Posts from October 29th, 2008.

In Demand on eBay

Once again Scot Wingo has a very interesting revelation on his blog. Scot is the President and CEO of ChannelAdvisor, which provides large retailers and manufacturers with the tools and services they need to successfully utilize consumer marketplaces as a sales channel. Recently ChannelAdvisor received substantial funding from eBay; one of the main marketplaces they utilize.

Although InDemand will not please smaller sellers or those sellers whom eBay considers ‘not good enough’ to benefit, (regardless of what information they have on their dashboards) on the surface it could be a positive move to match retail supply with demand.

Positive:

eBay has been guarding their data for years and only trot carefully selected portions of it out when they think it will give them backing for the policy of the moment. Maybe someone in a position of power has finally realized that sellers can use data to offer stock that buyers are looking for. That is a radical concept which takes the first tiny baby step towards realization that eBay and sellers should not be locked into an eBay fomented adversarial position. Yes, unless eBay is going to Amazonize to the point of stocking and fulfilling orders themselves they do need sellers.

Negative:

  • Virtually the same set of well connected high volume sellers of brand new goods will receive all the benefits of this program. *If they can qualify.*
  • Everyone else is invisible, sheesh, just pay your fees and shut up!
  • From what we know so far, InDemand will be gameable; if it is possible sellers will do it.
  • In order to prevent gaming the system eBay may well make it effectively unusable
  • eBay appears to be giving items their own set of eBay ID numbers, why? All this type of product already have ISBN numbers and SKUs.

The devil will be in the details

History has shown that eBay is capable of conceiving wonderful ideas. Implementing them in a usable manner is is a challenge that eBay has repeatedly failed.

*If you qualify for this program and sell the types of items that would benefit from it please satisfy my curiosity and leave a note in the comments section. After checking feedback for several excellent sellers who do not qualify, I am wondering if anybody qualifies.

Implementation of yet another elitist eBay program makes me want to turn into a socialist, or a vegetarian anarchist, or something. Maybe just staying an ex-eBay seller will be less stressful.

Y’all come back!

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eBay Turns On

Dinesh is at it again. Yup he of the feather and VP Seller Experience. That is an interesting title. Note they don’t say Good Seller Experience. He made an announcement on the 16th about legal gambling on eBay and another one on the 21st to remind sellers to do their chores before eBay turns on the Paperless Seller Experience.

It then took another week for eBay to turn it on. So what else is new? According to Scot Wingo, although he is very polite and sideways about it, it is not quite ready for prime time.

No he didn’t actually say ‘not ready for prime time’, he didn’t say “You have egg on your face, Sir” either, what he said, politely, is that there are ramifications to the policy eBay apparently hasn’t thought about. I guess they didn’t cover that in the MBA program. Scot said he had been talking to John McDonald (big chief eBay’s Trust and Safety for the USA) who did not have an answer to the following question:

There is some confusion around international (eBay calls this cross border trade or CBT)- e.g. can I specifically mention in my USA listing that “for DE buyers I take x, y, z?” - assuming x/y/z are allowed in DE, but not in USA?

What a surprise!

Personally I could care less whether a buyer uses Google Checkout, mails me a check or Money Order or meets me at the local Starbucks with cash. Heck if they want to they can even use PayPal, but then I don’t sell on eBay any more, so I can be the decider in my business. I like that, it is why I am not an employee drawing a paycheck.

Y’all come back!

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