Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 5 2018 20:52:28

eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay flashed a "Name Your Price" graphic on the big screen at its recent eBay Open conference for sellers. Visions of Priceline.com's "name your own price" TV commercials featuring William Shatner from the 1990s may have just popped into your head, but it may not be as radical a feature as it sounds - after all, eBay already has a make an offer feature called Best Offer.

It appears eBay is figuring out how to optimize "Best Offer" for its new "catalog" approach, where shoppers are shown product pages instead of listings, for certain categories. 

One attendee explained the eBay Open slide he had posted on Twitter to an EcommerceBytes reader who asked him for more information about the feature - see the thread on Twitter. To summarize: a buyer can initiate an offer that is sent to multiple sellers. "All catalog sellers get to see that offer and/or gets auto accepted or rejected based on sellers account settings," the attendee explained. 

In addition, "If you list an item that has a pending offer you would get alerted of the pending offer and could accept the offer instead of listing."

But what if a buyer makes an offer to a *specific* seller on a *specific* listing page - would that buyer's offer get sent to all of the sellers who selling that item in the catalog? We don't know, but that could be problematic, to say the least, since the original seller was the one who got the buyer to make the offer in the first place.

The feature is based on the assumption that a buyer would feel comfortable with *any* of the sellers offering the item, with an algorithm deciding which seller "wins" an offer.

If you need a refresher course on Best Offer, here is eBay's help page, and let us know what you think.



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 21:29:09 2018

Another hair-brained scheme by eBay trying to get more sales and to collect their fees. This will further drive down item prices because the buyer offers will always be low-balled like usual. But eBay's counting on just 1 seller that'll accept the offer. It's eventually going to be that if you don't have the dirt cheapest price on everything you'll sell nothing on eBay anymore. And they want to get rid of their flea market image? LOL everything they do seems opposite of that.

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

Sun Aug 5 21:36:57 2018

Based on eBay's assumption that anything with the same UPC number is the same, I'm guessing that if I get an offer of $100 for an autographed record, another seller asking $20 for the ''same'' album without the autograph would be happy to snatch up that offer and make $80 more than they were asking.  Then I lost the sale, the $20 seller is bound to get a SNAD claim, and the buyer is going to overpay for something they don't want.  But hey, eBay just made $10 in FVF, so who cares about the rest?

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

Sun Aug 5 21:51:47 2018

Is this a joke and theft of Progressive Insurance and their 'Name your Price tool'?

eBay must think this is another one of their original ideas like auction software was, not many know that eBay stole the auction software and violated the inventors patent, now look for a lawsuit from Progressive.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 22:05:01 2018

Who wants to play this game? What business has that much time?

You dont want to be a flea market yet you use flea market tactics?

This isnt Monty Hall and Lets make a deal - its eceommerce - I list an item with a price - its either you want it or you do not.

This isnt the arab shuk or the Turkish Bazzar where you "haggle" about pricing.

If eBay wants higher gross margins - why shoot LOWER (again)????

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Aug 5 22:05:13 2018

This latest scheme has GLITCH written all over it. Since eBay can't seem to get even the simplest of tasks to work, they're planning to send a buyer's offer to multiple sellers, and think they can actually make it all work? And I agree with "thievesBay": buyers will make ridiculously low offers, and some desperate seller will probably accept. As a lot of people who post here state, a race to the bottom.

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

Sun Aug 5 22:23:08 2018

This is also just another one of Ebays attempts to sanitize the Sellers name and have the buyer be happy with any Seller no matter what their rating.  Ebay has been doing all they can to try to focus all the attention on the Ebay name and eliminate individual sellers, similar to what Amazon has done.  But once again, Ebay does not have any inventory of its own so they are fighting a losing battle.

Also as soon as the buyer is not happy, then the Seller is thrown right under the bus and its all the Sellers fault now and Ebay tries to take their name out of the picture.  But this will create a race to the bottom very quickly.  I wonder what happens if Ebay sends this out to multiple sellers who happen to all accept the offer at the exact same time (I know its not likely but play along with this one).  So  under the current method of operating the buyer just bought multiple items because they submitted multiple offers.  But I wonder how Ebay will now determine who wins and who the loser is and how the buyer will react if they have all these sellers bugging them for money or filing unpaid item claims against them.  So many ways this can go wrong and even more ways it can go wrong and Ebay pocket extra money from all those sellers who thought they had a sale and then have to battle to get their money back from Ebay.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 22:24:05 2018

It makes a soul wonder how much longer "sort by price" will be offered.

Simply having that option makes a mockery of every new idea they can generate.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 5 22:40:42 2018

And I thought what they are already doing was stupid.

This has to be the most asinine thing I have heard yet.

The catalog is stupid. This idea is stupid. I was willing to give him a shot, but now Wenig has to go.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

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

Sun Aug 5 22:43:01 2018

 http://www.invispress.com/law/patents/ebay.html

eBay does not innovate, they copy and stole a good part of their operating software.

 eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C.
547 U.S. 388 (2006)

•MercExchange owned a business method patent for "an electronic market designed to facilitate the sale of goods between private individuals by establishing a central authority to promote trust among participants."

◦MercExchange was a one-man operation that did not have the intention or the capability to market products related to his patent.
•MercExchange tried to get eBay (who operated such a market) to enter a licensing agreement. When negotiations failed, MercExchange sued eBay for infringement.
•The Trial Court found for MercExchange. MercExchange appealed.
◦The Trial Court found that eBay willfully infringed MercExchange's patent.
◦The Court found that an award of damages was appropriate.
◦The Court did not find that an injunction was warranted.
◾The Court found that if a 'patent troll' like MercExchange collected patents without any real attempt to use them (aka a non-practicing entity), then there should be a categorical exemption against an injunction.
•The Appellate Court reversed. eBay appealed.
◦The Appellate Court found that there was a general rule that, based on 35 U.S.C. §283, courts should issue permanent injunctions against patent infringement absent exceptional circumstances.
◾The Federal Circuit had never, not once, failed to enjoin an infringer.
•The US Supreme Court vacated and remanded.
◦The US Supreme Court found that historically there is a four-factor test for determining if a permanent injunction is warranted. The plaintiff must show:
◾That they have suffered an irreparable injury,
◾That damages or other remedies under the law are inadequate,
◾That considering the balance of hardships between the plaintiff and defendant, a remedy in equity is warranted, and
◾The public interest would not be disserved by a permanent injunction.
◦The Court found that since a patent is a form of property, the four-factor test would be consistent with how injunctions are issued in property law.
◦The Court remanded back to the Trial Court to apply the four-factor test.
•In a concurring opinion it was argued that injunction was the historical and standard remedy for infringement, and that when the courts look at the four-factors, in most cases they should find that an injunction is warranted.
•In another concurring opinion it was argued that injunction is a pretty big stick that patent trolls could use to basically extort money from people who actually want to use the patent in ways that benefit society. Therefore courts should be less likely to enforce injunctions.

◦Historically, most patentees got their patent because they wanted to develop and market the invention themselves. But recently there has been the rise of the "patent troll," who only obtains patents to license them to others. Patent law should change from the historical standard to match this new patent reality.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

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

Sun Aug 5 22:57:26 2018

eBay innovation continued, this is a better article in case anyone is interested in the theft of software eBay is based on.

https://fedsoc.org/commentary/publications/the-misapplicati
on-of-ebay-v-mercexchange-llc

As
patent cases go, eBay’s facts are relatively straightforward. Most readers are likely aware of eBay’s business: providing a website for private sellers to sell goods either at a fixed price (the “buy it now” function) or through an auction. Most readers probably do not know that a company called MercExchange holds a business-method patent for an internet market designed to facilitate transactions between private individuals, although the company does not personally use its patent. Rather MercExchange makes money by licensing its patent to other companies who seek to operate internet markets. MercExchange believed that its business-method patent covered eBay’s “buy it now” feature and offered to license its patent to eBay. Negotiations broke down and, ultimately, MercExchange sued eBay for patent infringement. The case proceeded to trial, the jury found in favor of MercExchange, and it recommended an award of damages. MercExchange then moved the district court for a permanent injunction barring eBay from infringing its patent.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

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

Sun Aug 5 23:36:09 2018

Is this program going to 'turn things around'?

Ask these two sellers.

 https://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/SLOW-SALES/m-p/28823387#M1
263843


 Aug 5, 2018 7:58:05 PM

 Anyone else ready to just call it quits? eBay has been dead slow for us for a few months. I spend a lot of time sourcing, pictures, listings. I feel my prices are really low and great. I know there’s a lot of people that are sick of hearing this same complaint, but those people are most likely doing really well. Mean while, people like us aren’t getting any sales and just low ball offers. And I mean real low ball offers. I’m sorry but I’m not selling someone a shirt for $5. Then they decline my counteroffer. I’ve had more request for returns than I ever have had. I feel like I’ve had more returns than sales. I do sales- I run promotions. I’m at a loss on what else to do. I share some listings on Pinterest, I have my link shared in several areas. Okay, rant over. Let’s just hope that August is better than the last 3 months.

 https://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/Now-I-remember-why-I-stopp
ed-selling-on-eBay-years-ego/m-p/28821786#M1263596

Aug 5, 2018 11:15:17 AM

 I used to have two power seller accounts on eBay years ego (early 2000s) with about $50,000 sales per month on each account. Then eBay decided to change their algorism to the so called "Best Match" and for some reason eBay became the Chinese seller flea market overnight. They seem to favor Chinese sellers who listed 50 thousand things a day on eBay for dirt cheap so basically, I gave up.

Recently about few weeks ego I start selling on eBay again (under new account) and thing were going well. I am offering comparative pricing, free shipping and had no problems so far. But then I started realizing why I had stopped years ego.

My sells stopped over night to ZERO. They went from doing great for a new account to Zero overnight and I have NO idea why. Most my items are showing on top of first page with people watching and no apparent new sellers trying to beat me in price, etc.
Tried to call eBay support twice and gave up each time after 45 to 50-minute wait.
eBay holding $7000 of my cash and slowly releasing it even though my items have been delivered with no issues. If my buyers have received their orders with NO issues, why is eBay/PayPal still holding on to my money???? They are basically stopping my cash flow to a point that I am going to stop selling since I don't want to have problems paying my vendors who I buy from to sell on eBay.
Selling limits, selling limits, selling limits. Yes, I realize that PayPal/eBay are worried about scams. But my orders were received by my customers with no issues so far.

Why do I feel like eBay punishes you or tries to hold you back when your account and selling is doing good?

Very frustrating.  

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 6 00:01:48 2018

Keep listing on Feebay and giving it away

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

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

Mon Aug 6 00:42:24 2018

To be honest, I think most sellers at this point do not care what eBay does, they have made sellers lives so miserable we are past caring about what their next stupid stunt will be.

All sellers can do is move onto other venues and quit playing games with eBay management, their game is to try to extract more and more fees from less and less sales, the math does not work.

I have reactivated my Amazon account because the returns for my time are way too low to actually make a living on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 6 01:18:44 2018

This isn't new. I think ebay or half.com had something in the order flow where you would get a message such a "a buyer wants to buy this for $15.78" while you were listing the item. Might have been called "instant sale". Usually it was quite low, but if i was planning on putting $19 on the above item, i'd probaly accept since id be saving time and inventory space and the item may not sell for months otherwise, so i could just sell and move on.

Think of it like the stock market. When the bid/ask price matches, you have a sale.

Some items i want to hold and wait, but others may have an unknown demand and getting a " someone wants this for $40" when i was going to list for $25, sure, its yours.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 6 02:12:35 2018

I am happy that hardly anything I sell (collectibles, mostly) will be in the catalog and that I rarely use best offer.
If eBay crashes and burns, there's eCrater, the only other site where I get slow but consistent sales.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 6 02:24:02 2018

Goody...another VP opening
VP of Creating Market Forces That Already Exist

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

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

Mon Aug 6 05:59:30 2018

That won't cure the rash of over priced crap we can't afford.
Only throttling Ebay fees WAY BACK will fix it.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 6 07:36:48 2018

This new "offer" is nothing but bidding.  Dressed up to look new.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 6 07:46:36 2018

They teased this a bit a Open and it seemed like a fair idea for items that are brand new.  Problem is that the use of 'New' is not effectively policed by eBay and people use that for items that aren't in the original packaging, or which say in the listing text that the seller is unilaterally re-defining new as only having been used for a couple of months.

Sellers know that over stated descriptions only begin to affect your search placement if you let an issue get to the point where you get a case opened.  You can sail close to the wind and just get bad DSRs for As Described and it makes zero impact on search placement.  That's the profit maximizing solution for the seller these days it's and killing the buying experience on eBay.

So I would be very cautious from a buyer's point of view about posting the equivalent of a binding 'item wanted' offer, unless my offer price is so low that I can tolerate getting a used item in response.

Perminate Link for eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference   eBay Heralds Name Your Price Shopping at Recent Conference

by: extremetm This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 6 08:59:22 2018

"Brand NEW! Only used twice"

"New OPEN BOX"

"NEW! Missing cable"

They are destroying ebay. One of if not the most hair brained, flash-in-the-pan companies on earth.

It's time to move on folks. Long overdue.

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