Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Apr 27 2021 21:55:37

eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay told sellers about its escrow service for high-end watches earlier this month, and this week, it told the rest of the world through a post on the eBay corporate blog. The news got picked up in the press, including the Robb Report, a publication for the affluent and aspirational.

"Benefiting both parties in the transaction process, escrow is now available to those buying and selling luxury watches over $10,000, expanding the payment options for luxury watch enthusiasts in order to foster an even more seamless experience," eBay explained. It also rolled out escrow on eBay Motors last year.

Scott Schenkel told Wall Street analysts about eBay's plans to launch escrow services during the January 2020 earnings call, just 4 months after stepping into the role of interim CEO (and 5 months before leaving the company).

One seller posting on the EcommerceBytes Blog at the time made an interesting observation: 

"eBay wants to increase "buyer trust" with this new policy. eBay really needs to give some consideration to Seller Trust. To sell high dollar value items on eBay is beyond dangerous with the way eBay handles the return system. I would never recommend to anyone to sell high dollar value items on eBay. And that is solely from a seller's perspective. Unless you can lose the money without damaging yourself financially, I wouldn't do it."

It's very possible that while escrow may be thought of as a tool to boost buyer confidence, it may also be a way for eBay to ease seller concerns about using its platform to sell high-end goods.

Offering escrow may be more about attracting high-end inventory to eBay from sellers and dealers wary of the limitations of its seller protection policies.

Would you list a $10,000 watch on eBay? Would the availability of escrow influence that decision?



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

This user has validated their user name. by: Covid-20

Tue Apr 27 22:38:16 2021

Sure!  I'd sell a 10K watch on Ebay. What could possibly go wrong?  hahahahaha

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Apr 27 22:54:18 2021

And when a buyer scams you out of that $10K watch, eBay will tell you "it's the cost of doing business."  

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

This user has validated their user name. by: Covid-20

Tue Apr 27 23:20:39 2021

"π»π‘’π‘™π‘™π‘œ, π‘šπ‘¦ π‘›π‘Žπ‘šπ‘’ 𝑖𝑠 π΄β„Žπ‘˜π‘šπ‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑛 π‘’π‘π‘Žπ‘¦ π‘π‘’π‘ π‘‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘’π‘Ÿ π‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘£π‘–π‘π‘’. π»π‘œπ‘€ π‘π‘Žπ‘› 𝑖 π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘–π‘ π‘‘ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’"?

I SOLD A WATCH LAST WEEK IN THE AMOUNT OF 12,800.00, AND THE BUYER STATES THAT IT DOESN'T SEEM "AUTHENTIC" - I ASKED HIM TO RETURN IT, AND I RECEIVED A 200.00 TIMEX BACK!  WTH???

"𝐷𝑖𝑑 π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ 𝑖𝑛 π‘“π‘Žπ‘π‘‘ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘’π‘–π‘£π‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘‘π‘β„Ž π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘˜?"

I DIDN'T RECEIVE "MY" WATCH BACK. I RECEIVED A SOMEONES OLD USED WATCH BACK. LIKE . . . . I'M PRETTY SHAKEN UPRIGHT NOW.

"𝐼𝑑 𝑀𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 π‘šπ‘¦ π‘π‘™π‘’π‘Žπ‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘–π‘ π‘‘ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’. π‘Œπ‘œπ‘’ π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘œπ‘₯ π‘Žπ‘π‘π‘’π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘ π‘ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘˜π‘’π‘›?

NO DAMMIT!!!  i SAID "I" WAS SHAKEN!  COULD YOU PUT A SUPERVISOR ON THE PHONE PLEASE???

"𝐼'π‘š π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘¦. π‘Šπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘™π‘–π‘šπ‘–π‘‘π‘’π‘‘ 𝑖𝑛 π‘ π‘‘π‘Žπ‘“π‘“. π‘Œπ‘œπ‘’ π‘˜π‘›π‘œπ‘€ . . . '𝐢𝑂𝑉𝐼𝐷", 𝑏𝑒𝑑 𝐼 π‘π‘Žπ‘› π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ 𝑀𝑒 π‘π‘Žπ‘› 𝑔𝑒𝑑 π‘Ž π‘ π‘’π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘£π‘–π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿ π‘‘π‘œ π‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘™ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘˜ π‘€π‘–π‘‘β„Ž 48 β„Žπ‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ "

NO, THAT WON'T DO.  I NEED TO TALK TO ONE RIGHT NOW.  IN 20 YEARS ON EBAY, I HAVE NEVER EVER, EVER HAD A CALLBACK WHEN PROMISED.

"π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿ, . . . π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘¦"  π‘ˆπ‘”β„Ž....𝑀𝑒𝑙𝑙, . . . . 𝐼 π‘π‘Žπ‘› π‘›π‘œ π‘™π‘œπ‘›π‘”π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘–π‘ π‘‘ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’"

WELL, WHAT AM I TO DO HERE??????

"π‘Œπ‘œπ‘’ π‘ π‘Žπ‘–π‘‘ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ 𝐷𝐼𝐷 𝑖𝑛 π‘“π‘Žπ‘π‘‘ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘’π‘–π‘£π‘’ π‘Ž π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘˜π‘Žπ‘”π‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘˜ π‘“π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘š π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘œπ‘›?"

OPEN UP YOUR EARS PLEASE. YES!!! -  I RECEIVED "A WATCH" BACK.
A CHEAP ONE IN PLACE OF A 12,800.00 ONE!!!

"πΈπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿ,  π‘ π‘œ π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘¦. π‘Œπ‘’π‘Žβ„Ž. π‘Œπ‘œπ‘’ π‘šπ‘–π‘”β„Žπ‘‘ π‘€π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ 𝑑𝑒𝑙𝑙 π‘ƒπ‘Žπ‘¦π‘π‘Žπ‘™ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑖𝑓 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘¦ π‘π‘Žπ‘› β„Žπ‘’π‘™π‘ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’.  π‘‡β„Žπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’'𝑠 π‘›π‘œπ‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘ŠπΈ π‘π‘Žπ‘› π‘‘π‘œ 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑖𝑛𝑔 π‘Žπ‘  β„Žπ‘œπ‘€ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’ π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘π‘’π‘–π‘£π‘’π‘‘ "π‘ π‘œπ‘šπ‘’π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘”" π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘˜ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘ π‘’π‘™π‘™π‘’π‘Ÿ 𝑑𝑖𝑑 π‘‘π‘œ β„Žπ‘–π‘  π‘—π‘œπ‘".

WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT????  I'M THE DAMN SELLER!!!!!  OPEN UP YOUR EARS!  THIS IS HAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!!!!
I...SOLD....THE....WATCH!!!!  I AM THE ONE WHO GOT RIPPED OFF!!

"π‘†π‘œ π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘ π‘–π‘Ÿ. 𝐼𝑑 𝑀𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 π‘šπ‘¦ π‘π‘™π‘’π‘Žπ‘ π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œ π‘Žπ‘ π‘ π‘–π‘ π‘‘ π‘¦π‘œπ‘’."

GET ME A MANAGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.  .  .  .  .  HELLO??????

...............HELLOOOOOOOOO?????

𝑫
π’Šπ’ˆπ’Šπ’•π’‚π’-π‘½π’π’Šπ’„π’†-π‘Ήπ’†π’„π’π’“π’…π’Šπ’π’ˆ
- - - - - - -
𝑰𝒇 π’šπ’π’–'𝒅 π’π’Šπ’Œπ’† 𝒕𝒐 π’Žπ’‚π’Œπ’† 𝒂 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍 - 𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 π’‰π’‚π’π’ˆ 𝒖𝒑 𝒂𝒏𝒅 π’•π’“π’š π’‚π’ˆπ’‚π’Šπ’ . . . . . . .











Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Apr 27 23:21:02 2021

I have no problem selling a $10,000 item on eBay, the buyer just has to bring cash and pick it up in person.

I must be out of my mind right now.

I just bought out my friends inventory for $5000, he said I have enough for another 1000 listings. I told him to bite his tongue!

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Apr 28 07:54:25 2021

If a company is not going to protect a seller on a lower dollar item why would a seller think that the same company would protect them on a high dollar item?

This "the buyer can do no wrong" is deeply ingrained at eBay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: terry55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 28 09:48:55 2021

NO NO NO, ebay's so bad I won't sell anything I can't afford to lose, no customer service, even when it comes to returns if the buyer admits they made a mistake ebay work back you.  

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 28 13:05:37 2021

eBay relishes the opportunity to steal from sellers to enhance their own image (got myself a β€œfree” 12k watch!

There is no seller protection on eBay. There has not been any in years (which is why you wonder what Griff aka Mr Seller Protection advocate does all day).

eBay hasn’t done anything in 10+ yrs to gain the trust of sellers - of any kind of item.

Only a fool would sell an expensive item on a platform that goes out of its way to hurt you!

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 28 14:05:52 2021

While I think eBay wants sell this as a way to allay buyer concerns over these transactions, there has to be some motivation for this in the interest of sellers. The problem is, escrow is really designed to oversee the performance of buyer and seller. That's it. Buyer pays cash, escrow verifies funds and holds them. Seller delivers product. Funds released to seller. Escrow is not in the business of assuring buyer satisfaction, product authenticity or anything else. So unless those very issues are addressed within the service, I don't see how it is anything more than a facilitator of performance.

Personally, I don't see the value of listing high end items on eBay. There are obvious risks we are all aware of. And, eBay is kind of a cheese ball venue to be honest, not really worthy of high end product. Ebay fees are quite high. I think expensive items can be sold as well through reputable consignment and auction firms.  

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Apr 28 18:08:27 2021

My crystal ball says that sellers will find their escrow payments due held for longer than expected with the tired excuse of system glitches when the reality is they will be 100% intentional.  This is nothing more than eBay seeking to hold larger payments from being processed in order to artificially inflate their quarterly reports.

Would I list a $10,000 watch on eBay???  Heck no, I would not list a $10.00 item on eBay the fee structure is simply not worth the effort, and trusting eBay to handle payments and remit payments due is simply out of the question.

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: 360 ID Tag This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 00:39:16 2021

The risk can be managed with our e-commerce return tags that are tamper-evident. The 360 ID Tag first acts as a deterrent against return fraud, warding off the unscrupulous buyer looking to defraud a seller. Secondly, it gives the seller proof if the return tag is not attached or has been removed and attempted to be reapplied (the VOID markings will always be visible and they are serial-numbered so can't be replaced). Our return tag was invented by me, an eBay seller, after selling designer dresses on the platform.

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: Ladygray This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 01:20:31 2021

Omg, never! Customer might start a return and send back a box of trash  and you'll be out big $$$.

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 06:02:28 2021

"Benefiting both parties in the transaction process, escrow is now available to those buying and selling luxury watches over $10,000,
^^
Why is $10K the starting point?  Why not $1000.  I wouldn't send or sell anything through Ebay for less than $10K that was in the hundreds of dollars.  I think they should offer escrow (which they had many years ago and then eliminated it) for any luxury or high-priced item over $500.  Ebay sells Real estate and cars and I believe that's in escrow right?

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 07:53:37 2021

You would either have to be metally ill, a heavy drug addict, or be a multi multi millionaire to sell a high $$ item on ebay.

In this case ebay is very much like a pimp. You take all the risk and end up with nothing. You know damn well that those high $ items are targets for scammers. They know they can get a score easily.

And with no more paypal, you have absolutely NO way to fight back.

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: VaGent This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 08:28:30 2021

"The risk can be managed with our e-commerce return tags that are tamper-evident. The 360 ID Tag first acts as a deterrent against return fraud, warding off the unscrupulous buyer looking to defraud a seller. Secondly, it gives the seller proof if the return tag is not attached or has been removed and attempted to be reapplied (the VOID markings will always be visible and they are serial-numbered so can't be replaced)."

Just curious, what makes you think that eBay would even consider this system as proof of anything? How would you even get them to consider it as valid evidence of fraud?

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 09:59:15 2021

I've been fortunate enough to sell a handful of items that have sold for $10,000 or more on eBay. It's both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. You sell something for that much... now what? Do you pack it safely and hope for the best? Deliver it in person and hope you don't get ripped off? I've done both with mixed results.

Once, I sold a mid century Gorham Circa 70 Tea Set for around $12,000 and shipped it to a buyer in RI. I packed everything carefully, shipped it overnight with FEDEX with full insurance through eBay, and found out the hard way that eBay's FEDEX contract didn't allow for the package to be held at the facility or directed to the buyer's work. So after 3 delivery attempts, they were going to send the package back if the buyer didn't pick it up from the local sorting hub within a certain number of days. Then they misplaced the package. D'oh!

Luckily, they found it the next day and everything worked out ok. The buyer said he was going to auction in in Europe and hoped to make a 50% profit on the sale. Good for him!

Another time, I sold a high-end Rolex for $12000+ and and a 2' solid silver sculpture for nearly $15,000 within a few hours of each other. Both buyers lived in NYC, so I decided on the spur of the moment that I would drive both items up there, meet the buyers, and visit family at the same time. The Rolex buyer paid in full via Paypal, but the sculpture buyer couldn't make the full payment via Paypal, so she paid half and told me the other half would be paid in cash upon receipt.

So I drove up to NYC, parked about 2 blocks away from the sculpture buyer's business, then transported in with a hand truck out of an underground parking garage and to the antiques mall where she worked (it was securely boxed). I had the Rolex in my computer bag across my shoulders and was silently praying that I wouldn't get mugged. I walked into this low key building that had a number of small booths, it was a very high end antiques mall. Fortunately, the buyer loved the sculpture and she quickly paid the remaining amount in cash (perhaps $8,000). Then it was uptown to stop #2.

I was to meet the Rolex buyer on a street corner on the west side of Central park. I was sweating bullets, having so much cash on me along with such an expensive Rolex and i had no idea what the guy looked like. A short while later, I young guy walks up with his dog, asks if I'm Chris and if I have his watch. We exchanged a few words, I gave him the watch, and that was that. I was very relieved when I finally got to my Aunt's apartment and squirreled away the cash for the next few days (I transitioned to Bank of America after that experience to have access to a national bank... but I can't say that was the best decision ever... but I digress).

Anyhow, it can be done. For all of the faults that eBay has, it still gets better exposure than any other selling platform than I can think of and has a reasonable number of safeguards in place for both the buyers and sellers. Just use some caution and uncommon sense when selling anything valuable and you should be ok.  

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

This user has validated their user name. by: Covid-20

Thu Apr 29 13:39:26 2021

@Trader_Chris

I'D LIKE TO KNOW when in fact your story took place.
WITHIN THE PAST TEN YEARS??

Try being so bold on Ebay in its present climate.

By the way, you delivered these items in person, so it doesn't quite fit in with the narrative of this thread. This is about "Mailing" a valuable item and of course the laughable cooperation you'll get from Ebay when the transaction goes awry.

In your case - the responsibility was all yours in just the avoidance of being mugged or assaulted.

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 30 12:51:53 2021

The problem is that the escrow "plan" only works 1 way - outbound to the buyer, and NOT the other way - back to the seller!

If you notice - eBay doesnt seem to care about that part of the transaction and THATS THE PART that should scare you.

Its of course important that a buyer, any buyer, receives the item(s) they purchased - in the time frame and condition agreed to at the time of sale.

Why eBay has ZERO regard (and Im looking SQUARELY at the 2 Walmart dopes) for the seller if an item has to be returned?

If eBay cant/wont/does care about YOU the seller - then dont sell there.

And while we are on the topic - that goes for Amazon as well - who doesnt care - this is not just an eBay problem. Its endemic for most of the online selling platforms - and it needs to stop, NOW.

Until the 2 Walmart goofs or Sleeping Griff can demonstrate that the sellers pocket is as important as the buyers - DONT sell anything you cant afford to loose on eBay - since by their very INACTION - they are telling you UPFRONT that they dont care about what happens to you or your item(s).

(eBay - if you or one of your slimy agents are reading this and you have a problem with it - leave the Steiners alone and come at me. Im listed in the phone book, have been a NYC Corp for 20 yrs and I have 3 attorneys that would love to hear from you).

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 30 20:13:03 2021

All in all, it seems cheaper...and safer...to add a plane ticket to shipping for a $10K item and hand deliver it.  

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: zeek6228 This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 1 14:39:56 2021

I wouldn't list anything over $500 on eBay.

You would be safer selling a Rolex or other high end items in the alley behind the liquor store. At least that way if someone tries to rob you, you can be vigilant and perhaps fight back.

Plain and simple, ANYONE could order ANY $500+ on eBay, claim they received an empty box and keep it. Ebay has a rock solid 23 year track record of NOT BEING TRUSTWORTY to either buyer or sellers.

Selling items under $300 I find eBay to be safe and reliable and have had an excellent experience, but once you get into things that are worth taking the effort to steal, all bets are off. Robbing eBay sellers is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Perminate Link for eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory   eBay Ploy to Attract High End Inventory

by: zeek6228 This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 1 14:46:14 2021

The only way would be if there was some way to pre-approved buyers.

Hahaha. Imagine selling a $10,000 item to Doral, FL or McCullough Dr. in New Castle, DE? Or better yet to a (0) feedback buyer shipping to an abandoned house?

If you cancel you get a defect and negative feedback
If you ship it 20% chance of getting robbed.

Seriously. Imagine selling a $10,000 Rolex on craigslist, the buyer wants to meet in a parking lot somewhere, you refuse out of concern and get kicked off craigslist???? This is eBay policy.  



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