eBay UK staff cuts are hurting eBay sellers

With the eBay/PayPal divorce on the cards, we knew there would be ramifications. And globally eBay Inc. has embarked upon a downsizing personnel cull that will see roughly 7% of eBay staff getting their cards. The sackings are well underway.

It was never clear as to who they were letting go and what that might mean for eBay sellers. But in the past few days we’ve heard from SME sellers who have been losing key contacts in eBay’s customer support team.

One British seller who has been in touch says the removal of service has been both sudden and uncommunicative:

“We’ve been on eBay for approx 10 years now and have 3 eBay stores totaling just under 500k feedback. We’ve been what eBay term an eBay Strategic Account for a few years now and had a very good relationship with them – we’ve visited them in Richmond a few times and our account manager has flown over from Ireland to visit us, along with his boss. We featured in their various Deals fairly regularly. For the last few weeks it was becoming harder to contact our account manager.”

But that relationship seems to be dead now because of the staff cuts. This is a quote from an eBay Customer support manager sent to us by the seller in question: “I would like to apologize for being out of touch as of late. As part of the publicly announced restructuring that eBay is currently undertaking, I have been affected and will be leaving the company shortly. I would have liked to advise you earlier, but my hands were tied due to legal guidelines. I have really enjoyed working with you and truly wish you all the best for your business and personal life.”

As a result this big eBay seller, who has currently been availed with help and support from eBay, has no such relationship now. Not only has the rep he dealt with been dismissed but the boss too. He has not been given a replacement contact. It speaks to eBay’s corporate priorities.

What a waste. I’ve always argued that eBay should do much, much more for SME sellers dealing in volume and provide top class customer service that will drive sales and loyalty. And here we see eBay doing the opposite to delight shareholders and investors.

There is no official indication as to how many eBay Customer Support staff are being laid off. So we’d be interested to hear from you. Have your eBay contacts have been let go too? And if so, how will that affect your business?