eBay’s Business Prevention Dept. Strikes Again
With unbridled enthusiasm, the business world has begun adopting eBay's new strategy to provide a better shopping experience.
...okay, well not really. In fact eBay sellers are outraged yet again. eBay's newest policy comes in two parts:
- If a seller has multiple identical items, eBay will only display one on the search results page. Once the displayed item has a bid, the items are no longer identical, and eBay will show another.
- eBay search results pages will display a maximum of 10 items for any given seller. If seller #1 has more than ten items listed, and a buyer performs a search, they will only see 10 items from seller #1 on the first page of search results. Seller #1's next ten items will appear on page two of the search results and so on.
If this were a sound business decision, brick and mortar stores would be likely to follow eBay's far-sighted policies.
Imagine the scene...
(wiggly picture wiggly picture wiggly picture)
Donut shopkeeper: "Morning Mr. Donahoe!"
John Donahoe: "Morning! How's my favorite donut seller?"
Donut shopkeeper: "Doin' great Mr. Donahoe! What can I get you?"
John Donahoe: "Big meeting today. (whispering) We think we've figured out the problem over at eBay."
Donut shopkeeper: "NO WAY! That's great. (whispers) What are you thinking it is?"
John: "Customers! This would be a great business if it weren't for customers. Get rid of the customers - no more problems!"
Donut shopkeeper: "So how are ya gonna do it?"
John: "We've come up with a plan. If we can hide their listings, no transactions will take place. No transactions, no customers, no problems!"
Donut shopkeeper: "How do you come up with that stuff?"
John: (kicking at the ground with an "awe shucks" grin) "I know, I know. - Hey, I'll take a dozen donuts. I want the white ones with colored sprinkles."
Donut shopkeeper: "Sorry Mr. Donahoe, I can only sell you ten. We keep the rest at the store on the next block. You can go down there for the other two. (Pauses) HEY! That's kinda like your plan huh?"
John: (bottom lip quivering) "Yeah, but by the time I get over there, they might be gone!"
Donut shopkeeper: "I'm sorry Mr. Donahoe, that's policy now. The boss decided ten was all we could have out at a time. Kinda makes the old 'dozen donuts' a thing of the past though. He said it makes a better 'experience' or something like that? Oh and besides, you can hop over to the next store an grab those other two, if you have time."
John: "Nahhh, I won't make it. I still have to stop by the flower shop. It's Lorrie's birthday."
John drives to the flower shop to get his colleague some flowers for her birthday. Little does he know the flower shop has also adopted eBay's ground-breaking strategy.
John: "Good morning! I'm kind of in a hurry - I need to get twelve yellow roses!"
Florist: "Ooooo that sounds nice! Who are they for?"
John: "One of my workmates is having a birthday. I know she'll like these - hey where'd you get those donuts?"
Florist: "Next door - last two they had! ...I'm afraid I have some bad news..."
John: "What's that?"
Florist: "Well, we have this new policy, we can only sell you ten identical roses - would you like two red to go with the ten yellow?"
John: (frustrated) "No! - you don't have twelve yellow?"
Florist: "Well, no we wanted to offer a better selection to the customers, so we put a limit of ten on any one type. You can go to our other store and get more though."
John: "I don't have time for that. - Okay, give me the ten yellow and just give me the best match for the other two. I still need to get some gas on the way to the office."
Florist: "There you are. I hope she likes them!"
John drives to the gas station across the street from eBay. He runs his credit card and starts pumping the gas. It stops at ten gallons.
(Click click click) - "Hey! - What's wrong with this thing?"
Attendant: "We only are selling ten gallons of the gas."
John: "But I need more than that."
Attendant: "You can buy more. Just pull ahead to the next pump."
John: "That's ridiculous! It's inconvenient."
Attendant: "You actually could also just choose a different grade, which is a different price. And you'll have to run your card again. Sorry, it's policy."
John: "Forget it. (then muttering to himself) This is a PAIN!! Who comes up with this stuff? I still have to get more donuts...I'm going to be late for my meeting now...why is everything always so complicated?"
What's wrong with this policy?
eBay is moving ever closer to the social engineering we have seen in government programs. They feel buyers are too stupid to find what they want on their own. eBay knows best.
The fact is, buyers are finding what they want. But it's not on eBay anymore. (Click click click) - "Hey! - What's wrong with this thing?"