Randy Smythe reports a rather shocking comment from Meg Whitman during the Q1 earnings conference call. Quoting business2.com, “two initiatives to improve the quality of the marketplaces – getting rid of commodity listings like low-priced books and DVDs, and booting fraudulent sellers off the site – are holding back growth in gross merchandise value, Whitman says.”
Even if this is true, it’s an astonishingly crass statement to make. eBay have been forced previously to deny they have a policy to remove unproductive listings – so is this now a public about-turn? And what now for the thousands of sellers of other items who have built successful businesses on the “sell huge volumes of product for pennies on eBay” model? eBay need to clarify this as a matter of urgency.
Updated to add:
The Associated Press report of the call which appeared in Forbes and elsewhere has a different list of items under fire:
Whitman said Wednesday she was disappointed with the tepid listings growth. She said it was the result of an ambitious effort to reduce the amount of overpriced commodity items that have increasingly clogged up the site – such as thousands of cell phone chargers, outdated MP3 players and other electronic devices, often with high starting bids and reserve prices.