ebay is failing, ebay going down, ebay falling apart……

Ebay shares are down 15% today which I think is indicative of a steady decline in the overall Ebay experience.

The market is smart: analysts at Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs cut eBay to “Neutral” from “Buy,” while Lehman and Jefferies both lowered their price target.

Why eBay is Falling Apart at the Seams…

The internet has changed. In the late 90′s and early 00′s, the internet was still relatively new and there was a large degree of novelty. It’s good to understand the two demographics that sell on eBay: (1) legitimate businesses looking for a new avenue of sales, and (2) people attempting to sell their own out-of-favor items.

Ebay hasn’t managed either category well.

The business aspect of selling on eBay has simply become more expensive. Plus, as it’s grown, it is harder and harder to reach the exact right demographic. The web is moving toward smaller and smaller niche markets. Ebay also has trouble resolving conflicts. By now, most serious users have had a bad transaction and it has soured them on the experience somewhat.

As for the large number of people who used it to clear out their garage: they still use it, but they’re aware of other, cheaper alternatives as well – such as Craigslist. Early on, People flocked to eBay just to prove they “got it” and used it in place of traditional avenues – garage sales, donations and trash dumps…

Simply put, eBay is failing to respond to the changing face of the internet.

Ebay is Not Creatively managing their Business.

Okay, so you’re in charge of eBay – what do you do? Revenue is decreasing, you’re getting tons of bad press and the overall experience is suffering. The current answer: “Let’s raise prices!”

Here’s a quote from the stock’s message board:

I am a seller who has pulled back 75% of our sales and have told our account rep it would remain that way until the changed back. MANY SELLERS have pulled back or closed shop all together. Still time to short this as IT WILL go to $20 or less in my opinion.

Go to eBay and click on COMMUNITY and then NEWS. The go to JULY 10th and click on the Line “A Message from Lorrie Norrington: Updates on Feedback”

Two QUOTES from that News Release: (1) When we get something wrong, we want to make it right & (2) Finally, we’re working to resolve other important issues that eBay sellers have raised over the past several months.

Wise Man Say, “Losing customers not good way to make money.”

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19 comments to ebay is failing, ebay going down, ebay falling apart……

  • Jason Kent

    The observations expressed above are right on the mark. The feedback honor system eBay was built on: a “thanks for a thanks”, or “an eye for an eye” (as odd as that sounds), has taken a major downward turn for its Seller based users. No longer is there a ‘fairness’ within the playing field. Ebay’s policy (as well as the sister company, PayPal) is being re-written to protect the buyer, not the Seller. Don’t forget, the Sellers are the paying customer. Ebay and PayPal takes its fees from the Seller, not the buyer. There is no longer a sense of loyalty towards its paying customer, from either company.

    This new feedback practice seriously undermines its credo, and has been crippling the company since it’s adoption in June of 2008. Apparently, my concerns have yielded me a spot on Ebay’s discriminatory ‘hotline’ telephone caller list. Yes, I can call and talk to a real person, but I had to be “invited”– they will only take my call based on a note attached to my account. Here’s the number, give it a try — you’ll get nowhere: 1.800.717.3229 Sorry fellow sellers…you’re stuck with the corporate email run-around, or the limited scope of “Live Help.”

    Second, and most importantly, PayPal and Ebay dispute resolutions have created a series of loopholes whereas Buyer fraud has become rampant. Just yesterday, I received a email threat from a man named D. Marcus, of California asking for me to compensate him 50 percent of the winning bid due to a ‘scratch’ he saw on his purchase, or as he put, he’ll leave negative feedback to my account.

    His threat of negative is worth whatever he can squeeze out of the other party. Under eBay’s new policy, the Seller can no longer leave the Buyer negative feedback, thus making Sellers– ones naturally concerned with their eBay image, easy prey as they get caught up in the hype that they must keep their rating as close to perfect (100% rating) as humanly possible. People like Marcus can, at any whim, discredit the reputations of a Seller. Personally, I said ‘go scratch’ to Marcus and received the negative feedback. Oh well.

    So, Marcus takes his next step (the feedback threat did not work) and files a PayPal claim (for which PayPal favors the Buyer 88.6 percent of the time). So basically, a plan to extort turns into a red-tape ‘dispute’ affair which costs more in the long run. In the dispute, Marcus requests a partial refund from me– it seems Marcus wont give up. A $25 refund on a $50 sale.

    How to solve the problem for the Sellers? (And the problem is not Marcus, it is PayPal and Ebay– ironically, their corporate policy, and its loopholes, promotes fraud.) Simply put, quit using Paypal. Go back to check, USPS MO, and smail mail. You’ll eliminate the liability of having to deal with the growing trend of Buyer Fraud, while saving hours of time in producing the correspondence necessary to complete the dispute.

    It will give YOU full control over your business practice, too. Don’t forget (or if you did not know), as a PayPal subscriber, you make the agreement that the terms specified in your eBay listing take second seat to PayPal’s dispute policy. Yes, this means that if you state “as is” for secondary market items, then think again. PayPal doesn’t agree, and will, within their dispute process, override this, and other policies which are stated in your auction text. I was mostly shocked when the PayPal representative stated to me that they side with the buyer knowing that I’ll receive back the item and can ‘resell’ it again– the rep. said “there’s no ‘real’ loss on your [my] part”. Ok, what about the shipping monies lost, and the time, fees, etc. If you push hard enough, PayPal will split the cost of the initial charge of shipping– they did for me, after I informed them that I wished to close my account.

    All in all, eBay, and eBay’s joint venture with PayPal is failing fast.

    Head’s up for those of you who rely on eBay for your primary income: Be sure to leave yourself an out…never be fully dependant on eBay. Look to other venues.

  • scott

    Ah – you bring such a good point with the “Marcus” story. There is now an entire subculture preying on sellers with good feedback. It’s no secret that having near perfect feedback is very important. It’s easy for unscrupulous people to buy at a higher price knowing they will chisel away the price after the fact via the threat of negative feedback. Unfortunately, there is nothing the sellers can do to combat this problem.

  • a guest

    I was thinking about this article last night while I was working and if my memory serves me right the last article I read about eBay actually had John Donahoe quoted as saying something to the degree of “well, the good thing about the internet is that there are alot of alternatives out there for disgruntled sellers….”

    That is the very crux of this problem. The attitude of John and the rest of the eBay CEO’s clearly shows that a) they choose ignorance, which is stupid….b) they are actually so snide and nasty about their current destruction of their customer base and the eBay platform that they ACTUALLY TELL YOU TO LEAVE….as if they are TEMPTING you do to do it with their SMUG WE HAVE A MONOPOLY AND YOU WILL EITHER DO WHAT WE SAY OR SELL NOTHING attitude……They don’t care about ANYONE….we are only NUMBERS in their NIFTY ALGORHYTHMS which are created by techie idiots anyway.

    Ever since Pierre sold eBay and Meg and her tenure started eBay has gone straight downhill (….remember that folks??? when ebay auctions cost 1/3 of what they do now, SafeHarbor (Trust and Safety) actually GAVE A DAMN about what happens on eBay, and PayPal actually paid you 5 bucks if you got them a new customer….) ……Every year, half-year, quarter in some cases they come out with a new brilliant scheme that they pitch as “necessary for eBay to continue to grow” and they say “it is going to make eBay a better selling environment….”….BUT their changes are NOTHING BUT A) AN EXCUSE TO RAISE FEES AND COSTS (whether with explicit fee hikes or hidden price hikes, and most of the time they try to hide them…..), B) A PLAN DEVELOPED BY SOME NEW UP AND COMING EBAY EXEC (I think there must be an indoctrination into the ceo pool at eBay….They probably take you to a secret hidden magic room with a cauldron and you have to develop some evil scheme to screw the public before you can escape from the devils grasp…..), and C) A FURTHER ATTEMPT TO BECOME BIG BROTHER IN SOME ORWELLIAN EBAY NIGHTMARE THEY ALL ENVISION…..I AM SURE THAT THEY ENVISION A WORLD IN WHICH ALL CITIZENS OF EARTH HAVE AN EBAY BARCODE BURNED INTO THEIR FOREHEAD WITH A LASER AND WE ARE DIRECTED BY BLOCK-WIDE PLASMA TV’S THAT TELL US WHAT TO DO AND THINK, ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORWELL’S 1984 AND EBAY’S OVERALL LONG-TERM PLAN IS THAT EBAY RUBS YOUR FACE IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING INSTEAD OF TRYING TO HIDE THEIR EVIL PLOYS AND SCHEMES….

    eBay representatives attributes their horrifying decline in profit margin and site activity “….on the bad economy.”….it is the standard quote they have all been instructed to tell sellers while they get ebay stuck further in the La Brea tarpits…..And of COURSE they tell you to hang on and not close listings, THEY WANT YOU TO KEEP PAYING THE LISTING FEES!!!! They refuse to believe that they have made the customer base so mad that we NEVER want to return, and they ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO…. A) WORK, B) STAND BEHIND THEIR GOOD FAITH POLICIES THAT THEY STATE IN THEIR TERMS OF SERVICE CONTRACT, C) ACT IN A TIMELY MANNER (regarding ANYTHING!)……AND D) THEY REFUSE TO TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING WHATSOEVER.

    I GUARANTEE THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE A MONOPOLY….THEY DID…to a large degree…, but now it is disappearing before everyone’s eyes….DUE TO MY FRUSTRATION AND ANGER WITH EBAY AND MY PAST DEALINGS WITH THEM I SINCERELY HOPE AND PRAY THAT THEY REMAIN STEADFAST IN THEIR CURRENT BELIEFS, DOGMAS, AND PRACTICES, BECAUSE I WANNA SEE EBAY DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!

    BURN, BABY BURN,,……BURN IT TO THE GROUND SO I CAN RELIEVE MYSELF ON THE SMOULDERING ASHES!!!!

    lmao……

    A former PowerSeller/one of the former 5000 largest eBay stores/sellers

  • sam

    eBay is a failing system, they’re scrabbling frantically to protect themselves from the ‘sharks’ around them, not realising that they’re actually f’ing over the very people that put them into business in the first place!

    IF the stakeholders were the real shareholders (and in a fair world we would be), I reckon ebotty would have shone during this recession.

    As is stands, I am so happy to hear they’re falling apart, I’m going to have a party tonight.

    RIP eBay.

  • chris

    Forced use of Paypal (in the uk) must surely be having a detrimental effect.I used to use ebay a lot before this came in and I rarely do now. I hear from lots of others who say the same. Using Paypal is simply too risky IMO, and the Paypal brand too tainted by freezing accounts, helping themselves to people’s money and doing everything else you might expect of a completely unregulated bank.

    If you want to get involved with dodgy grey economy outfits to buy cheap imported rubbish and risk using Paypal, Ebay’s your site. If you’re looking to pick up a bargain from a private seller with good honest cash or cheques then Ebay simply isn’t a patch on what it was.

  • Linda

    EBAY COULD BE THE BEST ONLINE BRAND NEW & SECOND HAND INTERNET TRADING PLACE. I HAVE HAD MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE ON EBAY AS A LARGE SELLER AND BUYER.

    THE BIGGEST FAULT WITH EBAY IS THE TOTAL UNWILLINGNESS TO SUPPORT THE SELLER WITH PROBLEMS BEYOND THEIR CONTROL AND NOT OF THEIR OWN FAULT OR DOING. THEY SEEM TO HAVE A TOTAL LACK OF REGARD IN TIS SENSE, THE FEES ARE EVER INCREASUING OVERALL BUT THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NOT INCREASING WITH IT.
    EBAY SEEMS SO HELL BENT ON PROTECTING IT’S OWN BACK THAT IT OFTEN IS AT THE PRICE TO THEIR OWN GOOD CUSTOMERS THE SELLERS, WHO ALSO ARE THEIR BIGGEST BUYERS.

    IF EBAY SORTED THE REAL ISSUES THAT IT GETS ATTACKED FOR, IT WOULD PROBABLY NOT LEAVE ITS LEGIT CUSTOMERS/SELLERS OPEN TO ABUSE SO MUCH.

  • Linda

    PAYPAL FEES ARE TOO HIGH GIVEN EBAY NOW EFFECTIVELY TRIES TO FORCE EVERYONE TO USE IT. EBAY ARE ALSO NOW FORCING SOME SELLERS TO MAKE POSTAGE FREE AND ADD INTO ITEM PRICE, WHERE SELLERS POSTAGE IS MODERATE (WHICH MOST SELLERS ARE OR THEY WOULD GET MARKED DOWN FOR POSTAGE ON FEEDBACK) I DO NOT AGREE THAT EBAY SHOULD BE DOING THIS – AS THEY ARE MAKING EXTRA MONEY FROM A SELLERS COSTS (IE POSTAGE/PACKAGING/HANDLING) NOT THEIR PROFIT!
    IF EBAY & PAYPAL ARE NOT CAREFUL EBAY SMALL BUSINESSES MAY START TO THINK AFTER ALL THE EXPENSE & HASSLE IS IT REALLY WORTH IT!
    IS A SHAME AS EBAY IS GREAT PLACE TO FIND THOSE BARGAINS AND MOST SELLERS ARE LEGIT.

  • richard abbott

    sorry to see e-bay disapear through greed, and arrogance.
    the powersellers have had enough,and are quiting in droves.
    many, many shops have disapeared because it just wasent worth the hassle.
    invest in e-bay .. at your peril!!

  • al

    ebay new move,a guy called scott with idiot face and brain says “new seller agreement states permission to ebay to deduce amounts from seller´s account to refund buyer in case of dispute… you can stay out this agreement and your account will be closed…”more or less was that.
    hitler would be delighted, you can enter the concentration camp,you dont agree so you´re free … to be shot!! ebay is fubby, you dont need tp close mu account i´m not going to sell anymore there, that´s enough.

  • K.B.

    I’m with you all on this subject.I have been selling and buying since 2001.For the last three years I have been selling authentic Reebok jerseys from a Reebok manufacturer.Ebay keeps removing my listings and have yet to give me the specific reason.I emailed them for answers and was told exact word (Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactely why your items were removed for security reasons.)Now what the fuck kinda answer is that.What security reasons?Some people say Ebay removes your listings to make way for bigger sellers that are selling the same items.I don’t know if thats true or not,but Ebay is full of bullshit.

  • K.B.

    I failed to mention that I have a perfect seller rate.100% positive.Not a single negative from the many many of buyers that were buying from me.

  • I have been selling on ebay for over 10 years. All of the changes made by ebay have resulted in them viewing their real customers, ( the sellers) as their employees so to speak. They want to tell a seller how they can be paid, what they can or cannot say on their descriptions, and expose them to abuse from buyers that cannot or will not be controlled by ebay.
    It has now gotten to the point that I do not feel safe as a seller on ebay. I am vulnerable to theft, abuse, and someone hanging a sign on my store with negative comments that are not warranted or supported in any fashion from someone who never even made a purchase from me. The high volume traffic used to be a great incentive for selling on ebay. The quality of that traffic has diminished tremendously. It is just not worth the risk of listing high dollar antique items to attract anonymous bidders who have no real obligation to finalize their winning bid. Even when they win and don.t pay, eBay has created a platform where they can still negatively affect your business even though they have never even purchased anything from you.
    In the past I would list 50-60 pieces of furniture for auction on ebay per week and would list 10-15 on my own website. I now list 50-60 pieces per week on my website and only 10-15 items on ebay. They have pushed me to completely reverse my selling approach online away from ebay as opposed to providing and incentive to list more on ebay.

    I suppose I should be thankful that they motivated me to move away from the fee’s, the abuse, and the lack of respect as a business that was willing to share my revenue with them as a trade off for good traffic. I still think it is a shame that they are so diligently succeeding in ruining what was once a fabulous marketplace. It was once unmatched in success, I suspect it will be unmatched in failure before too much longer.
    Sorry to see it falling apart as such a rapid place. Seems silly that they dont see what they have done to good, honest, business folks who were utilizing their website to make money and were making money for ebay.
    The buyers and sellers are still out there buying and selling online. Someone will come up with a site that offers what ebay used to offer to businesses and buyers alike. When they do, ebay will just become another story of rapid success being destroyed in a short period of time through bad management decisions.
    I will continue to utilize ebay in a minimum aspect as it dwindles and chisels away it’s true customer base (sellers)and concentrate on my website sales for the real income. I was selling before ebay was around and will still be selling when they have gone away.
    It’s just a true shame what they have done and seem to be hard nosed about in continuing with their bad decisions

  • Mike B

    It has really gotten out of hand. Everything written above is true. If ebay is your source of income, you’d better make plans to re-adjust, now. I hope they read this page and understand what has happened.

  • It is a wonderful thing to hear that I’m not the only person Ebay has completely alienated. Get this: my ex-wife got me kicked off Ebay when we were married. She was very ill and didn’t ship stuff. I just put up with it. When I divorced her, I tried to get my account back. Through a volley of e-mails back and forth with their ‘customer service’ reps, they eventually told me that I’m not allowed back on Ebay. Even though I was not the one who got the account suspended and I proved it. My ratings were always perfect!

    Ebay customer service is ridiculous. They have no customer service. Their department should be renamed the Customer Alienation Department. Their catch phrase could be, “We hire idiots to be managed by other idiots, to really piss you off!”

    Ebay is such a foolishly managed corporation, that now, even if they wrote and said they were sorry, I’d tell them to bite me. The failure here is with management. I’m about to receive my MBA, and I can honestly say that the practices of Ebay are EXACTLY what the students in my program are taught NOT to do. Ebay has alienated their customer base, me included, and I hope they die a miserable corporate death. I don’t even want to deal with PayPal now because of their association with Ebay. Any company that allies itself so closely with such a poorly run organization, is by default following the same path.

    DEATH TO EBAY. PAYPAL BETTER SHAPE THE HELL UP, OR THEY CAN KISS MY ASS TOO. I don’t know about PayPal ownership…maybe Ebay owns them…I don’t know. But if they do, I will boycott them also.

  • Ebay’s Customer Alienation Dept. “CAD” If you work there, you’re a cad!

    Cad definition: A man whose behavior is unprincipled or dishonorable.

  • tomana

    Date: 05 15 2010
    Time: 22:00 MST

    Sold a graphics card on ebay a short time back. The buyer sent me an email saying
    it had some driver failures. I had seem but one, when I first bought the card, so I did
    not remember that faiolure months later when I ebayed the card. it had a transferable lifetime warranty so I suggested to the buyer to transfer the warranty and send the card to the maufacturer. Teh ygot mad and filed a buyer dispute.

    I had received some emails from the buyer before they filed the dispute so I though I had enough ammo to win my case so I wrote that I had email proof that I was innocent and escalated the case. 24 hours later I receive an email from ebay saying the case was decided in the buyer’s favor. Ebay never asked for my emails. They informed me that the item was already on the way (can you believe it, they didn’t inform me I lost until after the buyer has shipped the item back).

    Since I was recently unemployed I began calling ebay daily, on and off throughout the day. I asked the same questions with each rep I spoke too and no two reps gave the same answer. Some even outright lied and when I called them on it they hung up the phone.

    To make a long story short, i eventually realized I should check see if the lifetime warranty had been transfered. Sure enough, it had been, and AFTER the buyer had filed the dispute. It took two more days of fighting on the phone before someone at ebay realized what was going on. The buyer didn’t send back the same card they had bought from me, because now, there was no more warranty on the card. I would be refunding all the money for a graphics card without a warranty.

    Finally, I got a rep who realized what had happened and wrote the buyer an email telling them the dicision has been reversed and that I would be refusing delivery of the package. Teh buyer sends me an email and all it said was, ” i WILL get my money back.”

    Sounds like a threat, doesn’t it?

    So I call ebay and tell them I was possibly threatened by the buyer. The rep said for me to disregard the last email and accept delivery of the package. I thought, “Whaaa? You gotta be kidding me?” Nope, she wasn’t kidding and she sent me an email with detailed orders for me to accept the package and then call ebay immediately after the item arrives.

    Well, when the item arrived, ebay knew about it before I did (they saw the tracking number info) and they tried to take the money out of my account, but failed. I had put a block on ebay/paypal for the exact amount they would be trying to take – and it worked well I might add. So they send me an email ASAP instructing me to pay up within 45 days or they will turn over everything to a collection agency (and thereby ruin my credit rating – if I had one, which I don’t anymore).

    By now I am a bit aggitated so I call ebay and wouldn’t you know it, I get the sweetest rep you ever want to talk with (no doubt she was new to ebay, and put me on hold alot – so she could get the right answers for my questions – may God bless her richly). She asks me if I would mind holding, and that it would probably take a lot of time before she got back to me and I said, “sure.”

    Eventually, she transfered me to someone who was said to be a manager and he apoalogized for what had happened (well, he didn’t say he was sorry, but it was clear he knew what ebay had done was just plain wrong). He told me I wouldn’t owe a penny to ebay regarding this case, and that I could keep the graphics card. And that was that.

    Ebay gave the buyer a full refund, I got a free and clear GTX260-216 that cost $200, and I no longer will sell on ebay unless it’s something I don’t mind giving a refund for – which means pretty much nothing gets sold there by me anymore. But I will still buy there. And why not, after all, it is a buyer’s market at ebay {8^,

  • I’ve been with ebay almost since the beginning and for the most part they’ve treated me well except for the ever increasing charges. I figured well if I keep selling I don’t mind the charges. The trouble is now I’m not selling. Sales for coins and other items in this category have gone to the dogs. I just ran two weeks of auctions and sold zero. The same types of objects sold fast from 2000 to 2009. It’s now June of 2010 and it’s a waste of time to even list anything other than a few select types of products still selling.

    Now I have to give ebay a lot of money (listing fees) for nothing in return.

    I’ve tried Craigslist and found it free but just as worthless as ebay for my types of merchandise. Actually I found CL even worse due to mostly spammers making contact.

    The bottom line I think is our rotten economy.

  • john

    yes I agree with so much of this, Ebay is getting me MORE and MORE pissed off every day. The morons they hire to “help” do the opposite and the feedback idea totally sucks.I get screwed by a buyer and cant leave feedback? and they can say whatever they damn please and ruin my business even though I did Nothing wrong???
    I Hate Ebay and am looking for another venue to sell.

  • Ebay is a joke. . legit sellers can’t make money and buyers are starting to realize.

    I still have stuff up there but have opened my own store and now list on ebid.com

    Sales arent great, but I make a couple of sales on each every day. And, it is so nice knowing that virtually all of the profit is mine. And, I am able to sell for less. .. making for a happy customer.

    Ebay completely sucks a#$

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