Thursday, September 4, 2008


Worldwide on eBay sellers are wondering. In a word they are clueless and eBay is declining to give them a clue.

My friend Randy Smythe has an interesting post on his MyBlogUtopia!

"There is an interesting buzz coming out of San Jose these days, as rumors begin to fly, about impending layoffs at eBay."
I started to comment (and as these things do) it turned into this post. As you know, we are of the agricultural persuasion in our lifestyle here. As I sat on my porch swing this morning with my laptop and the marvelous first cup of tea, to greet the dawn I was struck by this thought:

eBay is like a horse that has been eating loco-weed.

Common symptoms include aimless wandering, altered gait, tremors, weakness and erratic behavior. Horses poisoned with locoweed may also have impaired vision and actually bump into things or try to jump imaginary objects. The unpredictable behavior of locoed horses makes them dangerous to work around or ride.

ALL of these symptoms can be seen quite clearly in eBay Management. Unfortunately there is no cure for severe locoweed poisoning.

In the United Kingdom Ed at Buildaskill Blog which is one of the best sources for cross-border or international trading information and resources, says
Sellers are protesting the lack of definitive answers to crucial questions regarding the August listing format and fee change announcements, that take effect on 24th September

Will, or will not, pre-existing sub-99p priced Shop Inventory Format (SIF) products be shown on the site when they migrate to new-BIN on September 24th? UK eBay staff are giving conflicting answers, and even the forum post by Community Manager James, last week, announcing no new listings under 99p start price, does not answer the question of what will happen to pre-existing listings on that date.
Sellers never did get an answer to the pre-existing listings under 99p ($2) question. They found out by doing, no listings are permitted BIN under 99p, this is truly an example of 'aimless wandering' insofar as running a business is concerned.

Almost 2 months ago I commented on an eBay Ink Blog post about phishing. Surely, I said,

The simplest, safest and most secure way to put an end to PayPal phishing would be for PayPal to cease putting clickable links in emails. Any customer communication requiring input from customers should be on the secure site: “You have a message from PayPal which requires response, please log in to your account to access it.”

I would bet money that corporate blogger Richard Brewer-Hay has asked that question on my behalf, but so far no answer is forthcoming.

Today has seen major PayPal outage, no access to transaction details and a page that loads and loads and loads before timing out. eBay Canada has checkout issues, it is down, period.

One seller who operates with an advanced internal network and servers has reported also that during PayPal UK’s never loading page cycle, there is code from PayPal being launched against their servers attempting to extract the seller’s LAN administrator user ID and Password. This begs the question whether PayPal have been hacked (again) and whether or not malicious code has been inserted.

There are persistent rumors about Skype. According to reports, there may be a back door built into Skype, which allows connections to be bugged. The company has declined to expressly deny the allegations.

All this from the company that wants to go paperless, swim against the web 2.0 tide by prohibiting any type of networking or links except paid advertising, and has no concept of customer service.

Those crazy noisy flea market vendors who boycotted PayBay and left earlier this year are beginning to look smarter by the minute.

Y'all come back


Kevin_T said...

Quote: "All this from the company that wants to go paperless, swim against the web 2.0 tide by prohibiting any type of networking or links except paid advertising, and has no concept of customer service."

By the way, Henrietta, while I understand the point of discouraging commercial links from auctions that will take buyers away from the Ebay site, have you taken a look at any completed auctions while ON the Australian site?

Using this example:
you will note that under the established block of "Find more items from the same seller. Bid or Buy Now!", there is now a matching block that says "Still Looking? Try these items from".

I don't know how much is paying Ebay to send their Australian buyers to a competitiors site, but surely this type of advertising undermines Ebay's own point of trying to keep buyers on Ebay to do their shopping.

More loco mismanagement I guess.


Henrietta said...

Very tricky, those are formatted exactly the same as the sellers listings above. I don't see them on dotcom like that, yet. Mind you I rarely go there except to price check.

I am a proud boycotter.

Kevin_T said...

Hi Henrietta,
As far as I know they are only on the Australian site at this stage, and only on completed auctions.

Unless Ebay has changed it's core business to banner advertising, and away from the health of their own marketplace, they don't do any good for anybody other than - who should be just as much a competitor of Ebay as, say, Google checkout....

Hmm, Kevin

Henrietta said...

Kevin, the future as eBay sees it is that there is substantial vacant real estate or 'unmonetized advertising opportunities' on their website. The auctions and FP sales are merely content to draw traffic to the advertising. If they can monetize the content too, it is a good thing, if not, who cares. There are income streams from PayPal, the ads, IF and FVF. is eBay owned and a shopping comparison service.

Anonymous said...

"Those crazy noisy flea market vendors who boycotted and left earlier this year are beginning to look smarter by the minute".

Took a while, didn't it? I was one of the minority who stopped selling simply because it felt unsafe for me to risk losing any of my inventory and income thanks to the great feedback policies that encourage the scamming buyers.

Instead I've been watching and waiting, and looking for another place to sell. I found GoAntiques. They value their antiques and collectibles sellers.They offer quick and personalized email and/or phone service to their sellers. I don't even mind the $40 a month fee. It's cheap compared to what ebay and paypal USED to take from my sales(heaven knows how much it would be now, I won't even try to figure it out!), and I don't have "site" interference or buyer scamming to worry about. No feedback, and perfectly good policies to live by, for both buyer and seller, fair and equal, non judgmental, on a site that is quite reputable for selling high quality items.

They are merging with 2 other companies, so I think they will be a big thorn in ebay's side.(Worthpoint and Heritage)

In fact, none of those parasitic advertising "car salesmen"like Scott and Debbie L. will be able to prey on the sellers of this particular site, which is why anyone who mentions their name on the ebay message boards has the posts removed immediately, even though it is NOT advertising goods for sale.

Looks like those folks can just remain on ebay and amazon and sell to the sellers, who are left, as many programs as they want.

The old timers like us will have another place to go. We are very crazy flea market sellers, and we don't need to spend all of our profits pumping up folks who offer us things we don't need. Advertising garbage is nothing but garbage. Good inventory speaks for itself, and word of mouth is the best advertising. Always was, and always will be!