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Wed Oct 23 2013 23:05:36

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay Will Remove?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I was thinking about this latest take-back by eBay, now no longer allowing Advanced Searches by Buyer (yes, I do know about the workaround via the programming loophole; no, I'm not going to assume that it won't eventually get fixed), and I thought I'd put this question out there for your readers:

What do you think is the next existing seller feature, tool or utility that eBay will remove? Bonus points if you can explain how they will claim the removal to be an advantage for sellers.

Double bonus points if you can use any of the following Marketing 101 Buzzword Bingo phrases in your response:

"New and Exciting"
"Buyer Input"
"Choice and Control"
"Buying Experience"
"Selling Experience"
"Paradigm"

Okay, that last one isn't really eBay-specific, but anyone with a PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) in Marketing should be able to use words they don't understand in a manner that will impress the listener.

Okay, ready? I'll start. We'll ring a bell (*ding!*) for each Buzzword Bingo phrase that's used:
I predict that eBay is going to remove the sellers' ability to see bidder IDs before winning. Their pseudo-reasoning will be: "This new and exciting improvement (*ding!*) will help to level the playing field among our new and old customers by giving every member a fair chance to enhance their buying experience ("*ding!*) by bidding on items from multiple sellers, giving them more choice and control (*ding!*) over who they will actually buy from. The change was made based on buyer input." (*ding!*)

"Sellers are still free to exercise choice and control (*ding!*) over the process by placing unpaid buyers on their Blocked Bidder List after an unsuccessful selling experience. (*ding!*) Previously they could have done this earlier in the process, after spotting a deadbeat buyer with suspicious buying patterns before the auction ended, following research via Advanced Bidder searching (which we have therefore removed). We felt that this hampers buyer input (*ding!*) into the buying experience (*ding!*), or perhaps we meant seller experience (*ding!*), at least until we decide to remove the Blocked Bidder List as well. Oh, and paradigm, paradigm, paradigm. (*ding!*ding!*ding!*ding!*ding!*)


Sadly, in writing the above, I found it disturbingly easy to slip into eBay's mindset and write that nonsense in one unending stream. I wonder what they will think of next.
Andy




Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Wed Oct 23 23:47:01 2013

One of the next features ebay will be removing now that the new user agreement is out is TRAFFIC REPORTS by OMNITURE.

Now that ebay is out of the closet and openly admitting that they will not show sellers listings for any reason. We shall soon see the end of the monthly forecast for traffic reports.

The forecast have always been 100% reliable. The forecast wold come out at the first of the month and tell seller how many page views they were expecting to get. It was always true thruought to the end of the month.

Now there is no need to let the seller have a forecast because it opens ebay to liability because the seller can see what they are going to get in traffic with the knowledge that ebay is 100% limiting & controlling the traffic that the seller will be allowed to have.

Sellers get in there and save your month to month reports going back 2 years. We will all need these when we go to court.

Ebay is going to have to make restitution for their crimes.

Ina, what did Omniture say about ebays announcement that omniture was broken and not displaying accurate info last fall on the ebay announcement board.

Omniture was not broken it was delivering solid facts. Ebay was limiting seller visibility last fall with CANTSEEME search engine trials or full blown opperation.

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

by: andanotherthing This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 24 02:53:46 2013

I have been a loyal ebay seller for a number of years and have always considered it to be my primary source of sales. In recent years however, my sales have plummeted (despite adhering to all ebays changes and rules as a TopRatedSeller), constantly working to change the listings in my shop, offering Free Shipping before ebay made it compulsory, ditto with my returns policy etc.

However, I find myself now looking at other sites such as Etsy, Ebid (I am based in the UK), etc which while not having the footfall, might just make it more of a pleasure to sell (or attempt to sell). I have also started my own website - have had a few sales there, but it is early days as it only went live in May this year.

I will continue to promote my own website. ebay doesn't promote my items anymore, so why should I promote ebay (although I do plug my existing items otherwise I would have no sales at all!). I no longer recommend ebay to friends, family, acquaintances who have items to sell.

I will definitely have a go at Etsy in the New Year (although in some respects, it does seem to be channeling itself along the same routes as ebay). However, I listed to a BBC Radio 4 interview, which included a representative from ebay and one from Etsy. The Etsy spokesperson was impressive in her attitude to not just buyers, but sellers, and small sellers at that (as opposed to the large retailers that ebay slavish tries to cultivate). The most telling thing about the ebay spokesperson's input was that he never once mentioned the word "seller", let alone small sellers, but insisted upon using the word retailers, and propounded ebay's attempt to catch "large retailers" repeatedly.

One last word on ebay and its relentless pursuit of the big name retailers. I have, like many people, a number of favourites retailers - Tesco, Currys, various clothing companies etc. If I want to buy from any of these companies, I will go to their websites direct. I would NEVER consider buying from these companies via ebay. It doesn't make sense, both from a purchasing point of view, and also from a customer service point of view.

I see ebay's policy in this respect going sour on them and since they will have alienated the "bread and butter" sellers that ebay was initially set up to provide a platform for, they will have nowhere to go. I give them 5 to 10 years.

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 24 05:40:27 2013

Discussion Boards will be next as they are useless and one sided

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Oct 24 06:51:24 2013

It's always been my belief that eBay wants to completely rid the venue (venue? ha!) of small rank-and-file ''non-corporate'' sellers.

Only... they're smart enough to know that if they did such a thing en-masse it would be a PR nightmare.

So, instead, they gradually tighten the noose (or they gradually ''turn up the heat on the cauldron'', depending on which analogy you prefer) to slowly, but continually and surely FORCE those sellers to ''voluntarily'' abandon eBay.

With the most recent changes, we can clearly see that eBay's philosophy on this matter hasn't changed one iota.

In fact, it seems to me that their commitment to this goal has only increased over time... no doubts, no regrets, no conscience.

Based on the evidence at hand, the sudden flurry of activity, and their apparent disregard for how it all appears, I'm inclined to believe that there are other forces at play here.

Why the sudden rush? Why is eBay being so blatantly obvious (when previously, they had at least made *some* attempt at temperance and moderation.)

What's changed?

Are things not working out the way that JD had planned? Is his vision not materializing as he had expected?

Ahh... it's easy to see how emotionally invested he is in his original plan. The stench of arrogance and his contempt for R&F sellers couldn't be more obvious.

Rather than taking a ''thinking day'' to rationally examine things and figure out why his plan is failing, he's still convinced that the fault ISN'T in his plan. Instead, he must believe that the fault is in moving ''too-slowly'' in his quest to rid the site of vermin R&F sellers.

It's all rather astounding to watch unfold. I weep for those small sellers who stay and who feel they have no other choices or options.

FUTURE PREDICTIONS:

1) Completely anonymous transactions. -- All items will be shipped to eBay and eBay will forward the item to the buyer.

2) Completely anonymous feedback. No names, no items... and comments will be scrubbed of any specifics (Perhaps the 80-character comments will appear as: ''T*****h.'')

3) To prevent sellers from being able to observe feedback accumulate in ''real-time'' (and perhaps ascertain the identity of the buyer) all feedback will be queued for one month... randomized... and added to a sellers feedback collection.

4) Automatic positive feedback for buyers (even those who don't pay). Sellers will be out of the loop entirely on this change. ~ eBay bots will select and post a random flattering and complimentary phrase.

Oh, sure... you say I'm exaggerating.

Others will say that my hyperbole is over-the-top.

But, just think about it for a second. If 5-years ago I'd accurately predicted and posted about the policy-changes that would come in 2013, nobody would have believed it!

Yet, here we are.

Fun times, eh?

Not so much.

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Oct 24 07:14:47 2013

I'm at the point of not caring anymore.  All my energies go to our web site.

The man has ruined eBay, and it will be his legacy.  I haven't bought an item off of eBay in over one and a half years, and I never intend to again.

Let the CFPB investigations continue.  My only hope is that the CEO ends up in prison.  Karma doesn't always play nice.

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 24 07:16:21 2013

I love Andy's letter, but I can't even make myself think about this stuff anymore. eBay has taken away my success (for 18 years) as a small seller of antiques and collectibles at eBay. There really isn't much more they can take away that matters more.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Oct 24 07:19:57 2013

Annie, I could not agree with you more, but why do they continue to recruit new small sellers?  I've recently heard radio advertisements of this nature--the clean out your closets and sell on eBay.  It makes no sense, but then again, when does anything eBay do make sense?

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

by: alfabarn This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 24 08:09:45 2013

So that all buyers may have a ''complete'' Ebay buying experience. No blocking of bidders, and mandatory global shipping.  

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Oct 24 08:18:38 2013

eBay’s utterly devious "private listings" format already "levels the playing field" utterly, in the shill bidder's favour; I would not be at all surprised if eBay is seriously thinking about whether or not they could get away with making the bidding on all auctions utterly anonymous as is now the bidding on their “private listings” auction format, and thereby give genuine buyers absolutely no way of identifying and protecting themselves from the shill bidding that, with eBay’s blessings, would then increase exponentially …

eBay is demonstrably a most unscrupulous corporate entity and is, without doubt, the greatest calculated facilitator of auction shill bidding "wire fraud" on consumers that the world is ever likely to know … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

In the meantime, with Best Match and now Cassini, eBay is deviously manipulating buyer search in the most pathetic and desperate attempt to try to keep their preferred sellers happy, and if you are reading this, you are not one of those preferred sellers …

“Our ambition is to be the strategic partner of choice for every leading retailer, brand and manufacturer across the world …”—eBay Employment Ad (2013) …
Johnny Ho is delusional, of course; then, we are all entitled to dream … http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

Regardless, such delusional dreams do not make a viable business plan; I too give them five to ten years before the rusting old scow finally slips beneath the waves …

eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking ...

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bad Hair Day

Thu Oct 24 09:01:44 2013

@Rexford. Because they know that for every small Seller that jumps off, 3 more will hop on. It's a little like the old Ponzi/Multi Level Marketing schemes. The numbers for the big guys at the top always stay the same.

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Thu Oct 24 10:29:54 2013

@Rexford & Anonymous Annie,

The reason ebay is advertising for new sellers is because so many good seller have been exterminated into bankruptcy that ebay is missing the cash it made from those sellers.

And the reason that ebay has doubled down on the ebay buyer protection policy is because a huge population of the GOOD sellers have left ebay so now ebay is dealing with a bunch of NOVICE, rookie, & SNAD criminal sellers.

And because they have to resort to recruiting new sellers with no proven track record they are now forced to do the Purges 1.0 & 2.0.

Does not seem like a good business plan or a good stock buy.

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Oct 24 10:57:59 2013

Bad Hair Day, what a shame that they, in their imagined executive superiority, don't have the first clue about how to treat or keep a customer.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 24 12:20:00 2013

There's ALWAYS more that eBay can do to sellers - and they will, its just the matter of time and how much they think they can get away with.

Not in anyone's wildest dreams could any corporation say in a UA that they will gladly take your money but retain FULL discretion on whether or not they will provide said services. When you buy a movie  ticket you expect to see the movie. If there are circumstances that dont allow it - you usually get a refund or a ticket to another showing.

Its outright THEFT yet no one (even Obamas new Consumer Protection Racket) cares.

What eBay (based on comments made by eBay reps) (and lets not get into it - yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus - yes people, BIG sellers have reps) will do is:

1) Keep pushing auctions down until they slowly all turn into BIN sales. That is what eBay brass want, that is where they believe they spend too much CS time on. They want sales to run like a clock aka like Amazon.

2) As far as BIN sales go - eBay is going to again trot out the idea of separating professional sellers and non professional sellers. Professional sellers will have to agree to specific understandings aka the warranty of the goods they sell, full responsibility for fakes and all VERO issues (it will be part of eBays VERO agreement due to the court cases they are involved with) and other "professional" agreements that will be determined as they go along.

Non professional sellers will not be required to complete these agreements and will get lower placement in listings.

eBays reps claim that too many customers call and complain that manufacturers REFUSE to warranty goods bought on eBay. "what good is spending money and time to get buyers to buy on eBay if the items become worthless when/if they break"

To combat that issue (and it happens 1000x a day in the electronics category) they are working on that change.

The word "authorized dealer" WILL show up on each listing. It already dovetails with eBays MC019 Unauthorized violation. ANYONE who claims to be an authorized dealer and is not will be VERO'd and their information sent to the relevant company (as asked for by SONY and Netenforcers)

3) FBE will eventually come into play - GS and their relationship with PB is getting tighter. Depending on how eBay brass feel PB handles xmas - will decide how/when/if this will happen.

Like Amazon (who eBay copies 24/7) people who opt into FBE will get top billing in listings for those items. The concolation is that like Amazon the feedbacks for the transactions will be all 5s and the DSRs will be all 5s as well.

It also give eBay a new revenue stream AND removes added layers of CS agents.

4) That also dovetails into what eBay would ultimately like to see as far as international shipping. The close relationship with USPS can be broken at anytime with eBay saying "they promised us XXX and they wont provide it". XXX is and can be any number of things including end to end tracking, further shipping discounts, an increase in the "slice" eBay gets on shipping (and they dont do it as a charity ...please) and anything else they can think of.

The bozo from Apple (dude - that was a BONE HEAD MOVE)(regardless of how many times JD said you could use the Gulfstream) will be in charge of it all.

The pitch is "right now sellers you are doing little or no sales to BRIC countries, so help YOU, we are instituting that all shipping to those countries NEED to be through GS" "You dont have to (its opt in) but if you do use GS for those countries - and there are HUGE market opportunities there) you are %100 protected on your FB & DSRs. If you dont, then you will be at risk for poor feedbacks, you will not be comfortable making "all those sales" and users in those countries "may not" see you.

Its a tryout for getting sellers to use PB for all thier shipping - Global or not - and eBay is doing it piecemeal.

VERO will once again show their ugly faces - not of course to remove fakes - but to protect the manufactorers who are bitterly compalining (Skullcandy, UGGS, Sony, Denon and MANY others) about sales and PRICING (UPP, MAP) on eBay. You will in 2014 find more nuesence violations on your account to get  you to say "uncle" and move on.

Its sad that this is what eBay has become!  

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 24 12:49:48 2013

I think Bad Hair day is probably correct as to why ebay would be advertising for new sellers.

I think it is just to keep up the numbers.  They know these people are not around for the long haul, so they need them just to keep the numbers looking good as they CLEAN HOUSE.

All new sellers are obligated to all of their new and dreadful rules, pay higher fees etc.  ebay probably thinks that they have at least a couple billion people to pass through this little hole so this will give them enough time to get rid of the old sellers as they continue to recruit the corporate chains.

Remember this, every time you purchase form a box store on ebay, you give ebay the ammunition they need and use to destroy you more and more everyday.

Everyone needs to remind themselves and all of their family members, friends etc that EVERY item they by from a box store on ebay they hurt themselves and their communities.

Just because they do not sell on ebay does not mean their own jobs are not dependent on those that do!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Fri Oct 25 00:27:02 2013

Anyone that pays to put a listing on eBay is a fool and an idiot. All they want to do is take your money and they could care less about you as a person and a business.
If you are paying eBay for your ''privilege'' to list you would do far more good for your business by taking that money, start a web site and doing PPC for that business or renting a store.
eBay could care less what the ''noise'' does but love the money that you spend to list with them.
The Donuthole  could care less what you do but loves your money and will take it as long as you want to throw it at him.

I was a Gold PS and still am rated as a PS with TRS plus. We opened a store on there when they first started years ago since we had been a seller since '99 and that store was closed over a year ago because of lack of sales. We do not need eBay to live, thank God, but we do a have large number of items to sell and we will take out time selling them on other sites which do not charge to list. We only sell on eBay when they have free listings but even that has become a waste of time and time is money.
In the current ''free'' listing campaign we have listed over 900 items and so far we have a bid on one. We use eBay for customer names and email addresses but now that is a waste of time.

Donuthole is killing eBay and his grand plan to turn it into an online ''Walmart'' will fail just like his tenure there did.  

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by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 25 03:00:03 2013

Buyer Feedback.
MH

What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W   What Are the Next Seller Features and Tools eBay W

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 25 03:11:48 2013

Think about it.

Old sellers COMPLAIN, and ebay cannot hold ALL of your $$ in interest bearing accounts.

new sellers give ebay a PILE of cash to draw interest on- it is FREE MONEY.

They YIELD a lot more $$ from a new seller than they do from an old existing seller.

Mass Howler  

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by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 25 12:54:09 2013

I guess I just don't know. I sell a lot of computer parts that cannot be sold on Amazon, and are totally worthless locally, but can easily fetch $75 to $100 on ebay. I have a source where I can pick these up for little more than scrap value. People talk about Etsy, but I looked over my listings and besides a refurbished rotary phone, 16mm film and a vintage puzzle, most of my items can't be sold there.

I usually have about $250-$300/month in fees and my fees have been tending to go downward.

I'd like to spend more time building my website, but with the 150-175 orders I ship out a month and my full time job its hard to find time for that.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Oct 25 23:28:09 2013

@Map - I think you're absolutely correct. A large amount of honest sellers have either left by choice, or been kicked out by JD. If eBay is courting brand new sellers, they would be people who know nothing of the site or how to conduct business there. And since buyers are all little angels without a single dishonest thought, JD wants to make sure all those new, evil sellers provide a happy buying experience.

I believe the next change to feedback will be anonymous feedback where you would only see the positive, negative or neutral symbols, and the comment; no buyer's ID, price, or item information. I also like Annie's idea that eBay will shuffle the comments so you can't pinpoint when it was left. I don't agree with Annie that items will be shipped to eBay for re-shipment to buyers. That would necessitate hiring more employees to handle that aspect, and I just don't think eBay has the money to do that.

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by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 26 14:13:46 2013

Okay- Now it is in the Survey- they ARE going to eliminate buyer FB!

We all need to get the HELL out of here!

MH



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