Dear eBay Management,
It's been just under a month since my last letter
that Ina was so kind as to share on EcommerceBytes, and sadly, not much has changed. While I realize I missed the mark in that you squeaked out earnings of 2 cents beyond projected, I hope that didn't give you a false sense of relevance. For, you see, your small sellers are dying out here, and you've not so much as offered a bandage.
We are now at the end of Cyber Monday. Many of your mom-and-pop operations counted on this weekend for survival. We had hoped you would prove we mattered to you by offering coupons or benefits to ACTUAL small sellers with your grandiose #MakingItHappen campaign.
Instead we sat and watched as massive corporations, mostly overseas, got EVERY bit of public relations and press with the exception of some token videos on a few hand-picked sellers.
Those same mom-and-pop operations only generated, in many cases, mediocre sales, and mostly because THEY chose to put discounts on their inventory. Rather than helping the little guys, you left us bleeding in the aisles and wondering why we still bother. We are getting it, you don't want small sellers. And you certainly don't want those who sell used items.
How do we know this? Your CSR's have made it pretty clear in what they say between the lines. That you don't care that it is impossible for sellers of used items to be profitable when they are held to the same standards as those who sell new in the box items.
It was alluded to your TIGHTENING these requirements in the future, which can only mean even more forced returns, longer return windows, and reduced placements for those who won't comply. It is obvious in the responses "Lori" gives to sellers with problems on the "eBay for Business" page in which mom-and-pop sellers report the frauds perpetrated against them and are dismissed or outright ignored. It is VERY obvious in that you hung us all completely out to dry on the biggest selling weekend of the year. eBay doesn't want small sellers. Change my mind.
Absolutely nothing has improved since my last open letter, and, in fact, the situation is looking more bleak for those who built eBay. Those of us who have bought and sold since the first days of eBay. Those who have worked through every "next great new thing" as eBay has developed itself away from being eBay and into, as one poster called it "eBazon." I guess we can hope that the hiring of Harry Temkin might help us, but it is unlikely. Small sellers no longer trust eBay.
I will close with this, and it is directed straight to Harry Temkin.
Harry, you have thousands of small sellers out here who are one fraudulent return from closing shop, or bankruptcy. Your sellers are losing the entrepreneurial drive that made eBay so great. We love eBay. Or at least, we love the classic eBay, where we mattered.
If you want to get down in the trenches and find out how to help small sellers survive, if you're really serious, let's sit down and talk. Ina has my permission to connect you to me, directly.
You could learn a lot spending a day reading the comments on this site, or spending an afternoon talking to me, or any of 100 other sellers. So how about it? Let's do lunch. You'll have to fly AND buy, unfortunately, as I just had to put groceries on a credit card, again.