eBay Sellers: Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game

Posted on October 5, 2009. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , |

On October 1, the new Top Rated Seller program was implemented.  And now, just a few days later, it seems that eBay sellers are not just having to battle the deadbeat nonpaying eBay bidders and the buyers trying to take advantage of the eBay system to get free merchandise but now eBay sellers are fighting amongst themselves in a way that I’ve never seen in my 11+ years of selling on eBay.

On the eBay Powerseller forum discussion boards, the emotions are boiling over.  Sellers who are not Top Rated are advocating that non Top Rated sellers mount a campaign against the TRS sellers and there are claims that Top Rated Sellers are buying from some non Top Rated Sellers and leaving low DRSs in retaliation.  The discussions are heated and sellers are really losing their objectivity.

For sellers who want more information about the new eBay Top Rated Seller program, there is Announcement Discussion Board where eBay will be answering questions about the TRS program today (Monday October 5th) from 10 – 11 am. 

Brian Burke is currently on the board taking questions.  Remember  Off-topic and/or disruptive threads or posts will be deleted.


UPDATE: The special eBay announcements board is closed to new questions but the Q&A will remain posted in a read-only mode.  Also, eBay is deleting most of the threads on the Powerseller discussion boards regarding the TRS issue.  Although I am not a fan of censorship I think some of the severely inflammatory posts on the Powerseller Discussion board that eBay pulled really should not have been allowed to remain.  Unfortunately, many other good posts were also pulled.

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10 Responses to “eBay Sellers: Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game”

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Judging by the answers, we might as well be spitting in the wind and calling it rain.


Well, what did the morons running eBay think they would accomplish with the TSS program? Ans: more money for themselves, no need to think any further.

Here’s an analogy. Suppose you had a large class of students in a competitive prep school, one that runs like an old fashioned European gymnasium, where all the students were working hard to get good places in the national college entrance exams. Everybody is aware of their scores and their relative place in the class.

Suddenly, the teacher announces that it’s not good enough to make A’s, there is another new factor being added into the grades – now all students with perfect or near-perfect attendance will get a 10 point advantage in all their future exams, including the all-important college entrance exams. Even better, attendance is not scored from that day forth, but the scores since every student entered school count towards the attendance grade.

Suddenly some students with B’s are raised to A’s, while others with A’s are dropped to B’s. And they can’t do anything to fix it.

Sure to be great for morale and that old class spirit, huh?

What do you want to bet that nobody at eBay saw this coming?

This is just a repeat of what happened in 2008 when sellers boycotted. Those who thought they were doing OK and would do even better when the time wasting small sellers were gone were not shy about shouting “Good riddance to bad rubbish”

There were some very ugly things said by those who had forgotten that we all started on eBay with our first sale. “All the more for me” was the mantra of the day although why they thought my foo-foo Victoriana and paper collectors would suddenly start buying trendy electronic toys is beyond me.

There is no doubt in my mind it will get uglier as BestMatch2 banjaxes search. My favorite searches return almost no listings, but Google says they are there. Go figure.

I, too, read the PS board, and it was with enormous alarm.

Movies and novels sometimes feature characters that got snubbed in high school, and keep chips on their shoulder throughout life. Those hurts stay close to the surface, and perceived snubs (even when they don’t exist) can set off violent backlashes. Happens in real life, too!!

THAT is what was appearing on the PS board over the weekend, particularly with the one seller who thought a TRS gave him a bad star. That seller’s vow to “take down” the other TRS was terrifying.

A corporation can make plans and changes, but how do they plan to loose cannons? Any change eBay makes just shows how many unstable characters use the site.

As of today, Buy.com on ebay is sporting the top seller status. That’s me filtered out! Thanks, ebay!

When asked about eBay mistakes. One statement that I’ve said many times in the last few years, is, “eBay has started a war among users”.

I’ve not witnessed what you’ve written here, because I’m not very active on eBay these days, but it doesn’t surprise me.

Those folks that are at each other’s throats, would be better of spending their energy on things that will help their business, rather than worrying about what their competition is doing.

its the same old motive operandi that ebay applies all the time to how ebay gets seller adoption of products, services and programs. Create an epidemic, allow it to penetrate the community and then offer the solution to obtain compliance: Kick the problem into the pits and let the sellers rub out each other. Reward the shankers by incentivizing them and put out carrots and backdoors. Then this will illicit fear and compliance and obedience.

Ebay wants us all NOT TO SEE that they have morphed from a venue to a hybrid retailer who holds no liability and shifts it all to the dual function vendor/fulfillment seller (that’s us) These layered problems are intentionally introduced and ebay knows sellers will chew on the act and the result instead of focusing on the intent.

But hey, if you like being treated as a vendor and taking liability as a retailer and tied payment systems with inflated processing fees, so be it. Imagine if wal-mart did that & every consumer had to get things fixed through walmarts vendors. Oh wait, walmart is taking up the ebay model, scratch that. lol

Anybody else notice this informational gem on eBay’s Sell Your Item form?

“Some features that make your listing stand out are no longer available.”

Have you ever seen a business proclaim: Hi there! We just took a good service away from you! For no reason. We just don’t like you, apparently.”

It occurs to me that eBay isn’t doing much to explain to the buyers what the new “Top Rated Seller” badge means. Since it doesn’t correlate with good feedback, or lots of feedback, or cheaper prices, or popular products, I wonder how many buyers will assume that it’s just a form of advertising that eBay is selling? Especially as it replaced the bold/highlight/border options, which were a form of advertising? Any thoughts?

Will ebay just go under already. What is it going to take for them to get on their knees begging for a lifeline?

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