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Can eBay Win Back Sellers with a Shift in Focus?

A Look at eBay's Fixed Price Numbers

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eBay recently announced it was returning to its roots as an auction site more focus on the "secondary market". This is probably a wise move as interest and enthusiasm for eBay have both steadily dwindled over the past year or so.

The company had been going for more of the fixed-price Amazon approach. That didn’t seem to be doing it for customers. According to a study from Compete, eBay’s traffic decreased 5.2% last month – compared to the previous year – while Amazon’s traffic rose 18.7% in the same period and Craigslist traffic rose 40% compared to the previous year.

eBay Average Order Value

Other interesting findings from Compete’s study include:

-  The percentage of eBay’s visitors who shopped at Amazon jumped from 41% in February 2008 to 53% last month

- Over the same period, Amazon visitors’ cross-shopping of eBay has remained unchanged at 58%, suggesting eBay’s fixed-price strategy failed to attract significant numbers of new shoppers

- In February, 11% of eBay’s visitors, or 7.8 million customers, made a Buy-it-Now purchase (up 20% from the previous year). However, gains in fixed-priced activity have been eclipsed by declines in eBay’s traditional auction business
 
-  In total, 1.5 million fewer shoppers placed a bid on eBay last month than did in  February 2008 

Here’s a look at eBay’s sales to bidders vs. buy-it-now purchasers:

Bidders vs Buy-it-now

eBay has driven a lot of its sellers away. Will a shifted focus on the secondary market bring some of them back? Or is it going to take a lot more than that?

Can eBay Win Back Sellers with a Shift in Focus?


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  • Guest

    It will take a lot more than that. Ebay should never be compared to a retail or classified site. It was a “first” of it’s kind, and then it decided to get too big for it’s britches.

    The “buy it now” strategy was not a good idea as an alternative to the auctions, because what it brought in, were the people who were desperate to sell quickly, and buyers who wanted instant gratification. In auctions, there needs to be some mystique!

    Offering better pricing for the sellers by pushing the “buy it now”, “stores”, and “free shipping” was intentional, and used as a method to entice sellers to sell in that format. This is why they had more of those kinds of listings! The sellers BOUGHT into it too!!

    It was what the flavor of what ebay has become. They punished the folks with higher FVF’s who sold in an auction format. That’s why so many left! Who hasn’t been a 10+ year seller in the auction format who has not repeatedly tried to warn the public that this was happening? This has been ongoing! It continues to worsen, because ebay is not to be trusted when they still have greedy corporate executives who know nothing of ebay’s long successful history.

    It’s a psychology that ebay quite accidentally discovered, and then it took for granted. With the adidition of “buy it now” they might have seen a huge increase in buyers and sellers temporarily, but for the most part, those who auction things that are harder to come by, or limited, specialty items from the past, can always be auctioned at a higher price than retail. That was where ebay took advantage of the good sellers who left!

    The “fixed price” was the McDonalds version of a gourmet chicken Caesar salad. Fun to shake in a container, then the novelty wears off.

    The trouble is, the corporate types that run the place, are also into instant gratification, and were not willing to develop the site professionally where they happened to already have the entire corner of the market. They decided to go after the fast cash and lost their credibility as a trustworthy site. The economics were not focused on improving the technology gradually, as it should have been, it was focused on pleasing investors and stockholders, then it was run “as if” the sellers were their underling employees who they could subjugate and micromanage.

    The site was initially established with 2-way feedback based on trust and honesty. That changed, and then, with ebay interfering with the business practices of the sellers, then adding ridiculous policy changes and SITE changes without any kind of open communication or warning, they expected the sellers to be so dependent on them, that they could do whatever they wanted.

    Ebay lost site of who their customers really are. if they want to succeed, I’m sorry to say, they still do not know or understand their customers, the multitudes of sellers, because they NEVER communicate with them.

    • SunsNut

      AMEN! They have totally forgotten what got them to the top in the first place. The damn almighty dollar is all they care about and they don’t care who they dump on in the process. I used to buy and sell on a daily basis. Now if I’m looking for something specific I’ll look there but I ALWAYS use my credit card because I would trust PayPal the same as I would AIG.

  • http://randomplaza.net Mitchell Henderson

    Those statistics only track people who don’t clear their cookies. Most people do.

    I am really hating their forced paperless payments crap more than anything else, including the feedback. So much more credit card than before.

  • Guest

    Preferably in public when the cameras are rolling, and post it on YouTube. Then scrap the idiotic “Best Match,” repeal the disastrous DSRs, put the feedback the way it was (mutual for seller/buyer), and stop the past yearlong campaign to punish, cheat, exploit, alienate and abuse the core base of smell to medium sellers.

    Then this 10-year Power Seller may come back. but for now, I’m doing OK on other sites, even given the bad economy. Leaving EBay was the single most powerful tool we sellers had to get their attention. I think we finally got it.

    • Guest

      Er, make that “small to medium sellers.” Most of us are quite clean.

  • http://www.reboot.com.au Peko

    It was marginal on eBay before but now with the economic downturn it is enough to finally make the decision to aggressively explore the other selling avenues.

    eBay and PayPal have educated buyers how to exploit sellers and in some cases commit fraud and get away with. Unfortunately, during the current economic climate most buyers need and expect more for less money and are very quick to complain & claim even they get it.

    eBay is not making any significant changes to help or protect sellers and sellers feel as if they are not in control of their own business – how can they be when they can wake up the morning to find funds frozen in their PayPal account for a transaction that was concluded maybe 60 days ago – without any questions being asked?

    How will the shift in focus help and attract sellers?

    • http://www.usiff.com Doc Holliday

      eBay drove the sellers out and it’s too late…

      Many sellers, like myself created alternative auction sites (http://www.usiff.com), which offer free listings and no final value fees.

      Today, eBay is trying to get the sellers back. If eBay would of just listened to the auction sellers.

      I think eBay killed the online auction world…

      Take Care,
      Doc Holliday

  • Guest

    Ebay made some real mistakes. They need to change the feedback program and make it mutual for both seller and buyer.
    Their fees are no reasonable and have left their core business.
    I will seek to sell elsewhere.

  • Mike Hale

    I was selling a boat …..I had a link to a page with some photos ….allowed in the regs providing it was a page that did not collect private info or try and sell direct ..it was not ..it was an old website that had no pages on it and I just put a page with photos on it…..the sale was stopped half way through and i received a message ..you are linked to an illegal page or something.. ..I played ping pong emails with their automated system for afortnight …I could not get to speak to anyone …..thery of course billed me

    • http://www.madcatwoman.co.uk sd

      I had amazingly similar problems myself. I was selling some craft items overstock and linked to show where I bought the stuff from and how much it had cost me so the buyers knew what the full cost of the items were, and how much I was reducing that price to Ebay buyers. SLAM – my auction got cancelled for exactly the same reason as yours, claiming I was trying to solicit business by encouraging people to buy off Ebay! All because I was trying to show I had bought the craft stuff for a project I had never done for the full price of

  • Dave

    I love to see these so called “reputable” sellers crying like toddlers because they can’t hold feedback over the buyers any longer! I personally feel that this was one of the best moves eBay could have ever initiated. It was fine when sellers could fleece decent buyers and threaten to leave negative feedback if they didn’t get a glowing recommendation first.
    Also, I personally had to use the PayPal dispute console, and it was an expensive item that the seller repackaged and sold fraudulently. I ended up contacting the manufacturer, who provided proof that the seller was dishonest. I had to deal with threats and slander from this seller, but the bottom line is if PayPal hadn’t frozen his money I would have been out of luck.
    I don’t buy a lot on eBay, but I do look for items on there pretty much on a daily basis.
    Look through the postings, most if not all of them are from crybaby sellers who can’t get away with their criminal thieving ways any longer
    eBay will evolve and maintain it’s spot in the marketplace, and I for one applaud some of their recent improvements.

    • Guest

      First, some of the ‘crybaby’ and ‘whining’ sellers have received negatives from deadbeats, or in retaliation for having filed for an FVF credit. The negatives badly damage a sellers’ search standing and reputation. Most of us Powersellers who resent this are honest people whose living has been badly damaged by these changes.

      Amazon has the same system, but Amazon sellers are nowhere near as badly damaged by a negative as EBay sellers. The bottom line is that hordes of good, honest sellers have now left EBay, and EBay is steadily tanking fast as a result. Your callous attitude sounds like theirs. And it’s about as productive.

      • Dave

        I can see your point, to a certain extent. I’ve been a member of eBay for over 11 years, both as a seller and buyer. I don’t think of myself as “callous” but rather objective.
        I had curtailed almost all of my spending on eBay, due to unscrupulous sellers and being screwed over on transactions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a lot of good and some great transactions on eBay, but it had gotten to the point where the sellers held all the cards.
        We all see things in a different fashion, I was trying to point out that I personally think some of their moves were positive and overdue. I don’t worry about what my buyers might put as feedback. I treat them well, abide by my ad descriptions, and guess what, many many sales later I’m still at 100%.
        AND, I stand by my claim, that if you look at the replies, almost if not all are disgruntled sellers who probably aren’t being completely forthright about their business on eBay.

        • Guest

          Point taken, it is a valid one. If you and I were making the EBay rules instead of the kids at EBay, they might actually work for everyone!

    • Neg_Meg_in_2010

      It’s obvious you are a buyer and not a seller. Or even a business owner. When you drive away your sellers like EBay has, your stock plummets. Your reputation is soiled. And eventually your business goes south. You can’t keep enraging the people who make money for you, and expect to stay in business.

      • Guest

        And, I have received negative feedback from deadbeat bidders, bidders who did not read the ad, etc. I have received many more negatives from sellers who deserved and got a negative from me. I am glad that I can state the case honestly without fear of retaliation. I don’t leave many negatives, but when one is due, it should be made without ramifications. I don’t know what their policy is currently for deadbeat bidders, but if they are still allowed to leave negatives, surely there must be a way to have it removed.

  • Guest

    The moment Ebay introduced PAYPAL as the only option to pay or recieve money. They lost me. I use to spend about 10 hours a week on Ebay either bidding, buying or selling. I sold and purchased hundreds of items and only had one problem from a buyer who insisted that their item be sent to America by standard postage (by sea) and then was upset when they did not get the item withing two weeks. But I digress. Most of my sales were through Australia Post Money order or Personal Cheque or direct bank credit. The purchasers always new that the item would not be sent until the payment was cleared. I never had any problems with this. I hate the idea of being forced into having to deal with money processing organisations such as PAYPAL (which I believe is owned by EBAY). I have told EBAY many times about my displeasure about the payment requirements. In protest I refuse to use EBAY.

    • http://mencik.com Steve Mencik

      Not allowing us to use our own merchant account to process credit card payments is what drove us away. My merchant account fees are less than PayPal. I don’t mind accepting PayPal when funded by PayPal balance or checking account, but if a buyer is going to use a credit card, why not let me use my own merchant account that I’ve had for years?

  • Todd

    I left Ebay as a buyer and seller when I made a very large purchase and the item was not as represented by the seller. I disputed it through EBAY and was told I had to dispute it through PAYPAL. Finally I ended up using my credit cards dispute proceedure. The add posted was completely a lie. I even had copies from the seller on specific questions before I bid and those answers were lies. I left ebay and the only reason I still have a paypal because its the easiest way to get money to my sister who lives out of state. Believe me if I could get money to her easier I would drop paypal in a heart beat. They have changed things to. A person could use a bank account for back up funding now you have to use their credit.

    • DEC

      I would have to agree on the Paypal opinions. It makes it easy for a seller to accept payment and the buyer to pay by credit card. But buyer beware if they use Paypal and have a problem with their purchase. Paypal claims all the time they will help you out and you get a false sense of reality. If you ever do have a problem and have to file a dispute, Paypal will only take the money from the seller if he has money in his account. They won’t charge back his credit card if he screws somebody. So, if you do use Paypal, as a consumer you always need to use your credit card to fund the purchase so you can dispute something with your credit card company. You are wasting your time disputing something with Paypal.

    • Paul

      I was reading yr comment and yes the hole dispute system thru both e bay and paypal is a joke, i think the bigger the customer is with both e bay and paypal they seem to find always in the sellers favor regardless of what proof you have, as a similar thing happened to me, i had purchased a new set of hanle bars for my harley, when they arrive 7 days later i opened the packaging to find them all rusted when i show photos ect e bay and paypal found in the sellers favor as they are a large custome to both parties.

      i would sugest if you want to move from paypal, try another service such as paymate ect there are similar service availible just search online.

      SAY NO TO E BAY OR PAYPAL

    • Guest

      Google has a checkout feature that allows you to take or make payments. It is cheaper than paypal, and they automatically put the money in your bank account. You don’t carry a balance like with paypal. Check it out, it may be a better option for you.

      I don’t like paypal because of the cost. And, no matter what your policies may be, if the buyer doesn’t receive the item, you pay. Paypal buyers are crazy to buy insurance. They are insured through the paypal service.

      • http://www.amazinggypsybazaar.id.au/ Amazingroamer

        The only problem with that is Google checkout is only available for US and a few other countries I think.. I’m in Austalia and Google do not offer it here. I wish they would as there is no reason not to.

      • http://www.madcatwoman.co.uk sd

        Google checkout sent out a change of pricing this week (not sure if this is just UK only?) and they have upped their prices to Paypal levels. I’ve only used Google Checkout once and already they are making themselves as overpriced and irrelevant as Paypal.

  • http://www.benjaminclevelandchapter.org DEC

    I used to run a part time CDROM sales business on Ebay. I was able to use a great service where the supplier would drop ship the CDs without having to stock any merchandise.

    I was running the merchandise for sale with one of Ebay’s stores. I didn’t mind the listing fees, final sales fees, etc., but I closed the store and moved on when they started charging for having a store. If they had quit doing that, I would have stayed. I’m sure they have lost of other customers as well.

    • http://www,romanticatheart.com Guest

      Ebay has just lost it,they were grat a few years ago.
      I was looking at going back to using ebay and got this

      Thank you for applying to the eBay Partner Network. Unfortunately, we cannot accept your application at this time. If you have questions regarding this process, please contact eBay Partner Network customer support.
      So I sent them another email and got this

      For security reasons, we do not
      reveal our exact criteria for accepting affiliates into each program.

      security reasons what kind of horse hockey is that.
      I have great feedback on ebay
      The site I was looking to work with them on was
      http://motorhomehub.com/
      Thats a real hot site (lol)
      Good luck to them

  • nicestman77

    This simple.
    To sell on ebay as cheaply as possible to compete with overseas sellers, & with all the fees, I can’t make any money to live.
    Ebay are to slow to fix disputes from the buyers view.
    Buyers have very limited protection.
    EBay always takes sides with the seller paying the fees.
    Without buyers, you don’t need sellers.

  • Guest

    My Opinion e-bay is as greedy as the CEO’S of these big corporations such as AIG, you cannot bite the hand that feeds you and expect everything to be ok. Playing on an even field is far from these peoples minds. Its called capitalizing off the little man because they can. I will never in this life time ever use ebay to buy or sell anything. People are only trying to feed their families off their sales, and they are taking 97% of your income. They are gonna get what they should have got along time ago, bankrupt. Maybe they can go to work for AIG, and then they will feel right at home.

  • Guest

    I have been an EBay Store seller for 8 years. Over the last 3 weeks I haven’t bothered renewing listings. By the end of this month there won’t be any live listings left and I’m closing up the store. I had enough. Fees keep going up, sales keep going down. My listings don’t show in search half of the time. What’s up with that?!?
    But the last straw was having listings pulled for selling an item that violated a rule they just came up with, hadn’t even announced, let alone published. But I was supposed to know about it. Guess EBay expects sellers to have a crystal ball that ought to tell us what they are going to come up with next. To add insult to injury, only USA sellers are prohibited from selling these items, so now our dollars go to Chinese and European sellers. GOOD JOB EBAY.

    • http://www.madcatwoman.co.uk sd

      Quote: “To add insult to injury, only USA sellers are prohibited from selling these items, so now our dollars go to Chinese and European sellers. GOOD JOB EBAY.”

      I know the feeling. I used to sell hand made art items which were banned by Ebay.co.uk for allegedly “breaking copyright” (think Warhol and the Campbell’s soup cans – if he were alive and on Ebay today, his famous picture would be banned and his account suspended), but yet similar items are and were, still being sold from places like the US and Germany. I can’t compete at all so I packed up and shifted elsewhere.

  • Guest

    I agree, there are both bad sellers and bad buyers. But eBay drove me away with their stupid feedback policy AND because of their limits on postage fees for media items. I’d venture a guess i’ve been selling vinyl records longer than the person who made the policy has been alive. I do NOT make money on postage. BUT I insure every parcel and domestically, I use a delivery confirmation number as part of the charge. But now I can’t do that because it exceeds eBay’s limits. Not insuring a parcel or putting a delivery confirmation number on it leaves ME open to unscrupulous buyers (and believe me, they ARE out there). Their fees on top of all this do not help. So it’s bye-bye eBay!
    P.S. And I WAS a power seller (BFD).

  • http://makemoneynotexcuses.com Michelle Green

    While, I do believe the buyer should be protected more so than the seller, I completely disagree with the feedback change. Ebay makes it very clear that a buyer should attempt to contact the seller to resolve a conflict mutually before leaving negative feedback. All to often, paranoid buyers are quick to leave negative feedback, most times over a simple misunderstanding, without so much as contacting the seller to give them an opportunity to resolve the matter. The ONLY good change initiated by Ebay is now buyers can reverse their feedback from negative to positive instead of a neutral feedback retraction. In my opinion, Ebay has made a lot of senseless changes over the last couple of years. Here are, what I believe to be the top 3 dumb Ebay changes of all time:

    1. Eliminating digital delivery
    2. One sided feedback
    3. Scrambled listing rankings.

    • http://www.yahooo.com Sam

      Ebay has no way to trak sellers back . Amazon knows, and craiglis knows. I agree with 100% of your points, but need add one point here, Dump Ebay totaly. Why? As the CEO is too silly

  • Guest

    Ebay Wins Nothing Back!

    Ebay is nothing more than an AIG… greed, lies and an overpriced venue. No value to sellers other than a referral to a private web site.

    The rich of ebay get richer, the seller and buyer who pay their salary and bonus gets increased costs, poor regulations and a holier than thou attitude.

    Were not all fools. Ebay knows it now…too late.

  • Guest

    eBay has consistantly shown a double standard, one for themselves and one on how they treat their sellers. Their policy of punish first and ask questions later has turned off a lot of sellers. New sellers are constantly are hassled by eBay and PayPal – withholding of funds until you can prove that you shipped the product, accounts put on hold and then an email explanation comes about 2 days later, and it’s totally bogus. Their lack of trust in their sellers has been a strong turn-off in the last year.

    Your account can be put on hold for any trumped up reason they come up with and they will not return an email through their support system in a timely manner (sometimes up to 14 days to get a response), even though they hold the sellers to a much tighter standard.

    Their new fixed pricing does not work, because the fees are too high. Sellers need to make a profit too.

    eBay needs to get their act together.

  • http://www.amazinggypsybazaar.id.au/ Amazingroamer

    I think ebay is doing very well. What I see is better quality instead of quantity and in the long run that will work better. Also, they give other small businesses on the internet a better chance to survive. I believe in the future they should continue on this pass.

    • Brenda

      Great Post. It is very refreshing to see that ebay cares about other sites and companies. By doing things the way ebay does really helps to build up there compeitors.

  • Duke

    Ebay has shown disregard for the sellers and have so many vague policies and rules they apply in whatever fashion they chose. I for one will be shutting down my 6,000 a month eBay store and moving it to another hosting site because I don’t like their policies of no checks, no money orders, and I must use PayPal or some other APPROVED credit card company which is far more expensive than PayPal. They are infringing upon my right of free trade, and dictating to me what to post in my listings and what I can not post in my listings. They selectively enforce policy and I can prove it. For example, they removed a listing I had for a Mammoth tooth — it was a fossil meaning it stone now and not bone — saying it violated their policy on Ivory. At the time there 39 other teeth on eBay. I REPORTED ALL 39 and 100 plus objects made of Mammoth teeth and or Ivory all against eBay’s policy. For 15 days I tracked these items and NOT ONE WAS REMOVED and most that did not sell were relisted. I have all the emails if eBay wants to call me a liar!

    This double standard and lack of respect is pure Bull and eBay is just now feeling the price. Auctiva and other auction sites have begun to nip at their heels and even an elephant can be brought down by small dogs if the achelies heel is nipped at long enough.

    I, for one am FED UP with eBay and their silly antics designed only to force more money into their pockets through PayPal and nothing else. They will have to go a LONG LONG way to undo the damage they have done as far as I am concerned.

    As for those dimwits laughing about sellers not being able to give negative feedback — only 1/10th of 1% of sellers were a problem and did this nearly all of them had a feedback score of 80% or lower. The buyer can say what they want, but the seller can’t tell other sellers someone is a deadbeat or a problem person — right — that is really good business….

  • FED UP

    *SHIP BY PAYPAL RULES FOR TRACKING & CONFIRMATION = buyers slamming your shipping cost = lower Dsr ratings

    *EBAY CALLS A 4 RATING “GOOD”….GOOD on Ebay equals ratings below the level to remain on Ebay

    *If you DON’T LIE & CHEAT, your international buyers can leave you negs for customs charges…oh yeah, if they MENTION customs charges in the neg comments, you may get the neg removed

    *NEGS from non-payers ????? Probably the most disgusting yet….since the no neg option for sellers, I have had 2 “buyers” who didn’t pay, tell me never mind, since they couldn’t get a neg…..

    I have over 6,ooo positives…work like a maniac to ship same day or next…..and I can’t get 5 stars on shipping or ship cost…..I watch my DSR ratings like a hawk….and I BLOCK anyone who slams a rating…..it is too “expensive” to have them back as buyers……

    I’m working on my own web site, where I can still provide excellant customer serice and product…but, with nothing to fear…..

    • Story

      I agree with everything you’ve listed. I stuck it out as far as I could, finally closing my store last week. The fees went up and my sales sank through the floor.

      To top it off, one of my last customers to buy from me, purchased two items, then demanded I drop the shipping on one, take the lesser of the two charges and make that her shipping price (if you can understand that…) I told her that everything was CLEARLY marked on the auction page… and she stated that she knew that sellers were ripping off buyers by charging more in the shipping and handling.

      When customers become demanding because the sellers are over a barrell due to EBay tactics… enough was enough. Between this and my EBay ID being hyjacked, and my paypal being charged for Skype that I never ordered… to heck with them.

      You are real big on listening to your customers, EBay. When in heck are you going to listen to your sellers??

  • Dave D

    Why I left eBay 1. eBay is not webtv user friendly as it was 10 years ago…. 2. My eBay identity was stolen several years ago and I can’t use it again…. 3. I like checks and money orders and don’t/won’t have a Paypal account…. 4. Would be nice if they had a telephone number so you could talk to a real person about whatever problem you are having….

  • Guest

    I had three Ebay accounts which I sold different items on each ebay , (HAD) I am down to one, until the end of the year, clearing balance of inventory,

    REASONS CLOSING EBAY:

    Increased pricing
    PAYPAL FEES, PAYPAY holds and credit backs to sellers
    ONE SIDED FEEDBACK
    Now they tell me I can’t accept Money orders, forcing customers to use PAYPAL, which we all know is owned by ebay.

    The Only people making money on ebay IS EBAY.

    You would think ebay would treat the sellers AT LEAST the same as the buyers, The one sided feedback was really the final straw,

    Without the sellers, THERE IS NO MONEY FOR EBAY! Ebay has forgot WHO PAYS THE BILLS.

  • Sad Ebayer

    eBay screwed up its user experience and its search engine sucks. They became like AOL; fixing things that were not broken and the users suffered for it. The entire “new” interface is horrible.

    • Larry

      Ebay and paypal over charge a seller after Ebay and paypal are done with you they are makeing all the money.Ebay you need to lower your fees by 70% to list and finel selling fees by 60% and Paypal needs to lower there fess by 60% I buy on ebay sometime but give up on selling on ebay becouse I fill like they are robing me.

  • Guest

    Why return to eBay when clearly they are driven by the same corporate greed that has destroyed the U.S. financial system? eBay keeps raising fees and restricting capability of both buyers and sellers. Additionally forcing customers to use PayPal instead of providing a competitive payment system option and letting the users decide if they want to support it (or not) is pure greed at its worst.

    I loved using eBay from the very beginning, I bought and sold hundreds of items and never had a problem or negative feedback. After opening a PayPal account and using it a few times, I decided it was not for me and closed the account. I asked for and received confirmation from eBay that the PayPal account was closed. Six months later, my credit card was charged with a rash of eBay charges via PayPal. They apparently kept all of my account info on file and someone illegally got access to it. Beware! “closing” your PayPal account means nothing. eBay keeps your account info.

    I still browse eBay, and still see items that I’d consider bidding on, but never will. They have lost a customer for life and probably dozens more of my friends who have heard of my eBay/PayPal horror stories.

    eBay sucks. PayPal sucks. Both will simply go away and die.

  • http://DONSCYCLEWARE.COM Don

    By sellers I assume you mean the sellers that eBay has been so successful at getting rid of. What makes you think eBay wants them back?

    eBay’s foray into the “secondary market” is aimed at off-price retailers, liquidators, wholesalers and outlets. We are talking multi-million dollar operations selling seconds, returns and slow selling items. Not us low classed flea market types who’s “noise” is only worthy of ignoring. It looks like since they couldn’t sucessfully copy the Amazon format last quarter they are going after the Overstock.com format this quarter.

    As far as I can tell eBay doesn’t want us back. Ebay has managed to alienate hundreds of thousands? of people who sold an occasional item or operated a small on-line business. This was either accomplished by a well thought out plan or total incompetence. I don’t see any changes taking place that bring them back.

    A few years ago I opened a Yahoo store: HTTP://DONSCYCLEWARE.COM due to an eBay foul-up that put me out of business for a month. The Yahoo sales have steadily grown and I have had ZERO problems with Yahoo. I have had no weird policy changes, excellent technical support and great customer service.

    I still have an eBay store that is still profitable. Unfortunately the eBay sales and traffic are not keeping pace with Yahoo and will eventually be not worth the trouble of dealing with eBay’s strange way of doing business.

    Good luck!

    Don

  • Guest

    It seems that most of the comments here come from sellers. From my perspective as a buyer, even if the sellers complaints are fixed, like for example ability to blackmail buyers with leaving negative feedback, I will not be buying anything anymore on Ebay. Ebay changed over last few years, most of the people who are selling on Ebay today, are unscrupulous sellers trying to fool buyers with low prices and high shipping fees. Whenever I look for something, the prices I am getting are higher then those in a neighborhood shop. The bargains are gone, as so is the Ebay – for me at least

    • Guest

      As long as ebay is taking 10% of the value of the auction, please will just sell on craigslist for free.

      I am a powerseller and do 500k a year in sales on ebay. With the 40k a year I pay ebay just to use their website, its nearly impossible to keep selling and feed my kids.

      Maybe ebay should take a step back and realize for a chance that the products listed come from somewhere and its not 100% profit. With more retail outlets working off of a 10-20% markup, ebay is killing anyone trying to actually do anything but raise drug money selling stolen laptops and ipods.

  • Baker

    I’ve been with ebay/paypal since 2002. I recently got scammed by some idiots overseas and ebay/paypal threw all the red flags on me when they reversed the transaction and left me at negative two thousand five hundred dollars. They gave the money back to “frauded customers” and i was left in the mud face down. Thanks a lot ebay/paypal. It’s sad when a company like ebay/paypal can choose a dollar bill over their customer, whether seller or buyer, you’re stull a customer of ebay/paypal. Way to put the cart before the horse ebay (not that we are). We will all see where you end up in the future… Next to my brown turds. Watch.

    • http://bit.ly/yyo4D Anonymous

      It took you that long to get scammed by a buyer? You either rarely sell or are extremely lucky. I get scammed by them each week. eBay chased off all the good buyers and only the scum are left, with an exception of about 10% of the buyers who are still decent folks.

  • Paula

    When Ebay removed the option for Sellers to leave negative feedback, it lost a good lot of it’s appeal to me. I’ve been a seller and a buyer. The only times I’ve left negative feedback is if a seller totally screwed me, didn’t send what I’d paid for and didn’t respond to my emails. But as a seller, it is completely unfair for me not to have the ability to leave negative feedback if I run across a buyer who doesn’t pay. They can still leave negative feedback, but I’m stuck. Sure, I can deal with Ebay and try to get the negative feedback removed, but that’s my time, spent dealing with something I shouldn’t have to deal with. Then we have the holds on Paypal funds…if your buyer doesn’t leave positive feedback, Paypal holds your money for 21 days. What if you sold something because you needed that money right away? I have nothing but positive feedback, yet in the past month I’ve had Paypal hold my funds TWICE until positive feedback was left. Then I had to call Paypal to have them release the funds. If I sell something and need the cash soon, I’ll sell things on Craigslist from here on out. I realize Ebay wants to protect the buyers, but if they continue on with the high fees (both Ebay & Paypal) and leave sellers out in the cold time and time again, they won’t have anyone selling and that means no buyers…and no money for poor little Ebay.

  • Guest

    I can’t afford the fees of ebay and paypal combined. An item that I would sell for $5 has to be sold for $15 so I can make a $4 profit.

    The weather is getting nice so I’ll pack up my stuff, bring a lawn chair and head out to a flea market and enjoy the day. I can get a table for about $35 bucks and I usually sell about $350 of merchandise.

    I printed business cards and hand them out to everybody who buys. So far I’ve had several people call me and want to buy more! Who knows, maybe by the end of the summer I’ll have made more that I ever could have with ebay and paypal.

  • Guest

    I could think of all the things they could do, especially humble pie for the likes of Meg Whitman who instilled the culture of screw the one and shoot for the numbers but it isn’t that simple

    Ebay’s initial success was as a market aggregator, the internet has moved on and they are no longer needed to create a space for buying and selling.

    Generally at this phase one turns to ones friends to survive but if you have given even the last few sheep who might follow, multiple bouts of whiplash from ever changing abrupt turn about policies and damn the little guy, well then I guess you are screwed.

    Ebay will survive, but they will never be what they once were, nor what they could have been. Guess Meg bilked the company for stock, sold it and rode off into the sunset. Please don’t make the same mistake by electing her to any public office, unless you have plenty of vasoline

  • http://www.cheapviagraring.com Guest

    The insulting way that ebay has treated it’s sellers over the past year is intolerable. I have closed my store in favor of an Amazon store & my own websites. Screw the Nazis at ebay.

  • http://www.resalecode.com Ron Baker

    No i don’t think ebay could win sellers back because with Google, Yahoo Craigslist and Amazon who needs ebay when they change there rules every other day…

    If ebay went old school then maybe!

  • Guest

    Ebay fees is whats driving sellers away..cant make a decent profit..that is why amazon is ahead of ebay now..

  • Roger

    eBay changes their focus more often than most people change their underwear. I couldn’t be bothered going back under their latest change. It will just move on to something else in three months.

  • Guest

    As an eBay buyer nearly since eBay first started, I noticed a TERRIBLE increase in shill bidding during the past year! :-(( When I place a bid, I normally wait a couple of days before bidding. There NEVER seem to be any bids anymore BEFORE mine! Instead I suddenedly see a “new bidding” name appear with a fantasticly high bid! So…I don’t bid again. I feel a lot of sellers are getting family members and friends to sign up under another name in an attempt to raise the price. :-(( This is sad and drives buyers away. I often do use “buy it now” as the face is fair and up-front. Since I use Paypal, this doesn’t bother me, but I know lots of buyers no longer use eBay as they want to use a check or money order. eBay no longer permits this. Also..even though I do not sell, I notice the seller’s fees are FAR too high. Lowering these listing fees might also help sellers.

  • http://www.onabudget.net.au Guest

    The Charges at Ebay and Paypal make it impossible for the little person to make a dollar. I sold several items last year and wound up owing ebay money. so not for me I use the free to advertise sites now to list all my products but still occasionally buy through Ebay

  • Gil

    Sellers cannot post negative feedback on deadbeat buyer, chargeback buyers. Forget the hell about it. I would rather sell in yahoo auctions! NO EBAY! THIS IS NOT HOW YOU CONDUCT BUSINESS! NO FAIR TO SELLERS! WE DON’T SELL, THEN HOW YOU ALSO MAKE PROFIT? IF WE DON’T SELL, HOW CAN BUYERS BUY THEN HUH??

  • Guest

    Lower your fees ebay. That’s what has killed it for most people. There are sites out there that don’t charge listing fees and only take a small commission of the sales. Why would you sell products which end up costing you money and not making you money?

  • Guest

    Ebay has become too full of it’s own sense of self importance. I’ve been registered for over 8 years. I don’t sell often and only private sales. Now like everyone else, not only am I being chaged a percentage twice (ebay and paypal being the same company) on top of listing and transaction fees, I am forced to accept paypal as a payment option, which I have only occassionally done in the past. Due to my “low transaction history” I MUST accept paypal, the fact that I’ve paid for hundreds of things with paypal doesn’t seem to matter.
    To add insult to injury, they hold payments for 21 days unless you get positive feedback in that time. Last month I sold an item at

  • http://mmerlinn.com Guest

    eBay’s feedback system was flawed from the beginning. However, it did work quite well for years. Then they tried to fix it and it became HORRIBLE.

    Telling us that we MUST change business practices that have worked for us for 25 YEARS by FORCING us to accept PayPal is close to the last straw. We still have listings, but have not made a sale since last October. And we don’t want any sales from our listings – We just want the Google exposure that the listings provide. Screw eBay. We will willingly pay $30 per month to them for that Google exposure and will make hundreds of dollars in sales from that exposure with NO FINAL VALUE FEES TO EBAY.

    Fees were killing us. Fully HALF of every sale went to eBay. That left NOTHING for us.

    Another big gripe was that they were constantly changing the rules. Every time they did, it meant redoing all of our listings. With 600 listings taking at least 5 minutes per listing to change meant we were WASTING at least 50 hours EVERY time they changed the rules.

    And their constant screwing with the eBay site made it so we never knew whether their pages would load or work properly. The pages were not broken, but when they got done, they WERE BROKEN. Sellers and buyers don’t care about the “Latest & Greatest” features available on the cutting edge of technology. They ONLY care about whether the site WORKS for them. As a result of Idiotic Technophiles constantly changing the site pages to the “latest & greatest”, we lost many many customers who could not afford to buy a new computer every year in order to keep up with the changes.

    Several years ago, when our listing fees were increased by 500%, we decided to wean ourselves from eBay. We began expanding our database program so as to automatically generate our own website. Two years ago we were able to begin building our own site. Today our site (http://mmerlinn.com) has over 4000 pages of items for sale, costs us about $7 per month, and is doing better than eBay EVER did. Best part is is that eBay gets NONE of the money, so now we are actually able to make enough sales to weather this recession/depression. Without that site, we would be bankrupt today as ALL other sales are in the tank.

    The saddest part of this whole issue is that eBay has DRIVEN away their GOOD sellers and GOOD buyers. Mostly what is left is the scum of the earth. What is not scum will shortly leave because they don’t want to be stolen from.

    Will we ever go back to eBay and really try to sell anything? Not until they fix the feedback system, fix the payment system, fix the fee system, etc. And if they wait too long to fix those problems, our website will ensure that we cannot afford to go back. Like how can you afford to pay eBay half of the sales when the cost off the website is less than 1%???

    • Guest

      Bonanzle also gets google exposure but doesn’t charge listing fees, just low final value fees. I spent a lot of time shopping around before deciding on an alternative site and I’m glad I found Bonanzle. I do have my own website which is where I make most of my sales but I find the google exposure exceptionally effective through Bonanzle. I’ve only been there a couple of months and have already noticed a huge difference (didn’t get that kind of response through ebay). Movin’ on….

  • http://timeflies.auctivacommerce.com/Default.aspx Guest

    I 100% agree with all the comments.
    I dread turning the pc on each morning to find out what suprise ebay have for me each day. Removed listings for some obscure violation ie I put ‘as new’ in title. ebay is a constant battle to keep head above water and not a pleasant experience as buyer or seller.
    After being with ebay for 8 years I have move on.
    I now sell on Bonanzle, Specialistauctions.com, Delcampe, blujay, CQOUT, Ioffer and I have my own Auctiva store. I list all my items on all the venues and when one sell I remove from all. Its hard work but well rewarding. And its really true, I am doing better with my alternate venues than I ever did on ebay.
    Also the people I deal with are a different breed to the blackmailing ebay buyers. No threats, No sarcastic threatening emails, just friendly communication from interested buyers…
    EBAY..REST IN PEACE

  • Guest

    … Exactly the same as those comments from my fellow beings from every other part of the world.

    I have been a member for several years and very rarely use it.

    Too expensive, full of schill bidding (and eBay has made that much easier for them, blanking out the bidder, etc etc), they have never listened to the customer, always thought that they know best.

    After all, without the customer, they will be in receivership.

    Forcing us to use PayPal, what a suprise – They own that company too. Sellers forced to only leave Negative feedback. (On one hand that is pretty good, as a load of sellers blackmail the buyers into ‘like for like FB’. On the other hand I have seen that work the other way too.

    All I see lately (past year) and eBay have been forced to take this on more, as the member numbers continue to fall dramatically for them is; They are full of adverts for other companies – Full of flashing and rotating banners. Now, I don’t know about you; but that puts me right off eBay too.

    Who remembers when you used to have a serious problem and you needed to get hold of a ‘real person’ on the end of a phone in eBay or PayPal? I certainly do, and because wasn’t a top notch power seller, I had no right to any help.

    Now, all I get are E-mails saying how valued I am and here’s my unique number to eBay support, from both eBay and PayPal, it’s the same when I sign in.

    Makes me sick. I wasn’t good enough before, but now – because everyone are eBay, suddenly – I am special to them.

    Not good enough!

    There are too many negatives about eBay for me to list.

    Anyway, there are several other auction sites out there. There is one that is FREE to list and FREE to use that won’t take a penny off of you. Admittedly, it is for private use and Not businesses, but it is strickly run and well managed…

  • Guest

    Sellers forced to only leave

  • Negative
  • POSITIVE feedback.

  • Guest

    www.fancydresscode.co.uk
    I have an ebay account and an e-commerce shop. Since ebay have made ridiculous rules I have cut my ebay shop right down to virtually no listings. I feel that ebay are only on the side of the buyer and couldn’t care less about the seller. Bring back the negative feedback for buyers. Why should we not be able to warn other sellers about bad buyers when we can only leave them positive feedback. So unfair!!

  • http://www.bmnedirect.com.au Gina

    We left ebay as a gold powerseller with over 13,500 feedback. They screwed the Australians totally, Australia was their guinea pig.

    1. Constantly shifting goal posts.
    2. Ebay account manager saying “we are not forcing you to sell here”
    3. Allowing chinese sellers to flood ebay AU and lie that they were in Australia – ebay ignoring proof that these sellers were not in Australia and continued to allow them to breach their own location policy (it’s all about the money).
    4. Encouraging buying to defraud sellers – “I didn’t receive my goods, I’m going to leave you negative feedback.
    5. Telling us as a business how to run our business even though it breached Australian trading laws.
    6. Forcing Paypal down our throats.
    7. Ignoring their customers (we sellers) concerns .
    8. Removing the ability for a seller to warn others about scamming buyers.

    The straw that broke the back for us was compulsory Paypal, no one tells me how to run my business, so we left and haven’t looked back. Our website sales grew (www.bmnedirect.com.au). We were always amazed, we traded through our website and ebay and it was only ever the ebay purchases that seemed to go missing or had items missing, yet they were all packed in the same warehouse, posted in the same bag etc, ebay is a scammers paradise and not a healthy business partner to be in bed with.

    At least we Aussies took ebay to task through our legal system and WON! and from reading the forums they are still fighting ebay over other issues. Ebay is being watched like a hawk by government depts here now and we even managed to get rid of the then Managing Director here.

    But with a small win why would you go back. Nothing has changed for the better and never will, it’s too late ebay, you blew it 18 months ago.

    • http://www.permanent-cosmetics-training.com Terry

      Everything you say is so true. As a seller, I have been screwed by Ebay, and it did not even feel good! Giving buyers the total control with their threats of giving a seller negative feedback, put me out of business the first month on Ebay. After complaining to Ebay and their refusal to do anything, I closed the store, after only a freakin month! I can hardly imagine how the power sellers feel, after years of business on Ebay, building their reputation, etc., all to have it go down the tube over night because the assholes at Ebay decide to change everything.

      I will never buy or sell on Ebay again, EVER..

  • http://www.roldroyd.karoo.net/shop/Home.html Richard Oldfield

    As an Ebay shop owner, I have found that the shop listing fees for me have risen from 3p (UK) per month per listing to 20p, in the five or so years that I’ve been on the system. It used to be the case that I could list every little thing in my inventory, include a big enough mark-up, to ensure that I’d make a profit, even if I sold one of a certain line every few years! In other words: You could buy anything at all on Ebay, however diverse. Customers used to love this – I frequently received emails telling me that the customer had searched for years for a particular item. We can’t do this now, due to the increased listing fees. My lines have dropped from 150 to 48. And having to leave positive feedback to a customer who doesn’t pay their bill – What is that about?
    Rich.

  • Suzanne

    After using ebay for 6 years I have come to the decision to make my own website and only use ebay to push my sales to the site. It is getting too expensive now and the competition is too fearce. The markup on my items is so small that I only get about 10% after ebay and paypal take the rest. Like large numbers of sellers I too am moving on, it is just not worth my while to stay on there anymore. As soon as my website is up and running properly I hope to say goodbye to ebay for good!

    • Silvana

      Ebay is just not what it use to be. Hard to sell anything on ebay everyone want stuff cheep and with the ebay fees you end up losing money. I have closed my ebay store and just post things I will sell cheep.
      I have two web sites I sell my items on www.Rock-a-Bye-Rebel.com
      and www.LaBabyCouture.com

    • Tim

      Yes, I have made my own website also, When i first started with ebay things was ok with no problems. Over the years the fees have gone through the roof, Also the way the listings are put in order is so stupid its not real, The only reason this has happend to the listings is due to one thing MONEY! I can ebay now do not care for the people like us who made them what they are today. For me to return selling as i was before a few things will have to change. 1. Place listings in the order they were posted 2. Featured listings was under

  • Stephen A. Reed

    In short, No.

    Now if e-bay would like to pay me a high listing fee, a
    ridiculous final value fee, and a fee for using my company owned
    payment processing system, I’ll tell them why.

  • Larry

    I would not use e-bay ever again or Paynopal. Both are in league with the crooks that they allow to sell counterfeit goods & stolen items. When you go to them with their so called protection they have you over big time. Not all people are crooks on e-bay but when a company allows someone to use an English address but are actually from China you have to wonder. The comments from e-bay & paynopal that we can not vet everyone is rubbish, they are quick enough to take the money but are not willing to protect you properly.

    This in my mind makes e-bay as big a crook as the the people who use them & their partner Paynopal are without a shadow of a doubt in cahoots with the thieves.

    A robbed ex e-bayer & Paynopal user.

    • Guest

      I agree.

  • Guest

    Having been a successfull seller on ebay for a number of years it is highly disappointing to see sales slump to 10% of what they were before ebays new default search (Best Match) made its mark. Despite having very good Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR’s) of 4.98 or better across all four categories, competitive pricing etc etc all too often I find my listing only appearing on the 4th of 5th page of search results where there is little hope of them being seen.

    Percentage sales through other venues have remained much the same over the same period with our website sales growing by 16%. So why continue to pay listing fees to ebay for little or no visibility and limited sales? Simple answer is I will not be any longer. My time, effort, and money is much better invested elsewhere.

    Would I have recommended ebay as a sellers outlet 18 months ago….. Yes definitely. Would I recommend it now…. well the maths is simple ….. I’ve spent hours and hours and hours trying to adjust my ebay business to their constant tinkering with the system only to see the return dwindle dramatically. If you like a return of

    • Brenda

      I AGREE 1000%

  • Guest

    Throughout the fiasco they were never specific. And, if you can’t be specific you are hiding something. People are trying to conduct business there and nonsense of using general terminolgy and confusing phrases as they roll out changes is still yet more proof of their dishonesty.

    This was CRUEL to sellers. Not even a little short notice at times to give sellers to ponder the changes or prepare to revamp their businesses.

    They take peolple for fools. And those that still sell there have been funding the changes they want to make which screw them. Amazing. Sellers there are paying to squeezed out!

    And here they are again saying they are making changes. Okay, what are the changes??? What are they?

    Their policies have also greatly contribute to online fraud.

    If they are serious changes must include:

    * Rid of the DSR travesty.
    * Giving feedback to sellers
    * Seriously lower the fees
    * Stop advertising that undercuts a sellers opportunity to make a sale.

    Anything short of the above means they aren’t serious, period.

  • http://collectorsonlinemall.com Maggie

    My response to being short-sheeted by ebay after selling for 10 years was to create Collectors Online Mall for antiques and collectibles sellers. I switched my merchandise over from ebay and offer thousands of hard-to-find items that used to be on ebay.

    Many powersellers like myself have done the similar things and are having success. Why in the world would we return and pay higher fees to sell the same items on a site where management has insisted on a search that won’t allow buyers to find our items?

    Ebay is suffering from mis-management and refuses to admit it. They were positioned to actually do well in the current economic crisis if they had only made it easier for new sellers to come on board. However, they did the opposite and drove away their core sellers. Now they want us back? I don’t believe people will ever trust eBay again. I also think they’ve found they don’t need them. They’ve become the big clunky VCR in our sleek home entertainment system. We’ve found nicer options that are more efficient at more affordable prices.

    • Guest

      “the big clunky VCR…”

      I don’t think they understand how much negative PR came with their shananigans.

      The word of mouth on them is horrible. Every seller they lost spread the word, whether through business emails, on their business blogs, message boards and right down to family and friends.

      Also, PayPal holding payments is crooked. They are an unregulated bank anyway.