Thursday, March 06, 2008

eBay Hires Corporate Blogger

I thought this news was quite interesting.

Here is the sub-title from a recent Fortune Small Business article: "New eBay recruit and social media veteran Richard Brewer-Hay will launch a new blog next month that aims to give eBay's users a direct, unfiltered communications link with the company. Can he repair the company's battered relations with its users? " (bold is mine)

According to the article; "In the uproar within eBay's merchant ranks over the site's upcoming fee and policy changes, one complaint dominated discussions: the charge that the company doesn't respond to the feedback and opinions of its sellers.

eBay (
EBAY, Fortune 500) hopes to dispel that perception next month with the launch of "eBay Ink," a no-holds-barred corporate blog helmed by a new company recruit, social media veteran Richard Brewer-Hay.

Unlike eBay's existing blogs and forums, which focus on more traditional (and sanitized) corporate communications, eBay Ink aims to give readers a peek inside eBay's internal operations. Brewer-Hay has pledged to write unbiased entries about what he observes as an all-access employee of the $7.7 billion dollar company."

My first thought was, "he's Griff 2.0", but I actually think the idea has some merit. I sure hope he will be allowed to cut through the "eBay Speak" and communicate what's really happening behind the scenes? I just hope he knows what he's in for, sellers can be brutal when it comes to the problems facing eBay and for a guy who's only been there since January, he has no real background with eBay. His first few months will be very interesting.

It is obvious that eBay needs to improve communication with its Sellers and I floated a similar idea to them last year. My idea, was for them to create a positon of Seller Evangelist, to be the direct link between eBay and sellers. Chief blogger is a start.

Please read the entire article and interview, it will be well worth it.

Update: Dear Mr. Brewer-Hay here is a sampling of what's in store for you and they are being rather nice in their comments. I certainly hope you are ready for this.


Anonymous said...

The very idea that they put someone on this blog who has virtually no experience on ebay except to buy a few things proves to me this is more of ebay's nonsense! They want to pound their chests and say "we even put an unbiased blog out there specifically to hear out the seller's side of this." I think that comes under the same type of ebay-speak as "we're cracking down on fraud and we're ridding the site of bad sellers" all of it the same ebay-speak - the same nonsense LOL. Yes, I'll read this blog - but only until it turns my stomach like the informative and useful "town hall meetings." Then, I just have to move on because I can only play with children for so long!

Anonymous said...

This is like watching an ecommerce demolition derby.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous #1 - The very first requirement for this job should have been extensive eBay seller experience, but eBay PR is in charge of this effort and there are other things they want to talk about (PayPal, Skype, etc).

Anonymous #2

I agree, but I just can't look away. This is just facinating to me.

Tony P. said...

Hi Randy. The 'mental workings' of ebay is just so dang good - they must have some super minds working on nothing but damage control - like a roomful of disembodied brains of genuises hooked together, hooked to a super computer.

When FSB opened the door for ebay users to leave their comments recently, I doubt that they ever expected anything like what they received. oh, so much damage, in one spot... what to do?

(ebay says) Let's give FSB some input on how we are listening and addressing the problems.

I have to ask... when something is this *transparent*, are people really not aware?

Randy Smythe said...


Well, I do agree with you that the choice of FSB for the interview was very "transparent" I'm surprised they didn't do a second one with BITS of the WSJ.

Honestly I would have made that choice myself. Remember he will be working for eBay's PR department, nuff said.

CT said...

eBay to Launch New Blog in April
by: Renee'

I don't know if any of you noticed another article on Ina's Auction Bytes site about the Better Business Bureau giving eBay an award for "eBay Inc. will receive the Better Business Bureau President's Award for sustained superior performance."

You can read it here:

I think this is totally obscene. We all need to print out these pages upon pages of blogs that we are reading and send them to the local Better Business Office in protest.

Here is the address of the Better Business Bureau in San Jose California, where eBay resides. If we enundate them with these complaints and bury them under an avalance of paper they would have to retract the award or loose face.

There is now way eBay should be getting an award like this in light of what they are doing.

The BBB also needs to know there is a class action suit filed against eBay.

BBB of Silicon Valley
(San Jose, CA)
700 Empey Way, Suite 110
San Jose, CA 95128
Phone: (408)278-7400
Fax: (408)278-7444

Please take a moment to print out your favorite blog responses outlining eBay's new discrimination tactics.

As for hiring a non eBay Blogger to handle damage control. It's like hiring a blind person to lecture to the deaf.

What a joke.

Scott Fillmer said...

Some times I find it facinating where eBay goes with things. You would think that AutionBytes or someone (like this blog) would have heard something from him if he was "reaching out" to the auction bloggers.

I do find it interesting that ebay apparently finds blogging important now. Way to get in on the ground floor when things are new :)

wisdale7 (on ebay) said...

How does a person address abuses/complaints DIRECTLY to eBay?
The "live help" is nothing more than a bunch of foreigners looking up "catalogged" answers....some of which are helpful, and if an ebay buyer wants to report abuse/manipulation, they can't/won't give ANY phone/email contacts, to investigate the issue(s) further. Furthermore, if you ask the SAME question, to 5 different people, you WILL get 5 different answers. Don't they ALL have the SAME "Answer Catalog"?
I DID find some eBay Corporate phone #'s, but they WERE NOT on ebay's site(s)....Why are they hiding???
Has eBay forgotten where their REVENUE comes from?

Randy Smythe said...

Simply said, it costs more than it is worth to them to provide that level of customer service.