Tanya Lawler talks eBay and SMEs #smallbizsatuk

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Tanya Lawler 2014In advance of Small Business Saturday, Tanya Lawler Vice President eBay in the UK talks about eBay and the importance of small businesses.

It’s a busy month for many of us as the peak Christmas season builds. Last weekend, we saw our busiest online shopping day for sellers on eBay in the UK. We predicted that eBay’s UK sellers would sell over 1,800 items every minute and whilst the final figures aren’t in, it seems that you beat this prediction comfortably. We expect next weekend to be big in the UK and across Europe too.

This weekend certainly won’t be a quiet one but for me it is also a good opportunity to reflect as we celebrate Small Business Day. At our recent ‘PowerON’ seller webinar, I spoke about the importance of small businesses to eBay, and I heard feedback that we need to do more.

We will.

200,000 British businesses rely on eBay. This is an awesome responsibility and one which is top of my mind as we plan for 2015.

For new and less experienced sellers, we’ll be making improvements. We’ll make the process for registering new businesses on eBay simpler. Global Shipping Programme will offer more access to more markets for sellers to take the first step in growing a cross-border business.

For more experienced sellers, we’ll be making improvements. This year we launched a PR programme to highlight the great items available from smaller sellers on eBay. Thanks to all those Tamebay readers who took part – so far we have secured placements of products from 30 different eBay sellers, including Homes and Property in the Evening Standard, The Guardian and The Independent.

Our Deals programme is another way that we help experienced sellers to succeed. The programme is growing each year, and we will look for new ways to provide access to small and medium sized eBay sellers.

You will see more marketing from eBay next year, online and offline. We know that building our brand will help our sellers succeed and we are committed to this investment to help connect with customers. We will also look for new ways to offer you marketing tools that help you grow your business.

And no-one knows your existing customers like you. I don’t serve and interact with them every day in the way that you do. Small sellers remain the lifeblood of eBay in the UK and I know we have to do more to allow you to grow your business in the way that works for you.

But what we do have at eBay, with the benefit of 19 million Brits visiting us each month, is some insight into the direction of the overall market and customer expectations as the e-commerce market becomes even more competitive. We know that customers want easy returns, delivery options such as Click & Collect, and top levels of service and we appreciate the steps you take to offer these services.

Quite simply, when small businesses on eBay succeed, everyone wins – buyers enjoy access to great inventory and value, businesses across the UK gain more sales and eBay continues to grow as a marketplace connecting 200,00 British businesses with their customers. Find out more here.

3 Responses

  1. As a small business on Ebay, I hear a lot about the global market and cross-border business promoted by Ebay.

    Could Tanya as VP of Ebay UK get some of the problems solved that sellers in the UK face in actually accessing these other Ebay markets?

    1. Visibility of listings across Ebay worldwide. Can we really have this, please, in 2015 ?

    2. Level playing field, particularly on .com – the constant shifts in policy are bewildering. E.g., all UK sellers’ listings are demoted to “above standard” because of a requirement for 95% of items to be sent by tracked delivery !

    3. Enable buyers to checkout properly, whatever Ebay site they view on – this has broken down completely. In the unlikely event overseas buyers can see our items, they can’t find a way through the non-functioning checkout across different Ebay sites.

    Looking forward very much to seeing if any of these issues get addressed by Tanya in 2015.

    If you really have British Ebay businesses at the top of your mind, Tanya, you will.

  2. Small sellers remain the lifeblood of eBay in the UK ‘

    All the changes to ebay uk over the last 18 months suggest the opposite.

    How many other small sellers have lost TRS status visibility and seen their sales come to a standstill for example. How many have had to close their shops and make staff redundant? Meanwhile Argos and the Asian businesses are cleaning up.

  3. I really hope Tanya can sort out the ever increasing issues.

    1. So eBay buyers want free postage and returns? But they don’t want to pay more for their items. eBay buyers want a real bargain and fantastic customer service … customer service costs. eBay need to figure this out.

    2. Small sellers bend over backwards for TRS and comply to the “you must offer free postage” mantra because it will boost them in search. Actually what happens is the reverse. Try a number of searches and you’ll see no more than a handful of free postage and TRS in the first few pages. Why? Because eBay would rather push volume sellers even if they are not TRS and don’t offer free postage.

    3. And why, oh why was it necessary to fiddle with the search on the last weekend of Nov? CS agents admitted as much.

    It’s the double standard which gets me. Hopefully Tanya will level the playing field between large sellers and smaller ones AND between buyer and seller.

    I also hope Tanya will decide what eBuyers want ….. really cheap prices OR fantastic customer service. You can’t have both.

    And, in 20 years of being in the UK Royal Mail never lost an item I’ve sent or which was sent to me. In the last three months, for eBay customers only, they have “lost” 10% of my orders. Mmmmm.

    I love eBay but am struggling to see how it is anything more than a selling platform for large sellers at the moment. Consequence … I’m shopping elsewhere … where I can find items which are not cheap tat. Much like many people I know.


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