Tamebay comment: What would feature in your “perfect” eBay?

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Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 22.32.46Right at the end of Steve Fisher’s blog post on future developments on eBay (Have you read it all? You should because it’s a big statement of the the shape of things to come. Find it here.) He makes a utopian statement.

“This is only the beginning. We are instituting sweeping changes on the platform this year which will become more and more visible across the site. Ultimately, each and every one of these changes is being made to enable every person around the world to find their version of perfect on our marketplace. Stay tuned for much more to come.”

Perfect. It’s a big aspiration. And eBay nirvana is a bold aim that we should all support, right? What would your “version of perfect” include as a seller? Be positive and bold in your suggestions. Be optimistic and demanding. Don’t repeat the well rehearsed gripes. What should eBay do for you? What could eBay do to make your business sing and prosper?

It would be fascinating to learn how eBay is consulting with sellers and buyers. Certainly when it comes to the selling aspects of eBay, what do the product managers and senior staff, and indeed the programming team, know about the varied population and their day to day activities? The orders, the correspondence, the picking and packing and despatching: do you they understand the daily grind?

When I read over Fisher’s post the one semantic point that jars with me, and he uses it repeatedly, is his use of the word “our”. He refers to “our marketplace”, “our platform”, “our selection” and “our inventory”. If I was generous I’d suggest that this refers to the partnership that eBay Inc. perceives it has with you as a seller. But I rather think that eBay increasingly considers it owns the whole eBay experience rather like Amazon does. Surely in an eBay context the inventory and selection is not OURS but YOURS. THEY don’t sell anything.

But let’s take him at his word and think about what his vision means. Tamebay is an open forum so make some suggestions. Define perfection.

48 Responses

  1. Perfect Ebay?


    Treat buyers and sellers fairly and equally when it comes to disputes

    Reasonable, simple fee structure

    A platform that works properly and reliably

    When major changes are made, create or make available to sellers the tools to implement those changes.

    Sort out the checkout problems e.g., basket not available depending on country or buyer’s device

    Listen to sellers input – they know more about the problems occurring on Ebay than anyone else

    Stop trying to ape Amazon – you get nothing for 2nd place, as the saying goes.

    End the bullying culture e.g., if you don’t accept these changes or have questions, click here to close your account.

    I’m sure others can add loads more, but this is just a start.

  2. “Don’t repeat the well rehearsed gripes. “?

    maybe if ebay did the same the perfect ebay may be possible

  3. Have tried buying 5 items on Ebay this morning.

    Added all the items to the basket – tried to checkout and pay:- error, error, error…

    Online chat with Ebay customer service completely clueless.

    Their advice? Try again in a few days.

    Maybe Ebay and Amazon should merge – Amazebay

  4. ~
    Mr Fisher’s blog post is perfectly timed jam tomorrow spin designed to cover the sh*t that we are getting today.

  5. A big start would be for them to enforce their rules, currently they don’t do that very much. They introduce rules about duplicates and photo standards but the site is still full of duplicates and photos with texts and flags and other images on. Many of us spent hours getting our photos to comply and others clearly didn’t and these sellers gain an advantage by adding extra info to their gallery images.

    eBay should stop relying on member reports (which they mostly ignore anyway) and have a team that proactively search and browse for offending listings that break eBay rules and/or are illegal.

    They need to hire some people that have been selling on eBay for a living for years, who get how it works and how retail works in general.

    They need to stop trying to emulate Amazon and concentrate on what makes eBay different from Amazon.

    They need to stop blaming sellers for all the things wrong with eBay and actually start treating like them valued customers. At the moment they act as if they’re doing you a favour by allowing you to sell on eBay and treat you like nothing.

    And they need to sack the guy who is currently in charge of their forums.

  6. No VAT evading Chinese sellers under cutting us by 20%…..simple

  7. “Don’t repeat the well rehearsed gripes”???

    Sorry, if Ebay users have so-called well-rehearsed gripes, it means there are major issues which Ebay has either ignored or failed to resolve.

    Most of these so-called gripes are not unreasonable and it is fair enough for people to be sceptical about some future vision on Ebay, if problems go unresolved year after year.

    It seems that Ebay are only interested in listening to certain groups and sellers are not included in that.

    You can also level accusations at Amazon, too.

    However, at least Amazon doesn’t generally have the ongoing technical issues that bedevil Ebay all the time now.

    You also know up front what you are getting with Amazon.

    With Ebay, who knows? Will they close down all the shops? Introduce even more complex and unrealistic criteria for sellers to meet?

    Will the ink cartridges I bought on Saturday evening on Ebay really arrive on Monday? Really?

    The incompetence at Ebay is not to rectify the problems which are self-evident to any buyer or seller.

    These could and should be put right – NOW!

    What possible reason is there for Ebay execs to talk about the future, unless they wish to ignore the present problems and try to move on without fixing them.

    If anyone at Ebay reads these boards, please realise your site DOES-NOT-WORK !!!

    Mr Fisher, if you want Ebay to avoid being a $1 sell-off in five years time, you’d better take note.

  8. Here’s a few ideas:

    Instead of buyers being allowed to fill in their address and make mistakes, use an editable database, like the Royal Mail one. If they pick the correct one from a database, there is less chance of them stuffing it up, missing off the company name, house number, or using their old postcode. Then us sellers don’t have to do detective work to find out where they want their order sending.

    Sellers shouldn’t get blamed if Royal Mail send the parcel that was dispatched on time on a week long magical mystery tour. Any negative or neutral feedback about late delivery should be removed if the seller can show the dispatch date was as stated. I can understand some buyers not grasping the concept of items being delayed in the post, but ebay should know better. And yet, the ebay late delivery report summary uses the term “Transactions that weren’t posted on time” Is that what ebay really think is happening with “late” deliveries? That sellers are sending the vast majority of items out on time, then randomly holding back others for no reason at all?

    Ebay could also fix bugs instead of denying they exist:


  9. Real Time Digital delivery. Genuine Support and PROMOTION for well performing Small/Medium sellers. eBay talk a lot but then promote Argos and Tescos.
    Genuine security for sellers ( marketplace I am least confident selling high end on).

  10. If there is a problem with a listing that does not meet the eBay rules make contact with the seller as if they are your customer not a naughty school child.

    Trying not to sound like a gripe but what other business takes over £10k a month in fees from its customer but treats them like they are irrelevant & could be discarded at a moments notice.

  11. retrain customer service agents,
    allow them to exercise some discretion , & natural justice

  12. Ebay is already well behind Etsy as Marketplace that is easy to use and sell on.

    Too many Jobworths trying to justify their jobs.

    They need to concentrate on over taking Etsy, let alone Amazon.

  13. ~
    OK no more gripes!

    A good test might be to invite users (sellers) to compile a list of areas in which eBay has improved the platform over the last (say 6 months) period.

    Sadly I have to say a big fat zero from me.

    I did try, but it is so important that the gripe list be dealt with and soon, please!

  14. So ebay makes an announcement, that active content will be banned from 2017 spring. It then starts blocking active content on mobiles 20 / 7 / 2016.

    Talk about building a relationship of trust.

    If you want to check this for yourselves open any argos item on the ebay app ( I tested on the latest iOS app )

    Check the item description section

    Related items and you may like section are both blank.

    Well done ebay for once again shafting your sellers. I have switched over all of my personal shopping to Amazon. Yesterday I wanted to purchase an piece of equipment, ebay quickest delivery was 4 days away. The exact same item on Amazon will be in a locker for me to collect today, that’s around 28 hours after ordering.

    ebay really starting to smell like rotten fish.

  15. I have a revolutionary idea. Remove the Neo-liberal model eBay is built on; the micro management of sellers and assessment to identify the winners and losers and replace it with laissez-faire letting us get on with it without interference.

    “A paradox of neoliberalism is that universal competition relies upon universal quantification and comparison. The result is that workers, job-seekers and public services of every kind are subject to a pettifogging, stifling regime of assessment and monitoring, designed to identify the winners and punish the losers”….errr Cassini.

    I left eBay and Amazon, went elsewhere to another platform and my business flourished.

  16. So a buyer reports the item as not received, the buyer gets their money refunded from paypal.

    Does ebay not charge the final value fee ? and does paypal cancel its fee also ?

  17. The printer cartridges I bought on Saturday night arrived on Wednesday.

    Now Ebay’s delivery estimate was Monday.

    Clearly this was not possible.

    The seller sent the items out first class on Monday. Royal Mail delivered it on Wednesday, missing their own next day delivery target.

    Am I going to tell Ebay they arrived late so the seller gets a defect? Hell, no. They did everything they could, but were let down by Royal Mail and Ebay’s delivery estimate was ludicrous and not actually possible.

    So in a perfect Ebay world, items bought across a weekend should not be estimated for delivery on a Monday.

    I’ve even seen estimates of two days for delivery to Europe and three days for the USA, which is complete nonsense.

    None of this would matter, if Ebay did not use these “metrics” (how I hate this effing gobbledyspeak) to downgrade sellers.

    Get back to a rating system where the customers rate sellers. Good sellers shine out and bad ones look like stinkers.

    Even the occasional rogue negatives won’t be enough to harm a consistently good seller.

    Lose the biased and preposterous on time delivery metrics.

    Lose DSR’s

    Get back to the original principal of feedback, and allow sellers to leave objective feedback again – yes, some buyers deserve negatives, so other sellers can see potential problems.

    Ebay has assisted buyer fraud by preventing problem buyers from being flagged up. Buyer history is no longer available, so how would you know if this is the umpteenth time someone has said “I haven’t received it”.

    You can only get back seller confidence by treating buyers and sellers fairly and equally.

  18. How about subsidised postage costs.
    ebay want sellers to provide the best service
    ebay make billlions a year, surely they can do a deal with royal mail and give business sellers 50% off, or pay for our postage all together – allowing us to post using the fastest option and making our businesses profitable once again.

    Otherwise, I’m out. £4.45 to post an item 1st recorded.. 10% postage fee.. Final value fee. PayPal Fee. Item cost… It leaves the kind of net profit margin only chinese megasellers can accept.

  19. Ebay just sucks at everything it does, if you have ever been to one of their, sponsored meet the sellers events, you will know the senior managers have no idea at all about real problems sellers face.

    We actually met the guy who was responsible for the add to cart button, when we let him know it was crap and how illogical the customer journey was to buy multiples of the same item, his eyes just glazed over.

    Ebay is already light years behind Amazon as a business, I would not be surprised if Amazon bought ebay and then shut it down. It is to much of a dinosaur.

    The whole, we will give the buyer your money back and keep all the fees is basically corporate theft. ( Anyone want to start a crowd funding campaign to start legal action )

    Ebay you dropped the ball some time ago and have been kick around a dead hedgehog ever since.


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