Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun June 23 2013 13:19:33

eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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If only one was privy to the results of the promotions eBay runs, because it would be really interesting to see what kind of results its newest promo generates. eBay is opening its wallet to pay for new sellers, but there are several things that stand out as sticking points. The real question is, will sellers refer other sellers to eBay for ten bucks a pop?

Here's how it works: eBay is offering a $10 bounty for referring new sellers in a special 1-month promotion - only those sellers who receive an invitation are eligible to participate, and they can earn up to $200 if they refer 20 new users who then go to eBay and sell something.



The first sticking point is whether eBay should really have to fork out $10 to attract sellers to the site, assuming it's a vibrant marketplace attractive to sellers. PayPal ran a similar promotion when it launched, but that was before it gained traction. It's unusual for an established site to pay for new users - and who hasn't heard of eBay already?

It's interesting that eBay hasn't tied the new promotion into a social networking campaign, but that is likely due to the fact the promotion is not open to all users. Reading the email invitation readers received begs the question, just how difficult is it for eBay to attract sellers, "new" or otherwise, to the site?

On the other hand, if eBay has more demand (buyers) than supply (sellers), that might be a nice problem to have. But it comes back to the fact that sellers go where the buyers are, they're quick to identify opportunities. And given the number of seller reports about declining sales, it seems unlikely the balance is titled that way. In fact, it's a wonder eBay isn't paying for buyer referrals (aside from its affiliate program).

eBay is sending the invitation to "our most loyal sellers" - but what seller would trade the threat of increased competition for $10? Having more sellers on a marketplace makes it harder for their own items to rank highly in search results, and it drives down prices.

eBay has been trying to drive up its active user metric, and has said that users who sell on the site are also more engaged buyers. In the first quarter of this year, all eBay Marketplaces gained 3.9 million active users and ended the quarter with 116 million, a 13% increase; unfortunately it's difficult to get metrics about the number of active sellers on the site - and even if it did, it would be difficult to know how many "serious" sellers that encompassed.

If you received this invitation, would you refer new seller to eBay? Would you refer buyers to eBay? Why or why not? And would it make a difference if eBay paid more for the referrals?




Comments (51) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

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

Sun Jun 23 14:30:21 2013

This promotion offers up a few more insights into how these sociopaths apply their sociopathy to the ebafia marketplace.

First, apparently they must think that sellers are so money starved from Cassini that they'll finish what The Ho started by referring competition for price of lunch.

On ebafia, good buyers are so few and far between now that it's competition for the dollar not just for identical/similar items. Any new seller is competition whether they're selling what you sell or not.

Secondly, I'll bet the ranch that their definition of their ''most loyal sellers'' won't include sellers who took one of their surveys and answered that they weren't going to be referring anyone to sell on ebafia (Not at All Likely - 1 on those surveys).

No, it will be ''loyal'' sellers whose little families ebafia saved like datadownload. No? Check the feedback now of this token flagship seller.

Ebafia ''marketplaces'' may in the aggregate be up. Of course we don't know for sure because ebafia manipulates the numbers nor do we know precisely how ebafia.com performs exclusive of Stub Hub, Half, etc.

Third, don't forget these bribes are coming from the massive fee increases that went into effect for many in May.

Of course, this move might be a preemptive response somehow connected to the lawsuit(s) ebafia has filed against allegedly dishonest affiliate(s). $10 is probably peanuts compared to what overall ebays pays affiliates.

I refer no one to ebafia nor will I until The Ho and those who think like him are gone forever.

The Ho ruined ebafia. I'd give him at least $10 to leave and take Devil Wenig with him.

How's that disruption going for you, Ho?

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 23 16:01:34 2013

''will sellers refer other sellers to eBay for ten bucks a pop?'' No.
There was a time when I wouldn't need a bribe to recommend eBay. In fact, I did it all the time. Now, I tell people to avoid it like the plague.

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Jun 23 17:14:09 2013

Sorry, $20.00 a head is not sufficient motivation to subject friends to the insane concepts and policy requirements of selling on eBay.

Friends who ask me about selling on eBay are quickly advised to list on alternative sites such as Bonanza, eCrater, eBid and Craigslist as these sites are much more friendly to new sellers than eBay is.

eBay's antagonistic policies toward their existing sellers is indicative of how little eBay values our business and generally takes our business for granted.

Why would I speak positively about eBay and PayPal when there is little for new sellers to be positive about. PayPal holds new sellers funds... eBay relegates new sellers to virtual invisibility in search due to their lack of trading history, and selling policies are a myriad of confusion requiring a learning curve which is too steep for new sellers to grasp.

If a new seller's listings will not be seen, and the morsels eBay allows them in sales result in payment holds, what part of that experience is something I would speak positively about to a stranger let alone someone I consider a friend.

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: wanda This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jun 23 20:11:17 2013

Well Ina... i wonder why this particular non-important issue is allowed open dialogue while the more important issues affecting all sellers does not... i refer to your Sound Off page, found here:  http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abu/y213/m06/abu0337/s06
R>Please
do not consider my comment an attack, rather think of it as a fair question... one that deserves an answer to a topic that deserves airing and discussion.

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: wanda This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jun 23 20:14:09 2013

Sorry... one more time... the link to Sound Off didn't come through clean...

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abu/y213/m06/abu0337
/s06

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: wanda This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jun 23 20:15:00 2013

and it did it twice, isn't that odd?  Mistake was not a mistake the second time through... what's really going on Ina?

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: David Steiner

Sun Jun 23 20:37:48 2013

Well, you got us. It's a conspiracy to keep you from linking to our  content...

So exactly which important issue on that page are we neglecting to give open dialogue? Not a mind reader here...

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jun 23 21:10:15 2013

Had JD and company not run so many excellent sellers away with their insane policies and arrogant treatment they would not have to buy new sellers. Each seller that they ran off was likely also a buyer.  

This action by eBay speaks volumes.  And with that said, they need to be buying "buyers", not sellers.  They don't  seem to be able (or choose not to) to give visibility to the sellers they've got now.  So they want to bring more on?

If eBay marketplaces were doing a great business they would not need new sellers.  In my opinion they are simply wanting to bring more sellers on board so that they gouge them with fees like they do the rest of us.

Amazon execs must be having a good laugh.

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 23 21:38:13 2013

How could i get another seller to list on ebay?  I have an ebay email allowing me thousands of free listings and today, i only have one item up.  If i'm not listing...even for free how could i possibly sell the site to somebody else?   Ebay is desperate for sellers.  I've known that for a long time...yet they are too stupid to loosen up their hold on sellers and their ham-fisted manipulation of search.  Its their funeral.  

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Jun 23 21:45:22 2013

At times friends & acquaintances have asked about selling various things on eBay.
Back when items usually sold high I did not have any qualms about recommending them give it a try.


These days, with selling prices being lower, I have to temper my response with reality. Most people that have asked lately are wanting to dispose of household items of aging parents. Pictures, art, & decor seem to be items people want to get a bit of cash from.

My advice to them is to research, research, research for at least a month or more before trying to list anything.  I tell them how to find closed & sold listings on eBay to look at. Try to give them a realistic idea that things usually don't sell for what they once did - if at all. That shipping art & large items can get expensive and they should know how to figure shipping & packaging costs. I give them names of some  alternative venues so they can research prices,  selling costs, & turnover & compare the site to eBay.

Then I try to explain the one-way feedback system, DSR's & pitfalls therein.  At that point they are usually ready to call on a local professional & just pay the commission.


One thing has been consistent. Throughout the years when someone has asked - ''Maybe you could sell some stuff for me?'' My reply has been a gentle, firm negative. I prefer to KEEP my friends!

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: MADandCracked This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 23 23:39:32 2013

Seems to me like eBay is finally realizing that their buyers were sellers and their sellers were buyers! Well, too bad so sad :D

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: genejhsn This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 23 23:45:14 2013

I would rather soil my pants in a crowded elevator than tell another human being to subject themselves to the unending diharretic flow of ridiculous micromanagment and psychotic devotion to useless minutae that is eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 23 23:50:11 2013

I sell on eBay out of necessity. It's the biggest game in town and while I don't like the rules at all, I know them (mostly) by heart. Someone getting into the online sales business should probably look elsewhere for friendlier options, 'cause eBay is just a big eCommerce wolf in sheep's clothing, run by people who have never had to earn a living using their own product.  

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: millcreekrescue This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 23 23:51:46 2013

I wouldn't wish eBay selling on my WORST enemy!  And in fact I have talked a few of my friends out of selling on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 23 23:54:01 2013

eBay is the most poorly run company that I've ever dealt with. They want more sellers? Go back to the 5% commission and make the paypal commission 1%. It's not worth the bother selling on eBay anymore for three simple reasons. Their fees are too high. All of the junk the mega sellers have poured onto the site have chased away the serious buyers (serious buyers don't have the time to search for a needle in a haystack). The constant changes to search, which mostly make it harder to find items (like doing away with the wild card), and the inability to discriminate between quality antiques/vintage collectibles and all of the junk, has chased most of the buyers and sellers away.  

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: wanda This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jun 23 23:59:33 2013

My apologies Ina... you are airing these issues, i failed to see it till after i posted and couldn't find my way back here till now.

But, do we fail to realize that what is happening on Ebay is endemic of what is occurring all across America and the world... the systemic destruction of the family, our freedoms, our right to choose.. and handing it all over to... what?  Endless wars, people being displaced, poisoned food, water, skies... no privacy and a growing police state... it all ties together and the biggest question should be WHY?  And, where is it going... and everything else, in my studied opinion is just a diversion.

We are talking about survival... not the puppet who animates Donahoe's suit... or Obama's for that matter... those are side shows.

I guess i would rather see the other issues as more of a focus over Ebay paying $10 to get more people to waste time on their site... they are taking people's time and money and offering less and less in return... too many rules and controls and no rationale or logic... why?

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: askalice59

Mon Jun 24 00:03:33 2013

They would likely want to take FVF and PP fees out of the ten dollars anyway...I didn't get an invite, did you? I don't recommend eBay anymore. I would not do that to my enemies.

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

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

Mon Jun 24 00:04:41 2013

I valued the friendships that I have MORE than I need eBay's lousy $10.00!!

Why would I want to subject my friends to the same abuse that we (once) loyal sellers have had to endure?

Puh-leeze! This just reeks of desperation!

What's next? What's their NEXT big idea? Will eBay start to make photocopied flyers and hire kids to fan-out across the Safeway parking lot and put one under the windshield wiper of every car?

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: nobody This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 24 00:05:52 2013

I would have to truly hate someone to wish ebay on them... uh, sorry ebay, I don't hate anyone that much (or at all)........... besides politicians ;)

Perminate Link for eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers   eBay Opens Wallet to Attract New Sellers

by: nobody This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 24 00:08:51 2013

I do remember *many* years ago when ebay used to offer the same $10 to sign people on, but my~oh~my things have changed drastically over the last 15 years. No way Ho-say!

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