Wednesday, September 10, 2008

AuctionBytes Responds to eBay about Diamond Power Sellers

A little back-and-forth about the new Diamond Power Sellers. For those of you unaware of what has transpired here is a timeline:
I wouldn't imagine anything further will be coming from eBay, though I would ask them to clearly layout their "Diamond Power Seller" plans for the rest of the year. Right now, the "eBay seller community" is deeply concerned about the future of selling on eBay in light of the new 30-day Fixed Price listing format and speculation that the "really Big Guys" are coming in mass to eBay. 

In strains credulity to state that this influx of large sellers won't have any impact of current sellers. Just look at the Books category on eBay right now after the Buy.com deal. Buy.com has dominated the category to the detriment of existing sellers.

If there was enough demand on the eBay marketplace right now, the introduction of these large sellers might not have an impact, but there isn't enough demand on eBay and these large online retailers will dominate their categories putting thousands of small sellers on the brink of going out of business.

David Steiner said this in his response to Griff's post: "You often have to look past what eBay says, and look at what they don't say to get a clearer picture of what's in store for your future. eBay did not deny the existence of the pilot program, or that these catalogs are coming. eBay did not deny free listing fees for these top-level sellers (in fact, it confirmed that fees for Diamond level PowerSellers are negotiable). eBay did not adequately address the fact that while these Diamond Sellers will fill out the breadth eBay's product offerings, many Powersellers who sell the same inventory will likely suffer.

In defense of larger sellers coming aboard next month, eBay stated, "In fact, big sellers have been a part of eBay since nearly the beginning; Sears, Disney, IBM, Dell, HP, etc to name a few. Some remain. But some found they couldn't compete with existing sellers on eBay who by dint of their smaller size of operations, tend to operate much more efficiently than a bigger business."

What eBay doesn't mention is that many of these large corporations were not able to compete on the eBay platform because they were paying listing fees just like smaller merchants - which is why eBay has changed the fee structure for these Diamond-Level sellers."

When I ran Glacier Bay, I asked eBay every year to negotiate our fee structure and every year they said "we don't do that". Large companies always negotiate deals for high volume transactions and this years "Diamond Seller" negotiations are no different. Up until recently eBay had leverage to resist discounting, because they were the only place to sell, but now that they are losing their mojo; they are being forced to "discount" because that is the only way these big guys will come to the site. I know Griff call this speculation, but it is just logical. Big Retailers will not come to eBay unless the risk of listing is removed, so he can call the "free listings" rumors as speculation, but there is no other explanation.

Just my 15%

8 comments:

Henrietta said...

Where is Usher? Griff can lie like a rug with the best of them but his written language skills are 'unpolished' to be kind.

Anonymous said...

Griff did more damage than good with his remarks. Well, I guess it was good for us, the sellers. How stupid do they think we are? It's so insulting. I'm closing my store. I'm not going to participate in core until I see how things are working out. Like you said, sellers have to do what's right for them.

Anonymous said...

This is terrible. Sales are really, really, really bad right now, in this week leading up to the big changeover.

I know it's the slow season but it just feels like there are no buyers out there, that we are advertising to nobody...

Page views are pathetic. The stock is down. This is bad.

Usher Lieberman said...

@Henrietta - I'm honored, that was a compliment - back-handed to be sure - but these days I'll take what I can get.

Anonymous said...

Usher,

Get out now while you still can!

Or, stay on and start taking notes for your tell-all book to be published after you leave!

You would have a best seller!

Say hello to Buy.com for us all!

Yours,

Bankrupt Bob, the 10 year ebay bookseller

tekgems said...

Do you think you would still be selling DVDs on eBay if a Diamond PowerSeller perk was offered to you?

Randy Smythe said...

tekgems,

I wouldn't do anything until I see what these changes turn into. Then If the economics worked out I might consider it.

I kind of like what I'm doing now though.

ms.pat said...

Whoever said this is a slow time? Ebay always picked up right after labor day...not this year though. I don't think they'll even liven up for the christmas rush! I've done well on Bananzle this week though ;-)