Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Mar 9 2017 13:46:09

eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

By: Ina Steiner

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An eBay seller has an interesting proposal: instead of executives expecting Storeowners and Top Rated sellers to pay higher fees to fund the company's marketing and advertising, the seller asked eBay executives to take a pay cut.

The seller copied us on the tweet to eBay CEO Devin Wenig: "@devinwenig What if corporate and exec's took a 10% wage cut instead of @ebay stores and TRS? seems fair @EcommerceBytes #feehikes #hoops."

The higher fees kick in May 1st and were announced last week as part of the Spring Seller Update. After the announcement, executives went on the defensive and blamed the higher fees on marketing, as we noted in this blog post.

Sellers are already paying higher fees to eBay this year as a result of the increased cost of shipping (thanks to its fee structure, when the cost of shipping goes up, eBay generates more revenue for itself).

The seller's proposal got us thinking about eBay executive compensation - they get big bonuses if they meet certain targets. Raising fees and marketing - if it brings in more buyers - both generate more revenue for the company. Sellers benefit from the latter, but obviously not the former. 

What would happen if executives faced the prospect of pay cuts if they weren't able to generate more traffic and sales without raising seller fees?

Here's a link to the tweet, let us know what you think of the proposal.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: SomeeBaySeller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 9 14:09:19 2017

Think this is stupid. Fee's need to rise to make the shareholders happy don't matter whos wage you think your cutting you're going to pay more no matter what the case.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 9 14:14:19 2017

OK Now who in their right mind even thinks that this will happen.

The TRS on Ebay were long overdue for a wake up call. They are not the only ones using ebay but to listen to them complaining one would think that they were.

Get over it folks. Its Ebays play ground. If you don't want to pay the higher fees then go somewhere else. You are not the only one on Ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 9 14:18:09 2017

Never happen...they have no skin in the game and they intend to keep it that way.  The whole scheme is funded (including their salaries and bonuses) by the very minions they are giving a 10% pay cut.  Do as I say, not as I do...that is the mentality at eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Mar 9 14:40:20 2017

I read the title as "eBay CEO to take Pay Cut" and nearly went into cardiac arrest.

If Disney's Bob Iger can take a pay cut of $1 million, when Disney is one of the most profitable corporations in the world, I don't see why Mr. Wenig can't take a pay cut to try to save the sinking ship that is eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu Mar 9 14:49:44 2017

Sure, they could cut wages for management to show sellers that their execs are ''buying in'' to this marketing plan. Great PR move.

Then defer it to their golden parachutes when these execs leave (or are forced out). You think these folks would EVER take any type of pay cut?

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

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

Thu Mar 9 19:36:28 2017

@Froggy

If you don't like TRS sellers, "carrot jumping," and those who justifiably complain about ebafia's anti seller policies, then why bother posting here? Or do you do post here to get attention?

Wening, Lawton, et. al., entire compensation package structure should be strictly performance based, and the number of days they're paid should decrease as because some days their work -- if they indeed do any work -- would be hidden from view.

I won't hold my breathe waiting for these gutless, narcissistic, sadistic executives to do the right thing by sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 9 19:50:53 2017

Flying Swine will come YEARS before this ever comes to pass.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Mar 9 20:57:13 2017

The question posed to Mr Wenig is more than reasonable, which is why it will never happen.

eBay has always worked against sellers making a profit by increasing fees, store subscriptions and now, reducing rewards for both buyers and sellers.

eBay has always lavished their executives with compensation, perks and bonuses beyond all common sense while taking more and more from the people who make the site a success.

This explains why sellers abandon eBay and why buyers follow suit.  As each seller reaches the point where they are priced out of the marketplace due to eBay's unending pocket reaches, buyers find fewer interesting items and leave as well.

All the while, eBay continues to excessively compensate their executives and hire additional empty suits to fill unnecessary positions rewarding them with ridiculous salaries before they have proven their worth.

Executives at eBay should be handed a pay cut, as well as clearing out some non productive executive office fillers.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 9 21:39:34 2017

As I have been saying from the start these fee hikes will have very little impact on company earnings

The fact that fee hikes alone limit availability of already scarce profitable items to sell. By hiking fees and slimming margins many products will be priced out. Neutralizing the fee hike making this more of an attack on sellers then a "for the greater good" hike.

That said if every ebay employee took a 10% pay cut it would also do nothing increase profitability and thus be pointless.

To compete effectively with amazon and show measurable growth ebay needs to increase revenue streams.

Rather then fee hikes they could:

Sell shipping and return insurance

Start processing their own payments at a savings to sellers and a revenue boost to ebay.

Fix your brand. Ebay is one of the worlds most hated brands. Ebay needs to own and fix that. Sure this will be written off but when is the last time you read a regular supply of ebay praise?

Stop limiting progress and reassess selling limits that prevent growth.

Stop enforcing VeRO takedowns for companies that show patterns of abuse. Stop banning and limiting sellers who received unconfirmed reports of VeRO.

Take the unproductive "counter offer at 1% less then buy it now" sellers out of search. They are wasting visibility and buyer time.

Promote in search listings with buy it nows that include auto accept and auto reject. Buyers want an instant answer and not to come back later to see a counter offer. This way if an offer is declined on the spot then they can make another if they choose. Also an instant answer gives the benefit of knowing they can place another offer elsewhere and do so in one session with no need to keep coming back and waiting between offers.

Partner with you sellers find ways to draw traffic and help the sellers be successful. If sellers sell more ebay makes more.

Stop the return abuse. A buyer should know rather quickly whether an item was as described. There is no reason to give them 30 days to change their mind. There is no added confidence from a 14 to 30 day return policy so long as one exists.

End the war on big ticket items. High grossing items are not necessarily high profiting items. But since ebay gets a gross cut there is no reason to charge up to 10% when more volume could be done at a samller %.

Stop giving sellers a need to find other venues. Many collectable sellers have been pried out and are moving their items to 3rd party auctions that are now cheaper!

If ebay would just work with us instead of against us then we can all make more money. There would be no need to keep hiking fees or trap people with unattainable goals to force them to lose TRS.


Ebay VS. Seller failed and no one won. Why do we persist and march on towards failure?

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 9 22:22:01 2017

While I believe he should lower his salary to $1 per year (since he does NOTHING to help eBay grow) the bigger question is - where are all our FVF's going?

":eBay posted a per share loss of $1.82 primarily due to a $3 billion tax charge related to the repatriation of $9 billion in foreign earnings that had been held offshore."

eBay has $9 Billion its hiding offshore to avoid taxes, yet they will nickle and dime sellers "just because"???

Shame on eBay!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Mar 10 00:07:45 2017

I'm already taking action!

I'm not going to wait until May 1st.

14 day returns

2 day Handling Time

$7 shipping on most items

I've also raised my prices to recoup the 20% discount I'm losing on fvf fees by modifying my listings.

I want them to start seeing the results of this seller update ASAP!

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 10 08:32:14 2017

@comments

How do you know that sellers who list with 'Best Offer' are being 'unproductive' if they counter-offer at 99% of original price? I'd venture to say they're just reacting as anyone would to ridiculous LOW BALL OFFERS that are insulting at best and attempted THEFT at worst.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 10 09:09:16 2017

eBay = cash cow...if you are in the "club".  We are working are butts off to feed their coffers.  If that starts to dwindle, watch the rats jump ship.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 10 09:15:06 2017

Many in Wenig's position (at any type of company) know just how long they can ''squeeeeze'' to get ''theirs'' and have an uncanny sense as to when the heat is being turned up.  They then resign to ''spend more time with family'', etc., etc.  They have extracted every drop of what they want ($$$) and move on.  Has happened repeatedly and will continue as long as they are able to do it...

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 10 12:27:43 2017

@pace306 Help me out here; how can a tax bill result in a net 'loss' when a corporation only pays taxes on net PROFIT? If your assertion is true, then US corporations have a real sweet deal going; park money offshore indefinitely then repatriate it and take a 'loss' even when you're putting billions in your pockets. Of course, they won't bother using this cash windfall to pay a DIVIDEND, will they? I already know the answer to that one.

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 10 12:54:14 2017

Volvo ... that line came from a Forbes article that I Googled ... I didnt make up the numbers or the process.

I can try and find it for you if need be :)

My point however wasnt the loss etc, it was that eBay had $9billion in profit sitting somewhere, meanwhile they steal from sellers and BS them about raising fees "since they cant afford to pay the marketing costs".

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Mar 10 13:33:46 2017

@Volvo - Check here for the story:

https://www.ft.com/content/548ab814-cfef-11e3-a2b7-00144
feabdc0

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 10 14:10:00 2017

the article was here:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2014/04/30/if-ap
ple-did-what-ebay-has-just-done-then-theyd-have-a-44-billion-tax-bill/#60b573ad5ac4

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Mar 10 16:32:55 2017

@froggy

''The TRS on Ebay were long overdue for a wake up call. They are not the only ones using ebay but to listen to them complaining one would think that they were.''

I'm not aware of anywhere that a group of TRSs wrote or suggested that they were the ''only'' sellers on Ebay.  Actually I haven't even seen ONE seller state or imply such a thing.

Are you suggesting that only NON TRS have the right to be upset when some rule or policy change happens to them, but TRS must stay silent?!?  

I know it to be a fact that many regular sellers as well as TRS sellers have complained about various rule changes over the years.  Not all the rule changes affect only TRS but sellers as a whole.  In fact, most rule changes affect sellers as a whole, not some subsection of sellers.  So when unpopular changes happen it is a collective group of voices speaking out of regardless of their seller status.

''Get over it folks. Its Ebays play ground. If you don't want to pay the higher fees then go somewhere else. You are not the only one on Ebay.''  The same could and would apply to ANY seller on Ebay no matter their status.  Most rule changes aren't TRS specific, this one rule change just happens to be TRS specific, therefore you are hearing them speak out for or against it.  This NOT any difference when regular seller complain about some rule change.  

Perminate Link for eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing   eBay CEO Asked to Take Pay Cut to Fund Marketing

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 10 18:09:01 2017

@ volvo351 because I have spent more then $1,000,000 buying on ebay and there is probably no one more suited to know the problems with ebay greater then I.

I have made many best offers and in large part they are a waste of time and the platform could be better served if they matched items more likely to result in a sale then items likely to waste buyer time. Many sellers counter offer regardless of the offer received.

Low ball offers were not my point. If declined outright there is no reason to act childish and send an idiotic counter offer. That serves no one. When I use best offer with auto decline I often see an ultra low ball offer made and declined with a much higher one placed right after. This was clearly the buyers attempt to negotiate and not insult. Ebay as a whole would be better served if sellers would stop treating buyers as the enemy. They are the very reason we are all here!

If a seller for example has a $100 item with best offer option. Buyer sends a $90 offer to receive a counter offer of $98. This sort of seller is wasting space in search and the buyers time. If they have no wiggle room then there should be no best offer option to entice the buyer only to make them wait 48 hours for that $98 offer.

Also if a seller KNOWS they will not take less then $98 then they could have auto declined the offer giving the buyer an immediate answer.

I have literally received counter offers less then $1 from my offer. That just made me angry.

There is absolutely no harm to be done from an auto decline and no need to "REACT" to anything. Ebay sellers should be professional even when the buyer is not!!!!!

All low ball offers are rejected outright and then the buyer can instantly place a serious one if the low ball was with the expectation of a counter offer.

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