Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat July 7 2012 16:41:43

Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

By: Ina Steiner

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Lynn Abbott sells custom parts on eBay and on PonyPartsPlus.com, but new eBay policies have cost her several hundred dollars as well as reduced sales, according to Yahoo Small Business Advisor. An article published today highlights the challenges that Lynn and others like her face on eBay thanks to new Top Rated Seller requirements.

Because Lynn sells custom goods, she can't offer the 1-day handling time and 14-day return policy that eBay now requires Top Rated Sellers to offer if they wish to receive discounts and to get the extra visibility the marketplace offers to TRS sellers.

The goal of providing an improved buyer experience on eBay is commendable, but the implementation leaves much to be desired, and Lynn's story demonstrates the problem with having a "one size fits all" policies on a marketplace with such a diverse base of merchants and categories.

Many marketplace sellers looking for independence have counted on Google to provide shopping through organic search results but also through its Product Search. But come the fall, merchants will have to pay for exposure on Google Shopping.

What advice would you offer sellers of custom goods, and how have eBay policies impacted your business?




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Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sat Jul 7 17:32:51 2012

What is the point of these discussions? Move on people; ultimately there is no future for little people on eBay; certainly not while the current crop of cretins is in control ...

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sat Jul 7 18:50:49 2012

You're right, Philip. But you're more of an optimist than I am. Even if there was a top-to-bottom change at eBay, the damage that JD has caused is irreparable. The old eBay is dead.

With regard to the OP, I can only assume that all of the one-size policies are not by accident. It's not as though eBay is being myopic in their policy-making decisions. On the contrary, I think that the policies are carefully crafted so that each one has a cumulative effect of eliminating more and more... and then even MORE of the ''undesirable'' small and independent sellers.

Clearly, it's working. It's having the precise effect that eBay desires. Therefore we sellers have NO reason to believe that eBay execs will suddenly come-to-their-senses and reverse course.

This is EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT! Wake up folks. Brace yourselves for more of the same!

Sellers who are not making alternate plans, and who don't have an exit strategy in place will wake up one morning to discover that eBay has ALREADY forced it's OWN exit-strategy on them.

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: peteypie This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 7 19:30:30 2012

My experience with eBay has been outstanding, myself. I think eBay has it's legacy in mind when they make changes to policies, continuing to empower little seller's to compete with big business.

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

Sat Jul 7 19:53:28 2012

--- ''continuing to empower little seller's to compete with big business.''

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha! Heeee!

http://bit.ly/OI0cie

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sat Jul 7 20:44:38 2012

Yeah, "peteypie" would have very low, or maybe "private" feedback, I would suspect; his message sounds like it has come directly from the eBat Dept of Spin, although why they bother, I cannot imagine ...

How can you tell when an eBay spokesperson is lying? Their lips are moving ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 7 20:56:57 2012

Keep on jumping for the carrot....

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sun Jul 8 00:07:19 2012

Bullet and peteypie are just two personas of Griff's multiple personality schizophrenia.

Give an honest account here of how ebay policies have damaged our individual businesses, and ebafia's propagandists swoop down to tell us that it's OUR fault:

We couldn't adapt to change.

We didn't plan properly.

We don't sell things people want.

We don't source product correctly.

We don't offer superior "buying experiences."

We don't meet "buyer expectations."

And so on ad nauseum.

I could be very specific and precise about the irreparable damage The Ho inflicted on my business and my family, but I refuse to provide any details that could identify me.

Ebafia is, after all, a facist oligarchy that stifles as much ebafia truth as possible by any means necessary.

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sun Jul 8 00:11:12 2012

Sellers of custom made items could always contact The Haggler at the New York Times and complain they're the group currently being singled out for ebafia seller abuse.

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 8 00:25:14 2012

@ peteypie

You claim ''continuing to empower little seller's to compete with big business'' WHAT?

Forcing small sellers to adopt policies that they dont need, want or can afford is ''helping them''?

eBay has said it as CLEAR AS DAY in the last 6 months over and over again. From JD's secret CES meeting, to the 4 articles in twice, to thier meeting with the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) and with every single large manufactorer they meet - eBays focus is ONLY on the large diamond sellers and manufactorers. PERIOD. Its not a discussion, its not a guess, there are no glitches in ''search'', theres no Loch Ness Monster, or Man on the Moon - its how eBay does business in 2012.

I got it, Ric understands it, Ming is ''spot on'' in his analysis, and Annie's assessments of the issues are 101% correct - we all know whats going on.

ALL of us have experienced heavy losses of sales, all of us have found glaring errors in ''search'' and in listings, and all of us see the tightening of the screws on small dealers.

Yahoos article is 1/2 incomplete. Johanna yacks that the changes are demanded by users ... even if that was true - so what? Go to Amazon and demand free shipping and see what they say! Email Buy.com and tell them you demand 1 day shipping - see how far it gets you!

Amazon gives sellers 1-2 days standard to ship - there was NO reason to try and bust sellers b_lls to make it 1 day.

One size doesnt fit all - try to remember that when you go clothes shopping!

Yes the eBay of old is long dead, and as Annie correctly (again :) ) states - that if you dont have a strategy - exit plan, you are screwed, blued and tatooed!

For me - its Amazon FBA (when I can get enough cash together to start getting goods there) and work on my own site, I imagine its similar for others.

THIS made me laugh - its SO 100% true ''After reading these comments, it seems to me like Ebay has 99.99% negative feedback. Are you paying attention Ebay?''

eBay does get 99.9% negative feedback from its sellers, and if they were a product - Id claim NOT AS DESCRIBED!

I didnt ask eBay to be my business partner, yet they seem to think they are ..... !

This is the funniest part ''Loll’s inventory includes a $2,200 pair of Christian Louboutin platform heels and a $3,300 Hermes leather tote''  ...... yeh till she gets VERO'D MC019 Unauthorized, MC019 Trademark Infringement, and MC019 Copyright Violation! (ask anyone who dares venture into the fashion category!)

Ina's right when she says “It feels to small sellers that eBay has someone dedicated to thinking of ways to make their lives miserable, but eBay is asking, ‘How can we make more money?’ and, ‘How can we pass along the risk to the seller?’ From the seller’s point of view, that really stinks.”'' ... they do pass everything on to the seller and when something goes wrong ...... VERO them, Dont help them, drop them as a seller, take away thier discounts, punnish them for trying to do it right!

Summed up best with this line ''It's time to leave before eBay's downhill slide gets worse for the Mom & Pop sellers'' EXACTLY!

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sun Jul 8 09:42:42 2012

Ming observes: ''Bullet and peteypie are just two personas of Griff's multiple personality schizophrenia.''

It's like you're inside my head, Ming. I was thinking the same thing. I've listened to that dreadful ''radio'' show he does... enough times to know how dismissive he and his sidekicks can be... and how uninformed and out-of-touch they all are.

The sentiments expressed by the most obvious hit-and-run posters sound exactly the same as the corporate-funded nonsense that urps forth from G---f and L-- and head cheerleader, B---y.

Frankly, I don't believe that any of them are *that* stupid and blind. In their heart-of-hearts, they're all intelligent enough to know what's going on. They can see the impact and understand the consequences.

It's just that they've sold their souls. They're putting on an act and reciting the talking points that have been given to them. They're looking after their own best interests---whether it comes in the form of a paycheck, under-the-table benefits, or any other sort of favoritism.

Of course, the possibility exists that the identity of the posters you mentioned aren't actually who we suspect... and it may be that they're intentional provocateurs who entertain themselves by swatting at the hornet's nest, or perhaps they're just kook-aid drinking Stepford-Sellers. It's true... their posts are grating on the nerves, but also humorous in how ridiculously absurd they sound.

Nevertheless, in spite of the annoyance-factor that comes with such posts, there is one thing about them that I find to be quite satisfying. Namely, that we disaffected and disillusioned sellers have obviously become an annoying thorn in their side, and that they feel compelled to respond (no matter how laughable and silly their responses my be.)

Clearly, they'll never change course. Their disruption will continue until eBay becomes irrelevant.

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: Susan Averello This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 8 10:07:17 2012

As far as your bit about google shopping - an ebay seller already has to count on Ebay to submit it.

It actually has isn't used much, when it becomes a catalog of ads, I'm sure even less people will use it

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sun Jul 8 13:19:19 2012

Hi, Patricia! Want another laugh?

This Youtube clip amused me, and if you've ever listened to the Griff and Lee show, you know what I'm talking about.

Obviously the little skit is supposed to be a parody, but it's funny because it's TRUE! So much babbling and so LITTLE useful information. The fact of the matter is that Griff and Lee have devolved into becoming a PARODY OF THEMSELVES!!

http://youtu.be/ncb_OlJjePM

It's clear to me that one of the reasons they talk and banter and flirt with each other so much is because they have NOTHING ELSE to say! They're just trying to fill-up airtime until they can get to the next commercial break.

The video's ''inside-joke'' about regular callers is ALSO true. I imagine they have an active listening/participating audience of about 50-60 people at most! And it's the same folks over and over again.

Lee's sultry ''whisper-in-the-microphone'' and schoolgirl giggly schtick is tiresome too. At times, I wanted to shout ''GET A ROOM!'' to those two.

Okay, in fairness, we should expect some banter and chit-chat between show hosts. It's common. Everyone does it... from CNN to your local radio news. But there needs to be some balance. At least a 10:1 ratio of useful info over babbling nonsense.

I find it difficult to believe that they'd leave an ACTUAL CALLER ''on hold'' for ten minutes while they fill airtime with their fluff.

I've heard radio shows on Community College low-watt AM stations that were more professional that this crew. Seriously, why would any host be allowed to go on and on with incessant blah-blah-blah, back-and-forth, giggle-giggle, joke-joke, poke-poke, flirting... and then FINALLY... after 9 long minutes... near the END of the segment, we hear:

-- ''Okay, let's take some calls! We have John from Peoria on line one. Make it quick, John, we only have 1 minute left.'' (Actually the ''line-one'' stuff is nonsense. I seriously doubt they have more than ONE line in the first place. But, hey... it sounds important, doesn't it?)

But maybe they didn't actually leave John-from-Peoria on hold. Perhaps there are NO CALLERS at all!! Maybe they're just stretching-out the chitchat to uncomfortable proportions while they're WAITING for someone (anyone) to call-in!

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sun Jul 8 16:46:17 2012

So, what's new. How can you tell when an eBay spokesperson is lying? Their lips are moving ...

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

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

Sun Jul 8 23:02:22 2012

Those who create and participate in ebafia radio are living in a cocoon with a semi permeable membrane that rejects the rational universe and expels their own irrational excrement to poison the ebafia biosphere.

Little Hos.

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Jul 9 02:54:49 2012

Much of what has been said here does nothing to help the OP.  It is so easy to slam Ebay and say don't sell there, move on.  Great advice, if there was a viable alternative.  

The OP is experience problems just like a whole lot of sellers on Ebay.  But even with all the problems we have, Ebay still generates the most traffic.  

Personally I'm trying to branch out and start new things this year, knowing it will take awhile to get things going.  Hopefully I will have alternatives built for myself in a few months, but it is going to depend on getting the traffic and real sales.

Not everyone that sells on Ebay are casual sellers.  Many of us depend on the income to pay our bills and put food on the table.  So simple statements of move on aren't really worth anything to us as we can't.  Not without another viable plan.  To simply move on would create a whole host of new problems.  Like how to pay the bills.

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 03:10:52 2012

Now that Google is as well known as eBay,Google should set up an auction site for the small sellers and let us use their check out system and not be a slave to PayPal,let us choose what method of payment we want.I think eBay charging fees on our shipping is illegal? Then PP fees,its double dipping.Also not put such harsh rules on us where we can get negged but the buyer can't. Also weed out the bad buyers and sellers,kick them off but don't punish the good guys in the process.eBay coddles the China sellers who sell fake merchandise and flood the pages. Google can also have an auction site for the ''big box'' sellers and let them pay a premium since they have the means to afford the advertising of their products.I'm talking about major companies,Nike,Tiffany,and all the other well established businesses.It is just a thought,and complicated,but I know Google would get a huge following if they had an online auction house. I have perfect stars,no negs or neutrals and no items returned,I am a TRS, but work my butt off and still get buried in eBays awful search base. Small sellers unite.:)

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: spirit-of-shiloh This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 03:19:23 2012

PS

I also post with my eBay ID as I have nothing to hide.
Anonymous Annie,I subscribe to eBay Utube just so I can get a laugh and push the unlike button :) I just saw the eBay on location Denver and Griff is doing the Irish jig on stage and looks drunk and is going to fall off stage any second,LOL. Oh and that pompous JD looks bored as hell.

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 03:38:56 2012

''The goal of providing an improved buyer experience on eBay is commendable''

Did I read that right? Was it a joke? Ebay isn't trying to provide an ''improved buyer experience'', have you seen the comments & feedback left the sellers Ebay wants to replace they who made the site with?

One day shipping, only a MORON would feel one day ship and a 14 day return policy is their inate right yet that's what Ebay is trying to make all think they're entitled to and this applies to free ship as well.

Ebay is trying to shape & control the buyer's thought and they've taken over every aspect of their seller's businesses although I'm perfectly assured none of it applies to the type of seller they're courting to replace us, at least at this point until they realize that brand of seller is chasing more Ebay buyers from the site than the sellers they're trying to replace.

There isn't an ounce of Real World intellect applied in any move Ebay has made in the past few years for a company whose intent it is to raise revenue and move forward.

Wake up Ebay, a multitude of your buyers are they who made their niche on the site having that disposable income to play with. I for one will never again purchase a thing on the site, all product offered by the brand of seller they're courting can for the most part be purchased for less locally anyway unless its the knock offs that infest the site.

Your act has been played out numerous times throughout history Ebay, you need to read BOOKS to understand the result wasn't pretty.

AgendaSwallowsAll and that doesn't mean just they it has been imparted on, it eventually sucks up the person or entity directing its impartation as well..

Perminate Link for Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies   Yahoo Examines eBay's One-Size-Fits-All Policies

by: BackInBlack This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 05:10:49 2012

Perhaps more toward being back on-topic for the OP, or tying some of this together, *even Griff* has said on the radio show that TRS's should *not* design their business model around that 20% discount.  So either he knows something specific in a future 'seller update' or he is in touch enough to at least see the trend of more stringent restrictions (and glitches like the recently reported DSR inaccuracies) which will more easily cause a loss of TRS and its associated discount.

In any case, I agree with him - don't count on the 20% discount, and if you get it consider it a 'bonus.'  In fact, don't count on eBay for anything long-term; it's a warming ice skating rink built over quicksand in an earthquake zone.

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by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 9 09:11:27 2012

To my way of thinking, the actual dollar value of the 20% discount is not really the issue, it is what it represents.

We can try to up prices or add handling charges or use whatever other strategies might make up for not getting the discount, but no seller has any control over the underlying consequences of not getting the discount.

NO TRS means being  disadvantaged in search which is potentially far more damaging that not getting a break on fees. I also think that there may be a perception created among buyers that there must be something wrong with a seller like me who has been on ebay for 14 years and has a large number of feedback if I were to lose my TRS.

That is the key, pure and simple - it is what getting the 20% represents. I'm fully aware that ebay no longer wants me with my hodge podge of antiques, collectables and cool old junque, but until there is a viable alternative site for my goodies, the majority of my online business will have to stay on ebay.

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