Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Sept 30 2019 21:51:32

Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay's former Vice President of Seller Experience Jordan Sweetnam had a message for sellers on Monday, his first since rejoining the company in July in a new role. As we reported at the time, he had spent the past 3 years at Walmart's ecommerce unit.

Since the departure of Hal Lawton 2 years ago, eBay executives have personally communicated very little with sellers on the seller announcement board. For example, September 4th's Fall Seller Update announcement was written by "Verified Blogger."

Today's post by Sweetnam (now Senior Vice President and General Manager of Americas) could be a sign that's going to change in the wake of CEO Devin Wenig's sudden departure last week. 

Sweetnam ended his post today with the following message for sellers:

"Going forward, I want to further foster an inclusive community of eBay sellers and an effective feedback loop with you. I want to ensure everyone at eBay has an opportunity to talk to you, from engineers who build your tools to support staff who answer your questions. That way, we're listening to what's important to you and how we, as a company, can deliver the experience your unique business needs to be successful on our platform. As always, thank you for selling on eBay. I look forward to connecting with you in the future."

Since he's looking for feedback from sellers, feel free to share in the comments what you need from eBay, and what's working and not working for you.

Interestingly, while checking to see if Sweetnam had made it onto eBay's top-leaders page (he did not), we noticed that Steve Wymer, the head of eBay public relations, was missing from the page. He had been there as recently as September 10th but was gone by (or on) the 25th. While Wymer's LinkedIn page still displays his current role as "SVP and Chief Communications Officer, eBay," it suggests there could have been some casualties accompanying last week's shakeup at the top.



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Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 30 22:18:34 2019

My main concern is this.

Artificial Intelligence doesn't have a CLUE what I am searching for.

PLEASE go back to using Word Search.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: Smallseller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 30 22:43:31 2019

Promoted listings in its current state of the fall update is not working. Between buyers not wanting to click on promoted ads and listings not appearing due to ad blockers, I am paying store fees and for promoted listings if an items sells, only to have my items potentially not show. The data provided by ebay to ''suggest'' that this is only affecting 2% of traffic does not seem to correspond with actual research done to evaluate how many people use ad blockers on both PC's and mobile phones. Please revisit this so that sellers who decide to use promoted listings are ensured that their listings are visible. After all, if buyers can't see my listings, they can't buy my products which means that ebay cannot collect whatever % I decide to use to promote. I am sure that you must be aware of the uproar that this has caused and people en masse turning off promoted listings to try to generate sales.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Sep 30 22:45:39 2019

@Just Plain Irritated
Thanks for kicking this off with constructive feedback

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: Smallseller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 30 22:45:58 2019

Please do something to stimulate sales growth as opposed to compensating by trying to get as many fees from sellers as possible who are seeing their sales decrease more and more and their fees continuing to increase.  

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon Sep 30 22:47:06 2019

Ditto, @Smallseller  

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 30 23:31:54 2019

Stop with the GTC feature - I feel this was a huge mistake. Alot of us are experienced sellers - we know our product - we actually know what we are doing - since I am "stuck" at premium I monitored my listings carefully - dead stock when it was 30 days it was gone after 60 - 90 days. Moving to anchor isn't in the picture since sales are so horrible right now. For me to move from $60 a month to $300 a month - well it would take me 2.5 years to utilize my full potential all the while forking over an extra $240 every month to ebay. Give me a 5,000 item tier store. I'd be there right now. How many other's would join me? So if your keeping GTC I have to keep eliminating my items and trying new items. Give me another tier - let me grow with ebay.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Sep 30 23:48:37 2019

Mr. Sweetnam

Please kick Lithium to the curb, too many good sellers have been banned from the community forums.

I got banned 2 years ago for pointing out bad sellers who were selling feedback.

I tried to help and got the boot. . .

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 30 23:54:40 2019

Everything with ebay is in the FUTURE. This guy is like someone who just got elected mayor in a city filled with pot holes. He should have know that before being elected.
The pot holes have been there for YEARS. The locations are all over eBay's OWN discussion boards.
Read 'em, fill the holes, THEN tell me about the improvements.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 00:10:13 2019

This open door to communication to ebay executives is absolutely the type of positive productive forward thinking that the previous tone def administration totally lacked. The my way or the high way approach left a solid path forward only for a productive amazon. When Wanig was hated by EVERYONE on both sides of the buyer/seller spectrum it should have been an iron clad sign that failure was imminent.

The ebay claim to fame was a unique, community oriented, fun environment! Constant nonsensical changes were growth prohibitive and served no one.

The reason I stopped buying 100 items a month on ebay is simply because I was paying someone else to buy with my stolen identity on amazon and charge me for the pleasure at best, or at worst the seller simply using stolen payment information to scape goat me into being an unwitting fall guy? How many $250 items do you have to buy with a drop ship guest receipt for a $500 item a person linked to a pyramid scheme. How many different people does it take to get a knock at the door from the cops?

Ebay needs money. The best way to earn it is reevaluate the bans for things correctly considered irrelevant. Selling limits should also be tossed as obviously growth prohibitive. The finally trust with the ebay community needs to be earned back.Never have I come across a company so deeply hated buy buyers and sellers alike.


O yea and fix item specifics. New means new, not opened box, returned, refurbished,or "rebewed"

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: Slowest Learner This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 03:32:59 2019

I want some real seller protection from scam buyers who steal merchandise.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: P.Dorf This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 03:35:15 2019

More capacity, more bandwidth, better IT...
...I never know how many listings I DON'T see = LOST SALES

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: 1st Armored Division 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 03:42:19 2019

#1 Separate the commodity items from OOAK items. One size does not fit all and they are different business models. It was OOAK items which built ebay but ebay is now a commodity platform which can make it difficult for sellers of OOAK items which are long-tailed.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 04:48:19 2019

Ebay is a dead horse. Have left and not coming back. China does not buy (unless they r buying 1 piece to copy and wreck your item). China killed ebay and ebay let them. Now they want sellers to communicate? I cant find anything except China crap on ebay and searching is so messed up that I gave up a long time ago. Ebay is dead. Too late to start caring now.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 06:36:31 2019

My most recent complaint as a buyer and seller is the forced Good To Cancel policy. Sellers previously could decide if they wanted their items continuously listed or to give an item a rest and replace it with another item within the limits of the monthly“free listings” or store included listings. Sellers know better what and when to list seasonal items. Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July items/decorations do not sell well all year long. Winter/Summer apparel sell best within the season.
As a buyer my saved searches have become almost useless with the same tired listings being shown every 30 days like clockwork. If I didn’t buy it the first or second time or even put it on my watch list why keep showing it to me? All this super AI could be used here better; instead of eliminating items I have not seen. After my saved search has shown me the same listing three or four times with no interest eliminate it from my save search.    

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 07:17:41 2019

Renew your agreement with PayPal and make Managed Payments optional for sellers, I as well as many other sellers will be leaving this venue when it becomes mandatory and daily PayPal transactions are no longer allowed.

Accepting Managed Payments violates the terms of our PayPal Working Capitol loan agreement, PayPal has made this very clear over the past year and there is no viable alternative to what they offer.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 07:50:54 2019

It's been suggested before by myself and others but...one more time:

How about having the new (Amazonian) good on their own side of the paltform and the  used, antique, collectable and oddball in their own?

Considering how much emphasis on recycling, leaving a smaller carbon footprint and re-purposing there is, eBay is missing the chance to use their reputation for selling unusual and vintage --saved from landfills, people!--as a way of promoting themselves as environmentally sensitive.

That's not to say they couldn't also promote the more conventional offerings but it would GREAT to have something for everyone again, un-hidden, throttled.  Call it ecommerce "inclusion" and retail "Diversity".  

As much as I hate buzzwords and PC speak.... but somebody had to say it.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 08:17:31 2019

Search Engine Change: A word search type search and not the current way of searching on eBay.

Payment: Back to the Paypal and other options. Let people opt out of the Managed Payments and then get rid of it.

IT: Expand the operations to show all of our searches whether adding addition memory or cloud memory

Feedback:  2 way feedback

Advertising:  Get rid of the advertising running through our listings.

Promotions:  Get rid of promoted listings

GTC:  Get rid of Good till Cancel and bring back the other options of listing times.

Returns:  Let the sellers decided their return policies.

Duplicates: The listings from the Chinese of duplicate listings are bad. Also the faux pricing of .99 and then the listings show 14.99 and up. (.99 are for the instructions or ? )

Delivery:  Get rid of the guarantee delivery. The post office doesn't guarantee delivery except on the expensive shipping option.

Make nice with Google and work things out with them.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 08:21:03 2019

PS:  The sellers are eBay's customers.
The buyers are the sellers customers.
and eBay does not have any inventory, the sellers have the inventory to sell.

Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 1 09:21:47 2019

"I look forward to connecting with you in the future."

Sounds familiar.

Trust. That's what eBay "let go". That's what eBay needs back - in both directions. It's foundational.

Arrogance won't build it. Dictate won't convey it. Incompetence won't nurture it. It can't be monetized either.

eBay knows what's wrong. There is a decade's worth of constructive critique out there describing it, a decade's worth of suggestions for fixing it. Do the homework.

Earn back the trust. THEN you can "move forward".



Perminate Link for Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers   Returning eBay Executive Has a Message for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Oct 1 10:06:59 2019

A post like this should have occurred two decades ago. Not 22 years later. If you haven't figured out your business model by now, you never will. Where were you before you left for Walmart and why didn't you listen then?

In my view ebay's brand is far too polluted to ever recover. The best thing ebay can do in an attempt to come back from so much dysfunction is to hire innovative thinkers and executives who are excited about making ebay a fun and fair place for all instead of the same old tired empty suits who keep coming and going through the revolving door with more buzz words like 'feedback loop and 'foster.'

I will never trust a thing ebay says or does. Save your breath folks. NOTHING is going to change.  

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