Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pulling Levers on eBay

There is a whole lotta trading going on. eBay opened at $27.01 this morning down from $27.33 at close last night. Trading has ranged between $26.97 and $27.48 today.

Last year Ina Steiner at AuctionBytes wrote about eBay's slot machine venture. Licensing the eBay name for one-armed bandits was not out of character for former CEO Meg Whitman who was fond of pulling levers as needed to tweak eBay performance at strategic moments.

As eBay's remaining sellers, overwhelmed by the recent avalanche of changes without clear guidelines or implementation dates pull listings for revision to avoid arbitrary suspension, eBay is wildly pulling levers.

Scott Wingo blogged on eBayStrategies last month about "copious couponing" with eBay Bucks plus cash back offers from PayPal and Microsoft's Live search engine. This was followed by a double discount eBay Bucks coupon.

Today UK sellers received notification of a two week 1st July to 15th July 2008 inclusive *one penny per listing* offer from eBay.co.uk, limited to businesses listing in technology categories. Another offering for our brethren across the pond says:

Push the frontiers of your eBay business with this by-invitation-only special for selected sellers. If you’re a verified PayPal user and have never listed in the US, say howdy to the exciting eBay.com marketplace with US$0.10 insertion fees on Auction and Fixed Price listings.


In my search for references I came across this delightfully nostalgic puff piece from U.S. News and World Report published Halloween 2005. The article contained these quotes:

From the article; First, she realizes she can't control eBay's community of buyers and sellers, because they don't report to her and if they're dissatisfied, they don't have to show up for "work."... Anthony Noto, at Goldman Sachs "The eBay community is a democratic state ... and from Meg "Don't assume you know more than the marketplace or community--because you don't."

As my friend Ed says "Are they feeling the squeeze of the seller exodus?" Seems to me there might be some subtle messages for John Donohoe in those quotes up above.

Y'all come back


Anonymous said...

QUOTE: Seems to me there might be some subtle messages for John Donohoe in those quotes up above.

There are, but they don't fit his Arrogance Template, besides, his "Noise" filters have been tweaked full bore.


Mechelle said...

I came across this last night on the feedback board.


What I find interesting, though I always believed this would be the reality, the better sellers are leaving (not to say they all have obviously I am still there for the moment) but the crappy sellers are not leaving. Those who have busted ass and have pride in what they do and their FEEDBACK.

I have read many comments from these good sellers that they will no longer use their selling ID because they don't want their feedback abused after they have worked so hard for the past - 5, 8, 12 years. Though I won't be moving on to a new account I do understand their emotions.

One lady found that eBay had dumped off the first couple years of her feedback comments (along with the count) and was livid and very upset. Many sellers (the powerseller board) thought she was being dramatic and asked her why it mattered. Of course her response was because she had worked hard for her feedback and she wants all of it. I totally feel where she is coming from. My feedback is very important to me - not because of the emphasis that eBay attaches to it, because each represent an accomplishment. A happy customer, a job well done, another step up, and I gain inspiration from the comments. I frequently start from the first page of my feedback record and read to the present, because it encourages me to keep working- not to give up or quit.

Those who don't sell on eBay can't understand the difficulty of the job, the level of work and effort involved. The public views all of us who sell on eBay as having a grand time, living the easy life, it is a hobby in their eyes. Even prior to these insane changes selling on eBay is a challenge-

Henrietta said...

I guess it was subversive, the listing has been pulled.

Words to the wise, always make a screen shot, I will happily host it.

Mechelle said...

Here is the sellers ID


you can look him up on seller dome- also


yep- I will start screen shots

So, the seller received 2 negs from a nonpaying buyer and that listing was his last - it was a goodbye to eBay note