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Ecommerce Forum

eBay Moves To Reinvigorate Retail Sales

 6:22 pm on Jul 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

eBay Moves To Reinvigorate Retail Sales [reuters.com]
EBay Inc will slash fees by 20 percent for its top-rated sellers and push their listings higher up in the search queue, part of steps to try to rev up its long-stagnant Marketplaces arm.

The online giant is trying to revive growth in its main retail unit, whose auctions and fixed-price sales connect buyers and sellers. Its latest move, announced on Monday, is aimed at rewarding the most reputable sellers, who drive shoppers to the site and give top customer service. San Jose, California-based eBay also said it would bestow on approximately 150,000 top sellers a "Top-Rated Seller" designation that buyers can search for on the site as they choose to conduct business with the most reputable.



 9:31 pm on Jul 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

They're really flopping about, trying to find a strategy that works.

It's hard to revive that Golden Goose once you've killed it.



 9:59 pm on Jul 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

We're still a "PowerSeller" but our sales volume this year will be about 25% of what it was just two years ago. The more BS they rammed down our throats, the more we focused on our website. Now the website is almost 50% of our sales (we have a B&M too)...

Though some of the changes could/will actually benefit us, it's a little too late. Our own website has replaced eBay—with no Final Value Fees and a lot less customer induced headaches.


 10:46 pm on Jul 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is funny, ebay wants to get rid of auctions and be an eccomerce middleman who takes a % cut. This business model will fail.


 12:35 am on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am a PowerSeller and I am currently reading Jim Collins "How the Mighty Fall". I am amazed at how closely eBay is following the five steps in the book. It is almost like they are trying to die.

As for selling on their platform, I find that their 'best match' produces tremendously inconsistent results - feast or famine to the extreme. Like T_Miller I am focusing on local sales and my own site. Ebay has done a thorough job of alienating sellers in the small to mid size space. This latest move will empower the bigger sellers and be the final nail.


 1:11 am on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not good, here's why.

EBay Inc will slash fees by 20 percent for its top-rated sellers

Translated Ebay just slashed commissions from affiliates who send the buyers to ebay too. When this is added to the OTHER unmentioned fee reduction (5 free item listings per month) it's the affiliates who are seeing less incentive to send traffic to ebay.

Its latest move, announced on Monday, is aimed at rewarding the most reputable sellers, who drive shoppers to the site and give top customer service

Sellers don't drive shoppers to eBay, affiliates do, and if those top sellers have a website that DOES in fact drive traffic they are earning a commission from EPN already, it's allowed.

I find the moves interesting overall but not from an affiliate point of view, eBay stands to be chasing off several affiliates, especially if things like Adsense begin to pay more with much less work. (I hear it's close already)

edit: as major companies like Yahoo! become EPN (eBay partner network) affiliates there is less need for smaller affiliates, might these moves also be designed to squeeze out the small affiliates? Yahoo's new front page has eBay offerings, with affiliate links, as does the new Yahoo! toolbar.

eBay used to be a site where everyone took part, today it seems leadership is steering towards keeping the biggest sellers happy and making it harder for the smaller affiliates to stay with the program while courting the likes of Yahoo! There will be no growth with this approach, eBay will live or die based on the future whims of its super affiliates, the mom and pop affiliates will be gone for lack of income.


 1:42 am on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

what always gets me is the bizarre pricing. 35 cents for the 30 day listing and $1.50 for a subtitle on the same listing.


 4:42 am on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have not used or browsed eBay in years. And I spend all day online. Wonder if I am part of the norm now?


 2:14 pm on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

My wife use and I mean that past tense be a big seller on ebay she would get stuff in the mail for top seller ect. That was couple years ago or before Ebay starting charging to much for listings and began to force buy now buttons.

She has switched to craigslist and finds it much better in selling her products.


 7:44 pm on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

It seems that E Bay is becoming more like Amazon.


 10:04 pm on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I know it's not nice to say HATE, so I will say that I extremely DISLIKE eBay and what it has become under John Donahoe. That man has ruined what used to be an awesome place for both buyers and sellers.

I used to be a powerseller and was making a LOT of money, I had one large store and a couple of smaller stores as I was trying to capture a sub-niche of my particular market.

So, since eBay has the STUPID rule of having to open up a separate sellers account for each store and you have a new user id. This means that you are starting out with ZERO feedback on the new store. Worst mistake I ever made. I ended up getting down to just below the 4.5 star rating for shipping and handling charges. I don't know if it has changed but last year when this happened to me, there was no warning, no temporary hold, just completely booted off of eBay after being a power seller in good standing for several years.

The worst thing about these star ratings, especially for shipping and handling is it's subjective. No one likes to pay shipping, I don't either. And the buyer knows BEFORE they bid or buy how much your shipping charge is. If they do not like it, they don't have to buy, but they do, knowing darn well they got a great deal, but still mess you over with the star ratings.

I will NEVER use eBay again (oh, well, I can't since they booted me off forever!), however it does sadden me not to be able to.

Anyway, sorry for the rant and off topic discussion here, but this just reminded me of how stupid eBay is and what a moron they have running the place!


 10:58 pm on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not to put down people who run businesses on eBay... Whatever works for you. But personally, I can't imagine why somebody would want to have some overseer like eBay telling you what you can and can't do with your own business everyday, when you can just have your own site and do whatever you want. I suppose you're gaining some exposure, but that's not hard to do on your own, and dealing with them and all their rules seems to be a big price to pay for some exposure. Just the feedback system alone is enough to keep me away. And no, I don't have anything to hide. But why risk having some nut sink your whole reputation.

To me they just don't get it at eBay. The original model was to have a place for people to sell one-off items, either personal or semi professional. But either way it was supposed to be individual sales of one-off items. Then they got greedy and wanted to turn it into a quasi eCommerce site as well, with "buy it now" and all that. You can't do both... You can't be a sales site AND an auction site. In the end, the decent customers got sick of going on eBay and having to sift through all the hard sell BS and $19.95 garbage to find the decent stuff. So now they decide that the best thing to do is cater even more to the hard sell $19.95 crowd... Makes no sense.


 11:28 pm on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

For us, we sell personalized widgets and widgets that are often re-ordered, so it has been good for acquiring customers for future sales (off eBay). If we sold one-off, never see 'em again items, the value would be considerable less as a sales channel.

I'd never recommend eBay be anyone's *only* sales channel.

But a lot of people take the bait and build their "businesses" around selling on 1 or two venues like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc. Same people can't understand why they don't make money when they try to compete based on price at 15-20% GPM—they forget to figure in the 12-15% cut eBay takes. ;)


 7:02 am on Jul 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree dpd1, people should not use eBay as their only source and yes, it was extremely difficult having a "boss" as it were look over your shoulder and tell you how to run your own business.

For me, eBay was just one source, I have my own online stores. Frankly, it got to be a huge pain because of so many cut throaters on there. People in my niche that were wholesalers AND retailers, made it hard to compete! Plus with eBays huge fees and rules and all, I don't miss the stress, I'll tell you that much!


 11:53 pm on Aug 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

The eBay forums were taken down an hour ago and the buzz just before they went down was that a major announcement is coming tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.


 12:08 am on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

every time they took down their french forums in the past it was because people were taking too much about how the place was full of knock off designer goods from china or ebay french staffers running their own auctions ..

( i often wondered if the people in ebay USA who authorised the french office ever actually understood what was being said in the french language fora on ebay ..there was documentary proof and even court cases here concerning the corruption levels of their french staff ) ..and yet no heads rolled..

Ebay ..they have become their own parody ..and are now repainting the deckchairs ..


 3:24 pm on Aug 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Big announcement today regarding their affiliate program. Major change in strategy there. Haven't seen anything else...


 12:36 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

They are moving to a CPC model, cpc will vary based on the quality of traffic you send them.

I think if I was used to making money via a CPA model I would be very worried.


 12:48 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

For anyone wondering where the "news" is ?ebaypartnernetwork dot com ..will this spell the end of "dead popes on ebay" in adwords :)?


 6:15 pm on Aug 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

"EBay Inc will slash fees by 20 percent for its top-rated sellers and push their listings higher up in the search queue, part of steps to try to rev up its long-stagnant Marketplaces arm."

This will certainly help for some of the full time power sellers but wouldn't it be an excellent way to piss off 99% of their seller base even further?


 9:42 am on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

In some markets I see items going for near wholesale after you figure in the Paypal and ebay fee cut. Obviously that points out how hard it is to make money on ebay now. People won't buy on ebay if your price is a little less than elsewhere....it has to be dirt cheap.

All I use ebay now is for advertising my site and getting my name out there. I use their 30 day BIN auctions basically as advertisement to get in Google searches and drive traffic to my site.

I have seen a lot of sellers with lots of total feedback have their sales drastically cut. I can tell by looking at their feedback received in the past 30 days and derive from that their sales volume....it's way down in a lot of cases.

I was lazy in the past and hoped for ebay to bring me customers...now I realize that you really need to build your brand and promote your own web site and use ebay as either a way to gain exposure or for some ancillary income...bulk of sales should be generated from your own site which you have complete control over.


 10:09 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree with all of that... And as far as the pricing... I too look at what people are selling stuff for and I know exactly what it cost them. I've said it before, but I often seriously wonder if a lot of these people even have the slightest clue how much they're really making. When you are selling a lot of items, or even worse, making a lot of items, it's extremely difficult to keep up with what your true profit is. Even the most dedicated person is only going to be getting a basic number, and that's with keeping up to date on costs constantly, which change daily. I just had it happen today... A supplier raised three products $1. Not a big deal, but I don't have time to log that in now, and you have that happen a couple more times... next thing you know you're losing money. I have to think there's probably a lot of people out there that got into it and really have no idea how much they're really making... Or not making. I think a lot of them just feel like, if stuff is going out the door, then they're accomplishing something. It may take them a couple years to look at the bottom line and realize they really aren't making anything. Especially if they subscribe to the adage that all businesses loose money in the first couple years. I think that's BS... I never lost money. Maybe I never made as much as I wanted or sold as much as I wanted, but I never lost money from day one. But unfortunately there's a never ending supply of these people out there that just make it harder for all the people that know what they're doing, because shoppers are always going to use the absolute bottom price to give you a hard time with, and that price will often be below a profit. But what can you do? Tell them: Yeah, that price is great, but that's because that person has no idea what they're doing and probably won't be around 3 years from now. People don't care... All they care about is getting it cheap.


 11:37 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Products will continue to be sold so I'm not overly worried about earning a living but I do wish eBay would turn the ship about and head towards calmer waters.

Moves like cutting off all sellers of virtual game items because of paypal concerns weren't great (imo) because those game items helped launch ebay to begin with and paypal problems (or any other entity problems) shouldn't be able to cause major changes on eBay, but they do.

I like what I see with the new affiliate program changes. Gone are the needing to earn almost a million dollars in commissions before being paid in the top tier, now you can apparently be in it on a daily basis if I understand the extensive wording in the FAQ correctly.

I wonder where eBay will be at this time next year, perhaps on Google too since they are on Yahoo! and Bing already.


 8:38 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ive stopped using Ebay, to many people are real PITA to deal with on there. I really cant see why they want to destroy what works, really daft idea. Glad I dont own stock in ebay.


 9:09 pm on Aug 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I still use eBay, but buyers seem to have all the power so I'm reluctant to sell any more. 1 in 5 buyers (according to my records) seem to be taking advantage and are bidding just to have the option of possible negotiation once everyone else is out of the scene. Some very very silly policies they've come up with.

Still good for buying cheap stuff, though why something else hasn't sprung up that doesn't charge 15% commission on cheap stuff amazes me. For price sensitive buyers 10% less elsewhere would surely attract some publicity. One for another forum member - I do my own shops these days.

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