eBay Rumours Are Just That

Wednesday, 25 June 2008 at 10:57 am Pacific USA Time.

There have been a lot of rumours about eBay lately. The main one tends to be variations on "eBay will become Amazon" or "eBay will become more Amazon-like."

eBay has had this technology for years. Half.com is "Amazon-like" in that there is one description, and sellers line up to be on that page as someone who has it. No description, no policies, no branding, no marketing. You’re barely aware of who is sending it.

And eBay hasn’t gone in that direction. I don’t think they will. It makes no sense. It reminds me of what Seth Godin said about version 1 of the Microsoft Zune MP3 player. If it’s not an iPod killer, why spend time to develop, manufacture, market, and sell it? If people won’t throw their iPod away for a Zune, then why bother? I think the same thing about Amazon. Amazon does a good job being Amazon. It doesn’t make sense to be Baby Amazon Junior Coming Late Into The Game of Being Amazon.

eBay is good at what it does. Other sites who have tried to be Baby eBay or New eBay or Better eBay have either stayed small or failed. So for what eBay is to people, it does many things right.

When it’s wrong for buyers, it’s often the seller who is wrong, not eBay. The guy who sent me crappy Dance Dance Revolution pads wasn’t eBay… he was a seller. The guy who held my order because he didn’t like that my company name was part of my confirmed address… eBay didn’t do that to me. The seller did. eBay didn’t ship me three faulty solar Bluetooth GPS receivers… those were from three different sellers carrying sub-standard merchandise, evidently. So as an eBay shopper and buyer, I am WAY for eBay having and upholding standards! Many sellers have given me crappy experiences, all while thinking they were GREAT sellers.

Does it make sense for eBay to bring in more catalogue descriptions of catalogue items? Yes. Does that mean they’re becoming Amazon? No. eBay may change checkouts and payments. Does that make them more Amazon-like? Not necessarily. They may just be doing things that will work better for their shoppers.

When you go and get a haircut just like the one Jennifer Lopez has, chances are that you are not more JLo-like. Hopefully you got a good haircut that works for you. :)

I’m watching a lot of blogs try to predict the future. Some even say that they have information straight from an anonymous eBay top level person. One of these claims that all of these changes are coming in August. Really? So ChannelAdvisor, Vendio, and everybody else will have to fall in with changes that are coming in 5 weeks yet none of us have been told about them? We’ll all have to redevelop our systems overnight? That’s unlikely at this point.

It’s unlikely that eBay would make giant changes that would require that third party tools make those changes too and to NOT give Certified Providers (which includes us) any heads up about these things. And the changes these blog posts and manifestos are claiming run against what eBay just announced and what I know is coming.

Rumours are rumours, people. Ask yourself if they make logical sense, and nearly 100% of the time, I find that they don’t.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

Comments Closed

5 Responses to “eBay Rumours Are Just That”

  1. RODWHOCARES says:


  2. Jeff says:

    A seller is only as good as the platform he is selling on and the rules that dictate the tempo, especially if its not their own. You left out important info about paypal when you talked about “bad sellers” and holding the order. Dont forget that sellers take a beating when it comes to funds being held and the way the system favors the buyer so they have to be vigilant when an address does not match. As for the rumors, its a bit arrogant to think eBay wouldn’t make changes like that based on their track record. They don’t care if your a “certified provider or not” unless you have a major investment in their stock shares. Make no mistake about, Amazon is on its own level and eBaY wishes they could be like them. Give it some more time and all the traffic will move over there and other sites just like it.

  3. Debbie says:

    Well hi, Jeff. How are you? :) Anything we can help you with? DSRs are looking good. :)
    I’m not arrogant and I’m not claiming that eBay will make NO changes. I am saying that some of the hottest rumours right now are mostly or completely not true. That’s my point.
    My point is NOT to go through the litany of things sellers are angry about. There are plenty of blog posts out there on that topic if you want to vent. This post is about some of the rumours being way off.
    Believing things that are not true and are not going to happen can only hurt people and make people more frustrated. I don’t want to see people more frustrated. I like to see them less frustrated wherever possible.

  4. Doug says:

    I agree with you 100% diticorp. Ebay only provides the platform, the sellers provide the product. I am a powerseller on Ebay and I go out of my way to satisfy my customers, if an item becomes lost stolen or not working properly, I immediately work to resolve that problem. This has worked great for me my DSR’s are 4.8 with 100% positive feedback. It seems to me many sellers would rather bash the very people (buyers) that keeps them afloat. They assume the buyer lies or out to cheat them, these sellers should not be sellers because they lack any economic integrity. The first rule of business is the customer is always right. The rumors that some of these people flaunt is hysterically dumb and most are just out and out lies. Paypal does not hold my money for 21 days but I do keep money in paypal for refunds if the situation should arise. Most of these rumors are in fact from sellers who IMO are a little shady to begin with. If you can’t handle the changes on Ebay then leave, but don’t start rumors just because you are mad.

  5. RatherRuss says:

    Wow, yeah and the 20,000 items I have sold on ebay, 95% of which are used, have generated a living (up till best match/DSR’s/and Buy.com) and a 99.2 feedback on 10,000 buyers who bothered a feedback. 10,000 must have been satisfied as they didn’t feeback, nor did they bitch. Now 99.2 is less than one person in a hundred, buying 25 year old vinyl….and if that isn’t good enough, my posterior is good enough for a kiss, as I consider 19,960 folks happy as a good business. So it ain’t about the feedback, it;s about the greed….easier to sell cheap chinese goods, cut outs and remainders etc and get rid of the collectible sellers. That would be no problem, if an honest, you have 60 days to become something else or leave were rendered. Ebay’s overnight drop in visitors, sales and rise in bad DSR’s tells more of a tale after 5 years of their flip flopping -no wonder McCain has Meg around, birds of a feather. So yeah, who cares about the rumours…not the sellers who lost their livlihood over night, but hell we are expendable if ebay can manipulate the stock with fake listings, fake buy.com and fake pardoners for their stupidity. They’re changing, into what who cares….another ex-power seller….still scratching my head, how I became a pariah overnight after 5 years of paying a $1000 bucks a month to the ex-monkey on my back.