Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sing Along! Accentuate the Positive

A highly respected European pro-eBay blogger expressed a desire that some eBay bloggers read this article. Its very interesting so I thought I would give it a try. When you write a blog titled "How eBay lost ITs groove. A chronicle of eBay's destruction of the community." a real challenge is presented. One of the things I learned on eBay was to repeatedly rise to a challenge so I am going to accentuate the positive things about my ten year eBay experience and count my blessings.

1. Friends. I have made friends on eBay, some of whom I may never meet, others who have literally changed my life. Thank you eBay, genuinely & especially for Becky, Deb, Judy, Lidy & Lori.

2. Investments. My best friend (shades of kindergarten) whom I met on eBay, indirectly led me to bricks and mortar investments which have freed me from the need to earn a living on eBay. Thank you eBay.

3. Cattle. Yes cows, MOO. An eBay friendship led my husband to the source for some of the finest registered Angus seedstock available in the USA today, which is now enjoying a tropical lifestyle while growing a foundation for what will one day be the best registered herd west of the Rockies. Thank you eBay. The girls say thank you too, they like the climate.

4. The Answer Center Volunteers, my mentors, who taught me how to be a good seller on eBay and begun my education on the fine art of e-tailing; which is not exactly the same thing as retail but close enough to allow you to make some big mistakes. Thank you AC Volunteers wherever you are now, especially Bob & Glenda who are hopefully enjoying a yak dung free retirement. If eBay had customer service there would be no need for an Answer Center, so thank you eBay for your non-existent customer service.

5. Reality Check Back in 2006 I had sunk a considerable amount of cash into stock, eBay stores were in search and I was selling everything I had. The month I was one sale off PowerSeller status (my goal at the time) stores were taken out of search and sales came to a crashing halt. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. I learned that I could not keep all my eggs safe in the eBay basket. Thank you eBay for forcing me to make new baskets. I did not appreciate it at the time but now I know it was a good thing.

6. Web Skills If I had not had my reality check in 2006 I would not have learned how to build a web site or a shopping cart. I know it is not perfect but I built it and I am proud of it, so thank you eBay for opening up a whole new world of learning experiences.

7. Google Checkout. I was a PayPal user before eBay bought it. I was a PayPal enthusiast, and remained one until this year. The changes in PayPal's User Agreement led me to remove my funds from their Money Market Account and explore payment alternatives. Much to my surprise I discovered that Google Checkout was not only a lot more convenient but safer and a better deal. Thank you eBay for fixing PayPal to a point where I will shortly be all Google Checkout.

8. Alternative Venues If eBay had not started a war on small sellers there would still be no viable alternative venues. I boycotted loudly, most eBay sellers did not, they simply left, fairly quietly. The exodus of eBay refugees has given a much needed boost to these sites, many of which also have a much more viable fee structure. Thank you eBay for showing me that if I pay less to sell my low GMV items I get to keep a higher percentage of my gross.

9. Feedback Changes Yes I am going to thank eBay for the changes they made to feedback this year. It wasn't the adjustment to Final Value Fees that drove me to boycott eBay, or the increasing micromanagement of my business by suited theorists who know less than I do. I boycotted eBay as both a buyer and a seller because eBay put me in a position of extreme vulnerability with my feedback. I spent a lot of time, money and effort building a stellar longterm online reputation, only to be told I had no track record, it was meaningless to eBay. While it is meaningless to eBay it is a valuable asset elsewhere so I quit while I was ahead. I am grateful to eBay for shoving me out of the nest. I no longer log on every morning stressed, anxious and apprehensive as to what business devastating new policy will be announced. Thank you eBay.

10. Networking The changes on eBay this year and the subsequent February boycott together with increasing censorship in eBay Groups led to the foundation of off eBay Groups. Some of them were just rant centers, others have developed into valuable resources. A place where you can find a fellow seller who has made the transition to an alternative venue and will assist you to do the same thing. This is the eBay Community Spirit, no longer to be found on eBay but alive and well elsewhere. Without eBay there would be no such thing as eBay Community Spirit. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you eBay for once upon a time being the kind of place that engendered the eBay Community Spirit.

So dear reader I have counted my eBay blessings, I feel good. Do you have eBay blessings to share?

Y'all come back


Anonymous said...

Thank you for including me in your silver lining! I also have learned so much and gained so much from my tenure at eBay as well.

The networking and friendship benefits have been innumerable.

I'd never have found you either, had it not been for the (perhaps sinking) juggernaut that is eBay.


dspeakes said...

As usual, you have nailed the truth!

Thanks for including me in your list of benefits from being on eBay.

You are also, for me, one of the reasons I stay connected, not to eBay necessarily, but to the off-eBay groups that were formed when eBay had to fix what wasn't broken.

Tell Larry that John says, "Baa!"


Anonymous said...

You are one of my dearest, closest friends and I thank Slither and eBay! Mahalo nui loa Slither and eBay!


Lori in South Dakota said...

Those lovely cows have an ocean view (look at that picture again!!) and I don't!! I am SO jealous.