Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Mar 9 2013 15:02:34

eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay is testing another design of the View Item Page, and don't be surprised if users have an "OMG not again" reaction to this latest example of eBay's frequent changes. A reader who began seeing it on Friday emailed screenshots of the redesigned page.



Here's what the reader had to say about the new design:

The basic seller info has been moved below the "main" box and replaced by eBay self-promotion (buyer protection, eBay bucks, bill me later). I suppose we should be happy that some seller info is between the pricing information and item specifics.

While none of the listings I browsed had advertising at top for off-site selling, there is a line of same/similar items from other sellers between the header and the description body - all of which are priced the same or lower.

The shipping information, return policy, payment details and another box for seller information is at the bottom - following the description and a "other people are watching" line - then finally, a "questions" box, followed by a line of what other people bought.

I don't think this is going to thrill many people ... while most sellers would like customers to read the description prior to asking questions, how many buyers will get that far before paging on to another listing?


The image above is cropped to better see the detail to the right of the photo. What you can't see is the text above the thumbnail photos - it reads: "People who viewed this item also viewed," which, as the reader described above, are competitive listings from other sellers.

The new design de-emphasizes the seller of the listing by moving the seller name to a completely new position on the page (lower down and to the left) - and the seller name no longer includes a label. eBay had always preceded the seller name with the label "seller information" or "seller." The new format is in sharp contrast to the pre-June 2008 design where eBay displayed seller information at the top right under the heading, "Meet the Seller."

The following screenshot of the new design shows the placement of the seller name over time.



The reader said that on the plus side, she likes that some basic information remains at the top of the page: "There is a 2-line strip with links to the sections that remains at the top as you scroll down the page."

Flipping through screenshots of the View Item Page taken over the past 2 years, it's really remarkable how many designs eBay has tried out. And if I look at an eBay listing page on my desktop computer, it's completely different from the layout I see on my laptop. Which is different from the design eBay heralded in October as part of the "New eBay" branding.

Whether or not you like the redesigns, the constant moving of key elements to different places on the page leads to poor usability - visitors must now hunt through the page to find key information. And the page often looks different depending on which web browser or computer the you are using.

eBay has not responded to some questions sent Friday afternoon about the new design, let us know if you've been exposed to the latest testing, and share your thoughts in the comments.




Comments (56) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 9 17:09:10 2013

That's right....just keep getting sellers angry and buyers confused.  LMAO

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sat Mar 9 17:50:37 2013

As if such meaningless changes will bring the dead whale back to life ... sheesh

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sat Mar 9 18:52:12 2013

How much dumber can ebafia management get anyway?

Regardless of how many different shades of of lipstick they put on The Ho's pig (with apologies to pigs), their just keep further alienating their customers (sellers) and confusing our buyers yet again.

It's a winning formula for bankruptcy and another example of some overpaid adolescent executive needing another bullet point on his or her vitae.

I refuse to answer questions whose answers are in product description and if more sellers would take a hard line on this buyers would eventually learn TO READ.

Sellers giving into illiterate buyers invite problems for themselves and other sellers.

Let the buyers complain to ebafia about all the garbage ahead of actual product information.

It's quite clear that ebafia laughs at and then deliberately ignores our objections to all these ads in our PAID FOR listings.

I'm emailing the companies whose ads I find in my listings and telling them to get their ads out of my ads or risk being sued.

The absence of this garbage on OUR pages would go a long way toward making it simple for buyers to read product descriptions which would eliminate several common post sale buyer created problems.

Apparently ebafia expects to earn more revenue from these ads that from our listing and FVF fees which it another indication of just desperate this den of thieves is.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sat Mar 9 18:54:23 2013

eBay execs have an obligation to the shareholders, so they will put anything in your space to make a buck.

eBay employees use the site as a stepping stone for their careers. Some little programmer or Ecommerce Purchasing Consultant will point out to their prospective employers that they helped move Feedback (as an example) down and eventually off the page.

Then we have Ecrater and Craigslist. They don't change at all and have had the same generic looks for the past few years. No new logos.

But no 20% discounts on Ecrater and Craigslist.

No single free listing days to drop everything for - everyday is a free listing day.

But if too many little sellers leave eBay the drama level will fall.  

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 9 19:43:06 2013

Ed gadfly...that doesn't wash.  They owe shareholders nothing...ebay does not pay dividends.  Shareholders are getting the short end of the stick when they buy that stock.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sat Mar 9 19:53:23 2013

Technically, corporations do have obligations to shareholders.

But who are ebafia's shareholders? They're certainly not those looking for long term or dividend paying investments.

The shareholders that ebafia management works for are THEMSELVES, Pierre, and stock owning Board members; Wall Street banksters who make monster buys and sells when they get illegal inside information; and day traders who typically buy and sell some stock multiple times in one day.

Ebafia management is absolutely passionate about enriching themselves at everyone else's expense.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Mar 9 21:25:26 2013

Lots of people at eBay justifying their jobs.  They'll be out of jobs if the changes stop.  Wouldn't THAT be a pity.  (insert eyeroll)

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sat Mar 9 23:08:20 2013

Within a year, custom designed templates will be eliminated too. Every listing will look the same. No font variations, no text-size variations, no inline graphics within the description.

Just generic and homogenized. I honestly believe that eBay wants buyers to think that they're buying ''from'' eBay (as opposed to *from* a seller ON eBay).

Perhaps this is one of the reasons that so many buyers almost appear to be ''eager'' to leave low DSR's and unfair feedback (not to mention the various scam techniques.) --- These people think they're ''sticking-it-to-the-man'' or getting back at corporate greed!

Perhaps those buyers don't realize they're buying from a REAL PERSON just like themselves.

Oh, I don't know... I guess I'm just thinkin' out loud.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Mar 9 23:43:25 2013

These days the only consistency at eBay is inconsistency.

Perpetual changes are not improving sales on eBay, but, rather, serve only to confuse and confound buyers who remain ebay shoppers.

The dizzying array of item layout page changes illustrate the schizophrenia that rules the halls of eBay management.

Every change to the item page is trumpeted as the next greatest improvement, yet change after change after change has done nothing but confuse and confound buyers.

The idiots running eBay fail to  appreciate the confusion they create with all these endless changes.

Just once, I wish one of the fools in San Jose would wake up and realize that unending changes are part of the reason eBay fails to gain any traction and can not seem to grow sales without resorting to parlor trick accounting to hide the damage these changes have brought.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sun Mar 10 00:07:40 2013

“Today we’re dealing with phase two or phase three [he can’t remember which one] of disruptive innovation. We’ve had the disruption, now we’re having to disrupt the disruption.”—John Donahoe (26 Sept 2007).

Now in the sixth year of the Ho's three-year turnaround, nothing has changed ...

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Mar 10 11:39:14 2013

They could easily highlight the seller info area a bit more by making it a different color & larger font.

The TRS badge looks like an afterthought in the area on the illustration. It should be in the seller area.

If item is used, are they putting the ''condition'' description box up where ''new'' appears on this illustration?  A moderately lengthy description of condition would be out of place in that area.

From a long time buyer standpoint:

The layout in this example is terrible & too busy. Buyer Basset likes a clean looking format where I can easily find the info I want: Price, Condition, Shipping info, Sellers other Items, Description & measurements, return policy.  

I will never use ''bill me later'',  does anyone? Make it smaller & put it near the price.

I like the current ''Tabs'' for Shipping & Payments, and Description. I believe they need to add a ''Tab'' for Return Policy, and Combined Shipping Policy. Maybe one for ''About Seller''.  There appears to be room for addition, not sure why they never did.  The tabs promote consistency and easy access to policy.

As it stands right now, ''Tabs'' are all but invisible. They COULD be highlighted to stand out a bit more. Use of ''Tabs'' could cut down on ''description''  area used to describe policy. Sellers could refer potential buyers to ''see the tabs for policy'' in the item description. eBay ''Resolution'' staff could take a look to see if policy was listed, thus available for buyer to see before purchase.

Links to other sellers listings should always be at the bottom. Assuming I am reading the listing to ''possibly buy'' or ''rule it out'' - If I rule it out, THEN I MAY be ready to look at other offerings. At the bottom. (realistically, these other offerings are usually ignored by me)

IMO,  listings should be physically ''short'' as possible on screen. Tabs would help eliminate length. A consistent description area might help. If the content were ''shorter'' the info at the ''bottom'' would be more visible, including the ''other items''  ads that should NOT be at the top, anywhere.

I know this produces strong differences, but IMO, I personally don't care if they decide to go the simplicity route and eliminate fancy templates and busy formatting. (like ecrater?) My preference as a buyer is a very straightforward, simple description that includes the necessary information about the item. Access to policy via Tabs.

Then - STOP tweaking the format.  Leave it alone. No Touchee.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 10 13:44:44 2013

Hey Annie,
About 5-7 years ago a long 3 page letter came out from an ex-ebay employee and it touched on ebays future plans. They DO want to make them THEIR buyers and this has all moved along consistently with what that ex-employee told us years ago.
A key think to watch for right now is ebay branded boxes from the Post Office. Ebay has a plan under dunderho and that letter was the MAP of what ebay was planning and what was going to happen and 90-95% of those things have happened.
I know Ina knows about this letter and I am sure Phil or Ming remember it too because it was MAJOR.
Ina, do you REMEMBER that letter and any way you could post it again for us.
You remember that old letter don't you Ina- that guy outlining jd's secret plans?
Print that thing again if you have it Ina as all that guys predictions have come 100% TRUE.
A reprint of that letter would really show everybody where they are with this plan.
Mass Howler

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by: LJM This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 10 15:30:00 2013

Mass Howler..Just google "ebays future plan ex employee" and it's the comics corral forum.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sun Mar 10 16:02:55 2013

1 of 2 exposes from alleged former ebay employees -- long reads but worth every minute you'll spend reading this and the next one.

#1 from 2008:

FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF EBAY:

I posted this at the feedback forum at eBay but it was killed by staff less than a minute later. I should have known. My ID will be toast soon anyway. This was the only other place I thought where my statement might have an impact. Do with it what you will. After Chicago, my only desire is to be heard.

There will be those who will not believe me and I sympathize. I wish the facts were fiction but to deny what I know would be to live in a fairyland of make-believe. I understand that the bulk of this “manifesto” reveals a plot so against the spirit of eBay that it will be dismissed as lie. So be it. I cannot force the world to accept it. All I can do is state the truth as I know it and leave it to you and to your common sense and experience to judge.

The deck is stacked against me. Aside from the natural resistance to believe I know that the boards are stocked with eBay’s tools. Their goal will be to discredit me. I will be accused of being a “disgruntled”, “paranoid”, and “emotional” seller. Their words will be specially chosen for effect. That is part of the function of the tools and I am not fazed by it. However, to protect my own identity within the corporation, I cannot be too specific lest the details single me out to the powers that be.

What I intend to reveal is common knowledge to many in the management division behind the scenes.

By the way, the tools are not only the mouthpieces that promote the policies. The psychological tactics employed by the powers that be are far deeper and grander than that. The subtlety of the method is remarkable. The tools come in a wide range of flavors with their own, individual “characteristic” rhetoric. From those who are “for” the policy - and spread various degrees of hostility toward the sellers - to those who are “against” the change - and spread panic and further the divide with the buyers. Both serve the same exact purpose: a manipulation designed to remove the more involved and savvy small to large sellers who will not fit into eBay’s future business plan.

First, let me correct the record regarding the concept of sellers extorting positive feedback. While the violation was known to happen, the activity amounted to less than a tenth of a percent of the yearly transactions. Further, it involved sellers whose feedback percentages were below 80%. The absolute majority of sellers did not engage in such practices. Nevertheless, the powers that be could not resist the fact that promoting this notion of feedback extortion as a wide-spread phenomenon would be the perfect cover with which to hide the true intentions of the policy.

The powers that be want to transform eBay into an overstock warehouse venue. A kind of outlet store for the internet much like a cheaper and streamlined version of Amazon. From a strictly business point of view, given the size of eBay and the growing costs of doing business, it makes a certain kind of sense to shift gears. Think about it: when eBay started, sellers were about rare and unique items but here and now the majority of items are common, used counterparts of what can be found new online at retail sites. Truly rare and unique items are sold at real auctions; the “stuff in your attic” isn’t glamorous enough and won’t keep eBay afloat any longer.

The trend away from the rare and unique to the big box retailer is not new. Several years ago the powers that be noticed that the big “powersellers” were simply listing items that existed in their retail stores or inventories. Thus the concept of “buy it now”, “best offer”, and “eBay stores” were created. It was the nascent stage of the plan yet to be. Little by little, without the population noticing, the mechanisms required to replicate the average retail storefront were already in place - and with its rise came the slow, steady downfall of the auction format.

Yet outright pursuit of a retail venue would have led to a major problem that at the time could not have been surmounted. The vast majority of people, on and off line, know eBay as precisely the place for auctions of rare and unique items. The sellers and buyers held onto that perception too but in truth their opinion even involvement in new and improved version of eBay is irrelevant by a certain Machiavellian calculation made by the powers that be. As part of the plan, eBay calculated thus: even if they lost the sellers as part of the change, the buyers will be coming back to buy regardless of who or what operated within the retail-outlet venue.

No, it was the stock holders who the powers that be feared.

Only the stockholders had the power to change the direction set forth by the CEO and the board. So it became imperative to change the equation. Part of the plan is to devalue the stock gradually so that investors merely dumped the stock as opposed to wanting managerial change ala Yahoo. Then to buy back the stock at lower cost and to such a volume that no rebellion against the powers that be were possible.

By the end of July that phase of the plan will be successful and there est of the plan will be revealed without fear of backlash from those who otherwise would have had the power to pull eBay back from the brink.
Indeed, if you believe the current changes are obvious signals that small sellers are not wanted - be prepared - you have seen nothing yet.

So far what have they done? All they have managed to do is silence a seller’s ability to warn others about buyers (half of the purpose behind the original idea of feedback), burden you with higher and higher fees, dangle “treats” like discounts while setting the bar of eligibility so high that the rewards cannot be reached. and, by the way PayPal deals with “complaints” leave you vulnerable to fraud. What if worse was yet to come?

They know if you do not feel safe that you will not use eBay. The changes that have been enacted only eliminates the small sellers. Meanwhile they want to eradicate the mid-sized seller too. And they want to ensure that both do not return.

For the mid-sized seller the DSR became the tool of choice. The powers that be raised the level of what is a good seller artificially high. No manipulation is required; they know exactly the effect of the policy. This is why buyers are told that 4 is a good score and sellers are told that 4.9 yields discounts and higher listing placements. As long as that fractured point of view exists, eBay does not need to interfere with the DSR as has been suggested, the buyers will be killing the sellers naturally.

By August there will be no pretense and the intentions of the new and improved eBay will be clear. The following is only a partial list of the rules that will be imposed. It comes from a memo that circulated within my corner of the managerial department the week before Chicago. I cannot be too specific about certain items and I cannot reveal details of the latest additions without endangering my anonymity.

1. Neutrals will be converted to negatives complete with red icons and reduced feedback scores. Afterward neutrals will not be offered as a choice of feedback.

2. The entire process of feedback will be automated. Buyers and sellers will chose standard feedback from a list. For sellers this operation will be performed automatically upon the buyer winning. For buyers there will be an extra free line with which to add a few comments about the seller without restriction to content. Replies will not be allowed.

3. The implementation of a stricter rules regarding shipping. From the boxes, packing, labels and tapes to where you can buy postage. Orders have been placed for prototypes of “eBay” boxes. UPS and FedEx will be instructed not to accept “eBay” merchandise if it’s not inside “eBay” boxing. They will know, of course, because when sellers buy the “eBay” postage from the “eBay” source, a detailed list of contents with item numbers will be available to the shippers upon scanning a bar code. As for those who continue to use USPS, another level of quality control will be implemented - buyers will be asked, upon confirmation of delivery, if the seller used “eBay” standard shipping items. Naturally, no verification of the buyer’s truthfulness will be attempted, and continued ‘infractions’ will result in suspension. eBay will have other ways to check if a seller is not using the “eBay” equipment - as they will be required to buy at cost the supplies immediately after items are listed. (This is such a large scale operation behind the scenes that I feel comfortable sharing as much of it as I know.)

4. Sales taxes will be included automatically; shipping cost and sales taxes will be used to determined FVF.

5. Item descriptions will be “standardized” with templates which include the posting of a new, universal return policy. Only yearly subscribers to the retail-outlet venue can opt out of these universal return policies but even they cannot alter the template structures being devised.

6. Strikes against buyers will be eliminated as the whole concept of a buyer and bidding will be altered. FVF will be calculated when payment is submitted.

7. Time to Close will be eliminated entirely. Best Match will be the non-alterable default. Best Match is a system that caters to the needs of shoppers not bidders.

8. Placement within Best Match will be determined by several factors, the most important of which will be the extra display features added onto the listing.

9. DSRs can be removed by retailers and powersellers who pay a certain yearly fee.

10. The end play itself which consists of four phases:
a) the main focus shifts to retail sellers whose fees are on a per listing basis
b) stores will be replaced by a classified section, fees will be based on yearly subscriptions and FVFs
c) occasional auctions will be conducted for unique items (celebrity auctions, items that have been featured on the news, etc.)
d) total elimination of auctions for regular sellers.

From the point of view of eBay’s agenda to change gears these alteration make sense. The powers that be want to turn eBay into a retail venue format. Therefore the “buyer” must be changed - bidding and commitments to buy are part of the past. In a retail venue, the item is either in your cart or not and you only commit to buy when you pay at checkout. The seller is also redefined in the way they will be required to do business. They will be forced to copy the methods of retail stores.

The goal is to become Amazon Lite. Unlike Amazon the merchandise will be stocked by the retailers in their warehouses, eBay will be just an electronic centralized venue for outlet sale - a “trusted” name with a wide customer base and popular name recognition.

That is the future and as I write this I know that it cannot be stopped. There are no investors with enough clout and will to challenge the CEO. Stock holders will simply walk away. eBay will not sink, however, it will be exactly in the position its rulers intend it to be at.

Sellers, my advice is simple. You are not wanted. Leave. If you stay, you will be crushed. Leave. Go away. You cannot win.

I am sorry because for too long I have been a complicit tool behind the scenes. I was part of those teams and think tanks that spearheaded many of the “innovations” you know very well and which will be used to destroy you. I know I will not be believed. I will be mocked and ridiculed by the tools and even those who are real, actual people will be hesitant to accept what I have to say. What has been done to this community, the plots and schemes hatched in meetings and across memos, is far, far worse to endure within my soul than any treatment I will receive at the hands of the tools by posting this. You do not know how much they hate you. It is my conscience that I want to clear going forward. Again I apologize. There should have been a better way for the powers that be to effect the change they wanted for eBay - instead they succumbed to cloak and dagger deception.

RIP eBay.


Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sun Mar 10 16:04:29 2013

1 of 2 exposes from alleged former ebay employees -- long reads but worth every minute you'll spend
reading them.

#1 from 2008:

FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF EBAY:

I posted this at the feedback forum at eBay but it was killed by staff less than a minute later. I
should have known. My ID will be toast soon anyway. This was the only other place I thought where my
statement might have an impact. Do with it what you will. After Chicago, my only desire is to be
heard.

There will be those who will not believe me and I sympathize. I wish the facts were fiction but to
deny what I know would be to live in a fairyland of make-believe. I understand that the bulk of this
“manifesto” reveals a plot so against the spirit of eBay that it will be dismissed as lie. So be it.
I cannot force the world to accept it. All I can do is state the truth as I know it and leave it to
you and to your common sense and experience to judge.

The deck is stacked against me. Aside from the natural resistance to believe I know that the boards
are stocked with eBay’s tools. Their goal will be to discredit me. I will be accused of being a
“disgruntled”, “paranoid”, and “emotional” seller. Their words will be specially chosen for effect.
That is part of the function of the tools and I am not fazed by it. However, to protect my own
identity within the corporation, I cannot be too specific lest the details single me out to the
powers that be.

What I intend to reveal is common knowledge to many in the management division behind the scenes.

By the way, the tools are not only the mouthpieces that promote the policies. The psychological
tactics employed by the powers that be are far deeper and grander than that. The subtlety of the
method is remarkable. The tools come in a wide range of flavors with their own, individual
“characteristic” rhetoric. From those who are “for” the policy - and spread various degrees of
hostility toward the sellers - to those who are “against” the change - and spread panic and further
the divide with the buyers. Both serve the same exact purpose: a manipulation designed to remove the
more involved and savvy small to large sellers who will not fit into eBay’s future business plan.

First, let me correct the record regarding the concept of sellers extorting positive feedback. While
the violation was known to happen, the activity amounted to less than a tenth of a percent of the
yearly transactions. Further, it involved sellers whose feedback percentages were below 80%. The
absolute majority of sellers did not engage in such practices. Nevertheless, the powers that be
could not resist the fact that promoting this notion of feedback extortion as a wide-spread
phenomenon would be the perfect cover with which to hide the true intentions of the policy.

The powers that be want to transform eBay into an overstock warehouse venue. A kind of outlet store
for the internet much like a cheaper and streamlined version of Amazon. From a strictly business
point of view, given the size of eBay and the growing costs of doing business, it makes a certain
kind of sense to shift gears. Think about it: when eBay started, sellers were about rare and unique
items but here and now the majority of items are common, used counterparts of what can be found new
online at retail sites. Truly rare and unique items are sold at real auctions; the “stuff in your
attic” isn’t glamorous enough and won’t keep eBay afloat any longer.

The trend away from the rare and unique to the big box retailer is not new. Several years ago the
powers that be noticed that the big “powersellers” were simply listing items that existed in their
retail stores or inventories. Thus the concept of “buy it now”, “best offer”, and “eBay stores” were
created. It was the nascent stage of the plan yet to be. Little by little, without the population
noticing, the mechanisms required to replicate the average retail storefront were already in place -
and with its rise came the slow, steady downfall of the auction format.

Yet outright pursuit of a retail venue would have led to a major problem that at the time could not
have been surmounted. The vast majority of people, on and off line, know eBay as precisely the place
for auctions of rare and unique items. The sellers and buyers held onto that perception too but in
truth their opinion even involvement in new and improved version of eBay is irrelevant by a certain
Machiavellian calculation made by the powers that be. As part of the plan, eBay calculated thus:
even if they lost the sellers as part of the change, the buyers will be coming back to buy
regardless of who or what operated within the retail-outlet venue.

No, it was the stock holders who the powers that be feared.

Only the stockholders had the power to change the direction set forth by the CEO and the board. So
it became imperative to change the equation. Part of the plan is to devalue the stock gradually so
that investors merely dumped the stock as opposed to wanting managerial change ala Yahoo. Then to
buy back the stock at lower cost and to such a volume that no rebellion against the powers that be
were possible.

By the end of July that phase of the plan will be successful and there est of the plan will be
revealed without fear of backlash from those who otherwise would have had the power to pull eBay
back from the brink.
Indeed, if you believe the current changes are obvious signals that small sellers are not wanted -
be prepared - you have seen nothing yet.

So far what have they done? All they have managed to do is silence a seller’s ability to warn others
about buyers (half of the purpose behind the original idea of feedback), burden you with higher and
higher fees, dangle “treats” like discounts while setting the bar of eligibility so high that the
rewards cannot be reached. and, by the way PayPal deals with “complaints” leave you vulnerable to
fraud. What if worse was yet to come?

They know if you do not feel safe that you will not use eBay. The changes that have been enacted
only eliminates the small sellers. Meanwhile they want to eradicate the mid-sized seller too. And
they want to ensure that both do not return.

For the mid-sized seller the DSR became the tool of choice. The powers that be raised the level of
what is a good seller artificially high. No manipulation is required; they know exactly the effect
of the policy. This is why buyers are told that 4 is a good score and sellers are told that 4.9
yields discounts and higher listing placements. As long as that fractured point of view exists, eBay
does not need to interfere with the DSR as has been suggested, the buyers will be killing the
sellers naturally.

By August there will be no pretense and the intentions of the new and improved eBay will be clear.
The following is only a partial list of the rules that will be imposed. It comes from a memo that
circulated within my corner of the managerial department the week before Chicago. I cannot be too
specific about certain items and I cannot reveal details of the latest additions without endangering
my anonymity.

1. Neutrals will be converted to negatives complete with red icons and reduced feedback scores.
Afterward neutrals will not be offered as a choice of feedback.

2. The entire process of feedback will be automated. Buyers and sellers will chose standard feedback
from a list. For sellers this operation will be performed automatically upon the buyer winning. For
buyers there will be an extra free line with which to add a few comments about the seller without
restriction to content. Replies will not be allowed.

3. The implementation of a stricter rules regarding shipping. From the boxes, packing, labels and
tapes to where you can buy postage. Orders have been placed for prototypes of “eBay” boxes. UPS and
FedEx will be instructed not to accept “eBay” merchandise if it’s not inside “eBay” boxing. They
will know, of course, because when sellers buy the “eBay” postage from the “eBay” source, a detailed
list of contents with item numbers will be available to the shippers upon scanning a bar code. As
for those who continue to use USPS, another level of quality control will be implemented - buyers
will be asked, upon confirmation of delivery, if the seller used “eBay” standard shipping items.
Naturally, no verification of the buyer’s truthfulness will be attempted, and continued
‘infractions’ will result in suspension. eBay will have other ways to check if a seller is not using
the “eBay” equipment - as they will be required to buy at cost the supplies immediately after items
are listed. (This is such a large scale operation behind the scenes that I feel comfortable sharing
as much of it as I know.)

4. Sales taxes will be included automatically; shipping cost and sales taxes will be used to
determined FVF.

5. Item descriptions will be “standardized” with templates which include the posting of a new,
universal return policy. Only yearly subscribers to the retail-outlet venue can opt out of these
universal return policies but even they cannot alter the template structures being devised.

6. Strikes against buyers will be eliminated as the whole concept of a buyer and bidding will be
altered. FVF will be calculated when payment is submitted.

7. Time to Close will be eliminated entirely. Best Match will be the non-alterable default. Best
Match is a system that caters to the needs of shoppers not bidders.

8. Placement within Best Match will be determined by several factors, the most important of which
will be the extra display features added onto the listing.

9. DSRs can be removed by retailers and powersellers who pay a certain yearly fee.

10. The end play itself which consists of four phases:
a) the main focus shifts to retail sellers whose fees are on a per listing basis
b) stores will be replaced by a classified section, fees will be based on yearly subscriptions and
FVFs
c) occasional auctions will be conducted for unique items (celebrity auctions, items that have been
featured on the news, etc.)
d) total elimination of auctions for regular sellers.

From the point of view of eBay’s agenda to change gears these alteration make sense. The powers that
be want to turn eBay into a retail venue format. Therefore the “buyer” must be changed - bidding and
commitments to buy are part of the past. In a retail venue, the item is either in your cart or not
and you only commit to buy when you pay at checkout. The seller is also redefined in the way they
will be required to do business. They will be forced to copy the methods of retail stores.

The goal is to become Amazon Lite. Unlike Amazon the merchandise will be stocked by the retailers in
their warehouses, eBay will be just an electronic centralized venue for outlet sale - a “trusted”
name with a wide customer base and popular name recognition.

That is the future and as I write this I know that it cannot be stopped. There are no investors with
enough clout and will to challenge the CEO. Stock holders will simply walk away. eBay will not sink,
however, it will be exactly in the position its rulers intend it to be at.

Sellers, my advice is simple. You are not wanted. Leave. If you stay, you will be crushed. Leave. Go
away. You cannot win.

I am sorry because for too long I have been a complicit tool behind the scenes. I was part of those
teams and think tanks that spearheaded many of the “innovations” you know very well and which will
be used to destroy you. I know I will not be believed. I will be mocked and ridiculed by the tools
and even those who are real, actual people will be hesitant to accept what I have to say. What has
been done to this community, the plots and schemes hatched in meetings and across memos, is far, far
worse to endure within my soul than any treatment I will receive at the hands of the tools by
posting this. You do not know how much they hate you. It is my conscience that I want to clear going
forward. Again I apologize. There should have been a better way for the powers that be to effect the
change they wanted for eBay - instead they succumbed to cloak and dagger deception.

RIP eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sun Mar 10 16:08:27 2013

Reposted article #1 from two alleged former ebafia employees. These are long reads but worth every minute you'l, spend reading them.

Part 1 of 2 from a posting made by an alleged soon to be former ebay employee in 2008:


There will be those who will not believe me and I sympathize. I wish the facts were fiction but to
deny what I know would be to live in a fairyland of make-believe. I understand that the bulk of this
“manifesto” reveals a plot so against the spirit of eBay that it will be dismissed as lie. So be it.
I cannot force the world to accept it. All I can do is state the truth as I know it and leave it to
you and to your common sense and experience to judge.

The deck is stacked against me. Aside from the natural resistance to believe I know that the boards
are stocked with eBay’s tools. Their goal will be to discredit me. I will be accused of being a
“disgruntled”, “paranoid”, and “emotional” seller. Their words will be specially chosen for effect.
That is part of the function of the tools and I am not fazed by it. However, to protect my own
identity within the corporation, I cannot be too specific lest the details single me out to the
powers that be.

What I intend to reveal is common knowledge to many in the management division behind the scenes.

By the way, the tools are not only the mouthpieces that promote the policies. The psychological
tactics employed by the powers that be are far deeper and grander than that. The subtlety of the
method is remarkable. The tools come in a wide range of flavors with their own, individual
“characteristic” rhetoric. From those who are “for” the policy - and spread various degrees of
hostility toward the sellers - to those who are “against” the change - and spread panic and further
the divide with the buyers. Both serve the same exact purpose: a manipulation designed to remove the
more involved and savvy small to large sellers who will not fit into eBay’s future business plan.

First, let me correct the record regarding the concept of sellers extorting positive feedback. While
the violation was known to happen, the activity amounted to less than a tenth of a percent of the
yearly transactions. Further, it involved sellers whose feedback percentages were below 80%. The
absolute majority of sellers did not engage in such practices. Nevertheless, the powers that be
could not resist the fact that promoting this notion of feedback extortion as a wide-spread
phenomenon would be the perfect cover with which to hide the true intentions of the policy.

The powers that be want to transform eBay into an overstock warehouse venue. A kind of outlet store
for the internet much like a cheaper and streamlined version of Amazon. From a strictly business
point of view, given the size of eBay and the growing costs of doing business, it makes a certain
kind of sense to shift gears. Think about it: when eBay started, sellers were about rare and unique
items but here and now the majority of items are common, used counterparts of what can be found new
online at retail sites. Truly rare and unique items are sold at real auctions; the “stuff in your
attic” isn’t glamorous enough and won’t keep eBay afloat any longer.

The trend away from the rare and unique to the big box retailer is not new. Several years ago the
powers that be noticed that the big “powersellers” were simply listing items that existed in their
retail stores or inventories. Thus the concept of “buy it now”, “best offer”, and “eBay stores” were
created. It was the nascent stage of the plan yet to be. Little by little, without the population
noticing, the mechanisms required to replicate the average retail storefront were already in place -
and with its rise came the slow, steady downfall of the auction format.

Yet outright pursuit of a retail venue would have led to a major problem that at the time could not
have been surmounted. The vast majority of people, on and off line, know eBay as precisely the place
for auctions of rare and unique items. The sellers and buyers held onto that perception too but in
truth their opinion even involvement in new and improved version of eBay is irrelevant by a certain
Machiavellian calculation made by the powers that be. As part of the plan, eBay calculated thus:
even if they lost the sellers as part of the change, the buyers will be coming back to buy
regardless of who or what operated within the retail-outlet venue.

No, it was the stock holders who the powers that be feared.

Only the stockholders had the power to change the direction set forth by the CEO and the board. So
it became imperative to change the equation. Part of the plan is to devalue the stock gradually so
that investors merely dumped the stock as opposed to wanting managerial change ala Yahoo. Then to
buy back the stock at lower cost and to such a volume that no rebellion against the powers that be
were possible.

By the end of July that phase of the plan will be successful and there est of the plan will be
revealed without fear of backlash from those who otherwise would have had the power to pull eBay
back from the brink.
Indeed, if you believe the current changes are obvious signals that small sellers are not wanted -
be prepared - you have seen nothing yet.

So far what have they done? All they have managed to do is silence a seller’s ability to warn others
about buyers (half of the purpose behind the original idea of feedback), burden you with higher and
higher fees, dangle “treats” like discounts while setting the bar of eligibility so high that the
rewards cannot be reached. and, by the way PayPal deals with “complaints” leave you vulnerable to
fraud. What if worse was yet to come?

They know if you do not feel safe that you will not use eBay. The changes that have been enacted
only eliminates the small sellers. Meanwhile they want to eradicate the mid-sized seller too. And
they want to ensure that both do not return.

For the mid-sized seller the DSR became the tool of choice. The powers that be raised the level of
what is a good seller artificially high. No manipulation is required; they know exactly the effect
of the policy. This is why buyers are told that 4 is a good score and sellers are told that 4.9
yields discounts and higher listing placements. As long as that fractured point of view exists, eBay does not need to interfere with the DSR as has been suggested, the buyers will be killing the
sellers naturally.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sun Mar 10 16:09:17 2013

Part 2 of post #2 from 2008:

By August there will be no pretense and the intentions of the new and improved eBay will be clear.
The following is only a partial list of the rules that will be imposed. It comes from a memo that
circulated within my corner of the managerial department the week before Chicago. I cannot be too
specific about certain items and I cannot reveal details of the latest additions without endangering
my anonymity.

1. Neutrals will be converted to negatives complete with red icons and reduced feedback scores.
Afterward neutrals will not be offered as a choice of feedback.

2. The entire process of feedback will be automated. Buyers and sellers will chose standard feedback
from a list. For sellers this operation will be performed automatically upon the buyer winning. For
buyers there will be an extra free line with which to add a few comments about the seller without
restriction to content. Replies will not be allowed.

3. The implementation of a stricter rules regarding shipping. From the boxes, packing, labels and
tapes to where you can buy postage. Orders have been placed for prototypes of “eBay” boxes. UPS and
FedEx will be instructed not to accept “eBay” merchandise if it’s not inside “eBay” boxing. They
will know, of course, because when sellers buy the “eBay” postage from the “eBay” source, a detailed
list of contents with item numbers will be available to the shippers upon scanning a bar code. As
for those who continue to use USPS, another level of quality control will be implemented - buyers
will be asked, upon confirmation of delivery, if the seller used “eBay” standard shipping items.
Naturally, no verification of the buyer’s truthfulness will be attempted, and continued
‘infractions’ will result in suspension. eBay will have other ways to check if a seller is not using
the “eBay” equipment - as they will be required to buy at cost the supplies immediately after items
are listed. (This is such a large scale operation behind the scenes that I feel comfortable sharing
as much of it as I know.)

4. Sales taxes will be included automatically; shipping cost and sales taxes will be used to
determined FVF.

5. Item descriptions will be “standardized” with templates which include the posting of a new,
universal return policy. Only yearly subscribers to the retail-outlet venue can opt out of these
universal return policies but even they cannot alter the template structures being devised.

6. Strikes against buyers will be eliminated as the whole concept of a buyer and bidding will be
altered. FVF will be calculated when payment is submitted.

7. Time to Close will be eliminated entirely. Best Match will be the non-alterable default. Best
Match is a system that caters to the needs of shoppers not bidders.

8. Placement within Best Match will be determined by several factors, the most important of which
will be the extra display features added onto the listing.

9. DSRs can be removed by retailers and powersellers who pay a certain yearly fee.

10. The end play itself which consists of four phases:
a) the main focus shifts to retail sellers whose fees are on a per listing basis
b) stores will be replaced by a classified section, fees will be based on yearly subscriptions and
FVFs
c) occasional auctions will be conducted for unique items (celebrity auctions, items that have been
featured on the news, etc.)
d) total elimination of auctions for regular sellers.

From the point of view of eBay’s agenda to change gears these alteration make sense. The powers that
be want to turn eBay into a retail venue format. Therefore the “buyer” must be changed - bidding and
commitments to buy are part of the past. In a retail venue, the item is either in your cart or not
and you only commit to buy when you pay at checkout. The seller is also redefined in the way they
will be required to do business. They will be forced to copy the methods of retail stores.

The goal is to become Amazon Lite. Unlike Amazon the merchandise will be stocked by the retailers in
their warehouses, eBay will be just an electronic centralized venue for outlet sale - a “trusted”
name with a wide customer base and popular name recognition.

That is the future and as I write this I know that it cannot be stopped. There are no investors with
enough clout and will to challenge the CEO. Stock holders will simply walk away. eBay will not sink,
however, it will be exactly in the position its rulers intend it to be at.

Sellers, my advice is simple. You are not wanted. Leave. If you stay, you will be crushed. Leave. Go
away. You cannot win.

I am sorry because for too long I have been a complicit tool behind the scenes. I was part of those
teams and think tanks that spearheaded many of the “innovations” you know very well and which will
be used to destroy you. I know I will not be believed. I will be mocked and ridiculed by the tools
and even those who are real, actual people will be hesitant to accept what I have to say. What has
been done to this community, the plots and schemes hatched in meetings and across memos, is far, far
worse to endure within my soul than any treatment I will receive at the hands of the tools by
posting this. You do not know how much they hate you. It is my conscience that I want to clear going
forward. Again I apologize. There should have been a better way for the powers that be to effect the
change they wanted for eBay - instead they succumbed to cloak and dagger deception.

RIP eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

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

Sun Mar 10 16:13:14 2013

#2 from alleged former ebafia employee "John Delson" posted in 2011. Some if it has come to pass and some of it hasn't (yet).

Aug 24, 2011 01:20 PM

This is John Delson, an employee for eBay, Inc.

I know this will get me fired, but I am walking out today, so it does not matter anymore.

I work in the Seller Development department.

This department handles the future of how eBay members list, how they sell, what they sell, detailed seller ratings, feedback, etc.

Just about anything you do with selling is regulated with this department.

I’ve been with eBay for over 9 years, and I am one of the longest working employees in this department. Many others have left, or
have been terminated, due to being “lenient towards sellers”.

Anyway, I want to bring up some key points that were discussed at the last “work shop”.

This workshop meets for about one hour on every Wednesday. This work shop consists of several “upper level” eBay employees,
and from time to time, John Donahoe, president of eBay, will stop in to make sure everything is “up to snuff” (as he puts it).

Anyway, after all the wrong doing eBay has done to sellers, what was discussed today was the final “straw that broke the camel’s
back”, after posting this, I’m walking out after 9 years of putting up with eBay’s unfairness to sellers, non sense, often immoral (bordering illegal) policies that I personally have had to develop and implement into the eBay website.

The upcoming event, will be the final “nail in the coffin” for many eBay sellers, however I want to get this out here ahead of time, so
you can prepare for it. This was actually going to be announced one week before being put into place.

On October 1st, 2011, eBay, Inc, on ALL eBay country locations (.co.uk, .jp, .com, etc) will be ending the auction listing format.

After October 1st, 2011, all auctions will cease to exist on eBay, in favor of Donahoe’s plan (more on this later).

As you many know, we at eBay implemented a 9% final value fee on shipping costs.

Our official statement was released to the public stating it was done to prevent excessive shipping charges.

In reality, eBay was suffering profit losses, and this fee was a must in order to keep a positive income.

We understood that this would make a few sellers upset, this is why we also announced a new fee structure, and gave sellers 50 free auction listings.

This was done in order to keep our company looking untarnished for investors of eBay shares. We wanted to make more money from sellers, but keep them on here at the same time.

Many of you may wonder why eBay allowed numerous sellers from China to list on the eBay.com website.

We did this because:

-. Not only can buyers from china purchase things from eBay China, buyers can now purchase things from china all over the world.
China is a largest seller, and allowing them more search exposure would increase our fee income, and increase our GMV.

- It undersells sellers from other countries, and allows China to be the leader in sells for eBay.

Now you may be wondering why John Donahoe wants to get rid of auction format.

Here are some of the reasons that were mentioned at today’s workshop:

- When buyers bid, they are not purchasing unless they win.

- The more buyers purchasing, the higher our fee profit is from sales.

- Time wasted bidding, is time that could be used for buying.

So there you have it, from the words of John Donahoe himself.

There will be another update released in February 22nd, 2012, that will get rid of small and medium volume sales.

eBay is tired of small sellers, because:

-They can’t self sustain themselves, and tie up our customer support system.

- They often list junk, we don’t want to look like a flea market.

- They make us fees, but not enough for it to be worth them on our trading platform, due to all the issues they have.

On February 22nd, any one selling on the eBay website, will have to have at least 7,500 items in stock and ready for shipment.

-This number may increase.

- Sellers will have to submit proof of inventory, any documents proving they own the inventory, and (maybe) pictures of inventory.

- This will not apply to sellers who currently sell at least 5,000 items a month, since their selling volume is generally enough to satisfy
our per-seller fee goal.

Well, that’s all I have to say, its been a unpleasant 9 years at eBay, and I hope all sellers reading this will take proper measures to
ensure their success on eBay.

Thank you for your time, and good bye:

John Delson

Employee, eBay, Inc.

Sellers Development Department

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 10 18:17:57 2013

@Ming.....Will read your posts later but I knew more than the employees so it will only be rfeading material.

Of greater concern is I've just looked at some of our listings through the eyes of another account and these FREAKS of NATURE have other sellers CURRENT listings for the SAME type of product diplayed near the VERY TOP of the listings, WELL ABOVE our item description.

Is Donahoe out of his MIND? That has to be the dumbest question I've ever asked.

Perminate Link for eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page   eBay Tests Yet Another Design of the Listing Page

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Mar 10 18:41:52 2013

Wonderful Ming!
SO IMPORTANT to let folks see how these things have come true.
THANK YOU Ming and everybody please read these carefully and THINK ABOUT IT.
What elements of these letters has come true??
:-) Mass Howler

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