Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Oct 13 2017 22:41:21

eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

By: Ina Steiner

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On Tuesday we reported that eBay was adding Make an Offer "haggling" to sellers' auction listings with no warning or explanation of why dynamic auctions would need such a feature. Two days later it apologized to sellers in an email it sent to those who were impacted:

"You may have noticed that a Best Offer option was recently added to some of your auction listings created between October 8 and 10. This feature was added to your listings in error. We apologize for the error. We are working to remove the Best Offer feature from your active listings and plan to do so by end of day, Friday, October 13.

"In the meantime, if you wish to avoid receiving offers on affected listings, you can revise your active listings to auto-decline all best offers below your starting price. This will ensure that you will not receive any Best Offer requests for this listing period. However, if your item automatically relists, the Best Offer option will appear on the relisted item. You can revise a listing's auto-decline amount by going to Manage Offer settings on the listing's item page.

"We apologize for any confusion this issue may have caused, and we thank you for selling on eBay."

As we had written, a major concern was that the feature signaled that the starting price of auctions sporting the Make an Offer feature was too high in eBay's determination, which could be devastating to sellers hoping for higher bids, not lowball offers. See the details here.

eBay didn't respond to or acknowledge our request for clarification, sending a further signal about the level of importance it places on providing clear information to sellers. 

eBay moderators did go into several discussion boards where sellers were discussing the issue. On Thursday morning, moderator trinton@ebay wrote:

"I wanted to step in and provide an update on this topic. We have identified an issue where the Best Offer option was incorrectly added to some auction listings that were created between October 8th and 10th. We are actively working on a fix for the impacted listings. We have identified affected sellers and will email them with further instructions. We will be testing this feature with a small number of lower-volume consumer sellers in the coming weeks."

Questions continued, and on Friday, trinton@eBay posted, "Hi, happy to clear up our intentions for this feature. While testing will be performed to gauge the overall impact and changes may occur, the current setup is that if a bid is received on an Auction, the Best Offer option would no longer be available. If there is a Best Offer pending and a bid is received, the Best Offer would automatically be declined. The Best Offer is only intended to be an additional option and would not interfere with the bidding process."

A seller wrote, "So I'm confused as usual. Is this an error that was made on some listings. or is this something that eBay is testing. or both an error and something eBay is testing for future implementation." 

Trinton@ebay replied, "Sorry for the confusion! The error was that this feature was applied to a larger audience than intended and earlier than was planned. This will be a feature that we test in the near future, but with a smaller group of sellers to start."

The whole kerfuffle led to passionate discussions about auction selling strategies and whether adding "Best Offer" to auction format listings any made sense. "I've been so outraged about how this happened......it's driven any idea of whether or not I like the idea/think it could work," noted one seller.

Another pointed out, "The purpose of an auction is for the price to go up. The purpose of best offer is for the price to go down."

It's one thing to gripe about a lack of communication or to disagree about a feature. But when eBay disrupts listings, it can cost sellers money and the goodwill of their customers. 

The fact that eBay didn't automatically credit sellers fees for the listings that were impacted by its error speaks volumes about the current state of its leadership and their attitude towards customers.




Comments (68) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 13 23:16:36 2017

If Devin actually cared about sellers other than trying to fleece them out of more cash in any way he can he would not try to force idiotic programs like sellers hub onto them.

Now they are even changing basic forms like the feedback forms extending the lunacy of making every page on the site and all the seller interface pages in MyeBay into a farce, they figure if they can ruin MyeBay that they will force sellers into that scan Devin calls Seller Hub where he intends to sell them stores, promoted listings and other value added subscription services that no seller wants to pay for since sales are so slow on eBay.

Devin missed the boat a long time ago, instead of increasing traffic on the marketplace by making a deal with Google like Walmart did, they are trying to squeeze small sellers out of more money when their sales are already nil on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 01:38:27 2017

Word on the street is that Devin was offered a coupon for Common Sense at the time he got his MBA...he apparently tossed it, or else it expired.

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 10:26:51 2017

    This is so funny its not funny. Jeff bezos must be laughing his ass off, saying to himself " I dont even need to do anything to marginalize their competiton, they are doing it themselves for me, its almost like they are working for me", "and I though I would maybe have to buy it in the future"

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 10:44:05 2017

way to go Devin....keep up the horrible job, that parachute is bound to kick in soon.

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 14 11:21:06 2017

@ebay shill buster

What do you think Devin's #1 job is?

His job is too make as much money for eBay as he can, if he did anything different the BOD would fire him!

PS: I'm glad I rid myself of that stupid seller hub. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 14 11:24:31 2017

@Geetar

Talking about Jeff Bezos, he might be in hot water over his business ventures with Harvey Weinstein. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 11:44:44 2017

The eBay marketplace produced multi billions every quarter before Donahoe and Devin stepped in and ruined it with their moronic changes and 'tests', it was fine 6-8 years ago, in fact it was better because buyers found it to be simple to search and bid or buy items quickly without interference from 'sponsored listings' and eBay's cross promotions that now include flashing banners all over the place that no one pays any attention to.

Back then eBay was able to grow at large rates, today Donahoe and Devin's tactics have resulted in negative growth for the marketplace, since today's figures are artificially showing growth due to Donahoe's corrupt money grab of value added fees on shipping, without those eBay's GMV figures would be negative.

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 11:56:11 2017

What a bunch of idiots.

How about taking that programming time and fixing Seller Hub. The traffic reports haven't updated properly in over a week. The information is useless. I realize missing information can further cloud shaky performance at Ebay, but sellers need to see how things are going. Ebay touts this thing as if it's the second coming and I have to sit and perform manual adjustments to inaccurate figures. This should be as simple and routine as the monthly billing that seems to never have a problem. Funny huh....

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 12:06:10 2017

LOL, Seller Hub is a joke, sellers don't need Seller Hub stats to tell them things are going down the tubes, we have known that for years since Google cut eBay off in the days of Donahoe.

Sellers do not need eBay tools to increase sales, that is not going to work, Walmart signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Google while Devin is building his folly Seller Hub which is a massive embarrassment to eBay.

eBay needs traffic which they don't have, Devin's solution is to advertise on TV when kids don't even watch TV any longer, in other words all his efforts are a major waste of time and money.

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 14 12:16:46 2017

@ebay shill buster

"Devin's solution is to advertise on TV when kids don't even watch TV any longer"

My target age group is male 30-65. . .Kids don't buy aircraft tools!

Are you selling video games?

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 14:32:07 2017

Devin and Hal Lawton sitting in the executive suite brainstorming.....

Hal tells Devin, hey Devin, if we advertise on TV we can bypass Google altogether..

In the meantime Walmart executives are sitting down with Google cutting a multi-billion dollar partnership for Walmart to come up on the Google speaker...

Duh.........

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 15:07:20 2017

Chapter One in Devin's My World View of Ecommerce...
"The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves"

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 14 15:25:18 2017

@ ebay shill buster

Let's play Google Search

The 1st 2 items I entered showed up right near the top of a Google search!

2 ton press

250 dirt bike

Looks like eBay & Google are friends again. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 16:03:39 2017

Try some keywords where there is actual competition and see if eBay comes up.

baseball hats

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 14 16:22:25 2017

Try

Dodgers Hat

On the 1st page!

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 16:52:10 2017

laptop computers


No eBay on first page.....

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 17:49:46 2017

You people thought donahoe was bad. This guy is doing double destruction in 1/4 the time.

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 18:08:48 2017

LOL, Devin was head of the marketplaces before Donahoe made him CEO.

What does that tell you about the competence of eBay management?

The marketplace has been going down the tubes since Devin started at eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Oct 14 18:20:38 2017

@ebay shill buster

macbook laptop

1st page

Perminate Link for eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue   eBay Sorry for Testing Haggling But Will Continue

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 14 18:42:31 2017

"What does that tell you about the competence of eBay management?"

it tells me they need to hire someone from outside.

Donahoe Basically killed growth for ebay, we all know that. yes they maintained, even grew their profits slightly, but not by building more sales, but by charging more.

This guy is setting things up to go in reverse. I see it, buyers are leaving. I even got messages from buyers "the only reason why I bought this here is because I cant buy it anywhere else. I hate ebay"

Even if the price is higher elsewhere.

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