|Tue May 13 2014 13:24:20|
eBay CEO Gets Earful from Top Rated Seller at Annual Meeting
By: Ina Steiner
An eBay shareholder who also happens to be a Top Rated Seller asked eBay CEO John Donahoe and the board of directors why he was being punished for something outside of his control. The seller raised the question at the company's annual shareholder meeting in San Jose, California today.
The seller, named Dave, said he was a hobby seller (since 1998) with over 1500 positive feedback ratings who listed things around his house, from laptops and hard drives to coins, baseball cards and bobbleheads.
He said he would lose his TRS status in August due to new tracking requirements that will require TRS sellers to upload tracking on 90% of their shipments. Dave said he places his lightweight items into USPS First Class envelopes along with a tracking bar code, but the Postal Service won't scan them.
"I think everybody in this room probably does not think that anybody should be punished for things over which they have no control. I have no control over the Postal Service."
The seller suggested eBay make an exception to the tracking requirement for small, lightweight items that the Postal Service won't scan, perhaps for items that are four ounces or less or for domestic shipping where flat rate shipping costs less than $3.
"I'm sure there are thousands just like me," he said, and it would benefit buyers as well.
Donahoe thanked the seller for his suggestion and said "I'm certain Devin (Wenig) and his team will take it."
The tracking requirement was first announced in 2012, when sellers of lightweight items like postage stamps, coins, ephemera, labels, etc., said the requirement would make it impossible to sell those inexpensive, lightweight items on eBay.
It's rare, though not unheard of, for eBay sellers to use the company's annual shareholder meeting to talk about challenges they face and make suggestions to the top executives gathered there.
Also new this year - after the formal voting (everything went eBay's way, including the rejection of a shareholder proposal) and a presentation by John Donahoe, Rev. Jesse Jackson was allowed to make a statement calling for tech companies to take action to promote diversity, part of the Rainbow Push Coalition's "digital inclusion initiative."
Rev. Jackson called out Silicon Valley firms for the lack of diversity on their boards and C-Suites (chief officers), and in their financial transactions, advertising and professional services.
Donahoe pointed to the challenge of diversity when hiring engineers, though I'm not sure how many eBay board members and senior executives are actually engineers. He pointed to eBay's Girls Who Code initiative and said he would spend time with Rev. Jackson after the meeting.
Update: Here is a link to the article covering the Annual Meeting, "eBay CEO Asked About Amazon, Bitcoin and Unpopular Seller Policy."