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Ebay down the tubes?

Here’s an interesting article about ebay:

by Dinah Balk

eBay (EBAY) used to be “just a venue” where sellers could list
rare, unique, or unusual items for sale and buyers could find
them. Now it appears that eBay is much more than “just a forum”
and specializes in iPods that can be purchased anywhere. What
happened to eBay’s magic? John Donahoe gave it away.

His gross mismanagement of the site has resulted in an
unprecedented erosion of listings as a direct result of Donahoe
making one fatal mistake after another while trying to
implement his “buyer experience” plan. Now he blames sellers
for his failure and raised their fees. This did not go
unnoticed and sellers are leaving.

How did Donahoe break eBay?

  1. Off site advertising competes with sellers. When Donahoe
    took away the free advertising premium store owners got and
    replaced it with off site advertising, a number of seller
    listings started looking like a toboggan run. When was the last
    time you saw Microsoft (MSFT) put Apple (AAPL) advertising on
    their site or Wal-Mart(WMT) put ads on Target’s (TGT) site?

  2. He opted millions of buyers into guinea pig tests without
    their consent. These buyers vowed never to visit eBay again
    because tracking cookies were downloaded into their computers
    making escape difficult if not impossible.

  3. The site is technically unstable. What buyer is going to
    tolerate a site where they are stalked by tracking cookies,
    links that don’t work, abundant page loading errors, page
    loads as slow as molasses if at all, and site issues that are
    never announced much less fixed?

  4. Best Match doesn’t work! What buyer is going to search
    through thousands of meaningless search results just to find
    one item? There are literally thousands of complaints on eBay
    Discussion Boards because buyers can no longer find it, causing
    listings and sales to plummet.

  5. Seller tools are broken. The shipping calculator doesn’t
    work because is not designed to calculate dimensional weights
    (a well kept eBay secret). Markdown manager never has worked
    and the “sell your item” form works intermittently at best.

  6. Rolling server blackouts. Sellers pay for their listings to
    be shown 24/7 yet eBay selectively shows listings to
    predetermined regions of the country and blacks out all other

  7. Sellers are canceling Paypal accounts. Donahoe’s new “plan”
    includes a provision by which all a buyer need say is "I’M NOT

  • GIVE ME A REFUND" and a 21 day hold is automatically placed
    on the seller’s Paypal account - even after the purchase has
    been shipped.

Hello Amazon (AMZN)!

Disclosure: Author is a long time eBay seller

and there’s more on the subject at