Monday, October 13, 2008

Why is eBay failing?


Fake? No, but it's Miu Miu, so it might be.


I don't have a complete answer to the question posed by this post, but I can give you some insight into just how incompetent and uninformed eBay management is.

eBay has a problem with counterfeit items showing up in their auctions. Their solution? They created a secret system that randomly places limits on users accounts with no regard to whether or not their listings are legitimate.

When I inquired about the limitations that were placed on my account, I received a response that explained to me that "in order to maintain a safe trading environment, selling limits are occasionally placed on accounts" and "it is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the items you are listing are authorized for sale."

If it is my responsibility to to ensure the item is authentic, why is eBay taking responsibility back by randomly blocking the sale of the item?

The email goes on to state "we may remove listings if they breach one of our stated policies. Further, we may warn or suspend sellers whose activities breach our policies."

Great! I did nothing wrong, so go ahead. But don't prevent me from conducting lawful exchanges of goods for no reason. This is essentially the Bush Doctrine crossed with Pin The Tail On The Donkey. eBay randomly blocks sellers because they might be listing something that is counterfeit. They have no evidence against me, stop me from conducting business, then tell me I am responsible.

When I asked them about this secret policy, I got very little information:

I would like to give you as much information as possible. However, the
specific information regarding limits and formulas is proprietary in nature and
I cannot share that with you. I am unable to be more specific about the precise
application of the restrictions on your account, and am also unable to give you
any information relating to the quantity of items you can list at any given
time. Our guidelines may change over time, and we need to remain flexible so we
can effectively address any issues that may arise while minimizing the impact on
legitimate trade.

I'm now stuck in a secret black hole of eBay seller hell reserved for legitimate sellers. Thanks eBay. Just FYI, you recently fired the wrong 1000 employees. The ones that should be fired are at the top of the management tree. Any technology company that resorts to draconian ass-backwards measures like this deserves to fail. eBay could easily adopt real solutions to counterfeit sales, but instead they punish legitimate sellers. BRAVO!

If you're a seller fed up with this nonsense, do something about it. Contact Terri at the Office of the President, at csme@ebay.com. She is by far the most responsive and intelligent person I have communicated with at eBay. Though I completely disagree with her on everything she says, I do find that she reads my emails and addresses my concerns, which is unique in my correspondences with eBay. Also, send your rants to the Consumerist website. I'm still hoping that with enough coverage of this policy, eBay will change their ways and reform their counterfeit measures in a way that works and doesn't punish honest sellers.

6 comments:

korncrasy said...

So I'm not the only one having problems with Ebay??LOL...I would appreciate if you could confirm the email addresses of the "friendly" secretary&J.D's..I think its time I got an email out to them!

Alex said...

I'll refer you to Consumerist.com that published many email addresses of eBay execs:

http://consumerist.com/5013915/all-the-secret-paypalebay-email-addresses-and-phone-numbers-you-could-ever-want

Alex said...

Please read the other posts so you can see what you're in store for. Fight strong, but fight nice. Terri is a worthy foe. Share your experience. I'd love to publish your battles with eBay in the great heroic epic style of Homer.

moonrockmuzik said...

I was thinking about this article last night while I was working and if my memory serves me right the last article I read about eBay actually had John Donahoe quoted as saying something to the degree of "well, the good thing about the internet is that there are alot of alternatives out there for disgruntled sellers...."



That is the very crux of this problem. The attitude of John and the rest of the eBay CEO's clearly shows that a) they choose ignorance, which is stupid....b) they are actually so snide and nasty about their current destruction of their customer base and the eBay platform that they ACTUALLY TELL YOU TO LEAVE....as if they are TEMPTING you do to do it with their SMUG WE HAVE A MONOPOLY AND YOU WILL EITHER DO WHAT WE SAY OR SELL NOTHING attitude......They don't care about ANYONE....we are only NUMBERS in their NIFTY ALGORHYTHMS which are created by techie idiots anyway.

Ever since Pierre sold eBay and Meg and her tenure started eBay has gone straight downhill (....remember that folks??? when ebay auctions cost 1/3 of what they do now, SafeHarbor (Trust and Safety) actually GAVE A DAMN about what happens on eBay, and PayPal actually paid you 5 bucks if you got them a new customer....) ......Every year, half-year, quarter in some cases they come out with a new brilliant scheme that they pitch as "necessary for eBay to continue to grow" and they say "it is going to make eBay a better selling environment...."....BUT their changes are NOTHING BUT A) AN EXCUSE TO RAISE FEES AND COSTS (whether with explicit fee hikes or hidden price hikes, and most of the time they try to hide them.....), B) A PLAN DEVELOPED BY SOME NEW UP AND COMING EBAY EXEC (I think there must be an indoctrination into the ceo pool at eBay....They probably take you to a secret hidden magic room with a cauldron and you have to develop some evil scheme to screw the public before you can escape from the devils grasp.....), and C) A FURTHER ATTEMPT TO BECOME BIG BROTHER IN SOME ORWELLIAN EBAY NIGHTMARE THEY ALL ENVISION.....I AM SURE THAT THEY ENVISION A WORLD IN WHICH ALL CITIZENS OF EARTH HAVE AN EBAY BARCODE BURNED INTO THEIR FOREHEAD WITH A LASER AND WE ARE DIRECTED BY BLOCK-WIDE PLASMA TV'S THAT TELL US WHAT TO DO AND THINK, ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORWELL'S 1984 AND EBAY'S OVERALL LONG-TERM PLAN IS THAT EBAY RUBS YOUR FACE IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING INSTEAD OF TRYING TO HIDE THEIR EVIL PLOYS AND SCHEMES....



eBay representatives attributes their horrifying decline in profit margin and site activity "....on the bad economy."....it is the standard quote they have all been instructed to tell sellers while they get ebay stuck further in the La Brea tarpits.....And of COURSE they tell you to hang on and not close listings, THEY WANT YOU TO KEEP PAYING THE LISTING FEES!!!! They refuse to believe that they have made the customer base so mad that we NEVER want to return, and they ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO.... A) WORK, B) STAND BEHIND THEIR GOOD FAITH POLICIES THAT THEY STATE IN THEIR TERMS OF SERVICE CONTRACT, C) ACT IN A TIMELY MANNER (regarding ANYTHING!)......AND D) THEY REFUSE TO TAKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANYTHING WHATSOEVER.



I GUARANTEE THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE A MONOPOLY....THEY DID...to a large degree..., but now it is disappearing before everyone's eyes....DUE TO MY FRUSTRATION AND ANGER WITH EBAY AND MY PAST DEALINGS WITH THEM I SINCERELY HOPE AND PRAY THAT THEY REMAIN STEADFAST IN THEIR CURRENT BELIEFS, DOGMAS, AND PRACTICES, BECAUSE I WANNA SEE EBAY DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!



BURN, BABY BURN,,......BURN IT TO THE GROUND SO I CAN RELIEVE MYSELF ON THE SMOULDERING ASHES!!!!



lmao......



A former PowerSeller/one of the former 5000 largest eBay stores/sellers

Alex said...

Whoa! I had to publish your comment as a post in itself! Bravo!

Red Sunflower Antiques said...

I too am a victim of this insanity and draconian behavior.
I understand that they are tired of getting sued by designer companies for allowing fake crap to be sold on the site. Reality is that the buyer experience on eBay is difficult and vague by the thousands of presentations for the same products. No one has the time/desire to sort through all the fake/broken/misleading/fuzzy photo products and fraud on eBay to make a buying decision. Platforms like Amazon make the buying experience easy and quick. eBay's solution to this problem is to try to WHIP their sellers into a corral using DSRs, Feedback, odd and uneven handed enforcement of policies, and magical formulas to penalize sellers. Plus the constant rewriting of the rules and fees. We are a 2 person shop and it takes me endless hours to understand and comply with the moving targets of selling on eBay. My sales are down 70% from a year ago I believe mostly due to the mass exodus of buyers to more easily understood and simpler platforms like Amazon, Bonanzle, and independent eCommerce sites like Auctiva. My products are the same and my buyers are still out there. It's the connection between us that is the weak link called eBay.