Monday, January 26, 2009

Randy Gets a Day Job!

Sorry for that title, just couldn't figure out how to lead into this, but I have exciting news, at least for me its exciting.

On Tuesday, January 27, I begin a full-time consulting arrangement with as their Merchant Evangelist. 

My role with the company will be to reach out to third-party merchants and introduce them to the platform, solicit feedback on what merchants need from the marketplace and work on ways to drive sales to Marketplace sellers. 

I will serve as an advocate for merchants within the company on product management and marketplace issues. My goal will be to assist the marketplace team in making the marketplace the ideal platform for third-party merchants to sell their wares.

I will not be involved in's eBay business. I will have plenty to do working with merchants to maximize their use of the platform.

With my background as a third-party merchant with GlacierBayDvd and my years observing and commenting on the ecommerce business at MyBlogutopia, I'm excited about the opportunity to be the voice of the merchant within the company. 

In the past, I've blogged about the need for eBay to have an experienced merchant working inside the company, as an advocate for sellers. Well, I am going to get that opportunity at, and I'm pumped about it.

As for MyBlogUtopia, I will continue to blog about issues facing 3P merchants in ecommerce. The views and opinions expressed on these pages will be my opinion solely and not that of Of course I will promote the marketplace here from time to time, but I'm hoping to develop a specific blog just for those issues.

2009 is going to be an interesting year and online merchants will have lots of options. I'm going to do my part to make sure you know how can work for your business.

I look forward to working with many of you and please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I don't have my contact info just yet but you can reach me in the meantime at rksmythe at yahoo.

And yes, I will continue to blog about eBay, Amazon and the rest, but I will always try to be fair. 

Just my 15%


Anonymous said...

Nice sell-out, but I have to say, I called this a year ago. You may as well shutter this site up - you've lost any credibility you've tried to build.

Jim S. said...

Bye Randy. It's been great.

Anonymous said...

I guess that leaves Auctionbytes as the last one standing. No surprise as we are all dropping like fleas too. So long.

Randy Smythe said...

I'll keep the lights on for you guys.

Now will actually be the test for me as a blogger. Maybe I'll just start commenting on politics and stuff.

Kids Coats said...

A very "inexpensive" way for eBay to "BUY" out a "diamond" critic.

All kidding aside, good luck Randy. Embrace you're new position and give them your all.

I'll miss your commentary.

Anonymous said...

So you've become Griff ??

Randy Smythe said...

Oh Gawd, no I have not become Griff and I'm not going to stop blogging but I am enjoying your comments.

ms.pat said...

Randy - I'm not exactly sure what this means. Will try to be an ebay all by itself? Explain please. Anyway good luck in your new job. Just having a job these days is the ultimate plus ;-)

evanp.on.ebay said...

Congrats! I made some Buy purchases (non-eBay but paid with PP) over Xmas and was very impressed with their shipping speed and customer service. Buy was every bit as good as Amazon or a top quality eBay seller.

Perhaps I could be your stand-in Blogger on things eBay?


jimwarden said...

Jim Miller here,

Randy, I actually know you from before this blog, and know you will do a great job at Buy will be a better company having you on board. The lessons you have learned from being on top and not will always serve you well in this ever changing e-commerce space. Good luck to you and keep blogging and twittering as much as you are able to.

Anne said...

They are so lucky to have you,and i wish you the very best.Cheers! Time to break out the bubbly!

Hillary said...

No double speak from me, Randy. If you are excited about the position, and it sounds really cool, you have my utmost congratulations. I will miss reading your blog (if it does go away) but I'm sure we'll chat on Twitter.

Dave White said...


Good luck in your new venture!

You understand 3P merchants issues so very well. Just remember what you have learned.

Renagade said...

I sincerely wish you nothing but the best.
If you are to continue this blog, you will have a fine line to walk.
I hope you will be able to continue to give your ubiased opinion ...and if anyone can pull off this duo role it is you.

Judy said...

Randy, congratulations. I hope you really enjoy your new job and still manage to find time to blog occasionally.

If eBay had any sense, they would have offered you a similar role years ago. And maybe if they had, they wouldn't be failing as badly as they are now.

My very best wishes to you and thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge.

Randy Smythe said...

Hi all, thanks so much for the kind words and even the jabs.

I may be naive here in thinking I can continue to blog and tweet just like in the past, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

So, I'm not going anywhere, just going to have to change my schedule a little.

I hope to continue blogging my 15%.

Randy Smythe said...


I don't know that I would call it being like eBay. They are more like Amazon and opening their traffic to third-party sellers.

They've been doing it now for 2 years and they are launching new categories as fast as they can.

WhitlowUniqueCollectibles said...

Full Steam Ahead in you endeavor !

david said...

Monday, May 05, 2008 10:18:00 AM
Randy Smyth wrote:

"This morning I received an email from an eBay seller in the computer category who is struggling to adjust to this weekend's news. He can't afford to compete against in CORE so he is relegated to Store listings which don't get near the exposure. Add to this that is offering lower prices and free shipping and it is a perfect storm for a major slow down in business."

So, help us all understand ... you thought it was in your readers' best interest to twist the knife by *joining*

Real classy, Randy, real classy ... your retread moves are really starting to pile up (always a fan of your eBay burnout and how you play it off as "voluntary").

Do you have *any* principles left at all? It sure seems like you'd sell your soul to the devil if it meant a larger title for your desk placard. I'd offer you the chance to prove that statement wrong, but it's no longer possible, you have made your motivation clear. Actions do speak louder than words!

Don't worry about the lights -- you just lost the privilege to have us care whether they're on or off. Shameless.

Randy Smythe said...


Sorry to hear you feel that way.

Shaun Jamieson said...

Congrats Randy! I think its a smart move for any marketplace to offer a seller evangelist position.


Anonymous said...

I realize that in this economy a good job is hard to find but by doing this your blog has lost all credibility. You might as well turn off the lights. How can we trust anything you say when you go to work for a retailer that has flooded many Ebay categories and put many small time sellers out of business. The smaller sellers like myself respected what you had to say but with this move you just flushed all that respect down the toilet.

Tim said...

Congratulations Randy. Everyone is entitled to feed their family any way they can and you seem particularity well suited to this job opportunity.

I will say I will miss what I have seen as a real-world, no holds barred, unbiased blog about the smaller-seller eCommerce world. And frankly, I am one of the sellers that has had to drop a line because of eBay's deal with

Buy flooded my category with listings - and since they were free to Buy they could own the category - while I had to pay for what little exposure I could get. I don't blame Buy - I blame eBay. But, I am still no fan of Buy.

Good luck!

Stefan said...


Just wanted to say congratulations once again. Joining Buy looks like it will be a great fit for you.

I think you will enjoy your new role and get a lot out of it. Anyone who has a problem with it, well, that's their problem. will certainly benefit from having you on board. Look forward to working with you in '09!

Randy Smythe said...

I really do appreciate all of the comments, even those calling me Lucifer :)

Maybe I won't be able to continue the blog like I want, because of the perceived credibility gap, but I'm going to still give it a go.

As I wrote a few days ago, after the eBay Q4 earnings, I am tired of banging my head against the wall suggesting things to eBay. With I get to be part of building something that will benefit third-party merchants. That is something to be excited about.

Nothing I said over the last 2 years has changed anything at eBay, so not much hope that 2 more years talking about it would improve that situation.

I'll keep writing and leave it up to those who read my stuff to determine if what I'm saying is valid.

Chris @ TameBay said...

You think you're getting grief now Randy, imagine what it'd have been like if eBay had offered you a job as merchant evangelist :-D

nadine said...

Chris, if eBay had had the sense to offer Randy a job as Merchant Evangelist it wouldn't be in the trouble it is now. eBay thought it owned its customer base so it didn't care about evangelizing them or treating them decently.

Sorry to lose your blog, Randy. Even if you still have time to blog, it won't be the same. But congrats on your new gig. At least you're going to advise a company that is not on the path to self-destruction and who wants to listen to you. That must be a nice change.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to you see you leave, more because this blog loses all impartiality now. Oh well, I suppose we still have the folks at TameBay.

Mr. Pat said...

Lets start from day 1. He gets pushed off Ebay and starts a blog complaining about them. Everyone has a place to vent their griefs on his blog. He starts selling on Amazon making lots of money. Tells everyone that is selling on Ebay and pushing the little guy out.Gets new job that will last about 9 months and will write blog how and how their business is not working. Good luck Randy can't wait for your new blog.

CoolFinds said...

Congrats on the new gig!

Anonymous said...

Randy wrote:
I am tired of banging my head against the wall suggesting things to eBay. With I get to be part of building something that will benefit third-party merchants

Randy, ebay sellers are expanding and switching venues too. Ignore the "Benedict Arnold" comments. You have to do what you have to do.

If helping sellers is what you love to do, of course you need to grab that opportunity when it arises. You'd be foolish not to.

ALL sellers are entitled to an advisor. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Randy. I've heard good things about Buy's website. Turn them into an Amazon contender.

You're a good guy with a ton of integrity. I've enjoyed your blog and advice so much. Good for you! I'm thrilled for you and know you'll do great. Their lucky to have you!

Cliff Aliperti said...

Congrats, Randy!

Hope you can keep it all up, I figure you'll still be able to tweet as much as ever, but keeping the blog up should be a challenge.

Best of luck, pal, I hope they allow you to do the great things you're capable of over there!


Trent_T said...

This is a great new opportunity for you, Randy.

New opportunities offer many and unique challenges. Go get 'em!

I do hope to see you continue with your unbiased blogging. I always enjoyed reading them


Anonymous said...

Ho-hum - another day, another so-called "ebay expert" with their agenda showing. Last week, Tamebay showing their nothing but shills for Frooition, and this week Randy sucking up to a Diamond seller.

This industry has more whores than the Bunny Ranch...

Anonymous said...

I find that last comment offensive... whores.

magisterrex said...

Can't believe the kinds of venom that people thoughtlessly spew out in your comments, Randy.

This is an exciting opportunity, and hopefully you will be able to help many sellers find success on a new platform.

furnitore said...

way to screw the little guy Randy. You are no better than Donawhore

Janez said...

Randy - Congrates! You will have a big job over there. We just started selling on Buy. Reminds me of selling on Amazon 3 years ago. I hope that they will allow more items to be sold then just their catalog.

Take Care,

Henrietta said...

Why am I surprised at the ignorance and mental confusion expressed in some of these comments? is a corporate retailer and like any other corporation will act in their perceived best interests.

If any of you sellers were offered the same opportunities as Buy was on eBay you would refuse because it might harm small sellers? Puh-leeze!

The blame in that situation goes squarely to eBay who were too shortsighted to see the end results on their marketplace.

I am impressed that is looking to the long term. By hiring Randy they may (if they listen) be able to avoid the type of seller abuse that has become endemic on eBay.

That fits Auntie May's policy "A stitch in time saves nine" I approve.

As sellers we should have learned not to ever allow one venue to gain a monopoly again. There are now two large venues, eBay & Amazon, several smaller ones (in alphabetical order), Buy, eBid, eCrater, iOffer, & Overstock. The more viable choices the better for both sellers and buyers.

Looking into my crystal ball I see potential for some things eBay might not like happening with their Diamond poster-child.

Anything which contributes to a better seller experience must be a good thing.

All the best!

permacrisis said...

Throttle back on twitter, keep the blog. No one is going to remember you for twitter. It just dilutes the quality of your writing. I've noticed the effect on a number of writers.

What I wanna know is how this will affect the operation of inetmedia.

Stop whaling on the guy, he's about to take us all inside a company who in the past week or so let it be known that it was very much underwhelmed and mildly unhappy with ebay. I think this hire sends a message.

And if you thought he was in the rumor mill before!!! Man oh man!

Randy when you plant your recording device in the boardroom be sure to use Energizer Lithium, they last by far the longest and I don't want to miss a word. :-)

Can't wait to hear what Lawson has to say in a vid!!

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for your insights here these past few years, I've learned alot from you.

You are doing the right thing by taking on a new challenge for yourself. Many of your readers probably don't realize that blogging doesn't put food on the table...

Go make a truly welcome place for 3P sellers! Most important, don't forget the lessons we've all learned from ebay mistakes with sellers. Steer away from fuzzy ebay math, and condesending PR spin. Do your best to make just talk straight to its sellers...

And don't forget all us little media seller/record store guys!

Randy T

krl said...

Randy, Congrats and I wish you the best in your new assignment. I will miss your candid assessments of the online marketplaces. I am bit embarassed to say that I had no idea that even had a 3rd party marketplace (maybe thats why they have hired you!). Keep in touch, Kelly L.

Montana Frank said...

Congrats Randy.

I have you to thank for introducing me to FBA, getting me out of hours at home packaging sales for shipping and away from daily lines at the Post Office. You helped me when I had questions about the process and my business is so much better for it.

I praise the Lord for time to have a life again enjoying friends and family, nature and God's word. I can disappear for days or weeks at a time and not worry about missing a single sale. Awesome!

frank klin

Anonymous said...

Congrats Randy!
I am excited for you, you will do a great job. Maybe a little too good,

I am a little nervous about the future of ebay now. I always had some hope, with your news its all gone.

I find the karma kinda funny. eBay spent the last year putting all its eggs in a single basket (third-party merchants and even getting rid of their long time smaller seller. All the small time sellers had made the same mistake with ebay. Now we are beginning to move our eggs and eBay is in trouble. Serves them right!

Why ebay didn't hire you as a consultant just magnifies their arrogance! Amazon will also feel the "Randy Effect".

Anonymous said...

WTG! You have been giving out free advice to ebay and others for far too long. Its great you are getting paid for your knowledge by those who will listen.

I will still read your blog, you haven't lost credibility.

Anonymous said...

Oh I think it might be a really great thing in the long run. Maybe it won't be to buy's advantage to remain on a dying company's platform? They can have their own, and this time they can actually improve with some well sought out professional care.

They need to improve,be on their own, and ebay needs to not have huge retailers on their site!LOL!

Maybe buy can take all the retailers with them on THEIR site!LOL!

nadine said...

Yup, Buy is already expressing unhappiness with eBay. After listening to Randy for a little while, they will understand how overblown their expectations were and throttle back to more realistic aims, like new customer collection and liquidation! O man, eBay will not be happy at the advice Randy will give Buy! Meantime, he can explain to Buy exactly what Amazon has been doing that works so well!

Anonymous said...

OT - Heard something hilarious. Ebay put out a survey to see if sellers would be open to sending their items to Ebay's Fullfillment Center. Can you imagine!!!

wiiseller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BMX said...


I want to wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor.

To those of you who think he is selling out or whatever you call it, shame on you.

Randy has provided free advice to all and given people insight to his business and why it failed, so that you could learn from his mistakes.

Although I have not met him personally, I think he is a stand up guy and I applaud him for taking his knowledge and figuring out how to turn it into a positive monetary gain for himself.

We are all capitalists and we should have the right to profit from our knowledge and expertise.

Those of you who complain are the same group of idiots who think that sellers should lose money and that any business that becomes successful is automatically evil.

Bravo randy!

Randy Smythe said...

Just wanted to jump in here again and thank everybody.

For those of you unhappy with my move, sorry hopefully you will come back and read MyBlogUtopia again.

For those of you wishing me farewell, don't count me out here. If anybody can make a blog about ecommerce work will working for a marketplace it will be me.

Permacris, their won't be any scoops but I'll still comment about eBay, Amazon, Overstock, Bonanzle, etc.

Third Party sellers have ton's of options these days from small to large. I will continue to write about all of the options and yes will be one of them.

Thanks again for all the kind words. I really do appreciate it.

Moonlight said...

Wow! I've been off the computer for a couple of days, but came here first as I do every day.

Congratulations, Randy! What a terrific opportunity for you. I wish you all the best.

I do hope you keep blogging, as I really enjoy your views.

Tula said...

Congrats Randy! I'm glad someone can find a day job in this economy (anyone looking for an unemployed software developer? :-)

I don't get why some of your readers are upset. Personally, I look forward to any new ecommerce insights you can give us as a result of your time with I have bought from them for several years (not on eBay) and have no problems with them, like some people here seem to. Those who whine about being unable to compete against Buy on eBay have obviously not read about all of your experiences as an eBay seller and really need to revisit their business plans.

Best of luck in your new role and I look forward to hearing more words of wisdom from you!