A leading trade group representing high-volume eBay sellers has issued a harsh critique that describes the giant auction site as out of touch with its customers and its marketplace.
In a position paper released Sept. 30, The Professional eBay Sellers Alliance (PeSA) points to a recent barrage of mismanaged changes as having created an "increased level of business uncertainty" for eBay sellers.
"In the first nine months of 2008, we have observed a substantial deterioration in the value of the marketplace for merchants," the paper reads. "We believe the flawed execution of change has accelerated the deterioration."
PeSA highlighted eBay's move to allow "big box" retailers to list items for free; a Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) system that is "substantially flawed, both in its measurement and transparency"; the appearance of ads on the site that diverts buyers away from eBay listings; and the combination of declining buyer activity and rising eBay fees as having put all but a few top-level sellers at a disadvantage.
Since 2005, PeSA has pushed eBay to make structural changes to improve the integrity of the marketplace and help curb buyer attrition. Yet, changes eBay has implemented have done little to bring buyers back to the siteand merchants, PeSA says, are bearing the burden.
eBay maintains there are many sellers who would take issue with PeSA's scathing commentary. In the company's "eBay Ink" blog, editor Richard Brewer-Hay reports receiving e-mails from individuals "that are enthused and excited by the changes being made."
"When one has a community as large as this, inevitably these contrasting viewpoints are going to occur," he writes.
Other Entries by this Author
Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.