Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed May 18 2022 19:44:56

The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay will no longer host weekly chats where sellers and buyers can ask questions about site features, changes, or problems they encountered. 

It's difficult to convey how significant a change this is, and what a loss it is as a resource to sellers in particular. 

It's also a big loss to eBay. Any employee, manager, executive, Board member, could take a quick pulse of selling conditions by perusing the weekly chat, if they wanted to. I certainly found it helpful to see what was on sellers' minds and what new information I could glean from moderators that could prove helpful to readers.

eBay will host an entirely different kind of session once a month where sellers will be limited to asking questions on a certain topic - with no way to ask direct questions on any topic where they need help.

"We've decided to move to a monthly cadence with a theme" - a rather stilted explanation. "This new guided chat format will occur every second Wednesday of the month (starting June 8th) and we'll invite experts from various teams to participate. We'll also let you know in advance what the topic will be about so you can come prepared."

The irony of course is that sellers routinely begged eBay to have experts from various eBay teams be on hand at weekly chats, especially during the transition to managed payments, but themed chats were rare events.

So what about sellers who need answers or want to alert eBay to a particular issue? "Since Community members can tag us whenever they want and we've heard from you that you want themed chats, we've decided to go this route," eBay said. (We're curious if everyone knows how to tag a moderator.)

An eBay moderator suggested to participants in what turned out to be the last chat session: "if any questions pop up that you would have held on to for a weekly chat, you don't have to wait now. Just post them in the relevant board, making sure to tag us, and we'll be there to help just like we would have here."

It seems inefficient to expect sellers to create individual threads for issues that many other sellers are likely to have. (Searching eBay discussion boards for posts about an issue you're interested in is time-consuming and not always fruitful.)

There was a sense of community if you visited regularly, even though there were probably a lot more lurkers like me. But those who were regular posters had camaraderie, even sharing recipes with eBay staff during the holidays.

It's a sad day not just for the loss of the weekly chat as a useful resource for users, but for the message it sends to sellers. Agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Comments (18) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Amberlin This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 20:21:21 2022

Transparency.
These brain-dead idiots have no idea what that even means anymore.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 20:55:24 2022

Did they ever answer a question with a straight forward answer? Did they ever follow up on questions they couldn't answer?

Haven't seen an Ebay employee be honest in the forums since Jarvis appeared and disappeared in one day.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Wed May 18 23:17:14 2022

Entire books have been written about the role of flack catchers hired to shield management from irate users.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Mazdaman This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 23:31:01 2022

I suspect these new Q&A sessions will be cancelled soon too, because sellers won't care about discussing only the topics EBAY wants to discuss.

But did sellers ever really think eBay was listening to them at all, ever?  The surveys asking how likely we;'d be to recommend eBay as a selling venue?  They're a joke; I don't think I'd recommend eBay to a friend, and maybe not an enemy!

eBay's seeming outreach to sellers is simply a lure to keep them coming back to eBay to sell, and trying to give them the feeling that eBay gives a hoot.

What's ONE thing that you believe eBay has changed/added/removed based on requests made by sellers?

Yeah, I couldn't think of one either, after being on eBay for over two decades.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu May 19 01:17:29 2022

Ina,

Very well written.  This IMHO is not a good move for the reason you stated and some of my own reasons too.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Zigmund This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 07:06:18 2022

It's about time Ebay and Amazon join together.
Amazon is much better place to buy things. Everything for sale, from books to vintage, used stuff, antiques, aliexpress sellers...etc. Recently two books that I bought on Amazon, arrived, but the envelope was empty. So I did a very short form, questions and answers type, and immediately was credited by the exact amount. Fast and Pleasant! Joy to use Amazon!

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Ubiquitous Salmon This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 07:55:07 2022

It's clear eBay has decided the community discussion-board format is not working to their advantage. After the loss of several valuable team employees, the Community Team has been reduced to a couple of employees who simply don't pass muster. One team manager is weak, ineffective, and was ill prepared for the position, and the other is a bully who uses the community rules to punish people who don't agree with him. The team has proven more than once that they are tone-deaf when it comes to predicting reactions of the community to their new policies.

The recent announcement that eBay Community Team members will be allowed to choose the solution of another member's thread--a privilege formerly granted to an OP only--was the first shot across the bow. Community Team members have been criticized for selecting their own replies as the solution, and the policy has been criticized for not identifying when a Community Team member has selected the solution versus a solution selected by the OP, which, again, adds to the lack of transparency of the current eBay Community Team.

It should be no surprise that the Community Team, in the Weekly Chat, emphasized repeatedly that members could tag (or @ mention) them in threads on the general boards. eBay is clearly moving away from a peer-to-peer community and replacing it with one that is dominated by eBay staff. Sadly, most seasoned board participants consider the current Community Team to be unreliable on anything more than the most basic of eBay policies.  

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

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

Thu May 19 08:22:37 2022

I think it is more about eBay trying to further control the messaging around the company as a whole.

Things there are not good. Seller and buyer runoff, daily site wide shutdowns, and related GMV declines. Those headwinds are already hitting eBay. Now there is the greater economy that is impacting the performance of much stronger companies. I can see eBay stock down in the mid twenties.

The people at eBay are well aware of what sellers face. They know all of the problems. They know what it would take to fix them. They know the reputation of their marketplace. They have responded with a hands off approach; just function well enough to extract whatever profits can be generated. I am certain they would prefer to not have to answer questions for which they have no answers.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 09:12:53 2022

Not like they helped anyone, pretty much useless "oh we'll pass that on". Had an issue, supposedly try to send me a message but I must have them block, funny was getting all ebay emails but theirs. Weekly chats was mainly to vent, they had no power or looked into anything.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 10:55:13 2022

Search on the forums works a great deal better when people actually use it.  

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: WaLK-aWAY This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 15:06:43 2022

@Mazdaman
''  ๐ต๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘‘ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘™๐‘™๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™๐‘ฆ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘˜ ๐‘’๐ต๐‘Ž๐‘ฆ ๐‘ค๐‘Ž๐‘  ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘›๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘š ๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™, ๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ? ''

.  Yep.   ''๐— ๐—”๐—ฅ๐—œ๐—˜''

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 19 16:48:09 2022

โ€œWe've decided to move to a monthly cadenceโ€ฆโ€

Awful sorry to hear about all the loss of โ€˜recipe sharingโ€™ opportunity by this clumsily spun as a โ€˜responsivenessโ€™ decision.  But those whacked by this join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of sellers who have witnessed the agonizing demise of eBayโ€™s foundation - itโ€™s community - and their own. More cake and cookies than one can imagine these days.

And so -

eBayโ€™s heartbeat slows.  It labors to breathe coherence more and more often now.

Neural connections between the mind and body that feeds it, withering, are severed.  Itโ€™s โ€˜nerve systemโ€™ more and more often misfiring, held together by little more than red-tape and eCom bots holding hands.  

Radio red light long extinguished, blogs closed to all but self aggrandizing and double downed denial.  Itโ€™s โ€˜voiceโ€™ a forced whisper of itโ€™s โ€œsuccessful pastโ€.

It โ€œhearsโ€ pleas for specifics of vital and topical concern to sellers instead of self-appeasing agenda as somehow desirous of another disney-esque decoration by topicsโ€™ only topical to eBay and their syncopated โ€˜expertsโ€™.  Whoโ€™s only empowerment shall ever remain (drum rollโ€ฆ..) to promise to โ€œforward to the appropriate teamโ€.  Or perhaps that they โ€œare working hard on itโ€.

Because that sense, their โ€˜hearingโ€™ has long atrophied to a white โ€œnoiseโ€ annoyance.  And only they can spin this as being some kind of responsiveness.

It reaches out, ever more desperately with claw like grasping fingers to scrape all it can to nourish itโ€™s cancerous rake rate.  Itโ€™s soul, corrupted by greed and both convicted and not yet convicted criminal enterprise.

And now itโ€™s heartbeat slows.  Code blue.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri May 20 01:09:05 2022

@WaLK-aWAY

You will need to refresh my memory.  Exactly when did I say that???  Feel free to quote me from wherever you got that.

Simply because you don't like the fact that I often can help others with the rules of Ebay means NOTHING more than I have knowledge that might help them.  I didn't write the rules and I don't necessarily agree with the rules, but that doesn't mean they aren't important to know and/or how to apply them.

And yes I get a lot of heat on this site because of that.  Posters taking their anger about Ebay out on me.  It never matter how much I might say I don't agree with this that or the other thing.  

Similar to what you did.  So now PROVE what you stated.  Or are we just slinging mud tonight.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 20 12:28:07 2022

Unless eBay starts a thread ahead of the monthly chat to ask sellers what topic(s) are at top of mind, it'll end up just being another spin cycle to replace the one they just broke.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: 3TimesALady This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 20 12:34:05 2022

Good riddance.  They almost never answered questions. When they did, it was for trivial things that most anyone could have Googled and come up with the answer.  

Half the time, the chats were "taken over by" a certain poster named...well, I better not say, although most people would know who that person is.  

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Count Me Out This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 20 14:22:52 2022

I have it on good authority that the weekly chats were stopped because a certain poster (not who you think it was) would engage the mods, get them to answer questions, then rip them a new one on their site and in social media. It finally got to a point where ebay threw there hands up and felt it wasn't worth it. It's always a matter of someone taking a cr@p in the pool and ruining it for everyone else.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat May 21 02:09:15 2022

@Count Me Out

The chats were not stopped.  They are moving to once per month.

Perminate Link for The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP   The End of the eBay Weekly Chat, RIP

by: Sammy This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 30 19:58:54 2022

I have to say for all the Weekly Chats I have seen, you might expect 1% of the staff's answers to actually address the raised issues. Most times it is simply "We will pass that on to the team and be sure to leet you know"
Here's an idea eBay, have the ''Team'' members who may actual know something on the chat replying. It is a joke.



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