Tuesday, March 11, 2008

eBay Wins Better Business Bureau Award!

Ina Steiner posted about this earlier today and I won't spend a great deal of time on this announcement because most of you know what I think already, but I will point out one thing:

"eBay Inc. will receive the Better Business Bureau President's Award for sustained superior performance. The online auction site is one of several businesses accepting a BBB International Torch Award at a ceremony on April 8 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The Torch Awards are given by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to recognize businesses and executives exhibiting integrity in the marketplace and exemplary dedication to fostering trust between businesses and consumers." (bold is mine)

Whatever credibility the BBB had before this announcement has been lost with this award. Maybe they should have identified the years that eBay met this standard and said, "from 1995 to mid 2004 eBay exhibited integrity in the marketplace and exemplary dedication to fostering trust between businesses and consumers." but they certainly cannot say that from mid 2004 till today.

Just my 12%


omar said...

what a joke!!

Perhaps the BBB doesn't count complaints against paypal as part of ebay because they are separate units?

Why not ask them and find out?

I know for a fact Paypal has tons of complaints.

Anonymous said...

How can you say that? Try to see the forest from the trees.

Any site who manages to build the infrastructure that allows buyers and sellers who have never even met to trade a record $60 billion worth of goods in 2007 across the globe in different time zones, currencies and languages is certainly doing something very right in regards to fostering trust between businesses and consumers.

Randy Smythe said...

Anonymous, I don't disagree with you for the period of 1995 - 2004 but management has torn down much of the good will that was created in those early years over the past 3 1/2 years.

Getting the Award now, in the midst of the most troubling time in the company's history seems odd to me. Its like Mark McGwire and the Hall of Fame. The Steroid Years ruined his chances at the Hall of Fame.

Were his accomplishments Hall of Fame worthy? You bet, but the scandal tainted his legacy.

The whole point of eBay's problems over the last few years is distrust by Buyers and Sellers which is in complete opposition to this BBB Award.

The question is not, What have you done? But what have you done lately?

Anonymous said...

If eBay had done anything to violate trust between buyers and sellers in 2004, or at any point for that matter, they would have been stopped dead in their tracks. That's because nobody gives hard earned cash to a vendor that it doesn't trust will deliver.

The fact that merchandise volume at eBay is $60 billion in 2007 and was only $34 billion in 2004 speaks to the trust buyers and sellers have placed in the system "lately".

Randy Smythe said...

If the President's Award is a Lifetime Achievement Award, as it appears to be, then I have to go back to my ealier comparison to Mark McGwire.

eBay is certainly worthy of a lifetime achievement award, but the turmoil of the last few years taints their legacy.

Investors, Buyers, Sellers, Vendors and Employees are all exhibiting a lack of trust in the marketplace.

BTW, I can't find any record of the BBB ever awarding the President's Award before, why now?

I've requested a list of previous President's Award winners from the BBB and will certainly update my post when I get a response.

namewithheld said...

Anonymous said "The fact that merchandise volume at eBay is $60 billion in 2007 and was only $34 billion in 2004 speaks to the trust buyers and sellers have placed in the system "lately".

Anonymous, your figures aside, you have to admit that sellers of ALL sizes, "lately" would gladly leave ebay in droves if there were more fiscally viable marketplaces out there to sell on....ebay still has the traffic and that's the ONLY reason we all still put up ebay in 2008...as the internet continues to mature, more marketplaces like Amazon will arrive and we will all move away from ebay and it's price gouging and endless issues for sellers....

Look at the history of the fast food industry. McDonalds once really pioneered something, they had a monopoly on that kind of business. But now consumers also have Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendys, etc/all....someday, like McDonalds in the fast-food industry, ebay won't have a total monopoly on ecommerce and all us sellers will be selling elsewhere when it is viable....

Please note that this post is coming from the viewpoint of a practical small business person, not an emotional seller who feels personally wronged. Business is business, thus, I'm selling on Amazon more now, every year over year...

ONLYEBAY said...

I suppose the issue of trust in the Marketplaces business is all in the eye of the beholder.

For example, I personally trust buying from an EBAY merchant far more than buying from a stand-alone merchant website. I like being able to see a merchant's track record and at least I feel the merchant has some accountability to follow through.

On a seperate note, I think the fast adoption of PayPal across third-party merchants does show that for many consumers, it increases the level of trust between a buyer and a seller online. Given that PayPal Merchant Services is such a recent and sustained success, I think it is arguable that this alone would already warrant the award.

Randy Smythe said...


I'm softening my position on this award, if it is truly a Lifetime Achievement Award" but will wait till I hear back from the BBB.

I think the President's Award is a first time deal specifically to make eBay look good but you know how cynical I can be.

Tony P. said...

Anonymous, and possibly others, appear to be confusing the act of commerce, with a degree of trust. We all would like to think that the two things are inclusive, but that isn't necessarily the truth.

There's many examples:

Do you buy gasoline? Do you trust that the Petroleum Companies tell the truth about how much it costs *them* to deliver fuel to you?

Ever bought a new automobile? Did you question the charge for "undercoating"? Did you really believe that the salesman had to "clear this with my manager"?

I may use a particular service because it is convenient, or because it's basically a monopoly, or even because it delivers more Bang-for-the-buck, but that doesn't mean that I necessarily trust it.

As far as Paypal fostering trust between a buyer and a seller, it is more like a guardian of buyer info, than a provider of a safe-trade endorsement.

The buyer trusts Paypal with his/her info and also trusts the seller to deliver the purchase, but it is doubtful if the buyer trusts the seller *because* that seller accepts paypal. I realize that some buyers do, but they shouldn't and I doubt if the majority do.

Many business/financial ventures that have Gone South in the past (junk bonds-Milken, book cooking-Worldcom / Enron), would have presented a trustworthy facade, that fostered much commerce. It was only after-the-fact that their true nature was revealed.

Some of us have already been exposed to the true nature of ebay and paypal. We're just waiting for Sarbanes-Oxley, and the rest of YOU, to catch up with them.

Better to keep that squinty outlook, Randy. Do not look directly into the Spin.

Randy Smythe said...

"Better to keep that squinty outlook, Randy. Do not look directly into the Spin."

Tony, if it is a Lifetime Achievement Award then I can give a little, though I question the timing - maybe they are throwing Meg a bone as she leaves.

Tony P. said...

"...maybe they are throwing Meg a bone as she leaves."

You are a frikin' genius! That's it - I didn't even think of that. Guess that's why you get paid the big bucks, huh?

Anonymous said...

Yes - this is a joke. I'm currently involved with a BBB complaint and EBAY doesn't reply - they simply say 'not our problem, case closed.' and BBB closes the case.

Darvin said...

BBBOnLine is the Better Business Bureau program to identify trustworthy web sites in the US and CA. people are extremely dissatisfied with the company. There are so many negative reports abot the company. I learned about this on this great site www.pissedconsumer.com. There are also many consumer feedbacks about the company there. And they are far from being positive.