eBay Issues a Press Release Update about Their Innovative Relationship with GM

Posted on September 2, 2009. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , , |

Today, the eBay corporate blogger Richard Brewer-Hay posted an update about the eBay – GM promotion (click HERE for the eBayInkBlog post).  The blog post touted the success of the first month of the partnership between eBay and GM.  One quote from the announcement:

…” nearly 4,000 new car buyers entered into negotiations online, over the phone and in person as a result of this promotion.”

What is interesting about that official statement is eBay’s acknowledgement that GM’s eBay listings were created with the intent to encourage off-eBay sales which, for the rest of eBay sellers, is against the rules.   

For the rest of us, it would be a policy violation to include our URL in our listings but not for GM. 




Maitacars in Elk Grove, one of the GM dealers participating in the promotion, proudly lists there phone number, address, and website address in their eBay listings. 

According to eBay policy (click HERE ), the following is one very specific example of listing policies that are against the rules :

“Including contact information (for example, email addresses, domain names, and phone numbers) in the listing title, subtitle, item location, or pictures.”

So, if eBay announced that almost 4,000 people entered into negotiations with GM (online, in person, over the phone) to purchase a vehicle and GM dealers were allowed to violate policy by including lots of contact information to direct transactions off-eBay then just how many transactions on eBay are occurring out of the 4,000 negotiations that have been entered into?

I searched the GM dealer’s completed listings and there were pages upon pages of listings that closed without any buyers.  So, I took a look at the GM feedback page:


Feedback left for yourgmdealer shows that as of today a total of 7 different eBayers who have left feedback so that the seller currently has a feedback percentage of 57.1%.  Of the 7 eBayers who left feedback:

* 3 of the 7 eBay members left negative feedback stating that the seller wanted more money after the listing ended or that the car had already been sold

* 2 of the 4 members who left positive feedback have 0 feedback and bought multiple cars from the seller.  For example, one 0 feedback buyer purchased a 2009 Equinox in Pasadena, a 2009 Cobalt in Palmdale, and another 2009 Equinox in Monterey Park all within less than 24 hours.  Feedback was left 3 minutes after one purchase, about 20 minutes after another purchase, and a few hours after the last purchase.  You can draw your own conclusions.   

Given the “success rate” of this seller, just how much in fees could eBay have taken in thusfar for the GM promotion event for the month of August?  And, yet, how much goodwill has this promotion cost eBay?  Other sellers can see how eBay allows GM to violate a whole laundry list of policies.  And GM’s 57.1% approval rating (assuming all the feedback is legitimate) would never be tolerated if the seller were not a “high profile” seller.   

The eBayInkBlog gives a summary of the joint press release.  However, the full press release can be viewed HERE .  And one quote from eBay, made in the press release, is as follows:

““This innovative relationship with GM allows us to do what eBay Motors does best — deliver to our buyers quality products at great value through a trusted and reliable marketplace,” said Rob Chesney, vice president, eBay Motors.”

So, let me get this straight… eBay put out a press release saying that a 57.1% feedback seller who has less than a handful of items that sold on the platform in a month, out of tens of thousands of listings, is part of a “successful” eBay experiment because the seller was able to generate almost 4,000 leads to conduct business outside of eBay.   I guess the term “innovative relationship” is probably an accurate description for the eBay-GM partnership.  The innovative relationship with GM does seem to fit in quite nicely with eBay’s whole disruptive innovation theme they currently have going on.  And, as Rob Chesney says, it is what eBay does best.

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10 Responses to “eBay Issues a Press Release Update about Their Innovative Relationship with GM”

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Shouldn’t it be eBay/GM-US Government partnership?

Whatever the real deal, I imagine the RULES us “noise” sellers must follow were just waved away as being “the rules are what we say they are, when we say they are, for who we say they are”.

PS: Really enjoy you in-depth writing – not just four sentences in two paragraphs style that I think of as “blog bytes”

Let’s assume the visits (1 million) and the resulting sales (4,000 units) are accurate from the press release. That’s a .4% conversion rate..all during Cash for Clunkers!

View ID history tells an interesting story too:

yourgmdealer Aug-03-09 Present
yourgmdealer1 Aug-03-09 Aug-03-09
bighouse0001 Dec-31-07 Aug-03-09

The Big House, indeed.

This type of misleading information spewing out of ebay is what cost me my 7 year business on ebay and almost my home.

How in ANY way is this legal?
ebay is reminding me of the 8 years of the Bush Administration….We will do what we want when we want and change the rules or break them.
What are you going to do about it?

Is there no justice in America anymore?

We posted this on the eBay inkblog…..In case they remove it…..

OK so the statistics are 1,000,000 (million) visits to dealers virtual sites, and 1,400,000 searches of GM inventory and you have NEARLY 4000 new buyers entering into negotiations ( which means no deal yet) or 1 in every 350 visitations enter into negotiation, AND YOU CALL THIS A SUCCESS. Not to mention the deplorable feedback. Sorry but I look at the feedback as the foundation of the program, and not a measly 1 in 350 visits that enter into a possible contract. The program failed miserably IMO.

Also I gave GM the benefit by calculating this under 1,400,000 searchs. These results would be 1 in 250 if you calculate it with the actual visitations.

This is exactly what I was going to write about this morning lol. Nice work.

I honestly wish there was something positive to say on this topic. I typically try to keep a balanced perspective but I can’t find the other side of this story. It just isn’t there.

This whole deal just smells awful. Ebay shouldn’t be getting a penny of the Government Bailout Money.


We posted our take on the GM feedback aspect, and did some “blatant link gathering”.

Your article is a definite must read.

‘You’re not going to find another deal like this anywhere in town.”
Rudy Russo, Used Cars (1980)

@@…griffsaystheselleriswrong….It is not the Governments bailout money…..Every cent is our hard earn dollars used to pay taxes. This is OUR MONEY the government is pi_ _ing away.

There is no innovated relationship between these two other then the fact that they are corporate maggots feeding off the dieing carcass of the American Taxpayer with the government being the fly that lays the eggs.

It is my understanding that jd contributed significantly to the Obama campaign. In return Obama has decided to reward jd with our hard earned tax dollars that we have to fork over. We work our butts off to pay our taxes and the politicians spend it like water running out of a facet on maggots like john donahoe and that other bozo from GM.

I have no use for jd or any of our politicians for that matter. Corporate greed has tainted our politicians. They should all be at the least fired. In the old days they would have been tared and feathered

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