Wednesday, February 04, 2009

It's February, Where are the eBay Announcements?

Normally by now eBay would have made their big announcements for the year, so I'm wondering what's up. Sure, they make big announcements now in Aug also but late January is traditional for the biggest announcements.

I've heard everything from a shopping cart to the ending of SIF (Store Inventory Format) I can't help thinking that "free listings" are coming to media and that reduced FP-30 listing fees are coming to everybody else. Inquiring minds want to know.

Maybe the uncertainty of the economic environment has thrown their forecasts for a loop or maybe they are just struggling to get everything completed, but sellers are going to want to know sooner or later.

What do you think the changes will be?

Just my 15%


Anonymous said...

What are you doing? Don't encourage them into making announcements and changes. It will only make things worse. It is sad that almost every change takes a little bit of sales off the top.

Randy Smythe said...


Sorry, maybe I should keep my mouth shut. :) We know the changes are coming, I just wanted to hear them.

Rich said...

(Rich is currently taking anything Randy now says with a grain of salt due to his conflicts of interest).

They have completely trashed their perfectly good chat board setup. The enhancement from Hell.

The Horror!

Randy Smythe said...

(But Rich is of course still reading what Randy says and commenting)

I haven't been to the boards in awhile. I will have to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Griff in his Ask Griff thread said some exciting announcements will be coming at the end of February. He can barely keep his lips sealed. I think they going to do some adjustments on the DSRs.

I don't expect anything from this company.

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of moving 9,000+ listing from ebay to bonanzle. Whether they sell on bonanzle remains to be seen but sooner or later some site will compete with ebay. I have been with ebay for 12 years and I think it is time for a change.

Randy Smythe said...

Yeah, I heard Griff has been suggesting some things, maybe trial balloons. Hopefully they are going to finally get it.

The problem I see is "burn-out" many sellers just don't care anymore and as Anonymous says, they are moving listings to Bonanzle or other alternatives.

I think Bonanzle has the momentum right now but with over a million listings and less than 200K unique visitors a month sales will take some time to grow.

When their traffic reaches the 1 million unique range things should really start to click.

ms.pat said...

If they're smart they'll start backpeddling on their outrageous changes of the past year. They'll realize they threw the baby out with the bathwater and lost thousands of good sellers. The trouble with greed is that they kind of shove these things back in their minds and still foolishly think they are the only game in town. Well, when that game becomes too much for sellers to profit then there isn't ANY game in town.

I think we'll see some raises probably backend - hidden by lower or free listing front end fees. More "sellers spoke and we listened" baloney! They really have no place else to go...whether they actually realize this or not is another story.

I agree....they've just instituted the discussion boards from hell. Something nobody asked for but got shoved on us anyway. The only useful thing on it is the new ignore button.

Think I'll go there now and read up on all the screaming LOL

2010 or Bust said...

A shopping cart would be the single smartest thing they could do. Everyday we have customers who have no idea whether or not they have paid. They might just get back some of those Holiday buyers who are afraid they will never get what they order from an eBay seller in a timely manner.

Does anybody really still follow what Griff says? He must have pictures of Pierre or something to keep his job.

Anonymous said...

I predict that will continue to be catered to and get great deals from ebay at the expence of everybody else who has been giving ebay their fees and loyalty for years.

Lucky for Buy, unlucky for all the rest of us.

Ted W said...

Interesting and I agree the silence is deafening!

I was actually thinking the same of Scot Wingo's blog at Scot is usually very quick to provide insightful comments on eBay, and Amazon, but has only posted 1 entry in his blog since mid December.

With all the layoffs and changes that ChannelAdvisor has gone through in the last 4 months, it makes you wonder about CA as well. The silence is deafening!!!

nadine said...

The only change I want to hear is new management. The current management knows by now that things aren't working as planned, but the still seem completely clueless as to why. If they correct any of last year's mistakes, it will be the result of pressure, not understanding. They need to go, and they need to take the entire upper strata of eBay management with them.

Check out the reviews at The percent of comments that say "management is clueless" is about 80%.

bsanut said...

I REALLY want to love this company again, but I fear it's too late. Two years of fee abuse and 'enhancements' I struggle to use. Don't get me started on the My Ebay page. The few buyers I speak to ain't so happy either, but for my kind of stuff (trinkets for old motorcycles) Ebay still owns the corner.

Been to Amazon lately? It's magical by comparison to Ebay's clunker of a search mechanism. The minute they have an Amazon Motors it'll be 'curtain closed' as far as my selling on NaziBay. They'll have to drop fees to 2000 levels to get me back.


That is all.


BMX said...

Ive finally adapted my business and am making money again. I'm sure ebay will find a way to f that up again.


Renagade said...

"Free Media Listings?" Big deal! (NOT trying to bash anyone),
but there are too many "penny" powersellers on eBay in the media category that sell their goods so low that the "little" sellers cannot compete and still be able to pay the FVF per item. This is happening more in the media realm on eBay than in any other category.
Unfortunately, the "little people" that really built eBay are being shown the door...not only by eBay, but by the "Big Dogs" that eBay caters to that sell there.

May still do an auction or two, but I will be sticking with Bonanzle for my home store.

Renagade said...

PS....Randy it seems you still have a good following! ;)

Sue @ TameBay said...

Agree with "2010 or Bust" that a shopping cart would be the single smartest thing they could do. The eBay site is ten years behind the rest of the internet; it's about time it caught up.

Brenda said...

Someone over on auctionbytes said their powerseller rep had told them that there would be fee increases coming, but that there would be nifty new features to make them worthwhile. I think we can probably rely on more "monetizing of the current seller base" as a given. As far as the nifty new features go, if they were designed by the same folks who brought us Best Match and the new discussion boards, who needs them?

Anonymous said...

Who needs "nifty" we need profits.

Anonymous said...

If Ebay raises their prices during a recession, that should be the final blow. I will not support this moron company any longer. It's truly like they're clueless and want to drive as much business off their site as quickly as possible.

Do you have any thoughts on why they can't see the damage?

2010 or Bust said...

Anyone see Nightline last night 2/4/09 about McDonald's and how they attribute their recent success to a renewed focus on a asking the customers what they want?

Like eBay should be, McDonald's is a company that is somewhat recession-proof. Except McD's management gets it. They did not disrupt the fact, just the opposite. They went out of their way to find out what customers wanted and then worked to make that happen.

Can you imagine eBay's management bringing their disruptive innovation to McDonald's?

My contention has been that you have upper management that does not really care for their customers at eBay and they do not "get it". They see a Flea Market, a dirty place they do not like that they feel the need to change.

The good thing is that eBay does have its own version of Ronald McDonald - Griff makes a great company clown!

Randy Smythe said...

eBay should have had a shopping cart years ago. They actually have one now (Express) it just isn't in place on the site yet.

They are having a Top Seller Summit in Long Beach, CA next week so maybe we will get some info from that meeting.

ms.pat said...

nadine - I think you'll agree with me on this. Yes, they are clueless because their plan worked on paper and in theory....BUT they totally do NOT understand human nature and the way sellers felt about "their ebay". Ebay is declining more because of the way management treats their sellers - they've lost thousands of sales due to their sheer stupidity on how to interface with human beings. Disillusioned sellers and word of mouth is doing them more harm then anything else.

2010 or Bust said...

Randy, any idea what Gross Sales $$ amount the sellers that are invited to the Top Seller Summit in Long Beach, CA are doing?

The reason I ask is we do well over a million a year (closing in on 2ML) on eBay, we used to get invited to some of these, but now never seem too anymore (seemed to coincide with when we got our new PowerSeller rep who is not very good) and wanted to know if we just did not fit the demographic anymore or if we should be asking about going to these types of things?

Any insight would be great.

Randy Smythe said...


Well they are replacing last years event in DC for all the top sellers with regional events.

I know about this one in Long Beach and another in Florida in March.

Only 50 sellers are invited to this one in Long Beach; is what I've heard.

Don't feel alone. Several other $2 mil plus a year sellers were not invited.

I'm not even supposed to know about it I guess. I'm going to hangout at the hotel bar and catch everyone as they leave.

2010 or Bust said...

Thanks for the insight, Randy. Will be really interested to hear what is going on.

Randy Smythe said...


Are you based in the LA area? I'm trying together with a couple of sellers on Weds night or Thursday night. (The event is all day Thursday.

email me if you are: rksmythe at yahoo

Bob said...

Randy, Please keep us posted on what you hear. I only do $300K GMV on ebay, so I won't be there. Very interested to hear what's going to happen with fees in the media catagories...

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone understands that eBay has been raising our fees for some time now. Paying the same amount for less results - lower asp - less traffic - less unit sales - is a fee increase.

It would be suicide for eBay to raise fees right now. The seller base is already abandoning ship and many of us are reaching apathy with eBay now. Raising fees will just accelerate the departure of sellers.


Lara said...

I imported my 500 ebay listings to silkfair. And I've been waiting for February, too. If ebay's not gonna adjust soon, I'll close off for good by the end of the month.

There's not worth paying ebay when I have silkfair for free.

2010 or Bust said...

Randy - wish I was! Cold where I am, but thanks for the offer. However, I am in CA a few times a year for biz and will email you re this when I am around next. Would love to have met up with you. said...

Ebay would be foolish to raise their fees. I have been trying to build a bigger business and find the current fees astounding, to say the least. I would have moved my inventory to Amazon long ago, but it is a restricted category and I have not been allowed to list there yet.

I feel ebay's problem is the inability to truly react to their seller's complaints. I have been a power seller for years and feel that it really means nothing to the ebay community to be a power seller.

I find that ebay likes to keep those deadbeat buyers around and have no care to kick them off. If they went to an immediate payment program, it would really cut down the seller's complaints. Isn't there a way to tie some financial obligation from the buyer into their bid. How these buyers go around and bid and not pay is embarrassing to the ebay company. No seller wants to have to wait around and hope to get paid, then hope the item arrives, then hope the buyer doesn't have some issue they want to report to paypal, and on, and on, and on. Life does seem much easier with Amazon's format.

ms.pat said...

I can't believe Ebay would let the fees ride for now. They are far too greedy. One way or another they will get their revenue out of us...or at least try. Same thing is happening to our state. We're deep in debt but the legislators want to keep status quo and are fighting over raising our taxes. We're on the verge of a depression and Ebay like California still wants and needs its full cut in order to keep up its revenue level. Tightening their own budgets doesn't enter the picture. Hope I'm wrong...

David said...

I think "annual announcements" are a thing of the past. Lorrie Norrington said something about this saying that in the old days eBay would make their big announcements in January, with this new management team, new policies and fee changes can be announced at any time

Mike said...

Speaking of President Norrington's announcements...

In the PESA ECommerce Keynote Address, 4/2008 President Norrington said;

"Scot Wingo, at the ChannelAdvisor Conference earlier this month suggested that eBay remains the single best place to quickly convert your inventory into cash."

On February 8,2009 Scot Wingo responded to a question on;

"Q: You used this term "tipping point" - isn't that the point where something goes from being a niche to a phenomenon?

A: Yes, but I use the term here because I think it works both ways. Some folks have suggested "Negative network effects" or "exponential death". Yes, I think these all describe what I'm trying to get at - the potential accelerating descent of eBay's business. A snowball going down hill - pick your metaphor, I think it's happening."

Wonder if President Norrington is still quoting Wingo.