Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good time to be taking a break!

That's Stella. I'm not generally a big fan of tattoos but that one's cool.

I've been catching up a bit on the PowerSeller forum on eBay and everybody's just furious. eBay has a history of making big changes without thinking them through and then screwing up the implementation (flaky, crashing software). They've really accelerated this year and sellers are scrambling to change strategies but just as you think you know what's going on they change things again. The feedback system's basically totally changed (and made partially retroactive so everybodys scores are jumping around) and a lot of buyers are abusing it already - feeling they can threaten sellers without retribution. And I mean threaten like demanding they get full refunds and keep the item because of some imagined problem.

They threw us a bone to block certain kinds of bidders, but they're options like blocking bidders with 7 reports filed against them in the last month, or who had 5 unpaid item strikes (which is interesting because they're supposed to be kicked off at 3). Somehow this isn't reassuring.

If I were an eBay executive or shareholder I'd be really freaked out. Just the fact that eBay can't decide on a consistent day to calculate certain values that can lead to discounts is making people think that they're purposefully choosing low days to screw sellers. I don't think it's true, but just the fact that people are so easily willing to believe it is a huge red flag. And of course it's irritating that they seem to be doing it at random - if they just picked a day and stuck to it they'd avoid a lot of these issues.

Generally speaking when eBay screws with me it just motivates me to beef up the website and continue the process of pulling my buyers off-eBay and having them buy direct. I'll have to do some real thinking to figure out what I can do to counter these latest changes.


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