Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Feb 23 2012 17:55:32

eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

By: Ina Steiner

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The head of eBay's Government Relations team Tod Cohen sent an email to eBay's registered users on Thursday asking them to join the company's "Main Street" program, which has over 300,000 members. The company also posted the invitation via the eBay Government Relations Twitter and Facebook accounts.

eBay Main Street describes itself as a global grassroots network to help users informed and take action on legislative and regulatory matters that may affect users of eBay, PayPal and other eBay Inc. brands. "Whether it's an email campaign, petition or in-person meeting with policymakers, we'll help you organize around the issues that matter to you and others."

Cohen set out three issues that sellers care about in his email to entice them to get involved. The first is the Internet sales tax issue - he said eBay Main Street participation in California helped convince state legislators to exempt from its sales-tax law all sellers with less than $1 million in sales into the state. "That pro-small business provision protected nearly all eBay sellers," he wrote.

eBay is also asking for help to get Congress to pass a federal privacy bill and reduce unnecessary customs barriers to cross border sales.

While eBay has many small sellers, it's important to look at its lobbying efforts with the understanding that the company itself is a large public corporation. When it comes to reducing barriers to cross-border trade, for example, eBay is no doubt just as interested in easing imports into the U.S. as it is in helping U.S. users sell abroad.

What do you think - are eBay and Sellers' interests aligned on legislative and regulatory issues?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

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

Thu Feb 23 18:07:10 2012

I think eBay must be begining to feel some pain, and not before time too ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

by: Willie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 23 18:16:03 2012

If ebay wants sellers to help, there must be a hidden agenda.  Greedbay never does a thing unless it benefits THEM, not the sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

This user has validated their user name. by: TrentDep

Thu Feb 23 18:59:04 2012

Hard to be at odds with these stated goals assuming one is an on line seller...

Looks like a win-win,except - it's Ebay - you know?...

So no - Ebay and my interests are never going to be aligned, because they would ( have, are ) throw me under the bus as soon as it makes sense to their bottom line.  

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

by: Another Coin This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 23 19:00:11 2012

If eBay was truly interested in ''helping'' sellers, they would lower the final value fees, eliminate listing fees and impose no fees on shipping. Also I do think this has more to do with importing, especially from China, with little concern for sellers selling internationally, unless they are trying to make this easier for their big box stores.

We sellers sided with eBay all these years to make eBay a huge success. Look where that got us. Now they want us little guys to help them by telling us it is for our benefit. Why do I have to question everything eBay says and why do I have to always read between the lines? By the way, the lines are getting smaller and I am not getting any younger.

 

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

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

Thu Feb 23 21:03:00 2012

Always keep Ming's Law in the back of your mind: "eBay lies, always has, always will".

That law applies to absolutely everthing that comes out of the mouth of an eBay executive or its Dept of Spin.

eBay does absolutely nothing unless they think it will benefit them ... ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Thu Feb 23 21:31:59 2012

If eBay really wanted to win some points with sellers, they would try to help us facilitate selling to other countries (*cough*China*cough*). They could do a lot to help us sell overseas -- translations and shipping tools, targeted market research, domestic sourcing, etc... -- but they seem more interested in selling us out and making it easier for certain countries to dump more cheap stuff on us. In this kind of economy, where people are becoming more and more interested in buying domestic-made goods, it's a shame eBay doesn't leverage their system to help us out.

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Feb 23 22:32:35 2012

Sorry eBay, but after issuing statements like "our lowest fees ever" to disguise fee increases, you have a long way to go before you convince me you have my best interests in mind.

You promised that eBay was only a venue, then positioned both eBay and PayPal to be the judge and jury which finds sellers guilty at every turn.

You promised sellers a level playing field, then imposed Best Match as a default search so that you could manipulate search placement to favor your preferred class of Diamond Sellers destroying and semblance of a level playing field. You also gave those Diamond Sellers an exemption from listing fees and raised fees on small sellers to subsidize those free listings.

You promised that DSR's would be a tool to help sellers improve performance, then you conceal the granular details that turned a tool for improvement into a business killing weapon wielded by management that does not even sell on the platform.

Sorry eBay, your promises to have your sellers backs hold no weight with us because your actions in the past prove you do not stand behind your sellers unless you are pushing them off a cliff.

eBay, your credibility with sellers is zero.

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

by: jpv1234me This user has validated their user name.

Thu Feb 23 23:30:19 2012

My advice, file a bankruptcy and do a complete re-re-reorganization so the head is up again and the feet over the ground again. Because right now they have their heads on the ground while their feet are looking to the skies…obviously on this position they will get some kind of dizziness and nausea...

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

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

Fri Feb 24 00:33:32 2012

All one has to do to determine why ebafia is doing this is to take a look at how well (or not) various components of ebay checkout work (or not).

Ebay can't even figure out combined shipping.

Ebay can't figure out blocked countries.

Ebay can't even figure out how to integrate the individual sales tax jurisdictions within a state and calculate the correct sales tax amount at checkout.

The truth is that when a tech sneezes in India the ground shakes in Utah and vice versa.

Correct programmimg and implementing an accurate sales tax collection program would cost ebafia millions, not work, screw up millions of orders, ruin still more sellers, drive away still more buyers, and give ebafia a very publicand well deserved black eye for their typical gross incompetency.

Overlaying a massive sales tax collection program on top of of ebay's house of cards platform could well bring the entire platform down for good.

Ebay bribes, er excuse me, contributes to just about every elected official in DC and in many states.

Let THEM carry the water on this one because either way ebay will use it as excuse to raise fees.

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

by: Red Ink Diary This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 24 07:58:23 2012

Now now Ric that isn't true at all, they have your back. Can't you see that knife buried to the hilt? Think of it as an ownership marker like a survey stake and you'll be fine, just don't bend over.

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Feb 24 12:06:02 2012

''Grassroots'' my ass. ~ It's corporate funded ''Astroturf''.  

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 24 19:36:35 2012

While I agree whole-heartedly with everything everyone here has said, and I'm sure I'll also be under the bus one day along with most, I'm wondering just HOW eBay could eventually use our joining up with this ''against'' us.  While I know it's mostly (like maybe 99.9%) to benefit them, and I'm sure they WILL end up stabbing us with this, just am having a hard time figuring out how.

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 26 17:30:41 2012

It's a big scam... DUH!

ebay is now asking the very people they screw on a daily basis to go out and help them? do what exactly?

Oh right - taxes etc.....

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck - or in this case a scam - then it is.

JDs speach at CES (closed door so you couldnt get in and see the backroom dealings) but then reported by TWICE, described how he no longer wants to work with small sellers - only large ones.

We didnt need a speach at CES to know this - small to mid sellers have been put through the ringer for 3-4 yrs now - so we are well aware.

What's important though is what he DIDNT say and what this email didnt say..

1) JD must think we are SO DUMB that after screwing us, we would do ANYTHING for them.
2) Since he's now in league with his few handpicked super mega diamond platinum best ever in the world sellers - those guys need a leg up. THEY dont want to pay sales tax - that would be a level playing field! So, JD under the guise of us all working together to make the tax issue ''go away'' wants US to do his dirty work. He wants us to go ''into the streets'' and get the issue solved for him! so that it looks like everyone and the common man/seller REALLY wants this....

Guess what happens after that? Nothing - at least for us. Well, on second thought - we are due for at least another 2 or 3 seller updates (notice its never a BUYER update) which I'm sure will reward us hansomely for our work. You know - money holds ala Amazon where your money is not in your paypal account until after you ship the goods, FBE - Fullfillment by eBay, 45 day returns, mandated refunds (so customers can either use your item or switch it .. or both), and many other ''enhancements'' ''because we asked our buyers and THEY told us what they want ....!''

The only thing Id do ''with''eBay is testify against them at a senate hearing on fraud!

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

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

Sun Feb 26 18:34:45 2012

@pace306,

Well said ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group   eBay Solicits Members to Join Main Street Lobbying Group

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

Mon Apr 22 10:27:20 2013

Is ebay going to collect the tax or are the sellers? What a total mess that would be for sellers.

Ebay will only do what benefits them. We still can not understand how they can charge for a service they do not provide. THE POSTAGE. Even my accountant this year said "how does that work, they are able to charge a fee for a service you are not buying from them-that is what makes a purchase a purchase selling and item or service?" She said with all the people on ebay you think an attorney would be checking into this..but I'm sure they have found some way around this. Maybe we need to research how we can charge my customers for something I don't sell? It is just amazing anyone would think of such a way to take advantage of their customers!!



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