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Harry Temkin talks about changes coming for eBay sellers soon

By Dan Wilson November 9, 2018 - 5:20 pm

It’s always a good thing to know who the masters of your fate are. And that means getting to know something about the executives at eBay. So you’ll be interested to find out more about Harry Temkin. He is the new Vice President of Seller Experience at eBay.

Here is a video published this week where he talks about his new job, approach and plans. He’s only been in the job for 4 weeks.

Harry Temkin is keen to establish his credentials as an experienced promoter of marketplace analytics, which he has done previously at Reuters (where he worked with eBay CEO Devin Wenig). And he makes some persuasive arguments for several new products which are coming to merchants in the months to come. Some new services will be available before this year is out but others will launch in 2019

Pricing guidance is clearly an area that he wishes to bring to the forefront, using the Terapeak within the seller hub, to help sellers more effectively sell on the eBay marketplace. And, perhaps most interestingly, he recognises that the system which utilises AI (artificial intelligence) can be flawed and offer dubious pricing advice. In one section of the video he details improvements that are coming to that function. Crucially, the new system won’t just be looking at the prices of goods on eBay but also elsewhere on the web so you can be truly competitive.

It is always easy to be cynical about new executives at eBay because it does often seem that we’ve seen this sort of thing many times before. And there is also an aspect of such presentations that can seem overtly irksome to a non-US audience because of the style of communication.

But it’s well worth listening in and absorbing some of the details about the new features especially if you make your living on eBay: this man is a big influence on your business. And as he says:

As the head of seller experience, it’s my job to protect you as the seller. It’s a high priority to add more seller protections.
– Harry Temkin, Vice President of Seller Experience, eBay

  • Jay
    2 weeks ago

    We don’t need anymore changes, just more sales please.

    • KT
      1 week ago

      Quite right Jay, well said.

    • David Watson
      1 week ago

      Not sure where this guy thinks ebay sellers get the margins from, ive been doing this 17 years now and watched them make a mess of it all – 10 years ago the fees on £30k of sales were about £800, the fees now on the same £30K of sales are around £4000, soon there wont be any ebay sellers left they will have gone to thee own web sites and using the money they save on fees to pay for google clicks and press advertising , and now they are expecting us to pay more to ‘promote’ our listings otherwise we might not be able to make the sales………………

    • Jay
      1 week ago

      Can directly relate to this David. I’ve been on eBay for 10+ years myself and have seen firsthand the continuous increase in fees. If we combine both PayPal and eBay fees we’re often seeing total fees in excess of 20% gross revenue.

      There’s also now the risk of a further 4% being added on to our eBay fees come February, plus the unknown of eBay Managed Payments yet to come. Not too mention what we’re being forced to plough into promoted listings which now accounts for about 20% of our total sales. So now this time next year that figure could easily be 30%+ gross revenue, and that’s just an obsurd figure in my eyes.

  • jim
    2 weeks ago

    lowering prices is impossible if the fees are so high , if ebay halved there fees then sellers could afford to lower the price of the goods, if they want a competetive market place that attracts buyers then that is what they have to do. They could implement if they wanted to a discount on everything on the site but that discount comes from their fees for example

  • jim
    2 weeks ago

    quite amusing
    poor man gritting his teeth.
    hoping the woman in the background would be quite

  • Cottages 106
    2 weeks ago

    Iv just been ripped off on eBay . Seller taken money .
    No goods turned up and no reply to any emails it’s disgraceful.

  • Rob
    2 weeks ago

    Current seller experience is not great so lets hope it will swing back to the middle and be fair once again for both sellers and buyers like it was earlier in the year.
    If he wants to have a really big impact the first thing he could do is get rid of the service metric with the threat of fines hanging over sellers heads each month in the New Year.
    How returns are allowed to be managed would be another positive step and let business choose how they want to run their own business instead of being forced to accept 30 day returns in certain categories. Trying to clear some stock through some auctions currently but have 14 days returns policy and feels like they are being restricted as very little views even thou low starting price.
    Fair process for when buyers opens a SNAD
    Feels like promoted listings are being pushed on sellers as everywhere you look it is popping up they want more money for listings. Why should we pay more to display items on ebay, fair enough if promoted listings was paying to get items displayed on other places on the web.
    Do buyers really need to be encouraged with more offers? They currently have best offer and even when not included in a listing get daily messages wanting money off item.

    • Jim
      2 weeks ago

      As a buyer we agree with ebay sharpening up some sellers acts,
      out of
      2 purchases on ebay recentl 1 Out of stock plus the other a late delivery gave us a frustrating poor experiance

    • Jay
      1 week ago

      I agree Jim. However, eBay are imposing changes on sellers who don’t need “sharpening up” instead of directing their sharpening measures at those providing the bad experiences.

    • Jim
      1 week ago

      Were already razor sharp, ebays metrics will have little fear for us ,
      Its the blunt sellers that need to worry

  • 1 week ago

    Lower the extortionate fees and sellers can lower their prices.Typical GREEDY EBay ripping off small business sellers with ridiculously high fees!!

  • Julian
    1 week ago

    As a small seller I find the seller hub extremely cumbersome and of no use to me, I already have charts and lists in place for my business and dont need ebay forcing me to use theirs, I would prefer small businesses having the option to opt out of seller hub. I just want to list and sell like I am use to. The less time I spend on ebay the more time I can spend on my business, ebay is not part of my business it is purely one of my outlets.
    Also I would prefer fees to be removed from postage costs.

    • jim
      1 week ago

      @ julian
      the answer to your complaint seems very obvious and simple ,
      dont use ebay [especially as they are not part of your business]
      spend more time on your business
      your not forced to use seller hub or pay fees on postage,

    • Steve
      1 week ago

      @Jim
      You are right, we don’t have to sell on ebay but it needs pointing out that not everyone is happy about the direction ebay is going. Sellers have to use the seller hub interface and there have been fees on postage since ebay started. I notice from your previous comment that fees need to be reduced, well if you think the fees are too high for you to be competitive then the answer is simple, don’t use ebay.
      Ebay will soon realise that something is wrong when the old small sellers that made ebay start going elsewhere.

    • jim
      1 week ago

      its not this jim that made the fee reduction comment,
      this jim would love reduced fees, but does not overly dwell on fees
      as long as were making a profit, and ebay works for us ,,were reasonably happy,
      we would rather pay 10% of profit
      as 5% of a loss

  • Pedro
    1 week ago

    Shock and Facebook market place are my go to sites to sell new and pre owned goods.

  • Ebay just can’t get their head around the fact that sellers don’t want a change every three months that heavily impacts on their business, one of the reasons that Amazon is so much better is their ‘if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it’ model, leaving us sellers to concentrate on our business rather than spend all of our time on the naughty step trying to keep up.

    Love the lady in the background she really sums Ebay up, we are treated like idiots all the time and just to compound that this video is totally dumbed down to our perceived intelligence level ‘YAAAAAAAAAAAH’.

    Comical

    • 16 hours ago

      I agree completely. With thousands of listings the only thing we have done this past year is let eBay wreck their own site. My fees were 10k a month, now 1400. We haven’t changed a damn thing and sales plummet with every change. Crazy to think that we may leave ebay as now the changes have cost all profitability out of ebay and as a courtesy we stay… until Jan 1st..

  • Terry Guest
    1 week ago

    In the UK sellers do not need to be ruled by the oppressive EBAY ‘get your item’ guarantee, there are Consumer Protection regulations which protect buyers. It is an absolute scandal that EBAY and PAYPAL take seller fees from shipping costs

    • KT
      1 week ago

      Totally agree Terry. Sadly I reckon this came about as idiots used to list stuff for sale at 1p and charge £19.99 postage or whatever so they didn’t have to pay fees. However, Ebay should have banned these people and left it as it was, not inflict the fees on postage as it penalises the genuine sellers.

  • Mark
    1 week ago

    What another prat all eBay keep saying is be competitive on prices. We easy to say but when you are selling as low as you can go he may as well ask us to platt fog.

    I look at prices every day and have not taken long to work out that with huge companies on eBay buying at massive discounts due to volume we cannot compete.
    We cannot offer discounts.
    We cannot lower prices.
    We cannot pay extras to promote.

    At least other platforms recognise we pay them to list our products on their platform not be offered higher exposure if we pay more.

    • 1 week ago

      They always say be competitive on prices. But as soon as you ask Ebay to lower there fee’s to compensate for lowering our prices they run a mile. It’s OK for us to lose profit but not for them. We sell items at a certain price so we can accommodate all the fees. Come 2019 our prices will be going up further to compensate for the shortfall in Adyen fees and the 4% in the other fee I don’t want to talk about as really it’s an increase in fee’s for ebay when they feel like it.

  • Toby
    1 week ago

    1, Price guideance.
    Well yes it does need some work…. I have found some wild prices and when you look at the item it has used ( if it shows it), you often find that it hasn’t been sold in over a year! Even better are the ones where it says web pirce…. yes that is all well and good buy most of these web prices don’t include postage as most websites still add it on at the end. I had a line that was selling really well at £19.99, in fact it had been selling really well for over a year. Suddenly ebay suggest i drop to £12.99!!! So i checked on ebay and NO ONE else was selling it. So i check online to find one place selling it at £22.99 plus p&p.
    Tell me how this system works?!!!
    2, Cracking down on problem sellers? You have to be kidding me? Ebay only go after people that they can get with a massive net. They simply apply stuff to every business seller as it is easy to do. Have they even looked at there system for reporting problem sellers? The options are limited and often bare little resemblence to what you are reporting them for. It’s as if they dont want you to find the right option so give up. They may want to try reporting a seller who blatantly should be registered as business seller but are listing over 200 lines of new stuff etc as a private seller. Go on find the option to report this? There isn’t one. it’s just some vague random option that you can suggest that doesnt really apply. Yes you can add a comment… but why bother? I have been reporting 50 items a month for several months. The same items, same sellers….. NO action. Ebay don’t give two hoots. How can you compete against someone that is selling with no or low ebay fees, proberly not paying tax etc as well? Yet come some poor honest sod working their ass off…. ebay will shut them down at the mere whiff of genuine error.

    So yes please give me this guys email address, as i would love to send him some item numbers and see what he thinks. In fact if anyone has that other guys email that was being trumpeted several months ago… i will have that as well!

  • 1 week ago

    EBAY and Paypal (and Amazon for that matter) can have the seller fees on postage – I would much prefer it if they were not allowed to charge fees on the VAT element of the selling price!! As if its not hard enough to compete with all the non-VAT paying sellers (mainly foreign – ALL of which “should” be registered for VAT if they are outside the EU for the first £1 sale – no threshold for them..)
    So we are all paying fees on what the government take as VAT …. and I wonder how much of that goes back into the HMRC coffers as Corporation Tax from the giants

  • Steve
    1 week ago

    My wife sells jewelry on ebay, as an example her earrings are sold on ebay for £3.90 with free postage which after fees and postage and material cost gives her a small profit. However several companies in China sell cheap alternatives for £0.99 Postage free!!!! How is this possible? I can not post an empty envelope to China for that price let alone enclosing a pair of hand made earrings. Do the Chinese get charged fees?

  • Dave
    1 week ago

    We sell authentic branded products on eBay and are competing with fake sellers that pay extortionate rates to sponsor their listings at the top of the page. As the indexing no longer seems to take feedback into account the cheap fakes are well indexed in every category on eBay. If eBay promote cheaper listings it will be it’s downfall, I personally don’t buy any”branded” toys , batteries , phone accessories etc on eBay due to experience yet have sold myself for almost 15 years which is very sad.
    An example was at this time last year in toys. Authentic Fingerlings were sold out in every retail store yet freely available on eBay at £10 cheaper than the RRP from Chinese sellers. This year it is LOL products , again many products sold out in stores yet on eBay at ridiculous low prices , mostly from Chinese sellers which you can only see if going to business details info.

    • SAM
      1 week ago

      Your correct the fakes are being pushed right to the top of the search with sponsored listings, it is actually getting out of hand. We have genuine products and cost, you cannot compete with fakes from China, with their free post and little or no costs…
      eBay has become a shambles, they don’t actually care as long as they get their pound of flesh….even if it is through fake and counterfeit products.
      Den of thieves it has become….

    • Jay
      1 week ago

      eBay don’t seem to act on sellers reports of fakes and counterfeit items. Instead to report these you need to directly reach out to the brand protection teams for each of the counterfeit brands that your dealing with.

      Send an email with “Subject: FAO Brand Protection Dept.” to the standard customer service email through the brands own website and you can guarantee it’ll reach the right hands sooner than you think. Don’t forget to include the link to the counterfeit item.

      I’d stop expecting eBay to do anything about it for you, because if we’ve learnt anything about eBay over the years, it’s that they won’t do anything unless it’s in their interests to do so financially.

      The chances are most of these brands don’t even realise there are counterfeits of their products on eBay, let alone realise these are actually coming up top of the search for their branded keywords.

      What you probably can guarantee however, is unlike eBay, any self respecting brand (big or small) will act on every single report you make.

  • Markp
    1 week ago

    Steve,

    wise words but……..

    Ebay will soon realise that something is wrong when the old small sellers that made ebay start going elsewhere.

    Don’t hold your breath

  • Mark
    1 week ago

    i have written proof eBay are not interested in fakes. I showed them a listing where the item was described as clone / facsimile and the abusive reply message was i said in the listing its a fake.
    eBay did nothing and he is still selling £400 items at £129 and they said we do not have proof and will only remove if Carl Zeiss the real owners contact us.

    So hows that for being a safe place to trade.

  • Elisha
    1 week ago

    I have loved selling on Ebay but I have tried evrything to get sales and I think after Octobers poor results and also this months, I will have to down grade my shop in December
    Fed up of changes the costs compard to the river.
    I am setting up my own website as its cheaper and another platform I can at least try.
    The change to all listings onto one page I dislike if people wanted the river experience they would o there.
    The fun has gone out of online selling on Ebay.
    To many glitches and the buyers have all the rights. I am not here to scam buyers but I get the feeling Ebay think the sellers are with feedback changes this year.
    Sorry if I sound jaded but thats the way I feel

  • 7 days ago

    VP is phoney enough – but of ‘seller experience’? what we (sellers) experience is what we perceive it to be – not what a supplier tells us.

    foggy words – foggy minds?

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