I would prefer to have NO identifying information used should you post this:
Dear eBay, it's not us, it's you.
I am sitting here in my workshop having been an active eBay seller off and on for the better part of two decades. I have sold nearly a half million dollar in sales over that period in various niches. I have seen, first hand, every change that eBay has made, and adapted to them to the best of my ability. I have become adept at adapting to your changes to sellers to the point that I simply look at them as "well, here we go again..."
The thing is, it has gotten old, and you, eBay, are not as proficient as you think you are in rolling out changes, nor about being in tune with what your sellers are experiencing. We have dealt with lost listings, lost pictures, and most importantly, lost revenue, while we attempt to continue to chase a constantly changing goal line of what you want from us.
The attitude towards sellers has changed, too. eBay wants to make sure the buyer has the best experience possible, and implements changes in a nearly tyrannical push demanding that sellers do more and more for less and less. Feedback was an excellent addition, detailed seller ratings were a bit harder to wrap around, but we managed. Now you're adding "service metrics" in which we are penalized an extra 4% on final value fees if we fall out of line, and you apply this standard to sellers of both new and used items.
The reality is, for small sellers, you're making an ever-increasing list of guidelines to follow, which involves more and more work. Beyond that, it's do or die. Your Cassini engine isn't a search engine, it's an exclusion engine, designed to push out sellers who don't measure up.
The problem is, you apply a broad brush to all sellers and offer very little distinction between people who sell brand new sneakers and people who sell used car parts. You also penalize people who do not accept returns, do not accept free returns or do not offer a long enough return window. And you apply this to categories in which the INDUSTRY STANDARDS are "as-is, no returns."
The result of having to play by a higher standard is, of course, customers getting a beyond-expected value. The problem with it is, delivering that value is killing the profit margins of your smaller sellers. To the point that many MANY have walked away from the platform completely, others are considering it, while others sit and watch their sales dwindle and wonder if this will be the last year they can afford to sell on eBay, or even stay in business. And when you lose sellers, you lose revenue.
We endure this for several reasons. The exposure of eBay is second-to-none, for now. But that is changing. With poor business decisions such as removing the guides from the site earlier this year, costing literally billions of hits, exposure is down. Market share is down. Sales are down for MANY sellers. So how are we coping? Paying eBay more money for promoted listings, ever increasing fees, and now seeing Managed Payments rolling out, with a promise for lower sales costs that may or may not actually happen... All while knowing it allows eBay to have a foot harder down on our necks.
And while we experience it we have Audrey and Griff making comments about eBay not listening to seller's input, and being told we're not running our businesses "like a business." Which is highly insulting, as are many comments that come out of the "eBay for Business" Facebook Page and videos. All in a chase for eBay to "be like Amazon" or "be like Walmart." Here's a hint. You're neither, and you should stop trying to be, and get back to "being like eBay."
So, dearest eBay, as I sit writing this in an anonymous forum because I fear the repercussions from you should you know who I am, we will watch your 3rd quarter earnings report after close of business on October 30th, 2018, when you're trying to figure out why you didn't hit your earnings projections, maybe you'll see this post and gain a clue as to why. There are hints and issues scattered throughout it, but here are a few more:
You need to stop making changes while other, previous changes, are still broken. You need to investigate "glitches" and "issues" aggressively when your sellers report them. You need to protect your sellers from buyer fraud, from buyers "renting" items via long return windows, from ever increasing fees and control methods that are pushing us away.
I will close with this, eBay may need to deliver an outstanding buyer experience, but without sellers, you won't have any experience to deliver, at all. And more and more of us are looking at joining Skip McGrath and thousands of other sellers who have walked away. And then the only one left will be the huge retail sellers you are trying to emulate instead of being the amazing place you used to be. Get back to basics. Fundamentals will always grow your business, and ours.