Although I'm situated in a small European country, I've been avid reader of your blog for years. I've got some eBay related news that might interest you.
eBay must really become desperate for cash. In the past I was able to build a business on eBay. With all the changes they made eBay Belgium is a former shade of itself with hardly any sales. In our country we have a very popular classified auction site www.2dehands.be. It's has the popularity eBay used to have in its good old days and is completely free to use... Until a couple of day ago.
A couple of years ago eBay acquired this website and things started changing. I've never heard or seen any advertising for eBay while I can't put on the tv or to radio to see/hear constant advertising for 2dehands.be. A year or 2 ago their biggest competitor Kapaza threw the towel.
Since then things started to change. First a revamp of the website (which effectively looked outdated). Then they started to push you to add paying options to your free listings. I'm a professional seller. In the past I used to be able to add a free link to my website. Now for quite some time I can only do this by paying € 9 per listing.
Then they started pushing ad market. They've called me several times for this until I had to ask them to stop calling me because I wasn't interested. Ad market you can compare with the eBay sponsored listings. Your listings will get more visibility - but for every click (doesn't mean you will sell something) you pay a fee. I absolutely refuse to pay for it.
The site is full of scammers. Half of the reactions I get are from Nigerian scammers that offer the pay € 10 extra just to reserve the listing for them and then they come up with a story with an envelope with money and that a courier as DHL will come by to pick up the item. I'm not completely sure how the scam works, but it's 100% a scam. Meaning if I would use ad market, I'd even have to pay a fee if one of these scammers clicks on my listing.
Now recently they really started pushing it. When adding a listing you get pricing advice as on eBay, and you're pushed everywhere to add extra paying options to your listings.
But what really broke the camel's back is the new policy change they introduces a few days ago. It's only for a limited number of categories, but in these categories, you can no longer add listings for free. You're limited to 2 free listings. If you want to place more, you have to pay € 0,99 per listing.
If they continue with this I predict 2dehands.be will be the next site that will fall victim of the eBay greed and mismanagement. This website has been completely free to use since as long as I can remember. If people can no longer list for free, they will just go to the many Facebook groups which have already seen a big boom the last couple of years.
For as far as I can see there are already a lot less listings. Fewer choice = fewer visitors, fewer visitors = fewer buyers. And that's exactly the negative spiral I've seen with eBay.
Or yet another company that's thrown under the bandwagon by eBay. Everything eBay touches goes down the drain.
With kind regards,