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10 for '10 : Psychic Psue's Predictions for 2010 on eBay

By Chris Dawson December 27, 2009 - 7:34 am

fortune teller with crystal ball“And now, the end is near…” Ahem, sorry. Wrong karaoke. I’ve heard that if you get from Christmas to New Year without some kind of list post, they take away your blogging card. So here are ten random things that may, more or less, or may not happen for eBay UK in 2010.

1) DSRs replaced with scores out of 10
eBay have been testing this one for months now; they’ll finally take the plunge and introduce feedback out of ten. Classic green/grey/red feedback will remain for nostalgia’s sake, but will be totally sidelined when measuring seller performance.

2) More outlet sellers
eBay UK’s business development team will continue to do their job, recruiting big high street names to the site with promises of a captive audience and favourable placements. They’ll neglect to mention exactly how demanding eBay buyers are…

3) More outlet sellers will screw upfeedback card showing total number of items sold, DSR score percentages, but no total feedback number
We’ve seen more than one outlet seller go into meltdown this year; we’ll see it happen to more than one next year too. eBay will continue to ignore the issue; the eBay community will continue to be incensed by it.

4) Headline feedback will change in favour of outlet sellers
We’ve had a sneak preview of this already. Outlet sellers, incensed that their image is being damaged by negative feedback, will demand something is done about it. eBay’s response will be to highlight a seller’s total number of sales, and to hide the number and percentage of classic feedback. Buyers will see a Great Big Number and feel reassured.

5) The rise, and rise (and rise) of PayPal
eBay earnings calls, shareholder meetings and analyst days will be dominated by PayPal, with Marketplaces relegated to a “we don’t really talk about it” corner. Bill Me Later will roll out to Europe. PayPal will make lots and lots of money. Amazon will be the only top 100 online retailer not accepting PayPal.

6) The fall and fall of auctions
Auctions will continue to slide, with Buy It Now reaching around 70% of eBay sales. Some media commentators and many sellers will continue to insist that eBay should “go back to doing what it does best”; buyers will continue to vote with their feet.

7) Free auctions for private sellers
All auction listings, regardless of start price, will be made free for private sellers. A multitude of business sellers will threaten to list on their private accounts. eBay UK will therefore slap a maximum listings’ value on private sellers (as eBay France has already done).

8 ) Free listings in Media for everyone

In their continuing efforts to leech off a little of Amazon’s success, eBay will abolish insertion fees for everyone in Media categories. This won’t actually make much difference to listing numbers, as the categories are absolutely flooded already.

9) More Amazonification
Amazon-inspired features will continue to spread across the site. “Product pages” will dominate search results, especially in Media and Electronics. Someone in Richmond will try to get user-generated content (like Amazon’s reviews) reinstated as a prominent feature on eBay; that person will find themselves Punishment Pinking on Q&A in fairly short order.

10) eBay struggles to define itself for another year

And this is the one that really breaks my heart.

A decade ago, almost to the day, my boss walked into my office and said, “oy internet girl, have you heard of eBay? I’ve got this *great* business idea…” I didn’t know it, but it was a life-changing moment.

Ten years later, and I look at that site that changed my life, that changed so many lives, that I thought was brilliant, and I see just another ecommerce corporation run by people with MBAs.

I see a company that doesn’t know what it is, what it has or what it wants to be: a company that pushes auctions one minute and buy it now the next, that promotes big box retailers and ignores its best resource: its wonderful, loyal, long-tail-grabbing smallest niche retailers.

I see a company that stifles the brilliance of its employees under a bushel of bureaucracy.

I see a company whose CEO’s grand vision appears to be “let’s stop looking like a car boot sale”, yet day after day, he allows illegal terms and conditions to go uncontested on his site, often from those very big box sellers that he’s touting as his top outlets.

I see a company that was at the heart of the start of ecommerce, that utterly squandered its advantage. When it figured out it had screwed up, it wanted to be Amazon. Now, astonishingly, it seems to want to be Overstock.

I see no vision. I’d love to be proved wrong. But I’m afraid I won’t be.

And you? How do you think 2010’s going to pan out for eBay? Leave us a comment.

Hat tip to Auctionbytes for permission to use the feedback screenshot.

  • northumbrian
    7 years ago

    I see ebay making money,
    and let the devil take the hindmost

  • northumbrian
    7 years ago

    we dont think the camouflaged feedback thing is so bad

    its far too easy for some deranged guerkin with a grudge,or a minority of Watchdog worshippers, to influence our ebay selling out of all proportion to the actual problem

  • board_surfer
    7 years ago

    I predict ebay will introduce a checkout.

    but then I’ve been drinking for 4 days solid so I may have seen that in the bottom of a pint glass rather than my crystal ball!!

    :lol: :lol:

    • 7 years ago

      They already have a checkout, BS – you mean a shopping cart? I heard 2011 for that… :roll:

    • board_surfer
      7 years ago

      yeah, shopping cart.

      knowing ebay it will be the one with the wonky wheel though!!
      :lol:

    • 7 years ago

      We predict that eBay will have a shopping cart. Someday.

      An eBay MBA will call it something other than a ‘shopping card’. Maybe “Transaction Transporter”.

      And you thought we were kidding? :roll:
      http://www.systrends.com/Transaction_Transporter.htm

      //

      “I need a vacation.”
      The Terminator, T2 [Terminator 2: Judgement Day] (1991)

  • katakitty
    7 years ago

    I predict that 2010 will be my last year on eBay. I can truthfully say that I have had enough of North’s “deranged guerkins” who have a totally out of proportion affect on my visibility and sales. May a pox grow on the end of their noses and may a plaque descend on their houses. Bah bloody humbug :evil:

    11. I predict that Tamebay will continue to give clear and concise translations of eBays policy changes, it’s just a shame they can’t do it themselves. :smile:

  • My prediction for 2010 is that the penny will finally drop for many sellers and they will look to dump eBay as fast as possible.

    My advice/opinion/hunch/whatever ? Move on from retail. Amazon is not the answer, neither is Play or your own site. You need to find something else. I’ve signed up 4 Powersellers under the same thing I’m working on now and all of them have been amazed how much better it is for “making money” and are winding eBay down.

    Retail will not recover until we get shot of this ridiculous “race to the bottom” mentality and we start seeing sensible % margins for retailers again.

    Steve – http://www.ethicalcompanies.co.uk

    • 7 years ago

      If it’s that good a way of making money why don’t you share it with everyone?

    • jimbo
      7 years ago

      send £10.00 to “getrich
      @hotsnail.con” and i’ll send you the details. :smile:

    • There’s nothing stopping you asking :p

    • 7 years ago

      I just did. Feel free to post the details in your next comment :grin:

    • Like I say anyone who wants to know JUST ASK, I’m not telling the world at large on a blog. ethicalsw@googlemail.com

    • 7 years ago

      Ian Hislop tells a story…. There used to be a guy advertising in the back of Private Eye, “make money, no effort, little outlay, send £5 to Box # xxx, money back if not completely satisfied”.

      The ad was in month after month, and eventually he got curious and sent off his fiver. He got back a photocopied sheet of paper saying “put an ad in the back of Private Eye…”. And I agree with him – that kind of audacity is worth a fiver. :mrgreen:

    • I’ve often wondered if that story was true or not, it’s a good one though.

      Steve

    • Bigpoppa
      7 years ago

      There’s always the one from Lock Stock…

    • 7 years ago

      Don’t know if that particular story is true but there was a court case in the United States years ago that ran along the same lines. Except that story ended with the guy getting sued and losing in court for misleading people rather than being admired for his ingenuity.

    • 7 years ago

      There are always other ways to make money, some legal, some not, some ethical & some not.

      There is still money to be made in retail, however, as you pointed out, the “race to the bottom” mentality is a major problem, which in my opinion was brought on by the likes of Ebay, as in some sellers eyes, feedback & sales are more important than profit.

      eBay is a platfrom that allows anybody to easily become a “retailer” and there is nothing wrong with that, i just wish eBay would crack down on the (as Sue Points out) illegal T&C’s, which in a way would make the “would be retail giants” realise their obligations.

      Personaly, i have started to drop suppliers who seem to have the same mentality of an eBay newbie, with more importance on sales rather than profit.

      JMHO

    • That’s the DVD wholesale industry out of the equation then :grin:

    • 7 years ago

      There’s a whole big wide world outside of eBay/Amazon. eBay has reached saturation point already and it will happen to Amazon at some point in the not too distant future. While every fool and his dog thinks there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow seling on those two the “race to the bottom” culture wont change.

      However, retail is far from dead, Your own site maybe isn’t the whole answer but can be a good part of it. In fact I would go as far as to suggest that anyone who can survive the next 12-24 months, will be well placed and will do exceptionally well when better financial times return.

  • northumbrian
    7 years ago

    I predict in 2010 Steve will still see the world thru a concrete block

    • board_surfer
      7 years ago

      but you cant see the world through a concrete block :?:

    • northumbrian
      7 years ago

      exactly

  • 7 years ago

    Great post once again Sue, thanks to you and Chris for your hard work over the years.

    I would like to ask eBay to read it very carefully and listen harder to the points made here and from it’s sellers.

    The Outlet seller has a lot to learn from the ‘time served’ experienced eBay seller. Just see the Outlet sellers’ feedback.

    Don’t get me started on the ‘not responsible for lost in post’ ‘restocking fees’ and the like from business sellers, even TRS some of them it makes my blood boil :evil:

    How hard is it for eBay to message all it’s business sellers and remind them of the above?

    eBay changed my life too, of course for the better, my predictions for 2010? I’ll still be the most irritatingly positive eBay Anorak I know :grin:

  • Patricia013
    7 years ago

    Sue, your comment is brilliant and right on. Ebay will continue its decline because it is basically a rudderless ship. Its clear that present management has no long term business plan and continues to throw different ideas at the wall to see what will stick. Its a shame and downright embarrassing to see this company flounder the way its been doing since January 2008. Makes me wonder who in the world left a billion dollar company in the hands of someone so totally incompetent! :x

  • 7 years ago

    Pretty much spot on Sue. eBay as it currently stands is in a big mess and will only get worse while there’s no one running it with real world retail experience.

    Too much fiddling while Rome burns as the saying goes. I don’t see eBay actually doing anything to attract new buyers, flooding the site with product from cheap/free insertions fees or bringing in yet more product from outlet sellers isn’t the answer. Let’s have some quality rather than quantity for a change.

    For me eBay is pretty much over, once my current crop of 30 day listings end I’m closing my shop on eBay. I’ll still list a small number of items, but eBay will be a minor additional source of income this coming year.

  • Debs
    7 years ago

    I felt really emotionally when I read point 10); I fully agree with it.

    It’s just so……sad. :sad:

    • 7 years ago

      Debs, you shoulda seen the first draft… made myself cry buckets writing it. :roll: :lol:

    • Debs
      7 years ago

      whoops – I meant ’emotional’ not ’emotionally’. I was that choked up by reading it, my grammar went to pot!

      I can imagine you did have a lump in your throat whilst writing it, Sue. You may have a knack for poignancy.

      You may wish to take up creative writing as a career when eBay eventually goes down the tube! :lol:

  • 7 years ago

    Am so sad to see what e bay has turned into
    It did at one point used to be great I left selling on the site 18 months ago and have never been back I have a cupboard jam packed with old stock just sitting. But I wont return the site is a confusing mess.
    Turn back the clock 5 yrs.

    • 7 years ago

      Turn back the clock 5 yrs.

      Don’t think that’s possible, Mandy. The *internet* is different now – ecommerce is different, people’s habits are different.
      The problem IMO is that while the whole ecommerce landscape changed, eBay didn’t – that’s what I meant by eBay squandering their advantage. They sat back and assumed that they’d always have the market share they once had. Under Meg, they put all their efforts into nickel and diming every last penny out of sellers, messing about with fees, promoting auctions with ridiculous slogans (remember “windorphins”?!) – while all around them, the world was changing. I almost feel sorry for JD at times – talk about being handed a poisoned chalice.

    • jimbo
      7 years ago

      Possibly JD has done a good job??? He seems to have turned eBay inside out and created something new.. The only thing of the old eBay left seems to be the colours. But the old eBay had had it’s day it was a phenomenon which was never going to run forever. It was always about right time right place.
      If you are still doing well on eBay at the moment possibly you could be in for a good couple of years? As a seller eBay is now much more sophisticated and in some ways you have much more oportunity to manage your eBay presence.

      The deals page looks like a clearance catalogue from argos though, which I don’t like.

  • Mick
    7 years ago

    3 years ago, eBay was the ideal place for a ‘proof of concept’ exercise for an eCommerce idea in a niche market. Sales have been growing. Reputation is getting established and have had word-of-mouth sales and positive references in a few blogs and forums.

    Own website just getting organised – but an ongoing presence on eBay was always envisaged because of its global exposure and potential to attract new customers. Fee changes and category flooding have severely compromised profitable selling and the concept of ‘loss-leaders’ has become prominent in my thinking.

    However, if eBay continues with negative impact changes, it is even going to become an unjustifiable advertising expense.

    Seems to me eBay are squeezing the life out of the place for short term gain. They can’t have thought about medium to long term… I, for one, have no confidence in what it will look like and cannot rely on eBay being part of my business model in the future.

    I must thank Douglas Adams for providing me with a parting word: “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.”

  • 7 years ago

    The more sellers that leave ebay and sign up for the Docs scheme the better it will become for me.

    2010 will be the year of less competition and bigger market share. Loads a money to be made on eBay.

    • northumbrian
      7 years ago

      to right whirly
      loads and loads of money
      to be made on ebay
      though these days its not so easy for ametuers and dabblers,
      who tend to blame ebay, because their paricular line is not selling well, or has too much competition,
      when ebay first started we made a fortune from beanie babies ,you would be hard put to make a penny out of these days, though thats nowt to do with ebay,
      its the market place thats changed.
      so we changed with it,
      we think ebay itself is a much better place than ten years ago, non paying bidders were endemic,and you wondered how often ebay was going to crash,

    • 7 years ago

      It’s easy to knock others when you’re doing well. But make no mistake, eBay can and does change overnight, all it takes is one or two changes and you can be stuffed. Think it won’t happen in your catagories, yes I thought that too. Within a few months it became an unworkable mess, if I’d have been foolish enough to rely on eBay as a single or major source of income I’d have been stuffed too.

      I don’t blame eBay for anything that happens to my business. It is/was my own choice to use them as a venue and a choice I made of my own free will. Sure I’ll have a pop at them and a good ol’ moan if I feel they’re making a bad commercial move, I’ve every right to as I’m paying them, just the same as I’d do with any other service provider, ISP, web host, Electric company, etc. and in the same way I’d move elsewhere if they stop performing well.

      If eBay is working for you, that’s great. But, be under no illusion it can and it will change and one day you may very well find yourself in a mess when they decide to do something stupid.

    • 7 years ago

      I am not mocking anyone who has suffered Richard. I just get a little bored reading the same old stuff about how eBay has ruined my life bla bla, if some folk spent 10 hours a day grafting instead of talking bollocks on eBay forums they might find very quickly find they don’t have time to talk bollocks anymore.

      I am not under any illusions, I just get my head down and crack on and do the biz, If they shut me down tomorrow I will be fine, my websites have been running for 3 years, I’ll certianly have less money but I won’t be trying to find a tall building to leap from.

      The day I got a lifetime ban from the PS board is the day I kicked myself up the arse and turned my business around to suit me.

    • 7 years ago

      Oh, and for what its worth, I dropped out of school at 15, I am nothing special. I just like making a pound or 2.

    • 7 years ago

      Lighten up folks. Try to enjoy the coming New Year.

      2010 will be a blast.

      //

      “Let’s try for our first heart attack shall we?”
      RSM Sandy Young, The Wild Geese (1978)

      eBay UK Seller Boot Camp
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT1sG9Nmz3w
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMNB4yBJ-nw
      {check the lyrics}

    • northumbrian
      7 years ago

      we are not knocking anyone either, though
      like whirly its no accident we are doing ok,
      we work hard at it , we were successful long before ebay was even heard of, and also like whirly
      if ebay folded today, we would not enjoy it, though it would not break us,

    • northumbrian
      7 years ago

      and for what its worth we never went to school to drop out :twisted:

  • Dee
    7 years ago

    You know what i see here (whether my opinion will count for anything or not i do not know but i felt i should say something)

    I see a bunch of Ebay Sellers, Decent Sellers from what i can tell, all ready to jump ship sooner or later because Ebay has forced them, BUT what they don’t see is how many of them there are here! If you all really wanted to continue selling and i do, because i used to make a decent amount which helped me through my studies, then why don’t WE all get together and take on the might of Ebay. Ebay started off with a few people, one guy wanted to sell his Gf’s bag or something i believe, so lets get together poole our resources and build something better and most importantly BIGGER than Ebay and run it properly the way Sellers and Buyers would want it run. At the end of the day you have the sellers here ready, advertising will take a bit of time but something that can be done easily enough if thought about properly!

    And if we get something together good enough and we dont have enough resources we can always go on Dragons Den and give them 10-20% share LOL

    Anyway go Enjoy your holidays! :mrgreen:

    • I was under the impression eBay started as a place for selling collectable Pez containers.

    • 7 years ago

      Nope, that was made up by PR (see ‘The Perfect Store’ by Adam Cohen).

      It was actually invented as a place to sell broken laser pointers…

    • Why would anyone want a broken laser pointer ?

    • Dee
      7 years ago

      So you hate the idea, like it? have no feelings toward it?! lol

    • 7 years ago

      Dee, IMO “you can’t out-eBay eBay”. Many have tried (Ebid, Tazbar, etc.). The problems, as I see them, are two-fold:
      1) buyers have no real incentive to switch (sellers selling to each other doesn’t make a marketplace: you always need more buyers than sellers or no one makes any profit).
      2) the day of the “we sell everything” site is pretty much over. Niche is where it’s at. Do one thing, brilliantly.

      Plus I don’t think anyone actually realises how much work it is to get something decent going. I did look into this last year for a crafts marketplace, and unless someone else was prepared to properly bankroll it, I would run a mile.

    • 7 years ago

      Steve

      Apparently the guy who bought the broken laser pointer was asked if he realised it was broken and the buyer replied, ‘of course, I collect broken laser pointers!’

      So eBay was a place to find those collectable pieces.

      I hope that answers you question :cool:

  • 7 years ago

    Nothing ever stays the same.

    As a media seller recent changes have really messed my strategies around and I would love to see ebay as it was 3 or 4 years ago, but I know it’s not going to happen. Yes I will have a moan (after all that part of the fun).

    But I will change strategies, maybe even change from media items to collectables or some other product line and continue to sell.

    Nothing I do or say (and with respect to all contributors), nothing anybody here does or says is going to change ebay policy.

    It’s a sink or swim market.

    Media categories are swamped with all sorts of dodgy sellers i.e. single items listed under wholesale or other such dubious practises. This is my job (sales pay my bills), I have to get it right or we don’t eat (well not so well anyway). So I calculate how much stock costs to purchase, store, list and post and at the end of the day I hope to make a profit. Well with the amount of sellers currently selling new stock below cost (just to get a sale), combined with the hoards of dubious sellers, that profit is getting harder and harder (but its still there).

    Whilst the profit is still there then I will stay, despite the annoying hoops we are regularly made to jump through.

    Now this is the rub – it’s slowly but surely edging towards the stage when it’s no longer profitable to sell on ebay. Other channels are providing a better return for my time and money, and I stress time, because ebay is taking up far too much time compared to other channels.

    I know you can’t turn the clock back, but ebay should be looking to return to a stable selling channel where buyers and sellers can buy and sell in confidence.

    As things currently stand it’s a total mess and that isn’t good for anybody.

  • Patty
    7 years ago

    I dont get all the complaints about ebay recently. My fees are lower, sales slightly higher so im happy.

    My FVF discount is dropping from 35% to 25% though but thats only going to disadvatange us to the tune of 100 to 200 a month so hardly that bad.

    • Patty
      7 years ago

      The sooner they implement a cart system the better. Was talking toa college friend the other day who only shops on amazon now since he can shop for everything then just pay for everything at once rather than the ebay way of visiting each seller and checking out each item.

      I do like the new end of auction order pages where buyers can track items from and review order status which will help sellers. However it should have a bulk upload facility for sellers as its a pain entering 30 to 40 tracking IDs each day.

  • 7 years ago

    The feedback changes are a diversion – it was a great idea in the ‘wild west’ days of online shopping but it’s being given disproportionate attention now. More effort should be put into making it easier to buy and sell.

    A proper shopping cart should be the top priority – it’s farcical that it probably won’t be here until 2011.

    Much more work is needed to crack down on rogue sellers with illegal T&Cs, business sellers masquerading as private sellers, sellers advertising stock they don’t have, etc etc.

    The auction and buy-it-now sectors should be split. They are very different offerings, and dedicated sites will do them both a favour.

    I do feel for sellers of non-niche items who are going to be squeezed by the outlet sellers and are already struggling to get visibility above the likes of Hong Kong private sellers with 2,000 listings. In many categories, the buying and selling experience has become pretty shoddy.

    The good news for niche sellers is that building your own brand and stand-alone website is much more rewarding – financially and emotionally – than eBaying will ever be.

    • 7 years ago

      Agree, Paul (except on splitting auction/BIN) – sadly this is what I think *will* happen, not what *should* happen. Maybe that’s one for another post. :grin:

    • 7 years ago

      I know – wishful thinking. I’ll always be grateful for ebay because it enabled me to change my life. And now I can make enough on my own website alone to get by if I had to, so I don’t tend to get very wound up about the changes. it is sad, though, that eBay has lost it’s way – there just isn’t the compelling vision or leadership anymore. Glad my eggs are not all in the eBay basket – or should I say ‘checkout’?! ;-) .

  • Philip Cohen
    7 years ago

    Sue,

    “And now the end is near…” It could not have been better said!

    More Changes at eBay: The effect of which will be to drive away more sellers: drive away more sellers, drive away more buyers, drive away more sellers, drive away more buyers, … when will this incompetence ever end?

    Marketplaces: I agree wholeheartedly with you remark “we don’t really talk about it”, and you don’t have to be a genius to understand why they don’t want to talk about it: no amount of spin can disguise the fact that the head turkey, Donahoe, is driving the eBay marketplaces down the sewer.

    PayPal: If and when the major credit card companies get off their butts and introduce a like card/terminal-less payments system they will do it properly and PayPal will then sink like a stone—other than on the Donahoe-ever-shrinking eBay marketplace.

    The Fall of Auctions: Sorry but I could not disagree more. Auctions continue to slide because of deliberate eBay policy, not because buyers are preferring fixed price formats. Have a look at the completed listings of just about any professional seller (particularly the unscrupulous ones; try “beckertime”) and you will see oceans of “blood” representing unsold, mainly fixed price, listings and the few islets of green are invariably low-start auctions, with probably a good dose of self-bidding thereon (although you in the UK, because of your totally anonymous bidding aliases, will never know if that is the case).

    eBay must, by now, be getting more revenue from listing fees than from FVFs, but how long can sellers tolerate that situation with only a 10% success rate?

    Free auction listings for private sellers, etc: A perfectly logical development—but what utter desperation! eBay actually giving something away for free; there must be a catch somewhere. Oh, there it is, it’s only free for the first listing (just joking); but there will be a sunset clause somewhere in there.

    The answer to eBay’s problems is to get rid of the arrogant, mindless turkey that is currently in control of this most greedy, disingenuous, unscrupulous organisation. I’m wondering how much more damage this man can do to this once great organisation before the obviously sleeping board of directors take the axe to him?

    Your final summary at #10: spot on!

    Try my appraisal of the situation from a buyer’s point of view at http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

    • Nice article Philip, bit “ranty” over shilling though.

    • Philip Cohen
      7 years ago

      “A bit ranty”? True. But any multi-auction analyses of some auctions by professional sellers who habitually start their auctions at nominal prices, will indicate that probably a great majority of such sellers are bidding on their own auctions, eBay cannot but know it, and does effectively nothing about it because it is not in their financial interest to do anything about it. eBay is effectively, and knowingly, aiding and abetting unscrupulous sellers to defraud consumers—on a world-wide basis.

      Notwithstanding that all non-unique bidder masking is devious, the most devious form of bidder masking—that still in use only in the UK (and you have to ask why?)—prevents users from doing any such multi-auction analysis of patterns of bidding on a seller’s auctions. No wonder the UK form of bidder masking was eBay’s originally preferred form of masking: the UK cheat has no need to resort to the “private listing” (eBay’s classic shill bidders’ tool) to obscure his shill bidding.

      The short sightedness of the head turkey and his gaggle of “gobblers” at eBay is best expressed by the analogy of the simple-minded aristocrat that kills the “golden goose” to get a one-off serving of pâté de foie gras. Unfortunately the living goose was not properly prepared and the pâté therefore did not have the pleasing taste that they expected.

      Does anyone actually think that the people in control of eBay are simply stupid? No way. Incompetent, devious, deceptive, disingenuous, unscrupulous? Of all that there cannot be any doubt!

    • Personally I think eBay’s mistakes are far bigger than the issue of shill bidding and already detailed your article and raised a couple of questions here:

      http://www.ethicalcompanies.co.uk/?p=1248

      Steve

    • Oh and by the way I realise “ranty” isn’t a regular word, but it’s perfectly cromulant lol ! (Simpsons fans will understand)

    • Philip Cohen
      7 years ago

      You have to bear in mind that I am not one of those trying to make a living by trading on eBay; I am predominantly a buyer, of collectible junk; very little of the fixed price “retail” stuff interests me; as many others have similarly commented, if I want a retail experience, I will occasionally go to Amazon. So for me, as a buyer on eBay, the major problem is eBay’s demonstrably disingenuous attitude to shill bidding and, indeed, their effective facilitating of it.

      I would opine that for many sellers of stuff which has no established market value, it is still the auction format that works best; that auctions are what the people, who originally made eBay what it was, want and eBay is suffering because it has driven away both the sellers and buyers of such items, and eBay’s revenues are continually falling because that lost revenue is not being replenished by the fixed price “retail” junk sellers, at least not from FVFs.

      Where is the logic in deliberately driving away the people who had originally made eBay what it was? How could anyone be so arrogantly stupid? Maybe only an MBA.

  • Mirepoix
    7 years ago

    I hear the same thing everywhere about eBay being rudderless and without vision. For better or worse (I know not which), they do have a vision which is to be the place you buy collectibles and last year’s models. So let’s say you don’t like that “vision”, what do you think eBay should be? I do fundamentally agree that the market for auction has peetered out and is only relevant for a small slice of what you want to buy online (i.e. few want to get into a bidding war just to buy their lad a pair of sneaks).

    It’s easy to be the critic, harder to lead: So what should eBay be?

    • 7 years ago

      they do have a vision which is to be the place you buy collectibles
      I disagree
      and last year’s models
      They want to be this, but the performance of their Outlet sellers undermines it. They are not doing it even as well as Overstock are.
      I’d also argue that “we’re the place where you buy collectibles and last year’s models isn’t a vision. It’s more of a “what business we think we can get”. It’s hardly remarkable, is it.

      It’s also massively easy to be anonymous, isn’t it ;-)

    • Mirepoix
      7 years ago

      Anonymity has benefits but knowing my name wouldn’t change the discussion. Let’s grant you that they don’t want to be in collectibles and would rather be Overstock (which should be an easy victory since at least Donohoe doesn’t talk about Sith Lords attacking his precious).

      Still… what do you think they should aim to do?

  • board_surfer
    7 years ago

    what should eBay be?

    Ebay should be Ebay and not try to be Amazon.

    Ebay should stop giving special deals to big name sellers , Even Pierre predicted that would be disasterous.

    Ebay should stop rating sellers who in the vast majority of cases do a great job in dealing with what are without a shadow of a doubt the fussiest and most demanding buyers anywhere.

    But most of all

    Ebay needs to stop telling and start listening and it needs to look like its listening!

    • Mirepoix
      7 years ago

      Ebay being Ebay isn’t saying anything. While perhaps the vast majority of sellers are wonderful, I’ve bought from eBay maybe 4 times and I got burned once. I’ve bought from Amazon hundreds and been burned maybe once also. 25% versus fraction of a percent failure. As a result, I spend more of my money on Amazon than eBay. I get what I want at a reasonable price when I want it. No haggling b.s. and clear expectations.

      So the question is should eBay ignore the likes of me (pushing off big name sellers and Buy It Now) and let Amazon run over them in retail, instead focusing on the portion of the population that wants to do auctions? Or should they try to compete for “my” business? I’m not sure I hear good answers from anyone, just “boy they are rudderless”. The implications to eBay are huge.

    • 7 years ago

      So, you’ve bought four times. How many items have you sold?

    • 7 years ago

      4 times Vs 100’s, hardly a fair comparison.

    • Mirepoix
      7 years ago

      Of course it’s not a fair comparison. My experience begets my lack of use of the flea market and I’m clearly not the only one having those bad experiences. You think both Whitman and Donohoe as well as the people responsible for eBay directly are doing all of these things because buyers are happy with the eBay experience? That’s just silly.

      And, no, I’ve never sold on eBay. I’m merely the half that is providing the demand, not the supply. Unless eBay is an echo chamber in which sellers and buyers are one and the same, I’m a pretty darn important part of the potential eBay ecosystem.

    • 7 years ago

      Not much of a demand if you’ve bought four things ever. :lol:

      Do tell – what on earth has brought you to an eBay sellers’ forum?

    • Mirepoix
      7 years ago

      Only seems natural to have a seller who missed hundreds of sales to Amazon dismiss a buyer as lacking demand ;)

      Seriously, it’s a problem for all sellers if buyers are driven away. This is a dual-ended network model. Both sides are necessary. Hopefully they are improving the experience so that more buyers come back to give you all more sales. By the looks of it, John D. is doing a great job in comparison to his predecessor:

      http://www.google.com/trends?q=ebay.com

      As for how I stumbled by, well, you came up in my Google news alert for eBay and Amazon :) See, you came up in my search here if not on eBay ;)

    • board_surfer
      7 years ago

      the guy is right

      he cant be the only having a bad experience

      but that is hugely outweighed by the millions of people who use the site every day and rarely if ever have a problem

      time to stop pandering to the small minority and let the sellers get back to doing what they do best…Sell!

  • 7 years ago

    The loyalty, passion and enthusiasm shown towards eBay by many long time members goes way above anything sensible. Use it in whatever way works best for you, assuming it still does. If it doesn’t then stop throwing money at it. There’s a whole big wide world outside of eBay, don’t be afraid to use it.

    • jimbo
      7 years ago

      You could replace “loyalty, passion and enthusiasm” with “animosity” :smile: .

      Got to agree that some people do really need to get over eBay and move on.

      eBay is as it always was for me – work.

    • 7 years ago

      Not sure I’d call it animosity Jimbo, more frustration that a once great place to buy and sell has become little more than a complex and badly broken mess. I agree with Board Surfer, eBay should stop trying to become Amazon, it’s failing badly.

    • jimbo
      7 years ago

      eBay is still good for some and is booming for some – it’s not just bad.

      What should eBay do/become?

    • 7 years ago

      What should it do/become?
      There’s a whole other post in that. Which I might write.

    • 7 years ago

      Exactly. For us eBay is a goldmine, that might change but for now we stick with it.

      I have not been a fan of eBay over the last 24 months, constant policy changes have given me a bloody headache, however, we are in a niche market, decent competition is scarce, 2010 looks really positive and I cant wait.

    • 7 years ago

      A huge question with many answers.

      1) Stop saturating the site with product.
      2) Stop doing free listings ever for anyone (linked to above point).
      3) Stop messing around with stuff like DSR, TRS, Outlets and the like, and start taking some real action against the genuinly bad sellers.
      4) Make a real effort to bring in new buyers to the site.
      5) Scrap so called free P&P, it’s created more problems than it solved, fixed maximums per category worked well if there real aim was to stop postage rip off’s.

      That’ll do for starters.

    • 7 years ago

      6) join the C21st and get a shopping cart
      7) join the C21st, realise what an amazing group of users you have, and embrace user-generated content instead of fearing it
      8 ) enforce the law on your sellers (illegal T&Cs, tax evasion, fake ‘personal’ sellers)
      9) STOP TINKERING. (related to #3 above)
      10) think about what you can do to make sellers’ lives easier. There’s a constant BEGGING from sellers for inventory management software across multiple channels, for example. If eBay did THAT, it would keep a lot of decent pro. sellers on the site for at least part of their business, instead of forcing them to choose between eBay and their website.
      And….?

    • 7 years ago

      Blackthorn is an amazing bit of software (awesome support too) and it wouldnt be a huge leap to turn that into inventory management software too.

      Ebay works well for us but my big wish would be to make it less time consuming to manage. Too many changes and too damned time consuming to do just about everything

  • jimbo
    7 years ago

    Well I would like eBay UK to block non EU sellers from the default search. I would like a bar on non EU sellers within certain categories. I would also like there to be a branch of trading standards which would be solely responsible for monitoring eBay and eBay sellers (eBay funded).

    • 7 years ago

      block non EU sellers from the default search
      Or at least have the option to set that as my own personal default.

  • 7 years ago

    “Well I would like eBay UK to block non EU sellers” I told Mark Lewis that, he dismissed it and told me that some non eu sellers provided a product at a price uk sellers cant match, as he holds the on/off switch to my business I didn’t bother to point out why :lol:

  • Roseleen
    7 years ago

    Well I’m gobsmacked :|

    I never thought I’d see Sue posting something like prediction 10.

    If she’s done that – then things are REALLY bad

    … just as most of us had already figured :sad:

    (Waves to the whirly man…. LTNS :grin: )

  • 7 years ago

    I don’t know if its because I am an optimistic person, but I have been satisfied with the direction eBay have taken with the site; making it more professional and focused on fixed price listings. I like the credibility that the outlets bring, and I have personally seen a rise in traffic, buyers and sales this year. Sure there are some issues to get to grips with, but ebay has changed my life and its something I am grateful for. My main gripes however are pretty ongoing:

    1. “My Messages” – we need an integrated CRM system – as per http://tamebaynew.wpengine.com/2009/09/google-mail-as-a-robust-crm-system-for-ebay-sellers.html . Its not acceptable to ask us to raise the game with communications to the level of TRS without giving us the tools to do it.

    2. force customers to supply a phone number on their account (for courier purposes), as Amazon do.

    3. A professional inventory management system that works….something on the lines of ChannelAdvisor (but not as complex) – fully integrated within SMP.

    4. Ditch the adverts and keep the home page clean.

    My predictions / hopes for 2010:

    1. set different levels for TRS – some categories are harder than others to sell in (complexity of product).

    2. make free shipping mandatory on ebay

    3. ebay to offer a fulfilment option (like amazon), where they store and ship the stock to customers.

    4. bring back ebay express UK!

    5. add “Royal Mail Tracked” to the shipping options drop-down.

    6. Sort out the clothing category item specifics…some of them are totally wrong, misleading and duplicated.

    • 7 years ago

      “I like the credibility that the outlets bring”

      Would this be the one with 300 neutrals and 450 negs this month alone or the one with 400 neutrals and 1600 negs this month? Both selling stuff they don’t have or claim not to have and several products featured heavily as christmas deals. Credibility? Not in my book.

    • 7 years ago

      Re Point #2

      The terminology is the problem as we all know that shipping isn’t free.

      Maybe the only cost shown should be Total Cost inc shipping.

    • Bigpoppa
      7 years ago

      Shipping is free at loads of places, Play.com, Amazon to name but two… :cool:

    • Dom
      7 years ago

      Not ‘Free’ from me, so everything goes out same day by First Class or 24 hr courier so most customers get it next day which is reflected in the good feedback about fast delivery.

      If I have to offer ‘inclusive’ postage it will go second class or standard parcels resulting in less satisfied customers. The £2.95 flat rate fast delivery I offer is appreciated by my customers. Customers who receive items quickly are often surprised and are far more tolerant.

      When it is good enough for the likes of Next offer flat rate delivery at £3.95 why is it not good enough for eBay in some categories? Since I adopted flat rate postage my combined orders increased, free postage would have the opposite effect as no incentive to buy more from the same seller.

    • Feehike
      7 years ago

      What happens to the private seller when ebay becomes an Internet Mall for Overstock, catalogue returns.

      Maybe its time that ebay tell the small to big sellers in plain English that they are no longer wanted as part of the New Internet mall?, that they wish to become a site for Big Companies only.

      Maybe then those small sellers will move elsewhere where they wont be put at a disadvantage by the big companies who pay less to list, get better search placement.

  • HanafiH
    7 years ago

    I used to be a seller of high ticket low volume collectables on Ebay. I largely go along with Norf’s bugger you attitude. Being driven off ebay by management policies was the best thing to ever happen to me. It’s too expensive, too complicated and too risky to do business with ebay these days.

    I used to shop at Ebay. 2007 almost every xmas present was bought off ebay. Now I use Amazon(and have done for slightly longer as I once used ebay – almost nine years). There’s no going back after Amazon, particularly after attempting to get buyer protection from a bad seller from PayPal.

    I came here to see where the scene is after just over a year of Downahole’s disruptive innovations. This is pits ecommerce. I’m sure a few people are making cash out of it, but then you can say that about Brixton market when they sell off the stale fish. The whole thing is a sleaze pit coreographed by spivs. I wonder how long it’s going to take the investors to notice the marketplace is still collapsing even though the recession’s over?

  • northumbrian
    7 years ago

    too right ! if they dont like, it bugger them,
    is the only way ,if its good enough for ebay why should we be different
    lol

  • Alan
    7 years ago

    I predict ebay will run some kind of model which I can make money out of.
    If they changed the model to the one I want then I could either make a whole bunch more, or more likely just have an easier life while making the same. Unfortunately I am not predicting they would take on my model (NO. 1 – a checkout)

  • Ebay seriously need to have a business booster :idea: . I think gradually it is loosing it. But I think they should be up with a new technique to get back those lost sales if not all but most :twisted: .

  • SinBad
    7 years ago

    I had an ok Xmas but no where close to my 30k profit a year when I first started on eBay. Thank god for the alternatives otherwise it would be back to shelf filling at Tescos. Soon I’ll be making more money on YouTube adsense than eBay :D Maybe I could start a career in doing meaningless, random videos and get paid for it whilst everyone else spends their life chasing the carrot that never existed.

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