Home Truths for eBay Sellers
Everyone loves a whinge. Hell, I'd list it as a hobby in Who's Who if I was illustrious enough. And it would be just that: a hobby: not business. But, and I'm willing to take the flak here, there is a cohort of eBay sellers who are in the business of complaining and they outclass even the Luddites, Private Fraser and Eeyore. In fact, the comment of one eBay executive back in 2000 has never rung so true: "you could give an eBay seller a fiver and he'd still complain that it was crumpled."
eBay is a corporation. It exists to make money. It's still doing that and it isn't suicidal: if it makes changes the aim is making more money.
To disgruntled, disaffected eBay sellers everywhere here's what I say to you:
eBay has never loved you
The community thing was real but eBay has never ever shed a single tear over a seller who left. It can't. It's a corporation. If you're staying out of some sense of misplaced loyalty, switch that chip off now. Stay 'cos it works, makes you money: don't base a business decision on an emotional attachment to eBay. Your love will always be unrequited.
Feedback is still just Feedback
eBay changed feedback. It's gonna stay changed. If you harbour a grudge because you feel buyers have too much power, get over it or get out. It's a change that isn't going to be undone. If you think you are being hounded by hordes of malicious buyers who want to make your life a misery using Feedback, you're wrong. Sellers care much more about Feedback than buyers: it has always been thus. Are there nutters out there? Sure. It's not a problem restricted to eBay, it's a problem with humans.
Are you really as good as you reckon?
So you've had some negative Feedback: it's obviously unfair. You're not getting top billing in Search because of some bad Feedback from some crazy buyers who were simply so stupid that they didn't give you the 5* DSR you obviously deserve. How can eBay allow it? But, and search your soul a little, are you really as staggeringly brilliant as you believe yourself to be? Might it possibly be, imagine, that the buyers are right? Are you really as good as your best customers deserve you to be?
Big retailers are getting preferential treatment
They do. They get better fees. It's been like that for a while. It's crap (and I'm against it) but as a small seller you can be the better seller because you care more, are more nimble and are responsive. Get out there and excel.
Are you just whinging, or changing too?
Complain. It's fun. But it's not a business strategy. How else can you make money? There are loads of options: explore them. If you're a professional eBay seller and don't have a website, you're crazy.
It's your business, stupid.
The strikes, petitions, combative chatboard threads, the complaints, the rants: they don't work. eBay doesn't notice them. Stop worrying about eBay's business and how it's gone awry and will fail if it doesn't look after businesses like you. Focus your energies on the business that keeps a roof over your head. I have never met a seller who regretted branching out.