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Tamebay comment: What would feature in your “perfect” eBay?

By Dan Wilson July 18, 2016 - 10:53 pm

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 22.32.46Right at the end of Steve Fisher’s blog post on future developments on eBay (Have you read it all? You should because it’s a big statement of the the shape of things to come. Find it here.) He makes a utopian statement.

“This is only the beginning. We are instituting sweeping changes on the platform this year which will become more and more visible across the site. Ultimately, each and every one of these changes is being made to enable every person around the world to find their version of perfect on our marketplace. Stay tuned for much more to come.”

Perfect. It’s a big aspiration. And eBay nirvana is a bold aim that we should all support, right? What would your “version of perfect” include as a seller? Be positive and bold in your suggestions. Be optimistic and demanding. Don’t repeat the well rehearsed gripes. What should eBay do for you? What could eBay do to make your business sing and prosper?

It would be fascinating to learn how eBay is consulting with sellers and buyers. Certainly when it comes to the selling aspects of eBay, what do the product managers and senior staff, and indeed the programming team, know about the varied population and their day to day activities? The orders, the correspondence, the picking and packing and despatching: do you they understand the daily grind?

When I read over Fisher’s post the one semantic point that jars with me, and he uses it repeatedly, is his use of the word “our”. He refers to “our marketplace”, “our platform”, “our selection” and “our inventory”. If I was generous I’d suggest that this refers to the partnership that eBay Inc. perceives it has with you as a seller. But I rather think that eBay increasingly considers it owns the whole eBay experience rather like Amazon does. Surely in an eBay context the inventory and selection is not OURS but YOURS. THEY don’t sell anything.

But let’s take him at his word and think about what his vision means. Tamebay is an open forum so make some suggestions. Define perfection.

  • Andy R
    11 months ago

    Perfect Ebay?

    OK

    Treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally when it comes to disputes

    Reasonable, simple fee structure

    A platform that works properly and reliably

    When major changes are made, create or make available to sellers the tools to implement those changes.

    Sort out the checkout problems e.g., basket not available depending on country or buyer’s device

    Listen to sellers input – they know more about the problems occurring on Ebay than anyone else

    Stop trying to ape Amazon – you get nothing for 2nd place, as the saying goes.

    End the bullying culture e.g., if you don’t accept these changes or have questions, click here to close your account.

    I’m sure others can add loads more, but this is just a start.

    • vespa 1
      11 months ago

      Correct mate .. ten plus years on ebay and we are starting to run down our stock with the intention of getting out. Appalling customer service from the sellers point of view we don’t count which is amazing considering that if it wasn’t for us there would be no ebay .
      The returns policy is ridiculous , just last week we get an item returned damaged and the packaging is torn , we tell ebay and ask that they don’t refund the buyer , 8 MINUTES ! later the seller is refunded in full even though we told them the item was damaged . We phone up to complain and are told that we should go to the Police and report the buyer. Once I pick myself up from the floor after laughing she then tells me that our losses in this instance are a business expense.. I explain that those expenses will just be passed on to other innocent customers who play fair , She says that’s just ebay … And it is just ebay , a platform which is run by a bunch of arseholes….. sad… but ebays on it’s way out…

    • Ian A
      11 months ago

      I’m doing the same, clearing stock and getting out. Consolidating to 10-15 investment watches and focusing on part time job.

      I’ll still list my items but just pay as you go 26p each. Closed my shop after 5 years.

      My perfect ebay would look like the Google homepage. A search field and a logo. As a buyer all I want is to be able to organically search ALL items in the world. As a seller all I want is fair visibility.

      They need to drop this curation idea, buyers are capable of finding their own interesting items.

    • phil
      11 months ago

      very well said – that is my experience to

  • tinker
    11 months ago

    they cant turn a pigs lug into a silk purse

  • JD
    11 months ago

    ~
    Bad timing for this thread, eBay is currently a total lottery.
    Mixture of glitches, bugs, beta features (eg new listing tool) and disconnects between eBay and PayPal.
    ecommercebytes are starting to pick up on some of it.
    http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y16/m07/i19/s03

    • Jon
      11 months ago

      Well that’s strange…I posted the same ecommercebytes link on Tamebay yesterday but they removed it. Tamebay are a little bit afraid to speak out against the giants. But why would they remove my post & not yours JD?

    • 11 months ago

      Jon,

      I’ve just checked. Your post with the link has been published. We rarely censor comments. Not afraid at all.

      Cheers,

      dw

    • Jon
      11 months ago

      OK

  • tinker
    11 months ago

    “Don’t repeat the well rehearsed gripes. “?

    maybe if ebay did the same the perfect ebay may be possible

    • james
      11 months ago

      Yup, i was coming on to repeat the well rehearsed gripes.
      know why they’re so well rehearsed? COS IT NEEDS DONE AND THEY WONT DO IT.
      my perfect ebay would include them doing things that need done, when they need done, before it reaches the point of becoming a “well rehearsed gripe”.
      but no, let’s blue-sky our perfect ebay while ignoring the fact it’s a heap of garbage.

    • 11 months ago

      My intention was to encourage specific, actionable input.

  • Andy R
    11 months ago

    Have tried buying 5 items on Ebay this morning.

    Added all the items to the basket – tried to checkout and pay:- error, error, error…

    Online chat with Ebay customer service completely clueless.

    Their advice? Try again in a few days.

    Maybe Ebay and Amazon should merge – Amazebay

    • chrissieboy
      11 months ago

      common problem any day of the week for international and mobile buyers

    • Jon
      11 months ago

      I made a notice saying “COMBINED POSTAGE DISCOUNTS
      for all USA & European buyers!
      Go to eBay.co.uk & sign in.
      Then you will be able to use the shopping cart
      & apply our discounts.
      No need to pay postage on every item”. I took a photo of the notice & I’m uploading it to every item I sell but not as the main picture. They have not got back to me about it & I have never asked them again. It would help if they fixed the damn probelm. It is insane that this has gone on for so long.

  • JD
    11 months ago

    ~
    Mr Fisher’s blog post is perfectly timed jam tomorrow spin designed to cover the sh*t that we are getting today.

  • Steve
    11 months ago

    Here is why eBay is failing its customers regardless how may times the buyer is reported the scams continue

    http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=dontikas75&ftab=FeedbackLeftForOthers&searchInterval=30

    • vespa 1
      11 months ago

      Join the club…
      Buyers are angels according to fleabay , They do no wrong it is the nasty evil sellers who are the problem .. oh yes .. pay fees to use the platform but in reality you have no control..
      cancel an order because you will not send to a dodgy address and it counts against you … even though you are protecting yourself .. don’t accept a return ,ebay will refund the buyer anyway… have an item returned damaged.. again full refund given , bought in error or by mistake and returned ,your paying for p&p outwards not them , ebay is appalling …. was good once upon a time and there was a balance but now it’s one way … if your a seller your treated like scum….
      If your thinking of selling on ebay as a business ,think long and hard ….

    • Adi
      11 months ago

      This is so true. We had it time and time again with buyers claiming non-delivery and also doing the same to multiple sellers. Ebay couldn’t care less. Even when asking seller support to review the buyers account, the buyers are still on ebay.

  • Liam
    11 months ago

    Strike through pricing for SME’s instead of Markdown Manager.

  • Joe
    11 months ago

    A big start would be for them to enforce their rules, currently they don’t do that very much. They introduce rules about duplicates and photo standards but the site is still full of duplicates and photos with texts and flags and other images on. Many of us spent hours getting our photos to comply and others clearly didn’t and these sellers gain an advantage by adding extra info to their gallery images.

    eBay should stop relying on member reports (which they mostly ignore anyway) and have a team that proactively search and browse for offending listings that break eBay rules and/or are illegal.

    They need to hire some people that have been selling on eBay for a living for years, who get how it works and how retail works in general.

    They need to stop trying to emulate Amazon and concentrate on what makes eBay different from Amazon.

    They need to stop blaming sellers for all the things wrong with eBay and actually start treating like them valued customers. At the moment they act as if they’re doing you a favour by allowing you to sell on eBay and treat you like nothing.

    And they need to sack the guy who is currently in charge of their forums.

    • Jon
      11 months ago

      Twice I have asked eBay agents if it’s OK to do as other big sellers do & use standard images to saying “Item in Stock” I’m told I can’t. I say other big sellers do it all the time. They say show me so I show them & they say they will be reported & then nothing happens. They are still doing it years later so I made a notice saying “COMBINED POSTAGE DISCOUNTS
      for all USA & European buyers!
      Go to eBay.co.uk & sign in.
      Then you will be able to use the shopping cart
      & apply our discounts.
      No need to pay postage on every item”. I took a photo of the notice & I’m uploading it to every item I sell but not as the main picture. They have not got back to me about it & I have never asked them again. It would help if they fixed the damn probelm. It is insane that this has gone on for so long. The feedback system is also a joke. Sellers with 10,0000 feedback score just done care….it does not affect them in the slightest & what looks even worse is they never even reply to any negs! What impression does a new buyer get whan they see that? eBay need to employ some competent programmers & remove the beans from their earholes & LISTEN to sellers!

    • Fred
      11 months ago

      Stupid rule anyway. As I said to them at the time, eBay is on a visual medium and having text on images often helps you to find what you’re looking for amidst the masses of duplicate listings that they do nothing about. I use an image with text to explain that people can pay online with a credit card as a Paypal guest, but only if they select Paypal as the payment method. That’s another thing that needs sorting out, along with all the 99p search manipulation listings where the seller is selling one of last weeks toenail clippings (or anything else that no one wants to buy) for 99p in order to get to the top of the lowest price search. Then you can add a proper shipping rates table so that so many overseas customers don’t have to ask what the shipping will be. Get straight on what will work and then stop all the never ending changes that take up so much time that its more expensive to sell on eBay than on Amazon. And act legally. Stop allowing sellers that you know are committing VAT fraud to sell on eBay (I’ve reported plenty of them to eBay and they do nothing).

    • Adi
      11 months ago

      Agreed. One major gripe for us… We sell a lot of licenced products. Counterfeit items are out of control on ebay, these sellers wouldn’t last a week on Amazon but Ebay are quite happy ignoring the situation and collecting their commission.

    • James
      11 months ago

      I agree re the (powerseller) forums guy. I can’t mention his name because presumably Tamebay will remove it – but he is extremely patronising and unhelpful in every way.

  • criticalcricketcritic
    11 months ago

    No VAT evading Chinese sellers under cutting us by 20%…..simple

  • Steve
    11 months ago

    A working website would be a start no wonder sales are slow if our listings are showing as been removed when buyers click on them again.

    http://community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Business-Seller-Board/This-listing-xxxxxxxxx-has-been-removed-or-this-item-isn-t/m-p/4921902#U4921902

    Remind me again what we pay eBay for as its no longer to show our listing when buyers want to buy

    • Sam O'levski
      11 months ago

      I suspect my bargain buys last weekend were due to many people seeing the ‘item has been removed etc’ error message, as I had it a few times on some lots but not on others (All from the same mega seller).
      I was the only bidder on several lots which were much too cheap, and when searching by ending soonest, refreshing the page brought up listings which were not showing a few minutes earlier (Again, all the same seller), which surely means some sort of problem eBay’s end of things…… again.
      So yes, for me as well, they need to sort out the current arrangement before thinking of exploring new territory or directions.

  • Andy R
    11 months ago

    “Don’t repeat the well rehearsed gripes”???

    Sorry, if Ebay users have so-called well-rehearsed gripes, it means there are major issues which Ebay has either ignored or failed to resolve.

    Most of these so-called gripes are not unreasonable and it is fair enough for people to be sceptical about some future vision on Ebay, if problems go unresolved year after year.

    It seems that Ebay are only interested in listening to certain groups and sellers are not included in that.

    You can also level accusations at Amazon, too.

    However, at least Amazon doesn’t generally have the ongoing technical issues that bedevil Ebay all the time now.

    You also know up front what you are getting with Amazon.

    With Ebay, who knows? Will they close down all the shops? Introduce even more complex and unrealistic criteria for sellers to meet?

    Will the ink cartridges I bought on Saturday evening on Ebay really arrive on Monday? Really?

    The incompetence at Ebay is not to rectify the problems which are self-evident to any buyer or seller.

    These could and should be put right – NOW!

    What possible reason is there for Ebay execs to talk about the future, unless they wish to ignore the present problems and try to move on without fixing them.

    If anyone at Ebay reads these boards, please realise your site DOES-NOT-WORK !!!

    Mr Fisher, if you want Ebay to avoid being a $1 sell-off in five years time, you’d better take note.

  • Jon
    11 months ago

    OK

  • 11 months ago

    Here’s a few ideas:

    Instead of buyers being allowed to fill in their address and make mistakes, use an editable database, like the Royal Mail one. If they pick the correct one from a database, there is less chance of them stuffing it up, missing off the company name, house number, or using their old postcode. Then us sellers don’t have to do detective work to find out where they want their order sending.

    Sellers shouldn’t get blamed if Royal Mail send the parcel that was dispatched on time on a week long magical mystery tour. Any negative or neutral feedback about late delivery should be removed if the seller can show the dispatch date was as stated. I can understand some buyers not grasping the concept of items being delayed in the post, but ebay should know better. And yet, the ebay late delivery report summary uses the term “Transactions that weren’t posted on time” Is that what ebay really think is happening with “late” deliveries? That sellers are sending the vast majority of items out on time, then randomly holding back others for no reason at all?

    Ebay could also fix bugs instead of denying they exist:

    http://community.ebay.co.uk/t5/Business-Seller-Board/eBay-Bug-Seller-Will-Not-Post-To-Your-Primary-Address/td-p/4768475

  • jimbo
    11 months ago

    Free Ice Cream.

  • SAM
    11 months ago

    Real Time Digital delivery. Genuine Support and PROMOTION for well performing Small/Medium sellers. eBay talk a lot but then promote Argos and Tescos.
    Genuine security for sellers ( marketplace I am least confident selling high end on).

  • Nic
    11 months ago

    If there is a problem with a listing that does not meet the eBay rules make contact with the seller as if they are your customer not a naughty school child.

    Trying not to sound like a gripe but what other business takes over £10k a month in fees from its customer but treats them like they are irrelevant & could be discarded at a moments notice.

  • TINKER
    11 months ago

    retrain customer service agents,
    allow them to exercise some discretion , & natural justice

  • Trumpton
    11 months ago

    Ebay is already well behind Etsy as Marketplace that is easy to use and sell on.

    Too many Jobworths trying to justify their jobs.

    They need to concentrate on over taking Etsy, let alone Amazon.

  • JD
    11 months ago

    ~
    OK no more gripes!

    A good test might be to invite users (sellers) to compile a list of areas in which eBay has improved the platform over the last (say 6 months) period.

    Sadly I have to say a big fat zero from me.

    I did try, but it is so important that the gripe list be dealt with and soon, please!

    • 11 months ago

      You can gripe as much as you like. ;o)

  • tinker
    11 months ago

    customer service might be a good feature in a perfect ebay

  • Chris
    11 months ago

    signin.ebay.co.uk took too long to respond

    At least get the site sorted?

  • Bob
    11 months ago

    So ebay makes an announcement, that active content will be banned from 2017 spring. It then starts blocking active content on mobiles 20 / 7 / 2016.

    Talk about building a relationship of trust.

    If you want to check this for yourselves open any argos item on the ebay app ( I tested on the latest iOS app )

    Check the item description section

    Related items and you may like section are both blank.

    Well done ebay for once again shafting your sellers. I have switched over all of my personal shopping to Amazon. Yesterday I wanted to purchase an piece of equipment, ebay quickest delivery was 4 days away. The exact same item on Amazon will be in a locker for me to collect today, that’s around 28 hours after ordering.

    ebay really starting to smell like rotten fish.

  • Gary H
    11 months ago

    I have a revolutionary idea. Remove the Neo-liberal model eBay is built on; the micro management of sellers and assessment to identify the winners and losers and replace it with laissez-faire letting us get on with it without interference.

    “A paradox of neoliberalism is that universal competition relies upon universal quantification and comparison. The result is that workers, job-seekers and public services of every kind are subject to a pettifogging, stifling regime of assessment and monitoring, designed to identify the winners and punish the losers”….errr Cassini.

    I left eBay and Amazon, went elsewhere to another platform and my business flourished.

  • Tom
    11 months ago

    So a buyer reports the item as not received, the buyer gets their money refunded from paypal.

    Does ebay not charge the final value fee ? and does paypal cancel its fee also ?

    • Lee Pearce
      11 months ago

      I think the not refunding of FVF & Paypal Fees when Customer escalates the case could be the next PPI thing.

      Its like a “Fine” levied by Ebay & Paypal.

      When a customer opens a case for INR for example, we send a reply with all the dispatch details and a copy of the Certificate of Posting and ask that they confirm the details and if possible to check the local delivery office (if in the UK).

      Buyer does not respond, escalates case a few days later, and gets their money back and no fees are refunded.

      Had the buyer responded, we can then move forward with a re-send or refund, (Buyers Choice) and if refunded Case is closed and fees refunded.

      Ebay, and i for that matter, like the “Case” system. it keeps the information all in one place and should record the amount of cases the Buyer has opened for ebay seller protection to take action.

      We know if the buyer says they did not receive the item and there is no tracking, we are going to lose, it part of doing business, but serial Case openers should be flagged up.

      I think ebay could put another layer in when a case is escalated to allow a seller to look at the details and make a decision, especially when the buyer does not reply to your message.

      Lee

      PS i would like the ability to upload PDF documents in ebay messages / Cases

    • Andy R
      11 months ago

      Good point.

      They also do not refund fvf fees on partial refunds for overpaid postage, due the malfunctioning basket / checkout farce.

  • Andy R
    11 months ago

    The printer cartridges I bought on Saturday night arrived on Wednesday.

    Now Ebay’s delivery estimate was Monday.

    Clearly this was not possible.

    The seller sent the items out first class on Monday. Royal Mail delivered it on Wednesday, missing their own next day delivery target.

    Am I going to tell Ebay they arrived late so the seller gets a defect? Hell, no. They did everything they could, but were let down by Royal Mail and Ebay’s delivery estimate was ludicrous and not actually possible.

    So in a perfect Ebay world, items bought across a weekend should not be estimated for delivery on a Monday.

    I’ve even seen estimates of two days for delivery to Europe and three days for the USA, which is complete nonsense.

    None of this would matter, if Ebay did not use these “metrics” (how I hate this effing gobbledyspeak) to downgrade sellers.

    Get back to a rating system where the customers rate sellers. Good sellers shine out and bad ones look like stinkers.

    Even the occasional rogue negatives won’t be enough to harm a consistently good seller.

    Lose the biased and preposterous on time delivery metrics.

    Lose DSR’s

    Get back to the original principal of feedback, and allow sellers to leave objective feedback again – yes, some buyers deserve negatives, so other sellers can see potential problems.

    Ebay has assisted buyer fraud by preventing problem buyers from being flagged up. Buyer history is no longer available, so how would you know if this is the umpteenth time someone has said “I haven’t received it”.

    You can only get back seller confidence by treating buyers and sellers fairly and equally.

  • Ian A
    11 months ago

    How about subsidised postage costs.
    ebay want sellers to provide the best service
    ebay make billlions a year, surely they can do a deal with royal mail and give business sellers 50% off, or pay for our postage all together – allowing us to post using the fastest option and making our businesses profitable once again.

    Otherwise, I’m out. £4.45 to post an item 1st recorded.. 10% postage fee.. Final value fee. PayPal Fee. Item cost… It leaves the kind of net profit margin only chinese megasellers can accept.

  • Dave
    11 months ago

    Ebay just sucks at everything it does, if you have ever been to one of their, sponsored meet the sellers events, you will know the senior managers have no idea at all about real problems sellers face.

    We actually met the guy who was responsible for the add to cart button, when we let him know it was crap and how illogical the customer journey was to buy multiples of the same item, his eyes just glazed over.

    Ebay is already light years behind Amazon as a business, I would not be surprised if Amazon bought ebay and then shut it down. It is to much of a dinosaur.

    The whole, we will give the buyer your money back and keep all the fees is basically corporate theft. ( Anyone want to start a crowd funding campaign to start legal action )

    Ebay you dropped the ball some time ago and have been kick around a dead hedgehog ever since.