Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2019 Issue

“Good Until Cancelled”: The Rant of a soon to be Ex-eBay Power Seller

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I am a soon to be ex-eBay Power seller. I joined eBay in the heady days of the late 1990s and for the next 20+ years I maintained a productive relationship and a 100% positive feedback rating. I’m not a big seller, I don't have 10,000 books for sale, more like 200 to 300 items at a time, usually a mix of vintage and antique books, prints, maps, photos, ephemera, toys, collectibles, vintage clothing and other wares. Often unusual, and increasingly as shipping costs skyrocketed, most of what I sold was either small or lightweight or both.

 

Though eBay is not my primary source of income, it all adds up and I'm bailing out reluctantly unless eBay rolls back their most recent “Good until cancelled” listing policy change. This recent edict which took effect in mid-March 2019 means the seller can not list an item for 30 days (or less) and can also no longer decide when to relist and for how long. In the new scheme of things everything is “Good until cancelled” and if you forget to cancel, well they ding you for another round. You get the idea.

 

It’s a change meant to generate more fees for the company and less flexibility and control over inventory exposure for the seller. “Good until cancelled” is a double whammy, costs more and the longer a listing stays up the the less exposure it gets. It’s a Lose-Lose for the seller. Unless cooler heads prevail, I’ll be on my way to the exit about the time you read this. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone: the chat boards were full of negative comments, the sites that monitor e-commerce were reporting sentiment running over 70% against the new policy, but still -- it’s their company and they’ll run it to suit themselves.

 

But let’s not pretend it’s a friendly split.

 

Just for the record, here's a list of the changes in the last few years that I, a reputable, steady, veteran "Power Seller" didn't like and why I became increasingly disenchanted with the way eBay treated sellers:

 

*Didn't like when eBay included shipping charges in the base dollar value used to compute their commission. (Since when can you charge a commission on a seller expense?)

 

*Didn't like when last year eBay stopped sending me the email contact address of the buyer after the transaction was complete.

 

*Didn't like when they cluttered up the platform and with competing ads, links and photos directly adjacent to my listings.

 

*Didn't like when eBay hiked their commissions significantly without providing any better or additional services.

 

*Didn't like when the site filled up with fraudsters and scammers, rip off artists and counterfeit goods.

 

*Didn't like when I waited 40 minutes on hold on their eBay "help" line to resolve a difficulty on a $15 transaction.

 

And I still paid my fees because I still made enough sales to make it worthwhile, even counting the cost of the shipping, Paypal, store fee, listing fee and final value fee too. But alas no more.

 

Sorry eBay, in the discussion about "Good until cancelled" I pick CANCELLED. It's like breaking up with your boyfriend. It's over - kaput. When the listings I have up now are over - I'm out. Or as we say out here in Hawaii, “Aloha also means goodbye.”

 

I won’t be relisting in the "Good until cancelled" format because I’m not relisting anything. Not relisting old stock and not listing anything new either, not doing auctions. I may be only one of an estimated 25 million (or more) sellers, but the thing is I'm the person who decides what I want to list, for how long and when, (if ever) I want to relist it.

 

In the words of the famous New Yorker cartoon, “How about never? Is never good for you?”

 

There is a limit and I've reached mine.

 

If you’re an eBay seller who has decided to search for other venues here’s a link comparing alternative sites: www.salehoo.com/blog/sick-of-ebay-try-these-alternative-places-to-sell

 

I registered with Bonanza and will try shifting my wares over to that platform. I will also pause to consider whether I really want to do this anymore at all. In the meantime it would be uncharacteristic of me to go quietly; so here’s a list of all the members of the eBay board and their top management.

 

You can be sure they will each be getting a personally hand signed collectible copy of my “Dear John” letter along with a multiple cc’s to the many e-commerce and media writers.

 

eBay

Board of Directors and Management

2025 Hamilton Ave

San Jose, California 95125

 

Board of Directors

investors.ebayinc.com/corporate-governance/board-of-directors/default.aspx

Thomas Tierney - Chairman of the Board

Fred D. Anderson - Chairman Audit Committee

Anthony Bates - Board Member

Andrew M.Brown - Board Member

Jesse Cohn - Board Member

Diana Farrell - Board Member

Logan Green - Board Member

Bonnie Hammer - Board Member

Kathleen Mitic - Chair Corp. Gov.

Matt Murphy - Board Member

Pierre Omidyar - Founder

Paul Pressler - Chair. Compensation Committee

Bob Swan - Chair Risk Committee

Perry Traquina - Board Member

Devin Wenig - Board Member

-----------

Management

www.ebayinc.com/our-company/our-leaders/

Devin Wenig - President & CEO

Alessandro Coppo SVP & General Manager

Steve Fisher - SVP, Chief Technology Officer

Marie Oh Huber - SVP, Legal Affairs

Wendy Jones- SVP Global Operations

Jay Lee - SVP & General Manager Markets

Kris Miller, Chief Strategy Officer

Scott Schenkel - Chief Financial Officer

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy - SVP StubHub

Steve Wymer - Chief Communications Officer

Kristin Yetto - SVP, Chief People Officer

 

More detailed bios on eBay management on Reuters

www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/company-officers/EBAY.O


Posted On: 2019-04-03 07:12
User Name: joedetweiler

Hi,

apparently you can still do the 30-Day listing in advanced mode. Here's the tip from an ebay seller forum:
"To escape from it: click on "Save and exit" at the bottom of your draft listing. In the upper-right corner of the next screen there's a link for the Advanced version of the listing form. After you click on that, you can re-open your draft and it will have the regular options including "Best offer" and the full list of options for Duration."


Posted On: 2019-04-03 17:44
User Name: certainbooks

Hello Susan: There is a way to get a buyer's email, albeit fiddly. If they pay via PayPal, you can go to that site, select 'refund' for their item and their email details should come up. (It's not necessary to actually make the refund, that takes more clicks.) It's a useful work-around. Best regards, George Krzyminski at Certain Books.


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