Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Sept 12 2012 02:14:27

eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is promoting auctions in a campaign called "Fall into Antiques," but sellers are wondering how eBay came to select four of their colleagues for inclusion, two of whom are Top Rated Sellers, and two of whom are not. A landing page for the campaign points to the "featured" sellers: Bloom Fine Art & Antiques; Bruneau Antiques; Estate Auctions Inc.; and Rhode Island Internet Consignment & Sales Inc.



A seller who received the promotion asked why two out of the 4 featured sellers were not Top Rated Sellers - "so much for TRS and exposure I  guess," he wrote.

Sellers discussed the promotion on the eBay Discussion boards, with one seller in particular probing as to how those particular four sellers were able to be included.

The answer may lie in this interview I did with eBay's Gene Cook, who said there is a renewed focus on the collectibles business at eBay.

Cook, who is General Manager of Emerging Verticals, said his team is focused on collectibles and has been holding special auction events in categories such as Coins, Sports Memorabilia and Hummel. The events feature a few select sellers rather than including all sellers in the category.

Five years ago, eBay would never have openly favored certain sellers because of its "level playing field" philosophy established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. But as the discussion in the forum shows, sellers are now not so much asking why eBay favored only four sellers in the category, but why those particular four were chosen.

eBay itself is no longer shy about revealing it is working with selected sellers in marketing campaigns - Cook put me in touch with one seller in the collectibles category who has been included in special auction events (the seller said he's not getting special perks from eBay aside from being able to participate in the auction events).

It appears that four years after eBay changed its philosophy, there's no longer a hue and cry from sellers when they are reminded of the end of the level playing field. But the passion that Meg Whitman fostered among the eBay community has also diminished.




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Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: eBankrupted

Wed Sep 12 02:43:22 2012

TRS Collectible sellers; are you dizzy yet? Selling on eBay is like running through quicksand. I suppose JD gets the last laugh here, unless collectible sellers just up and quit this total nonsense of a 'venue'.

Think back at all the esoteric preacher terminology this ugly corporation has used to lie to sellers with since JD took over. The fact that you even refer to yourselves as 'sellers' and not BUSINESSES is most of the problem.

Follow JD's schizophrenic career path and you'll never get out of the feebay maze of inconsistent insanity. Sacrifice your identity for the 'common good' and stay on ebay. Don't you love to work for your master when you constantly get lied to and manipulated?

EBay has shown that their business model is to randomly crush their 'sellers' and force them to liquidate. Send them to the ovens! haha

Only fools put up with this abuse.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Sep 12 03:06:00 2012

Did it really take an entire team to come up with this?

This eBay page looks and feels very similar to promotional pages on Bonanza....same concept, slight variation in layout.

eBay once again confirms that their one size fits all approach to ecommerce is wrong headed.

I find it hysterical that eBay is focusing on collectibles after investing so much in a default search method that was, in and of itself, the issue that drove many buyers and sellers away out of frustration and all but decimated the category. If they never applied Best Match to collectibles in the first place, sales would not have declined and eBay would not have to try a late inning rally to resurrect sales.

I doubt this halfhearted imitation of a Bonanza feature page will result in improvement significant enough to overcome the severe handicap eBay insists upon imposing on the category by forcing Best Match as the default search.


Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 07:42:22 2012

All that carrot jumping for the TRS is making them feel like they are entitled to really get the carrot.

I for one no longer shop at TRS sites and I'm telling all my friends not to.

These sellers need to get over themselves. A lot of very good sellers lost there TRS because instead of gouging buyers on shipping they decided to just forgo the delivery confirmation part of the TRS thus losing the 20%.

So now those sellers have to deal with carrot jumpers who think they are entitled to something.

Welcome to the new FleaBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 09:19:39 2012

eBay loves to pick winners and loosers ... its all about the Benjamins.

That they guy ''told you'' that nothing happened / is happening behind the scenes is %101 BS. Its all about guarantees on how much in FVF's you will bring eBay and a sharing of customer data.

Thats why only a certain few can get into Deal of the Day or onto the front page. Soul is there now - and they paid for it ... Not in cash to JD's Cayman account, but the fvf's plus a percentage. In return, eBay is directing VERO to remove sellers who sell Soul. Its plain and simple. eBay feels that since THEY are the 800 pound gorilla (they ignore Amazon) they can do as they please with impunity.

If they want to remove you, close your account, bury you, hide you, steal from you - they can and they will. And when they wont do it - they direct Paypal to hurt you.

No one should believe for one second that this is the eBay of 2000. This isnt ''your grandfathers eBay'' - it's one that has decided to use muscle to get what it wants - money.

Noah Hershman gets the credit for it. He came from Amazon and explained to them how ''it works''. Amazon learned it from Walmart. When you go to Bentonville as a rep, Walmart doesnt pay the prices on your sales sheet - they tell YOU what they will pay - and either you live with it, or you leave. Thats how it works for most companies sales reps except for people like Apple, or if its a company THEY want to carry.

Amazon does the same, except its all automated. (I should know - it was explained to me when I was offered a job there as a buyer). Computer programs scan EVERYTHING. PO's are placed with the pricing THEY want, with the terms THEY want.

Noah explained all this to JD. ''Why be beholden to the stupid small to midsized sellers?. Use the power of eBay to get what YOU want out of them. After all theres no where else for them to go!''.

And so, here we are. The field is NOT level. Not in placement, not in fees, not in terms, not in anything. But its covert not overt as to not cause a ''lose cannon'' to decide to spend his fortune taking eBay to court.

Im not suprised at any of the shady things eBay does to me. But to get even - I do as many OFF EBAY transactions as possible. I encourage going around eBay when possible, I include flyers with off eBay discounts in my packages and each and every time one of those customers buy something - I feel vindicated, even though in reality - its nothing compared to the rotten things eBay does to me.

Its a sad time when eBay can do these kinds of things to people - but we are use to it, we are sheep.

We let VERO run roughshod, we go along with schemes like this and we dont do anything. We dont band together to share knowledge (besides on here - TY INA), we just plod on........

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: JoJo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 10:33:49 2012

It does look like Bonanza.  It also has some similarity to the treasuries on Etsy.  So while they are busy trying to make their electronics catalog look like Amazon they have apparently realized that they actually had a business in the collectibles market?  I predict more goofy changes ahead as eBay struggles with their identity crisis.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Sep 12 11:49:08 2012

So eBay is now having ''featured select'' auctions of antiques & collectible sellers WITH Time Ending Soon but for the rest of us poor souls there will be NO Time Ending Soon in Best Match for auctions of antiques & collectible. So if we are not one of eBay's ''chosen'' then we are thrown to the wolves? With eBay's love of money you would think they would get rid of Best Match since Time Ending Soonest creates a sense of urgency and making a reason for the buyer to buy or bid now before it is gone. Of course splitting eBay into two separate sites would be the smart thing to do. Ebay New and Classic eBay with auctions, collectibles, used, one-of-a-kind. But we all know JD & Co is more stubborn than smart.  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 12 12:46:43 2012

Its good to use Ebay only as another venue....you simply don't let things like this bother you because its a given.  I no longer expect Ebay to play fair or even to follow their own rules, therefore, I'm not disappointed ;-)

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

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

Wed Sep 12 16:57:36 2012

Patricia writes: ''Its good to use Ebay only as another venue....you simply don't let things like this bother you because its a given.  I no longer expect Ebay to play fair or even to follow their own rules, therefore, I'm not disappointed''

BINGO!

In spite of being disappointed and disillusioned with eBay, I've finally reached the point where it doesn't bother me as much anymore. When it comes to eBay, they're now on the back-burner... just simmering... and if it happens to drive new sales or business my way, then great! If not, then, oh-well.

I've gone through all the stages: shock, anger, denial, bargaining, depression... and I'm finally at ''acceptance''. I've reached the point where I can leave eBay in the past and look at my future with hope and greater expectations.

At long last, I realize that I don't ''need'' eBay any more. I'll continue to list here and there, I'll take whatever sales trickle-in, sure... why not? ~~ But you won't see me doing back-flips through hoops, you won't see me getting all stressed-out anymore. (But I still reserve the right to continue to post messages of scorn and contempt. :-)

It is what it is. The eBay we once loved is dead. Never to return. Gone, but not buried. It's just a shell of what it once was... the sooner we accept it and move on, the happier we'll all be.

Good luck to all!  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

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

Wed Sep 12 19:09:07 2012

"Everyone at the time was Ex Mckinsey/Bain/BCG + Harvard/Stanford/Wharton MBA. Like not just in strategy, but across every leadership role across most functions. Pros of this are that people generally had their shit together when it came to being prepared and analytical about decision making. The Cons are that you tend to find local maximums, rather than make game changing decisions, since for drastic generational leaps in technology, you can’t logic your way to it. This is why consulting firms’ biggest customers are behemoth stagnating industrials, not high tech firms who go too fast and with incomplete information. For a wacky stat, rumor has it that at one point no less than forty or fifty people from the same HBS class of 1996 were all employed as category managers at one point. By the way, this is not unique, on the business side Google/Facebook/etc are largely similarly composed, people just flock to whatever the hotness of the day is."
http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2012/09/12/what-is-it-like-t
o-work-at-ebay/

There
you are; now you have the answer to all eBay's problems ...

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

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

Wed Sep 12 20:00:08 2012

“… eBay's Gene Cook, who said there is a renewed focus on the collectibles business at eBay.”

This is simply another demonstration of the deep hole that eBay has dug itself into—auctions / collectibles! What will they think of next?

Unfortunately, the water is coming in through all the “flow through theory” holes that Donahoe has drilled is the rusting old hulk, faster than the Bain bucket brigade can bail …

Has anyone looked at the eBay-favored (BIN) sellers "eforcity" or “toysrus" lately. The completed listings for both of these sellers are virtually seas of no-sales “red”.

If anyone wants to aspire to the auction selling success of the likes if Corri McFadden's “eDropoff”, then they too are going to have to seek out that commercial supplier of shill bidding services and start buying much of their own stuff themselves, as she does. eBay now provides the anonymity for shill bidding and will ignore such criminal activity (eg eDropOff) if the return for them from FVFs is sufficient from the total of “sales” (and soon “cancellations” too)—real or faux.

eBay non-favored sellers should not be concerned about not getting any sales—neither apparently are the eBay favorites getting many sales either! But don’t worry, like the captain of the “Concordia”, Captain Donahoe will undoubtedly see you all off safely ashore before he abandons ship to his previously well-provisioned personal lifeboat—LOL.

Hurry up and sink eBay, and take your ugly adopted daughter, PreyPal, with you …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Sep 12 22:52:20 2012

As usual eBay talks from both sides of its mouth. Auctions & collectibles are "in" but wait auctions will no longer have "time ending soonest" in Best Match. "Come to think of it .. eBay" the most screwed up site on the internet.  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

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

Thu Sep 13 09:03:01 2012

Bitbybit writes: ''As usual eBay talks from both sides of its mouth.''

You're right! eBay is an absolute TRAIN WRECK! Completely dysfunctional. They can't decide what they want, then when they make a decision you can rest assured that it's due to change at a moment's notice. Today they flirt with the idea of being dedicated to auctions and collectibles, but it's only a half-hearted effort with limited impact.

Could it be that someone *wants* this doomed effort to fail so that they will be able to finally have the PR-cover and a plausible excuse to justify a full and complete abandonment of auctions/collectibles/garage-sale/flea-market stuff?

Window dressing only. Sabotaged from the start with their own lack of commitment and vision. Tomorrow they'll lose interest and it will be on to something else. eBay is a corporation with attention deficit disorder.  

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 10:45:40 2012

Another ridiculous job title in the world of digital commerce. "General Manager of Emerging Verticals". At least, job titles like this help make incompetent dolts feel important.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: JB This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 12:46:27 2012

Sounds more like the beginnings of major eBay regulation, then favoring. Maybe the government is actually looking into some form of regulation, and eBay knows what the future may hold.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 13 13:22:32 2012

The limiting the category header to 4 people, not only spits in the face of all the other hard working people in that category (not me btw, its not my category) that kill themselves to be successful.

Its as dumb as eBays new logo .... and the email they sent out about it.

Until ebay changes how it does business - its still lipstick on a pig.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

by: Winkle Me Evilbay This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 15 06:13:24 2012

Our business was contacted about the "new" effort to revive collectibles and antiques on Ebay.

The guy at eBay trying to sell this to us didn't sound like he thought it held much promise either.


Dead categories - uneven playing field - glitches - sales flat and fees rising.

Donohoe must be so proud of what he's done.

Perminate Link for eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers   eBay Limits Auction-Promotion to Four Sellers

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

Tue Sep 18 23:41:54 2012

Funny, as a matter of interest, “bloomantiques” completed listings for
Sept 12 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 13 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 14 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 15 is a sea of “red”,
Sept 16-17 is a sea of “green”,
Sept 18 is a sea of “red”,
And any “sales” appear to be in groups, like they aren’t real …
And, the 30-Day Summary stats of some of the bidders look suspect to me (high numbers of bids/items), like they could be from a commercial supplier of shill bidding, or even from eBay?

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking



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