Rumour: eBay redundancies tomorrow?

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Rumours are flying that tomorrow is the day eBay will make the layoffs we’ve been expecting. A figure of 10% of the global workforce has been suggested, though we’re hearing it may be more than that, and that some smaller national offices may be closed down altogether in favour of more centralisation.

Valleywag asks why a website would need 15,000 employees. eBay and PayPal have rather more support staff than your average website, so we might speculate that an overall reduction in staff would hit them hard, so directly impacting already disgruntled sellers. Others have suggested that layoffs are unlikely to affect sellers at all. I guess we’ll find out tomorrw (or not).

If any ex-employees want to get in touch and give us the inside information, particularly on how this will affect eBay users, we’d love to talk to you.

19 Responses

  1. I’d be curious about how many in the Utah offices get laid off. It seems most of the eBay employees that visit my site come from there.

    However, if eBay is like a certain other company when they do layoffs then they will make the employees sign something saying they won’t talk to people like you about the sort of things you are going to be asking.

  2. I guess these former employees will also feel the financial crunch the rest of sellers have been feeling all year now.
    That’s too bad.
    I guess the former employees can always sell on ebay to make a living….oh, wait a minute – we’ve all tried that.
    I guess former employees may have inside information on upcoming changes so they would have an advantage to selling on ebay.
    Don’t be surprised if these former employees signed contracts stating they can not talk about ebay after being laid off.
    If sales are good for ebay – why lay anyone off?
    I am ranting only because I am 2 months away from losing my house because of ebay.
    Anyone else?

  3. What a shame. John Donahoe has run this company into the ground and in record time. It didn’t have to be this way. There were plenty of prudent changes to be made without alienating the sellers and causing whopping sales to drop. And look at the stock, in shambles. Into a recession, it’s a horrible time to be out of a job. John Donahoe is a self-indulgent moron who tried to implement a half-baked theory. He came in drunk with power. How’s the hangover feeling, J Ho? He came, he disrupted, and now he’ll be able to soar away on his golden parachute.

    I attribute the loss of revenue to Ebay because sellers couldn’t focus on selling due to the constant massive changes every other day plus the added fear they kept funneling down the pipe that smaller sellers were not wanted.

    So sorry to the formercanadian platinumseller.

  4. Thanks for honestly speaking your mind.
    I have been seeing a psychotherapist and on anti-anxiety/depression medication for months now due to losing my ebay business of 7 years ( sole income for my family ).
    We are going to lose everything as we live in a small Canadian town and I have chronic back and neck pain that leaves most jobs here impossible for me to work.
    This is why I am speaking to a Law Firm.
    I am angry, tired, hurt and not going down without a fight.

  5. Unfortunately, JD isn’t going to take the blame. It is the economy!..Yeah right!….Is that the same economy that is living in? With gas prices what they are and the economy ebay should be doing even better in these times. They didn’t listen to the sellers and they are still not listening. Sellers have evaporated. The feedback system is innaccurate, unfair, one sided and useless. The best match search is only beneficial to a few sellers. All the rest get pushed back and their items are not seen or sold, so they stop listing. My fees are less than a third of what I was paying a year ago and so are my sales. Fixed price? Great idea if it works, but it is unpredictable as to when your items turn up in the search. eBay keeps playing with the search and one day your items sell and the next day they dont. But at least it isnt costing you anything until it sells. But then again ebay isnt making any money if it doesnt sell. Ooops….layoffs. Buyer experience? Free shipping will get you a better standing in the search? At what cost? Well as we all know FREE is never FREE. It is simply rolled into the cost. The seller can’t absorb it all. So now that increases your shipping costs by 12%. Why? Because ebay is taking 12% of the total sale which now has shipping included. Keep in mind that eBay and paypal combined is taking 20% of every item sold….GROSS…not 20% of your profit. So every $100 of item you sell on ebay you are forced to pay $20…..20% clean….without ever touching the item …without ever keeping an inventory….without having a brick and mortar operation. So what happens. Too expensive to sell. Less listings…less fees…Ooops….more layoffs….stock drops to five year low….heading to $10.00. Ahh….. no more paper payments. Less sales . 10% of my buyers pay with paper. Less fees………Ooops…..more layoffs. I hope my account rep is the first to go. Tired of hearing the rep tell me what I need to do to improve MY business. Improve eBay and my business will take care of itself. 10 years as a GOLD powerseller …….I don’t need to be told by a rep how to run my business. Tell it to Donahue. Holiday season will be the tell all. As it looks now it is going to be pretty dismall. Must be the economy!!!! It couldn’t be eBay’s fault! Hey Donahue…here is a great idea for you….lets try selling our items with NO pictures…..why not? It isn’t any more stupid than the other ideas you came up with!!!!

  6. I also forgot to mention the other fees. 20% is only the amount taken at POS. That doesn’t include the listing costs, the subscription fee for selling manager, the monthly fee for a store and any other incidentals eBay can throw at us. 17% of my sales result in non paying bidders.

  7. The Q3 report is due to be released in a few days.

    It is easy to see that eBay scrambled to be ready for this report period.

    First, they had to offset the refunds that went out in July for the June listing sale gimmick, you remember, the gimmick sale that promised lower listing fee if you list now and then wait till the following month for a credit.

    To offset that lost revenue, they ran fewer discounts this quarter. Additionally, they are adding ‘catalog’ sellers, so they managed to boost their listings count with a few more sellers listing hundreds and thousands of items.

    Then we has the Skype double billing “glitch” followed by the eBay double billing “glitch”.

    Is it funny or just cooincidence that these ‘glitches’ manage to occur toward the ends of eBays quarterly reporting periods so they can inflate their revenue balances on paper?

    Now lets also recall the increased number of cancelled for no legitimate reason listings with fees that are non refundable.

    And remember too the suspended sellers, where their entire store inventory is pulled and then after jumping through hoops, the sellers are restored. They are so happy to be back that they do not complain about having to pay fees to relist their inventory.

    eBay’s global Sell Through Rate is declining, their gimmick sales on listings do not produce the results they want or need, so they have to resort to ‘glitches’ and over enforcement of compliance rules as alast ditch effort to make the books look better for the quarterly reports.

    Soon we will be hearing the tale of woe fro Mr Donahoe about how the economy is hitting the marketplace and all is well.

    His excuses after Q2 report were laughable, I am expecting a full blown comedy show after the Q3 numbers are released.

    But don’t worry folks, Mr Donahoe will reasure shareholders that his policy changes and system improvements are having their desired effect, and everything is just fine and dandy in the world of eBay.

    All is well…All is well. Move along folks, there is nothing to see here.

  8. “Keep in mind that eBay and paypal combined is taking 20% of every item sold….GROSS…”

    On a typical £2 sale I pay 60p listing/FVF and Paypal fees – that’s 30% without my shop fees. It would of course be even higher if I had “free” postage and added it into the price of the item.

  9. Whilst I understand some of the comments made I wouldn’t want to wish redundency on anyone, the best scenario for me would be the current management get the boot and the support staff get a free ticket to training camp so they can learn there A,B,C. Donkey’s as a rule only do what they are told, it’s the people giving the orders that should be held accountable.

  10. I don’t like to wish layoffs on anyone, either. However, unlike most companies….it’s seems Ebay’s employees are so clueless and uneducated that I don’t mind they are reaping what they sewn.

    How many of us have sent emails to Ebay about a problem and gotten responses that don’t have anything to do with our question, etc? That has to do with the employee…not the company.

  11. Why do you need info from ex-employees? You know it all better than most insiders do.

    I do not believe eBay is in great need for more money, it already has more than a fair share of profits. eBay seems to have huge cash flow and could make life of many people great, but hold on… spending on customers would not be good for stock price. So, the answer is simple – layoff people and hope for the best. Mass layoffs are not for quality improvements, they’re for reducing expenses.

    I have a friend who left eBay. Partially because he wanted to learn something new and advance career. Partially because he did not feel like the company had business vision. Business decisions in the last 1-2 years did not make much sense to him (just like they did not make sense to many of you). Almost everything in business felt like concentrated on tweaking existing parameters and policies (e.g. fees, shipping policies, payment policies, search order) and mailing out some quite pathetic ads.

    How will layoff affect users? You can guess it just like any insider would. If eBay (as a business) could start paying more attention to the customers, instead of going after GMV, number of items sold or concentrating on ever-increasing fees. If they could try to expand their business solutions and make it free for all eBay users, instead of pushing more money-generating addons to existing pages (making pages more and more complicated and confusing). Having all this wishful thinking… if they could do it, and also layoff people who were pushing the “profits rule it all” goals, and people who were chanting “this new feature does not fit our core business” mantra, and people who were overusing “this is not my area” replies. Well, if that could happen, this layoff may become blessing and the new life for eBay. But mass layoff is not for that. Otherwise, we can honestly expect less corporate expenses in Q4 & Q1 to please stock traders, and less quality support for eBay users both in short- and long-term.

    Just my thoughts…

  12. Well shares below $20 ….now lets see what happens at $10-$15.
    Will it be a buy out or a share holders meeting?

  13. Ebay will be fine, once all the BIN sellers have left and it is forced to go back a more auction friendly format.

  14. Ebay sellers are bing hit with a massive super-glitch this morning. Have the potentially disgruntled employees ficking switches so that the “Input Error
    There was an error in your input. Please go back and ensure that all fields are properly filled in.” page shows constantly?


  15. Former eBay employees will not speak out loud about the company. They all know what is going on and what is going to happen!

    The fact that three former eBay leaders will launch soon a new marketplace where the voices of buyers and sellers are being implemented says enough. I cant wait till the site is open. A press release is expected this month!

  16. formercanadianplatniumpowerseller:

    I feel you man, I’m in the exact same boat as you. I had a very successful thing going, and for no reason a clueless manager who I never knew had power over me, decided to fire me and close me down.

    So many happy customers, a fair few nutters or noobs who left me negs and tipped me over the 5% neutral / neg barrier.
    No feedback withdrawal so once they’ve soiled your reputation, they can no longer resolve it.. many apologised, sympathised but this is surplus and unnecessary factual information for Judge Dred (Donahoe).

  17. For those leaving, commiserations but keep your spirit bright and know, when one door close another opens. Hold that vision!

    I need someone to explain this:
    >>>’The reduction is expected to result in pretax restructuring charges of approximately $70 million to $80 million.. <<<

    what is ‘pretax restructuring’? (logic says a saving of £$£$£$’s 😉 )

  18. I’m not an accountant but I think it means that they are writing off a lot of money in their accounts to cover the cost of redundancy payments, cost of getting out of leases on premises, costs of everything else … and then deducting it for tax to get some of it back that way.

    Bear in mind that if you want your child to get ahead in life, don’t teach him/her how to subtract, teach him/her how to deduct!



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