Wednesday, January 02, 2008

eBay Seller Fatigue - How Much Will it Impact eBay's Upcoming Changes?

There is a growing sentiment, among eBay sellers that I speak with, that they are just plain tired of eBay. Tired of jumping through hoops with every change or waiting for the next change before they make any business decisions at all; Tired of all the work involved in running an eBay business; Tired of the glitches; Tired of eBay customers and their demands; Tired of living in fear that they will be NARU'd for their Feedback. Many are just plain tired of it all.

Could this growing "eBay Fatigue" put a crimp on eBay's proposed changes; even fee decreases?
Many of the sellers I've spoken with, say they will just pocket any savings in fees. A good many have already been doing that with the non-stop promos eBay ran during the 4th quarter. Many have no plans what-so-ever to grow their eBay business. They will achieve growth by expanding to other marketplaces or their own websites.

Now, these sellers are practical people, so I would guess if they see a turn-around in their eBay business or see some positive signs they may re-evaluate and change plans but it seems to me its going to take a huge turn-around to get them to once again focus on their eBay business.

I wrote a post in 2006, entitled "Are EBay and Store Sellers Headed for Divorce?" And I would say based on the chatter I am hearing today, I wasn't far off in my assessment.

Certainly many sellers, maybe even the majority, are happy with their eBay business but if you asked them, they would still say they are tired.

Update: I just came across this comment on the eBay Stores board and thought it was appropriate to this post. It was in response to question on the next fee promo but the sentiment is what stood out to me.

From sojo2004 Jan-04-08 21:42 PST

Nope. First we get the news on the new fee structure and some hyped up announcements about a new campaign to drive biz to the stores, which will all be a let down after all their hype and hints and corporate planted rumors.... then we all jump all over their ideas, start up petitions, analyze their math and find it coming up short, read all the e-zines like Auction-bytes and quote them all over the boards...(deep breath)... then a bunch of sellers leave, and the numbers don't budge (or barely go up... or they continue to slide down...) and THEN we get a listing sale.Haven't we been through all this before? Its deja-vu all over again.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely Randy.

I have been operating a Titanium eBay Store for many years now.

Boy, am I sick and tired of eBay screwing around with the internals of my business and my life.

Everyone in my company is working to get us away from eBay and onto Amazon and our own site ASAP.

Every time we begin to make progress on Amazon or our own site, we have to drop everything to put out a fire that eBay started.

eBay is literally sucking the life out of me and my employees.

You are also right about the fee change. We won't be giving any money back to eBay... eBay fee savings will go towards funding our own site development and selling on Amazon instead.

eBay has knifed sellers in the back at every turn and kicked store owners in the face just when they were going to get up and grow the market (remember Stores in Core, then NOT).

eBay 'sales' are of no benefit to sellers anymore. We all know eBay has a sale only to suck money from sellers and pad their bottom line before the quarter ends or before making drastic and often harmful site/policy/fee changes.

I encourage all sellers to do as we have and keep your eBay listings to a bare minimum at least until we hear about the new fee structure and other changes eBay management said were coming.

When the new fees are announced we will re-evaluate with a very critical eye.

Meanwhile, my off eBay website GMV is approaching 50% of my eBay GMV... with no fees! The more time we spend on anything but eBay, the more our time pays off.

I suppose this is because eCommerce is growing way faster than eBay, so it would make sense that time put into eBay is time lost.

It's all soooo sad. We use to like eBay.

Joey said...

I finally closed my Ebay Store at the end of December. The feeling of loss soon was replaced by a feeling of relief. I will place auctions only now and I will only place them on Ebay when my other sales channels are not the best place for the item.

I miss the old Ebay. But sometimes you just have to say its over and move on.

Anonymous said...

Nowadays Ebay is infested with unscrupulous buyers... There are no guaranty of any kind for the sellers, and Ebay does not understand that there will be people that will complain about anything, just to snatch some coins out of whatever they buy by threatening the seller's reputation!!!