New CEO Devin Wenig talks about the future of eBay

By Dan Wilson July 29, 2015 - 11:25 pm

Yes, it’s a PR corporate schmaltz piece but what do you think about what he’s saying in it?

The accompanying blog post can be found here.

It seems to me that stacks of people who read Tamebay really rely on eBay to help them make a living and achieve their hopes. Thousands depend on eBay for their business and income. eBay is life and death stuff for many and the split from PayPal is a big moment.

I would like to think that eBay is entering a brave new world of focussing on sellers, bringing in good buyers who spend loads, delivering dreams and perhaps even becoming a better business. But what I think doesn’t matter.

What do YOU think?

  • Tinker
    2 years ago

    Focus on sellers will be the death knell of ebay ,its buyers we want and care about

    • DrMike
      2 years ago

      Of course we want more buyers, but without lots of small sellers, based in the same country as the buyer and selling a diverse range of items, there won’t be many buyers… Perhaps Ebay have finally realised what was obvious to the rest of us from the start?

      Ebay MUST fix some of the issues for small sellers, or they’ll cease to exist within six months.

    • Gareth
      2 years ago

      eBay is a global platform that encourages trade across the globe. For many sellers, myself included, that is a very positive thing. Keeping trade only within ones own country is a sure fire way of killing the site off, if not in the UK then certainly within many other countries where eBay has a presence.

    • James
      2 years ago

      I don’t think consumers really value a diverse selection of sellers. It certainly goes against global capitalization. It is a certain niche that chooses to buy coffee from Joe’s coffee shack situated across the road from the Starbucks – where generic consumers go to get generic consumer experiences. I think eBay really need to concentrate on buyer customization – cultivating experiences for individual buyers and their individual preferences.

      Bit over dramatic saying eBay will cease to exist in 6 months. eBay will always be here in some form. Whether eBay will be growing in 6 months or not is another question but I suppose that is pretty worrying in its self.

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    small sellers can live in hope we know which of our customers we look after first ! Its not the small ones,
    better Ebay encourage buyers so small sellers might live of the crumbs

    • James
      2 years ago

      If you look at the smallest of small sellers you’d have to look at the private sellers. And selling on eBay sucks for them. If they sell anything they have to wait the best part of a month to receive payment because they have to choose PayPal as a payment method.

      Despite this eBay seem to spend a lot of time marketing to private sellers to try and get them to sell their used stuff. Even when they get things listed they receive an offer and an eBay message saying “Want to sell this fast?” – And you are just sitting there thinking if I wanted to sell this fast I would have chosen anywhere apart from eBay.

      They should either get rid of private sellers once and for all and shove them on Gumtree or stop making selling so unappealing for them, of course at the risk of losing buyer trust. Personally I think they should go with the former but show in eBay results as “results from Gumtree” and just phase it out.

      Maybe then eBay can concentrate a bit more on professional small businesses.

    • Simon M
      2 years ago

      >> If you look at the smallest of small sellers you’d have to look at the private sellers. And selling on eBay sucks for them. If they sell anything they have to wait the best part of a month to receive payment because they have to choose PayPal as a payment method.

      I really don’t understand – I auction plenty of items with my private ID and the money is usually in my bank account, via PayPal, the same day?


  • steve
    2 years ago

    gawd, only 6 buyers for every seller? that explains a lot then. Doesnt matter what we think, ebay are just a cash machine, and sellers the irritant they have to put up with to get at the dosh.

  • Signe
    2 years ago

    “We going to do it our way” – Devin, do you not understand? This attitude is what has brought ebay to where it is today – a joke.

    LISTEN to your SELLERS. The ones that make your company MONEY and are NOT HAPPY.

    Become transparent – Remove these stupid hidden limits and defects.
    Your sellers are screaming to get rid of Cassini, as we all know its just a program to manipulate search results and boost the outlets (You know those company’s you hide their feedback)

    eBay does not listen. Check the eBay forums to your a little unclear. Even the responses on the forum from eBay say it all about the company. You do not listen, you do not care about small sellers livelihoods and frankly, its rude and disrespectful to those who try to make a business on your platform. This is why I and many others moved to Amazon/Websites/Facebook.

    “Changes coming next month, watch this space etc” – were sick of hearing it. If you wanted to make changes, they would be done now.

    For example – I hear eBay is going to become more SELLER friendly in September – Why September? Why not now? Send a memo to reps to tell them to be more fairer with defects/feedback etc. But you won’t, because its all smoke a mirrors.

  • james
    2 years ago

    i’m usually the first one to complain about ebay…

    actually i won’t break the habit. i bloody hate that corporate speak Devin insists on.

    there’s about three sentences with actual content in all of that, the rest is “focused (laser-focused) on vertical alignment and expanding exocentric continuity in dynamic paralleling ahead of the curve and outside the envelope”.

    “laser focused…. on a broad spectrum” really clarifies things for me.

    but now the moan is done, i have genuinely noticed shift in tone from ebay this past week or so.

    subtle, but definitely less of the “customer is always right, even when he’s blatantly wrong” kind of thing, and more of the “okay lets actually look at this” kind of thing.

    the eBay CS emails are usually 90% empty platitude and 10% ignoring you (much like Devin Wenigs press release), whereas the last few have been semi-genuine platitudes mixed with actually listening.
    i can tell you i was astounded, but it happened.

    i dont want to get my hopes too high, but i would like to think ebay is going to become a fairer place for sellers, up to and after september.
    its never going to be perfect, but we can at least hope for fair and reliable.

  • 2 years ago

    “…authentic to our 20 year history and nobody else’s” sounds very good to me. Might he be referring to Donahoe’s attempt at copying Amazon?

  • John S
    2 years ago

    The part I found dangerous as an image (or slightly sickening depending on how you look at it) from the blog content accompanying the video, was adoption of some kind of moral high ground; helping the needy and sick to support their families, and helping small businesses to start in the third world – an opportunity they would never have had.

    That may be true in some cases, but equally am sure there are many small sellers who have had their hopes and dreams trashed over the past couple of years.

    If you are going to project an image of being the global saviour and enabler, it has to stick long term – not be given by one hand, then shortly after taken away by the other. That’s crueller than not giving in the first place.

  • Rustyzip
    2 years ago

    What a load of waffle….

    There was nothing he said that made any sense or connection with me.

    Just a load of corporate bull-cr&p.

    eBay hasn’t changed !

  • Ric
    2 years ago

    Memo to Mr Wenig, eBay as a company needs to better appreciate one vitally important reality….

    Small sellers are – make that – WERE eBay’s highest volume and most frequent buyers.

    It is no coincidence that as eBay has depreciated, despised, disrespected and defeated small sellers at virtually every turn, sales have gone into a tail spin.

    The Cassini search engine was built to favor big box retailers at the expense of small sellers who are told that their listings may not show up in search. If eBay wants to revive it’s marketplace, eBay needs to surface every item to every potential buyer without regard for seller size.

    The Cassini search engine was also built to attempt to influence buyer selection and often surfaces many items unrelated to the buyers search request. eBay, in it’s flawed logic, believes buyers want to see those items. The reality is that the non related items which are shown to buyers frustrate them and lead them to believe that eBay does not have the selection they are seeking.

    The end result is buyers are being forced to search and purchase elsewhere which is why eBay’s sales are stagnant and in decline while other marketplaces are thriving.

    eBay has been slowly declining for the past decade under the weight of leadership which has failed to fully appreciate it’s small sellers.

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