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Mon Oct 29 2018 13:25:16

An Open Letter to eBay Management

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
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.
Signed,
Anonymous



Comments (63) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 14:04:50 2018

Excellent, thoughtful, articulate, intelligent and on point! I truly respect this seller for taking the time to do this.  

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: Chrissy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 14:27:25 2018

Your letter is right on point!  It's too late for me, I closed my store as of Nov 1 and I am done.  I don't need ebay bad enough to continue being tortured as a top-rated seller who gave my very best and got nothing in return.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: mamie14425 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 14:50:07 2018

BRAVO......You hit every point!!....We have been selling on eBay for 15 years and have never seen this site as bad as it is today.  We refuse to do Free Returns.....We refuse to cow down to the idiotic demands of Devin Wenig.  We have migrated many items in our store to other sites.......and it has served us well...We wish you the very best and thank you for your letter.....

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 15:05:21 2018

Thank you for taking the time to write this...it is EXCELLENT!  Now let us hope that ebay management takes the time to read it.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: BohicaBay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 15:16:24 2018

I'm glad this was well received.  

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: NoMoreEbay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 15:52:19 2018

Started with ebay 1998. Ended in Aug. of this year. The racketeering 4% money grab was my line. Pulled all my inventory and am focusing on my FT profession.

This despicable, condescending company won't listen to your spot-on succinct letter. All they see is red.

With any luck a large name-brand company will recognize what a failure ebay is and a new auction site will blossom with millions of sellers migrating over leaving ebay as a long overdue and well deserved ghost town.  

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 16:17:14 2018

Seriously who really expects Ebay to either respond or care. Time after time they have proven THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE NOISE COMING FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: Decomidmodern This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 16:48:37 2018

Deaf Ears.  

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 17:17:08 2018

And today, 10-29-2018, eBay stock hits a 52 week low.

Noose is getting tight around the delusional ceo's neck.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 17:17:26 2018

I too have been on ebay for 2 decades...and $550K+ sales.

Wish I had keep a record of all those pointing out on this blog and others that they had been on for 20 years...and are feed-up. They indicate to a man they're leaving or have left.

It's hard to extrapolate a real number from these samples, but one thing is clear: a good, LOYAL chunk of eBay's base is GONE.

So the $64 question remains...where does ebay get off telling SUCCESSFUL businesses how to run a business?

The irony is staggering.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 17:23:46 2018

eBay will be eBay. They will do what they want to do until something better comes along.

I'm seeing the same thing at Etsy.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Oct 29 17:45:42 2018

A very well written post from an eBay seller from the beginning of it's venue.

I think eBay is starting to realize that this noise they stuck up their noses at are becoming what will be their end. When Paypal quotes comments from the eBay forum and then has facts and figures to back up their issues with eBay, one with any intellect should stop and think. The stocks are mirroring the environment.

Maybe not Wenig, maybe not the disastrous top management, but some with power and money are listening. I only hope that someone will save what was once a bustling selling site for the unusual, the used, the home made, etc. It was unique and successful, nowhere it is now.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Oct 29 18:03:34 2018

Some more disastrous news for eBay...."if you suffered losses before Oct 19th????" That would be anyone who bought....lol

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP alerts investors in eBay, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) to the Firm's investigation of possible disclosure violations. If you purchased or otherwise acquired eBay securities before October 19, 2018 and suffered losses contact Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.
Read more at http://www.stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2018/10/29/hagens-berman
-alerts-investors-in-ebay-inc-ebay-to-the-firm-s-investigation-of#bA3tSzjb1Iczt20X.99

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: Jairib This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 18:50:51 2018

This letter is spot on.  I would like to add one thing.  When you are constantly updating your site this impacts our sales.  We experience a huge slow down.  You used to only have 2 a year, now they are constant and that is unacceptable.  And you have different teams doing this and they don't talk to each other leading to these glitches. And with this managed payments, a savings of .2% for a lesser service is not something that I think is much of a savings. I am a TRS plus rated seller. My sales are down about 50% this year. I have expanded to other platforms. And I'm giving up 6 months to see if I leave completely.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: deejae137 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 19:02:07 2018

I have been selling on eBay since 1997, before Paypal and before delivery confirmation.  This last year has been the worst and I (like many others) have closed my store on September 1st.  I have watched my sales tumble, did all I could to meet what eBay said I should and would garner more sales, only to find sales continue to slide despite what eBay said.  I don't sell clothing (for the most part), I do sell coins and trading cards (predominately), which are typically ''hot'' items.....yet, sales continue to slide.

The bright spot is that with all my shipping and packaging knowledge, I landed a job at the USPS, but many sellers are not so fortunate.  I truly appreciate the poster's letter, although it is my firm belief eBay will not change for the better, until it hits rock bottom and eBay is FORCED to change.  As far as large retailers on the site, many small sellers (like myself) are refusing or buying a lot less from those retailers and eBay's bad reputation is hitting them (whether they know it or not).  It use to be community, now it is a monstrosity.  In a parting note, eBay's bad moves have now hit shareholders and as of this writing the stock is now down over 43% this year with the majority of it coming from the last 6 months ($46.99/$26.82).  It is this dynamic I believe will force eBay to change, which is sad, because if eBay had listened to the community and acted in seller's best interests (rather than just their own smoke & mirrors), it probably wouldn't be this way for eBay or for sellers.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Oct 29 19:17:37 2018

Deaf ears.  Although it's been said before, I really do expect managed payments to be the hurdle that small/casual sellers won't jump.  There's no upside to letting them into your bank account for a few pennies in sales.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 29 19:19:58 2018

Unfortunately ebay has been torn apart to it's inner core, the last two ceo's have in reality destroyed the company to a point where i truly don't believe it's even possible to fix, i believe they were at the point of no return last year,

yes, they certainly destroyed themselves,,,,,,,but is was no surprise, what company in their right mind would go to war with it's customers,



Ebay stock took another dive today, another new low, just wait until investors get the bad news, next quarter

but the good news is ebay's still a large company and they won't go bankrupt any time soon, (it's almost a money for free type of company) but they will continue to loose market share, loose sellers and buyers, it will be a painfully slow and steady decline for ebay until the very end.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

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

Mon Oct 29 19:37:12 2018

/Golf Clap

Great letter and kudos to the author.

Sure, this may fall on deaf ears within the eBay executive team, but that doesn't mean it's true for all others.

Share a link to this post on social media or email to consumer affairs reporters and your bank/brokerage account social media presence.

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

This user has validated their user name. by: Mighty Mouse

Mon Oct 29 19:50:28 2018

While I agree that eBay is a major part of the problem, the buyers have become a major problem too.  The new buyers are expecting the absolutely lowest price, free shipping and free returns. To stay in business you have to make a good profit which to me, the so call business model used today is missing this point.  

Perminate Link for An Open Letter to eBay Management   An Open Letter to eBay Management

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Oct 29 20:16:57 2018

OP basically rolls all of our complaints into one letter. Will it make any difference going froward? Most likely not. As we've discussed many times, eBay is only interested in squeezing more money out of sellers all the while coddling the snowflake buyers. As others have stated, it's eBay's sandbox and if you want to play in it, you do what they say. If buyers scam the sellers, too bad, it's the cost of doing business on eBay. If eBay doesn't show your listings, it says right in the TOS that they don't have to.

Unfortunately, the eBay executives seem too arrogant to realize that with each day that passes, more sellers are finding other marketplaces to sell on, leaving potential buyers to search out new venues on which to spend their money.

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