Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking for Deep Throat!

No, this does not have anything to do with Porn, instead it is a reference to "All the President's Men" and the era of Watergate.

A disertation is making the rounds to all the blogs and ebay discussion boards. I won't post it here because I'm still doing due diligience on its validity. It was posted in my Blast from the Past comments section. Update: I removed my link to the post until I get confirmation.

Update: eBay has responded, saying "there is nothing to this post".

Okay, I've done enough research on this now to conclude that the manifesto circulating around the blogs is a hoax. After further reading, it is clear that there is no real inside information here and that some of the items on the list are actually contradictory.

Now back to your garden variety speculation. Move along, nothing to see here.





Just my 12%

29 comments:

ms.pat said...

Oh - that's funny - I just posted it on my own blog:

http://grannygoodpaint.blogspot.com/

I've been sitting on it for two days then posted it in my Ebay groups. I don't know...I'm inclined to think it is valid. Mostly due to the huge cone of silence Ebay has placed over themselves as to what the company's goal is with all these changes. Its always been my experience that when somebody avoids telling you something that means its bad for you to know!

www.ACEart.net

Anonymous said...

Does explain why they booted DD. They don't want ebook feedback manipulation AND there will be no need for template designers when everyone will use 1 standard ebay template.

It also explains how they will offer seller protection. They will have a very tight lease on which sellers are allowed and there shipping.

No more stores and DSR will eliminate competition favoring only the sellers that ebay has agreements with (buy.com). The majority of sellers will not have their items returned in search results. Plus the yearly fee will be so high only the very large sellers will be able to afford to list and make a profit.

Ebay does want to get rid of the majority of sellers. They need to prove to the largest suppliers that it is worth their time and money to list items without fear of competition from other everyday sellers.

No need for ebay live, ebay will not be open to everybody.

I think the leak was intentional, and interesting that it was done AFTER ebay live.

Anonymous said...

The post is also on auctionbytes.

It was posted in the blog --Disconnect at eBay as It Moves toward Amazonification---from Saturday

Randy Smythe said...

It is clever, I will give the writer that much, but I won't believe it until I get some proof.

If the writer isn't willing to go further than it will go down as just an interesting story.

permacrisis said...

That guy writes longer tomes than me!

But, they are much more upbeat.

Anonymous said...

If there is nothing to it then why the Buy.com deal?

Why all the hidden policy changes?

The shipping thing does sound a bit far fetched I agree but the others sort of make sense. But it seems like ebay wouldn't abandon the small seller market maybe just create 2 marketplaces?

It makes total sense in a way and is so underhanded it is scary.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the shipping thing is that far fetched. If ebay is going to offer seller protection on items then the current system has to change.

Ebay isn't going to really be liable for lost items. They have something else worked out. Maybe they have it worked out that IF a seller uses the approved methods (Pitney Bowes label printing, UPS, ..you know the sponsors of this years live) through ebay's website the discounts a high volume shipper gets goes in part to buying insurance and in part to ebay profit.

Ebay will make money off of shipping that you are required to use, just like paypal.

It will be interesting to see if the protection eBay gives the seller includes the shipping charges or just the items price. Especially when sometimes the shipping cost is more then the items cost.

ms.pat said...

The one big question mark that I see is why the secrecy if its going to benefit us sellers as they keep saying. "Stick with us and you'll be happy you did." Or should it be stick with us until we no longer need you and cut you loose? Its a big question mark but in my mind they are keeping this secret for the latter reason and not the former. If everything is going to be so darned good then what reason do they have to keep it under their hat? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Its like when your girlfriend leaves you. She never tells you she hates you, she just does all the things to show you she hates you but tells you she loves you to your face.

lol

Then one day.. bam.

Its not you its me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for looking into it Randy. I will trust you when you say its a hoax. Good thing I wasn't sure what to make of it.

David said...

Randy I'm surprised you even acknowledged that post. Whoever wrote that must have a ton of time on his hands.

The one giveaway was that neutrals would be converted to negatives.

It would not surprise me if eBay does get rid of neutrals but if they got rid of neutrals they'd let the neutrals that were already left stay.

When they took away mutual feedback withdraw, the original comments didn't reappear.

Randy Smythe said...

David, yeah I wasn't sure about acknowledging it, but I was having some fun trying to get to the bottom of it and ultimately can come out and say it was a hoax.

If you really want to know the real motivation, I was hoping somebody who has real info would contact me.

If you are out there? Call me!

permacrisis said...

He can't he's busy swimming in scuba gear, with a fin sticking up at the beach.

ms.pat said...

I think I know who it is - just a guess but the person I'm thinking of did used to work for ebay and has posted on the boards and on youtubes. It may be one of those things we'll never be able to prove. I do know, however, that ebay read the post on my blog because my tracking program gave me their URL.

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along?

Henrietta said...

It has the rhythm and flow of a hoax, odd patches here and there well written then slooowly oozing into emotive mode.

Not much to it we don't already have, the 'buy the packing as you list' is beyond believable, and good luck instructing UPS or USPS on anything. I have not even succeeded in instructing them how to read an address and deliver the item to the address on the envelope.

To me the day's amazing story is the lady who called it two years back on your blog, I would like to know what model crystal ball she is using.

Randy Smythe said...

Rodney King is that you.

Henrietta,

Yeah she was very good. I wish I had her contact info so I could get her to update her post.

Anonymous said...

Can you link to that ladys post, RS?

Nadine said...

The sad thing about the stuff in the hoax is that Ebay has made it all so plausible. After all, if you assume that Ebay managers are rational, then you must conclude that they planned this round of Feedback/Search changes to "cull the herd" and cause the buyers to unwittingly drive all the small sellers off the site, rather than have to ban them themselves (though surely tiered pricing could have achieved the same effect much more simply, and with less ill will).

On the other hand, if you don't assume that Ebay's management is rational, then you must conclude that they are the world's biggest clueless dweebs, living in a management echo-chamber, flailing about desperately for growth.

I find this a real puzzle. Randy, you've talked to these people a lot more than I have. Where do you come down on the "it's all part of the plan" vs "clueless dweebs" question?

Mitzi said...

Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time trusting eBay saying anything is true or not true... especially when a lot of the points in the post do seem to coincide with what is happening these days. I am on the "master plan" side - they are up to *something* and only time will reveal what their final goal really is!

Tony P. said...

As soon as I got to the part about using "ebay approved" shipping materials, it was obvious that it was a hoax.

Imagine all of the dropshippers, some located in Pacific Rim countries, being required to use ebay material. Hilarious!

However...

Some of those other points were just insane-enough, that they may actually become prophetic. I mean, you know how wild & wacky ebay is, right?

Imagine a few years back if someone had told you that ebay would become everything that we know it is today. What would that someone have looked like? Maybe...

That guy in the park, with 3 layers of overcoats (in summer), preaching to no one and having arguments with the squirrels. Yep, that's who.

Anonymous said...

It looks like #5 on the list is coming true.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/82826-new-selling-form-sinks-ebay-sellers?source=feed

The question is: anyone still believe ebay when it says there's nothing to it? Anyone still believe ebay? Anyone?

Tula said...

When I first read the "Deep Throat" post, I pretty much dismissed it due to the paranoid tone it had. But it occurs to me that the things discussed in that post might possibly be ideas that were tossed around internally at eBay. There's just enough of a hint of plausibility in them for that to have happened. I've heard stranger things being discussed in meetings at various places I've worked. If a manager says, "Let's brainstorm" or something similar, these are the kinds of things you might hear. Most will never make it past the first cut, but they might still get put on record somewhere.

Randy Smythe said...

I've talked to former employees, current employees other industry types about this and though the writer hits on a few things that might come true, I think he/she just got lucky.

It was a hoax, but I'm willing to be proved wrong if the writer would contact me.

Anonymous said...

If you read that post it says there were changes made to the 10 items, recent changes, whatever that means. Refined versions of the 10 may be waiting in the wings. But here's the thing, proof or no proof, if just 80% happens is that getting lucky? Was the poster Nostradamus? And why hasn't ebay officially come out with a rebuttal? People *are* taking it seriously.

Tony P. said...

The points of that 'manifesto' that are accurate... had been announced for at least a week or more before it was written on the PSU forum.

And it was written there, first. That is months later, after the Tests of all the recent Announcements. The Tests were seen and reported by many peeps, on the boards.

The only thing Prophetic about any of the points, is simply a person's recent awareness of what has already taken place.

I prophesize that gas will reach $4 a gallon!!!!

Randy Smythe said...

Tony P. $4 gas, will never happen :)

Anonymous, look I'm more than willing to talk to the writer of the post and keep his/her identity completely annonymous. There is no way eBay would ever find out who they are, so if it is real then I encourage them to conact me.

eBay told me it was a fake, several former eBay employees told me it has some bits of truth but has other wild fantasies (which call into question the whole post)

People are taking it seriously becasue they want it to be true. If it is true, I'm willing to post it but I want to hear it from the horses mouth.

BTW, if it is an eBay employee they are fully aware of my blog and know how to get ahold of me.

ms.pat said...

"People are taking it seriously becasue they want it to be true"

I don't think people want it to be true - I think they fear it to be true...and with the veil of secrecy Ebay has thrown over their future plans...many believe it! One thing is for sure in my mind...Ebay is up to no good as far as sellers are concerned.

Randy Smythe said...

Pat, that quote needed some additional context, sorry.

I meant, many sellers want eBay to be exposed as this letter exposed them, not that they want to see the changes. So I should have said they want the letter to be authentic becasue it endorces their view of the company.

Is that more clear?