The Ebay Rag Mag

October 17, 2008

Glitch: False Offers of Free Shipping

In a bright, hard to miss orange circle next to eBay sellers’ gallery photo is an icon that indicates that a seller is offering free shipping even though the seller has made no such offer, and it doesn’t stop there.  The glitch is two fold.  If a seller who has set an offer for promotional discounted shipping on combined purchases,  the buyer is not being charged the discounted price, he is not being charged at all.  Sellers are being forced to lose their profits and absorb full shipping costs.  On a combined purchase where shipping is calculated by weight this can be very costly.

As if the situation in itself is not stressful enough, sellers fear unfounded negative reprecussions if they choose not to honor an offer that was not authorized.

The question is, is this a sign of what is yet to come?  Another new policy that eBay is experimenting with on the back end that mistakenly reared it’s ugly face before eBay are ready to slap the sellers with an official announcement?  Is eBay going to force the sellers to raise their product prices to cover a forced offer of free shipping?  This possibility has been in speculation for several weeks.  The thought behind it is that if eBay forces it’s sellers to raise their prices to cover the cost of shipping, it’s just one more way to generate higher revenue from higher final value fees.

October 12, 2008

China Invades eBay with Counterfeits AGAIN!

On the front end EBay is increasing it’s restriction of sellers in the number of legitimate name brand items that can be listed on eBay U.S. due to the high risk of law suit by copyright owners while at the back end there is a growing number of China based sellers flying under eBay’s, “anti-counterfeit incentive” radar.   

China based counterfeit merchandise sellers are manipulating eBay’s new Best Match search tool with specific keywords and product names that slip through eBay’s anti-counterfeit program without detection but are easily found by conducting a basic human search.   The search manipulation is blatant when the product names being used are not registered members of the Vero program and other times it’s not so blatant when used with the term, “genuine”. 

EBay sellers are reporting the auctions through the report this auction  link located on the bottom of the auctions only to have the reports ignored.   They are becoming more vocal in their complaints of eBay’s failure to remove the offending auctions from it’s site and are questioning the competence of eBay’s trust and safety department.   Many are even asking for the removal of Mr Donahoe from his office.

The lack of synergy and consistency on eBay have many sellers asking where is this road leading us?  The luring big box retailers to replace the small home based sellers, the push to replace the auction format with an immediate purchase platform, increased back end fees for sellers who are not qualified under the Diamond level seller program aka the big box retailers, the failed Best Match search tool, the failed anti-counterfeit incentive program and the acquisition of Bill Me Later is making eBay a volatile ground which is fueling the growth of competing venues and the creation of new, smaller venues.

As the changing balance of global financial power shifts more and more to China why is it that eBay executives have such little respect for the basic considerations of it’s American seller base?

October 6, 2008

The eBay Powerseller Experience: Sales down 40%

eBay through the eyes of a Powerseller

powerhousemusical  (30440 ) View Listings  
“My sales down 40% in the last 2 weeks for the first time in years…That is major when you do our volume. Anyone else? Seems like ebay policy changes every week and bugs are worse than ever. What’s next?”

—————-

2dxzeus  (11064 ) View Listings    
“Do what most sellers are doing (such as myself) and change venues.”

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eBay powersellers world wide are expressing an increased dissatisfaction with it’s new CEO John Donoahoe and the series of changes instituded since his inception as the head of eBay and are starting to call for his resignation if not his firing.

Since Donahoes inception twenty of eBays top 100 sellers have decided to shut down and vacate the site in search of better alternatives which includes Amazon, Overstock, Yahoo stores and the creation of their own venues.  Hundreds of other large sellers are screaming, “help my account has been restricted” for reasons that eBay refuses to discuss with its sellers and are being forced to leave the site.

As I read the eBay Powerseller message board from day to day the outlook begins to look more bleak.  Sellers are now holding back on purchasing new inventory due to fear that eBays declining market and the deteriorating value of their product on eBay may put them out of business.  They are angered by the Best Match search engine tool that seems to bury their products in favor corporate sites such as BUY.com who is not held to the same buyer satisfaction standards as the rest of eBays’ selling population, nor are they being held to the same fee structure.

The smaller seller who is footing the bill for eBays’ “Diamond Level Deal” is more than just feeling the pinch, they are drowning.

The PESA/ECMTA Position Paper states, “During the past few years, that economic balance has shifted dramatically to the disadvantage of merchants. In our opinion, eBay still does not recognize that their excessive extraction of value in the form of fees and other monetization techniques has resulted in dramatic underinvestment on improving the marketplace. Declining buyer activity also has a direct result on average selling prices and conversion rates on the platform. Thus the lower margins in conjunction with rising eBay fees, results in eBay taking more value while leaving less for merchants.”

While the majority of eBays changes have been focused on it’s sellers and less towards it’s buyers and increased buying activity, eBay powersellers are becoming more and more disenchanted with not only their selling experience but the over-all experience, it’s time to start focusing on the root of the problem which is repeated poor decision making from eBays top executive offices.

eBay has effected the world economy and has encouraged trade accross the internet for more than 10 years now.  In the past, that effect has been a positive one.  Current times are changing fast.  The world economy is in crisis, people are losing their homes, their jobs and their life savings.   Many of those people have depended on their eBay income to create a balance between their losses in the stock market, to help finance their mortgage, to put their children through college, to keep the lights on.  Unfortunately, that balance is no longer reliable.  There is no balance period.  eBay has become a volitile venue for it’s sellers.  These are scary times which are calling for some reassuring measures.

EBay Cuts Jobs, Buys Bill Me Later

Filed under: News & Gossip — ebaygossip @ 3:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,

AP: Online auction site eBay says that it will reduce its work force by 10 percent which will affect about 1,000 jobs. EBay, which has been struggling to attract new users, also announced that it will buy three online companies, including payments business Bill Me Later.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Oct. 6) – EBay Inc., which still reaps big profits but has been struggling to attract new users, said Monday it will cut about 1,000 jobs in an attempt to streamline its business. The cuts amount to 10 percent of eBay’s work force.

The online auction site also plans to get rid of several hundred temporary workers and reduce open positions. EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe said in a conference call the company is “creating efficiency” in areas that require it.

The company expects restructuring charges of about $70 million to $80 million as a result of the cuts, mostly in the fourth quarter. EBay said the reductions will lead to $150 million in annual cost savings.
The latest round of cuts follows eBay’s announcement earlier this year that it was cutting 125 jobs in Europe and North America, including 70 posts at its headquarters in San Jose, Calif.
Donahoe said Monday the weak economy and the effects of the strengthening dollar are “affecting our businesses.” Nonetheless, eBay said its third-quarter earnings would be higher than it predicted in July – though revenue will be at the low end of its expectation. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 15.
EBay shares were down $1.19, 6.3 percent, at $17.75 in morning trading.
EBay also said Monday it will buy online payments business Bill Me Later for $820 million in cash and $125 million in outstanding options. The company also said it will buy Danish classifieds site dba.dk and vehicles site bilbasen.dk for $390 million in cash.
Bill Me Later allows online retailers to offer shoppers credit. EBay said Bill Me Later has “sophisticated underwriting techniques” and tells shoppers within seconds if they’re approved for credit, without detailed application forms. Bill Me Later will become part of PayPal, the online payment service eBay bought in 2002.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2008-10-06 08:12:22

eBay Announce Reductions, Cuts and Downsizing

Filed under: News & Gossip — ebaygossip @ 3:01 pm
Tags: , , ,
 
blukentucky  (14528 ) View Listings | Report  
eBay Inc. Buys Leading Payments and Classifieds Businesses,marketwatch: http://tinyurl.com/4kdlkbStreamlines Existing Organization To Improve GrowthLast update: 7:45 a.m. EDT Oct. 6, 2008SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct 06, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — eBay Inc. (EBAY:EBAY, , ) today announced two acquisitions that significantly extend the company’s leadership position in online payments and classifieds.In payments, the company is acquiring the U.S.-based online payments business Bill Me Later(R) for approximately $820 million in cash and approximately $125 million in outstanding options.

In classifieds, the company has acquired Denmark’s leading online classifieds site dba.dk and vehicles site bilbasen.dk for approximately $390 million in cash.

The company also announced plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 10 percent,

affecting about 1,000 employees in addition to several hundred temporary workers and the reduction of open positions.

The global reduction is intended to simplify and streamline eBay’s organization, improve the company’s cost structure and strengthen the overall competitiveness of the company’s existing businesses.

The reduction is expected to result in pretax restructuring charges of approximately $70 million to $80 million, with the charges predominantly recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“We are making aggressive moves to strengthen our leadership positions in e-commerce and payments to competitively position our company for long-term growth,”

said John Donahoe, eBay Inc.’s president and chief executive officer.

“Bill Me Later is a perfect complement to our portfolio, a company that belongs with PayPal.

Together, PayPal and Bill Me Later will make online payments safer, easier and more convenient than ever.”
“Our classifieds acquisition gives us another market leadership position in Europe for this rapidly growing part of our portfolio,” Donahoe said.

“We are the global leader in classifieds with top positions in Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, and sites in more than 1,000 cities across 20 countries.

The acquisition of dba.dk and bilbasen.dk gives us technology and expertise we can leverage across our classifieds portfolio to create better customer experiences.”

Commenting on the company’s workforce reduction, Donahoe said: “While never an easy decision to make, these reductions will help improve our operations and strengthen our ability to continue investing in growth.”

The company also stated it expects to hit the low end of its Q3 2008 revenue guidance and exceed GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share guidance as issued in conjunction with its second quarter earnings release on July 16.
eBay is scheduled to announce third quarter results on October 15.
More information about Bill Me Later and dba.dk and bilbasen.dk can be found in separate press releases issued by the company today.

eBay Inc. will host an investor conference call today at 5:30 a.m. PDT to discuss this announcement. A live webcast of the conference call can be accessed through the eBay Investor Relations Web site at http://investor.ebay.com. An archive of the webcast will be accessible through the same link.

SOURCE: eBay Inc

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What are the eBay Powerseller reactions?  The following quotes were taken directly from the powerseller message board:

“After a short lived rebound into the $17.80s, the stock is falling again at $17.50.”

—-

“Can’t find the link/article, but read that eBay has been blocking Google Base feeds. Now, I can’t speak for the rest of you, but over 85% of my purchases were directs from Google & the lowered FVFs were bread and butter for me.

The point being, eBay and all its control freak wisdom, hosed best match and MANY other factors have drastically cut sales and eBay traffic.

What Donahoe and Pierre hoped to accomplish is not understood, but they’re certainly doing a bang up job of killing the site for both the shareholders and sellers in very little time.”

—-

“Quoting Donahoe:

Penetration of Paypal on Ebay grew more in the third quarter than on any time in the last several years

LOL – black and white figures don’t LIE!!!!!!
What a CROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

—-

“I think it’s hysterical that they think another payment method will bring more buyers to ebay more than Google Feeds would.

They are such control freaks, they can’t stand anybody else interfacing with their little piece of the pie.”

—-

“eBay is in trouble with Skype in China at the moment. Just read this one:

http://www.securitypronews.com/news/securitynews/spn-45-20081003SkypeScramblesAfterBreachAndCensorshipRevelations.html

—-

“Here’s another one:

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Skype-Takes-Heat-For-Chinese-Censorship-98174

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“i went and checked out that billmelater website – and I couldn’t find anywhere that it list the cost to the person/business offering the service to buyers.

also – it is a service that only takes payment from a checking or savings account. It also accepts money order payment –

I’m guessing this is going to be one of ebays answers to buyers who want to still use “paper payment” options.

though the service does access your credit report as a buyer to use the service. That would turn me off as a buyer – I don’t want a service going into my report everytime I buy something.”

—-

“The best part of the Bill Me Later landing page is the Featured Stores section. I wonder how much longer Overstock and Amazon will be there.”

—-

“If I were Wall Street, I’d view it as throwing gasoline on the fire. They need to fix the issues they already have rather than adding potentially more issues.

You know they’re going to be integrating BillMeLater into eBay eventually, and now that they own them it’s going to miraculously become a trusted payment service.”

—-

“eBay is scrambling for anything to generate immediate and aggressive growth – it ain’t gonna work!”

October 2, 2008

Burbank Sportscards to Launch 30 Million Listings to eBay

Filed under: News & Gossip — ebaygossip @ 12:29 am
Tags: , ,
By: Ina Steiner
Tue Sept 30 2008 030:27:55
Burbank Sportscards has 884,862 listings on eBay and plans to launch its entire 30 million-card inventory. While that exceeds Buy.com’s inventory of 739,473 listings on eBay, there is a major difference: Burbank Sportscards cards are in Store inventory format, meaning its cards only show up on Store searches or at the bottom of core search results.

It is also cheaper to list in Stores versus the core platform. However, eBay cut a special deal with Buy.com, whom many suspect pays no listing fees for its fixed-price inventory on core.

According to Burbank Sportscards’ About Me page, it has an inventory of 35 million cards, of which 1.2 million are unique. “Our goal over the course of 2008 is to bring our staggering inventory to this EBAY store and delight collectors the world over with the very best possible selection of singles that fit with the unique style of your collection. And we’re going to offer this selection with the best possible shipping and handling deals anywhere.”

Burbank Sportscards uses Beckett Channel Integration (BCI), “a multi-channel inventory management tool that allows users to keep track of products across their Beckett Marketplace, eBay store and in-store Kiosk.”

Sellers in the sports card category may be wondering if Burbank Sportscards will become eligible for Diamond-level PowerSeller status, which would allow it to negotiate fees one-on-one with eBay for listing on the core platform. If so, expect a major disruption in the category similar to what happened when Buy.com flooded certain core categories.

 http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/comments/2008/9/1222774075.html

September 7, 2008

Paypal Dispute Scam Coming From China

Filed under: News & Gossip — ebaygossip @ 7:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Dear XXX XXXXX,

Item Not Received dispute for the payment you sent to hot stuff enterprise on Mar 5, 2008 (Transaction 221-775-854-221-775-854) is now open.

By opening a dispute, you are communicating with the BUYER, not PayPal , about this problem transaction. We will email you when your BUYER posts a response in the Resolution Center.

Use the link bellow learn more about PayPal’s dispute resolution process . (NEVER NEVER EVER CLICK ON ANY LINKS!)

Click here Resolve this Dispute and avoid funds deduction (THE LINK IS DEAD!)

———————————–
Transaction Details
———————————–

Seller’s Name: XXX XXXXX (Ok it appears I am the seller again)
Seller’s Transaction ID: 7DP17654GX785445X221-775-854
Transaction Date: Mar 5, 2008
Transaction Amount: -$1,291.98 USD (WOW thats a lot of money)
Your Transaction ID: 9S418577AD872064T221-775-854
Case Number: PP-449-619-671221-775-854

Buyer’s Transaction ID: 9S418577AD872064T221-775-854
———————————–
Deadline: SEPTEMBER 08 , 2008
———————————–

On SEPTEMBER 08 , 2008, this dispute will automatically close and funds ($1,291.98 USD ) will be deducted from your account . By escalating to a claim, you are asking PayPal to review the case and decide the outcome.(They gave me 1 whole day to respond to this or they will yank $1300 from my account!)

This is the last warning. A closed dispute cannot be reopened or escalated to a PayPal claim.(OOOOOHHHHH big scare tactic THE LAST WARNING!)

Thank you,

PayPal

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, Click here (THE LINK IS DEAD!). If your inquiry is regarding a claim, log in to your PayPal account and go to the Resolution Center.

—————————————————————-

PayPal Email ID 221-775-854

End of Scam email

You need to be on your toes as these guys get more and more clever in these scams. Best advise I have is:

  • NEVER EVER CLICK ON ANY LINKS IN AN EMAIL!
  • Never keep more in your paypal account then you can afford to loose.
  • Forward all of these types of emails with full headers to spoof@paypal.com (hopefully they really do work to get them shut down)
  • Always read the email to check for any irregularities
  • Only log into your accounts from a new browser window
  • Never use the same password for all of your accounts and change them regularly
  • Have current virus and spyware programs installed and make sure they are updated.
  • Most of all use common sense
  • September 1, 2008

    eBay Clothing Sellers Ban Together For Hurricanes

    Filed under: News & Gossip — ebaygossip @ 8:35 pm
    Tags: , ,

    In an eBay community message board thread located in the category of Clothing, Shoes and Accessories entitled “Hurricane Buddies.. Sign in here!”, clothing sellers from all parts of the United States have banded together to lend a helping cyberhand to those affected by the hurricanes. 

    The author of the thread writes, “For those that haven’t been on eBay for a hurricane season yet, the premise behind the “Hurricane Buddy” is to keep an eye on each others’ ending auctions & contact the winning bidders just in case they are not aware that their seller is in a Hurricane zone… in the event that the seller can not get to a computer“.

    Participants of the buddy system thread are posting hurricane and tropical storm updates along with the use of visual aids such as updated maps of storm tracks and photos of affected communities.

    The buddy system appears to be restricted to only the clothing sellers which leads us here at eBay’s Rag Mag why sellers from other categories are not showing such unity.  The clothing sellers are known for their outrageous battles and power struggles among stay at home moms, yet they were able to put those battles aside where it really counts.  An example that sellers from other categories may consider following in the future.

    August 29, 2008

    Federal Court’s Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement

    Steele et al. v. PayPal, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:05-CV-01720 (ILG)(VVP)

    Notice from Federal Court. Please Read.

    You may be eligible to receive a benefit from a class action settlement if you funded a PayPal transaction using a source other than your credit card between February 1, 2004 and the present.

    A federal court has directed that this notice be sent to inform you of a proposed class action settlement. Records show that you may be eligible to receive a benefit under the proposed settlement.

    The settlement will resolve a lawsuit against eBay Inc. and PayPal, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) involving claims arising out of representations in the PayPal User Agreement regarding PayPal’s policies and practices for responding to refund requests from those customers who pay for transactions through PayPal using funds from funding sources other than credit cards. Under the settlement, Defendants have agreed to establish a settlement fund of $3.5 million to pay claims to potential class members. The proposed Class is defined as:

    all U.S. based PayPal account holders who funded a PayPal transaction after February 1, 2004, using a source other than a credit card: (i) who subsequently requested a reversal of the transaction through PayPal’s prevailing Buyer Complaint Policy and/or Buyer Protection Policy (collectively, “Policies”); (ii) who did not receive a refund equal to 100% of their transaction payment in response to such request from PayPal or their bank; and (iii) who, through the timely submission of a Claim Form under oath, attest to a reasonable and good faith belief that they would have received a full reversal of such payment had they used a valid credit card in their possession at the time of the subject transaction to fund the payment and filed a timely chargeback request with their credit card issuing bank. Excluded from the Class are any judicial officer to whom this Litigation is assigned; PayPal, eBay and any of its affiliates; any current or former employees, officers, or directors of PayPal or eBay; any Persons currently residing outside of the United States; and, all Persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Class pursuant to the Notice.

    To see if you are a Class Member and to obtain full notice of the Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com. This email is only a brief summary of the full notice that is posted on the website.

    If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member, you have rights, obligations, and options under the proposed settlement. You have until December 14, 2008 to file your Claim Form and Certification Form. Your legal rights are affected whether you act or not.

    1.     Submit The Claim Form And The Certification Form By Mail

    This is the only way to get a settlement payment. You must: (1) print and fill out the Claim Form and return it by mail to the address provided on the Claim Form; and (2) print the Certification Page of your Claim Form, sign it, and return it by mail to the address provided on the Claim Form. Your Claim Form and signed Certification Page must be mailed and postmarked no later than December 14, 2008. For more information on these deadlines, the Effective Date of the settlement, the Claim Form procedures, and the settlement benefit, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com.

    2.     Exclude Yourself – Opt Out of the Settlement

    If you do not want to remain a member of the Class and participate in the Amended Settlement, then you may exclude yourself (opt-out) from the Class by mailing or delivering (email is not permitted) your written request. Your original, signed request for exclusion must be RECEIVED on or before October 31, 2008 and mailed to the following address:

    PayPal/Steele Class Action Settlement
    c/o The Garden City Group, Inc.
    P.O. Box 9309
    Dublin, OH 43017-4209

    Your request for exclusion must contain your name and address, be signed by you, and include the reference “Steele et al. v. PayPal, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 1:05-CV-01720.” If you exclude yourself from the Class, you will not participate in the Amended Settlement and will not receive any payment from the Amended Settlement.

    3.     Object

    Write to the Court about why you do not like the settlement. Your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn Main Office, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201, no later than October 31, 2008. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, you may not be heard on or entitled to contest the Court’s decision unless you have filed written objections no later than October 31, 2008. A hearing (“Settlement Hearing”) shall be held before Hon. I Leo Glasser on November 17, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Courtroom 8B South, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201.

    4.     Do Nothing

    You will automatically be included in the Settlement Class and give up your right to be part of any other lawsuit about the claims in this case, but you will not be eligible to receive a settlement benefit unless you submit a Claim Form.

    To get complete information about the proposed Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com.

    Please do not contact PayPal, or PayPal’s customer support about this Notice, or the Settlement. Instead, you must visit www.steelesettlement.com for complete information about the proposed Settlement, the required procedures, the deadlines, your obligations, and your options.

    Please do not reply to this message. We are unable to respond to inquiries sent in reply to this email. To contact us, please access the official settlement website at www.steelesettlement.com.

    August 12, 2008

    Can’t Find It on Ebay

    Filed under: News & Gossip — ebaygossip @ 11:52 pm
    Tags: , , , ,

    The scenario:  A buyer types one or two keywords in the ebay search box in hopes to find their treasure, unfotunately for the buyer eBay is using the infamous Finding technology, a.k.a Best Match, to sort listings and determine which listings are duplicates. If Best Match thinks it found a duplicate – then the item disappears into a void because only one unique item per seller is allowed… thus not allowing the buyer to choose which item to buy, but telling the buyer which item to buy.

    The Best Match technology has disadvantaged ebays best sellers while giving an unfair advantage to many of its poorest sellers since its inception.  How is it that ebay can use this program site wide when they know that it is not working?  How do we know that ebay is aware that this new search technology isn’t working?  Because sellers are complaining that they are paying sky high fees for services they havent recieved, and buyers are complaining that the search results appear jumbled and they are tired of trying to navigate through it, and ebay keeps claiming to fix it!

    Meanwhile, Amazon is experiencing their highest growth rate since their site was erected.

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