8 Comments

Summary:

Another site billing itself as an eBay killer is launching today. Fididel offers real-time negotiation and trains negotiators that can work on behalf of sellers to help them get good prices, which makes it a potential shopping place for those disillusioned with eBay’s auction sniping. Yes, […]

Another site billing itself as an eBay killer is launching today. Fididel offers real-time negotiation and trains negotiators that can work on behalf of sellers to help them get good prices, which makes it a potential shopping place for those disillusioned with eBay’s auction sniping. Yes, sellers and investors are unhappy with eBay at the moment, but I look at the online auction giant like I look at Wal-Mart; it’s a behemoth that might piss a lot of people off, but lots of other people still shop there.

Of course, the Internet has lots of room for other online auction or e-commerce sites, ranging from other giants such as Amazon.com to upstarts such as Etsy or last week’s launch of Wigex. As for Fididel, I think it will face the same difficulty other online auction or swap meet sites face: getting enough buyers to shop there to make it worthwhile for sellers to participate, and to a lesser extent, getting enough sellers so buyers will congregate.

The most likely path to success for these upstart online swap meets is a vertical one (think Etsy or Replacements.com). I may go onto the eBay to search out pieces of my grandmother’s Havalind china to replace cracked cups, but I’m also inclined to check out Replacements.com to double-check pricing and such. If Replacements.com (which is more of a broker than an auction site) were to branch out into a related field, such as lamps or household kitsch, I might end up checking that out too and turn to Replacements.com for all my Tiffany stained-glass needs (I don’t actually have this need, but you guys see where I’m going).

Though slow, it seem that this is how most online auctions could reasonably grow large enough to compete with eBay. Another option would be taking an existing base of buyers and adding an auction section to the site, much as Amazon.com or Overstock.com have. The path that startups like Fididel and Wigix are taking is more akin to building a shopping mall out in the middle of nowhere and hoping that buyers will take the time to search it out. It might work, but it’s less sure than building out a good niche retail store and slowly expanding your goods.

  1. To slay ebay: Google buys graigslist. Monetizes with ads and google checkout.

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  2. @stroumfaki – tough to do since ebay owns 25% of craigslist

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  3. Stacey Higginbotham Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    There is that, but eBay does have a stake in craigslist and I don’t think craigslist is too keen on selling out.

    Share
  4. Google buying craiglist and then monetizing the ads would make sense, but not to slay eBay. And as already mentioned, eBay owns 25% of craigslist through a sensitive hostile acquisition when one of its founders left.

    Besides, eBay is trying to enter into craigslist’s marketplace by doing the kijiji.com concept. Who knows how well it proceeds though.

    Share
  5. Ha-ha, eBay is immortal and has no real competitors. :)

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  6. Ebay is slowly seeing its market sliced away in small pieces, autotrader.com took its cars, etsy.com took its art and crafts, stubhub took its tickets, and swaptree.com took its books, cds, dvds and video games.

    When all is said and done ebay will be back where they started – a great site for pez dispensers.

    Share
  7. I wrote an interesting post on my blog about my experience on this hot topic that has upset the whole ebay community… It is at the following url:

    http://turnebiz.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/did-ebay-kill-your-online-business/

    Thanks,
    Matt Soares

    Share
  8. Things go from bad to worse since John Donahoe has become CEO, no one is happy, sellers or buyers. This is not the first time that a leadership change has caused a company to plummet. The difference is that many of the sellers who pay for e bays market share are households that have relied on eBay for part or all of its income and buyers have relied on the sites past policy to make buying easy and to facilitate sellers to bring unique items to the market place. This 13 year trust has been violated and has failed both sellers and buyers in just a few months of unfair, faulty policy change that has taken a ship this size and turned it so fast that it is out of control and is facing a challenge to bring the ship back to course as it was before.

    This policy change was over a short aggressive period, but the negative impact will make it difficult to navigate back in position. This will prove a challenge that may take years to repair relationships between sellers and buyers when it has been realized by investors concerned. It has been a 6 month meltdown since new management fumbled a working system. It has been a nightmare to many businesses as seen on so many messages as the sellers and buyers search for another company who is going to facilitate there demands.

    It should be clear, I am a wholesaler and not a writer or a stock expert, but I have a first hand inside look having been a powerseller for over 10 years, 1.7 million per year sales and account for $156,000 paid to e bay per year for seller fees, this is the bases in which e bay shows profit or loss in a great way for there core business, this does not account for paypal fees charged, seller manager pro, e bay stores. It was felt that E bay was a beautiful place before it failed not only its buyers, but its sellers. This, although it would seem, at the moment, can be seen by the stock prices offered currently and the downgrades by large investment firms. This downturn happened during the market crash, but was data compiled before that time it should be noted.

    An estimated 70,000 – 80,000 eBay sellers have been suspended due to aggressive, “at there discretion” unfair, flawed policy. These are the large sellers, most pay an excess of $10,000 per month in site fees. This is an estimated loss, on average, of $5000 per month for 70,000 sellers all its managements wisdom has pushed away $350,000,000 per month or 4,200,000,000 per year based on these educated guesses as e bay does not release information about how many or how much it may have damaged itself with these flawed changes. Maybe the current stock price will.

    E bay has spoken, treated sellers and buyers with disrespect, no conformity in answers received from e bay or policy’s, put sellers of 10 years who set our business to service the e bay market in a bad financial strain because of an aggressive unfair policy, which e bay keeps it sellers in the dark how to quantitative it, sellers and buyers have listed and regrettably moving on to something else. These are resourceful business people who will do well marketing for another company. They will be hurt financially in the short term, some loosing everything due to this irresponsible policy change. It should be noted that these sellers are also buyers and I personally buy a few thousand on e bay per year, they will not see another dollar from me. Even if I wanted to, it would be unlikely that what is being searched for could ever be found due to policy changes, and is most likely available at buy.com, Ubid.com Goggle stores (formally known a frugel.com) or Amazon.com. These sites are taking notice and are more than willing to facilitate what customers are asking for. Both knowledgeable sellers and buyers are voting with there buying power. The best site I have seen that is like e bay before it became too big for its loyal sellers and buyers is: onlineauction.com, small but growing with the right values for its buyers and sellers alike.

    I talked to the owner of onlineauction.com 1-800-900-2828, Rowen Grisham, a previous e bay powerseller who seen improper change coming long before many sellers and buyers realized. Rowen Grishamw says they are about to roll out a goggle search program that will make it more visible, how effective this may be is not clear, but he has remade e bay 12 years ago. This is just one example of where e bay buyer and seller base is going, the post I have seen here has been insightful. This demand that e bay did not supply is believed to be realized by its investors speculated by those who have been long time sellers and buyers of 10+ years. Far back when e bay wanted to supply its sellers and buyers with a fair service, as when the site was born. The size of the company and its inability to maneuver against all the many upstarts is going to prove interesting. Small companies that are hungry and taking advantage of a situation where current management is failing. A matter of supply and demand. When there is a demand and one company will not supply it, be assured another will eventually.

    Anyone considering investing or putting time into future sales may want to take a look at the aggressive policy’s they have put in place, there are little to no direct policy as there has been for the last 10 years, it is now “at there discretion” rather than a written or qualitative policy in many cases. This is making the company policy as un uniform as it has ever been. Even when the rules were written for all to see, there were interpretation issues, however, now it is just up to the person answering the phone or sending the e mail and no room for improvement or debate to better or change. Although communication has always been an issue for E bays customers as well as sellers on message boards complain how hard it is to get in touch with them and when you do no one on the other end seems to be empowered to help or care to do little more than quote out of the corporate handbook offered in form letters and help pages. If you are as lucky as us to have been a powerseller, you can call and sometimes have your call returned within 3-4 business days and hope to be available at the time the call is returned, you can ask the same question to 10 different e bay “officials” and get 10 different answers that do not relate to one another. This is not a speculation, this is based on personal experience as well as discussions with other large sellers. They have turned a blind eye to its sellers and buyers alike. I wouldn’t be leaving if there was any good reason to stay.

    I admit, service needed to be better, customer service is something that all should be striving to improve, there is a way to do that without destroying the e bay fabric that has worked so well in the past. I have a business to run, so there is not enough time to go into all details of in site, there are many dissatisfied sellers (who drive e bays profit) and dissatisfied buyers (who drive the sellers profit) and it does not take a MBA to figure out the future.

    E bay has done a poor job or employing the new changes to its buyers, sellers only after a few months of effect, some loosing there e bay business because of improper, unmonitored data, is still learning and it seems no one knows the answers even at the top account managers level. Its buyers do not realize that the DSR DETAILED SELLER RATING, the 5 stars under the feedback rating is not based on a 100 point scale like every other system in the free world. For example, from 1 to 5, 1 is poor, 3 is average and 5 is excellent. With e bay, 4,5 is average and 5 is good, I am glad they didn’t have my math teachers in Collage. So many times buyers rate a 3 when they don’t realize they are giving the seller a unacceptable rating that could potentially suspend his/her account from e bay as so many has been suspended in the last 3 months because of improper data that has been now used as the bible of e bay to rate seller performance. It should also be noted that a flaw in the data of the 5 star DSR is that if a customer is happy, they fell that leaving positive feedback served its purpose and they have caused a positive vote to the seller, e bay has not educated the buyer, so they do not leave a star rating at all, and are not required to and a large % do not, but leave a positive feedback as it is not required. But the buyer who is mad and is leaving hasty feedback will be more than motivated to leave a 1 or 2 for all stars. For this reason, good sellers offering great service and products are being suspended from e bay by record numbers, this cuts the life cord of the seller as well as e bay.

    Ebay has ruined their market flair for both buyers and sellers. Too many restricting rule changes, increased charges, paypal demands, seller ratings. This has ultimately destroyed their bottom line.
    I was talking to another large seller, he said something that is funny but true, he said “e bay is the only company I know to date that has actually implemented the policy of THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORAL HAS IMPROVED”
    Don’t think eBay and its payment system engage in unfair, at the very least unethical or even illegal business practices? Retailers are asking for congress to crack down on organized computer crimes, but eBay, said “they would be unfairly targeted in the proposed legislation” Read article from link below:

    http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/article.aspx?Feed=AP&Date=20080922&ID=9174700&Symbol=EBAY

    Ebay is definitely a stock headed down down down. The Wall Street analyst’s who cover Ebay are finding out what is really going on because the sellers who actually use ebay have been seeing it for the past several years as seen by past message/bogs. This has been especially true in the past 6 months. Anytime a company treats their customers with little or no concern, it’s not a good sign for the future.

    There are alternatives to ebay and they are getting stronger everyday while e bay lets it strong sellers go who offer products that drive customers to the site. Many of them showing up to other sites and, yes, drawing e bay customers to competitors site. I have talked to Ubid and Amazon, .wigix.com and they say they are seeing a flood of sellers coming over to there site. These are sellers and buyers who were content before and never even considered the idea of market movement, now they are not and are voting with there dollars and this trend will most likely continue. This will further deteriorate the system because these buyers and sellers realize that they have relied on a company that has forsaken them. The ones who may come back, if the policy does change to something reasonable for both sellers and buyers like buy.com policy, will remember the bite and the smart ones will keep there selling and buying accounts open for other sites they were forced to by bad customer service and policy.

    CNBC analyst Jim Cramer said he could not get behind the company, and that someone should buy the company “and put them out of their misery.” That is a big statement in and of itself, however, that with all the negativity on message boards from its sellers and buyers in the past few months should have already grabbed someone’s attention at e bay it would seem and some favorable policy changes would have followed already, this didn’t come and could come too little too late.

    It has been pointed out that CNBC analyst Jim Cramer said to buy, buy, buy at one time, the people who listened did well at that time. He has good in site to this company it would seem. Now I think this Caramer is a voice to listen to as he has made it clear that there is problems now, not anything that large sellers have not already foreseen for the last year.
    http://www.marketintelligencecenter.com/articles/649789

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ebay-buyers-concerned-re-feedback-changes

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/new-feedback-policy-unfair-for-sellers

    Articles from non bias 3rd party’s are now starting to surface all over the Internet community, although limited to in site, show they know of seller dissatisfaction:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/95329-ebay-is-a-losing-bid-barron-s
    http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y08/m01/i02/s01

    http://mashable.com/2008/04/29/wigix-out-to-steal-ebay-power-sellers-it-may-work/

    It is speculated that the Standard & Poors rating will be updating soon, because of e bays unprecedented fast and aggressive changes made in the last couple of months have not given any room for changes of amendments of ratings yet, but I will asure you they are coming the changes were simply done so fast and aggressive that ratings have not had time to catch up. It would be advisable to keep a close eye on this in a few months when aggressive policy changes reach the rating level.

    I have a dedicated special interest and hope they turn themselves around, but it is going to take some quick and correct policy change to undo what has been done in what would be considered by many as well as a powerseller account manager spoken to as “the most aggressive change e bay has ever done” it is costing sellers there business, although it is realized that a very few had to go, they are taking the good sellers, some of them my competitors out in the process. Not that I am sad to see some of my competitors go, it is still sad to know that these people have sold on e bay for 5-10 years, know they have adjusted themselves to e bay, the kind of inventory, business plan, warehousing and equipment and 100′s of thousands in inventory stuck in the warehouse they cannot sell, all of this done to a veteran of e bay because of policy changes made/implemented over just a few months. This policy change had the company treating its long term sellers and buyers like criminals. Taking away businesses from sellers by the flawed, aggressive policy change unfair to sellers and buyers.
    STR is dropping like a rock. The Best Match search is fatally flawed and $0.35 listings are not going to fix that. Buyers can’t find anything. Sellers can’t sell and are being abused both by eBay with the hateful DSR system, and by bottom feeding scammer/buyers, because there is NO seller protection. The buyers agree to the sellers terms by static link contract when they bid, just as sellers agree to e bay and paypals, but are not held to the policy that is the basics of a fair transaction. The new policy changes has driven off both buyers and sellers alike. It has attracted the wrong kind of buyer and made the site a breading ground for unfair transactions to sellers and buyers. Sellers are paralyzed by policy, sellers own policy has been abused by the new ebay policy changes. There is also NO customer service provided to sellers or buyers by ebay or paypal. Sellers of the unique items that made eBay famous (and who paid listing fees) are leaving in droves, while eBay brokers deals with corporate sellers of new stuff you can get anywhere who don’t pay listing fees. And their buyers are following them. Watch the Q3 figures. Better yet, wait until the government finally educates itself on what is going on, that is when you will see investors understand after it is too late. A company of this size can keep up appearances for some time, but its customers, its customers customers, that is sellers and buyers, are speaking up and cannot be ignored in the long term, the leader of these policy’s are and continue to drive away the core business of e bay. they must answer to its customers and its investors soon. The payment system can only hold them up and serve as a cash cow but for so long.
    Many sellers do not realize how eBay can legally stand on the fact that they are a “venue” when they set policy that makes all the decisions of how the seller sells, take payments, charge for shipping, return policy’s, they become more of a “landlord” or employer it would seem to most. If all transactions are under e bay contract and not contract between buyer and seller in a buyer and seller transaction. It is arguable that these policy changes can give a legal contract right of eBay being a “venue” that it has relied upon for so many years before the policy change just a few months ago.
    Almost everyone loved e bay before the policy changes, most feel confident that the company will go back to old policy before it was broken by recent policy. The question many have is when and will it be too late with sellers and buyers leaving by great numbers and competitors making better alternatives available. Many sellers going bankrupt because the unfair aggressive policy change has left them with 1000′s to 100′s of thousands of inventory cost, warehouse cost and other fixed cost because business has been tailored to e bay for many years. Many great sellers who offered products that drove traffic to the site have been suspended because of the unfair and flawed policy changes. To date, given e bay before it was broken with policy and leadership change, e bay was the best online selling platform, had market position of a virtual monopoly, but this trend is slowly changing as competition is taking advantage of this situation.

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    Things go from bad to worse since John Donahoe has become CEO, no one is happy, sellers or buyers. This is not the first time that a leadership change has caused a company to plummet. The difference is that many of the sellers who pay for e bays market share are households that have relied on eBay for part or all of its income and buyers have relied on the sites past policy to make buying easy and to facilitate sellers to bring unique items to the market place. This 13 year trust has been violated and has failed both sellers and buyers in just a few months of unfair, faulty policy change that has taken a ship this size and turned it so fast that it is out of control and is facing a challenge to bring the ship back to course as it was before. This policy change was over a short aggressive period, but the negative impact will make it difficult to navigate back in position. This will prove a challenge that may take years to repair relationships between sellers and buyers when it has been realized by investors concerned.

    It should be clear, I am a wholesaler and not a writer or a stock expert, but I have a first hand inside look having been a powerseller for over 10 years, 1.7 million per year sales and account for $156,000 paid to e bay per year for seller fees, this is the bases in which e bay shows profit or loss in a great way, this does not account for paypal fees charged, seller manager pro, e bay stores. It was felt that E bay was a beautiful place before it has crashed and failed not only its buyers, but its sellers. This, although it would seem, at the moment, can be seen by the stock prices offered currently and the downgrades by large investment firms. An estimated 70,000 – 80,000 eBay sellers have been suspended due to aggressive, “at there discretion” unfair, flawed policy. These are the large sellers, most pay an excess of $10,000 per month in site fees. This is an estimated loss, on average, of $5000 per month for 70,000 sellers all its managements wisdom has pushed away $350,000,000 per month or 4,200,000,000 per year based on these educated guesses as e bay does not release information about how many or how much it may have damaged itself with these flawed changes. Maybe the current stock price will.

    E bay has spoken, treated sellers and buyers with disrespect, no conformity in answers received from e bay or policy’s, put sellers of 10 years who set our business to service the e bay market in a bad financial strain because of an aggressive unfair policy, which e bay keeps it sellers in the dark how to quantitative it, sellers and buyers have listed and regrettably moving on to something else. These are resourceful business people who will do well marketing for another company. They will be hurt financially in the short term, some loosing everything due to this irresponsible policy change. It should be noted that these sellers are also buyers and I personally buy a few thousand on e bay per year, they will not see another dollar from me. Even if I wanted to, it would be unlikely that what is being searched for could ever be found due to policy changes, and is most likely available at buy.com, Ubid.com Goggle stores (formally known a frugel.com) or Amazon.com or wigix.com. These sites are taking notice and are more than willing to facilitate what customers are asking for. Both knowledgeable sellers and buyers are voting with there buying power.

    Anyone considering investing or putting time into future sales may want to take a look at the aggressive policy’s they have put in place, there are little to no direct policy as there has been for the last 10 years, it is now “at there discretion” rather than a written or qualitative policy in many cases. This is making the company policy as un uniform as it has ever been. Even when the rules were written for all to see, there were interpretation issues, however, now it is just up to the person answering the phone or sending the e mail and no room for improvement or debate to better or change. Although communication has always been an issue for E bays customers as well as sellers on message boards complain how hard it is to get in touch with them and when you do no one on the other end seems to be empowered to help or care to do little more than quote out of the corporate handbook offered in form letters and help pages. If you are as lucky as us to have been a powerseller, you can call and sometimes have your call returned within 3-4 business days and hope to be available at the time the call is returned, you can ask the same question to 10 different e bay “officials” and get 10 different answers that do not relate to one another. This is not a speculation, this is based on personal experience as well as discussions with other large sellers. They have turned a blind eye to its sellers and buyers alike. I wouldn’t be leaving if there was any good reason to stay.

    I admit, service needed to be better, customer service is something that all should be striving to improve, there is a way to do that without destroying the e bay fabric that has worked so well in the past. I have a business to run, so there is not enough time to go into all details of in site, there are many dissatisfied sellers (who drive e bays profit) and dissatisfied buyers (who drive the sellers profit) and it does not take a MBA to fugure out the future.

    E bay has done a poor job or emplaning the new changes to its buyers, sellers only after a few months of effect, some loosing there e bay business because of improper, unmonitored data, is still learning and it seems no one knows the answers even at the top account managers level. Its buyers do not realize that the DSR DETAILED SELLER RATING, the 5 stars under the feedback rating is not based on a 100 point scale like every other system in the free world. For example, from 1 to 5, 1 is poor, 3 is average and 5 is excellent. With e bay, 4,5 is average and 5 is good, I am glad they didn’t have my math teachers in Collage. So many times buyers rate a 3 when they don’t realize they are giving the seller a unacceptable rating that could potentially suspend his/her account from e bay as so many has been suspended in the last 3 months because of improper data that has been now used as the bible of e bay to rate seller performance. It should also be noted that a flaw in the data of the 5 star DSR is that if a customer is happy, they fell that leaving positive feedback served its purpose and they have caused a positive vote to the seller, e bay has not educated the buyer, so they do not leave a star rating at all, and are not required to and a large % do not, but leave a positive feedback as it is not required. But the buyer who is mad and is leaving hasty feedback will be more than motivated to leave a 1 or 2 for all stars. For this reason, good sellers offering great service and products are being suspended from e bay by record numbers, this cuts the life cord of the seller as well as e bay.

    Ebay has ruined their market flair for both buyers and sellers. Too many restricting rule changes, increased charges, paypal demands, seller ratings. This has ultimately destroyed their bottom line.
    I was talking to another large seller, he said something that is funny but true, he said “e bay is the only company I know to date that has actually implemented the policy of THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORAL HAS IMPROVED”
    Don’t think eBay and its payment system engage in unfair, at the very least unethical or even illegal business practices? Retailers are asking for congress to crack down on organized computer crimes, but eBay, said “they would be unfairly targeted in the proposed legislation” Read article from link below:

    http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/article.aspx?Feed=AP&Date=20080922&ID=9174700&Symbol=EBAY

    Ebay is definitely a stock headed down down down. The Wall Street analyst’s who cover Ebay are finding out what is really going on because the sellers who actually use ebay have been seeing it for the past several years as seen by past message/bogs. This has been especially true in the past 6 months. Anytime a company treats their customers with little or no concern, it’s not a good sign for the future.

    There are alternatives to ebay and they are getting stronger everyday while e bay lets it strong sellers go who offer products that drive customers to the site. Many of them showing up to other sites and, yes, drawing e bay customers to competitors site. I have talked to Ubid and Amazon, .wigix.com and they say they are seeing a flood of sellers coming over to there site. These are sellers and buyers who were content before and never even considered the idea of market movement, now they are not and are voting with there dollars and this trend will most likely continue. This will further deteriorate the system because these buyers and sellers realize that they have relied on a company that has forsaken them. The ones who may come back, if the policy does change to something reasonable for both sellers and buyers like buy.com policy, will remember the bite and the smart ones will keep there selling and buying accounts open for other sites they were forced to by bad customer service and policy.

    CNBC analyst Jim Cramer said he could not get behind the company, and that someone should buy the company “and put them out of their misery.” That is a big statement in and of itself, however, that with all the negativity on message boards from its sellers and buyers in the past few months should have already grabbed someone’s attention at e bay it would seem and some favorable policy changes would have followed already, this didn’t come and could come too little too late.

    It has been pointed out that CNBC analyst Jim Cramer said to buy, buy, buy at one time, the people who listened did well at that time. He has good in site to this company it would seem. Now I think this Caramer is a voice to listen to as he has made it clear that there is problems now, not anything that large sellers have not already foreseen for the last year.
    http://www.marketintelligencecenter.com/articles/649789

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ebay-buyers-concerned-re-feedback-changes

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/new-feedback-policy-unfair-for-sellers

    Articles from non bias 3rd party’s are now starting to surface all over the Internet community, although limited to in site, show they know of seller dissatisfaction:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/95329-ebay-is-a-losing-bid-barron-s
    http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y08/m01/i02/s01

    http://mashable.com/2008/04/29/wigix-out-to-steal-ebay-power-sellers-it-may-work/

    It is speculated that the Standard & Poors rating will be updating soon, because of e bays unpresidented fast and agressive changes made in the last couple of months have not given any room for changes of amindments of ratings yet, but I will asure you they are coming the changes were simply done so fast and agressive that ratings have not had time to catch up. It would be advisable to keep a close eye on this in a few months when agressive policy changes reach the rating level.

    I have a dedicated special interest and hope they turn themselves around, but it is going to take some quick and correct policy change to undo what has been done in what would be considered by many as well as a powerseller account manager spoken to as “the most aggressive change e bay has ever done” it is costing sellers there business, although it is realized that a very few had to go, they are taking the good sellers, some of them my competitors out in the process. Not that I am sad to see some of my competitors go, it is still sad to know that these people have sold on e bay for 5-10 years, know they have adjusted themselves to e bay, the kind of inventory, business plan, warehousing and equipment and 100′s of thousands in inventory stuck in the warehouse they cannot sell, all of this done to a veteran of e bay because of policy changes made/implemented over just a few months. This policy change had the company treating its long term sellers and buyers like criminals. Taking away businesses from sellers by the flawed, aggressive policy change unfair to sellers and buyers.
    STR is dropping like a rock. The Best Match search is fatally flawed and $0.35 listings are not going to fix that. Buyers can’t find anything. Sellers can’t sell and are being abused both by eBay with the hateful DSR system, and by bottom feeding scammer/buyers, because there is NO seller protection. The buyers agree to the sellers terms by static link contract when they bid, just as sellers agree to e bay and paypals, but are not held to the policy that is the basics of a fair transaction. The new policy changes has driven off both buyers and sellers alike. It has attracted the wrong kind of buyer and made the site a breading ground for unfair transactions to sellers and buyers. Sellers are paralyzed by policy, sellers own policy has been abused by the new ebay policy changes. There is also NO customer service provided to sellers or buyers by ebay or paypal. Sellers of the unique items that made eBay famous (and who paid listing fees) are leaving in droves, while eBay brokers deals with corporate sellers of new stuff you can get anywhere who don’t pay listing fees. And their buyers are following them. Watch the Q3 figures. Better yet, wait until the government finally educates itself on what is going on, that is when you will see investors understand after it is too late. A company of this size can keep up appearances for some time, but its customers, its customers customers, that is sellers and buyers, are speaking up and cannot be ignored in the long term, the leader of these policy’s are and continue to drive away the core business of e bay. they must answer to its customers and its investors soon. The payment system can only hold them up and serve as a cash cow but for so long.
    Many sellers do not realize how eBay can legally stand on the fact that they are a “venue” when they set policy that makes all the decisions of how the seller sells, take payments, charge for shipping, return policy’s, they become more of a “landlord” or employer it would seem to most. If all transactions are under e bay contract and not contract between buyer and seller in a buyer and seller transaction. It is arguable that these policy changes can give a legal contract right of eBay being a “venue” that it has relied upon for so many years before the policy change just a few months ago.
    Almost everyone loved e bay before the policy changes, most feel confident that the company will go back to old policy before it was broken by recent policy. The question many have is when and will it be too late with sellers and buyers leaving by great numbers and competitors making better alternatives available. Many sellers going bankrupt because the unfair aggressive policy change has left them with 1000′s to 100′s of thousands of inventory cost, warehouse cost and other fixed cost because business has been tailored to e bay for many years. Many great sellers who offered products that drove traffic to the site have been suspended because of the unfair and flawed policy changes. To date, given e bay before it was broken with policy and leadership change, e bay was the best online selling platform, had market position of a virtual monopoly, but this trend is slowly changing as competition is taking advantage of this situation.
    E bay bought Bill Me Later, I would have been surprised just 6 months ago, but I am unhappy to report that I am not at this time, the reason is this management has taken down the tread that holds e bay together as can be seen by its buyers and sellers everywhere complaining about the flawed aggressive policies that have taken place over the last few months, maybe you have heard some of them or are one of them. Every comment citing that the previous system was not broken. E bay has had community and trust, this 13 year trust has been violated and has failed both sellers and buyers in just a few months of unfair, faulty policy change that has taken a ship this size and turned it so fast that it is out of control and is facing a challenge to bring the ship back to course as it was before in the core business, although still ignored by management at this time, this is just in the core business, this shows the danger of a lateral move like credit right now. Not even taking into account the bad timing as the world economy will not view this favorably given recent events. This policy change was over a short aggressive period, but the negative impact will make it difficult to navigate back in position, if this venture is not successful, it will be even worse for ebay, its investors, and the management that follows. The core business has taken a great hit world wide, now it is committed to a market that is new. A new market during the time when its core business is in jeopardy due to flawed policy and a slowed economy with unproven new management. This will prove a challenge that may take years to repair relationships between sellers and buyers when it has been realized by investors concerned on top of unpopular credit service. It has only been a 6 month meltdown since new management fumbled a working system and seems callous to its customers concerns or to make effective migration back to the system with effective proven 12-15 record. A proven record built by previous management over 12-15 years, undone in a unprecedented 6 months.

    So, e bay wants its investors to trust it in a huge risk buy, when the investors are clearly concerned and most can see that e bay can not run its core business in a way that is satisfying to its customers, causing them to leave, look for other suppliers that will eventually be able to meet demands of the once complacent sellers and buyers. Sorry, it would be hard for anyone with basic knowledge of the problems with recent policy of the core business to buy this, having been a seller and buyer for 10 years, it makes it even harder to buy. I can say, I am happy to report my family, who bought stock when they seen my success on e bay, sold there stock when I explained the new managements flawed, unfair, and aggressive policy handed down. The stock has followed since this and many are betting with there dollars fell it will continue to fall. Maybe Jim Cramer, hyper as he is, has a point when he said he could not get behind the company, and that someone should buy the company “and put them out of their misery.” It is hard to argue with him, stock sold back in march, when these policies were being talked about, (not implemented yet) sold seems to be the smart move. Stock was $30-$32 per share at that time, March 2008, it dropped every since as can be tracked from any stock quote chart. Yes, the economy took the abrupt hit, stock price had already plummeted by 1/3, $19-$22 per share, before it happened that our country was in trouble from bad credit/debt. Many have said they wouldn’t want to touch this a credit market at this time. I would also not want to answer to shareholders when they learn what long time sellers and buyers have seen in the past few months. Good thing for golden parachutes I guess, maybe that will soften the fall?

    I think this report on NYtimes has some good in site of the problems facing the company with the current buy:

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/06/ebay-plays-warren-buffett-buys-online-lender/#comment-55807

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