Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Why Auctions Are Dying on Ebay

Auctions are NOT dying - Auctions on EBAY ARE dying because EBAY has slowly been killing them. Thru its own greed over the years it has milked sellers and ignored fraud and scamming and now thru its rigid, one-sided policies, it is driving small sellers away. Small sellers are what made Ebay and its auctions so exciting. Now, with fees sky high and small sellers' profits down to almost nothing there isn't much in the way of bargains that can be offered buyers. Instead of offering small sellers the same benefits offered to their powersellers, they have imposed even more rigid rules on them. For example, a buyer has to wait 7 days before he can give a powerseller a negative - small sellers can receive negatives immediately with no chance of trying to right whatever went wrong with the transaction. One negative can put a small seller so far back in the listings that he'll never be seen. I am a 10 year ebay seller with a perfect feedback record. I stopped listing on that site in an effort to keep my untarnished reputation in the hope that logic and sense might return to that site. Maybe some miracle that will sweep out a management who practices "disruptive innovation".

Back in 2004 Ebay actually started killing off the auction excitement when it ended the feature "Going, Going, Gone"...when did you ever hear of an auction that didn't use that wording. It was a listing of everything due to end so that bidders could jump in and grasp that item at the last minute. From then on it was all downhill on Ebay's site. The site became confusing, convoluted, full of ads and glitches due to constant changes. Those constant "improvements" turned into higher and higher fees for sellers while it turned off buyers and traffic fell off. Now, they are coddling mega sellers and powersellers and shoving small sellers to the back page in listings that are so manipulated that the buyers sees, basically, only what Ebay wants them to see....yet all sellers pay the SAME FEES. Buyers don't want to bid on items they can buy at Walmart! They want the unique rare, flea market finds that the small sellers offer. Ebay is responsible for shoving small sellers away and killing the excitement of an auction format...more than any other factor. Most sellers are leaving and starting elsewhere - trying to build new sites the same way they built Ebay. I only hope its not too late.

Ebay is turning into a retail site - much like a cheesy Amazon clone. I say cheesy because Ebay will try to do it without any real customer service - customer service costs them money that they never wanted to spend - they will be using bots instead of hands on manpower. It won't work and in the end I see them becoming a boring and untrustworthy online retailer in a lineup of very competitive and solid online retailers, in fact most of the major retailers are already online! far as auctions are conserned - well run auctions on sites where sellers can still give buyers a bargain will be around for awhile - but don't think Ebay will...


  1. Good for people to know.

  2. Anonymous11:21 AM

    Yes, I agree. Ebay's faltering did not just start with the most recent changes-it has been gradually going on for a few years now. I actually complained about it at least 2 years ago to ebay(big deal)-with every change they have made it seemed to take more of our time figuring out the upgrades than time spent buying and selling. And it was obvious a long time ago they were swaying more towards big business with all the glitz and glamour they began promoting to improve the "looks". Of course, along with it they would maybe do an upgrade that made it a bit easier for us-just enough for the majority of the people to overlook what they were really up to. The initial glamour of ebay was that it did not promote the glitz and glamour. It was all about giving the average "Joe and Jane"-on a set income-the opportunity to make some extra income without the glitz and glamour. They understood, then, that the average person (which,by the way, ebay, is the majority of the population)could not afford all the glitz & glamour. Unfortunately, we all gave ebay the opportunity to become part of the glitz and glamour & they want nothing to do us anymore.
    It is the typical scenario-people with too much money put their heads in the sand (or elsewhere!)
    Whether or not they once were in the same class as the majority of us does not seem to matter. Their egos begin to far surpass their intelligence, honesty, morals, values, etc.
    Oh well, life goes on & they will be the losers-they do not know how to live on a small fixed income. Their decisions and loss of ethics may just put them there.