Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun June 17 2018 16:20:53

eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay sellers have questions for eBay executive Bob Kupbens ranging from eBay's return policies to the numerous glitches that have hit the site of late.

Kupbens, in charge of the seller experience, will take questions during a live Facebook video chat on June 27. However, this is eBay's version of an Ask Me Anything session, so questions will be pre-screened.

Sellers are taking advantage of the opportunity by asking detailed questions. One that struck a nerve with other sellers was more of a cry for help than a question and received 6 comments from other sellers:

Sale gone to zero from several $thousand monthly. Help???
Hi Bob, I have had 1,300+ sales in the past 13 months. My Seller Rating is Top Rated with 100% Feedback. This year i was selling a LOT ($3000.00+ per month). Now it is barely a trickle. It's like my listings are not visible to buyers. eBay told me that i did not have to update my listings for their catalog. Something is seriously wrong & my business will crash soon if it stays this way. Please help???

Another submission that received 7 comments from other sellers dealt with eBay's placement of sales banners: 

Visibility of Promotions
Hi, Bob, Thanks for taking questions! I am wondering if we could have some sort of banner or advertising on our listing page (most important) and on our store page when we create a promotion. For example, if I run a buy-1-get-1-free promotion, buyers currently are not seeing that until they add the first item to their cart. And they are not putting the first item in the cart because they have no idea it is basically half price. 

We used to have a banner highlighting the promotion on the listing page. Would love to either have it back or understand the logic behind not advertising a seller's promotions on their listing pages and store page. Thanks!!

The Q&A comes as eBay sellers are grappling with the ramifications of this year's Spring and Summer Seller Updates, and several questions addressed concerns about returns. One seller said they saw an increase in serial returns, and cited Amazon's crackdown on buyers who abuse its returns policy. "What plans does eBay have to confront these problems? Can you elaborate on how eBay handles serial returners at present, and in the future?"

eBay is not hiding the fact it is pushing sellers to offer more generous returns as part of an effort to provide buyers with a "retail standard" shopping experience. In February, Kupbens published a post titled, "Creating a Modern Retail Marketplace Together in 2018," where he wrote:

"Checking return policies before purchasing is another common behavior of the modern buyer. Data shows that 75% of buyers check return policies before purchasing. Additionally, sellers who switched to a 30-day free-return policy (from a no-returns policy) saw up to 15% lift in conversion. With this data in mind, we'll be encouraging you to update your return policies so you can convert more of your sales."

But as sellers have pointed out on the eBay discussion boards, Kupbens offers a no-return policy on his listings - how likely is he to address why when answering questions about eBay returns?

If you have questions about eBay policies and practices, you can submit them for the June 27th Q&A session by visiting this page.



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 17 17:03:55 2018

Someone please tell these clowns that they need to update the script. The same old talking points are boring.

No need to ask any questions. We all know the answers. If your trading partner is stabbing you in the back and you continue to trade with it you will sink just like them.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 17 17:27:49 2018

He will not address his personal account at all as the moderators have  been removing any posts and giving warnings or vacations to those that mention his account and the fact that he does not follow any of the advice he is giving all the other sellers.  That is why Ebay is prescreening the questions, that way he will not get any hard questions and what he does answer they will have already had time to prepare his responses to.  This is just another joke advertising session where Ebay can once again manage to say that everything is working great so it must be the sellers fault that they are not selling anything.

Ebay has already shown how they react when there is the possibility that they will be made to look bad.  Remember the audio completely failed when the Shareholders Q & A session came up and there is absolutely no information about any of what was discussed posted anywhere.  I am sure that Ebay has quashed anybody that was there and knows what was said from posting the remarks anywhere online.

I sure would have liked to have been a fly on the wall because the very next day Ebay started throwing everything, including the kitchen sink, at the wall to see what would stick in the way of changes.  Suddenly there have been nothing but major glitches and sales are even further down for most if not all sellers.  

I cannot wait to see the results of the second quarter and see how Ebay manages to overstate them.  The GMV is easy as all they have to do is have some of their Chinese partners put up a ton of listings that have 100,000 each at what ever price and suddenly they are growing the GMV which i understand their bonuses are based on.  But that number is not audited and also does not include reducing the number for all of the false sales or cancellations.  By time the audited numbers come out everybody is already focused on the next quarter results so nobody hears that revenues are down or that net income is down.  

I can't wait to watch this after its over and everybody realizes what a Ebay Kool Aid session it is.  I will really want to watch if he actually talks about his personal account and why he doesn;t lower his prices to rock bottom numbers like they recommend we do everytime out items don't sell.  His prices only seem to go higher from the few items I have seen.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Jun 17 17:55:33 2018

Looking at Bob's completed sales for June ~ He has none!

He also charges for shipping on some of his listings, but I've noticed he is offering more free shipping then in the past.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 17 18:27:53 2018

If Mr. Kupens needs a pre-censored sanitized town hall to appear responsive to eBay's primary customer's concerns, it only proves how unconcerned he actually is with their plight, which HE is both responsible for perpetuating, and which has been made apparent in so many ways in so many public forums already.  

And if those being decimated by eBay's machinations really want to 'communicate' their pain to this latest disingenuous and hypocritical executive puppet, they should turn their backs on this whitewashed 'opportunity' en mass.  He already HAS plenty to answer for.

Do you really think participating in this publicity stunt will bear fruit otherwise?  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 17 19:19:02 2018

LMAO ... asking Bobby Cupcakes ANYTHING is a waste of time.

(Bobby Cupcakes is his crime syndicate aka eBay code name).

As seen elsewhere:

Mr. Kupbens spoke about the importance of "love brands." A consumer can only love five brands, he said -- and they don't typically include airlines:

"I used to work at Target and when you went to a cocktail party and you told people that you worked at Target, you know what they'd say?" he asked. "'I love Target! I'll give you a big hug!' You know what people say when you tell them at a cocktail party that you work at Delta? 'I hate you! You lost my bag! You had me on the tarmac for seven hours. I'm going to kill you!' It's different when you work for a love brand."

When people see you at a cocktail party and you tell them you work at eBay, you know what they say?" You let a liar buyer steal my item! You hid my listings. I'm going to kill you!'

Working at eBay makes 5 brands to my count ... I guess his time is up.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

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

Sun Jun 17 20:00:52 2018

This BS maestro belongs in the president's cabinet.

The lies just keep on coming.

"Retail standard?" Not.

15% improved conversion rate? Doubtful. 50% increase in returns.

I remember when ebay lied to us and said that 30 day returns didn't increase returns. It did -- for this seller, nearly a 300% increase.

As for getting rid of serial returners, the threshold is probably so low that only a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage is appropriately dealt with.

The more punitive Cupcake and Wenig are toward sellers, ebafia will continue its slide into e commerce oblivion.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Jun 17 20:22:07 2018

Ming says "This BS maestro belongs in the president's cabinet."

Ming, that was exactly what I was thinking as I read "questions will be pre-screened".  What a sham.  Kupbens, in charge of seller BAD experience.    eBay dog and pony show.

And I could have written "Sale gone to zero from several $thousand monthly."  That is exactly what has happened since June 1, 2018.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 17 22:30:44 2018

If you want to get a message across, Quit listing there and close your account. Most of the traffic there is people looking for old collectible stuff. They aren't there for the arsenic-laced China dog treats or the 3 pack of clothespins with a pokemon card included. They want to see something antique or collectible. When there are no more of these sellers left, they won't have revenue, they won't have buyers, they won't have shipping revenue, they won't have a thing. They would actually notice that, but it will be too late. They are the next Blockbuster or Fotomat.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 17 22:58:25 2018

BOBBY C

Do us all a favor and shut up - spout your garbage AFTER you produce the next quarters earnings !

Bobby boy here left Delta AIrlines and APPLE to come to eBay.

Is there anyone that can please tell me why if you have an exec position at Apple - you LEAVE?  What did he do wrong? Hell, what did he do RIGHT?

"Kupbens moved to Apple from Delta Airlines, where he was vice president of marketing and digital commerce" ... guess he was a looser there too. Why leave the guaranteed paycheck for a MAYBE?

FOUND IT ... and its just as expected - the mans a DORK.(so you dont think I made it up)  https://www.retaildive.com/news/apple-vp-of-online-retail-kupben
s-calls-it-quits/418851/

"Kupbens'
departure comes just after Apple suffered its first revenue decline in 13 years on weak iPhone sales" OOPS! He sucked there too - and iPhones are a GIMME - you dont have to work hard to sell iPhones.!!!!!!


Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 17 23:36:08 2018

Thank you. Now I know why Delta sucks so badly.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Jun 18 00:57:05 2018

I love one brand and one brand alone: vintage quality goods from a bygone era when quality and service were paramount. Even Neiman Marcus has fallen out of favor (I challenge anyone to call their customer service number and chat up a rep for a few minutes).  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

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

Mon Jun 18 02:50:32 2018

I'd been  wondering who 'Cupcake' was after seeing the name referred to here lately.

Am I understanding this correctly? This guy is a highly paid ebay exec (I'm under the impression they are all highly paid, correct me if I am wrong) and stil sells on ebay himself? Years ago buying and selling on line used to be a fun hobby, not anymore. I can't understand why someone that should be making major money is supposedly selling online at this point. But then, another poster said he hadn't had anything for sale in the last month, and he does go against his own advice. I don't know anything about this guy, like does he have a wife and kids? Perhaps the more he can make, the more that can go into his retirement/unemployment kitty, since with his record, the plum jobs won't be coming his way soon.

Pre-submitted questions, what a joke!

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

This user has validated their user name. by: DeathFromAbove

Mon Jun 18 03:56:28 2018

"Additionally, sellers who switched to a 30-day free-return policy (from a no-returns policy) saw up to 15% lift in conversion."

That's not even a fair comparison.  I swear these people think their user base has a 6th grade education.  Anyone who is a full time seller already takes returns.  Going from zero returns to "free" is like skipping over Jupiter on the way to the Pluto.

Going from a reasonable standard of normal returns (14-30 days) all the way to FREE returns won't boost anything but returns.  It won't even boost repeat business.  It won't generate any benefit at all for anyone but shipping carriers.  They are just clueless.  They aren't retailers, and they don't seem to understand that they don't really seem to know how retail even works (scary).

They perhaps didn't poll anyone for an opinion on this but their office mates who all make 250K+ silicon valley salaries, and don't have anything in common with any of their individual customers (sellers).  I bet there was an eBay campus-wide intranet poll that decided "what would make you shop on eBay?" because even their people don't any more.  A lot of rich people are notoriously cheap penny pinchers, so of course they want a free return, because they are "owed" that in their state of supremacy.  I'm glad my nearly 15% tribute on every item keeps them on the top.

Robber Kupkakes then passed a decree across the land, and it was law.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Jun 18 04:22:10 2018

Hi BOB !
I want to use STRIPE gateway.
I used to sell on Ebay 'til PayPal.
I left in 2007.
I'll comeback if STRIPE is an option.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 18 06:16:33 2018

"Additionally, sellers who switched to a 30-day free-return policy (from a no-returns policy) saw up to 15% lift in conversion."

When they throw out this nonsense I don't believe a word of it.  Just dangling another carrot to get sellers to fall inline.   The money doesn't come out of THEIR pocket.   Just like the money does not come out of their pocket when a seller is scammed.  

How many promises have been made over the years from them--"if you do this, you will get this".  Did anyone ever "get this"?   End of story.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 18 06:49:38 2018

“I'd been  wondering who 'Cupcake' was after seeing the name referred to here lately.”

In every crime syndicate, the higher ups all have nicknames aka “Vinnie  the chin, or “Fat Tony”,

eBay is also a crime syndicate- and their employees too have crime nicknames aka bobby cupcakes (Kupbens) and Jim the Grifter Griff.

😀

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 18 08:07:53 2018

@pace306

"Mr. Kupbens spoke about the importance of "love brands." A consumer can only love five brands, he said -- and they don't typically include airlines:"

I snorted coffee out my nose reading this post! Thanks for absolutely making my day!

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 18 08:09:48 2018

@The End

I haven't done it but isn't a seller allowed to add their own merchant account for credit card payments? Stripe would be viable then unless they are prohibiting it?

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

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

Mon Jun 18 08:23:28 2018

@Pace306  - I usually have kept up the the mobsters names, but 'Cupcake' was throwing me. Probably since I quit selling on ebay ~10 years ago. It was starting to make my ulcer act up.

Since Amazon does sell things themselves, I can sort of understand some of their rules. However, since sellers are ebay's lifeblood, without them there would be no ebay, I don't understand why they are treated so poorly. All it would take is just one day of ALL ebay sellers taking down ALL their listings and ebay would be DOA.

One of the reasons that I like ecrater is that they care about their sellers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens   eBay Sellers Pose Questions to Bob Kupbens

by: VeryGoodVintage This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 18 09:08:12 2018

How I can I look at Kupbens' listings on eBay?

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