Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed July 9 2014 15:24:21

Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

By: Ina Steiner

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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.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 9 15:42:52 2014

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The Ebay boards were robust before they teamed up with Lithium and posts started being censored and moved. They then consolidated the boards down to almost nothing.

Once again, Ebay dreams up ways to ruin what is working fine and then wonders what happens to it.  

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jul 9 16:20:12 2014

Member to member answers to questions hardly suffice. eBay should have staff members actively participating on their boards.

As to rewards to posting on eBay boards...this does reek of desperation and in the long term will become yet another way eBay disappoints their users.

eBay created the eBay Bucks rewards program, and has slowly been scaling back eligible categories in order to reduce costs associated with the program.

eBay offered Top Rated Sellers a 20% discount on Final Value Fees, and is now in the process of alienating sellers as they clamp down on who qualifies with new seller defeating ratings systems.

Like so many other reward programs, eBay will eventually scale any board posting reward program back, which will disappoint participants, so why start it in the first place.

Setting users up for disappointment which is sure to come down the road is typical for this company and shows just how disconnected from users the company and it's management has become.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Wed Jul 9 16:34:01 2014

"The Ebay boards were robust before they teamed up with Lithium and posts started being censored and moved."

The eBay boards have always been censored, to varying degrees, in various countries, but probably no more so than in the UK where eBay's censorship has always been particularly savage ...

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 Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: fordat1 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 9 16:36:53 2014

I have vastly better ways to spend my time then posting on their message boards.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Wed Jul 9 16:50:20 2014

“access to eBay experts or items to help you sell” …

All too funny. Gee, the inference is that the great cull of sellers is not a deliberate ploy! But seriously, when eBay is obviously being destroyed from within by these incompetent headless turkeys, what would they know about anything? Certainly, merchants are unlikely to get any help from eBay for, clearly, they know not what they are doing; indeed, eBay has become the problem …

This is yet another demonstration of the panic now setting in in the eBay executive suite …

Not long now to the second quarter financial results; should be fun …

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 Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Wed Jul 9 20:38:23 2014

More to the point, how much or what are Ina and David willing to fork over for posts here? ;-))

The previous board system where pinks ruled really wasn't much better if at all.

I'd drop in post on ebay if they paid me big bucks because I'm certainly not making much selling.

Some of pearls of wisdom seen here probably worth $50-$100 a pop.

Nevermind. Casting pearls before swine is an exercise in futility.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Wed Jul 9 20:42:28 2014

How about twice what we're paying now...

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jul 9 20:52:57 2014

"How about paying each board participant a daily stipend of $50?"

Who was the nut who posted that? These people must not know anything about Johnny boy if they think he'd be willing to hand out money that freely.  

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Wed Jul 9 20:55:00 2014

ebay is looking for a way to offload support from its useless staff onto its slaves, thereby allowing it to cut staff, increase margins, and disseminate even greater amounts of twaddle into the ether. the other possibility is that they may think it would increase website traffic, and hence ad inventory.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 9 21:51:31 2014

The boards were very active and useful…until eBay hired Lithium and the mods went crazy with the slaps.  Hey eBay, want us back posting on the clothing board?  Dump Lithium and rehire LiveWorld.

Now, the clothing board is dead, dead, dead and many who do post are posting wrong information and bad advice.

Way to go, eBay!

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 9 22:16:04 2014

Posting on the eBay boards is like giving yourself over to a death by a thousand cuts!  90% of the members are just looking for ways to slaughter someone.  Ask a question?  Well you are stupid!  Make a comment?  Well, you are an idiot!  You are surprised?  Well, it serves you right for not reading thousands of pages of contrasting information!
The boards should be renamed:
Place to Run-Down & Destroy Fellow Members.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Maureen This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 9 23:57:21 2014

For all the effortless years that I have spent answering questions, why now? this is something that I have enjoyed. gained friendships, and paid my loyalty to eBay ~ beyond eBay fees. This company seems to be getting far beyond what their purpose was intended.
They were suppose to take care of you and are fully capable of keeping you internet safe, they dropped the ball. Big time.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: feline This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 01:10:14 2014

Sucks big time, committed posters do it for the pleasure of doing something useful to help others. Ebay ruined what they already had with posting for points then replaced by kudos.It now doesn't matter if what you post is helpful on not so long as you get to say something and get kudos for saying it
Disgusting way to run things

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: Dragonfyree This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 01:37:50 2014

Would they compensate people who constantly give out wrong information.  

I don't know how many times people have advised sellers to give their buyer a neg. It's been years since we've been able to do it.

Or if you have a no return policy the buyer gets to keep it in a SNAD - and by the time someone comes along to give the correct information, that seller may have already left the board.

Or with the new boards they may never be able to find their way back to look at the answers given.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 02:55:52 2014

I used to read the powersellers board fairly often until Lithium took over and gave a BUNCH of them the boot.  Some of those sellers were LONG time community posters.  Certainly NOT ones to post wrong information or be particularly inflamatory.  And yet they just got unceremoniously booted.  And of course, others followed.  That place is DEAD now.  MAYBE a handful of posts a day and the SAME posters  over and over.  There's only a couple of long time powersellers who even still post there.
But to be fair, I've noticed participation in all the boards going down these last few years.
Oh, and those "weekly chats" that ebay has???  Downright COMICAL.   They're lucky to get even 30-40 posts most weeks.  And most of THOSE are repeat posters.  One week recently hardly ANYONE even showed up for the staff "chat".  It was hilarious...if not sad

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Thu Jul 10 03:04:47 2014

Hello, another class law suit against eBay …

“Challenge Advances on EBay's Refund Policies”

http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/07/08/69341.htm

And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving company …

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

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

Thu Jul 10 05:24:40 2014

Wow! Someone suggested having listings visible for participation.

Sad that you need to consider writing propaganda for eBay TO GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE!

A lot of times I mop the floors at the supermarket, so they will give me 12 donuts in a dozen instead of three. Oh, but that would be crazy.

Is eBay a "business" or a cult?

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 06:01:52 2014

Most Ebay boards smack of " I KNOW IT ALL "

Ebay should spend their money educating the morons they call Customer Service.

Most of the clowns on the Boards have to much time on their hands. There are daily name calling and battles about who knows the most.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 08:22:02 2014

OMG.  Ebay has WAY bigger problems than the board. If you post on the current board, be advise you WILL get booted of the smallest and dumbest things.IT IS NOT WORTH THE EFFORT to try and participate in the discussions there.

Perminate Link for Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards   Compensating Users to Post on the eBay Boards

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 10 08:40:56 2014

''''In what smacks of desperation,''''

That says it all.

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