eBay’s Emma Grant on Initiatives to Help Retailers

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David-BrackinDavid Brackin is a regular contributor to Tamebay and is the co-founder of Stuff U Sell. He has sold over 250,000 different items on eBay.

He was at the Internet Retailing Expo this week and reports on the talk by Emma Grant from eBay UK.

eBay initiatives to help retailers

Emma Grant, Senior Manager of Seller Experience at eBay UK, is well known in the seller community and well-liked for her engagement and willingness to investigate issues for sellers. Today she was at IRX to set out eBay’s stall about how they make it easy for retailers to offer a modern buying experience.

Emma started by pointing out that things have changed over the years at eBay. With 800m listings globally now and 79% of sales being new items (and 84% being sold at fixed price), it is “no longer the fleamarket eBay of old”: the steady move from C2C sales towards B2C sales (including the bigger brands and retailers) has helped the site improve its image in the eyes of the buyer.

The other big change is that buyers are demanding a more modern buying experience: they expect to be able to research and transact across a range of offline locations and online devices, all seamlessly across borders. Traditionally retailers focus on their key strength of product sourcing — and eBay’s proposition is that it will do the development work and find partnerships to make the rest of it easy. The main purchase steps, according to Emma, are:-

1. Awareness
2. Research
3. Purchase
4. Fulfilment
5. Loyalty

Across each of these areas, eBay has initiatives to help retailers out: they are spending money on marketing and the recent 20% coupon was a great draw of customers to the site. The recently resurrected reviews functionality helps provide shared content for the research step. Purchases have moved onto the mobile apps without sellers needing to lift a finger, and the Global Shipping Programme allows international shipping with no more bother than shipping to Derby. Finally the feedback and sense of community have always been a strong feature for eBay.

As a small (or even a larger!) retailer, it would be hard to do all this on your own and keep it up to date, so eBay’s pitch is that they provide much more than just another checkout.

What do you think? How are eBay doing at supporting each of Emma’s 5 steps?

23 Responses

  1. Quote from Emma

    Emma Grant, Senior Manager of Seller Experience at eBay UK, is well known in the seller community and well-liked for her engagement and willingness to investigate issues for sellers.

    Quote from national newspaper comments section

    Sam Mathew Peter Alan Noyes 2d ago

    I have reported this fraudster who uses this loop hole about 2 weeks ago to a Senior Community manager at Ebay and yet his account is active https://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=dontikas75&ftab=FeedbackLeftForOthers

    I have also reported this same buyer at least 3 times and know 3 other sellers who have as well and guess what the account is still live still buying and still scamming sellers the one conclusion is regardless what eBay and its management say as a seller your on your own they don’t give two hoots about seller experience and the reputation of the venue.

    EBay is now just somewhere to get free stuff as a buyer and for sellers of cheap tat well done eBay your lack of action will be your downfall in the end.

  2. Corporate double speak and babble ,
    Awareness =every
    Scally on the planet knows eBay.
    Research = useless unbalanced and frustrating search engine
    Purchase= market flooded with low value chinese goods that avoid regulations and taxes,
    Fulfilment= ebay creaming off fees on postage and return postage costs plus . Eye watering shipping costs on international postage using their global program,
    Loyalty = Simply non existent

  3. In the model railways catagory 75% of actual sales are used items and 75% of actual sales are auctions. The figures are for all to see. How are Emma Grant’s initiatives relevent for model railway sellers and other collectables catagories with similar stats if the stats she is basing the inititives on are totally at odds with the reality for these catagories?

  4. Is this the same emma who on tamebay some time ago championed ebays seriously defective defect system?????

  5. Emma eBay is not Amazon stop trying to be Amazon and connect with your core customers and offer something that Amazon don’t work with your private and small business sellers push selling used items and auctions trying to play Amazon at their own game wont work.

    The private and small business sellers will spend their PayPal money back on eBay the outlets and box shifters wont keep the same money going round the site and you will get 10% every time it changes hands allowing it to go to the big boys you wont see it again.

    If I have money in PayPal I tend to spend it on eBay if its in my bank I don’t give me sales I will spend hide my listings I wont your call.

    The eBay brand is now too tarnished to be anything more than a car boot sales site (rapidly turning in to a cheap tat site full of scam buyers) it will never be a posh retail mall clean up the site take a step back to what worked in the past and take that direction before its too late

  6. Will Emma Grant or even David Brackin please explain how the GSP is good for anyone selling old postcards or football programmes for example ?
    Can’t they see that there are many categories on ebay where it’s better and cheaper for the small seller to send it direct themselves, and stop thinking their ‘one size fits all’ approach works for everything.
    Regarding paypal money being spent back on ebay – I’ve noticed that some wholesalers are now accepting paypal payments as a direct result of small business customers being ebay sellers and having that money in their paypal accounts. BT FON wifi network payments can be made using paypal as well, as I found when I was stuck when away from home a few times, and having to check my ebay account.
    Probably many private sellers will still spend paypal money back on ebay, but if ebay don’t get their finger out and encourage those small buyer/sellers to keep using ebay and paypal, other opportunities will open up and slowly take away what is still a ‘guaranteed’ source of income i.e. the paypal accounts of small sellers.

  7. The more money I make on eBay the more money I have to spend on eBay.

    They dont seem to grasp this

    Lower fees for small business and send more traffic to small sellers by levelling the Cassini search rankings and it will benefit the site long term, as the large sellers won’t put money back into the eBay economy.. Problem is for too long eBay have focused on maximising short term returns rather than doing what’s best for the platform

  8. As a small (or even a larger!) retailer, it would be hard to do all this on your own and keep it up to date, so eBay’s pitch is that they provide much more than just another checkout’.

    Are you serious? E commerce website software offers hundreds of apps and features, multiple check out options and sellers have been shipping internationally easily enough for years. If anything id say eBay needs to keep it up to date??
    It’s certainly easy enough for small retailers to keep up and if anything it’s getting any easier. -So many powerful free woocommerce and shopify apps and they’re just two options .

    The harder part is getting traffic to the site and that’s the only reason sellers still use eBay.

  9. It is only ebay where I use Paypal. I use cards everywhere else. Big corporate sellers are sucking the Paypal spend out of ebay as their Paypal money is not recycled back into ebay. ebay need to make it easy for sellers to accept card payments if they want buyers to spend more. An issue of course is that ebay don’t exactly have the best data security record so buyers may well hesitate before feeding their card info into an ebay secure window. Security is the BIG area where ebay should be focusing their resources as without trust it is difficult to see how ebay can implement any form of alternative payment method. How many potential buyers are ebay missing out on by insisting that Paypal is the only electronic payment method for ebay?

  10. As an eBay seller of getting on for 10 years, I don’t feel that eBay have EVER treated me as a valued customer. They treat sellers like dirt, blame sellers for all the things that are wrong with eBay and generally ignore sellers’ opinions.

    They seem to think that selling on eBay is a privilege and that we should be grateful they allow us to sell there, where in reality sellers are the ones that pay money to eBay and should be treated as customers.

    But no, we are patronised and continually expected to jump through hoops just to be able to continue selling.

    I get the feeling lately that eBay have finally realised that they can’t continue to alienate sellers in the way they have been doing and are trying to woo them back, but for many it’s too late.

    I do well on eBay, I’m not bitter, but I think the above is just all talk.

  11. Its like groundhog day again.

    EBay come out with a load of tosh the sellers are all saying the same things eBay choose to ignore their customers again and eBay stagnates and Amazon gains again.

    When will someone at eBay realise changing the management wont fix the problems if they don’t listen to their customers every answer to every problem on eBay is on websites like this and eBay’s own community boards the feedback from eBay users on these venues is more valuable resource than eBay think.

    How long will the big sellers and outlets stand behind eBay when all the rest of us have gone to new pastures time to wake up eBay and just read your own user boards the answers are all there waiting for you to listen.

    Just look at the defect fiasco the users on your boards said before defects even started why they would not work yet eBay waited over a year later to agree they wont work then scrapped them how much money wasted and customers did they lose by eBay’s arrogance and poor decision and not listening to their customers.

    Now the delivery metric (defects) your customers say judging them by a third party’s performance wont work but will eBay listen no they never learn and another round of users will leave ground hog day again.

  12. Toys – of more than 2m items sold recently far more used than new sold and in excess of 75% sold by auction. Where do ebay get their stats from? Not from their own website obviously! The constant ebay management focus on “new” and “fixed price” is totally misguided and missleading for investors and potential customers (sellers?) that ebay managers are marketing ebay to.

  13. Words of wisdom indeed……………………NOT .

    Perhaps Emma should look at the constant barrage of glitches with the site that sellers have to work around .

    Perhaps Emma should ponder why sellers who sell across borders get penalised by ebay .

    Perhaps Emma should ask someone in ebay with Authority , why so called private sellers are allowed to sell 100’s of the same product and not show their business details as required by law .

    Little tip here Emma , if ebay fails to take action against a private seller who in reality is a business seller , ebay is also breaking UK law.

    And finally Emma , if you can still have some time left at the end of your working day , might I suggest that you read up on the Data Protection Act .

    When you have read and digested it , perhaps you would like to explain why ebay refuses to remove incorrect data from a sellers records , and why should we have to pay at at least £6.00 to force ebay to remove incorrect data .

    Maybe Tamebay staff could discuss these little points with ebay managers higher up the corporate ladder than Emma next time they share a bottle of vintage wine with them .

  14. honestly, what world is she on? keep it up to date get it working first, the GSP is horrendously expensiive and not fit for purpose for instancxe. Beggars beleif she can stand and spout this rubbish

  15. “Emma Grant, Senior Manager of Seller Experience at eBay UK, is well known in the seller community and well-liked for her engagement and willingness to investigate issues for sellers.”

    Unfortunately, this sort of sweeping generalisation is where I begin to think that eBay and Tamebay have lost touch with reality.

    I don’t think that Emma has been very active in eBay’s own Seller Community Forums – apart from occasional posts in the one-hour Q&A sessions.

    So what is meant by this “Seller Community”? Presumably the small number of big eBay sellers who are on the current guest-list to replace the ones who so unfortunately left the eBay Seller Community last year. (The ones who encouraged Senior Managers to believe that Royal Mail Recorded Delivery postage can be achieved on a bulky item costing 99p with Free P&P, and that eBay sellers should sell at a loss on eBay, recouping the difference by selling more profitably on other platforms.)

  16. Why is the “Senior Manager of Seller Experience” at ebay UK setting out eBay’s stall about making it easy to offer retailers a modern buying experience? Confused message here unless the language used in the article is misquoted.

    What does the “Senior Manager of Buyer Experience” at ebay UK do? Maybe this is the head honcho responsible for the actual seller experience. In a misguided belief that buyers want ever more in terms of features and service ebay then come up with new demands on, and hoops for, sellers to encourage sellers to actually offer these additional features and services, when otherwise sellers would not.

    If ebay were to actually pay sellers by the hour the living wage for all the annual “free” hours sellers have to put in to cover the admin time of every ebay seller update then ebay profitability would shrink considerably!

    In fact ebay themselves should employ staff to update every seller listing to comply with updates. Why should the sellers themselves be doing this when ebay are the root cause of the work?

  17. My suggestion would be to make the 20% off promotion permanent. So ebay gives the customer 20% and charges the seller 10%. Turnover will be huge and ebay will probably overtake amazon in no time.

    Could there be a problem with this strategy? Seriously, there has to be something wrong when a company has to pay people to shop there.

    You might find sales go up much more if, for example, you were to crack down on liar MVLs that make shopping on ebay tedious and unbearable.


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