Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Predictions for Ebay 2010

Back in January 2008 I anxiously awaited John Donahoe's speech as the new CEO of Ebay. I think we all had high hopes back then....but we were not prepared for the icy cold slap we received. I'm sure small sellers realized they built Ebay into what it is today and they could never fathom that someone would come in and call them "noise" and seemingly want to do away with them. That was unthinkable! Now, two years later, we all know the unthinkable has arrived. Most of us have lost our business and our sales on Ebay. Something we could not possibly conceive would happen. We've been pushed aside to make way for giant retailers, with miserable sell thru rates, who are definitely pampered by Ebay. We have been put to the mercy of any buyer who may be having a bad hair day. Many small sellers finally left - not much business happening and they wanted to keep their spotless reputations intact. Today, many thousands of good sellers - the very people who made Ebay unique and interesting, are gone - leaving buyers to wander around and finally leave without buying. I hear complaints on Ebay's discussion boards of buyers who can no longer find their favorite sellers. Management seems to be oblivious or have absolutely no clue!

It seems these days whatever goes wrong Ebay will blame on the small seller. To that end more and more outrageous rules have come out and more are on the way. Ebay is no longer a place where you can get rid of items you have no use for. Sellers have less and less control over their own listings - yet at the bottom of each listing Ebay has seen fit to write "Seller is totally responsible for this listing." Today a small seller runs a gamut of hot coals between Ebay and their buyers in order to make a sale and receive their money from that sale. The Ebay/Paypal duo is more and more a place where a seller can lose his item AND his money and pay high fees to boot! It is a place where one nasty buyer can destroy a seller's long-term spotless reputation! Present policies, search manipulations and a downright nasty attitude toward small sellers have managed to destroy the fun and the community that was once Ebay.

After painting such a dismal picture, is the future any brighter?.....NO! Now, two full years later - one just has to wonder why?...why did the powers-that-be leave a multi-billion dollar company in the hands of the present management. Even more so....why is this destruction still going on?

My prediction for Ebay for 2010?.....much much more of the same. This will not stop on its own. In my mind, the future of Ebay is very uncertain...and even if they manage to turn it around it will never ever be the outrageous success it once was.

Sorry if my post sounds more like a vent then a prediction...but its the truth as I see it.

Happy New Year

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