ALL IS NOT WELL IN AUCTION LAND Fake Listings

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jimmy_huber
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5 Mar 08 11:51:26 am
All's not well in auction-land.

In an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, eBay warned of numerous risks that its business faces, including its ability to retain buyers and sellers on its sites, in addition to the normal concern of attracting new users.

Attraction and retention were just two of the worries eBay expressed in a laundry list of potential risk factors outlined in the gloomy shareholders' report.

Essentially, eBay realizes that it isn't the only game in town anymore. Citing the 'changing demands of the e-commerce marketplace,' eBay warned that it was facing increasing competition from Amazon, Buy.com and others, giving consumers more choice -- particularly in its fixed-price business lines.
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'Growth rates in our most established markets, such as the U.S., Germany and the U.K., have continued to decline,' eBay said. 'Despite our efforts to stem these declines, growth rates in these and other markets may continue to decline and may become negative.'

The increased worries over customer retention and market competition come with the backdrop of a recent sellers' boycott over changes to the listing fees and feedback policies that incoming CEO John Donahoe announced in January.

Those changes increase the fees that some sellers pay and, come May, will prevent sellers from leaving negative feedback about buyers, which is the real pain point that prompted the boycott, according to Ina Steiner, an eBay expert who runs the site AuctionBytes.com.

'Some people think it's more about the fees, but it's really more about the feedback policy,' Steiner told InternetNews.com.

In February, outside tracking groups reported a 13 percent drop in seller listings as a result of the boycott, but eBay maintained that it had seen no appreciable impact. Then in Friday's SEC filing, the company formally acknowledged the potential impact of the new policies.

'If these changes cause sellers to move their business away from our websites or otherwise fail to improve gross merchandise volume or the number of successful listings, our operating results and profitability will be harmed,' eBay wrote.


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jimmy_huber
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5 Mar 08 11:52:34 am
looks like Ebay is finally realizing that pissing off its sellers can hurt its bottom line.


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fm1234
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5 Mar 08 07:03:54 pm
In February, outside tracking groups reported a 13 percent drop in seller listings as a result of the boycott,


As I posted before, this is simply not true -- eBay's volume at 12 million listings around the time of the boycott was the same as the volume ten days earlier, before eBay started a promotion. eBay's volume didn't go down because of the boycott, it went back to normal at the end of the promotion. I've yet to see any credible substantiation of the claim that the boycott did anything.

Also, it is completely normal -- and required by law -- for companies to disclose risk factors to their business in their annual reports. Are we sure that the statements to which you are referring are not normal risk disclosure practices that all publicly-traded companies do, taken out of context to support the idea that the eBay boycott worked?

As usual, here's my customary disclaimer: I despise eBay. And PayPal. And go out of my way to not use either unless absolutely necessary. I just see most of the Internet chatter about eBay being effected by the boycott as nothing more than that -- chatter, background noise.

Any study of eBay's finances shows that revenue from auctions as a percentage of their total profits has been declining for years. It is completely sensible that eBay would be working on policies to protect and encourage their core sellers -- not the little guys, not the newbies, but their huge sellers that do hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars a year in sales -- as well as making buyers feel comfortable and empowered. Is there even a single person who has been doing say >$500k a year on eBay who has recently closed up shop and gone somewhere else? (I mean, I literally do not know -- is there? I suspect not, but I doubt it, given that the obnoxious policy changes don't effect uber sellers as much as they do the normal ones.)

eBay has branched out into more and more things in search of revenue, and its auction operation is sort of a 'branding afterthought' at this point. No matter how much money it wastes, it is unlikely that Ford Motor Company will ever stop building cars, because that's what made it famous. But it has branched off into ever more new things in search of profit, because its car business sucks. Same with eBay.

What I'm saying is, don't expect any miracles out of eBay any time soon, especially not as the result of some overhyped and apparently ineffectual boycott by a handful of disgruntled sellers.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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jimmy_huber
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6 Mar 08 02:46:51 am
Then in Friday's SEC filing, the company formally acknowledged the potential impact of the new policies.

'If these changes cause sellers to move their business away from our websites or otherwise fail to improve gross merchandise volume or the number of successful listings, our operating results and profitability will be harmed,' eBay wrote.


If ebay is admitting that thier new policies are affecting thier growth and causing sellers to leave ebay.Then I would say that is proof enough.

And as far as thier listings. Check out powersellersunite forums where they are listing sellers that have as much as 88,000 listings for the same item.

And the massive amount of shop.com listings that showed up on ebay for no apparent reason during the seller strike.

Or the massive amount of test auctions that were posted during the seller strike.

Ask amazon how thier business is booming beyond projected expectations for 2008

There is alot of signs showing that ebay has hurt themselves with the new feedback policy. Who cares about the fees. Thats normal for ebay to raise them on us.


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fm1234
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7 Mar 08 12:39:40 am
'If these changes cause sellers to move their business away from our websites or otherwise fail to improve gross merchandise volume or the number of successful listings, our operating results and profitability will be harmed,' eBay wrote.


You forgot to bold the word 'If.' I haven't seen the report and am not interested enough to go digging it up (you can find it online at any number of stock investing-related sites of course) but all I'm saying is that in the financial reports of all publicly traded companies, companies are required to talk about risks to their business model. And if the quote is coming from an SEC filing, then I'd bet dollars to donuts that that's all that quote is -- part of the normal, customary and legally required risk disclosure that all companies are required to make in their periodic filings, and that it's been taken out of context to try to bolster the idea that the boycott did a thing.

I visit PSU from time to time and will look for the threads you mentioned.

Does anyone have any proof of massive amounts of shop.com listings, test auctions etc. or is it just chatter?

Does anyone have any answer to the question that if the boycott worked, why eBay listings before the promotion which preceded the boycott are approximately the same as listings after the boycott. I mean, it goes like this:

12 million listings +/-
Promo
17 million listings +/-
Boycott
12 million listings +/-

Show me the logic behind these numbers which suggests that the boycott, not the promo, was responsible for the swing.

Or -- don't. Honestly, I'm just pointing out that for all the talk, I haven't seen a single major volume seller who has left eBay, and I doubt that any will, because these changes benefit those sellers the most by raising the bar to entry on new and/or low volume sellers. And in that context, it's a predictable result of eBay sort of 'circling the wagons' around its auction business so that it can explore and focus on other profit centres, since the auction business is essential to eBay's branding and image but decreasingly essential to its bottom line.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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jimmy_huber
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7 Mar 08 07:43:52 am
Ive actually seen a couple huge volume sellers leave. Some boasted they were titanium sellers and they are dumping ebay. Most only had a thousand or so fb that month but one person in particular had over 35,000 feedback that month and when I checked thier store it was completely empty.

You have to understand Your biggest powersellers are severly affected by these changes. The biggest electronics powerseller make money on items with a extremely low profit potential. And they have very high sell through rates because they deal in electronics only. But they only make $3.00 to $5.00
A 3 % increase on FVF on high dollar items bankrupts that seller. The additional $6.00 fee on a $200.00 order completely eliminates that sellers profit margin.
There are titanium sellers leaving left and right. The small sellers think that only they are affected.

Jay and marie complained to ebay about the low value items like dvd's and Cd's stating that ebays changes would put them out of business. They sell on average 40,000 items a month. Thier sales have been down since the announcement. Before the seller strike Right now they are selling half of what they normally do. That shows alot when the biggest powerseller on ebay has lost near half of thier average selling volume. It means the sellers and buyers are buying less.

My own listings are a hard sell. My listings last month were down. We sell 250-375 items a month on the ebay side of our business. Last month we sold 134 items. And the average closing price on all those items went to the floor.

Ebay started that low price listing fee right before the auction. I already had 200 auctions running and I just let them close that week. I sold 6 out of 200 of those listings and every single item was listed with a starting bid of 99 Cents.
So you tell me again that the seller strike had no affect. The last time I started everything at 99 Cents out of over 200 auctions I sold 189 items. And only had to relist a couple items.

So there isnt a person in this forum that can convince me otherwise the impact ebays changes have caused. Sellers are pissed and leaving by the hordes. Ebay can quote no affect but im a long time ebayer and I definately feel the affects. Its so Bad I moved almost all of my business elsewhere untill things cool down.

Membership has DOUBLED, TRIPLED AND QUADRUPLED at ebay biggest competitors.

There are complaints all over the net about shop.coms listings appearing all over ebay. Somewhere between 1 million and 2 million listings appeared on ebay. As soon as ebayers all over the world started complaining those listings started dissapearing. And complaints were quickly deleted on the forums.

There are complaints about ebay deleting posts in the community forums all over the net.. They have deleted over 250,000 topics. A topic I started about boycotting paypal was deleted . 16 other posts I made in the forums were deleted as well.
Ebay stated that any post deletions were accidental.And that they hope that thier members post comments negative to ebay and positive so they have people to listed to. Then why did I get a threatening message stating my messages violated forum rules.And I needed to follow proper forum conduct. There was no profanity in them at all I just stated my own opinions and experiences.

So you cant tell me that nothing is wrong and its just a couple sellers. The boycott has been extended by thousands of sellers. Probably the majority of the sellers that cant make any money off of ebays recent changes.

This will not be the doom of ebay. This will not stop buying or selling or people getting rich off of ebay. This may actually help alot of us once things cool down. But right Now in the NOW. Ebay is hurting and they did it to themselves.
And any possible competitor is moving in like a shark after a wounded whale.

But I see another even bigger boycot comming on May 1rst. There is no end date schedualled. And I bet ebay will have a big special listing price then too. :D

Everyone is entitled to thier opinions and asking for solid proof. But my business was affected by these changes. I have felt the affects financially
And moved most of my products off of ebay. And so far have been doing quite well. When everything settles down and the buyer and sellers return I will post more listings on ebay.



By the way watch this video this is one of many youtube videos submitted with the fake listings. To prove what I mean by ebay padding the listings and deleting our posts about the listings. This is your proof
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You heard it yourself. EBAY CALLED US 'NOISE' We the Sellers are just 'NOISE' to them


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gulfy13
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7 Mar 08 11:00:18 pm
Well, All I know is that everyone you talk to on ebay is saying the same thing 'sales are down'. As far as who are leaving and who are staying is up for grabs. I know lots of little sellers are just throwing in the towel. But big sellers have left too. The wholesale group that located in mobile alabama left. At 23 million in sales last year I would say that they were a big seller. Jim stated that he had had enough with the wishy-washy policies from ebay and the ebay just wants to big of a piece of the pie. They have switched to strickly website sales and don't plan on returning to ebay...I'm sure that there will continue to be many sellers who quit both big and small, and many who will stay both big and small...One good thing, at least some of the traffic will wind up on the newer auction sites and perhaps this will give them a boost and enable them to get some sort of grip on the auction market...

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wholesalelist101
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7 Mar 08 11:25:13 pm
When I got home today eBay had left a message wanting to discuss the recent policy changes. I wish I would have been home for that call! Did anyone else get a call today? If you got to talk to them I would love to hear how the conversation went. I would try calling them back but I would have a better chance of talking to God on the phone.

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lordamstad3rd
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12 Mar 08 12:54:41 pm
With all due respect, there is a simple way to test everyones theories as to whether EBay sellers are suffering or not. Run half your business on EBay and half on Yahoo. See which one brings in the greater profits for you. I am just getting started for the second time now in online auctioneering and that is what I intend on doing. Just like with stocks, you never want all your eggs in one basket as my dad used to say. Just something to think about.

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jimmy_huber
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12 Mar 08 03:15:19 pm
Cant do that Yahoo auctions is gone. Been gone for a while. :D


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lordamstad3rd
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13 Mar 08 08:23:17 pm
So, what other auction sites are available? Also, does anyone have any comments or suggestions about selling on an Amazon Marketplace site? They want to charge 59.99 plus 7% each month. Does this sound reasonable to you or is it too much for a starting business?

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designerthriftshop
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13 Mar 08 11:49:17 pm
Set up just a regular sellers account with Amazon & put some products up there. It's free to do that. I have a few things listed there & just made my first sale a few days ago. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Good luck!

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jimmy_huber
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14 Mar 08 01:36:53 am
If you consider the fees you have to pay ebay , have a ebay store and the individual listing fees. If you sell alot that amount is pocket change. I used to pay ebay $700+ each month.

If your a small seller just use thier basic setup its FREE


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berk-llc
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15 Mar 08 03:32:45 am
As far as their annual filing of the 10k listing their business risk, that is a necessary part of the filing under SEC rules. All public companies have to list their potential risks, it doesn't mean they think it really might happen, they just have to say that if that changes, then their business will not do as well. It means nothing.

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lordamstad3rd
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19 Mar 08 10:07:35 pm
What can anyone tell me about ebid.net? I have heard that they are up and coming and a good possibility to challenge ebay, but I need someone to confirm that first. Any replies will be appreciated.

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107proof
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20 Mar 08 03:43:11 am
Link hidden: Login to view is a new aucton site that opened about a month ago, free to list, free stores. its worth checking out.

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vwillams
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20 Mar 08 10:55:53 am
Jay and Marie have made so much money and have name recognition that they can migrate to a stand alone site and eventually wean off Ebay gradually. People complain about Ebay and the fee structure but I do not know any platform that can put me infront of millions of viewers for so little. If I put a one page ad in Vogue, Elle or Usa Today I will be paying min of 25k. I would have to wait months before the ad ran. I know Ebay is full of crap on some issues, but they are the best bang for your money right now. For those who are obsessed with Ebay, use them for the exposure and then after you get the audience, migrate to your own platform...... just my 2 cents.

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jimmy_huber
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20 Mar 08 01:36:59 pm
I dont think that JayandMarie are having any issues their complaint is the main reason ebay made changes to thier structure for the Dvds and Cds and Games. :D

I would only dream of having 1/4 th of thier sales each month with the stock we carry now.


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