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Au revoir Patrick Munden

By Chris Dawson April 1, 2015 - 2:22 pm

Patrick Munden lgLast week at IRX I ran into Patrick Munden who we know many of you have met over the years, but today it’s a good bye as he’s leaving eBay.

Patrick Joined over 7 years ago and has always been a champion for eBay sellers big and small alike. He constantly took the seller perspective in his communications and when we met eBay executives they regularly pointed out that Patrick was the voice of eBay sellers within the business and not afraid to raise difficult issues with management globally.

Patrick has always been a good friend of Tamebay and been very open to any of our queries over the years, despite many of our questions being phrased as complaints rather than compliments. He has been instrumental in ensuring that both Dan and I are aware of upcoming plans and has regularly hosted Tamebay at eBay HQ in Richmond. He took criticism of eBay on the chin with the philosophy that customer feedback is paramount but one of the things I loved about Patrick was his fairness and just as he’d stand up for sellers, he’d also always back his colleagues too.

Patrick is one of the few eBay executives that was prominent at external industry events in recent years and happy to meet with sellers to discuss issues and to help them behind the scenes. Indeed, at Tamebay Patrick has always been open to us pointing out seller issues and we know that many sellers that read this forum have been helped by Patrick over the years.

As head of seller communications for eBay Patrick was one of the key architects of the bi-annual eBay seller release. As many of you know before the seller release eBay used to announce initiatives nearly on a weekly basis which was impossible for sellers to plan ahead, Patrick took this feedback on board and created a bi-annual communication release that still to this day gives sellers advance notice of important changes.

Another important initiative that Patrick brought to UK sellers was the eBay seller events. In speaking to Patrick he was adamant that these events should be run outside of London where the majority of eBay sellers are based and I know that many of our readers attended these in cities like Birmingham and Manchester where they got to meet key eBay teams and executives.

Finally those of you that didn’t meet Patrick over the years will no doubt have heard him on many of the radio and TV interviews he undertook on behalf of eBay. He always brought a friendly approach to these and did as much as possible to promote eBay sellers in these interviews.

We don’t know what Patrick’s plans are for the future however he does have an active LinkedIn account and we wish him all the best for the future.

  • 2 years ago

    I agree with you Chris. Patrick has helped us continuously to run Online Seller events in Cardiff and Newport.

    I wish you all the best and I am sure there will be another door opened for you.

  • David Brackin
    2 years ago

    I’d echo that. Patrick has been a real asset for eBay in seller relations over the years and has provided me with no end of help and guidance as well as the occasional beer.

    I hope he’s enjoying a well-earned rest and I wish him the very best for his future: some company will be very lucky to get him on board.

  • fishinahat
    2 years ago

    Maybe there are 2 people called Patrick Munden at ebay then? I remember him as the person who said that when any customer needed to contact you, it was because there was a problem and you were therefore damaging ebay as a seller. This, and other palpable nonsense has put ebay where it is today. In such a mess that it can’t even get delivery dates right over Easter, or listen to people when told it has got them wrong. I receive the message with joy and hope others with similar arrogant attitudes towards the people doing the work won’t be far behind him – and that it will be possible to contact ebay, as a fee paying seller, and be listened to. I am afraid I am unimpressed by his willingness to speak to the “press” – when completely unwilling to listen to business owners with years of experience.

    • 2 years ago

      I imagine with the numbers of sellers on eBay it would be impossible for one man to please everyone. I certainly share the current frustration as a seller of many years experience of eBay’s odd way of dealing with their fee payers but Patrick was one of the good guys. He helped us several times and it was comforting to know that if we really needed to contact someone with influence at eBay we could.

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      If he had influence at eBay and was a sellers champion ,why do I have so many defects and return postage costs for buyer remorse returns,it seems you need to be in a clique and attend the right meetings and gatherings to gain justice

    • Bas
      2 years ago

      It is nice to know that a particular senior manager can pull strings for you if he fancies.

      It would be nicer to know that a senior manager’s influence was used to improve the system for all sellers, rather than just those with his personal phone number and the willingness to crawl.

      If the system were better, you wouldn’t be needing to have someone senior to circumvent it for you.

  • Tinker
    2 years ago

    Never heard of this person,
    Have no opinion about him we have been full time sellers on eBay for many years , if he was on our Side were totally unaware ! it’s comforting to know as the unfair and ridiculous defects mount

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      +1 Tinker.

      RIP Patrick but it begs the question that if he was the voice of “reason” for sellers, who/what will replace him? Monster? Ogre? Bully? Computer? 0845 number? Elf? Hermit? Hobbit? Mercenary? Dictator? If it’s human (contradiction in terms when discussing eBay!) then my guess is that combined with arrogance and ignorance their primary skillset will be Deaf, Dumb, and Blind!!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • JD
      2 years ago

      He has already been replaced by a Robot and the Robot is getting all the blame.

      This is the text (without the picture of said robot) of a message eBay are sending to all buyers who were promised Easter Bank Holiday deliveries:

      ‘Dear xxxxxxx
      We want to let you know that we had a technical glitch and your item may arrive up to 2 working days later than suggested.
      We dedicate ourselves to providing the best online shopping experience, but we recognise that we’ve not delivered that this Easter.
      Please rest assured that the glitch is now fixed and the robots have been reprimanded.
      Kind regards,
      The eBay Team’

      Blame it on the robot.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Its just more cock from eBay!!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • nancy green
    2 years ago

    The only time I came across him was in the awful ebay videocasts, where he ermmed and ahhed his way through an hour, without actually answering any question – well, to be fair he did answer questions, just not the ones asked!

    I’m sorry, but I never felt he was any great champion of sellers – but then, he never bought me a beer, or passed me little titbits to publish on my blog!

  • Andy R
    2 years ago

    If you are a seller, always remember that Ebay regards you as sub-human.

    The nonsense of Ebay then makes perfect sense.

    Whatever Mr Munden may have done, he has gone.

    Reading between the lines of Chris Dawson’s piece, what succeeds him may well make life even tougher for sellers in future.

    Make plans for an alternative income to Ebay.

    No matter how much money they’ve had off you over the years, Ebay’s loyalty to you is absolutely zero.

    Protect yourselves.

  • Joe
    2 years ago

    Well I can only go off what I’ve seen him post on the eBay forums over the years, what he’s said on Twitter and his performance on the infamous webinar last year, and from those I can wholeheartedly say ‘good riddance’.

  • Craig
    2 years ago

    On the note about defects. Its a natural thing that some people place orders and then they cancel for whatever reason. It is no big deal but we get slapped with a defect for authorising the cancellation. This is absolutely ridiculous!

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      There is no reason to get a defect when cancelling an order at the request of the buyer.

      When cancelling an order use the resolution centre and when giving a reason for cancellation choose “Issue with buyers address” then no defect for either party.

      Buyer will still agree cancellation as they just want out. If buyer is a dik and does nothing then after 8 days you can cancel it, get fees back, and still no defect.

      If you select “out of stock” then of course you get a defect and frankly IMO that’s fully deserved.

      +1 Andy R

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • Derek Duval
      2 years ago

      Please dont tell me we get a Defect for the reason which states “The Buyer asked to cancel the order”?

    • Craig
      2 years ago

      No we don’t. Was a misunderstanding on my part.

      Thanks Steve. Could you please accept a job at eBay support because that one reply has been more helpful than 20 minutes on the phone.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      You are most welcome but personally I’d rather be tortured by the Gastepo and thrown in a concentration camp than work for eBay!!

      Re Chris’s comment below about “staff finding out more about what its like being a seller on eBay” I have yet to come across a single CS rep who sells (I always ask) so my guess is if you have sold on eBay they you don’t get the job.

      +1 to the other comments following Chris. All spot on.

      Tinker’s right, we should be grateful that they allow us to use the site, charge us an every increasing fortune, and then treat us like shit throughout. Thank you eBay, we all know how lucky we really are and sorry that we’re all just a bunch of sad whinging diks with nothing better to do!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      BTW Craig, the reason eBay didn’t give a frank answer to a simple question is because CS have been told to make defect removal as difficult as possible.

      As I said prior to defects being introduced, eBay want defects so they can remove TRS from as many sellers as possible and therefore not have to give any discounts on final value fees. I would guess that the total value globally of discounts on FVF to TRS sellers is probably $20 or $30 million or even more. This is a policy of increasing profits by stealth and deception but who ever said eBay are transparent?

      At that time many TameBay contributors disagreed with me. Well, was I wrong? I guess you can now see the light!

      Furthermore, in a recent converation with CS, the rep informed me that:
      A: Only some reps are authorised to remove feedback or defects.
      B: Since defects started there are now very few sellers with TRS.

      Clearly the defect system is good for eBay. No suprise there!

      Personally, we still have TRS status and this is because we always challange as many unfair defects or feedback as possible, but it is a very time consuming process.

      Clearly eBays deceptive strategy is working.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • Anastarsia
    2 years ago

    Is this the same Patrick Munden who was the big cheese behind the Kiss from A Pink Auction a few years back ? .

    The same Patrick Munden who could not understand that buyers who were more than happy to contribute to a worthy charity , had expectations of the goods arriving intact , properly packed and as described .

    If this was the same Patrick Munden , then he is typical of the weak , incompetent and arrogant manager who seems to thrive when employed by ebay .

    • 2 years ago

      No! This is the same Patrick Munden who decided that it would be great for eBay staff to find out a little bit about what selling on eBay was really like.

      Yes, mistakes were made, many mistakes in fact. But the crucial thing from the exercise that you refer to is that a group of eBay staff made the same mistakes sellers often make and found out for themselves how difficult selling on eBay really is.

      All credit for them doing it publicly and of course the money made went to charity – would you have preferred them to put it into an employee beer fund?

      Patrick really was one of the eBay staff who wanted to understand sellers, what issues faced them and how to better help them and argue within eBay on their behalf. What better way than to put themselves up to public scrutiny and take feedback from experienced sellers on where they went wrong?

    • fishinahat
      2 years ago

      Sorry Chris, the incident mentioned is symptomatic of the problem with ebay management. No one selling for a living on ebay could have made those mistakes and survived. None of the sellers having to listen to the condescending waffle from the people who made those mistakes; would ever have made them. I received a heavy fragile item in a single layer of brown paper. It seems the lesson they took away from it was that if they were that bad at selling, then everyone else must be worse. This attitude has prevailed since, and we have been subjected to it in the manner in which we are treated and talked down to. I don’t want to do business with a company that employs blokes that are good to go to the pub with; I am doing business with them, I want them to do business with me, not treat me as if I am in need of help getting up in the morning.

    • Bas
      2 years ago

      And the same Patrick Munden who then accused those buyers of deliberate auction wrecking?

      And who said, in response to the SNAD claims that would have earned any other account holder a permanent selling ban:

      “Now, with regards to the postcards and SNAD. I’m a bit perplexed at this as nowhere in or description did we say that we would put it in a separate envelope. 99.9% of reasonable people would realise that we were going to address the signed postcard to the people who bought it. Its not a SNAD.”

      In other words, when he was involved in the selling and training, in matters of SNAD-ness, the seller’s opinion was final.

      Yet he went on to impose more than one system on sellers, where in matters of SNAD-ness, the buyer’s opinion was final.

      You’re right, it was a useful exercise, because it showed that neither junior staff nor senior management had any idea that:

      – items require packaging (though full marks to Royal Mail for repackaging most of the items)

      – customers prefer items not to be scribbled on

      – the job of a seller doesn’t end when the items are in the post box.

    • Joe
      2 years ago

      So Chris, what changed as a result of them learning from their mistakes? Any clear examples of how the Kiss From A Pink debacle changed eBay’s treatment of sellers?

    • JD
      2 years ago

      What did they learn?
      Just that it was a mistake to have done it at all because mail order is for experts.

    • 2 years ago

      Yes they learnt you need to become an expert fast….. they also learnt things like notes to seller never get read and will bite you in the arse… and a load of other little things that annoy sellers regularly

    • joe
      2 years ago

      So what did they change as a result that benefitted sellers?

    • TINKER
      2 years ago

      Did they learn that no matter how expert the seller is
      if ebay dictate and impose irrational and unworkable rules we can do nothing !

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      It seems extrodinary that eBay need to ask their muppets to sell on the site to find out what its like being a seller.

      Surely a much easier easier way to learn all this is to simply listen to the many CS calls/complaints, which they say “are recorded for quality and training”!

      More eBay bullshit.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    were all just ungrateful,
    lol

  • Anastarsia
    2 years ago

    There is no doubt that Mr Munden reached out and helped a small select band of gliterati sellers , and just maybe he learned from the experience .

    However , lets take a look at one thing were he clearly did not help the vast majority of ebay sellers .

    The ebay commission charge on postage fees for cross border selling .

    This fee was either a diktat from USA or was dreampt up over a few glasses of Ornella Vendemmia d’Artista Special Edition and a pheasant and hummus snack .

    It is a charge that put every ebay seller who ships product outside of UK at a massive disadvantage
    compared to other ebay sites .

    So what exactly did Mr Munden do to help sellers when this charge was first discussed ?

    I think we should be told .

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      Auctually Anastarsia, FYI both eBay and PayPal now charge fees on all postage – on both UK and also International. Total outrage and in the current economic climate its just another nail in the sellers coffin. Think they care? Community? Think again.

      This wasn’t figured over a glass of wine, this is corporate boardroom shit. eBay only care about profit/creating shareholder value. eBay is always the first priority, buyers come second, and sellers are right at the bottom of the list (ironic as sellers create the revenue!).

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • JD
    2 years ago

    They learnt that if putting one item in a packet was beyond them then 2 was a definite no-no.

    Hence making buyers pay for items one-at-a-time.

    So not only do we have the absurd International Postage Tax, many buyers are either not given a Shopping Basket or are tricked into not using it.

    More fees for PayPal and more FVF for eBay through keeping the FVF on refunded post/packing.

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      eBay and PayPal fees on shipping is an outrage.

      Not being able to combine shipping is a result of requiring payment immediately which we now do after several diks bought low value items early in the month and thought it OK to pay us after their payday in three weeks!! For us this problem started about 2 years ago and is a consequence of the current economic climate.

      Now, when buyers purchase several items and then ask us to combine the orders (about 25% of multiple item buyers), we explain the fees, refund what is usually just a few pence, and suggest that in future they contact us first so we can save them shipping by combining the orders. What happens? Next time they do contact us direct. The big plus is we are then dealing direct! Some don’t even ask for any refund on overpayment of postage which is also fine.

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

  • Bigtimetrader
    2 years ago

    Irony. I was chatting to my friend who works fir ebay cs and she said that herself and many others don’t selk on eBay as too hard!! Love it

    • Steve
      2 years ago

      It just goes to show…. I always knew those smart arses at eBay CS were very clever!! No fly’s on them!!

      Long live The Revolution!! :)

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