Friday, May 30, 2008

Random Thoughts 5-30-2008

Random Thoughts:

  • eBay Live is in 3 weeks and it certainly is going to be interesting. I would hope that the press is there in force to get feedback on the "New eBay". I will be there from the 18th to the 20th and I would love to meet any of my readers who will be attending.
  • I have no problem with the concept of the "New eBay" just keep Classic eBay as well. John Donahoe, you cannot create a hybrid of the two that will have any success. Instead you will marginalize both. The old saying is true; "you can't have your cake and eat it too."
  • eBay should empower sellers not castrate them.
  • eBay wants a buyer experience like Zappos, Amazon, but they want small businesses with limited resources to provide that experience, while eBay retains their double digit margins. Ain't gonna happen -- eBay is not a retailer and will never be able to provide the same experience as a retailer. Controlling eBay sellers is like herding cats, they call them independent business people for a reason.
  • The eBay brand is too difficult for eBay management to overcome. You cannot have a discount marketplace with free shipping, liberal returns, Amazon level of customer service and new in-season product. The numbers do not compute and I know eBay is all about the numbers.
  • In Q1 of 2009, what will the new eBay management team do to save eBay. The site won't go away it will just be another site, no longer the king of ecommerce.
  • eBay Sellers need to watch the movie "Network" and at eBay Live, during the Keynote speech they need to shout. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"
  • One More Thing! I posted this on my Twitter account, but I thought it made sense here. Somebody should start eBay Anonymous and develop a 12-Step program for sellers to get off the crack.

Just some random thoughts that were banging around in my head. Hope you all have a great weekend.


Anonymous said...

I'm predicting a full-scale riot this year. I'll bet management wishes they don't have to go.

ms.pat said...

Well put Randy. I just sit here stunned and amazed at what the new management team is doing. Meg and Pierre can't be pleased to see their hard work being destroyed. After 10 long years with ebay I reluctantly have to stop listing there and look elsewhere. I figure to get out while my hard earned reputation is still intact and perhaps I can come back another time once this present management is swept out and logic returns. I feel a lot of small sellers feel the same way too. So...I am putting hours, and my ebay fee money, into my own website and also listing on the various free to list sites in the hope of building my business back to where it once was. I still cannot understand why they have cut us off at the knees - surely it is affecting their revenue as much as its affecting mine. (shrug) Whatever...we can't cry over spilled milk - just pick up and carry on elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

from a Titanium powerseller,

Un f'n believable the emotional and financial grief ebay has caused me and my 10 employees. Every neg, neutral snad, inr, low dsr, etc... kills us even though we have over 1000 fb's monthly. A 2% buyer dissatisfaction rate including the above items (neg's etc..) is asking for perfection in an imperfect world. Worse, our category is prone to issues yet the same bar is set across the site. We will always have more then 2 out of 100 "issues" if you include resolved issues in the count. If you go more then 2%, you are off best match and can expect less then cost average sales prices. A real death spiral.

Since when is a 4 out of 5 a fail? How can ebay reasonably hold anyone to that and at the same time entice buyers to leave bad fb and additionally not explain that a 4 out 5 DSR is a failed grade and thus demotes, a neutral same goes....

Yes, we feel terrible for the small seller, but even for the big sellers as us, we have questioned the emotional cost and cant decide if it's woth it to continue.

by the way, I look forward daily to your blog over most.

Tony P. said...

eBay Sellers need to watch the movie "Network" and at eBay Live, during the Keynote speech they need to shout. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"

Good, Randy, but allow me to offer my prescription.. 'fer what ails ya'.

Drink a Redbull. Watch the movie Braveheart.

Drink 2 more Redbulls. Watch the movie 300.

Chug 3 Redbulls and head to the Keynote speech.

Anonymous said...

What I would really like is for Ebay to let the sellers know what their plan is for the future. As a businesswoman I really need to know.

On one hand, Lori Norrington said 'If you sell a lot you'll do fine on Ebay' (paraphrased) and at another time, she said 'There will always be a place in Ebay for the smaller seller.' (paraphrased). This leads me to believe they haven't got this all figured out yet.

I'm a smaller powerseller and I have to assume my time is coming. I haven't got any neg or neutrals since the change over (and I have excellent feedback), but who knows? After selling on Ebay for 8 years, I had grown very comfortable and very much counted on the money I made.

Also, the high expectations they've implemented and the 'deals' they've made with big sellers pretty much have made up my mind. Got to move on. Sad. Ebay was so unique and brilliant.

permacrisis said...

Wanna know what I think?

Management's refutation of the classic Ebay architecture is wholly cultural, and has to do with socioeconomic and class conflicts. There- I've said it.That anyone let their personal ideology interfere with this great business, is INEXCUSABLE.

Donahoe et al, whether subconciously or overtly, have contempt for the classes beneath them who comprise the bulk of ebay sellers and want them off. They have no idea what they are proposing. In about a year though, they will.

Their concept is that ebay exists in a vacuum and sellers are a dime a dozen and the bigger the better. They think the small time operators are the unwashed masses and an embarrasment to ebay. Au contraire.

The truth is, ebay is about stuff not seller socioeconomic strata and the rarer the stuff the better. Rare items and auctions go together like peanut butter and jelly, but current mgt castigates auctions and wants them gone. If you think that's inflammatory, wait'll you hear this:

I'm just as judgemental as Donahoe for saying what I'm about to say-- but I'll take my chances: Generally the 'scummier' the seller (on the Donahoe scale) the better, rarer, and more unusual/valuable the item.

It takes a special type of person to sift thru dead people's things, or barn rubble, or old crawlspaces in search of the good stuff- and usually, that special person ain't an executive.

Donahoe and his ilk couldn't have come up with the idea for ebay if they'd tried because they've been culturally ingrained to despise the secondary market in any form. His example of the broken laser pointer given in his Legg Mason interview troubled me, it was doublespeak. I sell (sold) industrial surplus and he KILLED my sales.

(Though I will give the guy 1¢ credit for debunking the Pez story.)

The disruptive innovation gambit is what corporate cowards do when they lack the chutzpah to launch a new brand. Donahoe should have FIXED ebay express and threw some Toyota Ad Agency behind the marketing. He should have verified each and every one of the people on ebay and booted the rest off. And Best Match should have stayed on Express.

Gahd, best match... gag me. Pretty bad when a person who has something, and a person who wants it, can't find one another. 'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Dunno about "eBay Anonymous", but there is a site with a free subliminal message to help people "get over eBay":

Anonymous said...

I've between 4000-4500 item listed in last one year. I offer FREE shipping on all the items. My S & H (P & P) DSR is 4.6 compared to 4.7 everything else. Do I have to offer to pay my buyer to get better P & P DSR. Life sucks at eBay. My user name is ExtremelyReliable