No More Level Playing Field in eBay’s Playground

Posted on May 8, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , , , |

If eBay was founded on the “level playing field” premise, then why would eBay make a special deal with ?  Frankly, I think they really have no choice but to partner with someone like because they are unable to entice manufacturers to sell their product directly on eBay.  And without manufacturers selling directly on eBay, there is no other way that eBay will be able to see their listings grow at the same pace as Amazon’s unless they enlist companies like to sell directly on eBay.
As has been stated so many times recently by eBay management, times have changed and there are many more choices today for online buyers.  And, according to Meg Whitman, eBay buyers are the same group of shoppers who can be found in the aisles of Wal-Mart.  eBay is just like a flea market, as Donahoe has acknowledged, and eBay’s reputation is incredibly poor among the retail industry.  Manufacturers do not want their product to appear on eBay.  eBay is known as so much of a dumping ground that many manufacturers make distributors sign agreements stating that they will not sell the product on eBay.  Manufacturers go to great lengths to prevent their product from being sold on eBay and, in contrast, are more than happy to see their product sold on Amazon.
For example, take a look at the makers of Aerogarden and their success with partnering up with Amazon: 
AeroGrow Products Top’s “Most Wished For” List for Second Consecutive Year
BOULDER, CO–Dec 19, 2007 — AeroGrow International, Inc., makers of the AeroGarden kitchen garden appliance, announced that AeroGrow’s products ranked #1 on’s “Most Wished For” list, #2 on their “Most Gifted” list, and #5 on the “Bestsellers” list for the Patio, Lawn & Garden category as of December 17, 2007. In addition to being ranked first on the “Most Wished For” list, a total of 5 AeroGrow products were ranked in the top 25 and 9 in the top 100. The 2007 holiday season marks AeroGrow’s second consecutive annual appearance at the top of Amazon’s “Most Wished For” list.
Aerogrow went to great lengths to have their product removed from eBay in 2007.  They repeatedly had eBay listings removed under the guise of protecting their VERO rights.  They removed legitimate items from sellers who used their own pictures and descriptions and who were selling at the correct MAP pricing.  Months later, Aerogrow did have their VERO takedown notices reversed.  The point is that Aerogrow embraced the idea of their product being sold on Amazon but not on eBay.
Aerogrow is just one example of many.  No self-respecting manufacturer wants to see their product sold on eBay. 

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One Response to “No More Level Playing Field in eBay’s Playground”

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I wrote an interesting post on my blog about my experience on this hot topic that has upset the whole ebay community… It is at the following url:

Matt Soares

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