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eBay, Amazon: a Tale of Two Marketplaces

Why eBay sellers react more passionately to change than Amazon sellers

After the recent article I wrote on the new eBay return center received so many extremely emotional responses, I started doing a lot of thinking about the eBay seller community.

While I was shocked at the hatred and venom that came through so strongly in the comments from some readers, I was not at all surprised by the emotional response. That was consistent with what I’ve seen in the last five-plus years of eBay announcements related to policy changes.

I’ve been a seller on eBay since 1997, from a standard level up to a Gold PowerSeller at one time. I’ve also been a seller on Amazon since around 2004, again, from having very small sales to having sales in excess of $10,000.

All along, I have been involved in the seller community on eBay—from participating in eBay boards, Yahoo mail groups and Facebook groups, to attending many of the live eBay events in the last few years. I wasn’t as involved in the Amazon seller community until last year, when I started producing the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) Radio Show. But since then, I’ve been enmeshed in the Amazon community for as many as 20 hours a week.

It has always interested me how people react to change. However, the fact that these two seller communities react so differently in many ways has been extremely fascinating—and I have a reasonable thesis for why there is such a dramatic difference. I’d really love to hear your take on it, whether you are an eBay seller, an Amazon seller or both, as I am.

eBay began with the idea that the eBay sellers had some ownership of the site, and that is where many of us began

eBay’s grass roots

When eBay began, it was all about community. That is the way Pierre Omidyar set it up. The sellers had a huge impact on how the site grew. They helped choose what categories would be added, they even had some input early on in determining the fee structure.

Many early eBay sellers actually came on board as employees. Case in point: our beloved “Uncle Griff” (Jim Griffith), who first came to the site as a seller. If you’d like to learn more about eBay’s early days, I highly recommend reading The Perfect Store, a book full of great information and stories.

My point here is that eBay began with the idea that the eBay sellers had some ownership of the site, and that is where many of us began. We thought of eBay as a friend and mentor, and believed we’d travel this road of business together. A very high percentage of eBay sellers began as the typical “accidental entrepreneur.” We were just learning all this business stuff through eBay, so that view of the marketplace as a partner and mentor was easily incorporated into how we did business.

Through the years, however, as eBay grew, and grew, and grew and… (well, you get the idea), eBay had to change. You can’t run a multimillion dollar business the same way you run a small business&mash;at least not the way eBay had been running things.

eBay, the corporation, was born when the initial public offering was held in 1998, and then there were stockholders to consider. So now, in reality, a group of stockholders from afar was running the company and making decisions affecting the many sellers who still felt they “owned” the site. That was a recipe for the deep anger that I see today in the community, in my opinion.

For Amazon, business is business

We understood that this was Amazon’s business, and we were welcome to come and sell our wares on the site, but only if we abided by its rules

Amazon, on the other hand, never talked much about its seller community. Most of us who signed up understood clearly through the way Amazon interacted with us that this was Amazon’s business, and we were welcome to come and sell our wares on the site, but only if we abided by its rules. We also understood that it was at Amazon’s whim that we were even allowed on the site. It was, from the outset, a very businesslike arrangement.

I believe that is why you just don’t see the vitriolic venom and incredibly emotional reactions among Amazon sellers that you do in the eBay community—although you do see the angst and frustration among both groups of sellers when either marketplace makes major changes to their seller agreements.

Your thoughts are appreciated, and I wonder: Do you think there is a way for eBay to move past this issue in the future?

About the author

Kat Simpson
Respected as a trusted e-commerce speaker, educator and entrepreneur, Kat Simpson has been a successful e-commerce merchant for more than 10 years. Simpson is an eBay education specialist and Silver PowerSeller, who also maintains stores on Addoway, Bonanza, and iOffer. She is the co-host of the popular weekly e-commerce podcast, eCom Connections. Connect with Simpson on Twitter and Facebook. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Kmg

    It is all truly simple …. it is becoming too complex and expensive to sell on eBay unless you charge a higher price – often higher than eBay buyers EXPECT on eBay.  It just isn’t worth it for less expensive items.
    Dear eBay…thanks for nothing!!!

    • This is absolutely true.  eBay buyers expect a bargain on products offered on eBay and  expect free shipping now too due to eBay policies and promotions.  Free shipping only works for sellers who have tremendous volume – look how long it took LLBean to go to all free shipping and they’re the king of catalog/e-selling.

      I usually have to charge MORE than retail on items if I want to make any profit after my eBay fees and shipping costs.  When I explain this to often irate and abusive potential customers (how DARE you charge this much on eBay) along with reminding them they are free to buy from whatever source they wish, they still upbraid me for not selling to them at a discount.  And if, god forbid, they then actually buy from me, I’m guaranteed bad ratings on ‘description’ ‘ shipping’ etc.  This then results in me losing Top-Rated seller status, costing me 20% more to sell on eBay.

      In discussions with eBay about the seller problems inherent in the Top-Rated Seller program, I was basically told to get off eBay unless I could create a business plan within their highly punitive system that could still give me a profit!  But if they dictate many of the key cost centers of my plan (free shipping or you won’t get good search placement, etc) I have little room within which to change my plan beyond sourcing for less (which I have taken as far as I can go) or charging more (which leads to lower sales volume and poor ratings from customers).

      If eBay wants to become Amazon – a one stop shop with many large vendors using Amazon as their portal – it will be very hard to keep the small to medium eBay stores and sellers it has now.  The two strategies are not compatible – as seen in Amazon policies to limit non-corporate sellers in key profitable selling categories (toys, jewelry etc).

      In this new economy, my family has had to rely on my modest income from my eBay store as we have never had to in the past, and in fact I need to expand what I’m doing. Which brings me to the critical question – can I create a business plan within the new eBay selling environment that will net me enough profit to risk carrying the inventory I’d need to grow?

      • Jan

        I don’t think you can do anything to help. I’ve been at this for years and Ebay is slowly turning me away. The rules only benefit people who purchase from China or can get their products cheaper than wholesale. I’ve been working since the notice came out about losing my 20% because my post office doesn’t offer 1 day shipping on the products I carry in my home and since I also dropship, my dropshippers have to have 2 days just to process the payment. So I lose all the way. I’ve already placed many of my products into 2 other auction houses. Bonanza, which still charges a big fee but a little less than Ebay but I really like They only charge me $8 a month for all the listings I want. That’s a lot cheaper because Ebay charges me $60 for 300 listings plus the huge final value charge.

  • Anonymous

    I sure do miss the good old days on ebay.  Now I do far more sales on Amazon. 

  • I believe that the changes eBay is making are necessary for it to continue as a viable business.   There were (are) many sellers on eBay operating in a less than ethical manner.  This often happens when you have individuals that lack either the education or scruples to practice fair business practices.  These sellers gave eBay a bad name and in today’s high connected social network a bad name or reputation spreads fast.  Growth is only possible with new customers and eBay’s reputation was hindering its growth.  The new policies protect the buyer while supporting sellers that have good business practices.  

    eBay’s policy changes may have caused an Exodus of sorts however, those leaving may not have been the most ethical in the first place.  I say don’t let the door hit you….

    • Serenstar

      The issue is that there are a lot of Sellers burned by unethical buyers as well, but protection for the Sellers is now almost nonexistent.

      • Kittys_jewelry

        That is true. You ate absolutely correct. I cannot count how many times we have received returned merchandise worn and obviously used, a garment all stretched out & the like. We have to refund the buyers who wear our new things and then return them! We have beefed up our terms and conditions of sales because of this sort of thing. Also, we have had a lot of people bidding on our items and then not paying. This has been happening more and more now.

    • You are so off base, it is all I can do to keep my cool.  The mass exit is caused by EBay fees.  I use to have a store with over 600 items and though my fees with Ebay were over $150 a month – you just couldn’t beat the .03 cent fee per item for it just to set there and wait for the correct buyer.  I closed my store when they began charging .20 cent fees per item and took my store over to ecrater where it is free to list and sell.

      No ecrater is no Ebay and they aren’t well known and yes, my sales are way down but I like the better profit that I make.  Except for Pay pal fees and the cost to have my pictures taken and the cost of the merchandise – I have actually seen my first profit since they changed all their policys to favor the buyer and not the seller.

      Yes, there were bunches of bad sellers charging excess shipping and stuff – but I hate to break it to you – but, they are still on Ebay.  All ebay has done is chase off the good sellers and made it more profitable for the bad sellers.

      So, why do I stay?  I stay because I use Ebay to tell people about my other site where a lot of my merchandise is kept.  I offer free shipping if it is light weight enough to go in with what they have ordered on Ebay and anything they want at the other site can be added to the Ebay invoice.  I know that Ebay takes a cut of the total invoice – so am not worried about it.  But, most buyers just buy off the ecrater site and that is fine with me to.

      I’ve been with ebay since 2006 and I personally know some people that have been with Ebay since they were created and they talk about the good old days with Ebay much as I tell the grandchildren about when gasoline was only 25 cents a gallon.

      Just because a person leaves Ebay does not make them a bad seller.  You need to rethink that.

      • Jmg074

         I hate that ebay is practically forcing sellers to offer returns but I’m also so sick and tired of people complaining about fees!!! What the hell? Would you like ebay to advertise your stuff for free? The fees aren’t that bad compared to what it costs to drive traffic to your products on your own. I know… I’ve tried.

    • Anonymous

      I see less ethics (or perhaps it is also less knowledge) now.  Overpricing, mistaken descriptions.  Just had to return a book to a seller who I’d questioned about facsimile djs who told me a lie and tried to pass one off on me.  Never had that happen in those old days.

    • Rachael101

      I’m pretty sure I don’t agree there… I’ve sold on ebay successfully since 2000 and there’s no denying it’s been a great forum to sell and a reliable advertising platform for my product. I have consistently maintained 100% feedback, and have only dropped ONE star rating down to 4.9, otherwise they’re 5.0. I abide to ALL ebay’s regulations and have been a good advisor to new sellers. Why should I suffer the same penalties and restrictions as disreputable sellers?

      On occasions when I’ve reported dishonest sellers ebay really aren’t interested. They maintain their corporate-speak and spout the company script and do nothing! Speaking to other sellers, it seems that those of us who are long-term users are tired of ebay’s arbitrary decisions and sneaky tactics… they DON’T stop dishonest sellers ONE BIT! Those people are STILL as dishonest as ever, flouting regulations and delivering lousy service because they don’t CARE…they just close one account and open a new one – and do it all over again! Long-term sellers are the ones to leave, as honesty and hard work so often leave little room for profit within ebay’s hard-faced rule changes, and there’s precious little appreciation.  Why is it that, as a seller, I feel like an EMPLOYEE of ebay, rather than a customer? I PAY THEM for the service they provide, and pay them well, only to be hauled over the coals every time there’s a rule change – like the recent removing of UK seller discounts….so on…so forth… Being an ebay seller is now, more than ever, about hitting targets – precious little joy to be had, and I always thought one should be able to enjoy one’s work? Nah…apparently not.

    • Chubbybunny

      I take exception to your comment.  I was an ebay seller for 10 years also, with 100% positive feedback.  I sold “vintage” handbags, jewelry, some clothing items, etc.  Mainly I focused on items that wouldn’t break in mailing.  I had a ton of fun.  I didn’t make a lot of money and as the fees progressed, my profit decreased radically.  I didn’t mind, because I was working a full time job and like I said, I was having fun.  Then there were major changes that truly did affect me.  I had several listings pulled without explanation.  Even though I would spend between 15 and 20 minutes on each listing, taking copious pictures, researching before posting, it didn’t seem to matter to ebay.  It was amazing to me that whoever was doing the listing pulling was not reading my description.  Then paypal for some unknown reason and without explanation, and with absolutely no cause, instituted a 22 day waiting period for the money from sales.  I had no negative fb, no neutral fb, no problems whatsoever.  After extensive phone calls with offshore “customer service reps” and escalating to onshore “supervisors”, I closed my account.  No reason was ever given to me.  I am and have always been an ethical person and to say that I may have not been the most ethical person, as you did above – lumping all of those who left basically in that category, makes me believe I made the right choice to leave.  I don’t need the aggravation of sellers with attitudes like yours.

      • ethicsshouldmatter

        Exactly right on – if Ebay would punish UNETHICAL SELLERS AND BUYERS we would all be much happier people.  Now only sellers get punished at all, as if there were no unethical buyers LOL!

        However, ALL sellers get punished under this system.  It doesn’t matter about my 12 years of buying and selling with NO ISSUES!

        It only matters that some new buyers left me a series of 1’s under DRS’s with glowing positive feedback.  These people do not contact you – they think they are leaving secret 1’s to harm the seller or are doing it by mistake.

        Therefore, you cannot fix the “problem” and you are punished by Ebay for the secret 1’s which in many cases are not deserved!

        I’ve also had items pulled due to a  supposed recall and reported by another seller, but my particular item was NOT under recall and I am NOT allowed to relist my item, though there are others out there just like it.  I’m not allowed to know who reported my item so I can report them as an abuser!

    • Anonymous

       you need to get your thinking straight.Higher selling fees and withholding merchandise payments do not make for a better e-bay.One day E-bay will come to learn that sellers are as important as buyers.Without consignors/sellers any auction house dies.E-bay is on its way unless it smartens up

    • Lfeevey

      Horse Feathers

    • Dwangel

       We’ve been selling things on Ebay since 2002.  I can honest say that Ebay is no longer a viable market place for a lot of sellers, especially the small ones. They entirely favor the buyers.  Fees are way too high.  Ebay takes 9% on the sale and shipping fee.  Then Paypal takes another cut on the whole deal.  It usually leaves with little or no profit.  I can list an item 10 bucks on Craigslist and make $5.00.  To get to the $5.00 profit, I would need to sell for about $25 on ebay to cover ebay+paypal+shipping.

      I use a lot more Craigslist now than ever. I’d like to totally abandon Ebay if I have another option.

    • gold power seller

      there have been abusers on both sides. I am an international seller and have 100% feedback on over 10k transactions so my question is how do their rules create a more ethical seller?

       “1 day shipping guarantee or else lose your seller discount”
      “ebay collecting fees on the “free shipping”
      no negative buyer feedback from sellers

      my favorite is”New with defects” classification! They couldn’t come up with another possibility like “new with exception”? how does the word “defect” create value in the buyers mind?

      I like the integration of tools and reports, they have made improvements to the core product. Its not all bad

      Ebay appears to be reactionary and has lost site that they need to create a 2 way street. BThe seller oth the buyer and seller are target customers for ebay and the experience for both are important. 

      Please don’t forget that sellers have to make money (net) to stay a seller

    • Davefromatleboro

      Ebay’s changes have been for eBay’s pocket.Sellers like me have completely lost the ability to sell low cost items at a fair price and maintain a good rating. Add that the “Bill Me Later” policies are so one-sided – sales on items over $100 can be virtually cancelled at a buyer’s whim (and then they remove money from your account BEFORE you even get your product back!). And most disgusting to me is there are no ‘checks and balances’ on bad buyers – they can (and have) ruin a seller’s ratings (and kill a top seller’s discounts) intentionally and for no reason. Shamefull, but eBay will do absolutely nothing about these folks and it probably is because if a top seller loses their hard earned discount – ebay makes more money!
      It goes both ways though; they very rarely take action about reported seller policy violations, even if the violations are clearly fraudulent and/or illegal. They first ask “did you buy this item” and when you say ‘no because the item is a rip-off’ their interest wans. Dave

    • Lanemeyer8

       Richard must work for ebay. If you were an ebay seller you wouldnt have anything good to say. You cant fool us

    • maneki neko’s nook

      you are right on with your comments.  Too many sellers feel eBay should revolve around thier needs…but as brick and mortar stores have long realized, its the service that brings back customers.  eBay has to provide a safe and reliable selling service and in order to do this, the sellers must adhere to those standards. I think eBay’s biggest problem is communicating to seller’s why they change policy and not asking for seller input before effecting changes.  The one day shipping is a good example.  It does not take into account custom made items, or other factors that may delay shipping.   Even the US government allows for public response before laws are changed.  Maybe eBay could try this and maybe get some good ideas out of it,

      • Chris

        EBay is holding good sellers funds for 23 days, all it takes is 1 out of 99 buyers to claim “item as not described” and a sellers account goes into jeopardy.  This is tough for eBay drop stores who sell a variety of used things–funny deal is, eBay just had a huge promotion on drop stores last Spring and few of them can meet their astronomically high standards.

    •  I agree that eBay has always had its share of unethical sellers. Unfortunately, it’s also got its share of unethical buyers. And while eBay protects buyers against the bad sellers, it does NOTHING to protect sellers when confronted with dishonest buyers.

      While eBay policy states that it will not force sellers to accept returns for Buyer’s Remorse, I have NEVER had eBay take my side when a creep has filed a claim because their new quilt doesn’t match their wallpaper, when a cheap pillow isn’t as soft as they wanted, or when a customer complained a table was too small, even though the dimensions were plainly provided. And while they claim sellers don’t have to provide a refund until an item is returned, they’ll still place a hold on your account!

      And with the new return policies, I can see that it’s not far down the road that eBay will be forcing sellers to pay for return shipping costs!

      To get that all-important boost in the listings I offer free shipping by adding the cost to the BIN price, leaving many buyers to browse right past my listings. And I accept  returns for any reason because I know eBay will force me to do so anyway. And I’ve increased the return time to follow eBay requirements. That is costing me more and more money. And to repay these additional customer services I provide with a smile, eBay raises my fees, and then takes away my best match boost and my TRS discount I worked so damned hard to earn! As a drop-shipper, there will never be a time when I can offer 1-day shipping, so I’m left in the dust with an incredible additional cost and low visibility. I’ve had one negative fb in the last year from a customer who never contacted me, and I have 4.95 to 5.0 in all of my stars. I have ZERO 1s, 2s, or 3s in shipping time because I’m honest with my buyers. And if I lose a sale because of my shipping time, shouldn’t that be my cross to bear? Do I REALLY need eBay to punish me so severely on top of it?

      Okay, enough of the ranting. The fact is, there are more honest, ethical sellers like me who work their cans off to make sure every customer is happy than there are dishonest sellers. Yet eBay continues to punish us while letting buyers pull every trick in the book to get items free or discounted. THAT’S the reason for the exodus because the dishonest people on all sides always will be able to get away with their crap. Why continue to sell on eBay when they’re continuously making it harder and harder to make a profit, even a small one?

    • dave

      your right richard must wiork for ebay,or he would have nothing good to say about them-as i don’t

    • Jan

      Are you for real. About 95% of the sellers in ebay are good sellers. And we are the ones complaining. If ebay has a problem with a seller they can close their account after an investigation. And I mean one where the seller has the right to produce his evidence too. Which the sellers today don’t get to do. Anyways, I came from a family of restaurant owners and our moto was the customer is always right. But we came to find out that sometimes there are customers are not right and we had to fight back. A man came in every week at noon and wanted breakfast. He knew we couldn’t service breakfast because we had a small kitchen and a big notice above the kitchen said no breakfast after 11:30am. One day he got down right nasty. He started to call all of the waitresses and cooks a bunch of names. In our day cursing at someone was not allowed. My father finally had enough from this guy. The police were called and this man was ordered to not return to our place of business. I’m 63 now and still feel that the customer is right but if they are doing me wrong, I will fight for my rights and right now Ebay isn’t giving me any rights.

    • Goldengems10

      What a load of rot No the ppl leaving are NOT all bad sellers etc as you have implied they are ppl whom have had a gut full of buyers that know how to get away with ripping off the sellers with charge backs etc so pleaseeeeeee ,add that to a company that treat’s them like dirt. I have sold and still have an account with ebay + a 100% feedback but i tell you i know more thiefs as buyers then i know as sellers and thats the Gods honest truth
      Phew! some ppl just dont get it, do you ! are you really saying the 380,000 sellers whom left ebay around 4 years ago due to the companies way of treating them and the high fee’s costings from Feebay and paypal  another ebay owned company they are the thieves not the seller that amount of ppl cant all be wrong can they?

  • Peterwilmott

    Ebay helped me get started and without them I would have got nowhere.However,they now take so much of my profit that I make next to nothing for all my investment and work.the result is that I opened my own internet shop and make more profit in one sale than I do on 20 in ebay.
    I paid Ebay more than £4000 in fees last year but in a couple of years time they will be getting perhaps 10% of that.- Where is the logic behind it? Have Ebay not heard of “The Law of Diminishing Returns?)
    I hope someone agrees with me!

    • X_midnight_boutique

       Sadly I do. I am a stay at home mom. i decided to have a home business when i was pregnant 7 years ago. I started with Ebay in 1999 but really never sell much before. It was well, until the day they removed negative feedbacks for buyers , then things went downhill. Since then, i opened two online stores instead. I use ebay for the 50 free listings each month sometimes less, but i am still a powerseller and toprated seller, but not for long. I dont accept returns, since i make my own stuff to sell. I also dont accept any international buyers. Ebay told me they would resolve issues with them if it’s due to custom duty and tax but never did. So i just dont do business internationally anymore. I now have a long list of subscribers outside of Ebay and love selling outside of Ebay. I do have more buyers now asking if they can buy directly from me or shop instead of Ebay. So I agree with you!!

      • Anonymous

        Almost 40% of our business on eBay is in interantional sales. I don’t get at all why you had issues with customs/duty, etc. International shipping under certain amounts don’t even have a duty assessed. Any international buyer of ours always understood any monies owed due to customs, etc was over and above anything we charged. As for the feedback issue, I was really angry when they changed that. However, that being said, it made me a more conscientious seller and I haven’t had a negative in well over a year. If I do get that grumpy, unhappy customer I realize that most people who check feedback understand that you can’t make everyone happy. If you have a lot of positives and only a few negatives, real people understand.

    • Jan

      Boy, do I. I sell something on ebay and they get $20, paypal gets $10 and I make $6. Where’s the logic in that. The seller is doing all the work, they should be getting the $20 and Ebay should get the $10 and paypal the $6.

      • Nickfararis

        on eBay on going unfair and needed changes & recent gauging play  sold  the other day I sold an item for $67.56   their goes $9.78 in fees  between PayPal and eBay

  • smallsellerabused

    I have not been an ebay seller as long as most. My experience has been the last two years. I have grown from a person who was liquidating collections for my parents, to relying on ebay as my primary income. I am a Bronze Top-Rated Power Seller with 100% positive feedback with a score of around 1350. I’m not a complete newby.

    My gripe/beef/concern with ebay is its obsession with buyers. My experience has been so horrible with ebay, I am willing to say that ebay treats me (seller) as disposable. Ebay consistently makes decisions that hurt my business. They always side with buyers even when I have done nothing wrong like when international postal services lose a package. They violate their own policies with regard to communication. Their Seller Outreach Team has scheduled 3 appointments with me and never kept one of them. Ebay has promised at the end of nearly every phone call to send me an email (after confirming my email address) and I have NEVER recieved one of them. If someon complains about a listing they take it down immediately without asking me about which is completely against the idea of due process. They invest all IT resources in buyer related “enhancements(?)” and never fix seller related tools like the listing tool. I could go on and on but you get the picture.

    Before turning to ebay for my income. I worked 17 years one of the largest insurance companies in the world and later state government. If I had ever treated one of our insurance agents or a constituent the way I get treated by ebay, someone would have fired me.

    My belief is that ebay can treat whoever it wants however they want because there is no real competition. With all due respect, etsy & amazon are a joke for sellers like me and I no longer waste my time there. ebay is the only game in the digital world for small sellers like me. And unless I get a viable alternative where I can go to make a living, they have the iron fist and will pound as often as they want. The only realistic chance to bring sanity to ebay for sellers is if and when the Justice Department starts to care about their market practices It happened to M-soft and I am hopeful they will see how ebay acts as well.

    In the meantime I will tolerate the poor treatment as a cost of doing business. When it gets to be too much, I imagine I will walk away and some other small junk dealer will take my place to replace the income to ebay. SSDD. Sad

    • Gadgettr6

      I was an ebay power seller with $150,000 in sales on ebay.  When Meg retired the new guys from NY came in and uped fee’s.  My cost of listing and selling on eBay literally doubled in one month.  I had to close my business because of this.  They later lowered fees and changed how some fee’s are charged.  That is great now but I am already out.  I think the guys that came in went into the banking business after the left Ebay and look at the mess there.

    • Dbrnmac

      I couldn’t agree more. As I enter my second full year of selling full time on ebay, I feel that I am more of an annoyance to the company than a contributor of profit. Trying to address valid concerns as a customer is almost impossible. I find myself talking to someone who repeats everything I say and then pauses for uncomfortable periods of time, in the end, resolving nothing. I may be in the minority, but I don’t begrudge the fees. It is still conservative compared to taking on rent, advertising etc. What I do begrudge, is that ebay believes that my primary customer is their primary customer, and therefore, doesn’t develop the relationship with their true primary customer, the seller. I will say, that since I stopped worrying about arbitrary rules and carrot on a stick benefits, it allows me to better focus on creating a business, with or without ebay’s assistance.

    • Michelleslayton

       Give Amazon another shot!  I am a semi-veteran full time eBay seller (10 years), and began to look for alternative sales channels for the same concerns you have, and more.  This is my third year selling on Amazon and as of today over a third of my sales have migrated there.  I’m loving it.  What made you give up? 

      • Anonymous

        For my particular business, used and rare books, Amazon sucks as a marketplace.  The database they use is totally corrupted – which makes for unhappy customers.  I personally will not buy a book there from a 3rd party seller myself since they don’t allow sellers to describe correctly, make eBay’s fees look reasonable, and don’t allow enough room for proper images and description.  I only buy new books from Amazon directly (small town, no new book stores left where I live) if they’re for me alone to read where I don’t care about edition and tiny damage during shipping. 

        At any rate, Amazon does not allow sellers to correct their corrupted book database (if any are crazy enough to do it for free for them) – I’m talking primarily pre-ISBN books (pre-1980) and Amazon will not believe sellers or publishers that ISBNs are used on all editions of a particular book and many times get reused on entirely different books. Books, just like all collectibles and antiques, are a knowledge-based product.  They are not interchangeable widgets.  When condition and edition are the primary value of a book, there’s just no way book collector customers will buy from Amazon – so Amazon bought ABEbooks which once did a good job in that respect – but is in the process now of also ruining ABE.  Think of valuable books getting tossed in bins and getting mold in uncooled and unheated warehouses if you go the fulfilled by Amazon route.  Those warehouses make both products for sale and the contractors handling them (they get fired before becoming employees) sick and beat-up.

        Both eBay and Amazon are okay for brand new widget items where one doesn’t differ from another in any respect other than perhaps size for clothes and where temps/environment don’t ruin the product  And eBay is more reasonable on low priced goods re fees than Amazon is.  Amazon claims 15% fees, but by the time they take part of selling price, take the same percent commission straight to the top of whatever price it is if an expensive item, and make sellers fund their A-Z buyer protection fund, it adds up to more 25-30% cost to sellers. 

        eBay used to rule the marketplace on items where those differences counted.  Blows me away that they are giving away that marketplace trying to be Amazon-lite when Amazon tried and failed miserably to be eBay-lite.  Amazon has the new product marketplace, or that where every used item is alike, sewed up.  eBay’s MBAs are deliberately putting eBay in harm’s way for short-term profits – not sensible unless all they care about is their current bonuses (isn’t that the story everywhere with giant corporations?).

        All boils down to the MBAs thinking the only profit is in selling zillions of like items for $1 each (meanwhile getting rid of millions of jobs so there’s less demand since people have less disposable income – if any (jobs as sellers, and jobs for people wanting to be buyers).  For myself, I’d rather sell one $250 item (described precisely and correctly and with full guarantees to the buyer, as always) than bother with listing and shipping 250 items where I don’t have time or knowledge to learn if what I’m selling is really what I say it is.

        eBay used to be my 2nd best selling venue (after my own site – which Google’s new rules of also trying to place sellers in the position of using the same corrupted databases is starting to make a hard way to go unless you pay for their outrageously expensive and now mostly ineffective ads).  And Google ripped off U.S. libraries by copying all their older books ‘to make knowledge available to all for free’ and using those supposed-to-be-public-asset to sell extremely poorly photocopied print-on-demand books for $8.99!  Talk about ripping off  the U.S. and its citizens’ assets!  They sure aren’t ‘do no evil’ any more. :>)

        The internet used to be fun and valuable to everyone – and IMHO much more honest, and certainly less intrusive about personal privacy.  Sure, a few bad apples – but they were pretty easy to spot up till a couple of years back. Now it’s all about collecting a few cents on every eyeball, and collecting and selling ‘our’ personal data whether or not we want them to.  Seller or buyer – we’re all just prospective profit points now with no rights.

        All that long-winded bit above to say it isn’t only an eBay problem.  It is a problem of monetizing the internet for short-term private profit, and to heck with the peoples’ rights – sellers and buyers – trying to use it responsibly and have a bit of fun doing so.  All this talk about protecting buyers is just a red herring to get their $ as fast as possible.

        • Texan

           Amen to

        • Anonymous

           “And Google ripped off U.S. libraries by copying all their older books
          ‘to make knowledge available to all for free’ and using those
          supposed-to-be-public-asset to sell extremely poorly photocopied
          print-on-demand books for $8.99!  Talk about ripping off  the U.S. and
          its citizens’ assets!”

          I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been reading Nicholson Baker’s “Double Fold”, and I’d recommend the tale it tells to any used book seller, or interested US citizen, for that matter. Because of the knowledge-for-free business, millions of dollars’ worth of public property has been destroyed in the process of scanning, because books originally purchased by the public were simply chopped open at the spine to facilitate the scan of their pages. Meanwhile, both public and academic libraries, confident that all of this “free” knowledge is available to everyone, to be curated forever, by Google, in the goodness of its warped little heart, have been very busy dumping their physical books and bound periodicals into the eBay market. Old and rare books on eBay constitute the sweetest buyers’ market I think I’ve ever seen.

        • Nickfarairs

           Mr. unconvinced333 I don’t see why u cant edit any details on any book or item u list on amazon thru correction update products  dept

      • Jan

        Because Amazon is no better than Ebay. I had both Amazon and Ebay for years. Amazon closed me down without any justification. No word either that they were considering it. Just closed me and said I couldn’t sell anymore. I’m a dropshipper and all my products come from the suppliers. I sold just about everything but they said my dvds were not good. I bought my dvds from a license qualified dealer but Amazon wouldn’t even allow me to prove it. Yet every week I check and see that the same sellers selling the same products are still doing business. I word from a buyer seems to be enough for Amazon to close you down. In Ebay it’s the same way. They don’t allow us sellers to prove that a buyers remarks should be removed. I just had a seller who ordered a motorcycle vest for his wife. When she got it, it was too tight and short. The customer asked to return it, I said I would get him an RMA number, which he received within 2 business days. When he received the RMA there was a note stating that he could be charged a 20% restock fee. He blew up at me. The RMA came from the supplier. I had already told the buyer he would get a full refund but he forgot that and left me negative feedback. He said it was not as described, which was a lie because it came as described. He said he was treated real bad. I’ve never treated real bad and my emails to this guy proved it but Ebay said they couldn’t remove the negative feedback because it’s his point of view. And that I had a great rating, it didn’t make much difference to change the feedback. What Ebay is missing is all it takes is 3 customers to give a negative feedback like his to put you out of business. I work about 14-16 hours a day to make sure my customers get the best results from their purchase but Ebay ignores this and allows buyers to lie to get a full refund. I paid the guy his refund but when I got the money back from the supplier they remove the cost to ship the product back. I lost all around on this and the funny thing is that in all my listings, everything I’ve said here is in the listing. Like this:
        Unless otherwise posted, all sales are final. Please contact us before sending any item back. All returns will require a RMA number. If your item is defective or damaged you must contact us to get an RMA number. You may return damaged items to us within a period of 30 days after you have been assigned a RMA number. Shipping costs are non-refundable.

        I have also read some of the new rules that Ebay is imposing on us come June and now we have to refund immediately not once the item is returned. That means the customer can get his refund and the seller has no recourse if the customer doesn’t return the item. They can keep it and say that they shipped it and keep their refund. I do not like these new rules. They are taking my 20% discount away, making me refund immediately and give the seller no recourse to battle the lies of the buyers. Not at all fair.

        • Anonymous

          Jan, I think you’re wrong about the “immediate refund”. eBay won’t issue a refund of your money, Paypal does. Paypal won’t until the buyer provides a tracking number. eBay’s “buyer protection” pays out if the seller refuses to.  I too, used to worry about the negative feedbacks, but once I stopped worrying about all the small stuff and concentrated on doing what I needed to do, things were much less stressful. Yes, eBay does make the seller go the extra mile, and the little DSR thing is very damaging, but when weighing the cost of doing business in a local location, rent/overhead, etc and a limited market eBay is still a far better option. Their fees along with Paypal’s add up to just over 20%. If anyone consigned their items to be sold they’d lose at least 30%.

          • disgrutledebayer

            With all due respect you are full of balogne, ebay ie. PAYPAL becaues they are one in the same, has on every occasion put a hold on the money in Paypal IMMEDIATELY upon a customer starting the complaint process.  In our case we have a 99.8 rating, and 5 stars across the board.  The customer complaints we have had are just stupid things like they cahnaged thier mind and want a refund, or they found a simiar product at a store and thought we sold it for too much, of course with ebay new policies we imbed the ship cost and buyers equate the whole price to the actual price believing the shipping really is free!  Our goal is to get off ebay as soon as we can, but Amazon is WORSE in my opinion, as their fees are nearly criminal, and I just LOVE the way they go below MAP restrictions with impunity and sell through their own AMAZON inventory undercutting us to the point where they are selling $100 items for a 2$ profit.

    • Kittys_jewelry

      Absolutely. My husband and I run a very small hand made jewelry and clothing business out of our home. We are trying to use Yardsellr as opposed to e bay. We have had a little luck but not major.

    • hvnhelpme

      The fees add up rather quickly, but are still reasonable.  If you use good judgement, you can keep them as low as possible.  My one BIG complaint is the fee on our shipping charges which often cause me to lose money on that part of the sale.  The only other complaint I have is the fact that we can lose our 20% discount because a buyer feels our shipping is too high (as we cannot control the actual cost of shipping) or they don’t feel we communicated enough and give us low DSR ratings.

  • I used to use ebay all the time. But, now I feel like I put more money into it then I get back. A few months ago I sold about 100 dollars and then my ebay fee was 100 dollars. So essentially I’ve only been paying the seller fees with my sales. It does not help me if I want to make an income at selling on ebay. I think Ebay is going to need to make some changes if they want to keep the sellers and buyers happy. 

    I sell on Amazon but again only sell low end books and don’t make much profit. 

    • SouthernChick

      I used to sell a lot of items on Ebay & very little on Amazon.  I sold items at Christmas time via Ebay & they actually sold my auction for less than the reserveI had paid for.  I did get my money refunded for my complete auction, and was able to escape negative feedback, but took me about 4 hours & 5 phone calls to get it done. After this, I was still willing to do business through them, but then they raised the fees and want to charge me for final Value Fees on shipping?  Excuse me, but I bought the goods, took the pictures, created the listing, and packaged the item.  The buyer has paid me for shipping the item (that they have bought) to them, what has Ebay done to earn Final Value Fee on my shipping?  I think I have done all the work here!
      I have skipped selling on Ebay, and I might or might not continue to do so. I am very upset with the fee structures they currently have. 
      Amazon is who I am selling mostly through right now, and it’s mostly books, not special books, just the normal ones with a few textbooks thrown in. I am currently having a problem with a buyer who bought a book from me that he apparently sold to someone else who says they did not receive the book, and refunded to his buyer.  I was able to get a real person on the phone from Amazon in about 5 minutes, and he says not to refund anything until the buyer (my buyer) returns the book, and that he would have to submit some type of request/claim, and they will not ask me to refund anything without my book being returned to me. I personally wrapped the book myself and took it to the post office myself as I do with all my packages, so I know I held up my end of the deal.
      Has anyone dealt with this with Amazon before?  I unfortunately cannot track this package, but the nice lady at the post office has given me a phone number to call to do an inquiry on it-more about that later.

      • Nickfararis

         well said Christina I deal with amazon buyers more than the rubbish buyers
        receive it and Denny it    I bet that book was like below &10.00 ? if u dont have tracking number you are automatically responsible for delivery confirmation
        I have been thru situation like that  but I learned to elude the buyer and makes him think I actually know he/ she received the parcel   “by writing back
        the parcel in non regional parcel got traceability report issued just yesterday please double check on who picked it in to your home”  usually they email u same day they received it or few days after they received it   it worked every time even the last attempts was from an amazon buyer $36.00  book and I lost to ebay buyer a $10 silver ring but I know I,m losing it so I drags her claim it from a month
        I know she received it  the s

  • Speedzone1557

    Been on ebay literally since the 5th MONTH they existed and been a large seller there since they entered their 2nd year of existence.

    I absolutely, positively DESPISE THEM now and everything they stand for.
    They are the largest group of LIARS, THEIVES AND CON ARTISTS ON THE ENTIRE PLANET,

    There is NOTHING what so ever good to say about the site or company these days and until John Donahue is literally strung up in the town square like the lying thieving piece of scum rot he is nothing will change there.

    By comparison I LOVE Amazon, they treat me as a valued Customer/Seller, DON’T lie to me, don’t word things in double speak and try to make it sound like a ‘good’ change when in fact it’s nothing but yet ANOTHER cost increase –
    They treat sellers in an honest point blank manner and like valued parts of the site…
    The list goes on and on of the differences between the 2 sites and ebay doesn’t posses even a tiny fraction of the integrity that Amazon does so the need to give up on trying to be like Amazon – THEY DON’T HAVE THE INTELLIGENCE, HONESTY OR INTEGRITY TO PULL IT OFF.

    The sooner ebay slinks off into the failed ‘experiment’ sunset the BETTER for ALL, buyers and sellers alike.

    Sign me,

    • len walton

      Ive got to say i agree with you , Its about time sellers had some rights too , since when is an auction by a private listing a shop with shop rules , I go to my local auction and its buyer beware only bid what you think its worth , if ebay was a true auction it would function the same , but its just a money printing machine for share holders with no concern for the people making the money for them .

    • Anonymous

      Amazon has integrity?  First I’ve heard of it and I’ve sold off (mostly) and on there since they started business.

    • Flossyflog

      You have your opinion and I have mine but I HATE Amazon. They cheat you out of money and the FBA is horrible. They say items are hazardous but how can a fruit peeler be hazardous? They take too long to answer the phone when you have a question. I will NOT sell on Amazon. eBay is for me.

    • smartsellerabused


    • Goldengems10

      “”Speedzone1557- how very true,Most ebay sellers despise ebay as it no longer stands for anything at all for the SELLER that is
      If u r the buyer well everything is rolled out for you no costs applied LOL!!
      Ebay just doesnt understand or care that without sellers there is NO EBAY and by the way ebay do the buyers pay u 1 cent? NO we do the poor sellers whom are ripped off by you everyway but which Phew!
      As for Amazon i dont have a clue so cant comment but i wish u luck as i now refuse to sell due to all the 1 way rules and fee’s ebay applys to its faithful sellers they run us into the ground where we end up working for around $1.00 per listing whilst they continue to fill there own pockets over and over with the other companies and there fee’s all associatted with ebay
      Good Luck for the future

    • Nickfararis

      I couldn’t agree no more amazon will prevail and eBay like they say every big dog has its day and that day its with in sight seen because all sellers don’t give rat about it 
      the depicting amazon in every way that’s right there shows they are fake

  • While I love u Kat and appreciate your diplomatic approach I completely DISAGREE with your final conclusion. Personally the platform eBay or Amazon is NO excuse for some of the vitriol hurled at employees, bloggers, writers and news reporters who have been attacked without provoke. It is equivalent to a school yard bully and has no place in HUMAN society, let alone on a blog post comment about eBay.

    I just don’t think you need to be that way toward one another over a simple difference of opinion or having an opposing point of view. Intelligence welcomes challenges to long thought norms. The only way for us to grow is by taking in opinions that differ and objectively analyzing and processing them. Then, based on the input and your own experience, you make a determination based on evidence.

    NO where in that process does name calling, mud-slinging, threats and being inhumane get a “pass”. If you are being a bully, it is because YOU need work, not the others around you. The problem is normally in the mirror. Stop looking to blame others, just focus on the you Mr & Mrs Bully. 

    That is my 2 cents and YES it is way over priced!

    • Wisdom also knows when to leave well enough alone…changes that are for beefing up the bottom line for the corps are going to be mighty unpopular with just about anyone with a pulse. Feebay is killing the market, not saving it…many just stopped selling all together. Even more have stopped buying. I read your comment and sir (3 times), and you stated nothing on point in three paragraphs.

      I’ve noticed the only ones who are pro eBay are likely shills, either having been paid by them at some time, or are presently taking a check on the side. Typically on the ebay forums they have little or no feedback, yet understand all too well how the company works and are able to drop confusing and often contradictory comments, further muddling already cloudy fee/policy issues. That’s not paranoia, I’m just not very gullible. 

      It’s become a monolithic monster which is dominating ecommerce with business practices that would make a robber baron of the 19th century blush. Frankly, I’ve queried a friend who is a DOJ prosecutor as to why (& how) they got past anti-trust violations back with the PayPal only nonsense. It’s my understanding the bell may toll for Donohue and the rest of his criminal band, (including Meg Whitman) at some point after all. 

      Spare us your bully pulpit rhetoric. No one is buying it any longer, we’ve been lied to for far too long.

      • Jacob…you know what…I AGREE with you that MANY (not most) have been or are taking checks. But bro…WE ALL ARE taking checks from eBay if you sell, sold, were selling, what ever, we all got eBay “checks” and I have all of mine, LMAO. 

        I agree that there are some “on the payroll cheerleaders” for hire. Who will not express a negative opinion on eBay even if they saw the knife in your back and it had the logo on the handle LOL … I get it!!! I too have called foul on eBay many  times, if I dont like something. But it is NOT PERSONAL, nor should it be. Just cause you play for the Patriots and I am a Giants fan, dont mean we cant have a beer.

        This is NOT world war III and as such just does not need all the mud slinging, personal stuff. That is all. You have the right to disagree with anyone and I do too. We are all entitled to opinons with out all the finger pointing. Just state the case, and disagree.


    • Cliff

      Right…I mean please…I think this topic just naturally attracts highly neurotic and rigid minded folks who probably just experience a reflection of their natures.  I had isues with feedback limitations in the beginning but as a result of being on both sides as a seller and a buyer I completely concur that the buyer needs to feel secure.  I have a 100% rating with nearly 5 stars and the feedback has made me a better seller.  My customers are always happy and I have never had the loss of an international package.  I have had irate customers who I simply refund and never have an issue.  If you are a seller you can not forget the number one rule of business:  Sellers exist to bring you money?….NO THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  And believe it or not people rarely try to get over on me.  But give the people what they want and fine tune your skills to razor sharp and you will have staggering success.  But some people should not be in business for themselves.  That belongs to a certain type with infinite flexibility and a desire for self fulfillment that can not be had in any other venue. 

      • Jan

        Well you are lucky because I give all of my customers very good customer service but it seems like when I’m about to get a couple of negatives off my account, someone always has to file a complain or leave negative feedback for no reason. You say give a refund and everyones happy. Here’s one for you. A man bought a leather vest for his wife. The listing says it runs a little small so to order slightly larger but he doesn’t. The wife hates it because it’s too small and short. Customer contacts me and within 2 business days he got the RMA to ship back. Now I’ve already told this customer that I would refund his full amount even though my listing says that buyer is responsible for the shipping fees and all sales are final. Anyways, he filed a complaint which locked up my paypal. He shipped the vest back but because the RMA said there COULD BE a restocking fee, he got made. I already told him I would refund the full amount but I guess he forgot. Anyways, once I went into ebay, I found the section where I could give him a refund (which no one in ebay told me about when I called them several time) and I did. This man then leaves me negative feedback saying I was the worse sellers he’s ever seen. He only had feedback of 12. So how would he know if I was the worse and since I did everything within the time limit, I actually gave him good customer service. After all I have about 14 emails to prove that I was on top of things. I contacted ebay and they said it was his opinion. How could it be an opinion when he expected me to do more than what is required. Buyers are getting a big head on their shoulders when they know they can mistreat the seller and get a way with it. And then to once I got him cleared up, after 2 weeks, I finally got my money back from the supplier minus the $16 to ship the vest back to them. I can’t even sell my item if I use the $16 for shipping. Everyone would go to the lowest price. So, I lost completely on this and got a negative. With one from last year still on my account, I can’t afford another negative, then I have to pay for my products to ship and wait until the item is delivered. Ebay won’t accept the fact that the item shipped with a tracking. I have to wait about 1 1/2 weeks to get my money. All of this was set up by ebay and none of it benefits the sellers.

      • Anonymous

        Cliff: you are 100% spot on!

    • Actually, I AGREE with ya John 🙂  Isn’t it you that taught me, “It’s your business; not your baby?” 

      This post was just trying to understand where such hatred and venom was coming from.

      • here are some reason “where is the venom comeing from? they can leave feedback, sellers can not, WHY? if they do not pay, are rude liers sellers have a right to know who there selling to i want to know who and what im selling too.
         And talk about one sided i have closed out 25 no pays this month why because they can get away with this they can out bid everyone and not pay and sellers are not aware that these people are like this.
        As far as takeing shipping fees, “it is extortion of our funds!!! how in the hell can they charge us for a service we do not pay for the buyer pays its another ebay thieft and i have to say this one really makes me mad for everyone that sells and if you people are not mad that they are ripping us off then your dumb, just dumb…. There excuse to being thiefs is because good sellers have to pay for the bad sellers who are rip offs on shipping have you ever heard such garbage in your life so there going to rip us off for sellers ripping off people NONSENCE! as Judge Judy would say.
        Some buyer says i don’t want this vase i want my money back its broke and i want you to pay return shipping or im going to open a case if it was broke in shipping that is why you get it ins but buyers want you to pay for the post office carelessness you tell them take it to the post office your ins but they want you to pay them or leave you a neg. Sound like blackmail to me, what about you.
        then we go to we work for ebay no we don’t they do not pay us or punch a time card we are independent contractors read the law what we really do is rent a page or site you have to follow there rules or leave. if anything they work for the seller because with out us they have no ebay get it no seller no ebay……….. and holding our funds while a case is pending which the buyer is going to win anyway even if there liers and stealing from us how about you sell a radio lets say some guy only needs one part from it then tells you he wants his money back and you have to give it or get neg or case filed which he is going to win so now your out an item shipping packing and he has a new raidio or here is one a girl wants a prom dress wears it then wants her money back the next day and her punch is all over it so she files a case that the dress was stained so under ebay blackmail your out a 200.00 dress and the list of wrongs they do to us goes on and on.. 
         I hate to tell you this but it happens all the time people

    • Anonymous

      John as always your comments are right on target.

  • Cardinal5

    Everytime there is an update it hurts the seller.

    Everytime their profits drops they raise fees.


    I charge way more for shipping now after last springs “free shiping policy” and have never received even one negative or a 1-2 DSR.

    Also everytime they do something like this….I make more money. …….

    Why?……they are running sellers off. More for me

    I never meet anyone that sells anymore that has a good word to say about ebay

  • Scott

    I find Amazon to be madening, particularly their shipping cost determining matrix.  Ebays shipping is so easy by comparison.

  • Miriam Otto

    I completely agree.  eBay started out as a free-for-all.  Amazon didn’t.  Now eBay has to play catch-up and people aren’t used to it. 

    In many ways, they’re two completely different marketplaces.  Most of the items I sell on eBay aren’t allowed on Amazon. I don’t love everything eBay does, but there’s plenty of money to be made on the site.  You just have to know what sells.        

    • Roseoftheshires

      Ebay should be really concerned about how their sellers and revenue providers feel about them as set out in these comments. It sems to me however, that they don’t show any concern whatever, yet constantly ask for completion of feedback questionaires, so cannot say they don’t know how they are viewed by shop holders & regular sellers.
       One day, I hope, a credible alternative to Ebay will emerge and they will pay the price for treating their business sellers with such disdain. 

  • eBetsy


    Good insights – and I second your recommendation of Adam Cohen’s definitive eBay bio, The Perfect Store. I think the tone of the comments here bears out your case. 

    But I like and would reiterate John “ColderIce” Lawson’s points about all the venom and vitriol crossing the line into virtual bullying. Personally, I quit posting to a popular daily ecommerce news site because my occasional comments drew so much ire and downright ugliness (when one hater mentioned something about, “yeah, and she has a pink Segway”, that was a little too personal – and ridiculous – for me). 

    The eBay forums are full of negativity as well – a very counterproductive way to spend one’s valuable time, imho. The eBay Radio “Super-Secret” Chat Board is a complete exception and a shining example of what community and community support  should be all about. (And I would say this even if I wasn’t part of the eBay Radio team, because I originally was and still am a big fan of eBay Radio!)

    You can’t take what eBay does personally. It’s not about you; it’s about business. As for my business, I will continue to keep it on eBay; to be guided by the original and eternally true Community Values; and to believe that the World’s Online Marketplace is the best place to be. That’s not to say I won’t ever put some eggs in other baskets, but I will always love eBay first and most. It’s got soul and history, both of which “the river” lacks.

    • RIght Betsy, you know “momma bear” Kat, she just making peace. You guys … Kat, Griff, Lee, yourself have just been like the sweetest people. If they spent 2 minutes with any of you guys they would see you mean them no ill will. Plus you are just cute 🙂 LOL

    • Thank you for the comments, eBetsy, this has truly been an education for me. 🙂

      And I drive a Hyundai Sante Fe, just for the record. 

  • Dirtcheap Deal

    I suppose I hate eBay as much as any other power seller. I have a number of items that require special handling or production. Now I am being penalized for not offering 1 day handling. They are definitely not Mensa candidate’s, to be sure.

    But at least they don’t compete with mo on items I sell. Heck, they buy from my suppliers, then sell at wholesale. If I am stupid enough to sell the same item, they charge me a fee. They can rot in Gehenna for all I care. I won’t touch them with an 11 foot pole.

    Fortunately, I have many buyers who are repeat customers and buy from me off eBay.

  • R G

    1.  For people for whom Ebay is our only income we are affected by new ebay employees in management (I guess) who (may never) have used ebay and are not aware of how badly some buyers and their cultish circles can damage the heart and mind of some ebay sellers in collectibles/paper related for example.  I took a $500 loss in damages done to one of my items due to ebay’s return policy.  And to add insult Paypal froze the funds.  This after having 100% integrity on Ebay for 14 years.  Painting all of ebay with one broad brush (for returns) is insane and unfair with penalites and no rewards if one doesn’t submit to ebay’s wrong  (though seemingly right sounding policy ((words like citizen’s united when it’s really corporate control to excess)) leaves me with only the desire to run and not look back.  Why because it takes away what little power I have over my auctions and store.  So instead of getting a $200 store I am beginning to sell everywhere else.  The vitriol I hear and have heard for over 14 years I may soon join the chorus of.  The emotional pain ebay has caused me at every level has been akin to being in a car accident at 120 miles an hour.   Getting your auctions bought on Ebay is a difficult chore.  To have Ebay actively work against me is more than I can handle.  Made me want to commit suicide.  Wonder how many others are disenfranchised by unconscious new policy that is merely a hardship for honest hard working sellers (who are also buyers).  Mainly it is having “no returns” was a way to stop disingenuous competitor buyers from buying from us. Thus saving me time and aggravation. Sellers give ebay a lot of money.  And the rewards are minimal for the amount of work done.  Hey do I exist?  You see choice is freedom and ebay has too much power over me. Is there somewhere to go? (Fight or flight seems to be the only choice). Don’t hate. Don’t let others feed off your emotions.

  • Trolleyhouse1

    I always get a kick out of the self professed experts.  When Ebay started adding a % of shipping to their fees I had to add 20% to shipping costs (10% to ebay, 4% to paypal, 4% to paypal when I send the payment to the shipper, and 3% to cover the commission on the commission).  A chair to CA that costs $100 to ship has to be charged at $120 shipping to cover Ebay and 2 Paypal Fees.  A sideboard that costs $700 to ship to Washington State has to be billed at $840 to break even.  Ebay charges extra for shipping fees and we have to pass it on.  Buyers get upset with the shipping fees and leave bad DSR’s
    Now all a buyer has to do is day that the sideboard to Washington was not as described and we have to pay shippng both ways.  $1680 round trip shipping on a piece I made $75 on is “why bother”.  The con buyers, who we’ve all dealt with, are lickng their chops.  “Give me a discount and I’ll Keep it”, “donate it to a charity of my choice and I won’t give bad feedback”.  I had one piece returned because it was in better shape than described.

  • Ebay has lost that personal touch long back. It’s policies related to feedback , buyer protection do little to make sellers comfortable. 

    Ebay was always a place for goods where you get value for money and where small entrepreneurs thrived with innovative product mix and bargain prices… but it seems now the CEO of ebay thinks ebay should be a dumping ground for last years boxed retail items and sellers must upload tracking info and do 10 other things before they are rated anywhere near top rated.

    so basically ebay wants to become an online retailer fixated on UPC and MPC codes and move away from niche items and innovative sellers.

    Additionally they have a very confused policy on duplicate items and then they try to come up with free auction days to offset slump in sales.  Making auctions free but not allowing duplicates with different ending times causes sellers to be unable to utilize the free auction days to their advantage.

    If shooting themselves in the foot has an analogy then ebay’s definitely a good company for that and they do it every quarter with more policy changes.

  • Bobonit

    Don’t know much about Amazon, and don’t really care. Ebay on the other hand has been screwing with their sellers for many years. How can you expect people not to be angry when you can’t even leave feedback for a bad buyer and ebay/paypal will steal money out of your pocket to give back to crooked buyers at the mere inkling of a complaint. Is that fair to the seller? Then to charge 15% total fees and monitor how much the seller can charge the buyer for shipping and handling…… what do you expect?
    Of course we are angry. It’s not all about ownership, it’s about RESPECT and ebay respecting the people who made it what it is today. All that I see is that ebay f’s over it’s seller base (the one’s left) for the benefit of the buyers. 
    If ebay realized that their sellers make the site and not their shareholders, their shares might actually increase, but like so many politically correct things these days, they choose to take the path that it is easier to work with (the scammers and dishonest buyers) than it is to work with honest hard working sellers.
    They need to stop allowing all the fake merchandise on there as well. They have already let the chinese ruin the whole coin collecting hobby by not policing their own site for fakes and fraud.
    Had enough yet? 

  • SadEbaySeller

    I think you have a VERY good point, Kat. I’ve been on ebay for around 12 years, and it had a completely different feel to it years ago (especially for sellers) than it does now. As a top-rated seller, I receive a 20% discount on final value fees, however, I just discovered recently that since ebay started charging fees on S&H, they do NOT include final value fees on shipping when applying the 20% discount. Semantics. You will not find this explained on any ebay help pages and I find this appalling. I’ve never agreed with ebay’s decision to charge fees on S&H (although I do understand them wanting to eliminate fee avoidance). In fact, I don’t see how it is even legal! In any case, most items I sell net me about 60% of the total sale price after all fees and S&H. Can’t compete if I raise my prices. My business has dwindled dramatically over the past two years (I don’t have inventory that is even WORTH putting up for sale after fees & S&H.).I’m sure ebay doesn’t care and they won’t miss me one bit. So sad. Smallsellerabused said it all perfectly. What I’d like to see? Ebay shut down for atleast two weeks to a month – forcing all of us to find an alternate venue! Otherwise, I guess I’ll continue taking all the bad, bad, bad with the VERY little good just like everyone else…and keep on keepin’ on…

  • vintagepaperbacks

    I started selling books on Amazon in 1999, the same year I started buying on eBay. I eventually grew to where i sold thousands and thousands of books on Amazon, until the end of 2004, when I sold my entire inventory of 6,000+ books for a mere $2,000. Meanwhile, I had my first eBay sale in 2001, or so eBay says. I believe it was earlier, before they were keeping data. Anyway, for at least 3 & 1/2 years, i was listing and/or revising/undercutting my prices every single day. I was selling strongly on BOTH venues. Talk about trying to balance time and inventory!!

    I disagree with your theory, big time. I’m not going to get deep here, because I’m busy and also typing on my iPad, but for ME, I HATED eBay, and especially back in my Amazon days. MY reasoning is/was that the Amazon platform is so quick and simple to use, and any changes they made over the years only made things EASIER on their sellers, whereas eBay I work my ass off taking/cropping/uploading photos, write long descriptions, spend time answering too many questions, and spend too much time and money on packing various antiques and collectibles, only to be TOLD that I have to change everything every six months. And that is not easy when you sell using Auctiva, because your policies, shipping/payment info are integrated into all 600-700 of my descriptions. I could go on and on, but amazon was entering an ISBN, selecting a condition, and then writing a few short sentences of the condition, and that was it. Then throw a book into a bubble envelope, and you’re done. they have repricing software too. Customer service was always fast and friendly and I felt they cared, whereas even to this day, whenever I call eBay about a problem, suggestion, or a glitch, it never fails that when the conversation ends, I’m always still stuck on page one with them. Always a total time-waster to call them! It is too time-consuming to sell on eBay vs. Amazon, and Amazon doesn’t CONSTANTLY dangle a carrot in front of their seller’s faces!

    The biggest difference between the two are that amazon LISTENED to their sellers from the onset, found simple ways to do things, and KEPT them that way over the years. eBay on the other hand, refused to listen to their sellers and always thought they were “God” and that no one would be able to compete with them. Actually, they were very egotistical and GREEDY! From .02 cents to list an item, and eventually about .70 to list the same item, all within a few years? THEN…someone woke up to smell the coffee and realized that Amazon was stealing a lot of their buyers, and took a good, hard look at the way amazon did business. Bays biggest problem right now is wanting to play copy-cat and try to BE Amazon, which they never will. And one day someone over at eBay HQ’s will wake from their dream to realize that eBay is eBay and Amazon is Amazon. Quit being a “wanna-be”, eBay, and start being yourself. While you’re reading this, take my advice and STOP with all the continuous, drastic changes and ultimatums and you might one day have happy sellers. Next you’ll want to be like Etsy!

  • Gracieprays

    I think ebay should have let the return policy as it was!

  • noneyourbusiness

    Long time seller here for about 12 years now. It was fun at first and I used to tell everyone I knew how great ebay was.  Not any more. I have nothing good to say about ebay.  If I tell the people I meet in my picking circuit anything about how I sell my stuff, I tell them about the other auction sites I’ve started using.  If they ask me about ebay, I tell them exactly how I feel – and yes it is “vitriolic venom”.  Eventually these quarterly reports are going to catch up with you, ebay stockholders.  You can’t keep gouging the eyes and stomping on the throats of the sellers forever.

  • Jill

    While EBAY keeps being more & more concerned about their profit and less about their sellers,  they are heads and shoulders above Amazon.  I have been selling online for about 5 years, mostly selling on Ebay – with bigger $ new items on Amazon.  I am a Powerseller on Ebay with perfect feedback.  
    Amazon does NOT back up it’s sellers at all. For those of you that think Amazon values you as a seller – you are in for a rude awakening.  It’s a long story what happened to me, but I was literally receiving harassing emails from a customer – who never returned the item that she was sorry she purchased.  Amazon did nothing except to tell me “Oh Well, she didn’t use cuss words so there is nothing we will do”.  5 series of emails back and forth with their customer service department and that was all I got.  I won’t even purchase from them anymore!

    I will gladly put up with Ebay, flawed as they are, because they are much better to work with than Amazon.  

    Hopefully one day there will be another online selling venue that will generate enough business that will cause both Ebay and Amazon to wake up and realize that it is its sellers that generate their paychecks.

  • Missy

    I TOO DESPISE E-BAY AS A SELLER. No, I HATE them more than anything on this planet other than terrorists, murderers  and politicians although they are close. I’ve been a member almost 12 years and use to love them. At one point 1 of my 4 accounts had a 100% rating with over 3500 positive feedbacks and over 5000 transactions. Then they stopped allowing sellers to leave negative feedback and buyers were able to use feedback extortion to do anything they wanted.

    I lost my perfect ratings when 2 buyers lied and left me negative feedbacks. I sold 2 pair of expensive Italian shoes to one person. When he received them he said he wanted to return them because they didn’t fit right. My ad contained the size and all the pertinent info including high quality photos of every angle of the shoes. I told him I didn’t make the shoes and the ad was 100% correct so I couldn’t take them back as my ad was 100% correct and it wasn’t my fault they didn’t fit. I offered to re-list them for him using my ad and then send him any proceeds from the sale or he could copy my ad and resell them. He told me he would just destroy my shoes, file a claim and return them and that’s exactly what he did. I sent e-mails to E-Bay showing his threats and photos of the returned damaged shoes. He left me 2 negative’s and 0 DSR’s.

    E-Bay decided in his favor, gave him back his money plus shipping, I lost my merchandise and they refused to remove the negative’s. I appealed the decision. One pair was damaged beyond repair but one wasn’t. I subsequently was able to fix them and re-list them. The second buyer loved them and left positive feedback and was very happy. I called E-bay and explained what happened with the 1st buyer and then referred them to the second buyer who left positive feedback and was very happy with the purchase the first buyer said was destroyed. E-Bay denied my appeal and my feedback stayed.

    Another buyer left a negative on a $.99 purchase that he claimed arrived with water stains on it. It was a train manual. I offered a refund but he wanted to keep it and get a refund including shipping. I said no if he wanted to keep it I would only offer a refund of the purchase price and not the shipping. He opened a dispute and lied with each e-mail sent. First it had a stain on it, then it was soaking wet, then his wife threw it out, then she didn’t but it was ruined because I sent it in a paper envelope. I sent it in a sealed plastic bag in a water proof tear proof  Tyvec envelope. I caught him in so many lies it was ridiculous. After disputing all his lies in great detail E-bay found in his favor and refused to remove the feedback. That combined with the other , knocked my rating down to 96%.

    I worked very hard to get my ratings back and eventually recovered to a 99.4% feedback rating. However, E-bay BANNED ME FOR LIFE because I was 1/10 of 1 % under their standards for a year. it didn’t matter i was able to prove the buyer lied in many e-mail exchanges, E-bay would not budge. Under my name I am banned for life si I have 4 accounts now under different names and I am a power and top rated seller in all of them.  Any other business in the world and I would be a superstar with the feedbacks, ratings (99.4) and quality of items and service I offered. BUT NO, NOT ON E-BAY. There I was a an under performer not worthy of E-bay’s standards.

    Now they charge final value fee’s on shipping! Are you kidding me! Then to add insult to injury, by trying to force us to offer 14, 30 or 60 day returns! Buyers can now RENT items or use them for 2 months and then return them! Eat me E-Bay. I will now offer no refunds, lose my power seller and top rated seller discounts and have to raise my prices by 20% to cover the discount I will no longer get. THEY ARE THE ONLY COMPANY IN THE WHOLE WORLD THAT ACTUALLY DISCOURAGES SELLERS FROM SELLING.

    I will now sell everywhere else first and E-bay last. I HATE YOU E-BAY AND YOUR DECISION MAKERS ARE THE BIGGEST MORONS I HAVE EVER SEEN.

    •  What you said!

    • Chris

      You should have a no questions asked return policy for eBay.  Its just the way it is now.

      • Yeah right

        Lame response in so many facets I won’t elaborate.

    • Goldengems10

      Absoloutly well said Missy and so so true what a rotten place ebay has become save us sellers from committing murder with ebay the target as they treat us like dirt no matter what proof you give them no matter how much u can prove even down to video /CCTV evidence of 2 buyers picking up their parcels registered and fully insured by me i lost $2,999 yep thats 1 sale + the ring + the fee’s so in reality i lost close to $4000.00  Then the next transaction would u believe the next town over from the 1st serious theft I was ripped off once again to the tune of $3,699 + the $2000.00 i paid for the item + fee,s etc etc as they both claimed to never recived the items even though they signed for the items  the CCTV has both ppl on tape i still had paypal do a charge back  on each item and i am Ieft broken & broke!
      Yep it sounds like its back the buyer $%^& the seller so am right behind all of you here

  • I sell on eBay quite a bit, and understand all of the complaints listed here. Having said that, I recently tried selling on Amazon, and am outraged at the fees I was charged there! On eBay, my Final Value + PayPal fees  equal about 10%. For my very first sale on Amazon, the fee was double that!! I have since deleted all of my listings on Amazon, it’s just not worth it.

  • Robevts

    Historically speaking, you are likely right to a small extent, but the vast majority of those that sell on eBay currently were not selling in the early days and had nothing to do with the few who had a part in the intial creation and development  of the site.  Rather, the “hate and vitiriol” terms you choose to use have to do with yet another change that will hurt sellers and is leveraged completely towards the buyer.  

    All of the changes and new rules created since Donahue took over either have to do with creating more income for eBay, or siding with the buyer regardless of whether they are in the right or the wrong.  Sellers are given the impression by Ebay that our input does not matter and we are disposable. 

    • Thank you for your comments Robevts. You raise a good point about current sellers and how long they have been on eBay. 

      Do you have another thesis about the different reactions among the groups?

    • frustrationabounds

      Right on!

      If Ebay took into account all the years of great service we gave to our customers and actually took the time to weed out the BAD sellers, all would be fine.

      Why after 12+ years of buying and selling am I all of a sudden having my funds held?

      Because buyers rule and their OPINIONS are all that matter! 
      I’m a buyer too, albeit much less of one that I used to be before the frustration started, so I get it.  But I’ve never had an issue over all these years with buyers or sellers that couldn’t be figured out between the buyer and seller! 

      Ebay needs to get out of my face and quit telling me how to run my part of this business – until I’ve shown that I can’t do it.

      I don’t need to be judged entirely upon numbers left in secret!

      I think Donahoe’s next bonus should be based on a secret vote by Ebay sellers.

  • Bdfrye

    If eBay wants to be like Amazon, Let us who don’t want to squeeze into a box, have a different site where we don’t feel so controlled.  I wish there was another auction place where a small seller could make some money without so many fee’s, excessive rules and catagorie restrictions.

  • I get unhappy because I see my profit margin slowly slipping into Ebay’s pocket book, there’s is filling and my is empty. I do all the work and they skim off the top and take it away.  I hunt for the item, I clean or repair it, I pay someone to take the pictures, I put it up for auction, if it sells I must pack it and shred the paper or buy the bubble wrap, safety pins, ink for the invoice as well as the paper.  If I haven’t charged the customer enough for the shipping – then I must use my gas to take to the post office.  And for all that work and time and effort ebay charges me sometimes 13% of the total se;lling price of the item and another 13% on the shipping and then pay pal takes their cut leaving me with pennies on the dollar.

    I know they are a business but it seems to me I am getting shafted.

  • Aringadingding

     The problem with eBay is that they punish good sellers along with the bad.  That, and the fact that they LIE about changes that are made merely to pad THEIR bottom line. These changes are spinned as positives (by YOUR beloved Griff) for the selling community.  In reality, it usually boils down to “more work for less profit”.  Well, less profit for ME (a small seller).  MORE profit for THEM (the eBay Suits).  I hate eBay, but unfortunately, it’s true . . . there’s very few other places to go (for what I sell).  Ebay knows this, and takes it/me/us for granted.  I used to love eBay and recommended it to everyone.  Now I recommend it to no-one.  People see me making money and think it’s so easy that they can do it to.  I let them know that it is NOT easy and they are in for a rude (literally) awakening.  It used to be easy . . . and fun. Now, it’s work.  More work, for less return.

  • Jsandage

    I used to sell on ebay but not anymore. At one time I was not only a power seller, but made hundreds or sales per month. The problem is that ebay is all about the buyer and there is no seller protection. I was ripped off time and again by buyers and everytime they won and I lost regardless of tracking numbers, delivery confirmation, insurance. As a business person I believe in customer service, but that does not mean I believe in shipping my products free of charge and that happened way too often on ebay. Additionally, now that paypal is the only real alternative for receiving payments you get hit with even more fees. I dropped both and have made more money elsewhere. Oh, and buy the way, the most lucrative sales I had on ebay were ammuntion components which are no longer allowed due to ebays left wing politics.

  • Kate King

    I think the anger or angst isn’t about “changes” from a business stance but rather change for change sake!  Really silly disconnected decisions, conveyed in a dismissive and disrespectful way. It is eBay itself that still sprouts the “community” line relentlessly (most of us have moved on from that) yet what it says and does is poles apart. Just try honesty? That’s the way forward I think! Stop trying to softsoap us with “spin” about how the next (ill thought out) change will benefit us, when it so obviously won’t!
    Along the lines of;
    To increase the profitabilty of our company and improve the projected returns to our shareholders in these difficult times we have decided to make the following changes; XYZ.
    We are aware that this WILL negatively impact on many of our sellers however we feel the changes are necessary if we are to remain competitive.
    It is the “spin” that insults us all, Amazon talks to their sellers like they are adults with appropriate respect.

  • Oldlincolnian

    the collector community embraced Ebay because we could talk to one another through Ebay, meet new people with similar interests, expand our horizons and create that sense of community. In trying to maximise profit Ebay thought that it would be clever to stop us all communicating and making friends because they were afraid of deals being cut “off Ebay” but they didn’t realise that, at least in the militaria community, they shot themselves in the foot  by stopping us talking and knowing who was bidding on what. We used to make new friends and friends helped friends with notices of things coming up. We were also largely able to “police” our area of Ebay by watching the growing amount of fake material being sold on Ebay….. Its actually illegal for them to allow the sale of fake brand name materials on their site, but they themselves do NOTHING to prevent it. We used to be able to contact friends or make new friends and say  “careful…that item is a fake”, but that kind of actvity meant that Ebay couldn’t readily service the vendors of fake materials, so yes, they lost those sales. How to fix it? Stop bidders from talking and then stop everyone from knowing even who is bidding! In most of our views that makes Ebay complicit in fraud. The military wings colelctors on Ebay have grown so fed up with the fakery that most just built their own network and they do their sales of high end items privately now by networking. There is always 99% junk on Ebay now and so little of it sells. They are in danger of becoming  irrelevant. Thanks Ebay, you have chewed out your own soul…..

  • Bd

    You are close on your understanding of the difference between Amazon and eBay.EBay still is very much a small, mom & pop kinda place … just with a bunch of mega sellers mixed in; usually it is the mega-sellers that make all the problems not giving a rat’s pitoot about the customer. But it is the mom & pop sellers that really pay the bills. And eBay abuses them to no end, making rules that just make no sense. Like their most recent crock about a 14 day return policy. Really? 14 days? Really?

    By contrast, Amazon 1) has a ton of merchandise they handle directly; and 2) they have had much tighter policies all along, without constantly changing them.

    I’ve sold on eBay since ’99, and on Amazon since ’05. Amazon does handle some things much better, but it is a very different marketplace. Amazon is like the mall, eBay is like the swap meet. You can’t expect or hope to run a swap meet like the mall. And you shouldn’t. eBay’s success is solid, so embrace that the people that shop on eBay come back there for a reason; otherwise they’d go to Amazon. Why should eBay try to emulate Amazon?

  • Laurie

    I’m so glad you wrote this.  I’ve also been on eBay since 1997 and have wondered, time and again, why other eBay sellers go ballistic with every change.  I love selling on eBay.  I love the relationships that develop between buyer and seller.  Even as eBay brought in “bigger” sellers, I’ve managed to retain a sense of my space, my store that I just can’t replicate on Amazon.  But perhaps it is that feeling of eBay being “my space” that causes sellers to bridle at new directives from eBay brass.  We need to give eBay credit for trying to keep all our businesses (big and small) alive and competitive.

  • Great article, I agree with you. As a seller on both platforms I believe amazon are missing the opportunity in allowing the seller an individual page that can be edited to give a personal touch. It’s just too HTML 90s. Best wishes Howard.

  • Sunnwind

    I do list a few items on ebay but not all. I was listing all items on ebay until they introduced the fee on shipping. My sales have grown ten fold since I have started my own website and listing elsewhere. I am still doing over $70,000 a year on sales on Ebay a year. In the last 12 months I have done over $500,000 in sales outside of Ebay. But if I had stuck with Ebay I would have paid over $60,000 in fees plus the addiontal 2.9% to Paypal, and the ebay shiping fees of 10% of your total shipping costs. I have never made money on shipping, I have only charged my customers the actual shipping charges.  Since Ebay intoduced the extra charges I have have increased my shipping charges to get back the10%. Ebay your just too Greedy, I can see it “ÿour setting youself for a total failure”. MARK MY WORDS TOTAL FAILURE. Sellers are the ones making you money, why do treat us so poorly

    • SouthernChick

      It sounds like you are doing very well selling outside of Ebay-would you mind telling me some of the other places you are selling?  I am having to wait it out with them right now, as I make no money from them once they started charging the final value on the shipping.  Thanks!

  • Mygotta

    I have been selling on eBay for about 12 years and Amazon for about 7 years. I still do both, but I noticed a decline in sales on eBay, while an upswing on Amazon. At one point, I could sell 8 out of 10 items on eBay pretty confidently. It was a great place. But yes, lots of unethical sellers invaded eBay without any reprimand from eBay. 

    When eBay began to make major changes that took power away from the sellers and gave it to the buyers, yes, many sellers left – either for Amazon or their own internet site. 

    I currently sell 10 times more on Amazon than I ever did on eBay. Now, its a struggle to sell anything on eBay. Unless they are rarities or oddities, I pretty much send everything to Amazon’s FBA. 

    At this time, the FBA still has its problems. Its not a perfect system and Amazon for the most part plays the role that “its the sellers fault” should anything go wrong. And the fees they charge for sales are extremely high. You pretty much need to knock off 30% of a sale $20 and under. But what I like about Amazon is that there is no cost to place an item up for sale. While eBay its always at risk because of the up front insertion fees. I would be more confident if eBay charged more in final value fees and removed the insertion fee all together. As it is, eBay is trying to convert itself to another Amazon – a mistake in my opinion.

    Amazon is generally good to its sellers. But I have seen then be cruel without warning to its sellers as well and once they block you out, theres no recoil, trial or hearing for the matter. The decision is made and there is no questioning Amazons decision. On the other hand, big sellers that provide lots of income for Amazon gets away with shady practices.

    Sadly thats how it is on both sides of the table. But Amazon’s third party market place is becoming the problem that eBay was having as there are more sellers than buyers. And this extends beyond rules and regulations of either platform. Its a buyers market right now plain and simple, and both are catering to the buyer. As it stands, the pendulum is on the side of Amazon is paying my bills. 

  • Bond007

    Can you please have someone in the IT dept fix your last artical about Ebay ReturnsCenter. Everytime I sign on it will freeze and then AOL has to restart my computer. This has been going on for weeks. The return center artical is the only one I have problems with so I know it is a site problem.
    I agree 100% with smallsellerabused. Ebay cares more about the buyer then the seller. Without sellers their would be no buyers.
    On another note. I am very disappoint in Activa.  Activa is nothing more then brother/sister of Ebay. Activa favors or sugar coats whatever Ebay wants to do. Activa is not an impartial 2nd party.
    I hope this strike will send a message to ebay about the Spring Changes coming up June 1st that those changes are not welcomed.

  • sellerabuse

    Why can’t you fathom that Ebay is out to keep finding ways to make more and more money off of the sellers backs? These changes over the years are there soley to make Ebay AND Pay Pal MORE money ONLY. Nothing more. This new 14 or more days return policy is there to make Pay Pal more money because they keep their fee that they charge you for any refund that you make. ALSO Ebay makes more money because they give less and less discounts to the sellers. Thus preventing a great seller from getting discounts on their final value fees. So, its a win win for Ebay and a loose loose for the seller. Don’t you get that yet ? ?

  • Anonymous

    The difference is that since about 2000, when Amazon did away with zShops, sellers are interchangeable there – they don’t care about you and don’t care if you know it so no one sells there out of choice; only because of the large market-share (and that’s only good for those willing to join the race to the bottom price-wise).  No individualization, even though you can put up photos (and keep ownership of them) by paying the $40/month to be a collectibles book dealer.  But (a big but), they don’t change the rules 3-4 times a year where listings have to be completely redone – the one point in their favor.

    When Donahue came on board, he decided to make eBay Amazon-lite (and is still trying – which is just silly as eBay owned the auction and fixed price market and is giving it away to Amazon.  To eBay sellers, who had always been able to personalize their listings and have followers who trusted them, that meant redoing underlying code 3-4x/year to keep their ‘look.’  And there was no easy way to bulk change it till maybe the last year and it got not worth the effort to make the changes individually on multiple hundreds of listings.

    I sold on eBay from 1997 till a couple of years ago.  Plan to give it another try sometime this year – but I’m not holding my breath it will work.  Everything I see is to the detriment of individual sellers and slanted towards putting everyone in a slot – even on items like collectible books and antiques where the devil (and all the value) is certainly in the details.  Plus it is all about giving their business (i.e., potential buyers) away to catalog and outlet stores who have their own sites.  Or imported goods from China.  Discouraging.

    When I do go back to listing there, will be with stripped down listings only.  I don’t need eBay to teach me my trade (bookselling).  I know it better than them, and am much more interested in keeping my reputation spotless than they could ever be.  They should stick to what they were good at when Meg was heading them up; they were huge then, too.

  • William

         I have a 100% feedback rating of around 1300. More pertinently I am a 28-year salesman. It is clear to me that eBay’s sales staff – up to the highest levels – are life-time internet sellers. There is no-one there who has ever sold in the real world. Internet sales revolve around coming up with clever little ideas to gain a percentage here and a percentage there. Of course you’re bleeding these percentages from ‘the other side’ (customers, eBay sellers, whatever) so you disguise it, often as ‘customer focussed initiatives.’
         The problem is that large Companies have to continually increase profits, so they drive their sales managers to discover more and more clever ways to bleed more and more percentages from ‘the other side.’
         In real-world selling, the customer (eBay seller) is king because he or she is in your face every day offering to argue the point. The attitude of the real-world salesman is to consider very carefully what customers (eBay sellers) would think of any changes – because they’ll be on the phone wanting to speak to the boss. The attitude in internet sales is that you’re dealing with statistics (not customers) by the thousand. It is an entirely mathematical approach and you’re being paid to make (rig) the math in your favour.
         You calculate that you will lose 0.05% from ‘walk-aways’ but you will make 2% from the rest. 2% of a billion quid is big money so you HAVE TO do it. “It’s not personal. It’s just statistics.”
         I would guess that, for one reason or another, Amazon are not continually pressuring their sales managers to “increase the value of the sale.”

  • I became a newby in early 1997 and being confined to the house I started chatting to sellers and buyers and we were on first name basis, I considered them friends, we chatted about alsorts, it was a lovely friendly atmosphere, I would be on nearly all day, its fair to say I lived on ebay and at a time I was very ill it pulled me through the dark times, I am a doll collector and a very big part of my collection is thanks to ebay and the info I have gained is thanks to ebay as well. I have in recent years pulled away as the friendliness has gone and in its place is greed, nastiness, ignorance, selfishness and uncaring. there is no community spirit left, its been chased out, I used to excitedly tell all I came accross about ebay, now I don’t tell anyone infact if its mentioned to me I advise them to be careful, I have as a seller and buyer been cheated out of money by other ebayers and by ebay themselves, in the beginning it was down to buyer and seller to settle problems and 99% it was sorted in a very relaxed and friendly way, now its backbiting all the way. I still use ebay in a small way for both buying and selling but emotionally stay very removed from it all.
    I do use Amazon for buying, I use it like I use my local supermarket, I go in pick what I want and buy it pay and come out, it is so far removed from ebay I don’t think there is any comparison, ebay was a community amazon has never been, and I would emphazise ebay WAS it isn’t now



    • Anonymous

      You either sell all-alike widgets by the ton, or work for Amazon.

      Amazon does NOT care about sellers.  You are replaceable in an instant there.

  • Rkmurphy1

    Yes the article is very much correct. Ebay culture is different than Amazon.

  • Anonymous

    I started on ebay back around when they started I think.  I did not take part in the communities I just wanted to sell things easily.  I am great at following rules, however Ebays rules all lean ( actually fall over) to the customer and that is not the way to run a business. I used to sell a lot and then got tired of being treated poorly by ebay.  Ebay is extremely disrespectful to their sellers. 

  • Joan Carran

    I have been with eBay since the first year they began and it was great fun – sometimes you won some and sometimes you lost out. Sometimes you found great little treasures and sometimes you ended up with less than you wanted.   You met up with a great community all across the world. Then it became very popular and it was seen as a great business opportunity to make huge profits. The same community is still there, but since the company sold out the costs to the seller have been ever increasing and it takes away the enjoyment of being able to make a bit of a profit.  Faced with eBay’s policies that lean toward the buyer – an increasing number of sellers use various methods to increase the bidding –  as they strive to make even a bit of a profit.  Buyers now faced with higher prices are also adopting less than honest means by which to obtain goods at lower prices, and generally the buyer comes off best.  This is always the case when businesses are floated on the market – successful businesses do not need stock holders, but greed does.  It is greed that is infectious and it is greed that has been the cause of eBay’s deterioration.  The market now needs – is crying out for – a market such as eBay intended at the start, where private people can sell their unwanted goods albeit at a small profit – and buy used items cheaply and yes, they will pay a small percentage of their selling fees to be able to do so.  But keep it fun and don’t let greed enter into it!

  • William

         In my previous comment I indicated that in any eBay new policy initiative you will find, somewhere, an extra percentage added to eBay’s profits.US TRANSACTIONS
    “eBay said that, starting May 1, it will require Top-rated Sellers to upload tracking information on 90 percent of U.S. transactions. Starting June 1, return policies of 14 days or longer and one-day handling will also be required to retain Top-rated Seller status and receive the 20-percent discount on final value fees.”     You will notice here that a percentage of profit moves from Top-rated sellers to eBay. That is then masked by contentious tracking changes. Do you perhaps think that this policy change came from a dedicated eBay Postal Team labouring to improve the customers lot? Nope. It came from the Sales Department.
    “When you receive the item, you simply click a button to issue a refund,” the announcement continues. “Your final value fee for that transaction will show as a credit on your next seller invoice and a portion of your PayPal fees will also be refunded”
         Paypal is owned by eBay. You will notice that on returned goods, paypal now retains a portion of the original fees charged. There will probably be more benefit to eBay in there if you look deeply enough. There always is. Why? Because this did not come from a dedicated “Returned Goods” department. It came from the Sales boys.
         Slipped in behind this lot was :-
    “starting May 28, eBay will consider auction-style listings with the Buy It Now option as fixed price listings”
         I’m not even going to look the figures up. I bet “a pound to a pinch of” that Fixed Price listings earn eBay more than B.I.N. listings. And if it is not that, it will be something else, and it WILL be in there. There always is. Why? Because this stuff comes from the Sales Department. Their job is to ‘increase the value of every sale.’ Continuously.
         I’ve worked in sales for 28 years. What are Sales Departments like? Think ‘Gordon Gecko’ and “Greed is good.” The Banking crash was caused because Banks moved their primary purpose from investing to Sales. Whether Banking or Double Glazing or eBay, all Sales Departments operate with the same ethos. That’s just how it is.

  • Jfptak

    If a business treated their customers the way ebay treats their seller-customers, they would be out of business in short order.

  • pjensen26

    I never felt any ownership of eBay but I did feel all the changes that hurt my honest and earnest sales.  It affected many us eBay sellers financially in a big way.  There’s nothing like hitting someone where it really hurts to bring out the “venom”.

  • You know, I think you might be on to something. I began selling on ebay in 1998 and have definitely seen the transition from community business to corporation. I think the thing that causes the most emotion is the sense that ebay went from being about the seller to being all about the buyer. Lots of policies seem to favor the buyer at the expense of the seller. Not to mention policies that seem to deter small sellers and encourage the large reseller. I’ve rolled my eyes at some of the policy changes over the years, but mostly I just adjust my business model accordingly and move on. I have not sold on Amazon, but I have sold on other sites, and even with all the changes, ebay still gives me the most exposure which means more sales. It doesn’t pay to get overly emotional in business, but I do agree with your assessment as to why ebay sellers do. Great article!

  • Steff

    I’m not so sure about your Ebay theory. I joined Ebay in 2004 well after it was incorporated and have only used Amazon a handful of times (Amazon is expensive here in the UK).
    No, I feel the anger is more frustration. Faceless decisions and crazy rules that directly effect your business. For some time now there has been the feeling that sellers are third grade citizens on Ebay. Buyers, it seems, cannot do wrong. Yet I’ve lost more money through fraud via buyers in the last two years (since Ebay decision making and feedback changes) that I closed down several accounts and only use Ebay as a last resort.
    Ebay have a terrible attitude that distances sellers from them. You don’t need to look into anything other than the ill thought out rules that are imposed.
    Sellers can’t give negative feedback,
    Sellers are told how much to charge for postage (often unrealisticly low charges are imposed on a seller) yet Ebay don’t give you the tools dispatch the goods at the price they’ve just imposed on your listing.
    The resolution centre is a dark room where decisions are made without explanation and no appeal process whatsoever.
    Fee’s have increased, yet it is harder than ever to trade with ever increasing rules.

    No I think Ebay has had its day. Within a couple of years it will be nothing more than a listing site for corporates like PC World, Canon and such like to sell through. Why else would Ebay be trying to kill off the sellers?

  • Halpat-2

    I have been a seller on Enbay for over 10 years & I’ve found that people are not always honest. This return policy will have buyers black mailing sellers worse than they do now about feedback. I just settled a dispute with a buyer for $25.00 because it was rasier than going thru the Ebay process. i’m a small seller & I won’t be able to cover all the extortion that will go on with the new policy.

  • Bransonair

    Why are you all wasting your time commenting. eBay doesnt care what you think. You’re all commenting on this article as if someone from eBay was actually going to read them and care.

    eBay doesn’t need you anymore. They have thousands of professional sellers in Asia and don’t want the person selling an old pair of kids shoes as if it was some sort of yard sale.

    Don’t think for a second that your business is important or worth anything to them. They make over a million dollars in pure profit every 2.6 minutes. When you drop out, you make room on their server for a guy in Guangzhou selling plastic DVD cases for 3 cents each who doesn’t need customer service.

    So go right ahead and vent here, we all enjoy the writings of the frustrated, the ignored, the belittled, the wrongly accused and the disillusioned. Say what you like, just don’t expect anyone to ever do anything about it.

    Let the abuse begin…………………….

  • bookman

    I have been an eBayer since 1999 and have seen a lot of the changes. EBay has been a great opportunity for me to engage in a long time dream of selling books. Like a lot of other sellers, I remain with eBay because there isn’t really any serious competition for the type of selling I do. I am often frustrated with eBay for the same reasons many others are. They put the buyer first and act as if the seller doesn’t matter. Oh, they say they’re making things better for the seller, but every change they make is for greater profits to eBay, and has nothing to do with inproving things for the seller. They have made the feedback system a joke. I leave feedback for buyers because it makes them feel good to receive good feedback and I do appreciate those who buy from me, but when you can’t leave poor feedback for a bad buyer, the feedback is meaningless. It’s the same mentality you see everywhere now. Everyone must be made to feel good and excused for their less than desirable conduct, except for the evil ones making a profit. Then also, many of the changes eBay makes, creates a lot of work for a seller with a large inventory that he has to go through and change in order to comply and not be penalized. And they don’t fix some of their listing tools. It’s become a love/hate relationship for many, and while I will continue to sell on eBay, I do understand the frustration out there among sellers.

  • Disappointed

    I hope someone from Ebay reads these comments and repents before it is too late. I have watched good sellers leaving in mass and along with them good products are disapearing. Whats left is junk and bad sellers. And I mean bad. Thinking we are resistive to change is nonsense. I am just tired of a naughty landlord and will have to take my inventory elsewhere. 

    • Chris

      And large corporate Chinese sellers selling their new electronic accessories directly to US buyers.  They undercut brick and mortar retailers.  And they are immune to the new feedback DSR standards due to the law of large numbers.  This is who Donahoe wanted when he came on, and this is what he got.  He doesn’t give a bit about the small to midsized used item sellers.  

  • Lotsalilys

    They do nothing for sellers anymore it’s all about the buyers. I worked hard to get to the point where I have 5 stars across the board and become a “TOP SELLER” so I could receive a discount. I cannot mail everyday and I will not rent rare CD’s or books which would easily happen if I followed their return plan. I suspect it is only a matter of time before these optional changes will become mandatory and I will be out of business. I have had 1 customer that took advantage of me over the past year and even though I gave him a full refund he left me 3 neutrals with 1 and 2 star ratings and I lost my top seller status for months. He basically rented some cassette tapes then stabbed me in the back, I’m not having any more of that, I now have no incentive to mail more than once a week and I will now accept any returns at all/

  • Gold power seller

    I am over 10k transactions on ebay and $100k a year in sales. The sellers comments here are substantive, but many are over the top.The essence is that Ebay continues to lose focus on half of their customer base, the seller.

    Virtually every change they do costs us more money to the point that our margin is seriously eroded on all items and especially lower priced items.
    The other difference is that ebay was set up to be a craigs list for profit. It brought casual sellers together with buyers looking for a deal. There were abusers on both sides fo the transaction, but ebay appears to have only focused on manipulating sellers.
    The new rules about to hit in May are ridiculous and punitive.
    ebay must be using Facebooks playbook thinking that changing will provide an enhanced user experience when it really creates frustration. I have not considered migrating my business to amazon, but I will check it out!

  • I have been on ebay since 2003 made great money  I did 1 million in sales in 2008 it since has steadily gotten worse in 2012 less than 1/2 a million and most of it off ebay on other web sites. Ebay use to be great but there greed and all there fees and feedback change has taken the fun out of it. Ebay is only inerested in making billions and what the buyer wants. Many buyers abuse the policies of ebay to their favor.  I use to sell 700 items on Ebay now it is a exercise in futility by the time I paid the ad cost each month the Ebay premium store fee, pay pal fees, final value fee, final value fee on shipping and then the non stop shipping price increases from all the shippers. I decided in January of this year to find alternatives to ebay and killed all the ads except for 20. I  only sell high dollar items on ebay now ($1,000.00) and up. Now my ads always have my phone number in the ad and try to steer customers off of ebay and to pay with credit cards. Ebays day is coming and it will.  I now tell everone I talk to that EBAY use to be good place to find things cheap but now I tell them to go to craigslist you can find it cheaper. My feedback is1,530 with 100% with no negatives ever, but they will alway side with the buyer even if there feedback is only 1. Ebay customer service for sellers is pathetic and do not complain as you will become there focus. Go to Proxibid classifieds a new site that has a world wide market. I do many web sites now and sales are up considerably and alot less hassle and no feedback extortion!!!

    • eBay Seller #84938209384 1/2

      Tsk, tsk, can’t put your phone number on your listings… I gut busted for that.

  • Don Gentry

    Some on eBay have just had enough.  After heing lied to twice I was told concerning their Sponsored Links that they owned the site and could put on it anything they wanted.  I guess we pay them to advertise our competition and there is nothing we can do about it except close our accounts.All eBay policies are to benefit eBay and sometimes the buyer and the seller gets screwed every tmie.  Too often we either get lied to or the person dealing with an issue has no idea what they are taking about.  Difficult to get a straight answer if at all.  Shame.  After 14 years I may just close my account once I get rid of my inventory. Like they said they own the site and can do with it watever they want.   But we sellers get to pay for it still!!   Well so can I!  Bonanza. iOffer, Etsy, Artfire etc.
    Taxation without representation was a rallying cry for the revolution!!

  • Mylittleshoppe3

    I have been an Ebay seller for over 10 years….Started out with 5-10 items every 7 days or so.  It helped me to do what flea marketing could no longer do…reach the vast buyers.  I stopped for a couple of years with only once in a while items…for no particular reasons than life itself.  I have been one of the sometimes angered sellers on Ebay but never routy.  I am a top rated power seller for a few years now with over 2000 feedback at 100%.  I make many handmade items.  So the new policy for one day shipping in order for me to stay a top rated seller is hurting me.  I will go back to paying a higher percent of final value.  But if you will notice there are now almost as many top rated sellers as non top rated.  This shows me that the bar is not high enough.  I am sure there are other ways to handle this but Ebay can only do so much.  As mention by others there are many unscrupulous sellers out there just as there are unscrupulous buyers. A company as big as Ebay has become cannot possibly put their fingers in every hole of the dam.  But as also mention it is the biggest and best game in town for us to sell to a wider audience.  May not be true someday butt it is today.  So as with any continually growing business you learn to go with it or walk away….it is your choice.  This being said I continue to list daily to my listings and will do so as long as I can make more profit than overhead…at the time I do not I will quit quietly and walk away.  Because in fact no one listens to my mumblings anyway….

  • ellebal

    Ebay was the ultimate outlet for crooks and thieves to pawn their stuff…at one point a thief could sell his ill gotten gains at 10% of value on the street…now a thief can dispose of stolen goods around the world at very near 70% of value….and dipose of good that at one time would be unthinkable, such as high value stole lab, scientific, construction and medical equipment,  this alone has boosted Ebay sales enormously…also Ebay became ther market of choice for the millions unscrupulous scumbags predating on an unsuspecting buyers…just like wall street need more regulation and protection from their predatory behavior, Ebay has no choice to follow suit…they are there to make money! Just look at PAYPAL, how it used to be the cheap friendly way to pay online to the big corp exacting exorbitant fees for currency convertion and basically screwing users left and right! Now, it cost me more transfering funds in a foriedgn currency then going to my bank! just another bunch of vultures now being run from Wall Street!!

  • Cenvalref

    I been an ebay seller since 2004. I think most sellers get so angry is the constant fee hikes. Fees on shipping is what really took the cake. I understand why they did it. But most sellers do play by the rules. Ebay is clever in making it look like its costing less to sell but in reality its costing more.  My prices on my product has not changed since I started. I now pay over twice as much in fees now which eats into my profit. Ebay doesn’t care if the seller makes less money as long as they make more. Ebay just wants a site that they can say come buy here and get Free shipping on everything! I keep selling on ebay cause its my business its my lively hood. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone to sell on ebay.

  • Jlmcinn4

    This article tries to dress up a pig in fine clothing.  We all know the ebay has been ruthless to sellers the past few years.  From requiring a hold on money and now requiring a credit card to charge if a complaint is made that may not even be justified.  The only reason I use ebay now is to advertise my real site that I had to set up because you will just lose money setting up an ebay store.  I don’t use any links..I just use my brand name and sure enough people come looking for my site.  I really hope that someone out there is learning from all this and plans to open up the next great auction site.

  • Rl1856

    Many current Ebay
    sellers became active well after the company became a business.  The problem is not resistance to change.  The
    problem is that for so long you could participate on Ebay with few
    restrictions. Over the past 5yrs, it seems that every change or
    “improvement” has focused on 2 areas- raising fees and making it easier
    for the buyer at the expense of the seller. For the seller
    these 2 points are related- sellers are paying more for an increasingly
    negative experience. Combined Ebay and Paypal fees approach 15% of the
    total…including the shipping, if the buyer paid for shipping. And
    with each change in the buyer – seller matrix, it becomes easier for the
    buyer to take advantage of the seller. “Using” items then returning
    them is only the tip of the iceberg. I have experienced the return of
    items clearly misused by the buyer and the return of different items
    (yes different ie not what I sold). In the later case, I as seller had
    no way to prove what was done by the buyer. What makes sellers angry
    is not that Ebay used to be warm and fuzzy but that working through
    Ebay feels like you are standing on shifting ground- you never know what
    will change next.

  • maneki neko’s nook

    I’m going to be the fly in the ointment here….I’ve been a seller on eBay since the 90’s…and in moments of angst have tried etsy, Ruby Lane, Bonaza, Craig’s List etc.etc, etc., But always return to eBay as my sales are 100-1.  I have had my own brick and mortar antique and collectible store and have rented space in antique malls  when my mother-in-law’s care dictated I stay home. EBay has made changes throughout the years, often just due to the changing marketplace and in order to protect the buyer from fraud, scams and just poor sellers.  Let’s face it, it is the buyers that make ebay, not the sellers. Most of those volatile sellers won’t agree with this  The sellers’ peace of mind comes first. There are so many scams out there, and the consumer must feel protected if they are going to send thier hard earned cash to lala land.  Many of the changes are the result of that.  I use the example of the fee now placed on shipping.  There was a significant percentage of sellers that would sell a small item for 99 cents, but then charge $25 for shipping, knowing that the shipping was $5, and they could avoid the eBay fee for selling the item, by sticking the actual value in shipping.  Buyers that weren’t paying attention to the shipping charges  got zapped and honest sellers were losing sales to these creeps.  The volatile sellers cried foul, without knowing the reason for the change that leveled the playing field for all.  I keep an average of 350-400 in my ebay store at any given time.  My fees have always been reasonable for that kind of volume and overall costs are far less than expenses I would pay for in my brick and mortar store and infinitely less than the rent I pay now for rented space, which is based on how many widgets I can fit in a square foot of space.  For 5 cents a month, I can add a lot of widgets to those square foot spaces.  As a buyer on ebay, I have gotten the boxes that were poorly wrapped and the item broken or were so poorly described concerning condition issues with no real recourse but to live with the piece.  Depending on the USPS to get your money back is a joke and takes forever to get a refund, if in fact, they ever decide to give you one.  No buyer should need to go through this.  And if the sellers that scream the most remember their disgust on the few negative purchases they have made, they would understand.  Can you imagine the newbie customer that buys their first item and it takes two weeks to arrive and is in a thousand pieces, or was listed as original and is a reproduction? Then they hav eto go through every loop to get thier money back?  Sorry folks, but I think eBay’s only real fault is poor communication to its sellers.  I would like to see a bit better resolution process, but perhaps ebay will add more folks to their resolution center to address this issue.              

  • Cookiew865

    I want to say I agree with a lot of people about ebay.  They are so large and big and their bottom line is to pay for the employees and the higher ups.  So, in order to do that what is the key in making money, “Buyers”.  That is the bottom line.  I find it funny as a seller, they can come and take money back from me for a buyer who makes up a story, or just is lying about a transaction.  Well, if I am not happy about ebay why cant we take money from the higher ups as they are not complying. They make the decisions on sellers and dont value us.  Also, call and speak with someone you better get the name, where they are located, and a id# of the person.  If they wont give you an id then get a case number that begins with 1-.  I have had vindictive buyers write emails and threaten to ruin my business or have their friends bid on items of mine and not pay.  I contact ebay about they do nothing.   I admit there has to be common ground but this is off way off.  The buyers should have to do the following in order to get money back.
    1.  contact seller immediately upon receipt of item.  either email or via phone to ebay.  You cant wait a week and then contact the seller and want money back. You cant use the item and then return it.

    2.  Must provide pictures to show or state the situation clearly and make sure the proof is timestamped.

    3.  If the seller refunds money there should only be either neutral or positive feedback.  No dsr ability.  Buyers after getting money back then slap you with low dsr’s.

    4. If you as a seller have to open a case for non payment no feedback should be able to be left.

    Ebay does not want to listen to any of this because it affects their profits.  The one writer said ebay should be investigated and I agree.  They are allowed to do whatever they want without anyone challenging them.  

    Overall ebay was a good concept but the big picture is directed to ebays bottom line and their financial gain.  If only they would remember that it was us the sellers that make them money.  

    Something to think about.

  • Roy

    I think you’re misreading seller angst and comments. Some of the comments may be put out there without much prior thought but the comments reflect the sensitivity in the customer service. One has to conclude – eBay itself is not customer focused other than stockholders. That may be as it should be but it is short sighted IMHO. It is not a technology company. If it were we’d see increased service at lower cost. The results are actually the opposite. I’m a platinum seller. Have been for over a decade. My business will be better when eBay is gone. So the sooner, the better.

  • Why sellers are more and more dissatisfied with Ebay has nothing to do with “the loss of a feeling of ownership”.    I had a relist pulled because I used the phrase “due to a deadbeat winner”, and ebay said the use of the word deadbeat is not permitted as it may offend someone. Tell me that’s not “just about total control”.    As ebay rolls and rolls through it’s changes, it becomes a far less profitable and enjoyable sales venue. Nature will take it’s course, and people like you with it….hopefully to the unemployment line, rather than the White House.

  • Ronalds_esales

    I believe the author’s perspective is more than plausable, however… I have been an eBay seller for over 10 years and have had my power-seller status come and go. I have never sold on Amazon. I have experienced change and sometimes frustration, but all I can speak to is MY experience, and that is the feedback the author solicited. I have a business degree. I love eBay and react similarly as the Amazon sellers are discribed in the article. Maybe she has hit the nail on the head and I am just outside the bell curve on this one. I will admit that I did not help eBay establish catigories or add my own input on fees. But with all of today’s seller, how many are here from that era? Is it these few who set the tone? Or is this attitude spreading to the next generations of sellers? My point: If you are angry at eBay, then look inside yourself- not at eBay…

    • Chris

      Both are angry Ronald. And yes, many of us our cultured enough to have explored spirituality and psychotherapy in different forms. It’s hard for us to see our livelihood go down the drain because a new team of executives want to turn eBay into a Chinese import center.  And in the process, they’ve bullied away many good sellers, buried auctions in listing results, squashed the used item market, and hurt hard working ethical entrepreneurs in the process.

  • Sales

    We’re suing eBay and paypal do to policy discrimination. I was ban for life and paypal accounts seized. The policy I violated was “PayPal does not allow the sale of muzzle brakes and barrel shroud therefor your account has been suspended indefinitely.” EBay tool my auctions down and I was suspended indefinetly. However after 3 weeks of follow up asking both eBay and paypal why others. can sell the same and I can not there was no answer or was told we can’t tell you why…..mind you these calls were made in front of my legal representation on speaker phone. Amazed at the customer support or lack of explaining we have decided to sue, seek damages, and during discovery will find out why I was taken down since there are 1500 of the same items I sold. eBay and PayPal GAVE changed so much since the begining. We feel eBay $5 an hour customer support should not be the final decision or have any decision on the impact of an entire company and it’s employees. I’m now facing bankruptcy of this business and have already let 3 employees go. eBay and paypal refuse to answer my emails as to why.

  • Samdennis1675

    I think ebay sellers are very independent types who hate to be forced or pushed around by “bosses” of any kind. Thats why they are on eBay in the first place, so they can BE the boss. 

    Being dictated to by eBay on every detail of their auctions just naturally angers that type of person. Once upon a time, you could post pretty much anything you like, and get paid any way you like, leave feedback or not as you please- all you had to do was pay eBay for the use of the system. Ebay management did not get inbetween the two participants in the transaction and attempt to control every tiny detail the way they do now.  I think it was a mistake on ebays part to separate their users into “buyers”” and “sellers” with different rules for each.

    • Chris

      You are very right, I’ve never thought of this angle before.  I’m an independent type and I really struggle with eBay’s new policies that meddle more and more each year with every transactions.  And to add insult to injury, they hold funds in Paypal for 21 days now regardless if your DSRs are in line and your 1s and 2s are above standard, and they are constantly threatening to limit your account if your are .01 percent above the minimum in the 1s and 2s (which by the way equates to only 1 in 99 giving a seller a low DSR)  Having been a 99.5 percent power seller for many years, this baloney is a real slap in the face.  Thanks for making me feel wanted, eBay.

  • Igetjunk

    Why do I resist ebays’ changes?

    Mostly because they are poorly thought out and they hurt my business.

    I’ve done everything ebay asked in order to to maximize my “best match” position (“I’m #1 for an item I sell).

    Now they double whammy me.

    1. No text in photo’s in coming up, so I have to have change my gallery photo which will ding my “best match” ranking that I’ve spent a lot of time building up.

    2. Must upload tracking for at least 90% of my items….major problem there…none of my items ship with tracking.

    So, I’m screwed on #1; and for #2 I have to raise the shipping cost from 65 cents to $1.95 in order to have a tracking number.

    Wonder why  I resist?

    Most of the changes at ebay come not because they actually
    imrpive the site…they are borne of necessity…necessity to keep ones job at ebay
    as a “site improver”….I am 100% positive that the people making “improvements”
    have never run an ebay business and most likely have never even sold something
    on the site.


  • Elaine Labonte

    I really don’t see how eBay can untangle itself.  It’s like a huge computer program hand written by a committee after the original committee members have moved on.  I sold on eBay for a couple years and made power seller, but never felt it was worth the effort to keep up with changes.

  • I have been selling on eBay for almost 3 years. I have almost 13,000 feedbacks since I started. I also sell on Amazon and our own website. I think one of the main issues with eBay is how they present things. As an example, if they just came out and said, we are now charging final value fees on shipping because that is what  seems to be acceptable on other marketplaces (Amazon) and because we have lost to much money over the years due to the fact people that try to hid some of the selling price in the shipping fees. That’s it and while everyone would not be happy, at least it would be the truth instead of trying to hid the real reason something is done.

    Todd Lutwak stated in an internet retailer magazine article the below information:

    “Here’s how that encourages free shipping: In the apparel category, eBay
    is reducing its commission to 10% from 12%. That means if a merchant
    sells an apparel item for $40 and offers free shipping, he will owe eBay
    $4 (10%), whereas before he owed $4.80 (12%). A seller who closes a $40
    sale but charges $10 for shipping will pay eBay a $5 commission under
    the new rules, 20 cents more than previously, as eBay’s final value fee
    will now be based on a $50 total sale.”

    That in my opinion is disingenuous because in the first part he mentions something that has a total cost of $40 and then compares it to something that has a total cost of $50. It is apples and oranges. Clearly he is implying that now the buyer is ACTUALLY getting free shipping when that is not the case. It’s just being added to the overall price. In addition, it would not work for us since most of our customers buy multiple items. That means that if we added the cost of shipping to our items just so we could offer free shipping, our customers would actually pay way MORE.

    I realize that both Amazon and eBay are just tools that I use, just like my computer and printer, I actively promote my website so I can be less reliant on them and have other alternatives should working with them become untenable.

  • Anonymous

    In almost every possible way eBay 2012 is different from eBay 1997. No one I know has the statistics to make a factual comparison, but it certainly seems that eBay is and has been the largest marketplace in the World for independent buyers and sellers.  This is both good and bad.  In the highly competitive arena of e-commerce, a seller’s top priority is attracting potential buyers.  Without buyers, there are no sales.  eBay still is the best place for sellers to find buyers or should I say for buyers to find sellers.  The management at eBay knows this and they exploit this to the company’s benefit and to the seller’s detriment.  Every policy change made by eBay is designed to do one of two things, increase revenue and/or decrease expenses.  I believe it is less about favoring buyers over sellers, or large sellers over smaller sellers, protecting eBay’s image or attracting more buyers or sellers. 

    In my opinion, the single biggest mistake that eBay continues to make is that they are unwilling to recognize that when individual sellers (small and large) do better (more sales & higher profits), the greater will be eBay’s profits in the future.  Conversely, if eBay loses all their sellers because sellers realize that they are making little to nothing selling on eBay, then eBay will be out of business.  Rest assured, this will not happen though.  Individual sellers should operate their business no differently than eBay – they must focus on growing profits by reducing expenses and increasing revenue.  (I would like to add that eBay is not unique in this regard.  Most large corporations are focused on the bottom line, profits and shareholder values, and fail to recognize that if their employees are doing better (higher pay and more benefits) then the economy will do better, the government will do better, the country will do better and ultimately, their business will do better.  American businesses are focused strictly on short-term returns and can’t see beyond the next quarter’s earnings.  This is an indicator of unmitigated greed by top management.)

    The final point I would make is that eBay is not the best sales venue for all items.  Selling collectables is different than selling handmade jewelry which is different from new electronics.  Once again, eBay does not take into account these differences when applying policy changes because frankly, they don’t care about the differences, they care about increasing profits through streamlining which in turn increases shareholder value.

    I think the reason why many sellers are so vehemently upset with eBay is because eBay has them “over the barrel” and short of leaving eBay and likely going out of business, they have to suffer dwindling revenue and increased selling costs.  For too many, eBay sales are the difference between putting food on the table or not.  Some sellers can and will adapt to eBay policy changes, but many sellers cannot, and ultimately will be driven out of business.  Failure, in the best of times, is hard to take.  But, sometimes, you have to bite the bullet, liquidate and move on.  I realize that is much harder to do today when there are fewer opportunities out there to make a living.  If you are in this position, your first consideration must be how to best capitalize with the money and time you have.   I empathize with the many sellers who are frustrated and angry with eBay and may I strongly suggest that if the eBay policy changes have adversely affected your bottom line over the years, it would be foolish to think that the future will treat you any better.

  • Blondieslp

    I so agree with all these comments about Ebay. I really wish there was another site to sell items at auction. When I first learned of having to pay final value fees on shipping for instance, on top of all the other fees, I couldn’t believe it. The fees are ridiculous! But they’re laughing in the background because they know they corner the market for sellers. I only do this part time to make a little extra money to supplement my meager income. I have health problems and up to now have not wanted to go on disability because of all the paperwork, rejection etc. It burns me when I see others (abusers of the system) who appear to be able to get it with less disability than I but that’s another whole issue. When I figure out what the bottom dollar is after all the fees I get very discouraged. Isn’t our time and energies that are put into this worth something???
    I have also received from buyers’ unbelievable offers on some of my “buy it now” listings. I had something listed for $290 (BIN) which was well worth it and they offered me $20. This can sometimes play with your psyche and its an insult. I have 100% positive feedback on those kind enough to leave it which appears to be another issue with Ebay. We are expected to leave it if we want to keep up on a good standing but if the buyer “doesn’t feel like it”, oh well, we’re kicked again. Then if you have had problems with Paypal because someone defrauded you, well, too bad for you…….Try to fix that one!
    All of this only adds to the pain I already feel.

  • ColoKat

    I began selling on Ebay in late 1999/early 2000.  I was a stay at home Mom with 3 year old twins at the time.  I tend to agree with your hypothesis.  We, as Sellers, feel that when we create our User ID’s that we are in essence creating our “own” mini-website.  That it is Our business and that we Own that small place.  Just as in a brick and mortar store, we of course have rules to follow.  Local and state regulations exist in a brick and mortar situation, so we understand that.  Ebay was responsible for creating this feeling of ownership-but even though Ebay has grown into a mega million business, without the Sellers, there would Be No Ebay.  It would fold.  And many of the changes in Ebay have driven thousands-dare I say more? Hundreds of thousands, away.  I too, left Ebay for a time and even now only sell part-time. I use to work on Ebay 30-40 hours per week.  It is now down to less than 12.  I have tried other sites, but Ebay has the corner on the visibility market due to their size.  I tried 5 other sites……without the visibility, sales are low.  You can pay for visibility, but then it is no longer cost effective.   People in my community use to talk about finding stuff on Ebay-I don’t see that any longer.  Perhaps a glimpse of what is coming for Ebay? 

    • Igetjunk

      In years past, ebay was the first place I searched; now it is the last.

      I just purchased a replacement part for my car…best price on ebay was $65 for a used item…bought it locally for $48 and it’s brand new!

      Time and again, the best deals (for me anyway) are not on ebay.

  • Hemicar43

    I’ve been selling on ebay for 5 years now and as time goes on their policy changes are geared towards acquiring more buyers at the expense of the sellers.  They seem to forget that it’s the sellers who bring in the buyers. My complaints to ebay on buyers who have blatant policy violations has been ignored.  Why have policy if it’s not enforced.  I grossed about $149,000 last year. I paid ebay about $14,000 in fees & paypal another $3.600.  I just finished my taxes this year and cleared just over $20,000.  It seems everyone is making money but me. I will sell my inventory and get out.  This is ridiculous. I will check into selling on Amazon

  • Tonya Travelstead

    I agree with your comments. They are very well stated.

    As is true with most Ebay sellers I am disappointed with Ebay’s preference to the buyer (although when I am one, I appreciate it). I do not like their frequent increases in fees and requirements from their sellers, even their top-rated ones.  At this point I am a top-rated seller but usually am only 1-2 strikes away from that being taken away, and losing the 20% discount on fees (now only for certain items).  I was quite upset at the new 14-day return window especially since I sell for several consignors.  I have always paid them their percentage as soon as one of their items sells and now have to hope and pray that the buyer doesn’t renege and return it!  I can only offer free shipping on the smallest items.  Thankfully, I sell a lot of them, but I can see where other sellers who ship large things via UPS would lose a lot of $ if they did that.   I have toyed with the idea of opening my own storefront now that I have more Facebook and blog exposure on my own.  Maybe this summer…I also sell on Amazon and am this week in fact, moving almost all of my book inventory to Amazon.  I have blogged myself about the benefits of selling books and media on Amazon and have sent many of my followers there to do so.  No hassles, easy listing template, most photos are already in their inventory base.  Several friends have left Ebay and now sell on Etsy as well.  

    Ebay hopefully will wake up and take notice that they do not own the internet sales marketplace and adjust some of their practices.

    Even with saying all of this, because my market is primarily those interested in buying collectibles and more unusual items, I have seen a huge boom in business over the last several months.  This is a part-time “job” / income stream for me and our family and our livelihood does not depend on it.  I feel for those for whom it is.

    • EUNICE


  • SV

    Kat, your theory is only half the story. The other half is told by the people  “with hatred and venom” and is no enigma – ebay treats its sellers as disposable, low-wage Walmart employees. Not as its customers, partners or “part-owners”. Even a little bit of respect would’ve gone a long way, but alas, a Walmart does not need to respect its 1.5mln employees who would rather die than take a day of for health reasons and possibly be let go because of that – I speak of real events here.
    that’s what eBay became – a Walmart. Because it knows there is no other game in town, and even if all American sellers leave, there is the rest of the world to sell their wares, and, again, ebay is the only game in town (the World).
    Will ebay get passed it? Well, they will get by until and unless there is a real competition. Until then, it will continue tighten the screws on its sellers, and continue to solicit more hatred and venom. What a wonderful way to run a business, huh? Rutheless like the industrialists in the 19th century…

  • Asbaswak

    Much like the last poster (smallsellerabused), I have been on eBay since the beginning and have witnessed and suffered their fee gouging and their 99.999999999% support for the buyers and leave the sellers out to dry. 

    Their recent “free” listing month for store owners gave me a wonderful opportunity to clean out some of my 8 month and older stock…. or so I thought.  Out of over 2000 listings moved to the free auction listing, I sold 138 in March – most with a single bid.  My monthly average is nearly 250 items, thus I was far below that and actually discounted everything 60% with free shipping.

    I also suffered a few negatives from buyers who could not or did not read the descriptions and had to cancel the transactions, but because I requested them to be canceled the negatives could not be removed.

    As I said, I have been here from the begining and have detailed records showing how my sales suffered from each and every change eBay implemented.  Most of it occurred when they started the “Regional” listing and searches.  Shortly after that I noticed my items, no matter how or where they were listed being sold to regions vice scattered all over the World.  One week I would have 20 items sell in my own state and a few to the near regions…. the next week mainly to the West Coast, then the next most were out of the Country.  This promted me to keep a detailed list of where they went.   And it did not matter what time of day, length, or type of item as I offered everything.

    Unfortunately they do have the majority hold on the market and I will most likely have to return to them for my yearly income.  I am partially disabled, preventing me from any type of long term employment, but still have bills to pay.

    It would be nice if the Federal Government would take a deep hard look at them and their accounting.  Got the Paypal 1099 for taxes this year and even my accountant thought it was very interesting since it just reports all monetary transactions received which includes the shipping costs, handling fees, etc… and not separated into section sie. Sales Price, Shipping, Other.

    I am uncertain how much longer they may last as from the discussion boards many longtime and some newbies are finding the site is becoming ridiculous.  2011 Income was down about 20% from 2010, which was down the year prior almost 30%.  My best year was in 2002 grossing over $175K, but barely crack $25K Net now.

  • Bill

    In any situation, anywhere, whether it be an online store, a brick and mortar business, a social organization, a book club or whatever, there will always be someone, somewhere who will hurl vitriol, verbal abuse, sling mud and generally just be an obnoxious, mouthy bully with comments that stick out like a sore thumb. Yes, eBay is not cheap to work with. If one is trying to make money, the expenses do add up. If one is trying to earn a living at eBay, then one must realize that eBay itself is a business and not a charity. They probably make millions. It would be nice if it could all be free, but it isn’t. I’ve tried some of the free selling sites, still have items listed on them, and, well, you get what you pay for. I’ve sold a few things over the course of a year on these free sites, but nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to what I’ve sold on eBay. The exposure that eBay has and provides worldwide is, in my opinion, quite extraordinary. And it costs money. There is not just one person sitting at a computer who presses a button and, Kazaam! Your items appear on eBay in Helsinki, Moscow, Rome, Singapore and Berlin as well as New York City and San Francisco. No. There are probably thousands of individuals around the world working for eBay who help you sell your items. And all these people need to be paid. Changing policies are all part of the game. It may make you feel better for a while, but posting a vitriolic rage on a blog or chat room will do nothing to help you or eBay.

    • BEVIE100


  • J. Barrett

    The difference that I see from the early days of eBay to now is that eBay WAS a community where everyone had an opportunity to start business with very little overhead and without the restriction of regulations that made everyone comply. Essentially a free market as the United States started out being and everyone was happy and got along quite well and made lots and lots of money. Then the statists (corporatists) started taking over and imposing rules because they were too lazy to deal with individual fraud and individual complaints. And, the power aspect cannot be ignored. They gradually changed it to a top-down oppressive rule making venue that forced you to comply to their idea of utopian business-making. Much like the US government prior to 1900 in comparision to today. The late 1990’s to about 2005, 2006 was true freedom to sell and make money and it was a wonderful, wonderful and very exciting place to be. Now, not so much. Again, just like the United States now under statist “progressive” rule. Ebay is still the only place to sell via auction individual items you find at yard sales that may have no current value due to condition or other variances.  However, if you want to take the time to open a store, there are many choices. Ebay needs to come back to where it began for the small auction sellers if it wants to become a dominate force again, in my opinion. The anger you are seeing is the regret of loss to the good that eBay was and to what it is now. Much like you see in the US today. I’m sorry I keep comparing the two, but the similarities are very compelling. Top-down nanny-statism is the ailment that needs to be fixed in both the US and in eBay.

  • Mo

    Kat, I have never looked at it like this, but I am more emotionally attached to eBay than Amazon and
    you have summed it up perfectly.

  • Anonymous

    I use both eBay & Amazon.  I dispise eBay and the idiots who run it.  It’s almost like they try to hire people who are devoid of logic.  I have never felt (12 years) that I had ownership but I do remember when things were sort of equal, the seller wasn’t s..t and the buyers could receive bad feedback if they were scam artists.  Amazon is professional and you can actually contact them by phone if necessary. I’ve NEVER gotten a stupid response from Amazon; I’ve never felt like slapping one of them; I’ve always received respect and for the most part, they are very helpful.  My gosh! Even Bezos emailed me once (and fixed my problem). 

  • Amachan12

    Ebay lacks respect for sellers.  It views our customers as “their” customers. I was told “they ARE our customers because they buy other items, not just yours”.  I do have customers that only purchase from me. 

    Ebay created a class system society of sellers.  The raise the bar higher and higher to achieve ebay ‘favors’. What’s next after 24hr shipping?  Customer mind-reading before purchases occur?  I have been at all levels – TSR, Powerseller, Little Worthless Seller.

     My 83 mother had a heart attack and almost died. Family flew in to say goodbye.  Shipping was affected – 0.4 rating dsr (less than 1 point wrong).  Ebay customer service stated “Life happens to everybody” in reply to holding my funds for the first time in 10 years.  Where is my interest on the thousands held in my account? 

    What does Donahoe do that is worth $13,000,000.00 salary plus bonus last year?

  • Pkazmierski

    I’ve been selling on eBay for over 10 years and have 2538 in positive feedback. Though I was doing it part time, there were years when I had gross sales that exceeded $12,000. I sell miscellaneous items I pick up at garage sales and I sell for friends. Ebay’s policy changes and fee increases have made the site increasingly hostile to a seller like me. I took great exception to the policy where eBay charges a percentage for the cost of shipping. Paypal, which eBay owns, already charges a percentage for the entire financial transaction that includes the cost of shipping. So they are charging twice for the same thing. While there is no doubt that eBay is the best known auction site, I felt forced to look elsewhere. My main selling venue is now Bonanza, which I believe is gaining traction and I have greatly reduced the amount of business I do on eBay.

  • Medium seller abused

    I believe in treating my customers with respect. I believe
    that most people are honest. The reality is that not everyone will treat me
    with respect in return. The reality is that some people are not honest.
    There are two sides to every coin….. I could go on with the corny dialogue
    but you get the idea.
    I have been on eBay since 2000. I have seen my sales climb to a significant level;
    I am currently a Silver Power seller, down from my Gold high due to eBay’s
    When the Detailed Seller Rating system came online I thought that this was an
    opportunity to up my game. I am a hard working retailer and I knew I could
    compete with the rest of the world, and even improve what I view is a top rated
    online eBay store. I used the rating information to see what all the customers
    really thought…. then eBay decided that they would downgrade my store rating
    due to 4 sales that indicated that the item was not as described and rated me
    as a 1 or 2 star.
    I try to satisfy all my customers, correct any errors that may occur and
    thought I had reached out to any unsatisfied customers, but there will always
    be some that will not be satisfied. The DSR is the perfect method for them to
    lash out. I expected that. What I did not expect was that even when you correct
    problems to the customers satisfaction I would still get those 1 or 2 star
    ratings AND have no way to relate those ratings to customers in order to take
    any steps to correct problems. I do not know who left the ratings; I have a
    limited ability to make any changes if the ratings don’t make sense to me.
    Ok … I can live with that (I thought) but when eBay decided to downgrade my
    store rating I was disappointed, until they told me that my listing fee
    (presented to me as a upgrading of their service to me), which had increased
    from 3 cents each to 5 cents each (OK prices go up and after all how much more
    was a minor 2 cent increase… I only had 1400 listings after all) but with the
    downgrading of my rating the cost per listing was now 20 cents each. I pay
    monthly for the store with an additional monthly fee per listing (don’t forget
    the final valuation fee and PayPal fees added when you actually sell
    something). My additional fee for each listing had gone from $42.00 to $70.00
    with the increase to 5 cents, but NOW the fee was $280.00 per month … based
    on the DSR rating.
    I dropped 800 or 900 listings, and waited out the low DSR….
    I now have over 3100 listings, sales around $100,000 and increasing… but am
    always waiting for the axe to fall.  A rating downgrade at this point
    would mean an increase in my store cost (for monthly listing fees alone) will
    go from $155 up to $620. Shutting downfor 3 months due to wait out a couple of low ratings will loose me $25,000 in sales!
    If this happens again, who is it benefiting? My rating is 99.5% positive… I
    sell all over the world, I work hard to earn a living dealing honestly with my
    customers and eBay works out this system that earns them $460 more off my sales
    for a feedback system that does not allow me to correct any problems that may
    come up.
    Have I been heard when I have a problem? Do they correct issues that affect sellers?
    I am met with eBay staff who advocate that I do Free Shipping to make my
    customers happy, who have not a clue what they are taking about, with decisions
    when they “arbitrate” that break their own rules … always in favour
    of the buyer and always ones that cost me money but do not cost them anything.
    When I have a problem they go to their scripts… which often have no relation
    to what I am asking, or they promise a return call or email that never arrives.
    If we were rating them I think that their rating would be Very LOW.
    What is your seller satisfaction rating for eBay?
    I feel like someone who has a bad habit. Or maybe it is eBay that has the bad
    habit. As a corporation I think they are only looking at the next quarter…
    can they earn more in the next 3 months? They sure don’t listen when I ask for
    something. I can tell you, any other service that I pay thousands of dollars to
    would no longer have my trade. But the options are just not very good… so we
    are stuck with the Devil we know.
    So why do sellers love to hate eBay? You really have to ask?

  • Tjcard

    As soon as I can find another place to sell I will leave ebay and I will not wish ebay well. I have been a loyal seller and buyer for many years. They never take the side of the seller in any situation I am sure the dictatorship ebay uses on us the sellers will some day come back to haunt them.  An alternative is the site no fee or charges as they use advertisements for their income.

  • Disappointed

    Your article is just not correct. Amazon is business-like, but they also care about their Sellers. There are clear guidelines that potect both the Seller and the Buyer. eBay allows the Buer to act in a different manner than a Buyer would even act at a regular retail store. Buyers have too much power. In addition, eBay is beginning to regulate transactions so much that it is starting to feel like we are more underpaid employees than Sellers selling in an open market. It feels like they should change the name from eBay to eMployer.

    • Anonymous

      Amazon charges you and all their sellers for their A-Z customer satisfaction policy. 

      I’ve sold on both for years – and occasionally buy on Amazon (only products they stock themselves – new products).  They’re impossible to buy used (books) from.

      And their feedback is a joke – they allow bad feedback for sellers because a customer didn’t enjoy a book they bought.  Since when can book sellers, whether store or online, guarantee any particular customer will enjoy a book?  Feedback on books should be whether in the condition promised and the correct book – and Amazon doesn’t make it easy to even get the correct book with their canned images.

      You need to take another look at Amazon – and pray you never have a real problem with them. 

  • Hika98

    Hi, I have been an eBay seller since 1992….I sell art & antiques..and while my sales are not gigantic..I have still managed to sell just under $100,000 in those years until today. Sure, I am not always happy with changes made at eBay..but since it is my only internet sales workplace….I really do not have major problems with all the hoopla other sellers get there ‘knickers in a twist’ about!
    I guess my major annoyance is the ‘double dipping’ that eBay does by owning PayPal! That is a totally greedy ( and I wish illegal) part Ebay plays in the $$ I can earn from each sale. 
    The other stuff.?.I basically ignore..keep my head down, my sales up ( as best possible..) while riding out the low months and being grateful for the good ones! 
    Have checked out ‘other’ venues ( like Amazon) but haven’t felt they would work for me….I have a very strong repeat business so I plan to stay where I am. 
    The anger and stress expressed by so many eBayers is a hopeless waste of time..unless they can actually make a difference in policies….which seems unlikely. If ebay works for them…then vent all you want and stay! Or vent and GO!

    • Cmjenks

      Since 1992? Are you sure about that date? 🙂

  • guest

    EBay sellers do not resist change just out of habit, they resist change that jeopardizes their livelihood. Yes, some changes were necessary to weed out unethical sellers. HOWEVER, eBay is made up of both buyers AND sellers and to kowtow to one group at the expense of the other is ridiculous. I started on eBay in 2001. There were years when my eBay fees (not including Paypal, just eBay) was over $25,000/year. I have 100% feedback, all my DSRs are 4.94 or more, and I am a PowerSeller. I have met and/or exceeded all the criteria eBay has forced upon me. In which other venue would I not be considered at the top of my game?

    As a matter of fact, if we go by customer satisfaction, my satisfaction rate is much higher than eBay’s. So explain to me why every few months there are more hoops that I need to jump through? I used to sell high-end clothing, but I tapered that off as quickly as possible when the free shipping rule went into effect. Now I sell gourmet spices since due to their weight I could eat the shipping costs. Now the new rule is to get orders out within 1 day or lose my 20% discount. 

    I know eBay’s excuse is that their marketplace needs to remain competitive with others but I know of very few marketplaces that offer free shipping without a minimum order. To force sellers to raise prices or eat shipping fees is insane. Here is a fact, people come to eBay to get a bargain. If the prices keep having to go up just to cover the cost of selling on eBay, then shoppers will go elsewhere. 

    The 1 day rule is another unnecessary hardship which on other sites buyers usually have to pay extra for. If you want your order out within a day, it’s considered rush shipping and you pay more for the privilege. I had on my listings that the handling time was 3 days, but always got them out within 2, because I am not a large corporation. I am one person. I don’t understand why or how they opted for one day shipping to be the standard. Most other marketplaces allow 48 hours. And the only thing I could come up with is that it’s eBay’s way of not having to pay that 20%. They stipulate a criteria which is hard for many sellers to meet and bye-bye discount, hello more revenue for eBay. 

    So no, sellers are not resisting change because we like to spout off at the mouth. We resist what is detrimental to the sellers. But I do thank eBay for one thing; without the changes they insisted on making, I would never have been forced to start looking at other sites to sell on. Their insensitivity and ludicrous rules were the kick in the ass I needed to expand from their site. I put up my own website and listed on Amazon and Etsy. It’s funny that eBay’s own rules are generating revenue for their competition. Now my own revenue is up 40% and growing every month. My goal is to eventually leave eBay altogether or at the very least grow my business on the other sites enough so that eBay is no longer my primary source of income. So that when they make unilateral decisions which threaten my profit margin as they do now, it is of little or no consequence to me. 


    • Igetjunk

       “Their insensitivity and ludicrous rules were the kick in the ass I needed to expand from their site.”

      Me too!

      I saw the writing on the wall 8 years ago and immediately set up my own domain and store.

      Initially, my site sold 1/100th of what I sold on ebay. Now my site generates 75% of my sales…mostly repeat customers from my prior ebay sales…I offer the same items in both places…but the website is minus the ebay fees:)…

  • William200042

    Why when we sell an item that ebay then Paypal take a cut from it,
    I think it’s unfair that they should take a % out of the Postal and the Packing cost,From the amount the item sold for is fair but the other No,Plus PayPal also take a monthy charge for being a member again which is un fair as some members may not sell item some months but still get charged.
    Seem to be getting a bigger rip offs the longer it grows.
    Why charge a higher % for listing item that you put in a higher starting price,and also a higher % for the selling price the higher it sells for.

  • Chris B

    I have to admit I agree with alot of people’s points on here when they say every new policy on Ebay hurts the sellers – me included! BUT I do tend to feel alot of people that moan about how they can’t make any money on Ebay, might just not be very good businessmen/ women. If their profit margin is so low that a 1% increase in FVF’s is going to put you out of business then it wasn’t a very stable business in the first place! You’ve seen how the high street shops are all closed/ closing, that was just evolution of business and this is too. Woolworths, Game and whoever else that have gone under aren’t bitching and moaning like this because small online businesses have taken all their sales. Is it Ebay or the large chains fault that they are evolving the website away from individual, work-from-home sellers and trying to get back their market share that they have lost over the last 10-15 years since internet sales started to boom?

  • Honrnby698

    Why do ebay and PayPal take a % out of the final value Fee which includes the cost of the P&P which is totaly unfair to have to pay a listing fee according to the starting auction price and then a % fee for the final value which will include the P&P they do nothing for this service.
    Plus a monthly charge from PayPal for being a member which in some cases, some people may not sell any items for acouple of month.

    Even trying to sort a problem out they never seem to get back it’s always within 24 Hrs more like 24 days.

  • Acarlover

    Happy to have found this wonderful support group. 12 years as an eBay seller and it feels like it’s coming to an end. Its all about big numbers. Paypal is bringing in big money and sitting on our funds for days. I sell fine vintage jewelry and it does feel like a rental operation. I keep looking for some kind of seller support, but that is completely missed. Just had a horrible threat from a buyer and eBay advised to to go to the police. Still, they said she could leave negative feedback. Wow! That really says a lot….

  • Janjems

    I am an Ebay seller for 12 years. Small items such as vintage jewelry, womans accessories, and other items as of recent years. As Ebay has been changing recently,The items views have gone down, sales are not meeting comparitive prices that I have received in the past. Due to the lack of availability of my type of product my Power Seller status is gone and also the Top Seller label. I feel that along with the economy, Ebay Managements Dictator  attitude is destroying the business for the small experienced sellers and the larger vintage sellers also. Ebay is now for the large retail business who will let Ebay control their policies and product. Ebay is acting as owners..They areTaking over the sellers merchandise. It’s a slap in the face to the sellers who helped start Ebay. 

  • Chrisv777

         I have been selling on ebay since 1997 and while over they years many of the changes were necessary I also found almost as many that were not only unnecessary but counterproductive as well as counterintuitive.
         Positive changes that have improved ebay for all:  Best offers, Ebay stores, Fixed Prices, Seller Phone Support (to a degree, the outsourcing on weekends is difficult), Selling Manager Pro, the current Bulk Relist tools, Shipping Label processing through ebay.
         Negative or counterproductive changes: 

    1) The constant changes to the return policy…..namely being forced to spend time making changes to already listed items when ebay doesn’t enforce the stipulated sellers policy. Why have sellers spend so much counterproductive time making changes when ebay refuses to enforce the stated policies? 

    2) The anonymity of the DSR. Since day 1 ebay has preached community and communication. Anonymity contradicts that. As a seller if I don’t know that there’s a problem I’m unable to address it. It restricts communication and breed negativity.

    3) The restrictions on posting the acceptance of checks/money orders done under the guise of it being “for the benefit of the seller” as it would supposedly cut down on non-paying bidders. In reality this was a strongarm tactic in an attempt to force all buyers to use paypal. All it did was chase away thousands of long time customers that did not wish to use paypal. The great irony is we now have more non-paying bidders than ever.

    4)  The automation of the buyer protection program for items under $50 (it’s either $50 or $100, it’s not stated). Once a claim is escalated regardless of the parameters it’s automatically ruled in favor of the buyer and a strike recorded for the seller. This also breed bad seller behavior since it contradicts return policies and communication.

    5) No specifics for the removal of repeat non-paying bidders from eBay. I have personally dealt with buyers that do this on a regular basis yet still have their buying privelege. This lackadaisical stance creates a lack of respect for what is labeled as a “binding contract”. As a seller I’m held accountable for each and every transaction. This attitude creates entitlement and a lack of respect from seller to buyer. There at least used to be a certain level of respect and apologetics when a buyer changed their mind. Now I receive “requests” such as “I don’t want it”, “I’m not paying for it” , “Just cancel it” or in most cases no contact at all. Unless there’s a modicum of respect I won’t mutually cancel which leads to other issues. Buyers that will pay for items then refuse the package upon receipt or file a claim to get their money back even before the items is shipped to circumvent the non-paying bidder strike.

    On a whole ebay is great place to sell one’s wares and oddities. The biggest flaw that I see is the attempt to re-model itself after Amazon. For many years ebay was the trend setter, not the follower. In order to be the great entity that it once was it needs to get back to the ingenuity that made it great. Not chase it’s tail to emulate another or to appease stockholders. 

    Perhaps a “changing of the guards” would be in order. Put those with years of retail experience in charge not those with no retail background whatsoever. If ebay completely becomes another Amazon it loses it’s originality and offers nothing different to draw in and keep buyers.

  • eBay: Used vs. New

    I don’t believe for one moment all of this is about eBay once being a “community” and now it isn’t.   This is all about eBay once being a place for almost the exclusive sale of pre-owned, vintage, collectible, hard to find replacement parts and the like.  

    No matter what Donohue does, he will NEVER be able to address BOTH the sales of new unused merchandise and the business model that eBay once was.

    For the millionth time eBay… please, divide eBay into two segments.   NEW and USED.   Take the countless restrictions off the USED part of the house and impose whatever restrictions you think necessary on the NEW side of the house. 

    If eBay EVER does something like this they need to STOP instituting changes for EITHER side for at least two years.  THEN do a real deep analysis of the two types of sites.   Take a long hard look at how many people browse the USED side of the house and how much profit is generated by each.  

    A buyer can’t return items on the used side of the house.  Those items are USED, they will state they are used, they will have some form of wear or usage marks.  Let the used side auction their brains out because THAT is what was exciting for both buyers and sellers.  It was the HUNT and the bidding and the drama and the winning, or the losing!

    eBay *was* an auction site.  The largest auction site in the world.  THAT is what got people excited.

    Sooooooooooo…. from my perspective it isn’t about eBay vs. Amazon.  It’s about eBay the former dedicated auction site vs. eBay the venue that is trying to be “something else.”

    Address those things, and I believe the problem will be solved forever. 

    • this is what i have been saying for along time we are used collectable and antique we are not a retail store if you want retail go to walmart, kmart or where ever better yet start ebay new items the 2 should not be mixed. ebay does not buy our items for us to sell or pay us

    • yes yes yes

  • Can’t say

    If you all have this time and energy to complain about eBay, I suggest starting to do something else with your life, it isn’t worth the misery.  There is no “Someday I will make a fortune on eBay.”  I had that fantasy and finally got to reality with it.  I have an eBay business doing $30k per month, 2 employees, 2000 sq ft office/warehouse, and we provide a great experience for customers, our feedback is around 20,000 and growing at a rate of 1000 per month.  Still, it’s bad business for anyone who can run a calculator.  Our biggest threat sounds, honestly, like most of you: people who sell out of their house/basement/garage and are willing to sell for less just to get cashflow.  We have a competitor in our industry who happens to live in town.  He sells a lot more than we do, because he sells at about a 5% profit.  We had to quit selling those items, and he thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

    It will stay this way partially because of the low point of entry to doing business there, and many sellers go for a long time not knowing how much money they are losing.  If you start something that requires a real infrastructure, like say a cement plant, and you’ll see how cool eBay is when you don’t have to lay out several million dollars with the HOPE of making money.  Bigger risks may lead to a much bigger reward, or much worse financial problems if they go bad.  We still use eBay to make money, but we’re growing past that after a total of over $5M in sales, and about $500,000 in FEES.  Apparently we all like fees, but there’s fees everywhere: employees, payroll, electric bills of over $500 for a building like mine in Arizona summers, employees stealing from you, employees screwing around all day when they think you’re not checking on them, city regulations on sprinkler systems forcing you to upgrade, etc.  If you’ve ever owned a bricks and mortar business you know there’s no free lunch there, so why is there on eBay?

    Secondly, eBay attracts bad customers.   They want stuff cheap.  I don’t work cheap, so I naturally don’t like it and don’t relate to the customers well.  Work for full price, or for free, never for cheap.

    We have a strong action plan on leaving eBay within the next year or two, and we make great money on there.  We just don’t like it.

    //Can’t say who I am….

    • Chris

      You are right, the biggest beef we should have is how they’ve treated us like cattle and constantly have us under threat if a DSR section is slightly off.  My account became limited because I received a 1.02% 1s and 2s in the item as described section.  You know how difficult that is to get perfectly when you are selling others consigned used items?

  • Visirecord1

    Ka,t think you are well off the mark on your reasoning for eBay seller dissatisfaction.  The previous poster has it right..its the decisions and policys that they have instituted, plus their very obvious don’t care about sellers attitude that engenders bile you see.  If you have been to past eBay Live events perhaps you recall when sellers entered the hall for the final dinner and show we had to run the gauntlet between the attending eBay employees – and there were hundreds of them – all applauding us.  If that were to happen today they would all be extending their middle digit!   Since there isn’t a single website that offers serious competition for them they have taken unfair advantage..thats what it boils down to.  

    I could go on and on about what they have done wrong, but whats the point?

  • Igetjunk

    “In any situation, anywhere, whether it be an online store, a brick and
    mortar business, a social organization, a book club or whatever, there
    will always be someone, somewhere who will hurl vitriol…”

    In the case of ebay, it is not “someone”, but very large numbers.

    What happened to ebay live? It was canceled…why…because at the final convention the ebay reps we’re practically fearing for their lives from the angry mob of attendees.

    I forget what it was, but I think it was the no negatives issue…boy were sellers pissed..they even managed to get an ebay exec to admit the policy was a failure..

    Short story.

    >Buyers scared to leave negs for fear of retaliation (so ebay claims).

    >Ebay blocks sellers from leaving negs.

    >Convention attendee asks “I’ve heard that the number of negatives being left has exploded since this change in policy?”

    >Ebay exec replies “the number of negs left has not change noticeably”

    So the policy solved a problem that didn’t exist!

  • Paul Beulke

    Ebay needs to open an original site for collectors and used items, and leave the existing site to the corporate compines that have over run the site and runied it for collectors. The general public that made ebay what it is today, should not be suffering because of big business. Can you imagine what ebay would be like if all the sellers that they have chased away came back, if there were two sites i think both would be just as profitable to the stock holders. I would think that a new ebay site with the first core values and true feedback system would go a long way toward the future of ebay.

    I have been selling on ebay now for over ten years, and a good 45% of the people i have sold to of the last 10 years do not shop or sell on ebay anymore. Over the years i have kept records of all my sale’s and when i post something i send a mass email to all the people that have bought the same type of items from me in the past. I use to get a lot of repeat buyers, now we get replys like, Sorry ebay has become to difficult. Same responses when i try to contact seller’s i have delt with in the past, they are gone and no longer on ebay.

    I also use to teach ebay to older Antique seller’s that i use to deal with at swapmeets and sell along side of. They new i sold on ebay because i use to print comparision and attached them to the items i was selling at the out door shows. Over the years i would say have the senior citizens i set up to sell on ebay over the years 85% of them say it’s just to much work anymore ! And most of the people i teached sell to subsidize there social security checks So if there not using ebay anymore to help sustain there way of life because it’s to hard and they are losing money.

    Change needs to happen!
    Thank you for reading & good luck to us all !

  • Trucks

    the problem now with ebay is trying to please them, they are gilty of punishing the seller if you do not do -a 1 day handeling and 14 or more day return,when selling on ebay you work hard to aquire a top rated seller badge and if you do not do the i day handling and return they take it away from you,

    they leave you feeling like you do this or else,ebay was a great place until they took away a seller leaving a buyer neg feedback,you can do nothing to a buyer at all, a example is i sold a old roy rodgers lunchbox to a buyer,shipped it the buyer the buyer then filed item not as described agnist me,

    i went on and took it back because ebay was going to give them there money back if i did not accept the return and the buyer would keep my box- trying to keep ebay happy and off my back,the box i sold was very nice rust and dent free rated a 8+ on a 10 scale,the box i got back was rusted the thermos holder was gone and had dent’s on it,it was a 3+ on a ten scale,

    well what do you do when the buyer is always right ebay thinks,pleasing ebay is a lot harder then pleasing your buyer,ebay lets the buyer go to far & get you if you are a seller anymore,the 14 day return is something ebay should stay out of

    ,if a buyer has a problem then let the seller fix it or the buyer has buyer protection,don;t give the the dishonest buyers the key to the safe,…not happy

  • Danse24

    It is interesting to see such emotional responses in a business world.  The problem is not with eBay or Amazon’s policies but with people who give emotional responses to business problems.  When changes are not handled objectively and with carefuly analysis toward an equitable solution for independent businesses, the result is often failure. 

    There were no “good old days” at eBay, it was the wild west of selling, fraud was rampant and scammers abundant. It was not corporate greed that changed eBay it was seller/buyer abuse of the system.    Amazon was a bookseller that did not court independent sellers. Now it tightly controls sellers through rules and careful watch over the marketplace.  The more independent sellers you see coming aboard on Amazon, the more disrest you will see.

    There is no such thing as a perfect marketplace and it is always evolving and changing. You either change and evolve with it or you fail.

  • Carol

    The new one day handling policy is ridiculous. I sell personalized items and they take 2-3 days just to engrave or print. I now will loose my 20% Top Rated Seller discount because I cannot possibly offer one day shipping. I have always offered a 14 exchange on my items but now I have to state NO RETURNS as exchange is no longer an option.
    Just to top it off tracking has to be uploaded in the specified shipping time 90% of the time.
    For me to keep my Top Rated Seller status.
    Buyers have to email me with their personalization request as eBay does not have the technology to collect this information at point of sale. Although I ask them to email me immediately lots of buyers don’t. It sometimes takes me a week of emailing, calling and leaving messages etc to get a response from a buyer as to exactly what they want engraving.
    I can’t possibly ship until I know what the hell they want on their item! 

    Thanks eBay, you have just made my life even harder than it was! After years of hard work, and giving excellent customer service  I now stand to loose it all based on your ridiculous new policies!

    I thought I was self employed but obviously not, I have a real nasty boss dictating my every move!

  • Karen C

    eBay could stop making policy changes that 

    (1) result in class action lawsuits (e.g., the monopolistic notion they could get away with banning payment methods other than PayPal, once they OWNED PayPal)

    (2) Cause businesses tax and accounting difficulties, and are questionable from both a legal and ethical standpoint.  Here, I am referring to the absurd practice of charging an Auction Fee on Postage/Shipping charges.  Those are a cost of doing business, not profit for the Seller.

    eBay has consistently – and provably – failed to enforce many of its own policies, instead taking measures such as (2) above, in order to get out of taking responsibility for valid complaints by Sellers OR Buyers.

    The anger is not at change per se. eBay Sellers are not angry simply because eBay has made changes. If that were the case, the same rage would have occurred from the beginning, and, again provably, it has not.

    The anger erupting over the past year to 18 months is FAR beyond the norm, and involves a far greater percentage of individual (not company or corporate) Sellers.

    This point has been made over and over again, which is why commenters here keep asking if is simply a mouthpiece FOR eBay, rather than an objective reporter of events.

    The anger is specfically at changes which 
    (a) remove Seller protections, 
    (b) appear to be actually unlawful, or certainly contractually questionable, and 
    (c) eBay still purporting to be any kind of “auction” site any for individual sellers. It is not.

    The anger is at eBay’s lies and abdication of contractual responsibility, not at change. 

    That anger is understandable, and inevitable. Most individuals who sign a legal and binding contract with another party expect that party to abide by its contractual obligations, not simply keep changing the terms every time that party finds itself in breach of, or wishes to breach, terms and conditions that are either inconvenient or cut into eBay’s profits.

    Avoiding the consequences of breach of contract by tilting the playing field increasingly, on a regular basis, may be barely legal, but it is highly unethical, incredibly arrogant, and makes a mockery of one of the basic concepts of contract law, i.e., “meeting of the minds”.

    That the eBay contract with Sellers particularly has become a “contract of adhesion”, where Seller and Buyers have no rights of negotiation, and where eBay knows full well they are preventing even the possibility of “meeting of the minds,” is what causes the anger.

    Changes made by eBay that actually prevent Sellers from running their own business as THEY see fit are causing the anger.

    The result is Sellers who are leaving for sites more friendly to individual Sellers, and who find equitable ways of enforcing their policies (e.g., Amazon setting a fair Shipping and Handling fee by default, as opposed to eBay prohibiting Sellers from even being able to get their actual, documentable costs reimbursed in full). 

    And for those Sellers who want the freedom to set their own Shipping and Handling, Amazon offers a quite reasonable merchant contract at an affordable price – and DOESN’T (as eBay does) penalize larger merchants, or those who want their own storefront, by then also charging higher fees/commission on certain classes of item.

    That is, by the way, one of the reasons for anger at eBay: constantly being tripped up by small and inconsistent fee “adjustments” that consistently cancel out any net gain overall.

    The anger is eBay can’t manage to create a simple, consistent, set of rules and fee structure, then enforce is consistently for ALL Sellers.

    So why is it only THIS site keeps questioning why Sellers are angry? 

    Why is it no one here “gets” that when the majority are cogently expressing rational reasons for anger at a company – one whose policy more and more is “we can do anything we want, and you have no power or standing contractually)” – the majority might actually have a point?

  • Danse24

    Karen, I appreciate your postition. However eBay is a multi-national corporation with billions in GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) when they make changes they are based on metrics analysis, testing and input from the community. 

    But the bottom line is they don’t have any contractural responsibility to their sellers anymore than Amazon does. 

    They provide a platform for selling and buying and provide the tools to make it work.  If it doesn’t work they adjust and readjust the platform.

    Right now the changes are working for the majority of sellers and their quarterly report reflects the changes are improving their standing in the marketplace.

    It isn’t a perfect world, but nothing in retail is. Sellers adjust, change and/or move on. In this world you concentrate on building a brand, finding a niche and then expanding cross platform to keep profits high. Spending time being upset with a selling platform is not productive nor will it change anything.

    • Chris

      Their quarterly report was bolstered by Paypal results much moreso than eBay marketplace results.  And even if the marketplace is showing improvement, its due to commissions on shipping.

  • Corlandi

    Wow, I think you hit it on the head! Yes as an early and still active seller, the changes are being controlled because of the growth and the stock exchange. Personally I do not do well with controlist thinking. Ebay was very friendly and now the coporate giant is taking over. Is there a way to change it? Good question

  • Ymrxyz

    Same story every time! . . . most all comments are  negative towards ebay, and rightfully so. The auction sellers – used, collectible, antique, etc. – have no where to go. Why don’t you wake up, ebay! Ebay is no longer an auction! Why is it so hard to understand . . . different policies for sellers of used, auction type items! Why do you MBA s refuse to nurture this revenue stream!

  • Florida_doughboy

    smallsellerabused, knows exactly what he is saying. 100% true. I have been a buyer and seller on eBay for 9 years and I fell 100% “DISPOSABLE”! Ebay dose not care in the least about sellers!

  • That makes sense, Kat.  I think sellers identify more with the specific store they have on eBay, whereas with Amazon they are just selling stuff – there’s no “store” that’s their own.  Sellers often tell me that they are “eBay sellers who also sell on Amazon” rather than the other way around.

  • Vintagepaperbacks

    I started selling books on Amazon in 1999, the same year I started buying on eBay.  I eventually grew to where i sold thousands and thousands of books on Amazon, until the end of 2004, when I sold my entire inventory of 6,000+ books for a mere $2,000.  Meanwhile, I had my first eBay sale in 2001, or so eBay says.  I believe it was earlier, before they were keeping data.  Anyway, for at least 3 & 1/2 years, i was listing and/or revising/undercutting my prices every single day. I was selling strongly on BOTH venues.  Talk about trying to balance time and inventory!!  

    I disagree with your theory, big time.  I’m not going to get deep here, because I’m busy and also typing on my iPad, but for ME, I HATED eBay, and especially back in my Amazon days.  MY reasoning is/was that the Amazon platform is so quick and simple to use, and any changes they made over the years only made things EASIER on their sellers, whereas eBay I work my ass off taking/cropping/uploading photos, write long description, spend time answering too many questions, and spend too much time and money on packing various antiques and collectibles, only to be TOLD that I have to change everything every six months.  And that is not easy when you sell using Auctiva, because your policies, shipping/payment info are integrated into all 600-700 of my descriptions.  I could go on and on, but amazon was entering an ISBN, selecting a condition, and then writing a few short sentences of the condition, and that was it.  Then throw a book into a bubble envelope, and you’re done.  they have repricing software too.  Customer service was always fast and friendly and I felt they cared, whereas even to this day, whenever I call eBay about a problem, suggestion, or a glitch, it never fails that when the conversation ends, I’m always still stuck on page one with them.  Always a total time-waster to call them!  It is too time-consuming to sell on eBay vs. Amazon, and Amazon doesn’t CONSTANTLY dangle a carrot in front of their seller’s faces!

    The biggest difference between the two are that amazon LISTENED to their sellers from the onset, found simple ways to do things, and KEPT them that way over the years.  eBay on the other hand, refused to listen to their sellers and always thought they were “God” and that no one would be able to compete with them.  Actually, they were very egotistical and GREEDY!  From .02 cents to list an item, and eventually about .70 to list the same item, all within a few years?  THEN…someone woke up to smell the coffee and realized that Amazon was stealing a lot of their buyers, and took a good, hard look at the way amazon did business.  Bays biggest problem right now is wanting to play copy-cat and try to BE Amazon, which they never will.  And one day someone over at eBay HQ’s will wake from their dream to realize that eBay is eBay and Amazon is Amazon.  Quit being a “wanna-be”, eBay, and start being yourself.  While you’re reading this, take my advice and STOP with all the continuous, drastic changes and ultimatums and you might one day have happy sellers.  Next you’ll want to be like Etsy!

    • Susie3cats

      This is almost exactly what I tried to post that never showed up here!  My experience almost exactly, and my sentiments as well!

  • history-bytes

    eBay, for whatever reason, is the only market that can bring a decent amount of buyers.  Amazon is going well, but for collectibles anyway, does not draw as many buyers as eBay.  After a year and a half on Bonanza – I’ve received two low ball offers.  And, ecrater, has a few buyers.

    I’ve been an eBay seller for twelve years, selling as much as $100,000 a year, and eBay just goes on with all of their contradictory changes.  And, now this year – we have to re-size all of our photos.  They are ending fixed price listing that don’t have handling time listed (where in the past they would let them run, if they were already up).

    They need to concentrate on bringing buyers back to the site.  I know my page views and sales are down over 50%.  The only thing that isn’t down is fees.

  • Jayne2209

    The bottom line is that ebay does not treat their sellers as valuable customers! Plain and simple.  Until there is another place we can go that will compete with eBay they will care less if they loose a seller.  I wish to God SOMEBODY with some money would solve this problem and create another marketplace.  I know it would be so expensive to do but man can you imagine the return on that investment if they succeeded!  I wish I had the money to do it.  I hope ebay is done one day and that’s sad to say cause it is my income for the time being but that company deserves to be wiped out!

  • D. P. U.

    Your theory is quite plausible but there are more important reasons.. I have been an Ebay seller for over 15.00 years. Many of the changes have been detrimental to sellers. An example is the policy of not allowing sellers to give negative feedback about buyers. Another is the policy of giving refunds to customers (via Paypa)l, regardless of whether the customer is right or not. Another is removing money from sellers’ accounst without any authorization. The list goes on. Ebay’s success in launching Paypal and making it THE method of payment for nearly all sales sharply raised the cost for all  Ebay sellers. More and more it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to make money as an Ebay seller.

  • Bobphilips

    I have been selling since only 2005 and what angers me about eBay and their policy changes is how they always patronize us sellers by saying they are helping us out by restructuring the fee schedule.  When in fact they are doing nothing but raiding the sellers bottom line for their own profit.  Without sellers eBay is nothing, they seem to forget that.  They are like a housing boom home owner squandering the “equity” of their inflated house.

  • Jimbo

    Plain & simple: A buyer does not need to have 14 days to determine if a used or collectible item (that isn’t mechanical or electronic) suits their needs. As soon as the package is opened, one would know if the item is OK or not. This just allows for returns due to a buyer changing his or her mind. eBay does not (or at least they did not in the past) allow refunds for buyers remorse.

    Also, eBay makes more money when sellers fail rather than succeed. If the rules are tightened, it will be impossible to have a profitable business, while simultaneously satisfying eBay’s silly rules. This will keep the stockholders temporarily happy (until they lose market share they will never get back).

    It’s like the old childs’ playground story: If you want to play a game with me, it’s my ball, and if you all dont want to play by my rules, I’m taking my ball and going home. Then no one gets to play at all………………….

  • Chris

    The changes brought on have hurt the livelihood of sellers.  Not only with fee increases ie charging a commission on shipping cost, but by raising the DSR standards so high that its impossible for a small seller peddling used items to survive.  All it takes is an average 1 out of 99 buyers to leave low DSR for “item as described” and a seller’s eBay account goes into jeopardy, selling limits are issues, and sales are held in Paypal for 21 days.  It doesn’t matter that the seller has a 99.5% feedback rating and has been generating thousands in eBay fees each year for eBay for 10 years.  The community feel is gone, and we are now managed by algorithms.  These algorithms that manage a sellers account cannot be undone by any human employee at eBay, especially the cheery phone support team who are so very well trained in reading script with charming vocal intonation.  

  • Dalehilldalehill

    One thing the author may have overlooked: I am one of many ebay sellers who has pretty much relied on ebay as my single venue for the distribution of goods. If I had more outlets for my merchandise, I might be less annoyed with Ebay, when they enact these significant changes in policies and procedures. And I have seen them, over the years, make a lot of mistakes and missteps, so I very quick to expect them to screw up. So it’s not necessarily that Amazon members have a different perspective, those of us who feel wedded to the Ebay site hate to see Ebay keep mucking it up. We take it personally, because it’s our income that will be directly affected. They tried to kill PayPal, before they bought it. And now it’s a big revenue stream for them. They’ve tried to kill, more than once, and it refuses to die, despite their efforts to kill it. It’s hard not to get upset with the moronic behavior of the Ebay management, especially when you feel entrapped within the site–because it is a good venue–despite Ebay’s efforts to sabotage it.

  • Justmyopinion

    There are so many comments on here I am losing the will to live reading them all – the product of a thought provoking article.

    I have been selling on ebay since 2004, am a TRS and Silver Powerseller.

    Yes ebay can be frustrating and some of their rules seem unfair but we have a choice whether as to where we sell, be it ebay, amazon, etcsy etc.,

    Like many others I would love to see ebays charges drop, and for their treatment of sellers to improve but have to be realistic about what will or will not happen,

    As a seller ebay offers me a platform to sell my wares. It offers me a worldwide audience, an audience that is already there, and it offers me the opportunity (through good practice) to enhance my listing rankins and thereby improve sales. It would cost me a fortune to attempt to  attract the same audience via my own website.

    I do get tired of listening to the arguments, the vitriol and balk at words like HATE and DESPISE being banded about and think this is why I don’t get involved in too many discussions about ebay.

    I listen to some of the arguments about bad customers, refused returns, lost DSR’s etc., and wonder if some of these sellers have heard of ‘Good Practice’ and whether in fact their expectations are realistic.  We all have problems from time to time with buyers, but I have generally found that if you are fair with them, talk to them and accept unconditional returns many of these problems would never occur in the first place.  There is always the exception to the rule, and in these instances I have generally found ebay to be supportive (as long as you have the paper trail) and have had negatives and low DSR’s removed.

    Unless there is a valid discussion about recent changes or upcoming changes I consider time spent on forums complaining about what is wrong with ebay a waste of time and energy.  I feel the same way about spending hours arguing the toss with a customer about their take on my service – my mantra is simple “100% satisfaction guaranteed” – if they don’t like it they return it for a refund.

    I am not perfect, sometimes I get it wrong, sometimes I get a negative etc., but this just makes me strengthen my resolve to offer a better service.

    If you choose to use Ebay then you have to accept its rules – because whether we like it or not everything has rules, there is absolutely nothing to be gained and everything to be lost by sitting and complaining about something that cannot be changed.

    If you don’t like ebay, don’t use it. If you do use it, stop complaining and use your time more efficiently…..

  • campu2

    I believe you are on the money. Amazon built their site as an online
    retailer/distributor of new product.

    Ebay is nothing without its sellers. Sellers know it. And they resent the way they are treated (as a disposable commodity).

    I only differ from most, in that I left eBay early on (98 or 99). This was the first wave of restrictions (sellers were no longer allowed to link to their websites in their auction listings).

    Website links may sound like small potatoes, but this was in the days when eBay  was the community of happy sellers. The writing was on the wall.

  • KenO

    As a Seller and Buyer at both, I agree with your basic analysis … After reading several comments here, I see your point is proven …

    I would love to ramble on about the one being a hobby that got hold of some bad steroids and deformed as it grew, but they are still the biggest and best and I believe there is hope for them … Or how the other is a business with clearly defined and enforced rules … Oh, there are my rose colored glasses again …

    Both serve similar, yet very different functions, so I will continue to use both … That is: both offer me platforms to sell things where I make money; and both provide me with sources for things that I want or need …

    Thank You for your excellent comparison …

  • Vince Nash

    You say you were an ebay seller but not know and that you are still an Amazon seller. Why did you quit ebay. Thanks for your insight. Vince.

  • Mypiy

    I have been a ebay seller sense 1999 and I can tell you that not all policy changes have been good for the site and when you throw the sellers to the side, you loose good sellers who have built strong followings I think the most damage comes along when in conjunction with paypal they can take and hold your money at whim and say policy this and policy that, I do understand the need to protect buyers and refunding money for defective merchandise but that is not always the case and the way they do feedback is just plain silly, as a seller we should be able to warm other sellers that certian buyers DONT pay for what they order 

  • Jim

    I sell on both Ebay and Amazon.  On Ebay, the end purchaser buys the product from me, on Amazon they purchase from Amazon.  My problem with Ebay is not that they make changes it is that they are bad changes.  We were Gold Power sellers for years and will probably not even be Silver by years end.  Ebay does not know who their customer is, they falsely think that it is people who come on their site an purchase items.  This is absolutely wrong.  Ebay’s customer is the seller and only the seller, it is sellers who pay their fees.  Any policy change should be made to enhance sellers success.  In addition, you elude to the since of community, the other major problem is when Ebay has angered sellers, they in fact are angering the best buyers on the site as well.  As a community most Ebay people sold and bought on Ebay as a priority.  I for one now almost never buy on Ebay, I always look elsewhere as Ebay acts like they do not want our business.  As a business, we will continue to sell some of our products on Ebay, but it has gone from about 50% of our sells channel total to less than 10% and is quickly becoming a who cares for us.   We no longer get angry with the policy changes as now we just accept that they are a dinosaur whose days are numbered and it is just sad to what they threw away.

  • Billplace

    Its simple.  It is my business – not their’s! 

  • C G

    As a 10+ year seller on ebay I can attest to the substandard treatment of its buyers. At the end of the day here is my analogy:
    Buy extremely low sell 5-10 times purchase price. Consider their “fees” rent on your business, i.e. write every penny off at tax time. Although I have 100% Power Seller status; they “hold/kidnap” my funds for 22 days but I have alternate accounts revolving every 22 days accumulating interest through Paypal. It’s all such a game to them and a living for most of us in this 1 in 2 near poverty economy. Also, Buy It Now is a more viable was to exercise higher returns on your investment. Use you 50 free listings savings of .25-.50 each to list your Buy It Nows at 30 day listing and a set price.

    And in the meantime pray for someone to give eBay a run for their money. It’s time for ebay to have real competition, a new GIANT auction site would drive Sellers in the masses on board.

  • I started on Ebay in 1999 and have been an advocate until the feedback change related to buyers. Wasn’t happy with the insurance rules either, but I still recommened Ebay with a list of dos and don’ts for new sellers to watch out for. I no longer recommend ebay but will continue to sell, loosing my 20% powerseller discount won’t hurt much. I can’t afford to offer a 14 day return policy because of the things I sell and it’s just me, so will be an expensive hobby. I’ve been on Etsy for several years and my sales are less in dollar amount, but larger in volumn, just can’t sell everything on etsy that you can on ebay and I like the auction format for some things. Etsy still has the community feel, much different atmosphere and different kind of buyer. I will participate in the 3 day boycott, including no buying during that time either. I don’t think it will change anything, but need to make some kind of statement.

  • Roberthh

    I have sold on Ebay for years and have recently accepted that even though I am an EBAY customer (that’s right, Ebay’s customers are the sellers) Ebay does not place any value in our business relationship. Myself and a thousand like me could leave tomorrow and Ebay won’t care. I almost always sell items that I have only one of. I am not a retail outlet with multiples of the same item. Yet Ebay wants me to act like JCP or Target and allow unconditional returns on my used items. If not, I will be punished by having my 20% “discount” taken away. With Ebay being the monolithic company it is I will just have to take it on the chin and pay higher fees because I will not offer “Satisfaction Guaranteed”.

  • Sue

    I also have been a seller for some time on both
    and  I believe that much
    of the anger towards eBay has to do with the constantly escalating fees and
    seller requirements and rules that eBay imposes on its sellers.  There are so many different ways that
    eBay attempts to nickel and dime its sellers, as well as so many ways to control
    them through “buyer ratings”, some of which the seller never sees, so cannot
    even adjust his behavior to accommodate. 
      These rules,
    regulations and fees complicate the process, make it very difficult to see the actual
    expenses, and make the seller feel taken advantage of.   

    Amazon, on the other hand, has a set of simple requirements
    and rules that rarely if ever change and its fee system is right up front for
    the seller to see.  Most of the
    changes that have occurred on are to both the seller’s and the buyer’s
    benefit, nothing much to complain about. 
    Feedback is simple and straightforward, and Amazon’s refund policy
    satisfies the buyer without the complicated rating systems, buyer protection,

    It is very simple to list an item on Amazon, not nearly as
    time-intensive as eBay’s system.  
    Once listed, it can stay listed, sometimes for years, until it sells;
    only then is the seller charged. 
    This is eminently fair.  
    When given a choice, I will sell on Amazon before eBay, even if I make
    less, though it is not usually the case, especially when my time is factored

  • Tonya jo Purcell

     I am a Bronze Top-Rated Power Seller with 100% positive feedback I’ve sold on Ebay for over 10 yrs. I agree with Ms Simpson on the idea that Ebay started out with Sellers being a major part of Ebay growing. Yes us old timers feel we have been pushed aside in light of Ebays trend toward thinking only of the Buyers. I’ve owned actual store front businesses & have based my Ebay business on the same selling practices as I did when I owned a store front. Both were successfull using my selling practices. I sold my store to sell on ebay once my business had been established on Ebay. One point that I feel I need to make is I have owned this business for 40 plus years. I work totally alone, I do everything shop for materials, create, list, pack, Ship.
    I know how to run my business & make my buyers/customers happy.
    Ebay hasn’t considered the profound differences in what sellers sell while making new policy changes. I understand they want to cover the majority of sales in policy but sometimes they should practice good business protocal & look at every aspect of sellers & write policy to properly fit those unique sellers so both the seller & Ebay continue to make a profit off the seller without destroying there business one new policy after another.
    I actualy handcraft, hand make 99% of what I sell with my two hands, so in light of being a hand crafter compared to the general selling public my business is profoundly different.
    Each item listed has been personally handcrafted by me. Which takes time. Sometimes Hours or days to make one thing. No two items can be reproduced each being one of a kind handcrafted items. There is where all of the new Ebay Policies have made a huge crimp in my Ebay selling experience & my sales & profit. My listing fees have tripled in the last two years while I list and sell 90% less product yearly. Over 90% of the items I created were small dollar items. I lose money listing them so I simply had to take down over 600 low dollar listings.It got to the point that it was costing more in fees to sell them. What a shame ebay not only hurt my business but they decreased the variety & choices to the buyers. Bad business move on ebays part because they lost buyers as well as fees. I’m not alone many hand crafters left ebay when this took plac, making buyer choices smaller and smaller. 
    I have a set schedule I follow. I create 4-5 days a week, list one day a week, pack one day a week, ship one day a week.
    New rule example- EBay is demanding that I ship my items in ONE day or they won’t honor my Top Rated Business 20% discount on fees.
    Huge difference for me and other sellers. My items listed are not premade items. In order for me to create things I sell I can’t spend every day running 40 miles RT to the post office. Not to mention the waste of gas doing that.
    In light of my schedule another example the new rule to offer a 14 day or more return policy. Being that the items I create are uniquely different one of a kind items. If anything is missing or damaged when returned the item is useless & can’t be relisted for sale. My experience with buyers over  those 10 yrs has been negative. When a buyer returns items they throw them in the box, ship it back with no regard to packing for safe shipping so never once have I had an item returned undamaged. I’m out all the time it took to create the item. I’m out the item itself as it could not be resold & I ‘m out the money. I finally had to make a choice returns/ no returns. From a profit & loss view point I had to choose No returns. Now EBay is demanding that I offer returns or they will not honor my Top Rated Business 20% discount on fees.
    Another example od demanding sellers to add Tracking to packages. I choose to Insure due to the fragile items I sell. Those items will be covered if lost damaged or stolen. there is an ID # attached tot he package & a claims slip. there is noneed for the added expense for tracking the item. Yet to keep my top rated seller discount I must waste that money and time entering the numbers when I could be creating.
    As for ebay charging for shipping that should be against the law. They are taking the buyers money paid to ship the item and charging me firts then Paypal charges me again. So sellers and buyers are paying Ebay & Paypal to ship an item. Taht is simply put WRONG!
    I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. As a Top Rated Seller I feel I earned the minute discount ebay offers me. My feedback speaks for itself without adding all these new policy rules to my business. Any good seller can hold there head high & be proud of there selling. Ebay needs to stayout of  Good & Top Rated sellers business.
    If they don’t then they will take more and more away from buyers choices they can find on ebay.
    I presonally seldom shop Ebay anymore because the selection has gotten so small it isn’t worth it anymore to even bother to shop there. To me that tells the whole story of what all the policy changes has done to Ebay as a whole. these policy’s not only affect the sellers but the buyers and in the end Ebay…
    It is sad that this had to happen to what started out to be the best idea ever created and offered to the public.  

    • I appreciate your comments Tonya – and I hope eBay takes interest in the personalized, handcrafted items.

  • Danni

    Reading many of these comments is actually giving readers a sampling of what they will find on seller boards – both eBay and Amazon.  It is so easy to focus on negatives, and then find a whole gang of people to back up your feelings.  I used to do this, used to seek out those who would lament with me about the negatives of business online.
    I changed something a couple years ago….  my attitude!  That one simple change made a huge world of difference in my business!  Focusing on the positives, working on strategies to increase sales and treating this like the business it is has jetted me forward.
    There are just as many people who think eBay is a great place to sell and are doing well…  and part of that is they aren’t spending their time and energy on discussion boards they are busy growing their business!

    • Thanks for posting Danni – your attitude is refreshing 🙂

  • Susan

     I was a seller on eBay for about 7 years.  I sell small items such as
    incense packages,  burners, and fragrance oils.  These items were a low
    price item and I only charged actual shipping.  I made a little profit
    on each item and sold many of them.  My house smells great.

    But, with the changes on eBay, I’ve had to close my store and find
    another website from which to sell.  At this time, I’m using Amazon and
    I’m finally making a profit, although it’s still not easy.

    There are some of the same problems with Amazon as there was at eBay
    with customers sometimes returning items for no reason.  They may give bad feedback when they don’t contact you
    first.  Overall, my experience at Amazon has been more consistently good than not.

    I agree with many of the comments here.  There does need to be another
    auction website that can give both eBay and Amazon a run for their

  • booksintheattic

    I’m afraid that when Donahue came to ebay he just continued the ‘now famous’ Bain way of running a business.
    He does not care about ebay or the ebay sellers.
    He took a one-of-a-kind company and made it into a Walmart.
    He will continue to take every last dime from ebay and then flee with his billions just like
    Mitt Romney did with so many other companies.
    It’s the Bain way!

  • A. Budro

    I am a (was) a small seller on eBay. Used to find it a friendly, fun place to sell. I was one of the good ones. Honest, 5 stars, FREE, FAST shipping and 100% FBRs since day one -you get the point. With all the fee increases over the years I am now unable to turn a profit on any level. It had come to the point where if I upped my selling price any higher to help defray some of the eBay/PayPal/Shipping costs, it would be cheaper to buy in a conventional store. There is no incentive for small sellers to sell on eBay. The seller dashboard is a joke put into place as a pseudo-reward system for low volume sellers. As a seller who provides extraordinary customer service AND has NEVER received a negative FB, why was I never given a Top Rated Seller ribbon? With eBay, it all boils down to money; the money that Power Sellers and Stores provide. When a seller sells cheap to pad eBay charges by overcharging shipping fees, where is eBay to pull the listing? When someone steals my photos I had to prove they were mine! That took months to settle. Why didn’t the thief who stole my photos be the person who had to prove ownership? Why do volume sellers earn a Top Rated Seller badge even though they have a FB history of recent negative/neutral FBs (they wish they has my FB comments!)? I can go on and on. Folks, the fact is my time is more valuable to me. Who in their right mind would go to this trouble to make pennies on an item? Who would work for less than $1.00/hr? –and then sweat it out hoping you’ll get a positive for the sale? Not me, not any more. I have found more lucrative outlets in which to sell my wares.

  • Mary Lille

    I have been an eBay seller 2003. I think you’re right, even in 2003 I felt that the eBay community respected sellers and I clearly felt that eBay sellers were appreciated by both the company and the public. One of the strongest draws on eBay shopping was that you could find anything wanted on eBay.  Then I’m not sure what happened but it seemed to me that eBay began to demonize the sellers in subtle ways. Although the changes were subtle they impacted sellers significantly. In my opinion the shifts created unreasonable expectations and the seller had no control over how they impacted me. Let me say that I have a feedback score of 695 at 100%. This required some unreasonable practices on my part. Here are a few examples: I live in a rural area in  an area of my state where air traffic, communication availability etc are much less than average and mail (even priority) usually takes at least a day longer than it does to go in or out of the average. But eBay buyers have come to expect shipping times that happen in the shipping times that require the absolute best possible results. If you mail priority, it is expected in the promised 2-3 days. It doesn’t matter when the buyer pays, the shipping expectations are the same. It does not matter that the seller lists based on their own ability to fulfill, the buyer can respond regardless of their part. I calculate shipping and when the postal service started charging package rates on “fat envelopes” regardless of rates, people dinged me on postal rates several times. I had a lot of out of country buyers until eBay refunded money from my Paypal account completely on their own (I knew their decision but I didn’t know that they could access my account without my participation). This could have had a bad result for me had the money not been in Paypal at the time since my backup payment comes from my bank account. The fact that I had proof of mailing the item and the customs receipt showing what I was mailing, there is really no way to confirm foreign delivery (none that I’m aware of) without very, very high fees and so I had no option except to refund. Most of my transactions and buyers are great on eBay. But as a seller, I am at the mercy of the buyer and even one unreasonable person can damage my reputation without any regard for the facts. Sorry this is so long, I hope it is helpful to you. I really enjoyed your article. Regards, Mary

  • Macxjunk

    Been selling here since ’99 & have no real beef with eBay being profitable in a capitalist society.  However, the total bias in favor of buyers’, no matter how lame their complaint, really rankles me.  This new ‘video game’ approach to selling must have been designed by nerds chained to desks  & unable to exist in the real world.  Even with an excellent rating, I am held hostage like a beginner and threatened with downgrades for not sucking up to the relentless changes designed solely to promote sales of mass produced goods.  Please show me where the ‘FREE SHIPPING’ pages with USPS, UPS etc. are.  Just now, a refund was issued WITHOUT ANY INPUT FROM ME, for a complaint because the buyer disputed the age of the lid for a 50 year old pan.  Apparently the eBay desk jockeys are metalurgists and Revere Ware experts, as well as techno terrorists.  PLEASE somebody develop a sane site for collectibles sellers!!!  eBay is for peddlers of crap available at any big box store.  I’m cutting back on listings and treating eBay as a hobby and gambling site.  Sent several truckloads of items off to local auctions this winter because of these aggressive and abusive ‘improvements’.   

  • Maria Paschal Glezer

    I agree with the many comments I just read concerning Ebays’ attitude toward the seller.  I have tried tocommunnicate with them numerous times concerning specific  problems, and I just get the brush off.  If I had another seller site to move to I would in a split second.  Ebay needs seller driven competition.  They dominate this world of small business  sellers who try to make a few dollars  auctioning off used and new products.  I have been selling since 1999 and have been a Power Seller for many years.  Now because of the seller dashboard and its’ ridiculous question concerning price of shipping, I am losing  business everyday.  Since the beginning of January my sales just keep sliding even though I have cut my shipping cost significantly.  The Dashboard idea is a big mistake.   They should have just stuck with the feedback format. 
    Why is it that the seller can’t show a negative feedback on the buyer???   How fair is that!!!
    Why doesn’t’ the seller have a dashboard to rate the buyers with????  The whole setup works against every seller on Ebay.  Those of us who started out with Ebay are the backbone of this company.  It is because of us that they have become so successful.  They used to encourage us and make us feel important.  I attended many of the conferences in the early days, and was treated royally, now I am just another serf.

  • 78cards

    Ebay doesn’t realize that I as a seller are their customer and that my customers are my customers. They treat the sellers like poop, politely said. I’ve been selling for nearly 10 years and never felt part of the “community” I just want a place to sell my products. Sorry to disagree with you but I think it is the outright hostility to sellers that upsets vendors, not that the site is somehow mine. Probably the most annoying is the forcing of the free shipping myth and then charging FVF on shipping charges. I’ll stop before it get too wound up.

  • Deukhalion

    Whilst I have the utmost respect for Ebay and its technology and the phenomenal software I have to agree 100% with many of the other comments on Ebay as a company. They are totally biased in favour of buyers who call all the shots and a total, and ignorant, novice can cause all sorts of problems with a messianic customer care department on their side. I have had very many great customers over the years but a few buyers who I would happily lynch, but I have zero recourse apart from blocking them on future deals.

    I had a complaint a couple of years ago on excessive postage charges and it took me 3 weeks to absolutely prove that in the pricing structure of Royal Mail, the service I offered was the absolute cheapest possible. They could have checked this in 10 seconds.

    Asking a simple question invariably gets a long winded response all couched in careful “legalese” to ensure policy compliance, but which usually doesn’t actually answer the question.

    I suppose at the end of the day they have a multi – billion dollar business which is phenomenally profitable so they are going to take zero risks in order to protect that. What they do not seem to appreciate – not deep down – is that a market with no sellers is not actually a lot of use to them. Get some balance back, because at some stage a competitor or an alternative channel WILL come along, that is inevitable. Or existing competitors will see this bais as a corporate weaknes and will do something about it.   Bring on that day !!!!!!!

  • Oldpicks

    I have sold on ebay since 1998 .. have seen many changes / improvements / upgrades and [unfair] tactics by ebay. Yes, sellers no longer have rights. Ebay will ALWAYS decide in favor of the buyer. What we don’t hear is how many sellers with quality merchandise have left ebay due to this ongoing degrading of the seller.
    There was a time when it was fun and exciting for everyone .. as time passes and rules keep changing (for the benefit of the buyer only) ebay may one day realize that the SELLER is what brings the auctions / merchandise to their site for the BUYERS to purchase.
    The new feedback system is one example. A buyer cannot receive a negative or neurtral feedback but SELLER can and many times unjustified too!
    I recently had one buyer leave me 2 feedbacks in ONE DAY .. previously, I had ONE only. This buyer was given a FULL REFUND including RETURN SHIPPING and still left this. When I called ebay, I was assured that I was a “top rated” seller and thanked for that BUT there was nothing they could do. I filed a request “of the buyer” to change the feedback KNOWING this would not happen (which is why I called ebay directly for HELP)
    This directly effects a sellers cost to sell and very important to me since I had only one other negative ever.
    I have taken several losses on International packages that have never arrived .. even though the customs receipt PROVES that I did all I could .. MAILED IT .. but since I CANNOT PROVE “PROOF OF RECEIPT” I had to pay .. Do you think? International dishonest buyers HAVE NOT FIGURED THIS OUT?? and ebay does nothing about it

    I could go on and on .. but anyone selling on ebay only understands.

    Ebay also has a monopoly .. insisting that WE SELLERS accept PAYPAL .. and they own PayPal (bought the company out several years ago)

    I have been in business for 50 years and have rarely taken a bad check or credit card !

    I tried to list stating that I would accept money orders and EBAY would not list the item until I removed the wording.

    If I sell an item that is damaged or used, I should ALSO have the right to state NO REFUNDS / RETURNS
    Regardless of what my auction states, ebay will STILL decide in favor of the buyer. The crooks have figured it out

    Also, NON PAYING bidder policy .. I could go on and on

    If this were my business, I would be thanking and rewarding the sellers who have good feedback and prove their honest track record.

    Shipping: they are attempting to force me to go to their automated system (offering free confirmation delivery) when I live 2 blocks from my post office and get great service there.

    Thanks for asking for my opinion (but, it probably won’t make a difference to ebay)

  • Virginia Wasserman

    You are correct in your premise that the problem is small time long time sellers have not adjusted to eBay as a corporation dedicated to profit. And having sold on eBay since the beginning I too am angry. Yes, things change, but eBay’s relentless efforts to “streamline” eBay is also a campaign against the small seller who does not have the resources to meet the new demands, we just give up ( after yelling at eBay). Right this minute I cannot mail my paid for packages because, while I have hundreds of dollars in PayPal, I can’t spend them because I am “below performance standards.”. I have a 99.2% approval rating, what on earth is the standard?
    I cannot buy the padded envelopes I use for mailing and my customers love, and when the money isn’t there for eBay’s cut, they take it out of the checking account and whack that with overdraws.
     EBay has no right to take a percentage of postage, that is so outageous, I shake my head about how it could be legal. Just as witholding money from a completed transaction could be legal, Ebay says it is all part of the “seller’s agreement”, and they can do anything they want to. No, I didn’t agree to any of these new policies. The new return center might make corporate sense, but for the small seller it is simply impossible .I, for one, will not participate.
    The reason being that I do not want to lose even more money by paying return postage, they can keep it. This isn’t something I want people to know upfront, but it makes my customers happy when they get an immediate refund.
    The latest edict from eBay about how they don’t want customers to email us, because it means if they have a question we didn’t describe it well enough. I get emails all the time for overseas quotes, people who want to tell me their grandmother had one, people who don’t read the description and ask questions already answered. Hello, I chat with my customers, they like it, and I like it..
    Ebay controls how we list, how we produce pictures, how we communicate, how we get paid, how we bill, how we mail, how we do refunds and what we sell. That makes even an extremely reasonable person like myself angry. The angry ones are the ones like myself who depend on eBay sales to pay the rent or put food on the table, who are working desperately hard to stay afloat. I kind of doubt the CEO’s of eBay (and the stockholders) ever worry about what’s for dinner. We lowlies who were on eBay from the beginning just haven’t quite finished the mourning process of a good idea gone to greed.

  • Lilgermanhaus2

    The Author has shown once again how out of touch she is other than with her own click. As a Top Rated power seller of used parts/auto/motorcycle/boats/RV’s. It has become really bad with buyers trying parts to see if it fixes their problem. If it does not then they can send it back. Dinged,Dented, Scratched or however they want. I have to pay the shipping cost one way for this. Also a buyer leaves a low DSR. I don’t know who or why or have a chance to take care of it. (I have one low DSR rating in the last year.) I called eBay to find out who and see if I could make what ever was wrong right with the customer. NO help at all. I sell items for rebuild/core. Why would I want to offer a return on them. No Sense. Probably what bother me the most is when they attached the fees onto the shipping. Some of the large items I sell the shipping exceeds $100. eBay sucks the profit right out of items like this. eBays customer service is horrid. They can not answer the easiest of questions without putting you on hold and then come back to you 15 minutes later to tell you the wrong info in a language you can’t understand.   Two websites I am starting to use and phase out eBay. & I am going to have to change the how I sell but the little items are no longer making me money on eBay anyways.

  • Your long article, instead of being full of information, is full of reasons why you wrote the long article….very disappointed in this read…

  • Wingedhorsetreasures

    I sell on both platforms and as I agree to what you are saying with the ownership lost between sellers & eBay. I would also like to add that I think eBay sellers have a “personal connection” with their items they sell, literally, where Amazon does not. When you’re putting your personal wares out there for everyone to buy, it does, in some way get personal. And as more and more individuals look to eBay to help make ends meet they will probably feel the same way (fees after fees, rules after rules), whether or not they were a seller way back when or not. And in my personal opinion, eBay has so many rules and fees it gets complicated, and I don’t like nor have time for complicated, that’s why there is less frustration with Amazon and I sell more products there than any platform.

  • Silverfoxwatcher

    Kat Simpson posed the question:  “Do you think there is a way for eBay to move past this issue in the future?” and I think that ebay has gone too far and forgotten where they came from. They have forgotten, or choose to forget, who put them where they are now. The little people like us. Ebay could try to re-invent itself by dividing the issue down the middle. Have the big market place for the shops and power sellers and create the old “flea market” type of platform that used to be. I doubt that this could happen, mainly because ebay has got far too full of its own importance to the point where it feels that it can be complacent about the people who matter. This will be their downfall. Every empire in history, corporate or otherwise, will be ashes and dust one day. Reading the responses here then the options are limited. If you do not want ebay and you don’t like Amazon then there are not many other choices to go with. It has been suggested that a new platform should emerge to give ebay and Amazon a run for their money. Okay but there would be the usual growing pains with that one as well and in time it would be the same situation we face now. 

    Sellers by themselves are probably not big enough to take on ebay and win but a collective of disgruntled sellers might have a chance. Ebay needs a wedge of bad press to be able to get its full attention. It is not about bringing ebay to its knees but they do need a good wake up call from somewhere. I have complained to ebay a number of times about rogue buyers, postage prices and so on. I get some bland and trite response and that will have to do. This is followed up by a “survey” and I am asked various questions. They insist this is important and will appreciate my input. Oh yeah, right. Would I recommend ebay to a friend? NO! so they ask why not? Apart from wanting to keep my friends I then outline all the kind of comments and responses we are finding here on the “Onlineseller” and I know that I will nothing more from them until next time. 

    I have no idea what can be done about ebay and what it has become. I am sure that the only way to get their attention is for the sellers and other interested parties to present some kind of petition from the masses. Is it possible to create a site where we can vote and make our feelings known to ebay?
    Can we get a spokesperson to be our voice. Kat Simpson, if you are not too busy could you find the time to help us with a little problem?? I wonder??

  • Guest

    Good theory but not everyone who is upset is a long-time eBay user. I can’t speak for AMazon users since I dont use it, but maybe the reason eBay users react so harshly to policy changes is because they make no sense. Most of the changes have no benefit to sellers or buyers. The only ones benefitting is eBay. It also seems eBay wants to control every aspect of every transaction. If that’s the case, why bother having a marketplace? Let them take the payments, handle returns, answer customer’s questions.

  • Guest

    Is there a way for Ebay to move past this issue? Yes!  How about showing some respect for the sellers again, without whom there would be no buyers!  Note that *every* change they make is detrimental to the sellers, puts more and more and more constraints on us, and makes it increasingly harder to earn an income.  They have essentially forced us to offer free shipping, 1-day handling, 14-day return periods, and a variety of other constraints that are coming up in the near future.  Of course, we don’t HAVE to do all those things, but if we don’t, our listings will drop like a rock and we won’t make any sales.  If we DO all those things, we might make some sales, but the increasingly predatory fee structure insures that the profits are smaller and smaller with each change.  And personally, I’m still fuming over the inability of sellers to leave negative feedback for buyers that deserve it.  So now we can’t even warn each other of deadbeat bidders!  Really in summary it comes down to respect for the sellers.  There is none.  I’ve been selling since 1999.  I’m now looking for a way to move away from Ebay entirely and find other sources of income – because if you’re doing this as a business and need to feed your family, it’s been made all but impossible.

  • W Leland

    Ebay is a complete joke compared to Amazon.  It is difficult to use and the answers to questions are hard to find let alone implement.  Their billing policy is confusing to say the least.  Their employees cannot speak English and cannot transfer phone calls correctly.  I called Paypal and spoke to someone who couldn’t understand what I was saying and transferred my call to yet another person who could not understand my issue. After twenty minutes of discussion she told me we were talking about a paypal issue.  No kidding, the idiot I originally transferred the call to an Ebay supervisor not a paypal supervisor. She transferred me back to someone in Paypal and we were promptly cut off.

    My best advice for E-bay – steal some top level managment from the professionals at Amazon and have them straighten out the mess that Ebay is.

  • dix12685

    In response to smallsellerabused, ebay has always kept their phone appointments with me and I always receive the emails(you may be having issues with the junk mail filter on your email blocking them).  As for the buyer is always right attitude…yep it is there and it always will be, but I have won some battles with buyers simply because I learned to use paypal as my ally.  The loss of packages is why I insure EVERYTHING I sell.  Now, if a customer requests no insurance, I accommodate them but normally they get insurance and the insurance thru Auctiva does work and it works well.  Unfortuneately, the buyer does not always understand that the seller is held responsible for things that are out of our control like lost/damaged packages.  They believe the BS about the free ebay insurance.  So there are times I have had to educate a potential buyer…they didn’t buy from me but now they know that the ebay insurance is a joke.  The new return policy is just a rehash of a few years ago when it was forced on all sellers; they just aren’t making it mandatory this time.  I don’t like a lot of the changes either but haven’t found any where else that is effective for what I sell so I am stuck with ebay.

  • Henslee’s Heartland Shop

    WOW!  After reading some of the comments below I guess I am just an eBay cheerleader.  I can’t say I am totally happy with all their policies, nor all of the changes, but I have learned to adapt to them.  I love selling on eBay!  It still feels like a community and a mostly friendly buying community in my experience.
    I have been selling on eBay since 2005.  I am a small seller and am trying to ramp up my sales to earn a living selling there.  Amazon FBA is not for me because I have seen others work so hard feeding the FBA beast that they forget all about selling on eBay and I do not wish to be one of those people.  I still feel a community selling on eBay which Amazon is void of.  I truly hope that eBay can continue to separate themselves successfully from becoming another Amazon.

  • Treasuresonauction

    Agree with all of the most recent comments by smallsellerabused. I have been a seller for over 10 years and a business seller paying over £300 average in fees a month. The customer service is terrible and the policies are out of control. Now what?

  • Michele

    I’ve been a PowerSeller since 1997 and I SOO wish I could leave.. I cannot.. I’m so frustrated with them, however this is my livelihood.  I’m stuck.. I too was selling on Amazon a few years back and all of a sudden shut down with zero explanation.  I spend countless hours in my “dungeon” making sure every aspect of each transaction is flawless.  I have my office line even forwarded to my cell when I’m closed or at lunch so my customers have complete accessibility to my “customer service” and yet, we are held hostage with the feedback system and high fee rates.  The changes they decide to make are so detrimental and time consuming to update it’s brought me to tears more than I can count.  I can’t close up shop and just open an online store because eBay gets top search returns on Google.  I’d lose so many sales.  I wish eBay would go back to the days where they appreciated us and didn’t treat us like a piece of garbage.  

  • blove109

    I have been selling on Ebay for over 10 years.  The experience that I have had with Ebay has at times a total nightmare.  I have called many times for Ebays support for additional information or help and ended up hanging the phone up and crying.  The overall attitude is that the Sellers are not necessary for Ebays success.  The buyers run the show.  The fiduciary relationship is with the seller.  If the seller was treated with respect and Ebay worked with the sellers the buyers would greatly benefit.  They have it backwards.  I do sell in a very difficult category, but this is what I’m passionate about.  If you don’t get enough stars your sunk.  As you know your items are not promoted unless you have enough stars from your buyers.  I have not performed for stars since kindergarten.

     There really isn’t a whole lot a seller can do,  it all depends on the type of buyers Ebay attracts.  I read recently in a blog that you have to be a masochist to sell on Ebay.  That is so true.  They are losing the a lot of good seasoned sellers.
    I don’t know that they can truly recover from the damage that has been done.  They used to be so wonderful, but what does go up must come down.  They are definitely on their way down.

  • interesting…i do feel the opportunity amazon provides is valid, it is definitely a little bit of strategic marketing to understand your target market and differentiate yourself as opposed to buying products directly from

  • I am glad to see I am not the only one who has major problems with eBay. I started selling on eBay about six months after it came online. The first few years were wonderful and extremely profitable. However as time passed it became more difficult. Finally, a couple of years ago I was permanently banned for selling an item that was “hazardous and dangerous.” The item in question was a mineral purchased at a federal historical site gift shop. All attempts to communicate with eBay about the item failed. All I got in response to numerous emails was the same boilerplate response. I had two different accounts so I started using the second account for everything. Things went well for about a year. I had almost 100% feedback on about 900 transactions but I got zapped again on the star ratings. Most, especially newbies, would think that 5 stars was perfect, 4 stars excellent, 3 stars good, 2 stars fair, and 1 star poor. Not the case with eBay. I was zapped with mostly 5s and 4s and one 3.

    I had been looking for other venues because as time passed, sales became less and less profitable. Fees continued to rise and that was a problem, but my major problem was that one of my most profitable products were military autographs. Unfortunately eBay has a number of unethical sellers who are offering fake autographs. I use the term “unethical” carefully because there is always the possibility of ignorance on the part of the seller. However, in almost every case the seller was upset at my claim and refused to remove the multiple fakes. It is difficult to compete with a seller who offers a couinterfeit item similar to mine for $20 when the value of my authentic item is $125.00.

    Over the years eBay has miagrated from an incredible marketplace and a truly friendly place to transact business to one of the most unethical businesses in the country. I never thought I would stoop to the point where I truly hated a business, but in regards to eBay, I have reached that point.

    It has become so bad that I occasionally will have a dream about eBay. After watching “24” on Netflix, I had a couple of pleasant nightmares where Jack Bauer took apart the giant. Another involved a teen-age hacker hacking into eBay’s computer system, corrupted all of their data and software, then backed up that corrupted data, putting them out of business. To be truthful, I think I would hate to see that happen, but I do believe in that old saying, “what goes around comes around.” I can’t help but believe that a viable competitor will arise or a new CEO will come aboard who was once destroyed as an eBay seller and things will start returning to the original concept.

  • Anonymous

    I occasionally return to eBay as a casual seller and am always shocked at the new nonsense they’ve come up with. I never understood why such a pure cash cow needed to go public in the first place. They were minting cash, what on earth did they need to raise funds for? Certainly not to hire any new phone operators. After their IPO you still couldn’t get them on the phone! I had a successful business on eBay at one time and was driven off the site by eBay because they claimed I was making money off the shipping while giving my product away. Not really the situation but in any case I was astounded to come back years later only to discover the buggers were now making money on everyone’s shipping themselves. They really are too much.

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