Monday, February 18, 2008

eBay Boycott Begins Today!

Many eBay sellers will be staying away from eBay for the next 7 days in protest of the recent changes announced by management. In the past, these attemps to protest changes have failed. I'm not willing to say that this boycott will be different, but I did notice one significant event that has me curious and is well worth watching.

eBay announced a $0.20 cent listing sale on the 13th of Feb. and listings shot up to over 15.5 million, according to Medved. On a typical day for eBay, listings normally hang around 12 million, so the promo added roughly 4 million listings to the site. With previous promos this new elevated listing number would stay for 7 days (the typical length of a listing) and then move back to the normal listing range. What is different this time, is that the Medved numbers for today (2-18) show 14.5 million listings instead of the 15.5 million listings from the previous day. This is not normal, so what would explain it?

A one million drop in listings 5 days after a promo is significant and may indicate:
  • Boycotting sellers have kept 1 million listings off of the site. We will know if this is the case if the listing numbers on Weds, when the 7-day promo listings end are 1 million less than normal 12 million.
  • Sellers, who normally would choose 7 days auction lengths during a promo, decided to choose 5-day listings, so their listings would end prior to the beginning of the boycott.

Regardless of what actually happened, the fact that eBay has 1 million fewer listings today then the previous day, with two more days left on the promo is significant. We will have a better guage on the impact of this listing boycott on Weds when the 7-day promo listings end and the new fee structure begins.

If listings are in the 11 million range on Weds, then I think it will be safe to say this boycott is having some effect. It may not change anything in the way eBay does business but it will be a sign that if sellers join together they can move the needle a little. If listings come back to the 12 million range, the boycott will be considered a failure.

This will certainly be interesting to watch.

3 comments:

ONLYEBAY said...

Interesting conclusion. Except of course, the new fee schedule comes into play on Wednesday so whether listings go up or down, we wont know if its the boycott or the new fees.

Randy Smythe said...

It may be a wash on Weds but if listings are in the 11 million range then you could say that the boycott had an effect.

Its interesting to watch though.

Anonymous said...

Want to hit them where it hurts???
Starting now.... EVERY time you do a search & see a PAID ad either at the top of list OR down the right side (google paid ads) that says ebay.com (not individual stores)... click on it.
Pass this on to everyone you know.
make them use those fees they charge us instead of raising the CEO's paycheck!