Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Re-round the Circle Squared

Most of us have a few blogs and other information sources we check on a regular basis. Some of my 'level one' stops are listed under resources on my sidebar, with one conspicuous absence, the eBayINKblog.

This blog has been simultaneously rewarding and a disappointment, this oxymoron is normal for eBay! Rewarding in that Richard Brewer-Hay the corporate blogger is a genuine man who writes well and pays attention, some absolute gems of insight into corporate thought processes have been revealed.

Disappointing for several reasons, there are obvious constraints on RBH which handicap the achievement of his goal "to be as honest and open as possible" stated in the initial posts. Keywords here are "as possible"; by the time a blog post is vetted by the suits, the lawyers and the PR department all that is left is the foam, the latte is gone.

There is some evidence that eBay is listening, there were damage control fluff pieces by Lorrie Norrington and Usher Lieberman on the same day in May. Brian Burke, Director of Global Feedback Policy has made genuine and heroic efforts to shed light on the inner workings of his department.

To me, the real meat of eBayInkBlog is to be found in the comments. The frootloop level is single digit. There are multiple well thought out questions posted by concerned sellers, some of which have been answered and others which have not, notably one asked on the very first day, April 2nd.

Please re-round the circle squared by eBay President Lorrie Norrington on the eBay Announcement Board on March 20, 2008 titled “Update For Sellers”.

Norrington seems to be attempting to address the concerns of sellers who fear a neg from a non paying bidder. Norrington attempts to mitigate the new “neg sellers” only policy by writing:

“What we have determined is that if the buyer does not specifically call out poor seller performance, item condition or transaction problems during the UPI process, eBay will remove the seller’s negative or neutral feedback — retroactively.”

This makes no sense. Sellers do not send items won in auctions before receiving payment. How can a buyer who leaves a neg be justified by claiming a problem with “item condition” for an item never sent, received nor seen? Again, sellers DO NOT send items without first receiving payment.

While Norrington’s “solution” may be boss pleasing “disruptive innovation”, it flat out makes no sense in the real world of selling on eBay.

Thank you for your help.

This question was repeated in May and remains unanswered in June. Is the problem trying to find a validation for a monumentally stupid statement without actually admitting fallibility? Humans are only fallible Ms Norrington.

Other disappointments include the sporadic nature of this blog, and the fluff level of the content. What does a corporate blogger do for days on end if he is not blogging? Just kidding RBH -> -> -> -> ->
My guess would be the same thing eBay sellers do when they are not selling, they try to get answers over and over and keep trying until they get three answers the same, then hope for the best.

To be fair, we should remember this is a Corporate Blog that encompasses the entire multi tentacled corporation, not just the insignificant part of it that is so important to us.

Y'all come back and PLEASE be sure to click VICTORIOUSLY on any interesting advertising links in the sidebar!


TheBrewsNews said...

I absolutely love this post of yours. First of all... it is right on target (bullseye) and second... I am a latte drinker!

JustMe said...

Love how you illustrated your point with the Latte!

Too bad their froth leaves such a bad taste!

Anonymous said...

Aloha Henrietta

An excellent post! I am scared though; we have been agreeing a lot lately!!

Anony Mouse

ms.pat said...

Hi Henrietta :-) Patricia1 here.

I don't think any of us expected much from the ebayinkblog. We got exactly what we expected. I'm thinking its a rude awakening for Richard though because perhaps he was thinking it would be a place of genuine give and take where the problems between the buyers/sellers and ebay could openly be discussed and ebay management would answser questions and straighten them all out. I feel it has to be quite frustrating for him. As for ebay - through all these years I've gathered only one opinion on management - its simply never been the best that money could buy or what the company and its customers deserved. I believe the very concept of ebay has made it what it is today mostly in spite of management. Ebay management - through the years - became more and more adept at throwing roadblocks if nothing else and feeling they are entirely superior in their thinking. I can't help but wonder how much bigger and even more successful ebay would be today with the proper management all along ;-)

This new ebay team is even worse - its quite obvious they want to get from point "A" to point "B" and are trying to do it with a huge tangle of new rules and regulations (a lot of which is senseless and because they ARE senseless they cannot be explained)! Its sad for the sellers but they need to bite the bullet and diversify - ebay as we know it is going down and with the present management, it can never recover.