Are Ebays Policy Changes Worth it?

There comes a time for all to seriously consider what it would be like if they didn’t sell on Ebay. For some, it would mean the end of business. For others, it might be the best decision you ever made. Ebay’s consistent and “for the better” changes in 2008 have left sellers using lots more resources to try and achieve the same margins as they were used to.

The plain of the fact is that all these rules are geared at long term changes within their marketplace.

  • Feedback – I just checked our feedback and the results are black and white. Out of a toolhaus feedback search, 48/56 negative feedbacks have come from users with under 50 feedbacks. Of the 48 who left feedback, half were new users within the last year or so with under 10 feedbacks. That’s 85% of negative feedback is from this trend. The others who left negative feedback were varied (ill call it ebay experience).

This type of ratio shows a real problem where these new buyers have unrealistic expectations in the buying process. Many leave negative feedbacks because the item was lost in the mail (and they declined shipping insurance), failed to read the full item description for something that was spelled out in the clear and have fail to abide by your return policy that they accepted. It just seems those veterans who have have bought or sold in any quantity from the first days realize they can take advantage of a good customer service department without throwing in the towel and neggin someone. — Especially for those company’s who truly pride them selves in customer service and would of made the customer happy.

  • For volume sellers or those who make a living on ebay, the changes have hurt their business in one way or another. Weather it’s fees, feedback, search standard etc …the changes have effected a large portion of sellers to some extent.  To alot of sellers, spending lots of resources on man-power or new internal processes to implement the new changes can be very time consuming and costly. The big thing is we haven’t seen any REAL changes yet – only suggestions with the promise that a better market place awaits us. This has left many companies frustrated with the lack of an inconsistent marketplace.

Scot wingo, CEO of Channeladvisor had a very good perspective on this fatigue at his blog.

Part of what’s going on with the seller base is, for lack of a better word, eBay fatigue.  Sellers feel their businesses have changes so much (DSRs, BestMatch, etc..)  for so little/no/decline in sales that eBay is increasingly becoming a lower priority for them and thus they will tend to be reactive vs. proactive as they would have been as recently as 6 months ago.  To be honest, most of our larger sellers are spending their time getting their websites and other channels ready for the holidays and eBay just isn’t a priority.  Of course this doesn’t bode well for eBay, but it’s the reality of what is going on in the grassroots of e-commerce.

These comments hit home for many sellers who feel they should be able to market their product and the customer will decide on price, reputation, transit-time and customer service.  Ebay now feels like a mathematical equation that requires a MBA in Amazonification to sell sell sell when they feel their business is reputable and legit.

Without a doubt, E-bay’s changes have and will change the way we do business on the giant. For now, it seems like a struggle to keep up and myself and other sellers are reluctantly putting our faith in ebay to see things on the upswing in the near future.  Hang on for the ride if you so dare!

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2 comments

  1. tiphut

    Ebay has expressed that these smaller sellers will not be lost in the shuffle. Their listings will rotate with the big boys in the core search results but those with the higher velocity and more items will get grab a large portion of the sales (IF their DSR, best match feedback is great).

    The one advantage those smaller sellers have is they often have more time to manage customer service. Take care of your DSR and feedback and you wont be lost!

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