Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun June 29 2014 10:34:16

Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

By: Ina Steiner

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A seller who appeared on the Today Show yesterday to report her sales had plummeted after eBay revealed a security breach last month takes umbrage with eBay's denial of her claims.

Robin Ramsden, owner of Cornerstone Stained Glass Supplies, told EcommerceBytes that she has been selling on eBay since 2001. She had set herself a goal of having a half-a-million-dollar in sales this year, and had been on track to achieve her goal, getting 100 orders/day. But after news of the hacking incident, Ramsden said she has been lucky to get 30 orders/day.

In a statement provided to the Today Show, eBay publicly disagreed with the seller - "we're pleased to see that the recent cyberattack on eBay did not impact Ms. Ramsden's business," it said.

eBay began by stating, "So far this year, Cornerstone Stained Glass Supplies is growing on eBay compared to the prior year, and recent sales patterns are generally in line with the prior year. We have discussed this directly with owner Robin Ramsden. And we have offered to work directly with Ms. Ramsden to help her continue to grow her business on eBay."

But Ramsden called the statement misleading, and said her sales had been increasing from 2013 through May, when the eBay breach was revealed. She also said the eBay representative who reached out to her when it learned of her media interviews had not given her concrete advice on growing her business. "He simply repeated the statement that what I'm experiencing is seasonal."

When she asked him to email her a marketing strategy for the market she was in, he said he could not put anything in writing because it was sensitive information. "No offer of help. I am always free to call an eBay customer sales rep, he said."

Ramsden told me she was speaking out because she felt eBay wasn't doing enough to tell shoppers that it was safe to shop on the site.

It's extremely unusual for eBay to discuss a member's account publicly, citing its privacy policy. I asked Ramsden if eBay had asked her permission to discuss her specific case with a reporter. She said no, but said eBay informed her about what it was going to say to the Today Show, and she said okay. (The way she described it to me on the phone, she was acknowledging she understood they were speaking to a reporter, but didn't feel they were asking her permission to discuss the specifics of her case.)

Ramsden held an estate sale on Saturday to help meet expenses. She's also had to layoff staff due to the decline in sales, she said. And she's not alone. Her friendly "postal lady" noticed she and other eBay sellers she serviced had a noticable decline in the number of packages they were mailing. Her local newspaper, the Durango Herald, also interviewed her about the impact of the breach on her sales.

Ramsden said eBay makes up 80% of her sales - and she told EcommerceBytes that her sales on Etsy and on her own site were actually up after the May 21st announcement regarding the eBay hacking incident.

We sent some questions to eBay on Saturday and will update this post when we receive a response.

EcommerceBytes is conducting a survey to see if sellers were impacted by the security breach - visit SurveyMonkey to participate.




Comments (43) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Jun 29 11:04:18 2014

CEO John Donahoe has remained in bunker mode and has steadfastly failed to release any information regarding details of the hack.  Other than the initial press release, eBay seems to remain in bunker mode and has released no new information or details beyond their initial release.

I find it suspicious that eBay would choose to respond publicly and discuss specifics regarding a specific sellers account. I guess when you are getting national media attention that puts eBay in a bad light, one must expect that the company response will one that serves the company's needs by speaking in generalities as opposed to specifics.

eBay's statement plays up the increase in sales this seller saw in the first 4 months of the year, and uses that trend to project future trends while wholly failing to address the issue related to a significant drop in the sellers sales volume post hack.

eBay's response is self serving and suspicious at best, and would appear to be a creatively worded fabrication which fails to acknowledge the post hack realities.

Based upon eBay's response to this sellers concerns, it would appear that eBay is telling the public and investors that with regard to post hack realities, everyone should just move along as there is nothing to see here.

It will be interesting to see if or how eBay's Q2 report GMV statistics dove tails with the so called facts they have put forth in a desperate attempt to down play this sellers reality.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

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

Sun Jun 29 13:44:21 2014

Interesting online discussion which would indicate eBay may have much bigger problems than just declining sales after its mishandling of the hacking event: "IB: What's going to sink these people is an SEC investigation of their accounting practices. There are more bodies buried there than Forest Lawn Cemetery.

RV: IB, how does one get one going with Donahoe appointed to a post by Pres. Obama and his wife an Ambassador to the United Nations?

IB: Donahoe was appointed to an advisory trade board, a patronage slot not requiring congressional approval. His wife was appointed a delegate to an international trade legation in Switzerland. Another presidential patronage position not requiring congress...See More

RV: IB, are you saying that eBay's apparent "invincibility" is either exaggerated or does not stem entirely from VISIBLE political connections?

IB: Yes, RV, that is a fair statement."

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

by: Truk This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 29 13:55:03 2014

Our sales are off by 60% since the hack

Ebay either has not fixed the hack and are not ready to talk yet or

They are a train wreck of public relations

It's one or the other either way pretty disapointing

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

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

Sun Jun 29 14:23:27 2014

“eBay responds to claims that security breach has impacted its vendors”

http://www.today.com/news/ebay-responds-claims-security-breach-has
-impacted-vendors-1D79862947


Well, most of us know that eBay is incapable of telling the truth about anything.

Even "eBay implemented a new authentication process that requires all users to reset their password" is not true; I have not been required to reset my password! Then, such falsehoods are par for the course for anything that emanates from the eBay Dept of Spin. Fortunately, it's easy to tell when an eBay/PayPal spokesperson is being disingenuous. Their lips are moving ...

Regardless, Ms Ramsden is to be applauded for publicly telling it as it is; I just hope that this utterly unscrupulous corporation does not make her pay an even greater price for their incompetence and her outspokenness …

eBay Inc, where the incompetent mingle with the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Jun 29 14:31:06 2014

''When she asked him to email her a marketing strategy for the market she was in, he said he could not put anything in writing because it was sensitive information.''

eBay strategy is revealed on a ''Eyes Only'' need to know basis to Donahoe and the NSA.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

by: This a joke, right? This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 29 15:05:31 2014

My sales have remained about the same on eBay but they are so minimal it doesn't matter. My spam has increased 100-fold since the breach

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

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

Sun Jun 29 15:33:17 2014

@Ric since the numbers used by eBay to create the Q2 report will be padded and inflated (as they have been in times past), investors still won't be getting an accurate picture.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

This user has validated their user name. by: MeTech

Sun Jun 29 18:14:55 2014

Good old Ebay at it again.

The security breach is one part of the problem. This company has
ruined families and destroyed businesses intentionally so the
boys and girls can have more money to play with.

The signs have been there for a long time and now they are
much more clear to see.
Get out while you can or drown with the sinking ship.

This is no conspiracy theory as some think.
If you find yourself working long hours and very little or
nothing in return then there is no doubt you don't have a chance
with this evil company.

All the numbers are inflated and they keep fooling stockholders
until one day.
One day we will all look back and this company will be history.

Be part of that history by saying you did not get smeared by the
garbage service they offer.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Jun 29 19:01:42 2014

For Corn Sakes !
Somebody please put this Ebay "Nag" out of its misery !
Ebay cannot function with Donahoe there.
Just get rid of Ebay.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Jun 29 20:07:08 2014

''When she asked him to email her a marketing strategy for the market she was in, he said he could not put anything in writing because it was sensitive information.''

Ebay doesn't want anything coming back to them where they can be implicated. We all know ebay's "word" means nothing.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jun 29 20:37:52 2014

Who is more likely telling the truth: A long-time seller, or an eBay rep? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

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

Sun Jun 29 22:50:38 2014

Lying at every opportunity is ebay management's currency. Over the years, they've even lied when they didn't have to.

Lying, secrecy, and deceit are the cornerstones of ebay's corporate culture and strategic planning.
Ms. Ramsden's books can clearly prove or disprove her claims to show who's lying.

I've challenged ebay on a number of occasions to document several positively absurd marketing claims they make about their bells and whistles.

It's either "sensitive" information they can't reveal or it's "proprietary" information they can't share.

The Ho's post hack strategy can be best summarized as an Ostrich Strategy. Don't acknowledge it beyond the absolute minimum, don't apologize because an apology implies legal responsibility to ebay's user victims, and refuse to answer questions about it from the media.

Then it will go away. It's up to us to make it doesn't "go away."

Ebay already has some ethically questionable Q2 reporting plans in place. We all remember when sellers boycotted five or six years ago, and ebay listings sank like a rock until ebay imported listings into .com from other marketplaces and then actually manufactured and cloned thousands of fake listings.

There's NOTHING John Donahoe won't do to maintain his multi million stock share playground at the expense of shareholders and ebay's users.

He, Wenig, and the rest of this sociopathic country club belong in federal prison.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

by: tony bonn This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jun 29 23:00:22 2014

this episode shows ebay as the nsa clone that it is. they claim that they cannot give concrete help to the woman because of the sensitive nature of being outed as incompetent, yet they have publicly discussed her financial situation in complete violation of their privacy rules. the hypocrisy and lies are disgusting

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 29 23:03:31 2014

What selling IS this???  I would be "happy" with just about ANY sales!  And the few I HAVE managed to glean have been from extortionate buyers---

Altho I feel that the seller here is probably going to be "disappeared" by ebay any second now----

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 29 23:17:03 2014

The answer here is simple - just ask any of the posters here - especially the smart ones like MING or RIC.

They are BOTH lying (eBay and this women).

This company is one of eBays beloveds ... half-a-million-dollar in sales this year????? Shes no run of the mill seller. She sells stained glass tools NOT iPhones. How many glass cutters can any one person sell? And what do they sell for? $1000 each?

eBay admitted that shes a beloved "we have offered to work directly with Ms. Ramsden to help her continue to grow her business on eBay" NOTICE THE WORD CONTINUED.

This women made the cardinal sin of "airing her dirty laundry in PUBLIC". Sure her sales are off cause of the breach - as are mine and everyone elses - AND because of the GOOGLE issue (thats not getting any play (except from Ina).

Her sales went down, she didnt want to wait for eBay to "reFix" things and took it public. eBay had then respond and spill the beans that shes a special case, she gets help from them but is still NOT satisfied.

Its as obvious as the nose on your face.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

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

Sun Jun 29 23:17:27 2014

Its not what eBay is "saying" that is as interesting as what eBay is "doing".

We have been offered $20 for a sale, any sale. Thousands of free listings or a "free" store.

You do not start giving away the bathwater unless you have an issue with a leak in the tub.

Else, why has eBay been so generous with the gimmicks since the "hack"?

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Jun 30 00:14:08 2014

She will probably get a short burst of sales and once the publicity has waned will get the decreased visibility most ebay sellers are familiar with. Ebafia makes sure nobody goes against them. She is Fredo in the boat.  

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 30 01:11:18 2014

Correct me if I'm wrong.....but when the hacking happened....the manual action by Google against Ebay also happened. THIS is the reason I believe many have experienced sales stop around that time. Google purposely penalized Ebay in their search results and some big name analytical companies said it cut Ebay traffic by a 1/3.

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

by: RichieC This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 30 01:25:14 2014

Off @ least 60%

Perminate Link for Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show   Seller Refutes eBay Response to Her Claims on Today Show

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

Mon Jun 30 02:13:14 2014

If this seller determines her business ruined, she might want to consult an attorney about ebafia's supremely unprofessional conduct in this matter disseminating confidential information to the media in order to defend the indefensible.

There is NOTHING this scum won't do to prevent the truth from escaping their San Jose campus.

The concepts of professionalism and business ethics are unwelcome foreign ideologies from top to bottom.

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