eBay.com Trading Assistant Program scrapped

eBay Trading Assistant RetiredThere’s a bit of an uproar in the US about the closure of the eBay Trading Assistant program.

eBay emailed US Trading Assistants telling them “We’ve been listening to feedback from many of you and have heard that the program is not meeting expectations or delivering a significant number of sales leads. As a result, on September 20, 2013, the Trading Assistant program will be retired“.

It means that eBay.com will no longer host a Trading Assistant directory or provide sellers with Trading Assistant program leads and additionally that eBay sellers can no longer use “eBay Trading Assistant Program” logos or other marketing materials referring to the Trading Assistant program.

This is pretty serious for sellers who have based their business model on the public (or businesses) bringing their products to Trading Assistants who then sell them on eBay for commission. Of course it won’t prohibit these business models from continuing to trade, but they’ll be banned from using Trading Assistant logos.

The big question of course is how will this affect a Trading Assistant’s business? Do they get a lot of leads from the Trading Assistant directory or does the bulk of their business come via word of mouth or from the Trading Assistant’s own website? What will the impact of not having the Trading Assistant logo on a Trading Assistant’s website?

eBay.com Trading Assistant Program retirement doesn’t affect the UK

Luckily we don’t have to worry in the UK. We asked eBay and they told us that “the recent retirement was only for North America.

It’s often assumed that what happens in the US will come to the UK and vice versa, but in this case it appears that UK Trading Assistants are safe. Similarly the US have announced that there are no changes planned to their Educational Specialist program, whereas the UK eBay Educational Specialist was shut down in 2010. Not everything it would appear is exactly mirrored from eBay US to eBay UK.