Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Jan 28 2015 21:19:41

eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

When reading about rare photographs of the Beatles going up for sale on eBay, you might assume it's part of the company's new auction platform launched in partnership with high-end auction houses including Sotheby's.

But, as we report in Thursday's newsletter, the sale is being conducted through a regular old eBay Store set up by the owners - and, the rare art collectibles aren't even being auctioned at all.

Tomorrow's article has more on why the owners chose to use the fixed-price format on eBay rather than auction them off to the highest bidder.

But it's also interesting to read what eBay manager Gene Cook told the LA Times in its piece about the sale, which it said was part of a ramping up of its art and collectibles division.

"EBay thinks of itself as uniquely positioned and uniquely equipped to service customers with special kinds of items not because they need them - I always say we're not in the business of selling soap - but things that strike a chord with them, that have lasting emotional value," Cook added. "We have the opportunity to engage with people who are buying and selling things that really add value to their lives."

You can read more in the LA Times piece. Let us know what you think of using fixed-price versus auction format for rare items.




Comments (48) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 28 22:10:15 2015

I think its to little , too late. Fixed price or not. I would not consider selling an expensive item on ebay. Lose your money & your item. No protection for sellers, of such items. BIG MISTAKE , BIG MONEY , BIG LOSS.
They are not lined up for anything, under present format. Sounds like a joke to me.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jan 28 22:14:29 2015

Every time I read a statement issued by an eBay executive my head hurts.

And the L.A. Times story states they are limited edition prints, not original photos, so I can see why they are being sold at a fixed price. If they were one-of-a-kind photos or original negatives/slides they would be crazy not to put them up for auction. I'm sure there are Beatles and Stones fans who would pay hundreds of thousands, if not millions, for originals from that era.  

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 28 23:14:35 2015

Another eBay fixed, rig the market game.

Get personally involved with a sellers business, carve out and/or change the rules JUST FOR THEM, then sit back and rake in the money on an eBay store, the fvf's and the "guaranteed" fvf's.

Slick eBay very slick.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

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

Wed Jan 28 23:52:47 2015

Well, so much for just being a "venue", which would imply that eBay doesn't get to decide whether a seller can make a living at selling soap -- or any other retail product(s).

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

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

Thu Jan 29 00:03:31 2015

"I always say we're not in the business of selling soap - but things that strike a chord with them, that have lasting emotional value," Cook added. "We have the opportunity to engage with people who are buying and selling things that really add value to their lives."

To me this sounds like a retreat on eBay's part; an admission that unusual and collectible items remain the core of the site, what differentiates it from others. That would be the same stuff Donahoe denigrated as "flea market" and "garage sale".

If eBay intends to stop destroying what is good about it in a misguided effort to imitate Amazon, that would be an improvement.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 00:04:06 2015

They are NOT in the business of selling anything, they are in the business of supplying a platform so others can sell their goods. This is what has lead to their current problems.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: Puamelia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 00:16:29 2015

Isn't what most of the Chinese sellers sell equivalent in value to soap?

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Thu Jan 29 00:44:46 2015

I'll put these next to my Franklin Mint Elvis Plates. Limited Edition or not - these photos are cheap REPROS, plain and simple, and selling repros in limited editions that amount to $50,000 per original photo is just a money-making scheme. They pitch it like its a kumbaya everyone's a winner at such affordable prices moment.  

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: bb6 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 01:00:18 2015

I might buy one...roll it up...smoke it...then a month later put in a claim that it is not as described. Didn't taste right!!! ;o

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 01:02:47 2015

Is this some of that "New Vintage" junk we can start to expect?

*

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Jan 29 01:40:04 2015

''...eBay is largely known as a neutral forum that acts as a conduit between buyers and sellers of all kinds of merchandise...''

What a crock of sh*t!

Ebay was also about the fun of auctions but since JD's imposed destruction, items from ebay's precious darlings (as this obviously is) will be given full visibility at fixed price while the rest of us unwashed sellers will languish in the dark dungeon.  

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

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

Thu Jan 29 04:55:43 2015

Ebay is clutching at straws. It's policies have let it further and further up a blind alley,now it's slowly turning into an online hire shop. Buy,use,reject and return.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 06:49:17 2015


Thanks but no thanks I have better pictures of the bar of soap on my new sink.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jan 29 06:55:06 2015

"EBay thinks of itself as uniquely positioned and uniquely equipped to service customers with special kinds of items"

Oh really? Is that what all that Chinese crap that has flooded the site is.  And is that what all of that merchandise that the big brands are providing...you know, the kind that you can get at any second rate mall or big box retailer.

Another example of eBay being detached from reality.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

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

Thu Jan 29 07:54:14 2015

right click
save picture as

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Thu Jan 29 08:09:39 2015

Hell - I like it!

Looks like the Bob Bonis Archive is using eBay to hawk its wears. Why not! If they get a "deal" with no refunds, no dings, etc. so much the better.

As for their wares and what price/format they sell it in - it's their show.

If you deal with slime, just make sure you haven enough solvent to clean yourself off.

Oh yes, we're talking H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D and the music business here where everything is superficial and vapid.

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Thu Jan 29 08:12:43 2015

PS. How long has the Franklin Mint been in business???

I love the tag line on the ceramics stuff "only 100 firing production days for this genuine rare limited edition porcelain Marie Antoinette original teacup & saucer".  

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 08:22:18 2015

@bb6: I see a full refund in your future!

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: boardwalk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 08:47:55 2015

Photos can be scanned and copied.  If someone buys one of these limited edition prints and copies it, will they still be allowed to return it under Ebays flawed across the board return policy?  My guess is that this seller will not agree to those terms.  What do you think Ebay will do? Say No, tough luck, those are the rules for EVERYONE?......I doubt that will happen!

Perminate Link for eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap   eBay: We're Not in the Business of Selling Soap

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 29 09:11:47 2015

..Biggest mistake ever to sell on ebay.   You will be theived by both ebay and your "buyer" on stuff like this.

My advice for Bob boner is to RUN RUN RUN.

OH wait....you got special seller protection....no returns?....no dsr's?.....neg feedback removed?

your good to go then!

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.