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Monday, December 29, 2008

Traffic Drops at Worst Time for Best Buy and eBay

For those of you who read my post last Friday about Tweebay, you may think I'm on an anti-eBay campaign, but that's not the case. I just can't help myself, because eBay's recent blunders have just begged for commentary.

The latest reports from Wall Street support my claim that eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) could be in serious trouble. Somehow, eBay and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) managed to LOSE traffic during the Christmas s.

reported a 16% drop for eBay from mid-November to mid-December and a 17% drop for Best Buy in that same time span. Now, I will admit, I boasted about Best Buy's partnership with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to sell the iPhone. Prior to the deal, Apple's phone was only available at AT&T stores, so I'm pretty surprised that Best Buy didn't receive a major boost in the late fall to early winter.

best buy stockI don't know how often you've received emails from eBay, but they're constantly bugging me to check out the latest items from my favorite sellers. Meanwhile, one of its top rivals, Amazon,(NASDAQ:AMZN) boasted record numbers, including  5.6 million items shipped on its busiest day of the period and 99 percent of orders shipped in time for holiday deadlines, with packages going to 210 different countries around the world.

Amazon still puts the customer first.I think eBay is beginning to feel the pain and frustration from an unhappy customer base that has grown weary of changes within the transaction system,including Paypal's holds on payments.

By Matt O'Hern at 12:28 PM | Comments (32)

(32) Thoughts on Traffic Drops at Worst Time for Best Buy and eBay

I think we are going to see a lot more things that surprise us in the new year.

Comments by Nick Stamoulis : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 01:13 PM

Regarding PayPal`s hold on payments, don`t Amazon do the same thing? I assumed PayPal was just copying eBay because it resulted in less fraud and a better buyer experience. Personally I feel better as a buyer knowing that if I don`t receive an item the funds are still there in case i need to file a complaint.

Comments by T. : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 01:28 PM

The reason I was so angry with Paypal was because it held the funds WELL after the package was received.

Comments by matt : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 02:15 PM

I think eBay is a pretty good buy-in right now despite the negative commentary.

Comments by Nick : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 03:38 PM

great to see the ebay spinners are already at work on this article. Maybe if ebay spent as much time on customer service as spin control, their business wouldn't be nose-diving into an abyss.

Comments by byebye ebay : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 04:25 PM

eBay CEO John Donahoe is the cause of the decline at eBay.

Anti Seller policies, Best Match Search, one way feedback, rolling IT glitches, multiple fee increases all contributed to the lower sales at eBay this year.

Mr Donahoe has no understanding of the concepts that allowed eBay to become a global billion dollar marketplace.

His failure to work with, instead of against smaller sellers has resulted in many sellers abandoning eBay and setting up shop on the plethora of other available sites which continue to be more seller firendly.

In his effort to purge eBay of the 'flea market sellers' Donahoe failed to understand that those sellers were also buyers as well, and that their positive word about eBay carried the marketplace.

As Mr Donahoe has continually devised ways to cut further and further into sellers profit margins by increasing fees and forcing sellers to accept PayPal, sellers reacted by pulling out of eBay and speaking out against the eBay marketplace.

Mr Donahoe and his team of head in the sand executives are preparing eBay's Q 4 reports.

Be prepared for Mr Donahoe and his team to defend their unpopular policies by declaring that the economy was the cause of eBay's decline.

This will not sway the public which has seen Amazon grow during this tough economy at eBay's expense.

The buyers have followed sellers and migrated off eBay....what did Mr Donahoe expect?

The holiday sales slump is a direct reflection of the damage Mr Donahoe's leadership has brought upon eBay.

Do not expect things to get better at eBay until Donahoe realizes his changes have alienated sellers and buyers alike.

Comments by RicRoe : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 04:40 PM

As a 9 year PowerSeller with never less than a 99.6% positive feedback rating I will tell those who only look at balance sheets that Ebay is not a viable option for us anymore, as either a buyer or a seller. Unless you have personally experienced what we have, you could not possibly understand. Suffice it to say that we are not unique, nor are we in the minority. Spend your money as you will, but IBM was once synonymous with computers.

Comments by Fred : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 07:59 PM

I had an eBay account of long standing (since 2003) but I recently closed it. The reason I did was quite simple: I had reached Paypal's arbitrary and nonsensical "sending limit" of $2000 for US buyers. Once I'd reached it Paypal insisted that I provide them with access to my bank account to pay for items I bought on eBay. They said I could no longer use my credit cards. I refused to comply. My reasons for doing so are my own and I do not feel that it is necessary to explain myself. Now that eBay requires Paypal as its only payment method this means that I can no longer shop on eBay. It's as simple as that. I wonder how many others are in my situation?

Do I miss shopping on eBay? Not really. If eBay does not want to accept my money on my terms then it deserves what it gets.

Comments by Bob F. in VA : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 09:42 PM

Now is the time to see a great alternative that is growing leaps and bounds. I am a 10 year seller with eBay and about a year ago I started to hunt down new sites..Nothing took me until I went to Bonanzle...Great community. You can import your listings and feedback. No fees to list. Small fees when item sells...Plenty of buyers have come along

Comments by tree411 : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 10:18 PM

I have been selling since the start of ebay , in the last 6 months they have self- destructed themselves all from within, all by themselves, they could not say it any clearer that "my business and money is not wanted"

Hey ebay sorry to inform you "I AM YOUR CUSTOMER"

Like a poster said you just could not imagine what the sellers have been put thru, quite unreal,

If it were compared to having a store in a shopping mall, Landlord=ebay

My rent could be raised at any time, shoppers could only shop for my goods when the landlord gets extra money, or if they decided it was ok, and if someone bought something from my store the landload wants more money, and if a new competitor moved in next store, and wants me gone they could do it, and if the competitor is from china they get free rent, my cash register only takes money, and the landlord says when I can take out money,

I could easily add 10 more totally insane rules ebay has added, Not too many Business's can operate under these conditions, it's almost imposible

Who ever is responsible at ebay for the ireversable damage done to the ebay business structure, will be forever remembered, by the world as one of the biggest internal employee caused company failures in recent history, the damage is so deep, so fast, their done for.

Comments by no : Monday, December 29, 2008 at 11:02 PM

I no longer buy on eBay. Our family used to do both but 3 years ago eBay became foreign scammers paradise. You could not trust eBay platform buying most high end items, the place is crawling with Romanian scammers who hijack seller accounts and PayPal accounts and post non existing items scamming unsuspecting buyers. I reported thousands of these scams to eBay and they ignored the problem for years. Now you have the Chinese sellers flooding the place with counterfeit items.

The shill bidding is rampant. eBay decided to hide other users IDs so I could no longer tell if I am bidding against a shill bidder or a real buyer, so I stopped bidding in auctions. eBay loves shill bidding because they get percentage of what the items sell for, so they have hidden user IDs and became shill bidders paradise.

Buy it now items became much more expensive because of eBay's greed as well. The sellers were forced to raise their prices on Buy It Now items. Did you know that just a year ago eBay's fee for most Buy It Now items was 5.25%. Then on in February, eBay raised those fees to 8.75%. Auction FVFs are still 8.75%. Fixed Price/Buy it Now fees that eBay charges went to 12-15% last September. Sellers had no choice but pass these increased fees onto the buyers.

I find better pricing and much safer buying experience elsewhere. I usually serch Google for the items I need and it presents me with many other safer places to buy. eBay is just not worth the hassle any more.

Comments by Power Buyer : Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 03:37 AM

If any of the Coming Events, with regard to Ebay, "Surprise" you,
It's only because you haven't been paying attention like you should have been.
To Recap:
EBAY Sells NOTHING. They are Only a Venue, a Conduit. They deal NO TANGIBLE PRODUCT.
They are a VIRTUAL headache.
Ebay has been Infiltrated by Corporate Cancer.
All the "Blah Blah" about PayPal and Ebay rules is MOOT.
The Bottom line : FREEDOM OF COMMERCE HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE LANDSCAPE right under your money - grubbing, number crunching noses, while you fiddled.

Comments by NYM Arts : Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 04:20 AM

Yes Indeed !
Look at their setup.
So Kool :o)
punch in Mica Shade
You'll see what I mean.
Great Selection of Stuff ! ! ! !

Comments by NYM Arts : Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 04:30 AM

Ebay is Violating the Sherman Antitrust Act Every Day.
U.S. Department of Justice said they don't care.
They aren't Interested.
The Sherman Antitrust Act insures that everyone can buy & sell via ANY PAYMENT METHODS. This Includes the acceptance of Money Orders and Checks.
In Our lifetime, our own government is Screwing us.

Comments by NYM Arts : Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 04:40 AM

No one seems to havenything nice to say about ebay ..Not the sellers and not the buyers?

Comments by damien : Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 05:53 AM

eBay is still the best place to buy, sell and trade used goods, which considering the economy and the environment, is a very important market.
Management would do well to realize this was the market eBay was built on...and nurture it rather than shun it!

Comments by eluxuryconsignments : Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 11:13 AM

eBay could be a great place for people to sell in this tough economic time, but eBay's greedy policies are heinous. If eBay was working for the best of buyers and sellers alike, there would be 10 times as much stuff for sale on eBay as there is now. eBay is one of the saddest business stories of all time. Mr. Donahoe and Miss Whitman, shame on the both of you. Shame Shame Shame!

Comments by Jim : Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 10:18 PM

Buyers only need to click on the Google SHOPPING link.
THAT is the marketplace of the future. Get a Free Google Gmail account and use Google Checkout!

Sellers, USE Google Base wherever you moved to and switch to Google Checkout. Less expensive than Paypal and they don't have any nonsense like holding your buyers payments for 21 to 180 days.

Comments by northernstars : Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 04:56 PM

The "new" ebay has nothing to do with ebay, it's really paypal

Many ask "Why is ebay doing this to the sellers?" what could benefit ebay by removing the people who actually pay the fees?

Ebay is currently very dirty, it hurts the reputation of what has become their real true money maker, which is Paypal, and ebay is going to do whatever it takes to clean their house, at ALL costs period, it's the sellers that make ebay corporation dirty, and ebay wants the dirt (noise) gone, ASAP.

So the next time you complain or cry about how ebay has suspended you, NARUd you, raised fees or screwed you in one way or another, about some new policy, or how your going to boycott , sue or leave, remember, ebay wants you "the noise" gone, it makes perfect business sense, all your whining will have no effect, the new ebay is and are protecting their billion dollar venture Paypal, which ican make more money then ebay ever could have imagined.

The billion dollar ebay / paypal corporation machine is not stupid they know exactly what they are doing, it's very clear, and by the amount of sellers (noise) leaving in large numbers, the ebay cleanup is working just as planned, ebay is currently on a witch hunt, and god help you if your not obeying every single new wacko ebay policy, designed specificly and taloired to target the noise.

For the sellers who are complaining, who do you think your dealing with here, ebay has the power and money to hire the best of the best, these people are purpose driven and inscribing the fear in every single seller, without saying a word, why do you think they let the ebay bashing and all the stories of sellers being ruined, continue on in seller central, the noise, it's all part of a well thought out skillfully engineered plan, small or large sellers regardless , who cannot or will not meet the new almost impossible standards, will be leave themselves or be REMOVED

The sellers that will be left in the end will be the so called new ebay" best of the best", and will give ebay the prestine image ebay/paypal wants, it's just that simple, and yes the end result will lower the value of the company as a whole, ebay's betting it will be short term, but unfortunately the manor in which this sweep is being done, people are so pissed off, they will NEVER RETURN

And by all means go ahead, start your own website or use some other venue , ebay and anyone with half a brain knows you will more then likely accept Paypal

So remember the ebay changes we are seeing have nothing to do with ebay, it's paypal, and if you want to see real changes at ebay, it's paypal you must target.

Comments by B : Friday, January 02, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Politics aside, what do you expect from the same policies from the Bush Administration philosophy and party affiliations that ruined our world economies, are the same kind of so called forward thinking people running eBay now !!! Yes.

If eBay needed to change drastically like they did, then why is it now failing??? Because you have to think like a business oriented unselfish team work person and if it ain't broke don't fix it approach is also good.

Otherwise we can talk all year long how change is good and thinking ahead, no' it clearly is not in eBay's case, but if the same greedy stupid people running the US economy are doing the thinking for us, well then, eBay is certainly going to be doomed.

I think it is too late and the Morons running eBay now have not and will not listen', or are they willing to give up their Nazi Regime. So the new US government hopefully will have to step in and enforce the Old' Laws' that encourage business growth, New Jobs, and take Greed out of the equation everywhere.

"Greed is Not Good" Michael Douglas, from the Wall street Movie. Clearly eBay will never learn or be forced to learn, unless people reinforce their own Government Laws right Now!!!

Comments by concerned : Thursday, January 08, 2009 at 05:12 PM

I used to sell my music releases and music gear at ebay but in 2008 they got way too greedy, anal4paypal only, and added too many nit-picky rules. So I am now at Amazon and CDBaby doing just fine w/o eBay's ludicrous and pompous bs. Ciao!

Comments by JFG : Friday, January 09, 2009 at 03:50 PM

Auctiva is opening an online mall on January 20th. Nearly all of the sellers are former e-bay sellers, many of them power sellers.

Comments by Donna : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 08:00 PM

The "new" US government will make things much worse. Things will get worse than they have been.

Jumpin ship while I still can! No more Ebay for me.

Comments by PL : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 09:08 PM

Former Power Seller. Who was screwed by eBay & PayPal for far too long! I agree with the earlier post that mentioned eBay "getting off" on the shill bidding hell why not? They are making more money that way. This is why they took away our right to see who we were bidding against. I used to be able to report the losers who were doing this crap! Now all you can do is move on to BIGGER AND BETTER online venues GO AUCTIVA COMMERCE!!! January 20th cant get here soon enough! Donahoe KILLED the best of eBay and he has to live with that! Cya GREEDBAY!

Comments by Ebay No way : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 09:40 PM

I bought tons on eBay, up until 6 months ago. I bought two cars, my computer and peripherals, computers and equipment for the business where I work, gifts, TONS of CDs and DVDs, clothes and shoes. Then the scams came fast and furious and eBay did nothing. The search functions changed and became useless. And PayPal stole a commission from a refunded payment.

Hello CraigsList: local, trouble-free, simple.

Comments by SteveDenver : Monday, January 26, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Please feel free to list other auction options. I know of a few, but if anyone has really done the research on comparable auction sites, I am VERY interested. For some of the little guys that have done this for 10+ years, it is all we know and they have us caught between a rock and a hard place.

Comments by shannon : Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 03:39 PM

Shill Bidding on eBay: A Case Study

For anyone who buys on eBay, a detailed case study of an instance of blatant shill bidding and the abuse of eBay’s proxy bidding system—exacerbated by eBay’s introduction of “hidden bidders”—and a detailed comment on eBay’s disingenuous attitude thereto, at

Comments by Philip Cohen : Friday, June 12, 2009 at 08:06 AM

Ebay sucks because it has turned on its sellers, who also are some of its main buyers as well. Ebay has written ambigious rules that hardly anyone can understand, and has suspended many accounts of its long time sellers. Ebay is a classic case of a company slowly killing itself by its own Nazi like control freak rules. They need to let people buy and sell, and just get out of the way. Oh by the way , did I mention their outrageous fees? Ebay needs to go back to what they were, or get out of the way of the emerging competition. I sure am glad I do not own stock in this imploding company!

Comments by YourMammy : Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Its just beginning of the end. eBay use to be really great place to sell and buy, they screwed up big time. Hopefully some honest company will take over. I think that eBay also have "software" ability to control sales of the seller or group of sellers, by adding additional feature option to the search and actual traffic of potential customers. Got couple friends that worked for eBay... story about greed and corporate fights are horrible, that company is so dictatorial and illegal that we all should stop buying ans selling until someone get over.

Comments by Jack : Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Shill Bidding on eBay: Case Study #2

Shining some light on the more sophisticated and therefore harder to detect shill bidding activity by some “professional” sellers on eBay auctions

Oh no, not another case study on shill bidding on eBay auctions? Yes, sorry, another one. This time a spreadsheet analysis of multiple auctions, from some "professional" sellers from the US and Australia. Needless to say the analysis demonstrates, once again, that, contrary to eBay's claims, shill bidding by many “professional” sellers is rampant on eBay auctions. The full comment and spreadsheet download links at:

Comments by Philip Cohen : Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 05:18 PM

Some more thoughts on shill bidding on eBay …

For all those eBay “buyers” who are still trying to find a bargain on eBay and are (hopefully) agile enough to avoid all the shill-bidding professional sellers that now infest eBay, eBay recently touted two Diamond/Titanium PowerSellers as major success stories of selling on eBay. An analysis of bidding patterns on these two sellers’ auctions suggests that they both could be habitual shill bidders. Why is “Noise” Donahoe trying to destroy eBay?

Comments by Philip Cohen : Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 04:28 PM

Here is an old rule! If you want to be really successful in affiliate marketing, you ought to drive traffic to your website. The more visitors to the website, the higher the probability of click through. Many affiliate guides forget to mention that it is always prudent to build traffic first and then consider affiliate marketing. There is no magic potion. If there is no traffic, there are no profits. Don’t worry, if you haven’t got hordes of visitors, even a few visitors will do initially. Once these visitors start trickling down the web drain, you can place banners and advertising in appropriate places to get the results. A good affiliate marketer doesn’t care about the number of clicks but on the average number of clicks per visitor.
Such techniques, slowly but surely brings success. And with it comes a potential for much higher rewards

Comments by davidbaer : Tuesday, January 05, 2010 at 05:50 AM

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