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.


Posted On: 2019-06-02 13:10
User Name: mhartzold

Why is this site giving space to one seller's poorly thought out rant about her 200-300 item inventory on eBay? There are ways to get around this. This is unprofessional nonsense.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Dubliners,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1914. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> The Beatles.- Baker (Geoffrey.) 3 Autograph Letters and 1 Autograph Card signed to Ann Gosnell, addtionally sgn’d by George Harrison, John Lennon, Cynthia Lennon and others, 1968. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Pilgrim Press.- Dod (John). <i>A plaine and familiar exposition of the tenne commandements ...,</i> [Leiden], [William Brewster], 1617. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Automaton Chess Player & Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell (H., printer). “The Famous Chess-Player, No.14, St.James's-Street, next Brooks's,” broadside advertisement for "The famous Automaton", [1784]. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Clemens (Samuel Langhorne). <i>Life on the Mississippi,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1883. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Arctic Sledge Flag.- Fulford (Reginald Baldwin). Sledge flag... HMS Discovery, 1875. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first edition, first printing, 1997. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Piranesi (Giovanni Battista). <i>Le Antichità Romane,</i> 4 vol., 1756. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal, called). <i>Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus Celebriores,</i> 3 parts in 1, Richard Ford's copy, Venice, Giovanni Battista Pasquali, 1751. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Atlases.- Speed (John). <i>A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World,</i> bound with <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine,</i> 1631-27. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Anatomical illustration.- Aselli (Gaspare). <i>De lactibus sive lacteis venis... dissertatio,</i> first edition, Milan, Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1627. £20,000 to £30,000
  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 8vo, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible, Italian.- Malermi Bible, woodcut illustrations, folio, Lazaro de Soardi & Bernardino Benali, Venice,1517. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Germany.- Homann (Johann Baptist). <i>Atlas von Deutschland,</i> engraved half title, hand coloured, 87 double page engraved maps, [folio, Erben, Nuremberg, 1753]. £8,000 to £10,000
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> [Mirk (John)].- <i>Liber festivalis et Quatuor sermons</i> [bound with], [Le Roy (Pierre)] <i>A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie,</i> first edition in English, Widdow Orwin for Thomas Man, 1595, 8vo. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Antoninus Florentinus (Saint Archbishop of Florence). <i>Confessionale: Defecerunt…,</i> 8vo, Pietro Quarengi, Venice, 15 February 1499. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Jesuit Letters.- [Froes (Father Luigi) & et al.)] Avvisi del Giapone de gli anni 1582, 1583, 1584…, 1586 [bound with] Avvisi della Cina et Giapone…, FIRST EDITIONS, Rome. £1,000 to £1,500
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Plutarch & Probus (Aemilius). <i>Plutarchi Cheronei et Aemilii Probi Illustrium,</i> folio, Nicolas de Pratis for Jean-Petit, Paris, 1521. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible.- English. <i>The Byble in Englyshe of the Largest and Greatest volume,</i> elaborate woodcut border, text vignettes, folio, 1541. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fore-edge Painting.- Lord George Byron, The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale, bound with 10 other titles, 4 plates marked 'Proof.', 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Manson (John). Twelve by Sixteen Papers of John Mason, a collection of 50 sheets of paper, some watermarked, 12 x 16”, c.1978. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Dr. No,</i> FIRST EDITION, original boards, dust-jacket, 8vo, 1958. £700 to £900
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Eliot (T.S.) <i>Four Quartets,</i> NUMBER 121 of 290 COPIES, signed by author, 1960. £400 to £600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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