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What happens on a site visit from eBay VP Rob Hattrell?

By Chris Dawson July 21, 2017 - 4:43 pm

We’ve written about the enthusiasm that the new eBay UK VP, Rob Hattrell has for engaging with sellers on the marketplace and this week I was able to see him in action when he visited Clare Haines and Melissa Burton from Lingerie Outlet Store in Swindon. (You can read more of their story here)

Rob is insanely interested in how businesses selling on eBay operate. He recognises that whilst eBay as a platform is relatively rigid with a set format for selling, the way that eBay retailers run their operations varies wildly from company to company to achieve the same result. It obviously fascinates him, but he also wants to understand the challenges they face and how the back end of a company works up to the point they list on eBay, how listings are managed, and then when the sales come in what processes are used to get the goods out of the door and shipped along with the software solutions they use.

Viewing the strength and diversity of retailers selling on eBay as the marketplace’s strength, Rob had tons of questions for Clare and Melissa ranging on everything from their supplier relationships, how they buy, what drives their buying decisions and how eBay processes impact their stock strategies, to how the warehouse operates and a genuine interest in Lingerie Outlet Store’s imminent move to a new warehouse and what changes they will implement to increase efficiencies.

Rob is no stranger to a warehouse either and has an in depth understanding of how they operate and discussed at lengths the merits of different types or racking and the different shelving materials that can be used, but equally at home discussing the intricacies of how the eBay site works and there’s not a part of the selling process he hasn’t got a grip on.

Rob was keen to emphasise that eBay is a human business. Yes, at the end of the day the aim of the marketplace is to shift product from sellers to buyers, but Rob understands that people’s livelihoods depend on eBay doing the right thing to support their merchants. He not only wants to be out on the ground learning from sellers but wants his team to be doing the same so don’t be surprised if you hear more eBay staff are embracing the idea of site visits to sellers.

Ultimately Rob views visiting eBay sellers as a big dose of reality – How do sellers buy? How do sellers sell? What are the tens of thousands of eBay businesses doing on a daily basis?

Rob has probably visited more eBay businesses in the last six months than I’ve seen in the last ten years. The one thing that stands out for him is that just about every online retailer has different ways of doing things and he wants to understand them all to help drive their future success on eBay.

  • northumbrian
    4 weeks ago

    KNICKERS
    sorry someone had to

  • Jef
    4 weeks ago

    He looks like a smug tit so appropriate. Typical eBay hiring.

  • Steve House
    4 weeks ago

    With eBay sellers getting 7 day bans for sharing contact info it is amazing that an Outlet Store visited by the VP has their telephone number in big bold letters at the very top of every single listing!!!
    Dual standards yet again

  • Alan Paterson
    4 weeks ago

    (SARCASM) Yes, that’s very constructive Jef! (END SARCASM)

    Even is his photograph was a bit “off” you would judge someone’s personality based on a picture?

    Yes, there is a “tit” here but it’s not Rob.

    This new guy seems to be getting off to a good start. He certainly seems to be taking a genuine interest and is doing the right things.

    • northumbrian
      4 weeks ago

      how on earth would we know if hes doing the right things
      hes doing a lot of miles and a lot of PR
      nothings changed for us, we still feel on our own with any problem,
      for instance the global shipping service suits us very well
      but the stress and hassle from buyers who dont understand the service is horrendous,
      whats Rob doing about that, in fact we honestly believe rob could do bugger all about that even if he wanted too
      so
      whats the point of all this

  • Clare
    4 weeks ago

    So why has my business come to a stand still and had to lay people off and close my warehouse. I would love him to come and visit me and ask why after 4 years of successful sales it has fallen off a cliff since March 2017. So sad and shows how media coverage can influence people’s opinions.
    I wonder if Rob would like to have a conversation with me and I wonder what his reaction would be if he knew I went from sending 1.5k in fees to eBay a month to £250. If I’m anything to go by and I clearly am not the only one I would be wondering why he hasn’t paid a visit to a small seller like me. Tamebay needs to cover how so many sellers are going out of business instead of this cover up!

    • Stephen
      4 weeks ago

      Out of curiosity what products were you selling? Do you have many competitors in your market?

  • Clare
    4 weeks ago

    I was selling a luxury brand of which not many competitors everything I sold is unique. I would love to know how I went from 12-16k gross sales and it fall off a cliff in a matter of weeks. No one can explain why and even PayPal are bemused by it. The search engine on eBay is not working correctly!

  • Eggyplops
    4 weeks ago

    Trust Rob Hattrell to air his dirty lingerie in public.

  • Leader of the Banned
    4 weeks ago

    Hey Rob how about you try to stop the rolling blackouts. I have long periods of sometimes 3 – 5 days with (0) sales & then they start up again as if someone flicked a switch and made my shop work again. eBay are controlling our sales. It is a fact.

  • Joe B
    4 weeks ago

    I just hope Rob’s master plan is not to turn eBay into a retailer. He’s picking the brains of all these sellers, learning what they sell and how they deal with suppliers.

    I’m still on the fence about him. On the surface what he’s saying sounds good, but until I see change (IE eBay treating sellers as valued partners and not dross) it’s all talk.

  • 4 weeks ago

    All the above points are valid; I wondered if there was a Trade Association for serious ebay retailers ? If there is then Rob and his hierarchy should be meeting and liasing with them, if there is not, maybe there should be, to correlate the problems we all know exist and offer possible solutions from our side – if there is now indeed someone who wants to listen and push ebay forward by supporting its sellers more, we should be assisting him in his quest.

  • steve
    4 weeks ago

    Rob Hattrell is not going to win, is he? trouble is, he understands shifting stuff, but does he understand Ebays’ attitude to Sellers? not yet he doesn’t… I so wish the word insane wasn’t used to describe his enthusiasm… it’s just too often associated with ebay policies.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Rob does not need to understand how we all work and how differently we operate our business.

    He does need to understand how Ebay works (or doesn’t) and fix the “long over due” problems that we all encounter.

  • Alan Paterson
    3 weeks ago

    I read the above posts with amusement. Stop telling the guy how to do his job.

    I dont think he is doing all this at random – there is obviously a strategy.

    Bottom line – he will do whats best for ebay and guess what? usually whats best for the sellers and whats best for ebay goes hand in hand. Too many cynics on Tamebay.

    Rob is spending time with businesses that are expanding – why would he want to spend time with a business that is diminishing or failing or spend time with sellers telling him how to do his job with nothing but complaints about the platform?

    Oh dear…….I am going to be unpopular again on here.

  • Northumbrian
    3 weeks ago

    Imagine if
    doctors only spent time with the healthy
    Or teachers taught only the intelligent onlyl
    All eBay sellers pay fees
    This guys job is to make eBay better ,not listen to applause

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      I don’t think the “doctor” analogy is appropriate here.

      Obviously, the medical profession should try and save people. However, there are some businesses that can’t or shouldn’t be saved. They need to die.

      I have seen friends put life savings into businesses that are just terminal. Sometimes people have to admit that their business / business plan just doesn’t work (or doesn’t work on ebay) and it’s going to die. The doctor comparison is not applicable or appropriate.

      Why would Rob spend time on such businesses. Its futile. The businesses that he has spent time with over the past few months will have been hand picked and a lot of thought put into it.

    • Stephen
      3 weeks ago

      100% with Alan on this one – so many times on here and the forums you see “Ebay is rubbish – I have only had one sale this month” and other comments like it…

      Instead of blaming eBay look back onto your own businesses – if your items are not selling, why? Pricing wrong? No demand for the items (customers not looking for them or not looking for them online as they are in X Y AND Z high street store for a good price)? A trend that has ended? Listings not upto scratch (poor photo’s, description etc or something in the description that puts a customer off – seen a few “ranting” listings recently).

      Thousands of people are making good money out of eBay – If your not then its time to look at your business and why it is not working rather than blaming eBay.

  • Northumbrian
    3 weeks ago

    What’s with this religious righteousness ,
    Have you met this guy do you know his plans,
    Results are what will convince us not ,indoctrination

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Northumbrian . “religious righteousness ” I certainly didn’t think there was anything religious about my post. I am not a religious person. I like a lot of your posts – you talk a lot of sense (most of the time lol) I just don’t agree on this particular point.

      Let us use an “anti religious” metaphor:

      Darwin – theory of evolution. For a business to evolve and grow it needs to be strong and suitable for the platform. Survival of the fittest. There is no point in Rob spending time with the businesses that are on a decline and soon to become extinct. No point trying to make the “Do-do” fly.

      Its like what Stephen says above – thousands of people are making money on ebay. Rob needs to spend his time with these folk – the folk making money and growing NOT the sellers complaining and blaming ebay for their drop in sales or lack of success.

      Survival of the fittest. Trying to “prop up” or save failing businesses will only hold ebay back. I know that sounds a bit cruel but ebay are not running a charity. We are all out to make money. They need to spend their time with the right sellers with the right attitude towards the platform. If anything they need to avoid sellers who constantly complain and blame ebay for their lack of progress/decline in business.

  • Clare
    3 weeks ago

    Yes your right Alan. I have been nothing but a perfect eBayer 100% positive. I’ve never had any cases opened and had progressed so well. I love eBay and always will do. But why is there always a upside? Surely you must agree that press releases are always there to show a brighter side. Is giving an opinion where things are not so rosey wrong? A sudden drop in sales when things where perfectly ok. No the sudden drop happened when all active content was removed and the penalisation from Google for sites that show irrelevant advertising. Why would it be so much to ask if Rob can visit businesses that are not thriving. At the end of the day if they are doing so well what was the visit for? A pat on the back. If he has so much knowledge surely seeing the smaller sellers is more personable than this.

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      Yes, I do see your point Clare. I was talking in a more “general sense” of what is being posted on Tamebay recently. I do sympathise with your plight. I have no explaination why sales would drop so dramatically.

      I was talking in a more general sense. It’s easier to push something even faster if it already has momentum rather than pushing something that is standing still or going the opposite way. This is why Rob needs to spend time on businesses that already have momentum.

      @Northumbrian – You say ” But were also certain ebay do realise that sellers have problems caused by ebay” – without getting too deep – many of these problems are only perceived as problems by the “bad seller” – they are in fact not problems at all and certainly not ebays problems.

      For example, you only need to look at the many, many, many complaints and posts about ebay making EAN numbers compulsory. There was so much bitterness and animosity against ebay over this. And then you see the announcements over the past day or two and you realise that there was a bigger picture – ebay had a bigger plan and the sellers throwing the mud were just ignorant – they did not know or see or understand the bigger picture. I am sure they feel stupid now – they certainly look stupid to me. Maybe they still dont realise. How could ebay have launched the “price match guarantee ” without the EAN? More innovative things will follow. A perfect example of ebay getting the blame. Often “the problem” is only a perception.

  • Northumbrian
    3 weeks ago

    Alan your sort of manipulating the debate, of course business is about survival of the fit
    Of course ebay are not to blame for business viability
    But were also certain ebay do realise that sellers have problems caused by ebay ,
    Indeed why. employ high flying business executives to manage,
    If everything were perfect

  • Alan Paterson
    3 weeks ago

    I have copy and pasted this from my post above:

    @Northumbrian – You say ” But were also certain ebay do realise that sellers have problems caused by ebay” – without getting too deep – many of these problems are only perceived as problems by the “bad seller” – they are in fact not problems at all and certainly not ebays problems.

    For example, you only need to look at the many, many, many complaints and posts about ebay making EAN numbers compulsory. There was so much bitterness and animosity against ebay over this. And then you see the announcements over the past day or two and you realise that there was a bigger picture – ebay had a bigger plan and the sellers throwing the mud were just ignorant – they did not know or see or understand the bigger picture. I am sure they feel stupid now – they certainly look stupid to me. Maybe they still dont realise. How could ebay have launched the “price match guarantee ” without the EAN? More innovative things will follow. A perfect example of ebay getting the blame. Often “the problem” is only a perception.

    i do feel that i am not manipulating the debate. I am only looking at it in a positive perspective. I feel this attitude is required to make any success on ebay (or pretty much any other business – at least it certainly helps).

  • northumbrian
    3 weeks ago

    Well we’re really. ,really ,really ,bad sellers
    We don’t have our nose so far up their Arse we can’t see anything wrong

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ northumbrian. I am sorry if you misunderstood. I don’t think that YOU are a bad seller. 

      I have read many of your posts and I generally like and agree with what you write. However, I do think there are a lot of bad sellers out there – thats why ebay introduce these “rules” which often don’t make much sense when you are a “good seller”.

      Again my appologies if you thought I was referring to you – I have read enough of your posts to realise that you don’t come under that category.

      I don’t have my head up my arse – I just dont think its appropriate for bad sellers to persistently and consistently come on Tamebay and trash eBay. It’s ALMOST universal and if I feel its unjustified I will write a reply.

  • Clare
    3 weeks ago

    Very true Northumbrian, there is no rhyme nor reason to why my sales took a nose dive but I’m supposed to think it’s what I’m doing wrong. I’m a member of eBays concierge service and I had a lovely ladie helping me. The only way she could help was to promote my items and she did so for free for a month because of the sudden drop. On at 10% so very visible. I sold loads and even though it was free I saw the amount of money to be taken from eBay and there is no way I could do it without making a massive loss. So we all pay shop fees, and seller fees PayPal fees and now VAT added (which is fare enough) and have to pay more for your items to be visible. I didn’t sign up for this but as Alan has said you either like it or lump it…….and Rob is still sitting pretty ensuring the successful sellers get more promotion.

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      Hi Clare…….so if you are saying that you have done nothing “wrong” then your implication is that ebay has done something to your listings?

      Incidentally, while Rob is out seeing these sellers by your post avbove you believe that they are getting more visibility on ebay as a result? or have i misunderstood?

      Can i refer you to Stephens post a few above this one. I think that addresses your objections.

      And I disagree – there is ALWAYS a reason for a drop in sales. They can only be TWO things:

      1. YOUR TRAFFIC HAS WENT DOWN
      2. YOUR CONVERSION RATE HAS WENT DOWN

      That’s it. Its not Rocket Science. You may be well to look at these stats. It will tell you what is affecting your sales (knowing that is one thing, fixing it is another).

  • Northumbrian
    3 weeks ago

    Best part of 20 years we have sold ion eBay ,first few years it was ground breaking,last 5 years it has been back breaking ,
    We have had to slip and slide, duck and dive ,work 3 times as hard to get the same result,
    Market forces ,competition ,
    Have a lot to do with it
    Though eBay don’t help the situation with
    Higher fees , more conditions, complications, and a god awful search engine,
    Still were bad sellers with many tens of thousands of transactions were humble and grateful to eBay ,we know we’re bad and must try harder

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      You seem to be dwelling on this “bad seller” thing – I was not referring to you.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Ebay are rubbish, blah, blah, blah…. Ebay do not owe us a living!

    If you do not like the system, go sell somewhere else, the same as their are certain restaurants I would not eat in again.

    Selling on Ebay is risk free, apart from the small “Shop fee” if you sell something you pay a commission. People that are not happy with that could try spending thousands of pounds on Google advertising, Facebook or SEO to promote their own web site where they will be “Fee Free” and only have themselves to blame for a lack of sales.

    My sales chart goes up and down like a roller coaster on a daily basis, this applies to Ebay, Amazon and my own web site. I have said before that I used to see a lot of my Ebay listings pop up on Facebook and other web sites through Google ads, maybe Ebay have cut back on outside advertising, if they have that is their choice.

    I have no idea why Rob is visiting sellers, unless it is to learn what is going wrong with the Ebay site that need fixing.the usage

    Take some really simple problems like when you see the “View order details” in communication with a customer. You click on it and it takes you to the product sales / listing page, NOT to the customer order details.

    There are many small matters such as the above that could easily be fixed, but never are.

    it is no use 1,00’s of people sending him non-constructive emails moaning about their lack of sales. We need one email from somebody he will listen to with a detailed list highlighting some of the problems using the site, from a sellers point of view. At this point we would then be in a position to judge if he is really there to help sellers or not.

  • Northumbrian
    3 weeks ago

    Tyler
    There are no problems on eBay’s site
    🤡 just bad sellers

    • 3 weeks ago

      Bad Sellers like those that copy your images, that include your brand watermark, that Ebay seem to do little about.

      This can still happen even if you do not sell on Ebay

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Tyler, unfortunately it seems that other sellers can now use your images legally. Recent change. Not a popular change with me.

  • Sam O'levski
    3 weeks ago

    First post for months as I can’t get on with the new layout here, but was so incensed by this thread !
    Will those who feel that this ebay executive should only visit thriving businesses and all those who are not thriving only have themselves to blame, please explain how a seller who has had fantastic sales for years with a great turnover, can then within a matter of weeks find sales have ‘fallen off a cliff’ to use a phrase many of those sellers have stated ?
    I agree that no business has a divine right to thrive whether on ebay or your local high street, and a slow decline can be put down to multiple factors, but let’s please focus on the sellers who have seen their sales plummet almost overnight…….. surely some of those should also be visited ?
    Just as we are all businesses of various types and sizes, ebay is also a business, and so should be looking at it’s own failings as well, shouldn’t it ?

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Sam I think my previous post has been taken out of context or too literally.

      I am not saying thats what Rob IS doing – all i am saying is that it makes good business sense to spend time on the businesses that are already in a growth phase – businesses with potential.

      The other end of the spectrum is businesses that are on a decline with plemeting sales who’s sellers come on Tamebay and trash ebay and blame their drop on ebay. There is no point on spending time with a business that doesnt work. In my opinion spending time on such sellers would be futile.

      I am sure that isnt you.

  • 3 weeks ago

    @ Alan Paterson

    In what way do you mean legally?

    Has there been a change in law or just Ebay’s rules?

    Personally I am surprised that the seller has copied the image with a watermark across the item, they could easily have copied the image from the brand’s own web site.

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      unfortunately, there was a change in eBay rules a few months ago. ebay now “own” your photographs ( i am not sure if that is the best wording ) and therefore other sellers can use them as well as ebay themselves for marketing purposes. Before it was an “opt in” under your account preferences but now there is no choice. This is not a popular decision with us. Concierge mentioned that it can be prevented if the image is watermarked but you will need to check that out. That’s the general gist of it.

      Some sellers are not taking our images and putting their own water mark on them. Sigh!

  • Ian
    3 weeks ago

    So Alan Paterson your one of the privileged eBay glitterati sellers on the concierge program? It all makes sense now……. Unless of course your an eBay employee masquerading as a seller. Your constant smug sycophantic support of eBay is both nauseous and tiresome. The site has abundant technical problems, eBay doesn’t support its sellers and buyer fraud is rife. If Rob Hattrell visited our premises then that’s what he would be told, and furthermore that’s what we would prove right in front of his eyes. Mind you, we have only been on eBay 18 years and our fees are only a few thousand pounds a month……. we clearly aren’t worthy

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Ian – I rest my case. If I were Rob I would want to visit businesses that were growing and discuss further growth strategies. I wouldnt want to turn up and be bombarded with a list of complaints about the platform.

      If I wew an MD visiting sellers i would want sellers to be concentrating on the doughnut – not the hole.

      Every site has technical issues – ebay, web sites, other platforms. I have learned that when selling on line you need to succeed in spite of technical issues – they are always going to be there. If you cant control it concentrate on something you CAN control.

    • Ross K
      3 weeks ago

      This has been an interesting post. I have to back Alan Paterson with this one. Why in the name of God would the new managing director want to go visit a business to listen to their woes about the platform. Too many people blaming Ebay for their lack of sales. Why would he want to visit you Ian (above)with your stinking attitude.

      @ Alan Paterson. I have started reading Tamebay again because of your posts. Before, almost every post was negative about Ebay and it was dragging me down. It’s good to see a bit of balance on the site.

    • Ross K
      3 weeks ago

      And Ian above – most people posting on here are concierge so you attacking concierge sellers is just dumb.

      I like what Rob is doing but he needs to spend his time with the sellers who are making Ebay work for them.

      The girls with the lingerie are certainly doing well. I can see why they had a visit. I bet they didn’t bombard him with a list of complaints like you would Ian.

  • 3 weeks ago

    All images have the watermark of our logo, so I am surprised that a seller would use them.

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Tyler. I was told by Concierge that watermarking your images would help protect you but to be honest i would make sure. It certainly hasnt stopped other sellers taking our images. What i have written on these posts is as much as I know about the image thing. I am sorry if its a bit general but if you check your seller updates over the past few months you will see the update.

      I am usually quite defensive of ebay but not on this topic. If a seller takes the time to create their own images the rights with those images should stay with the seller. I hope that watermarking them WOULD give you the rights to those images. I hope Concierge were right – but assuming they are how would it be enforced?

      Further investigation needed.

  • 3 weeks ago

    It’s a struggle to keep up, there are so many sides to the coin.

    @Alan Paterson, whilst it may be against the rules / TOC’s of Ebay to use watermarked images, my experience of Ebay support has not been good, regarding this issue.

    How would it be enforced you ask?

    Simple, take the listing down and issue a warning notice, how hard an it be? This was an obvious breach, yet they asked me to fill out a series of forms before they would take action. – Thankfully, a message to the seller concerned, made them see the light and they changed the offending image.

    @ Ross K I agree with you, there is far too much whining on these forums and very few that put any positive proposals forward.

    But… I do disagree with your idea that Rob needs to spend time working with the people that Ebay is already working for them.

    Why waste time with people that the system is working for? They are happy customers and going about their business enjoying the benefits of selling on Ebay. His job surely must be to make sure that many many more people fit into that criteria?

    Customer support is most needed when we have problems, not when things are going well.

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Ross and tyler – I agree with Ross – its better to spend time with the businesses that already have momentum. Its easier to make a business move even faster that already has speed rather then try and budge a business that is standing still or moving in the opposite direction. I have done casual business consultancy for 24 years and I can say this with absolute certainty.

      Some sellers are idiots. Their business is struggling and they come on here and instead of looking for positive advice they TRASH the platform and try to put other folks off selling (or buying). Hell, their potential customers read their negative posts!

      Thats the kind of sellers that Rob should avoid. Most of their problems are not even real! (i refer to my post a bit above about EAN numbers).

      If you take a bad seller and motivate them – what have you got – a motivated bad seller.

      Its not just the business plan that needs to be correct – its the attitude. I would bet the girls in the lingerie company have both correct. Also they were smart enough to choose a category that was growing on ebay.

  • Jonah
    3 weeks ago

    Rather unfortunate posts by Alan Paterson and later by Ross in reply to Ian. It’s as though Ian doesn’t deserve an opinion. If I have unhappy customers on eBay, I try my hardest to make things right. What your suggesting is that Rob doesn’t try hard for struggling eBay businesses- because they don’t matter. See the irony? After all Ian is eBay’s customer.
    Just a thought 🙂
    However I do agree on one point Alan, technical problems go with the territory, I expect them, it’s part of life.

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Jonah – I think you gotta agree – Ians post was a bit “off” – it wasnt just expressing an opinion it was attacking me because I was a Concierge member (many people on this post are) and accusing me of being an ebay employee. This serves to ridicule me and undermine my opinion and point and I think Ross response was probably based on this passive aggressive attempt to undermine my posts.

      And dont put words in my mouth – i am not saying “that Rob doesn’t try hard for struggling eBay businesses- because they don’t matter. ” What I am saying is that he is only one man and he needs to choose the businesses he spends time with wisely. It makes good business sense to spend it with people who are positive about the platform rather then folk who openly admit they would subject him to the list of things WRONG with the platform and who are seen on tamebay as constantly complaining.

      If you cant see the difference – well………….

      Too many people on Tamebay openly admitting “this is what i would tell him…….” then give him a list of all their gripes (which is neverending if you read Tamebay regular). If you had 50 businesses to visit would those sellers be on your list?

      That is my point.

      Concerning Ian – anyone who accuses me of being an ebay employee just because I am defending ebay doesnt respect MY opinion. This is not the first time i have been accused of working for ebay. Isnt there something wrong when folk automatically assume this because something positive is written?

      Do YOU see the irony?

      Thank you for agreeing with me on the technical issues.

  • 3 weeks ago

    @Alan Paterson, Do you not think Rob should also work on getting some of the issues right?

    Whilst I did agree with Ross about the amount of whining, I really don’t think you can class all the people moaning as bad sellers.

    There are issues and as I said before, I think we need to find a way of putting across the system faults to Rob in a constructive way.

    My experience with support over the image issue was not good. Problems do need to be addressed.

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      Yes, i agree with you tyler. I am not saying all people that are moaning are bad sellers. However, the folk that come on Tamebay and persistently and consistently trash the platform – I would call them bad sellers.

      They blame ALL their problems on ebay, they persistently complain about changes – I have read on here that ebay are “fraudsters”, “crooks”, “morons”, “incompetent” the list goes on and on. Their anger is apparent from their posts.

      Sellers were writing bad reviews of Concierge last year – before it was even open! and on this thread there has been negativity about Rob – in fact Rob was being trashed before he even started! some posts even accused him of being on drugs! Jeeeeez.

      Then these people expect to take their attitude and animosity towards ebay and make a success of it on the platform! That aint gonna work…….

      That is what I mean by a bad seller and i am sure it doesnt apply to anyone on this thread. Most people have been (reasonably polite except Ian – no i dont work for ebay) I think my points are being mis-interpreted.

      I have built up a reasonable rapport with some of the ebay staff. They are good people. One of my “favourites” quit recently because of the persistent abuse he got on the phone. Just put down his headset and walked out. Ebay customer service are there to help – they cant always help because there are rules in place that they need to adhere to – and they do not deserve the abuse on the phone that they often get.

      The sellers giving the abuse? This is what i mean by “bad sellers”. In many cases their business is not working out for them or failing and they blame the platform or take it out on the ebay staff.

      lets put my neck on the chopping block and use my business as an example………

      One of my ebay shops that was doing nearly £3000 a day 4 years ago is now down under £300 a day. 10%. Do i complain ? is that ebay fault? what do you do? you take action – i adapted, i got in NEW products, I put up new listings, I opened new shops, I diversified from the range I was selling. I DIDNT EXPECT EBAY TO ADAPT TO ME – i ADAPTED TO THE SITUATION ON THE PLATFORM. When i started on ebay there were 70,000 listings in my category – now there are literally millions – should I have expected any different? With so much increased competition off course i would expect a far smaller slice of the pie. Its not ebays fault. If I dont add at least 40 new products every year our business on ebay will start to drop. i NEED TO DO THIS SIMPLY TO STAND STILL – if i want growth – its simple – i simply put on more that 40.

      What didnt I do? I didnt get angry or bitter and blame ebay. I didnt come on Tamebay and trash the platform. I took positive action. I know it sound like a bit of a cliche but its the truth and it frustrates me that so many sellers would come on here, trash ebay, damage the platform as a result and negatively effect their own business as well as your business and mine in the process.

      By the way – i dont think Rob should visit us either. Our growth doesn’t warrant it. We are doing fine but we are not in a growth phase so there would be no point. So i would include myself in the list of sellers that shouldnt be visited. I know who I would visit – i would visit businesses like the girls above. That is what Rob has done and this is good for the platform.

    • Ross K
      3 weeks ago

      At Alan Paterson. You make some very good points and you seemed to have turned your business round from its drop. Rob is not going to visit me – he is probably still with the lingerie girls – do you do visits or consultations ? If so what’s your fee ? You said on another thread that you have helped other businesses . Do you do other platforms ?

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      @ Ross. Yes, this is no problem – I am happy to come see you providing you are in UK lol (I don’t fly). I am nowhere near as good looking as Rob though and I certainly don’t have the same influence or formal education.

      However, some people do not like what I have to say. If I feel your product isnt working on eBay I will recommend changing it. Many sellers think their product IS their business and are offended. I firmly believe the platform is the business – not the product. I will not ask what you sell on here and to be honest it doesn’t matter at this stage.

      A paradigm shift is often required.

      I don’t do other platforms. I have experience with Google Ad Words for web sites but it can be expensive so i don’t like it. I tend to recommend for people to stick with eBay. That is what I am good at but I am only making a living myself – I am not making a fortune. To expand further would require staff and I have had bad experiences with staff. There would be no fee.

      I would require a place to sleep for 2 nights (a sofa is fine) and I would bring my cat with me. If you do not like cats I cannot visit. I eat anything with the exception of cucumber or red kidney beans. I prefer Apple (not the fruit the computer). Kitty eats salmon or tuna. If you have a dog that could be problematic. Mainland UK is fine but off coats (Isle of White etc) is out coz Kitty doesnt like boats and neither of us can swim.

    • Ross K
      3 weeks ago

      At Alan Paterson . What do you mean there is no fee?

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      With a fee comes expectations and I do not want you to expect me to be of any help. That leaves me free to tell you what may or may not be required.

      Anyway, I make money from selling on the platform – not giving advice to sell on the platform.

      If you want to buy my products there is a charge – if you want my advice – that’s free .

      However, Kitty has expensive taste – have you seen how much salmon is?

      I think I have found you on ebay. Your premises is less than a cm from me on the Global Map – that cant be far! (!!!)

      I will send you a message to make sure it is you.

  • Jonah
    3 weeks ago

    I see your pov Alan, eBay has its good points- it was revolutionary for international business. Ian shouldn’t have been so personal that’s true. But I for one am not a concierge member and I can honestly say it’s so difficult getting any help from eBay when you need it. Perhaps his offish stance was borne out of pure frustration- though personal attacks are wrong and not what this thread should be about. I hope Rob does make a difference and we wish him all the best in his efforts.

  • Brian
    3 weeks ago

    Question for Mr Patterson –
    Ebay have not mentioned anything regarding compulsory EAN numbers in the Ebay July highlight Sellers update message.
    Do you think they are going to struggle with a smoth implementation of this policy -.
    ie large numbers of non complient listings being deleted etc?
    Thanks Brian

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      Its a very good point Brian. the simple answer is i dont know but i suspect that it will casue problems. My guess is that it is going to cause rather big problems. Thats just a guess. I was reading on another thread on Tamebay reports of listings actually being ended due to the absence of EAN numbers during July – I dont know how true that is.

      It did worry me and it caused me to take action because – to be honest – we didnt have all our EAN numbers uploaded.

      i was surprised too that there was nothing in the July seller update. Although we are all starting to see the necessity of EAN numbers i hope ebay dont start removing listings. That would be VERY unpopular.

      But the simple answer is I am not sure and my advice is not to take the chance. Im not – I am actually working on trying to finish them today.

  • Brian
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks for reply Alan.
    Ebay should tread carefully . Taking a ” sledge hammer culling ” approach may cost them & their shareholders ..
    I would imagine a large percentage of Ebay turnover/profits are from the small seller / individuals- who arent familiar with EAN”s- cant find a EAN or are selling items which dont have an EAN number .
    Will they be willing to pay the annual fee to GS1 (leading EAN number supplier) to generate their own numbers?
    Buying EAN numbers on Ebay can be problamatic .!
    Looking at listings on Ebay -lots of sellers are not getting ready for September & are” burying their heads in the sand”.
    Ebays administration of policing correct EAN number could be a challenge for them.them.
    Should be interesting.

  • 3 weeks ago

    I have just listed a grouped / bundled set of products, how would I give that an EAN number?

    Each product is also advertised individually and has its own EAN number?

    I started uploading EAN numbers a long time ago and nearly all my stock has them apart from items I may sell in bundles

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      Hi Tyler, I allocated some EAN numbers to “bundled” products and thought I was being smart. However, ebay Concierge later told me that because the item is bundled it doesnt change the EAN. I argued that it had to as it is no longer the same product – it is a bundle.

      I was embarrassed as I had actually written a post on this on Tamebay and it turned out to be bad advice. sorry.

      My advice is to ask eBay about it and hope you speak to someone who has some knowledge. The entire issue of “bundles” and what EAN to allocate has me stumped so I empathise with your situation and I have been asking myself the same question. If you like I can ask Concierge again and get back to you.

    • Kyle
      3 weeks ago

      Alan, you were correct and EBay are wrong as usual. Bundled products should be assigned a new GTIN.

      GTINs are controlled by GS1 so you should read their allocation guides and ignore EBay’s advice as they have no idea what they’re talking about in this area.

    • Alan Paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @Kyle. thanks for the advice. i thought as much, otherwise, it didn’t make much sense. thanks for confirming. Makes me feel better as i wrote a post on “how to” and then was told I had done it wrong. I hate giving wrong advice.

  • Ross K
    3 weeks ago

    At Alan Paterson . Reference my posts above. Can you not stay in a local hotel?

    • Alan Paterson
      3 weeks ago

      No, hotels don’t take Kitty. I am not joking…..I would need to bring my cat with me. I can’t leave her for 2 days on her own.

      Also, hotels cost money and I do not charge any fees for this.

      No, I have done this before (many times). I come stay with you for 2 days. I am not flexible.

      I bring my cat. I am x-military so I can sleep anywhere. I study your business – I give what advice I can – there is no fee – I hope you do not have a dog. You feed me and Kitty for two days – I give a summary, I leave, there is no fee. You have me in your face for 2 days – there are good and bad points to that.

      Also, your business is a lot about your personality so I get to know you. It helps if I am in your house. There are 4 different personality types – I need to determine which one you are as it influences how you approach your business.

      Look, i don’t want to get too complicated on here. We are off topic on this thread. I need to do this quick as my ebay business starts to ramp up for Xmas in a couple of weeks and I only have one part time staff (bad experience with staff).

      Check your eBay messages. We are off topic on this thread. Yes, I am a bit eccentric but I know my stuff and even if i don’t there is no fee (did i mention that). If you are uncomfortable just say no and I will work on my own business instead.

  • 3 weeks ago

    @Alan Paterson

    Thanks, unfortunately asking Ebay does not always give us the correct answer.

    I can understand that if you sell 2x / 3x the same item it could be said the EAN would stay the same, some products we break down and sell individually so I guess they should retain the original EAN but when I have bundled 3 diferent products together with 3 different EAN numbers, that is where there could be a problem.

    Maybe customer support is something Rob could look into improving

    • Alan Paterson
      1 week ago

      hi Tyler, there is now an update on bundled products. It’s started on another thread on Tamebay. I see you contribute to Tamebay regular so you have probably already seen it.

  • Well I am looking forward to seeing Rob at the Linn Academy this year (Sorry for the plug guys, but I am more excited to watch Chris Dawson’s speech 🙂 ) https://www.linnacademy.com/

    I think we all give eBay a lot of stick, some of which they deserve but my argument is that they are trying to keep sellers happy and modernise at the same time, which they seem to be stuck with in regards to forcing product identifiers.

    Unlike Amazon, they are not a retailer themselves and so in the UK it is the main marketplace with real clout (though there are certainly others out there). Positive support is the way to go for eBay and for those whose sales have dropped I have two suggestions:

    1. Are you using product identifiers and variation listings?
    2. If so, contact Jane Bell, eBay Anorak 🙂

  • Clare
    2 weeks ago

    I have done all that was advised by my eBay concierge added product identifiers, made prominent free postage. I was also advised to do some auctions.
    I’m also a premium service holder offer 30 day returns and have 100% feedback. Guess what…..I’ve not sold anything in 24 hrs. Nothing I am advised on works……something has happened in the last 4 months for the serious dip. When did Rob join? And why does eBay( a good platform of which I know others preferred to use rather than Amazon ) want to change. I can confirm my eBay fees have dropped from 1.5k a month to this month £64.
    So clearly you don’t sell on eBay?

    Any feedback on how this has happened Charlie or the eBay anorak would be appreciated but all I can do now is shrug 🤷‍♀️ my shoulders!

  • northumbrian
    2 weeks ago

    we think ebay are over complicating the search and find process
    they have reached critical mass,
    rather than search needing to find a grain of sand in the sahara it now also needs to find a drop of water in the ocean ,and a specific star in the universe
    buyers use ebay for convenience or a bargain they dont want to spend a week trawling thru sub sections and categories,
    ebay needs to divide and specialise before it implodes ,rather than trying to be everything to every buyer,

    • 2 weeks ago

      Most of the items I buy on-line are through Ebay and I have no problem finding the things I want for the best price / service offered by a seller and usually cheaper than Amazon.

      Do they know what the buyers are having problems with or are they just trying to “fix” something that is not a problem?

      Maybe they could get the tech guys to fix some of the real problems that sellers encounter using the site, like when you click on the “Order Details” button on a message you get taken to the item listing page not the buyers order.

      Sellers Hub – Personally I like it and have used it since they first tested it, but why do they still have half the site using the old layout and have not integrated everything in to the seller hub?

      Maybe try finish things before starting new ideas

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