|Wed July 9 2014 15:24:21|
Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards
By: Ina Steiner
In what smacks of desperation, eBay is considering compensating users in some way for posting on its boards. Each week eBay holds a chat session on a particular topic. Last week's topic: "The eBay Community team wants to hear your ideas about rewards & recognition for Community participation."
In response to a question about what the eBay moderator meant, the moderator replied, "For example, if eBay were to reward members for their Community participation, what types of participation should we consider? Number of posts? Number of correct responses?"
The moderator also asked what participants thought about "access to eBay experts or items to help you sell" as a reward for participating in Community features.
Several users said they participated on the boards to help other members out, and said that was enough of a reward for them.
Others were more concerned with the impact of Google actions taken against eBay and the impact on their exposure, traffic and sales.
"Honestly, I could really care less about "rewards and recognition" when my sales are down about 85% from a year ago," wrote one seller. "I can't even get 1 view any longer on some of my listings. This is how I make my living, and I am barely making fee costs at this stage. I need real help from eBay. Thank you for letting me vent."
A user who has been selling on eBay for 17 years said, "What I suggest is that the members who put time in might be given a special telephone number on matters that come up on the boards many times so we can make a factual statement other than our Best Guess."
He said the boards are filled with members concern over their decrease in sales thanks to eBay's hacking incident and Google's punishing eBay. "What would benefit eBay is to listen and get the people who care to have a way to express our ideas." For example, he said he felt it was critical for eBay to start advertising again.
Some participants suggested rewards such as the following:
- One eBay Buck for every kudo an answer gets. (Kudo is a feature of the eBay discussion board.)
- How about 50 free fixed-price listings per month for participating on a discussion board at least once a week?
- How about making certain that board/group participants' listings are made visible? It's very discouraging to list merchandise and get 0-5 views (and no sales) in 30 days, let alone 7 days.
- How about fixing all the glitches about which both buyers and sellers complain day in and day out?
- How about fixing the Group boards so that the original post comes FIRST? Many users want to read the messages for information but do not want to sign in - Groups need to be consistent with the Discussion boards.
- How about paying each board participant a daily stipend of $50?
- You could show recognition for community participation by simply monitoring the boards, when users report an issue repeatedly.
- I also like the idea of having a contact person when we need to get the correct answer from eBay - especially when some of the regulars are divided on the best way to do something.
The eBay moderator also asked, "If you are a member of other communities, what are they and what do you like about them?"
Those who no longer participate in the boards weren't there to respond, but one common reason cited for abandoning the eBay boards is censorship. Users are hampered in what they can say.
Another reason - frequent changes eBay makes to the boards. In fact, 2 weeks ago, eBay consolidated the boards and got rid of "Seller Central" and other popular boards.
A reason eBay is so interested in reinvigorating community participation may be due to lower traffic from Google, a result of poor SEO tactics. One flagrant practice was paying people to write reviews and guides. The fact that eBay is considering compensating users for participating in community features indicates it hasn't learned its lesson.