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Mon Aug 25 2014 20:04:46

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I saw one of my fellow eBay sellers mentioning that they had sent you a message to provide one seller's perspective on what's going on and I thought "why not do the same?" :)

To tell you a little bit about me, I've been full time on eBay since 2001, have sold north of 50,000 items, and crossed the 4 million mark in sales a couple years ago...so, not huge, but not a newbie.

I've never been a "sky is falling" eBay seller. In fact, through all the fee increases and even the neutral=negative feedback debacle, I stayed away from the forum and went about my (very enjoyable & successful) business. What's happening now is a different animal altogether. It appears to be so poorly thought out that it almost seems intentionally caustic and upsetting...but to what end?

We all recoil at a visceral level to unfairness, and eBay has just created a situation where selling on eBay and routine unfair situations will go hand-in-hand. Worse, the only proscribed solution to most of these cases is just to "call eBay support."

If that process worked flawlessly, and all unfair defects were quickly handled and descored (great, now I'm talking the language), it would still be a major headache and waste of valuable work time. However, putting it mildly, calling into eBay to have them address these defects is an unmitigated disaster. Very long wait times...being passed from rep to rep...getting different answers depending on the rep...and then having reps straight out lie and tell you they will call/email you within 24 hours and remedy the situation simply to get you off the phone (experienced this one personally).

Then, when this is brought to the attention of the "blues" on the forum, the response is to simply "call and call again until the situation is resolved." They don't even dispute the nightmare it's become. Reminds me of something I heard someone say: "I don't want the seller spending time, 3 hours on the phone calling a CSR agent. I would much rather the seller step back and say, what else can I do. If they do spend that 3 hours, I think they're going to be disappointed at the end of the day."

So here is what I can't wrap my head around. They're creating an atmosphere where it will be, again, routine for sellers to run into unfair defects - compelling them to waste hours on the phone - often with a (non)resolution that leaves them "disappointed at the end of the day." Seller morale is going to plummet. That might even be understating the case. They know that the "you aren't going to believe what just happened to me on eBay" story will commonly be the story of the majority of sellers with any volume. Do they really they think creating this kind of toxic environment won't have a negative effect on business?

If they're right...and even fostering near daily upset (again for sellers of any volume) requiring exasperating and productivity-killing phone sessions with poorly-trained/inconsistent CSRs doesn't drive away sellers (even back to 9-5 jobs if need be)...they should triple their fees immediately and make sellers overnight all packages for free as nothing would apparently cause them to finally leave. :)

Anyway, I guess that's the end of my rant (though if I highlighted everything I've been through *in just this first week* I don't think even someone with knowledge of the way eBay works could believe it. I experienced it and I almost don't believe it). :)

Let's just put it this way. I created a successful and well-established business on eBay and still am aggressively looking at alternatives to leave (even if that means a radical career change)...not in an idle threat on the forums way...I've budgeted hours a day to make it happen. What started out as a dream (I used to make fun of my friends with real jobs!) has morphed into..well, you know.

Kind regards,
Kris




Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Mon Aug 25 20:33:39 2014

''Seller morale is going to plummet''


Been plummeting for some time. Good luck!

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

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

Mon Aug 25 20:36:21 2014

Once again, one has to wonder just how long this rusting old scow can remain afloat under the direction of the cretinous Johnny Ho?

Or maybe you just have to be one of Johnny Ho's hand-picked "preferred" major brand merchants to get any visability/favoritism/satisfaction out of eBay; otherwise where is all the revenue they claim coming from?

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

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Aug 25 21:05:51 2014

@Kris - You're not a Chinese seller. You're not Toys R Us. eBay doesn't want you. The sooner your realize that and make plans to either move to your own web site, or spread out your merchandise among several alt sites, the better your life will be.

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 25 22:06:12 2014

Isn't it odd how some sellers don't really take notice as to how bad ebay has become until it is too painful to ignore?

Metaphorically speaking, there are the:
''Sky is falling people''
and the
''Ostrich head in the sand people'' then everything in between.

At some point, they all come together and agree something is rotten in Denmark other than the cheese.

With each passing seller update, more and more sellers become aware of what has been going on for a number of years.  

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: rainbowseeker This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 25 22:50:28 2014

I can't even read their policy update without it giving me a splitting headache.  I was not okay with the past updates, but like the man above I sucked it up and said I would carry on until I couldn't make any money anymore.  I have apparently reached that point now and I am off to a place where I can have some fun again.  

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: MovinOn This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 26 00:29:05 2014

Very well said, Kris! Those are my thoughts, too. The seller updates have been annoyances for the last several years. Yet when I read this year's spring seller update, I immediately decided that enough is enough. Ebay has gone way too far in blaming the seller for so many things that can (and do) go wrong that are totally outside the seller's control. I knew that the day ebay implemented these changes would be my last day selling on ebay. And it was. I had been transferring my inventory to other web sites and reducing my listings on ebay.

On Aug. 20, I ended my final listings on ebay. I'm not MovinOn. I HAVE MovedOn. I sleep much better at nights now, too. Ebay has become so disingenuous and disrespecting of the sellers that they are not worth dealing with any more.

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Aug 26 00:36:06 2014

Xander asks: "Isn't it odd how some sellers don't really take notice as to how bad ebay has become until it is too painful to ignore?"

The OP has obviously been wearing a bullet proof vest with regard to eBay's many seller exterminating changes however, now that eBay has switched ammunition and is firing hollow point bullets, they are finding they too face execution.

Next up for eBay...graduation to armor piercing rounds aimed squarely at sellers heads.

The hits will just keep on coming until eBay runs their marketplace into the ground.

The best way for sellers to give eBay a wake up call is to boycott eBay.... Not with their selling activity, but with their buying activity.

As long as eBay can eek out even single digit growth in sales, management will continue their seller extermination policies.

If every seller made the choice not to purchase a single item on eBay until after this holiday season is over, management might just wake up and realize their changes have gone too far.

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

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

Tue Aug 26 00:46:34 2014

Today I looked at the Xs on my defect page (Thank you Marie for showing me how to get there)  and found one for "Item not received." When I checked on the item and the feedback here is what I found "This is a 5 ***** Seller Recommend Thxs." Obvioulsy,  the buyer got their item. There's no use calling Ebay to try and fix it because I don't think you can fix a cracked cog, it generally has to be replaced.  

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Aug 26 02:27:34 2014

@xander

Your assuming that when Ebay makes a change that it affects all sellers equally, but they don't.  Some changes impact certain categories more than others.  Which is why for some sellers it make seem like it takes them a long time to come around, when in fact it is just because the other changes weren't as devastating to them as it may have been for you.

Claims are a great example of that.  Certain categories are more apt to have them than others.  For Fashions, Electronics and Jewelry, claims and the related defects are an enormous problem.  

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: forrosebud This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 26 02:47:33 2014

@Kris What you and so many sellers have described is akin to a kind of torture perpetuated by ebay against sellers. And it just doesn't end. Their 'plans and policies' are psychologically demeaning, financially disruptive, and for me personally, my physical health was affected... I've never experienced an ulcer, but it felt like I was on my way.  
@ MovinOn  Congratulations! Whatever you endeavor to do, I'm sure you will be successful! You've got a great attitude~

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: salesrep1 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 26 04:40:23 2014

U know the problems on Ebay may be larger than expected I can buy through auction but can't through buy it now s  CRs telling me there is no work around if i want to buy a buy it now do it as a guest. This occurred in June after the major hacks were announced.
Could this problem be bigger than just a few members or is this part of the last hack and thats why auctions are being promoted so heavily? 2 months later they still can't fix it?

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

This user has validated their user name. by: SusansAntiques

Tue Aug 26 06:59:35 2014

The only way to stay on eBay as a seller is to continue to conduct your own business in the honorable, honest fashion I presume most of us always have WHILE totally ignoring the changes to the policies affecting defects, shipping & handling times, global shipping programs, tracking uploading requirements, non-scanned tracking by the carrier, free shipping, automatic returns, buyer communications, CSR discrepancies, unwarranted feedback & the TRS discount.  The day I decided that these policies were causing me too much stress & affecting the quality of my life I just let it all go.

My business model was never based on the TRS 20% discount, although I enjoyed earning it. The TRS Plus badge on my listings probably never factored into the buyers decision as to buy or not. I saw little or no increase in sales when I decided to bite the bullet & offer free shipping. I found that buyers didn't mind waiting an extra day or so for me to ship if I was out of town as long as I contacted them.

I can be trusted to do exactly as the buyer expects when entering into an agreement of sale with me. I offer a product that is accurately described, pack it well, ship it on time & communicate along the way until the sale is completed satisfactorily. I do not need eBay to micro-manage this process for me, I've been doing this a long time. I do my best to do the right thing. It is my reputation I'm concerned about ... not eBay's.

I'm slowly listing less items on eBay, dwindling down until my annual store subscription runs out. I've changed my own policies to no returns & I don't rush for same day shipping, although I still get my items out next day & I will accept a return if my buyer is unhappy & contacts me. I'm concentrating more on the other outlets I sell well on, outlets that afford me more autonomy & far less stress. Outlets that attract a more honest & knowledgable buyer not looking for an angle to manipulate the system to their advantage.

Believe me - I sleep much better at night since I've chosen not to comply or stress over the eBay hoops we sellers are being forced to jump through. If we all tried ignoring the policy changes & just conducted ourselves as any honest business should, perhaps eBay would return to being a reasonable & fun place to work.







eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Aug 26 08:15:48 2014

@SusansAntiques

'll agree to your view on selling on eBay wholehardedly.

To put it in a cold light - it is a business decision to sell on eBay. If you can eek out a suitable profit, then the model works, otherwise phiffftttt!

As far as the constant changes and hassles go, what doesn't change over time? As much as I would enjoy staying in the ''golden zone'' of sales, it's like trying to hit a pinata whist blindfolded - you gotta keep trying. I HATE having the rules change, my fees go up, telling me what I can or can't do, but so far, I can manage.

Make no point about it, I'm against big business, their cronyies (the politicians & bankers), the military-industrial complex, the medical-industrial complex and other commercial ills in this country, but to paraphrase Winston Churchill - ''this sucks, but there isn't a better way'' (the original “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” BTW). Until a better system comes along - we all have to make lemonade out of the lemons.

Sure, we all rail against ''the establishment'' and maybe someday the'll get the message. That is our job. I'm still waiting for the movements of the 1960s & 70s to come through a little better than they've done.

Things get a little testy where our livelyhood/investment and/or hobby/entertainment is concerned.

Rightfully so.

But the old saying in investment is never more true: ''Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered!''.

Question: Ebay - ''Are you calling me a pig?''
Answer:   Al G - Oink Oink bro....

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Aug 26 08:15:49 2014

@SusansAntiques

'll agree to your view on selling on eBay wholehardedly.

To put it in a cold light - it is a business decision to sell on eBay. If you can eek out a suitable profit, then the model works, otherwise phiffftttt!

As far as the constant changes and hassles go, what doesn't change over time? As much as I would enjoy staying in the ''golden zone'' of sales, it's like trying to hit a pinata whist blindfolded - you gotta keep trying. I HATE having the rules change, my fees go up, telling me what I can or can't do, but so far, I can manage.

Make no point about it, I'm against big business, their cronyies (the politicians & bankers), the military-industrial complex, the medical-industrial complex and other commercial ills in this country, but to paraphrase Winston Churchill - ''this sucks, but there isn't a better way'' (the original “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” BTW). Until a better system comes along - we all have to make lemonade out of the lemons.

Sure, we all rail against ''the establishment'' and maybe someday the'll get the message. That is our job. I'm still waiting for the movements of the 1960s & 70s to come through a little better than they've done.

Things get a little testy where our livelyhood/investment and/or hobby/entertainment is concerned.

Rightfully so.

But the old saying in investment is never more true: ''Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered!''.

Question: Ebay - ''Are you calling me a pig?''
Answer:   Al G - Oink Oink bro....

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: kornkountrytreasures This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 26 09:26:32 2014

Kris, I quit selling on eBay in 2009 and moved everything over to OnlineAuction.com because they were censoring my listings. Yesterday, I found out my account was compromised after purchasing an item via eBay and there is nothing they can do about it. So, even as a buyer, it's getting bad! I tried closing my account but was told it will take 7-10 days! Hmph! They can suspend immediately but can't close my account? One hand doesn't know what the other is doing.  

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 26 09:46:30 2014

@Ric, @kornkountry, etc. etc.

I'm confused, you rail on eBay, complain about policies, bemoan JD and yet you continue to make purchases on the site?????

Virtually every item for sale on eBay can be had off of eBay (or just contact the seller directly and buy it off eBay). So why continue to feed the hand that smacks you around? As long as people keep coming back to the well to drink, the powers that be will continue to pour the same tainted water into it.

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

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

Tue Aug 26 11:15:24 2014

Op, if you sell new items, blaze a trail to Amazon. If you sell vintage (or antiques like us), get onto Etsy! Our sales on Etsy have literally BLOWN AWAY the very few sales we make on Ebay nowadays.

We had to go cancel yet another Ebay listing for a tallboy we sold on Etsy last night. Boy is that a Great feeling!  

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 26 11:22:58 2014

This is why I always tell sellers to fight back and not sit back and let these things happen. Insist on change and stand your ground, even if it does take extra hours of your time. This has worsened simply because of all of the sellers who have rolled over and played dead and given refunds to crooks and thieves simply because EBay has told them to do so.  It is the sellers who have been sucked into EBay's game, taking to heart advice that EBay gives them such as "it's Business 101 to expect loss from theft" or "Walmart would gladly give you a refund for returning anything."

Our forefathers fought for justice and change, and if not for the strong and brave individuals who take the time and effort to stand up for what is right, women would still not be allowed to vote and slavery would still be legal.  I am not a "roll over and play dead" type of person.

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 26 11:26:03 2014

To go-figure, there is something to be said about EBay's platform and I too buy from EBay even though I know that they have mistreated me and many other sellers. It is much more convenient, and even cheaper, to find everything on one site rather than going from site to site to find various items.  Not only that but those other sites do not have auctions!  LOL.  I have never seen an auction on Walmart.com or Bestbuy.com.

eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective   eBay's New Policy from One Seller's Perspective

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

Tue Aug 26 14:44:05 2014

I moved my merchandise from eBay six years ago.  A lucky decision, things have only gotten worse. I buy a lot online, so of course I look on eBay as well as other sites.  I just checked.  In 2014 I haven't made a single purchase from that site.  The reason?  My searches never bring up anything remotely resembling my keywords.  Sometimes there is a popup box that asks for comments, I always tell them the same thing, ''Your search doesn't work, I don't want the junk that's shown, use ONLY my search keywords''.  It hasn't changed.

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