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Wed Oct 8 2014 09:57:14

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Effect Change?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I think it is time that questions be asked about what is really going on at eBay.  Not talking about the ongoing management, policy, financial or stock market soap opera but the fact that for all intents and purposes eBay is dead or at least on life support technically.  

What really happened during the spring hack and the early September outages?.. Was eBay's infra-structure attacked and damaged or compromised?

eBay has never been a world class site in terms of user friendliness or stability but since the outages it has become useless. To recap some of the issues:  Slow page load, email between members slow or not all, Markdown Manager has revolving problems, Pictures uploading problems. No or slow PayPal notifications, Member preferences changed without permission, Best offer issues. stores disappearing, etc.

There are many more being discussed on the community forums daily. Let's not forget the number one problem, NO SALES.  

There have numerous discussions blaming this on Cassini, Panda and in generally trying to pull a fast one on Google however, since the outages sales have fallen on a cliff and it reasonable to assume that it is due to something seriously wrong with eBay's system. From all appearances eBay is fighting a losing battle putting out fires. What are we not being told?
Bill



Dear Ina,
I will make this brief.

We have: Identity theft that we can look forward to affecting us in the near future and clearly eBay will be of no help. They are unwilling to remove undeserved feedback that was really over their dysfunctional system.

Calling CS is moot.

The invoices are intentionally difficult to match up (go to sales record, then Paypal and then to their invoice) always proves to be wrong in my experience.

They constantly change the rules without any input from their sellers.

They have no control on the hackers.

Does anyone feel they can trust this site?

IT'S TIME TO TAKE ACTION. THIS SITE SHOULD BE FILLED WITH I JUST FOUND A WAY TO GET SOME ACTION. A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO, I FELT LIKE A STUPID CLOWN PLAYING IN A CIRCUS WHERE THERE ARE TRICKS, STUNTS, GAMES, JUGGLING THE BALLS WHILE MORE BALLS ARE BEING THROWN AT ME.

I'm done with the circus and working on getting out.

We all realize this is a failing and dangerous site with the identity theft, extremely poor communication and unwillingness to make it a fair playground, stealing our money, but yet how many people have not contacted their attorney general for their state, U.S. Attorney General and just flood their government until we get action and get out?

I would love to see comments that are taking action. We can do it now or when we are begging them to take action when someone else is you.
M.




Comments (26) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 12:21:42 2014

I think someone would have to make the feedback to our congressmen or AGs one-click. People are pretty static as a group. all the AG wants is a hypothetical legal question or a formal complaint.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Oct 8 13:16:21 2014

Under John Donahoe, eBay was singularly oblivious to the concerns of sellers.  To Mr Donahoe, sellers were "noise", and the company was dismissive to seller concerns.

It remains to be seen if the new CEO will be a Donahoe clone or if he has the stones to be his own person and reverse the antagonistic relationship between the company and it's sellers.

Will Mr Wenig wake up to the reality that without eBay sellers, the marketplace does not exist?

Is Mr Wenig intelligent enough to comprehend that eBay differs from Amazon in one major way? Amazon does not rely on third party sellers for inventory as significant portions of their sales are generated by products Amazon owns.

eBay on the other hand, does not own inventory and as such is totally dependent on third party sellers to bring merchandise to the marketplace.

As such, the two platforms have vastly differing needs and appeals which eBay is doing a pi$$ poor job of meeting because company leadership is deaf to the needs of small sellers.

Mr Wenig needs to realize that the company concerns to appease the demands of Wall Street have resulted in the company's inability to meet the needs of Main Street where eBay's buyers and sellers are.  If only eBay were to focus on fixing their Main Street appeal, the numbers to appease Wall Street will take care of themselves.

eBay already suffers from stagnant and declining sales. This is due to many factors.

First, the site hack, and the perpetual glitches which seem to effect some part of the site on a daily basis.  The site is unstable. From one day to the next features do not work. This is not a new issue, however past leadership has focused more on imposing new systems and policies than on stabilizing the existing site and features.

New leadership needs to rethink eBay's current position and focus on rebuilding and stabilizing the existing services and features. In other words, eBay needs to stop innovating new features, and become laser focused on fixing the existing infrastructure.

Second, eBay needs to fix search. Mr Donahoe's reliance on big data to drive search has failed to produce any significant growth in sales likely due to the fact that search shows buyers what eBay THINKS they want to see instead of simply producing results purely based on the search terms shoppers enter.

If search requires complex algorithms in order to produce results based on big data, then it is likely buyers will be poorly served.  If buyers are poorly served, sales are simply not going to happen.

Third, eBay needs to do whatever it takes to assure buyers that their items will be visible 24 - 7 for the duration of their listings.

Fourth, SKU diversity which was once eBay's strength has been rapidly declining during Donahoes tenure.

Donahoes reliance on Big Box Retailers to fill the marketplace with commodity items buyers can pick up at their local retailer at the same prices is not what buyers came to eBay to find.

As eBay has been imposing new and harsh policies against sellers, many make the decision to pull out rather than suffer under their task masters whip.

With each sellers departure, eBay loses a little more of what made eBay a unique shopping destination and a household word that did not include profanity.

If Mr Wenig is his own person, and genuinely concerned with growing the floundering marketplace, he will start paying greater attention to the friction points which exist for sellers.

Mr Wenig needs to appreciate that the need to purge poorly performing sellers needs to be accomplished on a case by case basis, not with one size fits none policies that alienate eBay's best sellers.

Mr Wenig needs to realize that micro managing sellers businesses places unrealistic limits on good sellers who find eBay's intrusion into virtually every level of their business obnoxious and overbearing.

Fifth, eBay's customer service is a disaster of epic proportions and fails to serve buyers or sellers well.  

eBay could eliminate much of the call volume by simply being open, honest and transparent with regard to the many technical issues which effect the site day in and day out. If only eBay would be straight forward and inform buyers and sellers about system issues by consistently placing announcements on the announcement board which exists for that very purpose, the company could eventually eliminate a significant number of calls leaving agents free to handle other problems.

The reduced call volume would enable the company to stop relying on third world countries for low cost staffing.

While these points do not address every issue which is hampering eBay's ability to grow sales, these are some of the significant issues Mr Wenig needs to attack and fix.

Bottom line.... eBay has lost credibility and good will with both buyers and sellers. As eBay's new CEO, Mr Wenig needs to put on his big boy pants and address these issues head on if he expects to succeed where Donahoe has miserably failed.

If Mr Wenig is going to be a Donahoe clone, then it is likely eBay is going to atrophy to the point is is snatched up by a larger company that will fix the inherent problems and succeed where the corporate mind set at eBay has failed.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

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

Wed Oct 8 13:57:01 2014

I can assure you that no consumer regulatory authority in the U.S. is interested in even eBay’s demonstrable criminal activities. How can I say that? I’ve tried a number of them with detailed complaints about eBay’s demonstrable, calculated aiding and abetting of endemic shill bidding auction fraud on consumers. The response has been, in every case, crickets …

There appears to be no interest by the apparently lazy, or simply corrupt, regulatory authorities in interfering with even such a criminal operation that is supposedly creating so much economic activity—if only eBay was still creating so much economic activity …

Your only option is to protect yourself, don your lifejacket and jump overboard before the rusting old scow finally rolls over and takes you all to the bottom with it …

In the meantime, know you are dealing with an organisation that is calculatingly involved in demonstrable criminal activity to improve its revenues …

The more amazing thing is that now, with the Ho about to enter the eighth year of his three-year turnaround of eBay, Johnny Ho is only being kicked upstairs, or so the story goes at the moment. Will Devin Little be able, or even want, to reverse the course onto the rocks plotted by the current captain Queeg? I suspect not …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: Mattmelle This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 14:44:54 2014

Here, here Bill. Incompetence doesn't equal malice ie I don't think eBay has it in for small sellers, but I agree on this. There is something technical that is preventing eBay from giving good service to small sellers.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

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

Wed Oct 8 20:03:32 2014

----- ''I don't think eBay has it in for small sellers''

Perhaps not, on a personal level. But all evidence points to the fact that eBay management and execs have very little regard or respect for small sellers.

It's fine for CEO's and others to want to make eBay more profitable... but for them to do so at the expense of the rank-and-file sellers (the ones who can least afford the additional burden of their myopic policies and inept programming) tells me that they do ''have-it-in'' for small sellers because they consider those ''small sellers'' to be little more than collateral damage that have little import in the larger-picture of PROFIT AT ALL COSTS.

Fuck them all.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 21:02:22 2014

@Anonymous Annie
Well put and agreed - eff them all.

@everyone - really, all we see or know is the tip of the iceberg. There is indeed a whole lot of issues with tech/cassini/hacks/software code/money problems and much more that will never be exposed to the light of day.

And there isn't a damn thing we can do, but wait for a tell all book from a future ex-exec.  

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 22:54:33 2014

Ebay will never recover after the hack.  I have spoke with too many of our customers when we still had our store and they told us they no longer trusted its security

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: gv77 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 8 23:10:54 2014

I am in week 3 of what I am going to call ''The Great Dissapearing Act.'' I have gone from around $500+ in sales a week to less than $100. My site traffic is down over 50%. It has been bad in the past, but this time is one of the worst ever.  I have over 500 items listed and continue to list new items daily. I run sales on items, add free shipping, and change up listings in order to try and generate interest in my items. It has been 4 days now since I have even sold 1 thing! And going back further, I have sold 3 things total in the past 7 days. I have no answers as to what is going on with eBay. All I know is that it better change quick.  

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 00:03:55 2014

YES---Things are dreadful.

I have had things that SHOULD have flown out the door sit for MONTHS.  Today I FINALLY sold an item that SHOULD have sold the first WEEK it was offered if not the first DAY.  In the past when I have had a similar item that HAS been the pattern.  And this item is NOT something fickle--it is a reliable high end classic much in demand when it can be found.

Months.

I about fell OVER when I saw it actually SOLD and on a BIN and was PAID for--by a person with perfect written FB as both a seller and a buyer.

Coulda knocked me over.

BUT--I have other items just as good and just as desirable and just as well priced--sitting for--MONTHS.

It almost seems as if I am "allowed"  a sale every week or so--and then--NOTHING.  

This has been the WORST year for ANYONE I know selling on ebay.  

Anyone I know who is still THERE anyways.  

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Oct 9 00:09:33 2014

@ Ric >>As eBay has been imposing new and harsh policies against sellers, many make the decision to pull out rather than suffer under their task masters whip.<<

This reminds me of something I have been reading about in the book of Genesis in the Bible lately. During a famine, Joseph allowed his father and brothers and their families to come to Egypt and live. They became prosperous, grew in number and enjoyed life. Then a new Pharaoh came in who didn't remember or care that Joseph had saved the Egyptians from starvation in the past thus saving the whole country, and he started making the Israelites work for the new Pharaoh to the point that they were completely enslaved and suffered daily whippings.

The corollary is back about 15 or so years ago, the economy wasn't the best and people started looking for ways to make extra money so they came to Ebay, where many grew prosperous and others came along too and they too became prosperous. Everyone that did their job of selling well was getting good out of it. Then Meg came along swiftly followed by JD. They apparently weren't happy to see so many happy, prosperous customers and so started laying on the whip. And the whipping continues to this day, at least for those who have not yet been part of the great Exodus out of eBay. Where Egypt finally after a bunch of plagues told the Israelites to get out (and then changed their minds and chased them to the Red Sea), eBay has called the Sellers noise, has no respect for them and are probably beginning each board meeting with the exchange of bets of how many they can make leave in the next week.

Ebay sellers have to make a choice as to whether to leave now or take more daily floggings until the place collapses around their ears, or get out now. Then watch and see what the BOD and JD do to get the sellers back, or maybe not. They seem even more power hungry than that old Pharaoh and probably think that the money will keep coming in even when the last seller has left and turned off the light. Nowhere in history, can making people who were once free spirits remain healthy and profitable work by enslaving them. It didn't work in Egypt, It didn't work in Nazi Germany, It didn't work with Communism either. A person works best when they work for themselves and their labors equate into seeing the profit in their pockets of their own blood, sweat and tears. Seeing the CEO of a company earning millions a year (and at least three years worth of income for many of us per 'thinking' day) when you are barely making enough in sales to pay for a gallon of milk, will never be happy about that sort of situation since they literally are taking the food out of your children's mouths. Time to rebel all of you that are still there.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Thu Oct 9 01:23:35 2014

I'm very surprised that after so many years, I never seen anyone talking about or any article covering about eBay redirecting traffic to big sellers. I have PLENTY of stats that show that eBay is not slow, it is simply redirecting traffic to big sellers because they want to get rid of the small seller, just like amazon.

Why do you think that eBay decided to cover the number of feedbacks given in one day?? because it was the last resource for sellers to guess if competitors were having a good or a bad week/month.

The eBay analytics own service, is just another failed service, do not use it or trust it at all, it is highly misleading.

Now, since most sellers are new, or less than 3 years selling on eBay, they forgot that a few old ones remain or come with new ids or accounts, I compared the traffic from the Omniture stats and 5 years ago was 800 people a day on average, today is less than 80 people a day, WITH DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF ITEMS!!

eBay is certainly dead.  

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 02:05:35 2014

It was interesting to note a U.K. seller complain that he was limited to about $500 in sales no matter what he listed. We have experienced this for ourselves and know several others in the same boat. If by chance someone purchases a high ticket item, sales stop until you come back into the income allotted by Ebay.  My question for the US Attorney General would be is it a violation of civil rights for an oligarchy to  control a citizens business and income?

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: miss peachy This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Oct 9 03:00:44 2014

There is a thread on the UK Powerseller board currently running where the OP has over 300 kudos from fellow PS.
We are asking ebay for answers about what is going on and we are asking for change.
We have been told the thread will be passed to someone to look at. When challenged as to who - which department etc we are told this information can not be given.
So can anyone tell me where any other organisation can get away with this?
No comeback for anyone and the customer is just blanked!

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: miss peachy This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Oct 9 03:02:25 2014

As Above

Ebay gives zero seller protection and below zero customer service

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: PoorMan This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Oct 9 06:59:42 2014


eBay is the like our government in that they have made everything more complicated to the point where they are self-defeating to all concerned.  Too many rules and stupid policies have defeated what sales people have preached for years “KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.”  These flatworms operate eBay and our country as if they are big shots who need to micro-manage everything into ruin.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 07:56:48 2014

Ebay has chased away a huge number of sellers and buyers

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: Carol This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 07:58:40 2014

''eBay has never been a world class site in terms of user friendliness or stability but since the outages it has become useless.''  Really???  Things are still selling for me.  

If the OP really believes his rhetoric, why isn't he bailing out to go to another venue - oh, yes, there isn't a viable alternative (yet).

IMO serious sellers are busy listing, trying to fine tune their businesses, and looking at new venues since ebay sales are down for most sellers.  

Ebay bashing is totally unproductive (and IMO, tiresome).  

The best thing we can do for our businesses is to concentrate on those things we do have control over and forget about the things we can't control (outages, policy changes at ebay, ''what's really going on at ebay'').

I know this kind of comment isn't welcome, but sometimes I just can't resist.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: Willie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 08:03:20 2014

It's interesting to note that a few years ago, when ebay forced sellers to accept ONLY paypal, these same comments were made.  You can see how well that effort went.  There was a mass exodus of small sellers then, lawsuits were filed, monopoly being the main complaint, yet nothing changed, except the number of sellers lessened.  I jumped ship then.  Newbies - sorry, you won't win.  You can't.  There are lawmakers in the pockets of ebay, they have the best attorneys money can buy, and you are simply beating your head against a brick wall. Leave or stay - it's up to you - but the thought ebay will improve is a pipe dream.  

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Oct 9 08:27:30 2014

@Carol -- >>The best thing we can do for our businesses is to concentrate on those things we do have control over and forget about the things we can't control (outages, policy changes at ebay, ''what's really going on at ebay'').<<

I totally agree, which is why I left ebay years ago for the greener pastures of ecrater and my continued association with Amazon. To ever go back to ebay I would need to see and hear proof that it was newly seller friendly, which it isn't know. I haven't even been able to change my password since the big breach, so I guess it is a good thing I left there. I left so that I could have control over what I was able to do with my business and so I wasn't spending all my time trying to have my listings be incompliance with new rules and every time I caught up new rules would come out and I had to go through the process all over again.

IMO I'm tired of sellers saying that ebay is the only place they can sell. There are other places to make money on line without being ebay slaves. I do know I would never want to be dealing with the changes that they have been bringing out lately.

What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff   What Is Really Going on at eBay, and Can Users Eff

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 9 10:57:27 2014

eBay has many many problems this is true but Amazon and other sites are not perfect either. Amazon also does not have clear rules on some matters and has a it's our way or the highway mentality. Banning some sellers and restricting others for somethings that are out of their control. They also are a scammers paradise at least on high priced, electronic and teenager based items.

I think the way of the future for online sellers is diversity as much as you can. And co-op sites where bans of sellers group together to sell specific niches of products unabated by rules, like a online flea market.

New players, like Alibaba, in the market place will not be a bad thing it will help us liberate ourselves from the 2 player monopoly we have now in this market place.

And last but not least branding ones own line or at least location i.e. online website. Driving customers from these other sites to your own venue is not only possible it is happening more and more. Getting a foothold is hard but once established can prove to be a boon.

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