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Sun July 20 2014 13:19:02

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too Late?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I've followed your site for ages and over the last few months put my thoughts down on paper as I think of them, the way I think eBay could become great again. Just my suggestions, open to discussion with all.

A faster, less convoluted listing process.

Search engine which only searches for the words in the title that you actually ask for, NOT what eBay thinks you want.

No other criteria should be used in the search - it's not necessary.

Search comes back in "time ending soonest" so everyone gets an equal chance of being seen. Bin Best Match, it's not best it's C&*p.

Shop items which are GTC or 30 days not shown in search. If a buyer wants to see those they can easily visit the shop to view. Search results should show auctions and 3-10 day BINS only.

Or maybe remove GTC and 30 day listings altogether to keep the search results fresh. Sellers with thousands of items can set the 10 day BINS to auto relist. This will give them a chance to be seen regularly without having to manually relist. Limit the BIN amount to say 25 so again the listing will restart each time.

All the above should ensure casual searchers will see something different every day, like they used to, and maybe get them to buy again. At the moment when you do a search you're lucky if it comes back with anything that you asked for and if it does it's the same every day.

Allow sellers to put whatever terms they want (provided they are legal) on their listings.

Allow sellers to charge whatever they want for shipping. BUT,...

When buyers win or tick the BIN box they MUST then tick 2 extra boxes which state they have read and understood the sellers terms and shipping costs. The buyer can then not complain if they don't agree with the terms. (and cannot neg the seller because they did not read and agree the terms/shipping before buying.)

For a buyer it's simple. Read the terms and either accept and buy or go elsewhere. For a seller put terms in which you would like to see yourself when buying.

As an addendum to the above, perhaps a 3rd tick box to ensure the buyer has READ and understood the description.

I constantly come across threads on eBay forums of sellers complaining buyer did not read the description.

Return feedback to KISS - Keep it simple s&^%$d.

Allow additional character spaces in feedback lines.

Get rid of DSR's, make feedback 2 ways BUT ONLY allow negatives to go through after contact has been sent and confirmed with buyer/seller. Buyers should NOT be allowed to neg a seller until the seller has had a chance to sort out the problem. Sellers should NOT be allowed to neg a buyer until the buyer has had a chance to sort out the problem.

Forget neutrals, not needed.

Don't hide shills etc behind anonymous feedback. Scrap private feedback.

Let buyers and sellers ID's be seen by everyone.

Scrap the so called defects. It's insulting to call a perfectly good seller "defective" for things beyond his/her control. Bad sellers will get found out when the negs come in due to ignoring their buyers concerns.

Allow buyers and sellers to contact each other directly with questions or problems. A simple question from a buyer should not become a "defect" for a seller.

No listing fees. Final value fees at 10% across the board (with a possible cap for high value items). eBay is the only site which charges to list then says in their terms they may not let your items be seen.

(The next bit may be going too far for some):

Make payments via PayPal to be instant at auction/BIN end.

Controversial perhaps, but how about forcing your eBay and PayPal accounts to join, thus ensuring payment is automatically paid as soon as you win or hit buy with no further action from you.

For auctions, if you bid you must ensure you have sufficient in your PayPal to pay for it immediately and automatically if you win.If above goes too far then if not paid for immediately sale is automatically cancelled. (for auctions they could perhaps have another day added on automatically if no payment instantly received)

Bring back the original discussion boards, they were far better than the ones we have now. Then it was a sense of community. Now it's a sense of us vs them (buyers vs sellers)

Get rid of the stupid system which shows you more of what you've just purchased. If I've just brought widget "A" why would I want to see more of them.

To help keep the site secure force everyone to change their password every 2 months or so.

Change to the above then STOP changing things every few days/weeks/months.

I'm convinced if the above happened eBay could become great again - or is it too far gone to recover.
Mr Mog




Comments (57) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

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

Sun Jul 20 13:36:27 2014

The rampage of "disruptive innovation" by CEO Donahoe since 2008 has laid waste to what eBay originally was. Monumental changes- restoring eBay back to the way it was before Donahoe took over- would revitalize the site.

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Jul 20 14:37:11 2014

Too late.

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: Annne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 16:08:35 2014

IF Ebay cared one bit about sellers it could be possible.  However, they don't care about the hand that feeds them and never have.  What we need is a new SINGLE auction site to gain a foothold, but that never happens. Why? Because Ebay is where the buyers are and buyers really don't want to go around signing up at different sites. Right now Ebay has the largest selection and thus competitive pricing.  Most buyers don't have enough reason to leave Ebay.  Ebay knows if they keep the buyers happy they will stay and of course the sellers HAVE to stay if they want to reach the most buyers.  If there were just ONE other auction alternative it would be easier to get a lot of buyers to come to the site.  But instead we have a bunch of small auction sites spread thin.  Just pick ONE!  When powersellers unite started they should have truly united and all agreed to pick one site to support, and maybe there would have been a chance.  Didn't happen.  

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: Annne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 16:32:32 2014

Oh, and I forgot to say that your list is great and took a lot of thought.  Now, if we could just get ebay to hire you...

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jul 20 16:48:44 2014

I agree with Puck that it's too late. eBay now has a really bad reputation among sellers, and how many who have left would want to go back? I wouldn't. Too many people have had their businesses ruined by eBay and their ridiculous policies and micromanagement. eBay can't be trusted, so even if they rolled everything back to circa 2006, how long would that last? The only way there is any hope for the site is if Johnny boy and all his buddies are gone, and someone who really cares about sellers and returning eBay to its former glory takes over as CEO. But with JD remaining, there will be continued seller up-dates and purges until the only sellers left are the Chinese and Big Box retailers.  

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: Designer Rose This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Jul 20 17:52:15 2014

I can not agree with you all more. I have been on ebay since 1999 selling successful until now and know that it is about time for me to leave. I am in the process of getting my own website up but realize that I can not compete with the amount of traffic eBay gets. They are almost non existent on Google search now because of their tactics.

One place I do find impressive is Bonanza. They have everything we once had with ebay but not the traffic. I was able to import all of my items in a few clicks and voila...Not only are they all on Bonanza but Google has recognized them too in a matter of days. Unlike ebay my items can now be found again....They are very friendly and don't charge an arm and a leg for fees. I hope all the ebay seller converge here. This might be the alternative we have all been looking for.

I am sick of competing with all the Big Box Wholesalers from China that ebay caters to...Ebays reputation is getting worse! They are an American Company catering to China. How sick is that? I sell vintage clothing and all I see in their best match search is CRAP from them that isn't even vintage...but they tell me that they are high on best match because of their conversion rates....Oh really? Sell 500 Yellow Polka Dot dresses from China that claim to be vintage and you will get great search results....

Thanks for letting me rant~Ebay just put me out of business!

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: gramophone-georg This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 18:09:19 2014

The thing that's missing- and may indeed be unrecoverable- is the trust that eBay squandered in its rush to the bottom.

What do you do about this?

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 20:17:02 2014

WAY too Late, no mater what they change, the damage is done, and the scars are deep,

It's like someone who has cheated, lied, and stolen from you, you would never ever trust that person again, same thing applies to ebay,

I would never trust or put all my business in their hands ever again, we learned a good lesson here, and are actually still upset at ourselves for letting it go on this long.

The last few years have been bad, but the defect thingy, is what pushed us over the edge,

We updated our website extensively only a couple of months ago, to add products to purchase, Last week 90% our total sales came from our website , and only 10% from ebay.

We closed down our ebay store yesterday, and will put the extra money into more advertising for our website.

The feeling of gaining some control has been good for our moral, and in turn is also helping us succeed.

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 21:47:05 2014

Cue the "somewhere over the rainbow" theremin music, or maybe that other classic,  "It's too late to fall in love with Sharon Tate"

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 22:30:08 2014

When eBay wants your opinion (or mine for that matter) they will give it to you.

Its only sellers that want changes - most buyers are perfectly happy with how things are. And why shouldn't they be - with very little effort they can "honestly" get what they paid for OR "dishonestly" get what they paid for "and then some" -  a pound of flesh, money (refund or partial refund), free rental and/or many other things.

Large sellers dont play by these rules - so its all moot.

That leaves eBay and what "it" wants visa via change. eBays ONE and only play book is ...... BLAME THE SELLER.

That is what JD brought to eBay from whatever dungeon he came from. My pet tabby knows more about ecommerce then he does and she doest take "thinking days" (or maybe a "mouse day" here and there).

eBay is just fine with defect, DSRs, 90 day returns, stealing from sellers, violating state, local and federal laws in any one of a dozen or so areas ... why? 'cause they can - and do.

Its common settled law that you cant create a TOS/UA that violates trade law or common law, yet it does.

How could eBay be great? They already think THEY are. They think the buyers are - its just sellers who they dont thing "are".

No changes will ever be made to level the playing field - and why should it (in eBays view)? why give more "power to sellers"?

Oh ... "cause you'll leave"? no offense ... so what? so you leave? so I leave? so Ming leaves? So every person on the east coast leaves? SO what?

Small sellers are the "useful idiots of eBay". The purpose they serve is to 1) round out eBays mix of products & 2) be the scapegoats when things go wrong.

JD came to eBay wanting to make sure his pocket got lined and lined WELL - not yours, not mine. Do you think he cares if YOU made money today? NO.

He tried killing auctions - by bad mouthing them and drop kicking them to the curb because they werent a reliable source of income for eBay ... period.

Thats the concept that JD instilled when he arrived - you can do ANYTHING - lie, cheat, steal as long as you provide eBay with constant and HUGE FVFs.

Take my favorite section of eBay - VERO. They make La Cosa Nostra look like kindergarteners. They will stab you in the back, admit they dont know the laws but make you not do what ever it is your doing - legal or not, ignore you, and do ANYTHING to 1) make sure eBay doesnt get sued - eBay will NOT stand up for your rights - they arent your partner and 2) get money from manufacturers who want you off eBay.

There are alot of people with alot of great ideas on how to "fix" ebay - but NONE of them will ever come to fruition - because eBay is happy and satisfied with things as they are.

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: lonestar This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 22:58:53 2014

Mr Mog, you are right on target.  I used to buy and sell on ebay but haven't done either since a few months after 'innovative disruption' became ebay's way of life.  There's no trust or friendliness on the site anymore.  It is sad because it used to be fun as well as profitable, and the treasures that could be found before the site started trying to read my mind were wonderful.  Sorry to say I think it is too late.

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

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

Sun Jul 20 23:03:12 2014

We must understand once for all that eBay is a company focus in made money. Not a communist or cooperative marketplace. They will implement whatever they need to get more money. They don't care about sellers or buyers.

I see eBay as a tool to make sales not a lifestyle.  

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

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

Sun Jul 20 23:03:15 2014

Do you work for Ebay? Because all I see is tripling or more a seller's listing fees if all anyone is going to find in search is something that is not on for more than 10 days.  

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: odona This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 23:05:55 2014

Love the basic concept of the list. I would add just one:
Ebay could conceivably split itself into 2 separate areas - One for the mass retail / wholesale / back of the truck / chinese knock off businesses; and one for legitimate vintage and and artsier businesses - leave the old rules for the mass and put the new (old) ones in place for the small sellers...with (perhaps) a vetting system such as works on etsy - at least up till now.
Ebay Arts & Vintage(?)...shouldn't be that complex to write the code and would probably become (again) an actual profit center.
Sadly, the current ebay (non) model seems to be a misunderstanding of the Jeff Bezos ethos and stands to eventually get slammed by 11 Main and has certainly already given up huge ground to etsy.
I, for one, have never understood the idea of destroying a perfectly good high 9 figure business model and trying to make it fit into a 10 or more figure shape. It's just going to get lost in the soup and lose its shape...like a perfectly good lake trying to take over the ocean...

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: ruthie This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 23:05:57 2014

@pace306 ...

''Its only sellers that want changes - most buyers are perfectly happy with how things are.''

No no no, not true at all. I know MANY buyers that are not happy with ebay at all. They have made the site a nightmare to use, glitches galore, never ending. They have run so many great sellers off ...2/3 of my bookmarked sellers don't sell anymore and some haven't for several years now. How about a claim against a seller when you're only trying to ask a question? A buyer can be partially responsible for a seller's eventual removal from the site merely because they wanted to say ''thanks'' or possibly ask if the seller has any similar items.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Sure there are dishonest buyers out there (just like there are some dishonest sellers), but don't broad-brush us all ...please!

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: Jane Dough This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 23:15:38 2014

I think too late as well. I hardly ever do anything on ebay anymore (started in 1997), but the other day I listed a pair of cowboy boots. Their stupid little suggestion box popped up to tell me to remove the words western and boots from the title. What?!  I lost all hope for ebay at that moment!

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: The Blues This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 23:19:19 2014

When eBay took the sellers rights to leave a negative feedback when they receive one that was wrong. Sellers are only suppose to give and never receive.  

They are trying to get rid of the small sellers, but they were the ones who got eBay started.

The eBay Vero department is a joke and they do not care about the seller and will not listen.  There is a First Sale doctrine from the courts if you buy a product like fabric, wrapping paper and others to use in a crafted item.  EBay does not listen or do anything about this law.  They need to listen to the sellers more.

Stop having the China mostly as the seller.  It is so hard to sell against items made from child labor to the cost down.  Come back to America as that is your home.

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 23:30:05 2014

I agree with most of the OP's suggestions, and would also like to add these:

* Allow BIN prices to be set at very little more than the starting price. MAYBE 10% (30%, as it is now, is ridiculous).

* Get the big box stores and big-time electronics sellers off the site. Make it more like the ''mom and pop'' auction site it was in the beginning, although with the advances in technology which have happened since then!

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: Maureen This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 23:35:29 2014

You have actually listed about all the decisions/ changes that eBay has made. In the real world business owners make decisions to better their business and make transactions go easier. I can't help but think that all that are making these ''executive decisions'' are complete fools. Looking for things on eBay has been made more difficult, google search has privately protested eBays use, making searching there almost impossible. Whether you are Buyer or Seller the site is a mess. I gave up selling in April while all these changes were occurring and am looking to set up shop again. (just in time for Aug DSR changes) I say this with great hesitation. I watch the stock market daily and see the highs & lows of eBay stock. Mostly lows. But I feel that I have a good product, do things the way it is dictated to be done, and know that my item will sell on eBay. Hopefully the odds will be in my favor & that I will pick up and be one of the mom & pop stores that is able to survive while eBay reviews their mistakes further.    

How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L   How eBay Could Become Great Again - Or Is It Too L

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 20 23:57:43 2014

@JANE DOUGH----

I have not seen this suggestion box!  Where does it show up?  I am however forever getting the "Red Box" warnings that I am NOT to list a counterfeit item--on things like VINTAGE NO NAME stuff!!!;   Today I RELISTED a vintage Coach bag and got a Red Box telling me I can not use OTHERS images---I had not never have never will;  and then there are the PRICE SUGGESTION boxes that make me wanna punch a puppy.

Please do NOT try and tell me what things sell for---I am perfectly capable of going and LOOKING at SOLD items to see if the item that YOU have there is the SAME as the one I have for sale;  and I am very likely able to price accordingly.  And STOP trying to get me to price things at 99 CENTS---when the usual start price is somewhere in the triple digits!

It's insulting and rude.  They act as if we were all babies and cannot think for our SELVES.  IF I wanted to use a different price---I WOULD.  So STFU and go find some other glitch to fix.  This is NOT a glitch it is MY business.

To the OP:::::

I would add::::   Stop the TAX on postage.  It makes sellers defensive and causes us to have to play an ever escalating "game" of how much to charge so we don;t LOSE what little profit we can squeeze out of a sale.  Buyers don't "get" this and it causes problems.  

Buyers don't NEED to be enticed by "Free Shipping"  that is NOT actually FREE;  they need reasonable shipping just like on any OTHER mail order purchase.  They do not expect the Mall shops to re-imburse THEM for the GAS and oil and wear and tear it takes to GET there to SHOP now---do they?  

I find that MOST buyers (unless they sell on ebay)  have no clue that ebay TAKES a cut of the postage. Surely ebay does not WANT them to know!

On all of your points---spot on.

And YES it WOULD help if sellers DID pick ONE PLACE to post listings--if a number of sellers could even place say 20 or more items--even the less fab items we ALL have hanging about the place--on ONE site--and then media the hell out of it--I think we could get a BIG change going.  And go and BUY thru there.  

Which ONE to go TO---I dunno.

So wish SOMEONE would do a kickstarter and start up on this!!!!!

A BIG pool could be stocked by alerting those sellers still active using our collective SAVED SELLER lists.    

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