Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat June 8 2013 22:32:03

eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

By: Ina Steiner

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It's not unusual for companies to prohibit their employees from accessing certain websites from work. In fact, holiday shopping data shows many people shop online during the day on weekdays, presumably from work computers. So banning workers from accessing sites like eBay, Amazon or Craigslist wouldn't be noteworthy.

But eBay banning its own employees from accessing its site? Not exactly, but it was strange to read a tweet coming from eBay UK's verified Twitter account that it had banned desktop access to the eBay website from its own offices.

The reason, according to the tweet, was because one-third of transactions to the site come from mobile devices.



Apparently eBay UK wants its force its employees to access its site using mobile devices to better understand the experience, but that also means employees won't be able to experience the site the way that two thirds of visitors are experiencing it.

It appears from the tweet that the ban was in effect for one week - it would be surprising if it was a permanent ban.

It's a good idea for marketplace employees - and online merchant, for that matter - to see how product listings appear on smartphones and tablets. But are such bans too extreme, even if only for a week, or should other companies consider such policies?




Comments (19) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Sun Jun 9 00:17:06 2013

If we go the "conspirator" hypothesis. I see it more like use the mobile devices because is more difficult to proof that something bad came from our IP address.  

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

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

Sun Jun 9 03:49:01 2013

I had hoped the Brits might have escaped the ebafia.com testosterone OD culture.

What a gaggle of control freaks.

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 9 06:34:38 2013

As long as they control their EMPLOYEES I don't care. I wish they would stop trying to BORG their sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

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

Sun Jun 9 06:37:36 2013

If eBay wants to take away some paychecks and make employees sell on site to fill their bellies...

I will donate a pickup truck full of smalls and items to sell online.

Let's see how much they joke and smile after that.  ;-)

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 9 07:56:58 2013

Ed Gadfly #LIKE!!!  

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jun 9 08:27:21 2013

That's one way to get those mobile usage stats up so that they can tell their advertisers and everyone else that mobile usage is way up.

eBay.........nothing is ever what it seems to be.  Smoke + Mirrors

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 9 15:43:02 2013

I agree with Rexford...they are padding the numbers again so they can brag about their mobile users!  Childish things for a group of childish managers!

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

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

Sun Jun 9 18:19:01 2013

Oh, brother!

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 9 23:41:13 2013

Playing with mobile stats. Did you expect anything else from this corrupt organization??????

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Sun Jun 9 23:50:39 2013

Obligatory Phil Cohen "Wanker Phone" comment, insert here!  

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Jun 9 23:55:09 2013

Ebay is making their employees shills - mobile shills. Just speculating but ebay probably hired pretend buyers or had their employees use their mobile phones to do the ''window shopping'' with one hour delivery. See Ina's other article on the home page. Everything ebay does is a success even when it isn't.

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 00:44:51 2013

Great!   All companies should follow ebay's role model.

ALL companies should ban access to ebay as well.

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: richknobsales This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 08:17:15 2013

I didn't realize that eBay's employees ever used the site. Things sure aren't set up like they do. This could bring on improvement!

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 10:18:21 2013

AHHH Yes, promote the mobile devices and buyers will not reading the descriptions even more. They should ban them from going on the site, they do not go on the site when you call customer service, uh right? I am so confused. What? Okay so they spending time shopping? I would think that they would know the problems with the TRS program which rewards the large sellers in which many are shiesters because of their large volume of sales, they should know not to shop on ebay. You are correct I am bitter. My ebay sales and purchases always come with a worry now. On the bright side my off ebay sales are still climbing, just like thousands of others who have crossed the border and are selling elsewhere. Shareholders and stock brokers are not the brightest bulbs evidently.

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 11:20:35 2013

In the words of the Iconic Moron Alfred E. Newman, ''What? Me Worry?''
1/3 of sales mobile and 100% of the seller's description hidden without clicking on the ''details'' link on most mobile devices, no indication that items are on sale, only truncated shipping and return policies shown unless the buyer clicks on the ''details'' link.
I'd like to see some figures on percentages of items that have been returned SNAD because the descriptions aren't visible.
In the words of the morons at eBay: What's to worry about, LOL?  

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 11:39:37 2013

The next update will be as follows:
Full listings as the seller entered them will now only be available on the Commodore 64 Platform. If the buyer using another device would like a full description, they can contact the seller through the messaging system, excluding any words or character that the eBay algorithms deem inappropriate such as question marks, periods, or words such as payment. eBay will then review the communication with the proprietary double secret algorithm and place the sellers listing into the bad seller, no visibility for you Que. The seller may respond, and ebay will translate to a punch card that will be mailed to the buyer at a PayPal mailing address of a former associate or that the buyer has moved from 5 years or more prior and removed from the approved addresses on his/her account. After not notifying the seller through the associated email address, a policy violation will be entered onto the offending seller's account and will show up as a dire warning that if the seller violates the said policy again, they will be banned from selling on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: Bullet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 13:17:26 2013

I worked for ebay and I was required to buy and sell on the site from work and my feedback was checked by my boss.  The reason for this is that the site is not well documented and if you want to know how the site works currently, you have to use it.  So it makes sense for them to require employees to use mobile so they understand how mobile looks and feels on ebay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 14:20:04 2013

eBay SHOULD require employees to use the site so that they know what they are talking about, and it appears they do require it.
The problem lies in the fact that they scoff at real concerns raised by sellers about how harmful the mobile experience is to both the buyer and seller in the name of ''Giving the customer a stellar experience from end to end''. As a buyer, I'd be pretty pissed off to find that an item wasn't what it appeared to be just because eBay buried the IMPORTANT pertinent information about the item I purchased. Not knowing it was eBay that hid the information, I'd blame the seller. This scenario is AT LEAST 33% more likely to happen now. The empty ''best practices'' advice about writing good descriptions and having clearly stated shipping and return policies are all hot air when eBay hides the information from the buyer.
eBay has a LONG history of launching things in the name of ''delivering a great experience'' for the buyer, and putting the protection of the seller at risk, and in most cases will not even consider making a transaction gone awry ''right'' to the seller, even as a secondary measure.
In the ''real world'', companies that launch products so blatantly not ready for public use do not last long in the marketplace. Only by shifting the burden to the seller does eBay get away with this type of irresponsible development.
Personally, I wish they would get it together as I make a portion of my living there. Instead, it appears that they are putting us on a long, slow slide on a slippery slope.

Perminate Link for eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site   eBay Bans Employees from Desktop Access to Its Site

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 10 18:17:06 2013

Said one eBay employee to another, "What, we have a web site?"



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