Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Mar 12 2013 20:45:50

Should eBay Share Data with Your Competitors?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay announced on Facebook it will begin sharing data with off-eBay merchants. "Magento is working with retailers in a pilot project that analyzes eBay and PayPal consumer transaction data to provide Magento merchants with recommendations on what new products or shopping features to offer, and more," according to the announcement on Facebook. eBay acquired Magento, which offers an ecommerce platform for online merchants, in 2011.

But how much and what kind of data would eBay provide Magento merchants, and would eBay also be sharing data from GSI Commerce transactions? What kinds of recommendations would the program be able to make and how would understanding historic data help shape such recommendations?

Mariel Firmacion, a spokesperson for X.commerce, said, "We look forward to leveraging data, and other eBay Inc. assets, with our merchants in the near-term future," but she did not provide further details saying the pilot program and capabilities were still under development.

Historically eBay has shared very little data with merchants. In 2004, it opened eBay Pulse, which allowed visitors to view popular searches and Stores on eBay, and periodically eBay releases Hot Categories reports. You can view "popular products" on this page. But these features offer data that is/was very broad and marginally useful.

In 2008, eBay launched eBay In Demand, a tool for top sellers that was supposed to provide information about specific inventory that was in high demand and low supply on the marketplace. However, eBay In Demand got poor reviews and faded away.

Opening up eBay and PayPal transaction data sounds potentially very useful (for those who are allowed access), but there are some caveats under even the best circumstances. Much of eBay's data remains unstructured. Limiting reports to structured data would give only a partial picture of supply and demand for products on eBay. But including unstructured data could provide misleading information - an average price for a product could be understated if it included selling prices of used items or those in poor condition.

If you're one of the Magento merchants privy to this data as part of the pilot program, make sure you understand exactly how the data was derived. Online merchants with cash-flow issues and slim margins don't want to make sourcing and pricing decisions based on data about which their assumptions are wrong.

eBay's announcement wasn't clear about whether PayPal data would include off-eBay transactions - from sellers' sales on other marketplaces (such as Etsy) and from merchants' own websites, for example. Trying to lump this data together to come up with recommendations for merchants on yet another platform could also prove perilous.

On a marketplace like eBay, if more than a very few merchants are getting the same product recommendations, demand could quickly outpace supply. Whether that is true for Magento merchants is hard to say and would depend on a number of factors.

Finally, one thing struck me about the announcement. Online merchants are quite vocal in their concern about Amazon using their transaction data to turn around and compete with them. eBay tells retailers that since it is not a retailer itself, they don't have to worry about that problem. Even if eBay's program doesn't provide granular information to Magento merchants, isn't providing them with "eBay and PayPal consumer transaction data" the very thing that sellers object to about selling on Amazon?

What kind of benefits and pitfalls do you envision with such a program? And what do you think of eBay sharing this data with Magento merchants? Is this data you'd like to access?




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

Tue Mar 12 23:35:21 2013

Ebay.....
The only place that gives ''off- ebay merchants'' more information and data than they give THEIR OWN SELLERS.

Not as much as a TWITCH in the last 6 years (from JD) to help small sellers.

We want them to share data with US, and THEY share our info and data with THEM- great.


Mass Howler- ''Lowest fees EVER''!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Sandymenu

Tue Mar 12 23:59:15 2013

What I'm now noticing these past 6 weeks is that eBay has/is permitting outside merchants located in Torrance, Calif 90503 buying for MANY out of country members registered on EB in USA. If you do not honor internationals then they're stuck unable to pay you to ship to Germany, Russia, Hungary, Czech, Japan and others. Yet, the addresses (at invoicing) all share same zip code with international emails. An FVF reversal request to cancel their bid-win saves buyer from NPB Alert but this company has many accounts in same town, zone, zip.

EB must know of this happening since it still continues.

SO if you're a seller that would not sell international then you should make sure to research both preferences with PayPal and also on EB, if not, you might be giving it away for free if ''not received'' plus an invitation to have your ratings ruined.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Mar 13 02:16:17 2013

It should come as no surprise that eBay's ethically challenged management would make the decision to pimp out data for their own corporate benefit.

The same way Amazon watches for hot products, demands seller source information and then competes with their sellers, eBay is mining data, pimping it out to another division of their company and it will come back to hurt sellers in the long run.


Sellers who have their own websites and accept PayPal for payments would be wise to SKU code their products in such a way that PayPal ends up getting only the custom SKU number data from your transactions in order to prevent PayPal from obtaining specific product details.

This will prevent PayPal from data mining your own website successes, pimping that data out and turning that data against you down the road.

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 08:24:33 2013

Ebay don't share raw data with small ebay seller.  Ebay twisted the results and used them as excuses to create more hoops for small ebay seller.  

Sharing seller sales data with our competitors is yet another trust violation.  Ebay need to be assigned an independent oversight committee making sure it is adheres to fair and ethical business practices and stop any abuse of trust.

I also agree Amazon uses its sellers and pimp same products.  Their is now way to grow for small sellers.  This is also conflict of interest.  

Yes. Don't use UPC at all. @Ric, you are so right.  Paypal & ebay collect customer data and pimp them.   This should be illegal.  I hope they get caught soon and ordered to stop.


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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 13 09:12:28 2013

If it is unethical, shady, or in any way throws a seller under the bus, it is what I have come to expect from eBay.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 12:00:07 2013

eBay and Ethical--the ONLY thing they share is the first letter of the word.

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

Wed Mar 13 17:54:56 2013

Just wrote another letter to the FTC, filed a formal complaint about the data sharing.
Do it folks.
You can file online in 3 minutes.
FTC.ORG
MH

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

Wed Mar 13 18:34:26 2013

The answer to Ina's question is the same answer I give for most things ebafia does.

If it saves THEM money or makes THEM money, ethics and seller collateral damage be damned. These sociopaths will anything and everything to enrich themselves by increasing the value of their stock options.

Americans have little privacy in any venue these days because of a Congress bribed by corporate and bankster campaign contributions and a corporatist, fascist Supreme Court.

Ebafia is a criminal syndicate run by overeducated, ethics challenged white collar piranhas.

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by: Truk This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 13 20:00:13 2013

Sure why not

Nothing bad could come of it right? After all Ebay would never do anything that could cause harm to seller's right?

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

Wed Mar 13 23:16:18 2013

WORK THOSE STOCK PAGE ARTICLES.
MH

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

Thu Mar 14 00:06:57 2013

@MH

Would you mind posting a short list of those stock pages you think have the most impact on Wall Street analysts?

These guys either engage in intentional cheerleader collusions with the corporations they report on or they're woefully ignorant and can be fooled by the most blatantly detectable accounting tricks.

Interestingly, on a couple of Silicon Valley oriented sites after registering correctly, I soon found my user IDs and passwords no longer worked.

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by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 01:05:56 2013

Confusing article.  Large companies get data on ebay buyers?

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by: Jessica Silber This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Mar 14 02:44:50 2013

It is the most prominent example of a huge new “sharing economy”, in which people rent beds, cars, boats and other assets directly from each other, co-ordinated via the internet.

The big change is the availability of more data about people and things, which allows physical assets to be disaggregated and consumed as services.

Like eBay allow anyone to become a retailer, sharing sites let individuals act as an ad hoc taxi service, car-hire firm or boutique hotel as and when it suits them.

To acquire more information about magento integration, you can  click here .

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

Thu Mar 14 03:15:52 2013

Hey Ming,
Type in ''ebay stock price'' in your search window- look for the yahoo entry with the little stock chart, usually the 2nd or so down and look at the current articles that relate to ebay- One of Ina's stories made it in there also yesterday or today, from AUCTIONBYTES.
Notice also how ''Motley fool'' is a total tool for ebay- stock crashes and many articles by motley fool FOR ebay and against Amazon to help fight the negative ebay articles- very much a like liveworld- a modified form of investment social engineering I guess- and very consistent. Motley Fool IS the Kool-aid maker.
The original article I was quoting from late last week was really good (google ''ebay caveat emptor'').
The ebay caveat emptor story (off of the yahoo stock page I believe) started the ball rolling last week- yesterday an article titled: ''Neimans closes ebay shop'' posted and they were lare on that but a day or 2 before the caveat story the stock began to fall from the $56-57 and as of now it is over 12% down in the last 5 -7 trading days. .
Investors are worried that the retail numbers were good and the market is at an all-time high- 8 days advanced and if ebay is dropping this much right now with the market so high WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN when the correction happens (EBAY IS NOT GETTING THE NASDAQ POSITIVE WAVE!)- they are RIGHT and they are starting to see so if folks can dig up a bit of energy we might just get somewhere this time.
Go to those STOCK PAGE ARTICLES and greet investors with some TRUTH in the morning.

ALL of these articles are linked to ebays stock chart page that you find connected to the stock charts, down below.
There are forums on the ''yahoo ebay stock price'' and you can COMMENT and see how confused investors really are anbd how in the LAST WEEK A FEW ARE CATCHING ON.
You can COMMENT ON THE FRONT OF THE ARTICLES- which is what I want you to do, and you can visit the investment boards. There are CRAZIES that control those boards too but you have to sift through these.
Phil is a VETERAN of these investor articles that you can POST ON and he does it much more regularly than me- The beauty is it is on THE FRONT PAGE FOR ALL ANALYSTS and INVESTORS TO SEE and we (I am sure Phil does it to) can write the authors of these articles and tell them how they are wtong.
Some respond back and we give them the LOW DOWN and this is how we get the word out- to those ANALYSTS and INVESTORS.
Just in the last week have a few BIG BIG articles finally come out- and we have been working this angle for a few years.
Go and VISIT Ming- and EVERYBODY ELSE- read Inas article there- Congrats INA!
If you read these articles you will see that we are starting to get somewhere, but we need folks to visit and tell them about ebay and paypal.
Thanks everybody.
(JackSparrow spoke to me about Ecrater- fixed price but they leave you alone- he is a helluva guy).
Mass Howler
PS: Folks are having TROUBLE with the ''Global shipping Program'' again- buyers write to sellers- WHERE IS MY ITEM and sellers have been trying to CALL ebay and they get switched over to ''global sales'' and they get CUT OFF.
I think I will stick to doing my own busy work.
If you join the GSP most of your ''sold'' stuff will end up UNCLAIMED sitting in a virtual cart.  

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

Thu Mar 14 03:21:59 2013

Ebay fell like 3.86% today- this is why I wanted folks to comment on these articles tonight- so many flammable posts about ebay and paypal would GREET ANALYSTS and INVESTORS in the morning.
ebay stock price- open the links, scroll down under the charts- look for the articles concerning the stock- ebay. Most stock pages do not have forums now but you can comment on almost all of the investment articles- including those by the kool-aid maker Motley Fool- I do not generally comment on those out of fear- ebay make worlk with the guy as he is a REAL CHEERLEADER.
The one ebay stock page that has a little forum is the yahoo ebay stock page, look for the little link in the list on the left to visit that forum, but writing there will not get much done- Write on the ARTICLES.
Thanks folks.
MH

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

Thu Mar 14 03:24:50 2013

Ming- except for motley fool- the cheerleading STOPPED last week.
MH- go see. :-)

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

Thu Mar 14 03:50:09 2013

Here are most of the articles:

"Last Call for Neiman Marcus's ebay store" Reuters.com 3/8/2013.

"Caveat Emptor- 3 reasons to be scarred of ebay" Seeking Alpha 3/11/2013.

"Ebay February trends tougher than for Amazon, says Street" Barrons.com 3/12/2013.

"Ebay falls after sales growth slump in February" Bloomberg 3/12/2013.

I always thought Barrons and Seeking Alpha were ebay influenced and I still think that but these stories just began on the 8th of this month.

I wish I knew how to POST these stories but I am an old dinosaur that honestly cannot cut and paste!

Mass Howler  

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

Thu Mar 14 04:10:33 2013

One last thing.
The thing that started this was an analyst from the firm of Robert Baird- Colin Sebastian wrote the 1st article on March 6th- "Ebay Falls on Grath Slowdown as Sonsumers Curbed Outlays"- Bloomberg.

This started all the other articles and many negative ones except for really motley fool and perhaps fly on the wall- they are spinning.
MH

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

Thu Mar 14 04:11:28 2013

"Ebay Falls on Growth Slowdown as Consumers Curbed Outlays".
Sorry.

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 14 13:31:27 2013

I would think ALL of the Magento Merchants could be subjected to lawsuits and liable for huge financial damages and penalties  if the Court ruled that they taken pimped data from Ebay sellers sale history... with or without ebay guarantee.

Any ebay guarantee to the Magento Merchants are automatically forfeited since if pimping action itself is criminal in nature.

This is like buying fenced goods knowingly.  Any promise from the thieves are not applicable to the deal.  Buyers are subjected to financial damage and additional penalties.


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