eBay Strike 1st May – Groan

There has been news in several of the dailys including The Times about an eBay strike on 1st May.  The main issues seem to be as follows:

  • Changes to feedback.  In the future sellers will not be able to leave negative feedback for buyers
  • End of level playing field.  eBay is going to start giving volume sellers fee discounts.

To sweeten this pill, eBay has reduced listing fee (although raised the final value fee). 

Like the last so called strike, I think that this is all a storm in a tea cup.  A microscopic number of sellers will take part and it will have a negligable effect.  In my opinion if they are unhappy, instead of whinging sellers should quietly look for other sales channels, such as launching their own website and Amazon.  Many eBay sellers are too eBay centric.

My response to changes

I am broadly in favour of the feedback change.  The feedback system in the past has been a blunt tool, with sellers either scoring above 98% or not trading.  Few buyers would leave negatives for fear of being ‘negged’ in return.  In my opinion a buyer has done their bit when they have paid, so I would make the additional change of allowing negative feedback from sellers in the situation of non payment.

As for the end of the level playing field, eBay has set the entry level for qualifying for a discount fairly low, and so it should help most business sellers.  Discounts for volumes are common in almost every other line of business, and so people should not find this so surprising.  As the change changes are linked to detailed sellers ratings these changes should incentivise good performance and lead to a better customer experience.


  1. Erika says:

    What you are failing to realize is that the biggest impact from all of the changes will not be the feedback issue. The single most detrimental issue that is facing sellers is something that has already been implemented in the form of BEST MATCH. Since best match was implemented, my sales have dropped by 75% and Ebay does not seem to care one bit. They are doing everything they can to push small sellers like me straight out of business. Mr. Donahue will have his wish to turn Ebay into another amazon.com and then when things go totally down the toilet for Ebay, I am sure he will jump ship just in time to keep all of his fortunes in tact.

    What a complete shame Ebay has become. What used to be a great place to shop where a person could find literally anything they were looking for, has now and will more so in the future become just another online retailer. How exciting.

    In the meantime, I am being forced to close my doors to keep Ebay from stealing any more of my hard earned money, but charging me the same listing fees as the next guy and then burying my listings so that I have no chance in this world of having a decent number of sales.

    Thanks so much Mr. Donahue. It’s been a real pleasure!

  2. Sandra says:

    I was a US Ebay seller since the very beginning. And, I was an extremely active buyer. I left Ebay completely, and won’t sell or buy on that site again. I was especially upset by the new feedback changes, and regarding your comment:

    “In my opinion a buyer has done their bit when they have paid, so I would make the additional change of allowing negative feedback from sellers in the situation of non payment.”

    A non-paying buyer can certainly leave negative feedback, even when it isn’t warranted. I’ve dealt with all sorts of buyers on Ebay and it is not fair to say that when the buyer makes a payment, then they are done. They are also supposed to give you their correct shipping address, and choose the shipping method that they desire. But sellers are always being blackmailed by people who pay a few pennies for media mail but are upset that it takes an extra few days for their shipment to arrive. Or the buyer pays, then gets a chargeback, yet keeps the merchandise.

    Ebay made a wonderful profit by providing an online venue where the playing field between buyers and sellers was as level as it could be made. Buyers were able to get great bargains and locate hard-to-find items. Now, good sellers have no motivation whatsoever to provide these services. We were set up to be ripped off and abused by our “customers”, both Ebay and buyers. As a buyer, I know better than to shop on Ebay any longer. I can’t afford to support Ebay with the outrageous fees as either a sellor or a buyer.

  3. Dan Foley says:

    any change that occurs is hard at first, but eBay and the sellers will adjust. It just means we all have to work smarter.

    For sellers who are willing to hang in there, it means there will be less competition. It also means that sellers will have to compete with products that have higher margins and that can end up being a good thing.

    We all need to learn how to be smarter about how we source our products.

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