Betsy Shiffman over at Wired Blog Network authored this piece yesterday and I thought you might like to read it.
“EBay users are mad as hell and they’re not going to stop complaining about it.
“After a fairly challenging year, John Donahoe, who takes over as eBay CEO at the end of March, unveiled plans yesterday to lower the upfront listing fee and increase the back-end fee for sellers. The so-called “success-based” model, which takes effect Feb. 20, is meant to increase listings, but from what we can gather, it will do little more than enrage its merchant base.
‘ “Sellers prefer this structure, as it lowers their risk if an item doesn’t sell,” Donahoe said in a keynote speech at a conference yesterday. “Put simply, we will make more of our money when sellers are successful.” ‘
“We’re not sure who Donahoe consulted, but sellers far and wide are loudly complaining that the new fee structure will increase the costs of using the auction site — the web is aflutter with calls for a “mass exodus” of “feebay.” Ina Steiner, author of the Auction Bytes blog, calculates that the new fee structure could hike rates by 33 percent for many sellers.
“eBay, by contrast, projects that new structure will lower fees for 60 percent of its sellers, assuming they’re eligible for discounts offered to power sellers who meet eBay’s recently revised criteria.
‘ “Every seller’s going to have to go back and review their business practices and see what this means for them individually,” said eBay spokesman Usher Lieberman.
“It isn’t just the fee structure that has sellers out of sorts: eBay also changed its feedback system so that sellers cannot give a negative or neutral rating to buyers.
‘ “Sellers will no longer have a way to protect themselves against bad buyers, deadbeat bidders, scam artists, buyers who make unreasonable demands, buyers who don’t read the ad then demand a refund, the list goes on and on,” one merchant wrote in a forum.
“The company argues that the feedback system was being abused, and that it has provided sellers with several new tools to protect themselves from deadbeat bidders.
‘ “We’ve seen a four-fold increase in unwarranted negative feedback left for buyers in a retaliatory way. Buyers have told us consistently — that one of the strongest reasons for not using the site is retaliatory feedback,” says Lieberman. “If buyers have a bad transaction, that won’t drive them away. What does drive them away is retaliatory feedback.” ‘
Isn’t that so like eBay.