Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Apr 11 2021 16:12:40

eBay Gets Warm and Fuzzy in New Seller Survey

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay routinely surveys sellers asking them to rate the company on how well it serves their needs. But a new survey is different, with questions asking sellers on whether they think eBay shares their values and if eBay cares about them:

Thinking about eBay, to what degree are each of these true for you?
(Scale: Extremely; Very; Somewhat; Not too much; Not at all)

- I feel like eBay and I share the similar values
- I feel connected to eBay
- eBay is a brand that "gets me" or understands me
- eBay is a brand for someone like me
- eBay is a brand that I can depend on "no matter what"
- I feel impacted by eBay's successes or failures
- I'm confident that eBay would make things right if something went wrong
- With eBay, I have confidence that the experience will consistently be what I expect.
- eBay is a brand that cares about me
- I believe that eBay's intentions are good
- eBay has my best interests at heart

Basically eBay is asking about its brand perception among sellers. If it finds problem areas, will eBay set out to repair them? Will it launch a marketing campaign to improve its brand? If the findings are positive, will it herald those findings in a brand campaign?

The survey also asks sellers to rate eBay's performance on the nitty gritty of selling, such as the following question:

Thinking about your most recent selling experience on eBay, how do you rate eBay's performance for each of the following?
(Scale: 1 - 5, with 1 being Poor and 5 being Excellent)

- Seller feedback mechanism
- Ease of creating a listing
- Ease of finding right category to list under
- Ease of paying my selling fees
- Ease of receiving and managing payments
- Policies to protect from fraud
- Guidance to choose right shipping option
- Promoting listings
- Managing returns
- Ease of updating tracking information
- Value added services available to enhance offerings
- Pricing guidance
- Standard for seller evaluation

The purpose of the survey matters. For example, when eBay asks sellers to rate its performance on the "Seller feedback mechanism," is it asking because it wants to take remedial action if sellers rate the feedback mechanism poorly? Or is it just benchmarking seller attitudes?

It's easy for eBay to learn where the challenges are for sellers without having to conduct a survey by mining the following to see what sellers are saying:

- Customer Service chats;

- eBay discussion boards posts;

- Social media posts;

- eBay weekly chat board posts.

It's always interesting to review eBay surveys to see which companies it feels are its competitors. When it asked, "Which of the following online marketplaces other than eBay have you used to sell products online," it provided the following possible options from which sellers could choose:

- Amazon
- Etsy
- Craigslist
- Facebook Marketplace
- Newegg
- Walmart/Jet.com
- Overstock.com
- Your own company website
- Other (please specify)

It's also interesting to see how eBay classifies sellers. In the current survey, it asks sellers to describe the type of seller they are, offering the following options:

- Merchant (purchases stock from manufacturers or distributors, has multiple of the same item for sale)
- Reseller (sources from various stores, websites, inventory is mainly one of a kind and not all are multiple quantity)
- Other (please specify)

The survey contained additional questions, including the following:

Thinking about your last 30 days selling on eBay, how satisfied are you with your overall eBay selling experience?

How likely are you to sell on eBay in the next 3 months?

Did you have issues or problems when selling in the past one month?

In what areas, if any, would you like to see eBay make improvements?

The survey also asked respondents to indicate their gender, age range, and how many people work as part of their online selling business.

Do you think the survey provides clues as to what changes may lie ahead or areas in which eBay may focus its attention?



Comments (31) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 11 17:41:29 2021

It's not a survey. It's a cookbook!!

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 11 18:52:47 2021

Scale: 1 - 5, with 1 being Poor and 5 being Excellent

that means eBay gets -20


- I feel like eBay and I share the similar values - yes if you are John Gotti
- I feel connected to eBay - the same way I feel connected to cancer
- eBay is a brand that "gets me" or understands me - yes it understands my bank account and how to steal from it
- eBay is a brand for someone like me - if Im a slimy CA politician then YES
- eBay is a brand that I can depend on "no matter what" - I can depend on eBay cheating me
- I feel impacted by eBay's successes or failures - yes I cheer when they do badly
- I'm confident that eBay would make things right if something went wrong - yes, if you are on crack
- With eBay, I have confidence that the experience will consistently be what I expect. - yes - always negative
- eBay is a brand that cares about me - no they care about my money
- I believe that eBay's intentions are good - yup just like Saddam Huessien, Pol Pot and Stalin's were
- eBay has my best interests at heart - yup an interest in bleeding me dry


- Seller feedback mechanism - sucks since its only 1 way - why do you protect bad buyers?
- Ease of creating a listing - XXX why do you force sellers to work for free to create a catalog for you ?
- Ease of finding right category to list under - yes so you can sell the data to 3rd party companies
- Ease of paying my selling fees - you take what ever you want regardless since you are in control - dumb q
- Ease of receiving and managing payments - its 2021 why is there such a thing as a "non paying buyer"
- Policies to protect from fraud - no since you cause most of it
- Guidance to choose right shipping option - no you only show the ones YOU want
- Promoting listings - scam
- Managing returns - bigger scam - theres nothing to manage
- Ease of updating tracking information - usps.com works too you know
- Value added services available to enhance offerings - scam #2
- Pricing guidance - no important at all
- Standard for seller evaluation - backasswards by people with an IQ of less then 75


Thinking about your last 30 days selling on eBay, how satisfied are you with your overall eBay selling experience? - sux @$$

How likely are you to sell on eBay in the next 3 months? - only because I have to - Amazon gated the brands i sell (like you do with VERO sometimes)

Did you have issues or problems when selling in the past one month? - yes you r SEC 10k statement has more holes then a package of Swiss Cheese

In what areas, if any, would you like to see eBay make improvements? - 1) fire 14,999 useless employees 2) close down Walkers West 3) shut down all the "free" employee perks 4) abandon MP (will never happen as its eBays only profit center) 5) be the VENUE you say you are 6) put Griff in a dunk tank and tour the USA


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by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 11 20:38:40 2021

I've heard of these surveys, never seen one, but seems like they ask suck ups mainly, If they had ask real sellers they wouldn't like the answers.  

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

Sun Apr 11 21:21:12 2021

If Ebay executives really want insight into what Sellers think about their site, all they need to do is read their own discussion boards (which for whatever reason they act as if it does not exist) or come on here and read what the posters have to say about Ebay.  The problem is that they really do not want real answers but want to be able to say that 99% of our sellers are extremely happy with our company and our policies so we are doing a great job just as we have been saying we do.  Now please give us our hard earned bonuses that we have created plenty of cash flow for by stealing from the Sellers and taking very good care of the buyers who we feel are our real customers.  

Of course those buyers pay Ebay nothing so if all they had are the buyers, Ebay would no longer exist.  This is the part of the equation that Ebay has been missing since Donohoe took over as CEO and forever changed the dynamics of selling on Ebay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Mon Apr 12 00:08:51 2021

They used to send me the surveys all of the time and I was always truthful about what I though was going on. That's probably why they do not end them to me anymore. LoL

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 04:08:15 2021

Have not gotten a survey in about four years. Probably my records indicate I am not a happy camper and tend to be vulgar...

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by: Jono77 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 07:05:10 2021

It depends on whether they are asking long-term business sellers or not. This survey will be skewed to impress investors. They don't care about anyone else.

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by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 08:40:17 2021

If this is a regular survey that they will use to track sellers' attitudes then good.

They say that they want to be the seller platform of choice but it isn't clear to me who owns this objective within eBay and therefore who is empowered to question the ''eBay knows best'' corporate culture.  For example, who in the organization argued against the 500 character feedback which is strongly anti-seller?  If they exist then they clearly didn't have the fire-power to re-direct this effort in a more useful direction.  Maybe surveys like this will help them make their case in future?

At least they seem to be getting data (regularly I hope) on where they stand with sellers so that this unnamed executive for seller advocacy can perform their role.  The survey seems to hit the main areas that I care about so that's good.

So if this is repeated regularly and they actually act on the data received (even if that doesn't maximize their bonus payouts) then this seems a good step.  I was getting concerned that they were expecting that building a high end set of analytical tools would be the game changer they need in terms of seller perception, and while they're nice, it's not really the stuff that most sellers lose sleep over.

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by: scotdso53 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 08:49:20 2021

These surveys are nothing more than eye-wash.  Company conducting the survey is probably owned by a relative of an E-Bay corporate executive.  When presented with the results, they give them a cursory look then shit-can them.  
E-Bay continues to treat sellers like common criminals.  Holding seller funds, never siding with the seller in disputes, sneaky underhanded fees increases, no help with anything, and constant tampering with the software by the E-Bay eggheads.

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This user has validated their user name. by: QueenMab

Mon Apr 12 09:15:26 2021

This survey is a joke. eBay NEVER listens to sellers, doesn't care about what sellers want or need. All eBay cares about is how much money they're raking in.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Apr 12 09:34:35 2021

I would never tell anyone to use eBay.

They LIE and could care less about YOU or your business!

eBay ~ I HATE YOU!

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 09:52:27 2021

"Do you think we deserve the 'Rules without Rationale Award' for e-commerce sites?"

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by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 10:01:35 2021

I answered this survey as apparently I am on the list to receive. I tanked them for all the right reasons. Horrible company. Now as bad as Comcast

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 10:26:47 2021

When you do the right thing - you don’t need surveys to check.

I don’t expect (as an example) to always win in every situation - but I try my best since it’s my money.

I understand too that eBay needs to balance out both sellers and buyers - but some of the stuff eBay does is do beyond the pale that it’s obvious what’s going on.

It’s like the other article Ina posted. How in 2021 with computers and the internet can you allow a buyer to open a INR, hold a sellers money when tracking shows delivered????

I just personally had yet another eBay issue. It’s what eBay calls a “partial Vero strike”. It’s when they pull a listing for no real reasons- just cause a manufacturer says to. I asked what the violation is and they told me “we can’t tell you, we are not going to tell you, don’t resist it”. I asked “do you want to see my Amazon invoice for it?” They told me “drop dead, go away”.

eBay doesn’t care what most sellers think or say - it’s a vanity game. I didn’t get the survey (of course) and I’m %100 confident that nothing good will come of it.

“You asked, we listened “ blah blah- just hand over all your money.

The Walmart good should just change his name to Jesse James.

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by: railady This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 10:42:02 2021

@terry55 - Maybe suck-ups and newbies are all that is left responding to eBay surveys? after the rest of us maybe did at first, but then realized it was a total waste of our time because eBay does what eBay wants.

I do not respond at all to eBay surveys because my time is much more productively spent on projects of my own; but more important is that I want to keep my head down and hopefully stay out of their radar regarding anything to do with my account.  

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by: lalaland This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 12 13:47:08 2021

I know this is not right place to post this BUT:  Can anyone tell me where to find my store's categories since the last "fix/change" .  Always changing instead of fixing.  Now, I have to scroll through 600 listings to find the one I want, because "categories" in nowhere to be found.  Thanks.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Apr 12 14:46:48 2021

"You asked...we listened.... "  only to the cherry picked responses that support our agenda.

There eBay, I fixed it for you.

If eBay really, truly listened to their sellers, their marketplace would consistently see sales growth in double digit increments.  That sales growth volume would make it unnecessary to increase fees every few months.  

Instead, they listen to the inane disconnected ramblings of various Wall Street CEO's who view sellers as little more than victims lined up to have their pockets picked.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Apr 12 15:25:21 2021

As it relates to surveys, eBay does what it wants and ignores what sellers say, therefore most sellers don't waste their time on them.

With that said, what good is a survey when due to eBay's past behavior, a large number of sellers won't respond?  (I have no doubt that the cheerleaders will respond and they normally say what eBay wants to hear.)

How does eBay NOT know how sellers feel about them?  Has eBay management been living under a rock for the last 15 years?

Normally when eBay sends out a survey they are on a mission to make a change and they use the surveys as an opportunity to cherry pick the responses so that they can spout "you spoke we listened".

Post survey, has anyone seen an example where eBay actually took the pain as opposed to the sellers taking the pain when a survey-driven change has been implemented?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Apr 12 15:28:13 2021

And then there is this one:  "I'm confident that eBay would make things right if something went wrong."

Ha!  How could someone at eBay write that one with a straight face?

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This user has validated their user name. by: DZT

Mon Apr 12 19:48:31 2021

I never respond to eBay surveys anymore. Based on their documented criminal history....eBay might send goons to my house to terrorize me if I say anything critical about the company.

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