Friday, April 25, 2008

The Noose is Tightening

Dumb Clucks in New Orleans

Yesterday was the first day of the E-Commerce Merchants Trade Association (ECMTA) and Professional eBay Sellers Association (PeSA) convention, Spring 2008 eCommerce Summit in New Orleans.

The executive director of PeSA is Jonathan Garriss (Gotham City Online 4.9, 4.8, 4.7, 4.5), who hailed the recent eBay changes with this statement.

“One of eBay’s mantras for the last 10 years was that they provide a level playing field for everyone but they now realize that just doesn’t work in today’s competitive environment. So they are doing a lot of things they never did before, like treating their biggest sellers like their customers and giving more things to their better customers. Any business does that.”

Just in case you missed the point, he is telling you that he and his group are special. On the PeSA website they modestly say they are eBay's largest and most prestigious sellers. If we were living on Animal Farm they would be the 'more equal'. Right, now that you are thoroughly impressed & clearly understand your place we can proceed.

Lorrie Norrington eBay President of Marketplace Operations was the keynote speaker, you can read her speech here. We will discuss some of the more obvious oxmorons in her keynote presentation at a later date, next week.

Tempting though it is to poke fun at these large and prestigious sellers, one wonders if reality is setting in with the first question after the speech.

Q. Based on a group study this morning, 2 out of 5 of the current PowerSellers with the best store listings on eBay Pulse will not qualify for PowerSeller status based on DSR ratings, when that goes into effect. How are you going to address this issue?

Ms Norrington was not sympathetic, nor was she flexible on the subjects of feedback, DSRs or shipping. Her responses can be condensed into one sentence "We told you this was coming" but that was not her most chilling statement. This was:
So, in the case of the new feedback system, we haven’t rolled it out yet, and as we do roll it out we’ll learn from it.

Can ya feel the noose guys? That tight chokey feeling around the neck? Mmmm?

I would like to have been there to observe the reactions of eBay's largest and most prestigious sellers to the Dumb Cluck Of The Day Award winning statement, which came from an eBay executive, (with an MBA from Harvard no less). I guess he doesn't do a whole heap of online shopping.

And the Award goes to . . .

Dinesh Lathi, VP of Seller Experience:

The fact of the matter is that free shipping is the standard for eCommerce now. Sellers who want to meet buyer expectations need to aspire to that. It is our job, the people here on stage, to help you do that. So, there are definite things in the works at eBay that will help you accomplish that. Look for that soon.

Here ya go Dinesh, I hope you enjoy your award. Meanwhile perhaps you could be thinking about the names of all those online vendors with free shipping. Inquiring minds want to know!

The only ones I can think of are for ink & for shoes, and I do a LOT of online shopping, selling too...

Finally a few comments on Mr Lathi's statement

This needs to be interpreted in the light that I believe eBay management sincerely thinks they are the center of the eCommerce universe, therefore they set the standards by speaking them into being. Davey

if free shipping is the standard then why did the Ebay store charge over 5.00 to mail a 6.00 keychain that weighed less than an ounce! Like I said, MAKE SENSE! Patricia1

and my thanks to Richard Brewer-Hay for exact quotes from the Q & A session.


Next post . . . Paypal Again Y'all come back and be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting links in the sidebar!

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