The eBay director who got a lifetime selling ban

By Chris Dawson August 11, 2016 - 10:15 am

eBay Connect featYesterday eBay held their eBay Connect event in Manchester. If there was ever any doubt that eBay sellers would turn up they’ve been vanquished. The event was way over subscribed, eBay ran to around 500 attendees, about 100 more than was originally planned for.

eBay were there in force as well, with 120 staff on hand they made sure that every single eBay seller had the opportunity of a one to one conversation with someone that cared about their business. There were specialists from every vertical and covering everything from trust and safety to eBay tools, marketing and just about anything a professional seller might want to ask about.

The keynote was delivered by Kristian Haigh, eBay’s Senior Director, Seller Growth Europe. We often hear it said that eBay don’t understand how eBay sellers operate and what challenges they face. That’s definitely not the case with Kristian who was once one of us before crossing over to the dark side.

Kristian was not only an eBay seller, but one who fell foul of eBay, had his account suspended and was told he’d never be allowed to sell on eBay again!

He got his account back and then was invited to join the eBay team and for the last two and a half years has been working on your behalf. Trust me, he knows what it’s like at the sharp end of eBay selling and he knows how unyielding eBay and their seller standards have been in the past.

Kristian emphasised that eBay have a new philosophy which is key for future stability, growth and acceleration into the future. They want 100,000,000 new eBay buyers coming to the platform and that’s a fairly chunky target in anyone’s book.


Kristian shared the eBay company aims which all employees know and are:


The world shops first on eBay

Company Strategy

Best Choice
Most Relevance
Powerful Platform

Company Culture

Courageous | Inventive | Driven
Richly Diverse | Live Our Brand Everyday

What are eBay doing for sellers?

To achieve their goals eBay are now under Devin Wenig’s leadership taking a long term view. No longer will they be doing one thing this year and changing their mind next year. They’ve played with structured data and product pages in various guises over the last decade but now they’re serious about putting a solid foundation in place.

eBay also are going back to playing their own game and not copying everyone else (by which they mean Amazon, although they didn’t name their rival). eBay will play to their strengths of having a presence in around 200 countries around the world, a billion products offered for sale at any one time and more people working with eBay than any other marketplace in the world.

You’re going to be hearing a lot more about eBay’s Ambition – ‘The World Shops First On eBay’. It’s the message from the recent activity at the Silverstone Classic and the upcoming Community Clothing project. eBay are going all out to persuade the world to start their shopping search on eBay, although bizarrely with new technology and the Internet of Everywhere it might not actually be on the eBay site, it could soon be on practically any device or site on the web.

  • james
    1 year ago

    seriously? the only seller there has been banned for life? that speaks volumes. explains a lot really.
    the best way to succeed with ebay is get banned from the platform altogether. they’ll probably offer you a job.
    follow the rules and do what they ask, they’ll treat you like scum and massacre your sales.

    • nobay4me
      1 year ago

      well I am one of those banned for life have tried to open a new account but never had any success,
      they are totally unreasonable.
      I had a very successful ebay seller account

    • Michael Hasted
      1 year ago

      Move and get a new bank account.

  • Merlo
    1 year ago

    I like ebay and our sales on there keep growing however I attended yesterday and was disappointed. The big news is that the tools to communicate with sellers/handle orders will work. Hurrah but it’s long overdue and like saying my new car will come with wheels. Lots of v nice ebay staff there but if you hadn’t pre-booked a 1:1 you were not going to get anything specific to your account. The stands were dis-organised, noisy and overcrowded.
    Went home early and put another 70 SKU’s on ebay as I thought that would be a better use of my time.

  • tinker
    1 year ago

    poacher turned game keeper

    and as they used to say in the shipyards up north when a shopfloor worker was promoted

    the working class can kiss my arse I have the foremans job at last

  • Stephen Francis
    1 year ago

    They cannot even fix the labels on selling manager pro – an issue that has been going on for 12 months!

  • Joe
    1 year ago

    I’ve been saying for years that eBay need to recruit sellers. The reasons for his suspension are vague but on the surface it looks like they’ve recruited a failed seller.

    I’m rubbing my chin……

  • Sam O'levski
    1 year ago

    Please tell me what planet you’re on …. ”for the last two and a half years he’s been working on your behalf” !!
    If that is even only partly true, then it’s a very worrying situation, given how many sellers are constantly complaining about problems with the site, sellers getting unfairly penalised etc etc – read the ebay seller forums and tell me how all the problems can be explained if there really is someone working on our behalf.
    The above post from Merlo, who was actually at the event, is probably closer to the truth.

  • Ian A
    1 year ago

    eBay also are going back to playing their own game and not copying everyone else (by which they mean Amazon, although they didn’t name their rival). eBay will play to their strengths of having a presence in around 200 countries around the world, a billion products offered for sale at any one time and more people working with eBay than any other marketplace in the world.

    – They are copying Amazon tho with structured data and product reviews.. Removing active content and forcing everyone into a catalogue without saying where small sellers fit into this future
    A billion items listed but how many are actually searchable at any one time?

    I’m still not convinced they have a clear strategy, they still seem to be playing catch up and as other sellers have mentioned, if they can’t iron out the small glitches how can they drive major innovation and get buyers and sellers back on board.

  • Steven Elkins
    1 year ago

    What newspaper did Kristian Haigh approach to get ebay to re-instate his account? Seems the only way to get action or to get ebay to act in any way remotely fairly is to highlight it in the Press.

    Ebay is a mess, and frankly not fit for purpose. They need to understand how and why people shop. They need to stop trying to piggy back on anyone else’s success. Yes, I have read the book on the latest marketing ‘conversations’ . We used to call it communicatiing with our customer – ebay hate sellers communicating with buyers and have total contempt for Sellers – if they wake up and smell the coffee and stop trying to muscle in on anything remotely successful, and make some real effort and commitment, it would be refreshing.

  • Steve
    1 year ago

    If eBay spent more time working with their sellers instead of against them and turning a blind eye to all the scammers on eBay they would not have to worry about getting new business their sellers would promote others to use eBay.

    Who would recommend using eBay to a friend or family member at the moment ?

    Would you recommend anyone to open an eBay account to sell their year old phone on eBay or recommend selling it to CEX ?

    Would anyone in their right mind buy a phone charger from the Chinese sellers eBay promote so well for £3.99 delivered or would you be too worried that it was a dangerous fake and would burst in to flames I would not ?

    The only customers eBay are attracting are sellers of fake tat and scam buyers at the moment and by eBay’s attitude they are driving away all the long term loyal buyers and sellers that have helped build up eBay over the years.

    Its time for a change but they have nobody in charge with the vision to make the changes required so its the same old waffle and the same old ignoring the real issues.

    • james
      1 year ago

      I’d certainly recommend ebay to my competitors, but not to friends or family, not the ones i like.

    1 year ago

    ebay have peed us off since 1998
    if there were anywhere that even worked for us half as well we would happily dump ebay
    at the moment we just prostitute ourselves to ebay, but one day our chance will come

    • Steve
      1 year ago

      With 9k of listings and over 23000 items on eBay can someone explain these sales patterns

      Friday last week 67 sales 24 International 43 UK
      Saturday 28 sales 20 International 8 UK
      Sunday 79 sales 14 international 65 UK
      Monday 57 sales 52 international 5 UK
      Tuesday 52 sales 34 international 18 UK
      Wednesday 12 sales 1 international 11UK
      Thursday 84 sales 15 international 69 UK
      Friday today from midnight last night 1 sale in 13 hours and it was international

      Some thing is clearly turning visibility on and off and now switched the lot off 🙁

      Has these sort of patterns been noticed by any other sellers?

    • Jason
      1 year ago

      All the time now sadly, there is no doubt eBay rigs your sales 100%, they know first thing how many you will sell each day. Look at your monthly average and the spurts of sales to get you in the average they have set for you. Quite frankly eBay is operating a fraud that should be investigated rigorously considering how many are paying for a service eBay is deceitfully not delivering. They are crooks.

  • 1 year ago

    I would have agreed with just about all the negative comments 1 or 2 years ago however I think they are trying really hard and we get fantastic support whenever we need to talk to someone at eBay. our sales have been going up and the event yesterday on Wednesday was really good and thats rubbish saying if you did not have a 1-1 booked you could not see someone as we did not book and not only did we get to see someone they looked through three of our accounts not just 1 of them and were fantastic all day with help and advice. I can honestly say we will now put 100% more effort into our eBay account over the Amazon accounts as Amazon even on our Vendor account is hard work getting any help at all and if you think eBay are hard on sellers you sure don’t sell on Amazon and you sure don’t have a vendor account. Too many people giving feedback on this site that is just negative and i do feel it could be the ones that are struggling to make money so want something or someone to blame.

    • Sam O'levski
      1 year ago

      I am very pleased that you are doing well on ebay, honestly I am, but please glance at the post by Steve just above you and explain the unusual sales pattern.
      If anyone trawls through the seller boards they will find dozens of similar patterns posted and commented on – they cannot all be trying to pin the blame on someone plucked out of thin air.
      How can you account for a sale to a foreign country where you have not sold for almost a year, and then within 24 hours yet another sale to a different part of that country…and that has happened more than once ?
      These unusual clusters of sales (Read usa sellers comments for really suspicious clustering) and odd fluctuations in sales volumes are perhaps the most obvious ‘evidence’ of tampering with what is alleged to be a level playing field, so whilst I am pleased for anyone who is doing very well, I just wish ebay would admit to manipulation, or explain some of the most glaring ones, so that we might all start to believe in their promises.

    • 1 year ago

      Sam, i see your point and yes I am sure they do move things up and down and left and right, however I do think they are doing it much like amazon when they change their prices a million times a day to find sweet sports and give everyone a better chance rather than just 1 seller taking up all the sales in one place. If i had a issue it would be with both eBay and Amazon letting the Chines sellers and USA seller list on the UK sites as that’s what hurts my sales more than anything. There will always be people that are doing ok and others that think they are getting a rough ride. We all say if only there was someone that could take on eBay we would move to that platform. However there is very little chance that is going to happen so we have to suck it up and move on.

    • tinker
      1 year ago

      were not struggling to take the money on ebay our struggle is to keep it

    • 1 year ago

      I know the feeling. I have a weakness for Silver(and when I can afford them Gold Coins).. I have a modest collection and when ever I see anything interesting I tend to bid on them. But ebay is still punishing me because I was targeted by the ungodly last Christmas and has been limiting my sales ever since. So it is also limiting my purchases off ebay. So I have been limited in the number of Silver Coins that I can buy and sometimes I have bid on more Silver Coins than I can really afford(I refuse point blank to transfer extra monies into my Paypal Account). So I have just to hope that a few coins that I have bid on and want I get far I have been. But sometimes it is a struggle to keep my expenditure on coins down to what ebay is allowing me to sell.

  • tinker
    1 year ago

    that you even had the need to contact ebay customer support
    is a negative

    • 1 year ago

      I contacted them to help sort out a total Muppet buyer and they did help. Please don’t get me wrong, i have gone through times i hated eBay so much i stopped selling on there for a year. All i am saying is considering how few options we have as a seller for all it’s fault’s we have to agree there is no way to get as much traffic to see your products than eBay and Amazon, sure if i could get 1% of that to my site i might never sell on them marketplaces ever again but thats never going to happen.

    • TINKER
      1 year ago

      WE AGREE
      ebays gets the traffic and the buyers ,
      then they throw you to the wolves ,

  • ronn
    1 year ago

    too little too late

    Donahue fd ebay over royal……….. and then left with a beautiful severance package.

    Omir should have protected his interests better…….

  • Derek Duval
    1 year ago

    For all its faults I would recommend Ebay over Amazon any day of the week.

  • Jason
    1 year ago

    Yawn, the usual few eBay fanboys or employees trying to level the field, seriously, go get a job at the Kremlin.

    eBay, you have lost all respect in reality, it’s very hard to find a ‘genuine’ fan these days, but you you couldn’t care less about that. Bottom line is, just like Google is the Internet, Amazon is ecommerce and your fate is thankfully sealed, largely due to your astoundingly poor management and woefull corporate vision. Word of advice, if you have a golden goose, don’t jab it with a knife to make it lay.

    • 1 year ago

      If you watch TV you cannot have missed the Enterprise Car Hire Advert. It talks about US Customer Service. Now I have never had any dealings with Enterprise Car Hire but is its idea of US Customer Service anything like ebay’s.

      Is there anybody out there who has experience of both ebay’s idea of Customer Service as well as Enterprise Car Hire’s idea of US Customer Service?

      If so could you let us all know if they are anything similar.

    • Jason
      1 year ago

      Good point, if it’s any help I’ve heard that eBay are proposing to rename the ‘Help and Contact’ tab to ‘Hinder and Contempt’…

  • Sam J
    1 year ago

    Yep, eBay is fast becoming a contender for most hated company, they keep rolling out these ‘senior’ idiots who speak in rediculous sound bites like ‘there is no fraud on eBay’ and ‘we have the most advanced search engine’

    eBay and it’s managenent have become the D Trump of ecommerce.

    • 1 year ago

      D Trump of ecommerce

      Donald Trump could be the Next American President within months. to compare ebay and its management to Donald Trump is dangerous. So what do we compare ebay and its management with…How about Mr Bean or perhaps the Keystone Cops.

      However whatever we compare ebay and its management with the thought it truly horrendous. ebay should be a site that we are all proud to trade on. A site that represents amongst the very best of ecommerce.

      Unfortunately it fails abysmally on just about every front. Will it improve in say 1 year, 2 years or 5 years? Perhaps the correct question would be with the abysmal standards that we see every day on ebay the correct question should be Will ebay still survive in 1 year, 2 years or 5 years?

  • Jason j
    1 year ago

    Well eBay is dire, I have an analogy that I think is close to the truth…

    eBay = MySpace Amazon = Facebook

    I think we all know how that panned out, if it helps…

  • John
    1 year ago

    I used to work for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and used to sell thousands of items on eBay…

    I can confirm the two companies’ customer service is about as far apart as it’s possible to get!!
    Enterprise pay an external company to call a selection of customers and ask them how satisfied they were with their service (after the fact) and anything less than “completely satisfied” is a failure. (“completely satisfied” being the best answer).
    They aim for 90% completely satisfied as a minimum and when I was there, anyone answering “completely dissatisfied” actually received a call from the local branch to find out why…

    THIS is customer service.

    eBay on the other hand… well, we all know they treat everyone other than high street brands with contempt, they don’t understand the marketplace they created, they have no idea how the users of their site actually operate…

    So in answer to your comment Chris T… US Customer Service can be great, the difference is the company that’s practicing it!
    Therein lies the problem…

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