eBay's Seller Rebellion

18 Comments

[qi:004] eBay sellers decided to boycott eBay listings in order to protest the recent changes in the feedback policy and fee-hikes. The listings dropped 13% or 13 million items in a week, reports USA Today, citing third party sources. eBay denies that there has been any impact on its listings. I don’t buy the company line in this case. eBay and its management needs to take a cold hard look at why the sellers took such an extreme step. In my opinion it is a corporate low-point for any company when your customers decide to strike and boycott you? By the way, eBay’s new nickname FeeBay is quite funny actually.

18 Comments

Laura Tschirgi

I was browsing the web for auctions and found your site, there is some great information here and I thought
I would share a bit of my own information with you. XS Bay is much like eBay minus the power tripping executives
and high fees. Check it out.

http://www.xsbay.net

Bill

Today (May 1) marks the second round of seller defiance (strike/boycott) to eBay policies. While I am all for the rights of the people… I can’t help but wonder if in this global environment of the Internet these types of actions can truly be effective or for that matter even measureable. I certainly fight for people’s right to voice an opinion but in the back of my mind I can’t help but wonder to what end result?

D.H

As a seller I am disgusted with most buyers. They are so F*@#$%! cheap. Its said most bidders refuse to bid on items with reserves yet how else can a seller protect himself. If you start out with a low opening bid, everyone just sends there bid orders to snipping services who wait till the last second to bid. SO THE DAMN BIDDING is totally in favor of the bidders now. Sure you can post an item for your reserve openly by placing an opening bid, but stand to risk crickets. No one will touch it. EBAY needs to get a lot tougher about snipping or all the small sellers will stop selling on it. Anyone who thinks snipping is good for EBay is smoking dope. I sell, and with shipping people are counting every dime. I am constantly getting suggestions from to lower my shipping charges. They are already as low as they can go.

Folks (buyers) need to start researching items and learn that most sellers are hones people who are selling quality items at a lower than market value. By nickle and diming sellers to death they are making it harder for sellers to offer good items. No one wants to go to Ebay to lose money!

Abbi Vakil

As an eBay Powerseller with almost 12K in feedback (thereby putting us in the top .004% of all eBay users worldwide), the most frustrating thing about the recent changes is the lack of differentiation in policy between Powersellers & regular sellers. They’ve given incentives to Powersellers to reduce their fees, but made it well nigh impossible to achieve them because the fees are tied to unrealistic expectations of detailed feedback ratings (how many products do you buy in a regular store that you would give a 5/5 rating on?). For every bad buying experience on eBay, Im sure there is an equally bad selling experience. It is more likely that a buyer will have a bad experience with a new seller than an established seller (and vice versa on the selling side). They should do more to eliminate fraudulent buyers & sellers and the way to do that is to put the newly introduced limits on feedback on NEW sellers only- after all, what is the point of classifying someone as a Powerseller when there’s no added advantage to being one?

nabil

As a former ebay powerseller and also buyer in some occasion, I am really happy to read this. Hope that ebay will change their mind.
By the way, a few months ago, during a visit to their office in Silicon Valley, when a guy from the management finished to explain us their plan for the coming years, I asked him what would be their plan to improve ebay sellers’ experience as he didn’t mention it in his presentation, he gave me only this answer : “We don’t care about the seller and would not do nothing for them, we concentrate our strength only on buyers because as long as we attracted potential buyers, the seller would not be a problem”. I hope that he is wrong but the future will tell us.

Libran Lover

I used to be an eBay buyer. It’s been 3-4 years since I bought anything from eBay. I stopped for one main reason: auction sniping.

This has ruined my eBay experience. Every time I try to buy something, somebody using a sniping software snoops in out of nowhere literally within 10 seconds of the auction ending and outbids me. There is no way for me to win an eBay auction by straight-forward manual methods.

Suzanne Wells

As an active eBay seller, who did not boycott, I can tell you first hand that I enjoyed a week of busy selling. You might want to ask some sellers what their first hand experience was? Thanks for the post-

Suzanne Wells
The eBay Coach

Om Malik

@ ScionGuy,

I do agree with you – the fees have been going up steadily for a long time and eBay has used them to mask what is clearly a ceiling on their business. I think that is the more important issue here.

Of course on the feedback issue, it seems like buyers seem to be on the right side of the argument. but you do make compelling arguments on the illusion-of-keeping-buyers-happy.

If sellers continue to rebel and listings do go down and the fee hikes passed on to the buyers – it is buyers who are going to ultimately be losing out. Clearly, the world needs a serious competitor to eBay.

Scionguy

@Ericson Smith, @Michael, @lecyclist: The boycott and the reason sellers are upset has nothing to do with feedback. It has to do with yet another fee increase that is making it impossible for your average joe to sell anything on ebay. They continue to increase their fees to force the small buyers out and only make it profitable for the larger sellers. The only reason they changed the feedback system is to make buyers think these changes are good and keep them as customers because it will be hard for sellers to use another auction company if all the buyers are still on ebay. In reality it’s going to hurt buyers as much, if not more, because sellers will be forced to raise prices to cover the higher fees.

As one person said on another forum, even God only wants 10%.. ebay now wants 12% (plus all their other selling fees). It’s ridiculous and it’s not going to stop until the buyers get smart and tell ebay to shove it.

Raymond

If you look at the actual charts, I think you’ll see that there really isn’t a compelling case that the boycott has had any affect on the number of auctions on eBay. Sales fell 13% last week because eBay ran a huge free listing day the week before. The USA today article even admits this fact.

I think that the only thing that is going to unseat eBay is a competitor who has a wide enough reach to present a product to as many people as eBay, and therefore command the same prices. On eBay, there’s always that one idiot who is often willing to pay twice as much as an item is worth, and as a seller you’re not going to find that person unless you’re exposing your product to the most number of people possible.

lecyclist

Exactly,

It has become difficult as a buyer to leave negative feedback or trust sellers reputation as so many sellers are vindictive at any negative comments.

Of course sellers are angry. But mostly lousy, untrustworthy sellers

Michael

As a buyer, I agree with the changes. I was kept waiting for a book for over a month recently. After I gave a neutral review (With positive text), I got a ‘serial complainer’ negative review from the seller. It ruined the experience.

M

Ericson Smith

Dude,

I’m both a seller and a buyer, and I can tell you that what many sellers do with the retaliatory feedback was ruining the experience for buyers on ebay.

By extension, this ruins the reputation system as buyers become afraid to leave negative feedback. In my case, I have 2 pieces of negative feedback that were purely retaliatory after being ripped off by sellers.

Sure, that’s only one of the reasons why sellers are griping, but a big one. It was a well deserved change. Trust me, buyers are celebrating.

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