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eBay seller experience head reports on 2017 progress

By Dan Wilson November 20, 2017 - 7:46 am

The end of the year, and the oncoming frenzy of Black Friday and peak, has prompted a comment from the new head of eBay seller experience. It’s always good to reflect and review and it makes for interesting reading and we’d love to hear your reactions.

The head of eBay Seller Experience Bob Kupbens has written a blog post about the changes the marketplace has seen in 2017. You can find the full text of the report here.

It’s billed as “Bob’s Blog: 2017 Retrospective – Looking Back While Continuing to Move Forward.”

And he notes: “As 2017 comes to a close, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and remind you that your partnership and the eBay community, is what sets us apart.”

Take a moment to have a read of what Kupbens has to say. There are several things that spring immediately to mind. He justifiably talks about eBay’s growth and development this year. Another highlight, according to the post, is the easier selling experience that 2017 has seen.

But most interestingly Kupbens’s third point is related to his view that there has been a sea change in 2017 that sees a “strong partnership” between eBay and its sellers. It would be interesting to know if that is something you agree with.

Perhaps one of the most disruptive aspects of the eBay experience in 2017 has been the firm’s approach to contact details and communications between buyers and sellers. It doesn’t immediately sing of a strong partnership.

The other consideration, that it’s hardly surprising that Kupben’s didn’t address, is that the vast majority of change that has been filtering down in his post does seem to be largely relevant to US sellers on the eBay.com marketplace.

If we were to sum up change on eBay.co.uk in 2017, we’d note that is has been largely scant compared to what’s been going on stateside. Maybe that will change in 2018?

  • 3 weeks ago

    Easier selling experience ? Where ?
    Between a search that couldnt find the foot at the end of my leg ; and a Partner that now only thinks communication is a dirty word and continues to prove it on a weekly basis , I think 2017 has been a lousy year ,all round .
    Add to that fee increases and glitches galore .
    i WOULD BE PUTTING MY CV IN ORDER , if I were him

    • 3 weeks ago

      @Cockneydevil

      What you have to remember is that
      ” Bob Kupbens, Vice President of Business-to-Consumer Selling”
      is a COMPANY man, bought n paid for, with a salary (I suspect) to be in the mid to high 6 digit numbers bracket?, and that kind of financial inducement can buy a whole lotta verbal diarrhea.

      Put his CV in order? HELL NO, he MAY actually get a BONUS.

  • Julius Oliveti
    3 weeks ago

    I have just responded to it about the fact they lost 1000 reviews of my products. Apart from that nightmare 2017 has been very positive on eBay.

    All they need to do is get rid of VAT evaders and some other del boys.

  • Ratso Restorations
    3 weeks ago

    An absolute joke-the guy must be on another planet or maybe I`m working on another Ebay altogether. After a year of making it more and more difficult for small scale sellers to make a living where on earth does he get the idea that selling is easier on Ebay-perhaps he should come and have a chat to the many small scale sellers at my local post office that are giving up on Ebay altogether (methinks they dont give a monkeys and would rather see the back of all the little guys that made their business in the first place)

  • Colin
    3 weeks ago

    “strong partnership”? What? eBay is no longer any kind of partnership, ebay wants to micromanage all aspects of a sellers business, Returns, Delivery, Feedback, Contact Details, to name just a few of the nonsensical policies put in place for sellers – sorry – for ebay. This isnt a partnership in ANY sense of the word!

  • JoeB
    3 weeks ago

    There is no strong partnership. eBay act like they hate and distrust their sellers. They’re handing out bans for buyers sending phone numbers. Does that indicate that they value sellers?

    As for community, there isn’t one. If you take a look at eBay’s community pages, the eBay staff hardly ever post and when they do it’s just platitudes.

    For the first time ever I’m turning my attention away from eBay and towards other platforms. I’m sick of all the endless tinkering, having to revise my listings every few months to comply with whatever daft rule they bring in.

    Bob if you read this, you’ve lost the plot mate, the eBay you describe is not the eBay that sellers have to contend with every day.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Utterly amazed ebay can even highlight this topic for comment; especially when the changes ebay rolled out caused such chaos and a down turn in sales with many many headaches to go along with it…. This coupled with help desk staff who do not know as much as most ebay sellers (read system users!)…
    It would be useful if ebay could explain their understanding of “partnership”.. For the hike in fees coupled and no demonstrable action on issues they introduced… How do they even consider themselves a partner?
    Their rules or walk, doubt the ” head of eBay Seller Experience Bob Kupbens” would even take a moment to review seller experiences, or even offer feedback on them.. let alone speak to a long term user of ebay…..

    I read recently that when Microsoft started out (I remember this), they could not (maybe would not) afford an large IT dept for beta trials/bug fixing/glitch catching.. they just rationalised.. roll out the update or new version and let users tell us what is wrong…. saved them a load of cash, they ignored the headaches users had…

    It would appear ebay in silicone valley is doing the same, they are coming up with fancy ideas and trailing it on live users (easy to see when they have done something – the feedback icon appears on the page).. problem is, these are peoples businesses on ebay, income generators…. not merely sellers… how they can say they are in partnership when they roll out changes that mean auctions cant be seen, sellers are told payment methods are not available, reviews are screwed or lost and auction (sales) are affected as a result… I’d like to see his answers to such topics areas rather writing to the world and saying “haven’t we done well….. sales are on the up, we must be doing it right”…..

    If the US had seen more upheaval than the UK, how do others feel about 2018 and what their “partnership” with ebay has in store for them?

    Be really nice if they took into account sellers needs and wishes… removing contact details and ability to answer consumer questions.. oh please..

    Where is this in the book of fantastic customer relations.. and putting the customers first…?

    Oh that’s right, I’m a seller of 10 years on ebay… I’m “a customer”… I have no say.

  • 3 weeks ago

    I’m convinced that Amazon have somehow managed to put the top guy in place at eBay.

    For the last few years (especially 2017) all the decisions that eBay have made seem to favour their competitors and shoot themselves in the foot.

    Amazon must now see eBay as the gift that just keeps on giving.

    If this guy thinks the following words eBay/Seller Experience/Progress deserve to be in the same sentence then he’s deluding himself – simple as.

    • 3 weeks ago

      @James said

      “I’m convinced that Amazon have somehow managed to put the top guy in place at eBay.”

      Oh yes, very good james…very good 🙂

  • Richard
    3 weeks ago

    Bob is from another planet. There is NO partnership – just e-bay dictating changes and adversely affecting sellers without any recourse. Communication is lousy and all one way – impossible to find someone who even understands how e-bay actually works so any communication is useless. THEY JUST DON’T VALUE SELLERS

  • Markie XPPPX
    3 weeks ago

    Where does this man live? moon/ under the bed/ In his bathroom with shower full on and earplugs firmly in place?

    His company is, bit by bit, dismantling anything that resembles a ‘strong relationship’ with the sellers he claims to cherish. Constant fiddling about with fees (but always upward),charging me 10% of my postage costs THEN charging VAT on what should be a ‘non-vatable’ service. Silly hoops on contact details and HTML…. can’t even bulk re-list auction items back into my shop anymore

    As one of the original ‘collectables’ sellers I feel no ‘value’ attached to my long term £10,000+ annual contribution to ebay’s coffers.

    Charming, friendly and, more often than not, helpful Irish customer services staff are the only strong card this management wobble speak guru appears to hold.

  • SAM
    3 weeks ago

    PR Rubbish I am afraid. What relationship between eBay and it’s sellers.
    Our main accomplishment in 2017 has been keeping our heads above water and getting away from the likes of eBay and Amazon, and really starting to establish our OWN brand.
    Do you know what looking back I am so glad of the moves we made back in Dec 2016, we were way too reliant on them.
    Today we have 6 sacks of games going out and about 2 of them are eBay where last year 5 of them would have been.

  • alan paterson
    3 weeks ago

    Yes, agree with the “strong partnership”. Concierge certainly gives that impression when I am on the phone and I believe they are 100% sincere. Lot of other changes and rules were unpopular this year. Not so keen on the image thing myself (other sellers using your images) but I see where ebay are going with it.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Good Heavens! Is he living in another universe? I recently started selling on ebay again after a couple of years break and wished I hadn’t bothered. The trading conditions for eBay sellers has become difficult, especially in the UK. It seems to me that the US get the best deals overall.

    For example, every month a USA personal seller gets 100 free listings. In the UK a personal seller gets 20. Whats that all about? Why are you treating the UK as if we are all stupid? Did you think we wouldn’t notice?

    As a business seller, it’s now extremely difficult to sell personalized items such as photo canvases because eBay compress the photo size. You’re now not allowed to supply an email for a customer to send you a photo in your description. You’re also breaching the rules and risking a ban if you tell the buyer where to find your contact details. So you have to go into another site outside of eBay, hunt for the buyers email, send them an email from your own email telling them where to send their photo they want printed onto canvas, all so you can complete the sale.

    I also had a buyer last week who wanted to collect in person. However, for me being accommodating to the buyer, I got a warning I could be banned for 7 days as I had agreed he could pay when he arrived & given him collection details. In over 2000 transactions and 100% feedback, I’ve never received any kind of warning. I am furious! What way is that taking care of sellers? No, I wasn’t trying to avoid eBay final value fees, which I was happy to pay, but it would be nice to save a penny or two on Paypal fees and save the cost and hard work of packaging a bulky item. However, nothing in the system now allows me to do that it seems.

    I would say, Bob, you “are looking back, while moving even further back”. Actually, no, I’ll take that back. Ebay was better a few years ago than it is today.

    On the plus side, like thousands of sellers, I can now sell on many other platforms that sprung up entirely because of ebay’s “ban the sellers” policies in the last 3-4 years. When eBay decided to reduce the auction sellers, they also lost huge numbers of eyeballs looking for bargains because those people went elsewhere. Where there are less buyers, then the sellers also have to go elsewhere. Isn’t there anyone in eBay with that basic common sense? eBay is NOT an Amazon and it’s stupid to try and go head to head with them which was their plan. eBay once stood out for having its own identity. No longer; now it’s just another platform, but without the USP’s it used to have.

    Facebook is coming up the ranks really fast and it costs nothing. Then there’s all the other auction sites, sales platforms & apps such as Etsy, Depop, Shpock and so on. So if anyone in eBay have any sense, they would do well to start taking alot more care of ALL their customers because sellers are definitely customers too. After all, we pay their wages.

  • alan paterson
    3 weeks ago

    @ hollyhampster. I respect that you might be getting results on other platforms. However, that is not my experience and I think it is important to concentrate on the platform giving the best returns.

    Over the weekend my ebay shops have produced over 200 orders. Amazon a respectful 40 (or so).

    Facebook produced zero orders.
    All other platforms that we have been selling on produced zero.

    For us the answer is still ebay and will be for many years to come. They are too often trashed on here or people are not seeing the big picture or are misinterpreting the information.

  • Peter
    3 weeks ago

    Bob is obviously an alien. The beatings for business sellers started with the fee “simplification” in 2009 and show no sign of abating. The intention of turning Ebay into a shopping mall (probably populated by sellers of far eastern tat and knock-offs) still seems to be part of their plan, and their constant attempts to bring in more private sellers (and bogus private sellers with multiple new items) leave a whiff of desperation that can probably be explained by the way they’ve greedily taken more and more fees for less and less service over the last eight years.
    The postage tax in the UK has certainly cut my overseas business by 75%, and I find it harder and harder to buy stock on Ebay, because the search is so appallingly inaccurate – I want to look for what I put in the search bar, not a load of unrelated rubbish.

  • Andy R
    3 weeks ago

    Just had a shockingly high Ebay monthly invoice against worst ever sales.

    A real eye opener and more incentive to push our other platforms, which are selling well and growing.

    The biggest problem, and we are being told this by our Ebay customers, is that they have made it HARDER for customers to buy on Ebay.

    1) Daily site problems means buyers using certain devices, browsers, OS, or from specific locations, find it slow or impossible to complete a purchase. The latest https is a joke – most Ebay pages are still insecure!

    2) Changes to searches and layouts have made it harder for buyers to find what they want, not easier.

    When customers started asking why we were hiding some of our items, it put the tin lid on it.

    What we are seeing on Ebay is not forward movement, it is sideways movement.

    Which is what happens when a company knows it needs to respond to challenges, but just doesn’t know what to do.

    Expect more changes in this “partnership” in 2018.

    Here’s the dictionary definition of a partnership:

    “A contractual relationship between two or more persons carrying on a joint business venture with a view to profit, each incurring liability for losses and the right to share in the profits”.

    It seems one of the partners has forgotten about sharing the profits.

  • derek duval
    3 weeks ago

    when will you thick skull sellers get it through your thick heads. any down turn on Ebay is being caused by the same idiot sellers sending stock to Amazon and offering yesterday delivery for 2 percent margins…enough said

    • Toby
      3 weeks ago

      Not one to generalise then eh Derek? I guess you have worked with so many ebay sellers that you have experienced every issue and ever approach? Must have because you seemed pretty damn sure of your comment!

  • Leader of the Banned
    3 weeks ago

    Here’s my reply to Bob on Bob’s blog or should I say Bob’s BLAG. I am 100% positive he will not reply but it has to be said…

    I can hardly be bothered telling you what the problems are Bob…It is obvious that you don’t consider fixing the shopping carts a problem or removing Immediate Payment Required from my account.

    Again I ask you to please remove IPR from my eBay account. If not then tell me why you have enforced this upon some sellers like me & not your on own eBay account. I do not want my business to die as your Guinea Pig.

    You previously said it was a test but who tests for almost 3 years?

    Please look at my sales data! Down 55% from last year alone.

    No more multiple purchases from overseas. NONE!

    IPR used to be optional. What is the positive factor of removing choices in business?

    I’m sorry but it is hard to believe that you want to make small sellers successful when you take away choices & enforce business crippling changes.

    • 3 weeks ago

      He’s a COMPANY man Leader, simples.

      I bet they didn’t ask him to say “CHEESE” for that shot, they just reminded him of his SALARY 🙁

    • 2 weeks ago

      @Leader of the Banned

      Let me guess Leader…Bobby didn’t get back to you?

      I seem to remember an article by an eBay Exec, (I forget his name) telling us about all the WONDERFUL changes and “improvements” that had taken place over the past few years, and he gave examples Zzz Zzz THEN (and this did make me laugh) he ONLY went and announced his RETIREMENT.

      You see Leader, when it comes to eBay management, verbal diarrhea comes naturally…it’s why they get paid the BIG Bucks.

  • derek duval
    3 weeks ago

    @toby….i hate Amazon with a passion but am not blind to see what Buyers want. Ebay has allowed bad sellers to operate….just look at the chinese operating on ebay with 96 percent feedback….so many disgruntled buyers

    • 3 weeks ago

      Derek, I tend to look at eBay’s record a little closer to home.

      I had eBay Trust & Safety confirm, only a couple of day’s ago, that ALL 3 “names” of eBayers I gave them as scammers/shill bidders, buyers & sellers (who bid, and when they get it wrong, buy but obviously not pay for items “purchased” from each other) do in fact use the SAME “electronic” address.

      I was able to see that 2 were at the same physical address (road & post code in Coventry) thanks to the Courier “shiply.com”

      The Shiply system is such, that you are able to upload the item number from eBay, and (if supplied by the seller) have the seller’s address “pop up”.

  • Derek duval
    3 weeks ago

    @mathew m.

    I dont disagree. Ebay aint perfect but 4 sure its a dam sight better than amazon.

    At least ebay are in it for a profit…amazon are happy for themselves to make 0 profit…problem is they expect u to do the same

    • 3 weeks ago

      @Derek duval

      Sorry derek, I did notice I look like I’ve missed you point, but it’s not the case. I was just coming at things from a buyers point of view.

      Derek, if you, a supplier, sends a bulk delivery to an Amazon fulfilment centre, and I make a purchase from you, Amazon will pick, pack, & send it to me..so far so good.

      If something goes wrong with the item, for example damaged in delivery due to poor packaging, so that I need a replacement (as happened) again, Amazon will pick, pack & send it, BUT I was told I could keep the 1st item…still very useable. Has Amazon CS just been very generous with YOUR stock/profit margin?. If so, very unfair, given it was a packing error on the part of Amazon.

      From that point of view, I can understand you being upset with Amazon.

  • 3 weeks ago

    @Derek duval

    I like the way ebay looks and feels, and I like the way we (as buyers) can fine tune our requirements in just about every respect, but the way it is RUN?.

    I don’t trust ebay CS, and have absolutely ZERO faith in the joke that is “trust & safety”. In ALL honesty, I feel sorry for sellers (some of them, anyway)

    Amazon? I have found Amazon CS to be spot on 99% of the time, the complete opposite to ebay, and sometimes also the better place to shop, price wise.

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