of Ebays manipulation, Ebay will see that they will start making more money because FVF will increase.  But Wenig only worried about making more money without a Seller actually selling anything and that is what needs to be fixed.  Wenig always felt that the Sellers were making more money than they should on almost everything so he set his targets on maklng sure Ebay got more and more of our profits although we are the ones doing all the work in sourcing our products and making sure our customers are happy.  But Wenig wanted every Buyer to think they made their purchase from Ebay, who still has no inventory to sell them.

Bring your programming back home from India or where ever it is now being done so incompetently.  Yes it will cost you more money, but you will also get better results which will wind up more than paying for itself.  All of your decent sellers have been forced to use Sellers Hub so that Ebay can manipulate things easier which has already been stated in so many words by the CEO that has done the most damage to Ebay.  I notice that Ebay still has not forced that pathetic program on China which shows a lot of what Wenig meant when he said that China was Ebays future.  If Upper Management stills looks at Ebays future as being in Chinas hands, then be ready to continue watching the Sellers bail on Ebay and sell their nice items on other sites.

I won't even get into the deal that Ebay approached the city of San Jose with in order to even make a nice profit on having to collect the sales tax by incorrectly stating that every California Ebay Sale occurred from your facility in San Jose, where there is absolutely no product.  So Ebay is now committing out and out FRAUD and now has the politicians of San Jose in their pockets so they get their 30% of all local Sales Tax collected for sales in CA  although they sell nothing at all.  For the next 15 years Ebay is going to steal approximately $10 million annually from the residents of CA to line their pockets.  I can't wait to see how many other sweetheart deals Ebay cuts to collect monies that others in that state are not entitled to.  When word gets out that Ebay is not only collecting Sales Tax but now lining their pockets from it, how do you think that is going to effect your Sales??

Lets see some answers or responses to things that not only I have brought up but other Posters on this Board have brought up.  Until Ebay starts addressing these issues with their money and efforts, this will be considered nothing but typical Ebay Lip Service.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: Dburn This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 02:14:31 2019

eBay's has programming assets that are very good . They  are the ones designed to remove more profits from sellers pockets. They always seem to to finish on time with deadly efficiency.

The bad programming is in the public facing site. For some reason, no one ever connected the two because they need to attract new buyers and keep old buyers so there is something in the sellers pocket. One would think, this would have been a relatively easy concept for them to grasp.

Yet a 57% decline in profit year over year and the book value of the company getting sawed in half in a mere 9 months suggests otherwise.

I don't know any of these execs. Given a different environment, i.e. something they understand, they could be real good. It's been clear though that their knowledge of what is required has been lacking. If they were an eBay seller , they would have been summarily banished years ago.  

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 10:11:51 2019

Lies, lies and more lies. Nothing new, nothing unexpected. So sad that lies is the new norm for ebay. Keep saying, can't wait for the flush. They'll all STILL be sitting there, not knowing what happened. Cannot wait.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 10:32:12 2019

Back since July. This is the best you got?

Pathetic

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Nov 8 10:35:55 2019

@SilverIcKing

I live in California!

I would rather see San Jose have the money then the state!

The state gives too much money to ILLEGAL aliens!

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 10:49:58 2019

Jordan Sweetnam, read your own official forums to see what the real problems with eBay are, no need to make announcements on what you are going to do, because Devin Wenig has completely destroyed eBay.

This is what the new CEO will have to deal with, it is like the aftermath of a hurricane where there is destruction every where you look.

Sellers hate all eBay new programs, Seller Hub sucks, Promoted Listings are a scam, eBay search sucks and is polluted with Sponsored listings, eBay payments sucks, sellers get no information from your 'points of touch' on your own forums, even the forums are a wasteland.

eBay has destroyed the MyeBay interface with new Buyer and Seller overview pages that they keep forcing on users who want nothing to do with your new designs that were created to sell Promoted Listings.

In other words, eBay sucks, Wenig destroyed it, Wenig got fired for destroying eBay, yet you eBay executives are still promoting all of his old ideas instead of rolling back eBay to where it was before the moron destroyed the marketplace.

Roll it back to 6 years ago and the company might survive, that means rolling back the software and end all the Wenig changes.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 11:15:32 2019

@Tool

That money was never going to be the states money.  That money was the local Sales Tax that is SUPPOSED to go to each local district that the sale occurs in.  So your local government is now going to lose out on all of the revenue they should have gotten from the sales because it is going to go to San Jose who then has decided to give Ebay 30% of what is collected over $5 million per year.  Ebay expects to make $10 million per year on this deal.  

So when your local Fire Dept, Police Dept, Libraries or parks suddenly have to be closed be there is no money for it, look at this deal that Ebay has cut with San Jose to STEAL the money from your district.  Ebay has nothing to sell so should not be able to say that all the sales are now located in San Jose.  

You are close to retirement and have said many times that if Ebay forces you into Mangled Payments that you would be on Welfare and Food Stamps.  Well when you find out there is no money for you to get food stamps, or Meals on Wheels if needed, then look at this deal that Ebay made because that is why there will be no money.  The politicians are not going to cut costs where it would hurt them, never have and never will, but they gladly cut back on programs that will hurt the public so that they will vote in more taxes for them to throw away like San Jose is trying to do.

It is out and out FRAUD once again and now Ebay has gotten the politicians involved in it.  This also makes me wonder how much of a kickback they are going to pull out of it.  I have never been one to get involved in politics at all, but this time Ebay has crossed the line and you may be fine with not getting what you are entitled to from your tax dollars, but I expect to get what I pay for and have already been forwarding this information to all the local governments that are going to lose revenue they are entitled to since their residents paid the sales tax.  Nothing may happen from this, but it might ruin a few political careers of San Jose officials who have agreed to STEAL this money from the people in the state who should be receiving the benefits of the Sales Tax they are paying.  As people are hearing about this, many are making the decision to no longer make any purchases from Ebay, but rather spend their money on Amazon or other platforms where their Sales Tax money is properly allocated to their district.  I know that I am moving more and more of my items off of Ebay to other sites where the company does things properly with our Sales Tax revenues.

Mr. Sweetnam - Any response to this Fraud being committed by Ebay or is this just business as usual for the company that you are trying to salvage??

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 11:24:44 2019

Tool:

I also live in California, and I can tell you that what eBay and San Jose have done is wrong. They have negotiated nothing short of stealing from every city, town and county in the state. If you haven't read about it, you should. It is really something.

The state still gets their cut, 6.25%. It is the one percent over that eBay has finagled to the benefit of San Jose AND themselves. If you make a purchase on eBay, you are taxed 7.25 percent; regardless of what your city or county requires. Typically your city of residence would receive the 1%. But in this arrangement, eBay has made sure that ALL California sales are registered as occurring through eBay in San Jose. As such, San Jose, receives the 1%. Thereby, cutting out your community.

It gets better, San Jose receives up to $5 million per year. Beyond that, eBay gets to retain 30% of the take up to $10 million per year. In other words, eBay is raking in additional PROFIT at the expense of most of the poorest communities in our state.

Tool, you live in the high desert region of So Cal. I have done business there and I have owned property there. I am pretty sure your community can use that money.

To be clear, the execs at eBay didn't think of all this themselves. It has been done before by Apple and Best Buy in their respective cities. Ebay just jumped on it quickly as legislation was to go before the governor that would ban such arrangements.

That tells you where their priorities are right? While the site is falling apart and sales continue their decline, eBay executives are scrambling to assemble a tax sharing arrangement to benefit themselves. All the while, urging sellers through their grassroots bs to write their legislators about unfair sales tax practices, blah blah blah.

Read the articles, your keyboard will feel dirty when your done.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 11:37:26 2019

Oh, and according to the article, San Jose did not come up with this scheme.

Ebay approached the City of San Jose with the idea. City officials wasted no time securing such a windfall.

Rest assured that a coalition of cities and counties will likely file suit. And they should drag eBay in on conspiracy to commit fraud and tax evasion. They are collecting at 7.25%. The rate in San Jose is 9%. The rate in LA County is 9.5%. How can eBay collect a tax at a rate that is less than the community in which they reside? That doesn't seem right to me.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Nov 8 11:47:55 2019

@SilverIceKing

$10 million is peanuts!

Of the $10 million eBay is stealing, my local fire Dept would've received about $1000 of that $10 million when it's divided to local governments state wide.

I doubt my local fire or police dept will miss the $1000

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 14:39:23 2019

https://news.bloombergtax.com/daily-tax-report-state/no-strings-attach
ed-tax-deal-shows-depth-of-ebay-san-jose-ties

thats
the shady deal eBay created.

The tax money should go to the relevant counties of back to the sellers/buyers.

Tool - Im sure your local Fire Dept (esp in CA where there are so many fires) could use an extra $1000 to help pay over time for the fire fighters that work so hard to help everyone.

eBay IS a criminal mafia racket, PERIOD.

"San Jose said its deal with eBay is neither a subsidy nor an economic development tool."

"Under the deal, eBay would declare all taxable sales in California as made in San Jose, rather than in the location where the seller or customer is located. The assignment of all of eBay’s California sales to San Jose means the city will receive the full 1 percent increment of the state’s 7.25 percent sales tax instead of dividing those dollars among local governments based on where a sale happened." -----> THAT is fraud - theres NO WAY that its legal and since eBay has no physical inventory - its ALL a lie.

Call and write these people - FLOOD their mailboxes with mail expressing your concerns!

To contact the reporters on this story: Laura Mahoney in Sacramento, Calif. at lmahoney@bloomberglaw.com; Joyce E. Cutler in San Francisco at jcutler@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at jharrington@bloombergtax.com

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 8 15:02:13 2019

You all are arguing about eBay fraud like it is a new thing, if not for fraud and schemes to defraud invented by Donahoe and Wenig they would have been bankrupt years ago, Donahoe's 10% tax on shipping has kept the marketplace from showing negative numbers that they would started producing 7 years ago when that rip off started.

Wenig's claim to fame is the fraudulent Good Til Canceled automated relisting script which was copied from a crime they committed years ago that they lost a class action lawsuit on, without fraud eBay would not survive, that is their business, smoke and mirrors and they are not very good at it.

Perminate Link for Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers   Jordan Sweetnam Returns with New Message for eBay Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Nov 8 15:46:05 2019

toolguy writes: "I doubt my local fire or police dept will miss the $1000[.]"

Wow, just wow. I guess you think $1K is chump change. And this coming from a guy who's threatened to start claiming EBT. So I'll be paying taxes to help feed you. Great. And as Pace states, unless you've not been impacted by the wildfires, or crime of any sort, I'm sure your city's Emergency Services would love that money.  

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