Moving Away from the eBay Generation…

Well, the time has finally come for us to move away from eBay… And I will use this opportunity to have a bit of a rant, (even though I promised I would never do that on this Blog – I actually have another Blog set up to anonymously rant about everything that annoys me or crosses my mind. If you’re interested in reading it drop me an email and I’ll let you know where it is, but to be honest it’s more a collection of random ramblings, so I don’t know how interesting you’ll find it!).

eBay has been absolutely FAB for getting The Krafty Lady name out there, and for that we thank them, but I’ve noticed recently that brand new items don’t seem to be selling as well as second hand junk we’re trying to get rid of. I think this is due to the fact that all over Christmas eBay’s new advertising campaign was focused on the second-hand items you can get for a bargain, and didn’t bother to advertise eBay Stores – which one would have thought would be quite an important feature on eBay, as they earn so much money from it, and it’s really the sellers that keep eBay going.

I emailed eBay to have a bit of a moan about this when they put up an announcement saying that they were going to come down harder on sellers, because there have been lots of disappointed buyers over Christmas. This annoyed me. I have a 100% positive feedback rating and it’s been more than difficult keeping that up, what with the amount of buyers who don’t bother to pay for items, (which is really stealing if you think about it – you don’t go into a shop and pick up something you’re not going to pay for…), the amount of buyers that are just plain rude, and then there’s the buyers that don’t bother to read the listings properly or obey eBay rules – yet it always seems to be the sellers that get punished for this. This is the email I sent to eBay:

“I saw this statement in your recent announcement:”However, a small but unacceptable number of buyers continue to have bad experiences when they make purchases, and end up buying less or leaving the site altogether. Although these bad experiences come from a minority of sellers, the impact is unfairly felt by everyone.” – Are you not forgetting that there is a GROWING number of buyers who make it harder and harder for sellers to do their job? Without sellers, buyers would have nothing to buy, yet we continue to be treated unfairly. I have worked hard to keep my feedback 100% positive, but it hasn’t always been easy and has at times involved us making a loss on our profits to keep rude, and sometimes aggressive buyers happy, and away from our house! I have also noticed a HUGE increase in non-paying bidders, despite only accepting PayPal and having other restrictions set, yet you continue to come down hard on SELLERS.I have also noticed a decrease in custom – should you not being doing more to advertise SHOPS on eBay, and perhaps doing the sellers a favour once in a while? Afterall, if it wasn’t for us, you guys wouldn’t be here.”

The response from eBay was… well…. unresponsive:

“Hello,Thank you for contacting us regarding your ebay proposals. I’m happy to assist you with this.Thank you for taking the time to send us your ideas and proposals.
We are always pleased to hear from members of the eBay community and welcome their comments regarding our services.I assure you that we are committed to the continuous improvement of ourwebsite to make it both a fun and safe place to trade.
However, please note that our company policy does not allow us to accept or consider ideas or proposals, other than those that we have specifically requested.Please understand that this policy is intended to avoid the possibility of future misunderstandings when new products, services or features developed internally by eBay employees might be similar or even identical to your idea or proposal.
Please note that eBay has no obligations of any kind (whether contractual or otherwise) with respect to the ideas and proposals that you have sent to us. eBay does not consider such ideas and proposals to be confidential or proprietary.
eBay will not be liable for any disclosure or use of your ideas and proposals and is under no obligation to compensate you in relation to them.If, having read and understood the above, you would like eBay toconsider your ideas and proposals further, please use our “Sending Suggestions to eBay” page by copying the following link into a new browser window: http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/newtoebay/suggest.htmlThank you for your patience and understanding.Kind regards,eBay Customer Support”

Erm… HELLO?! I’m sorry, I had no idea that telling them they should be advertising better for sellers and helping the sellers out a bit more was a SUGGESTION – I thought that that is what we pay eBay for – SILLY ME. I posted my email and the response in the eBay forums, because I thought it might get people thinking a bit, but ALAS! Nobody quite understood the point I was trying to make, which is, of course, that I wasn’t suggesting that this is what they should do – IT’S WHAT THEY SHOULD ALREADY BE DOING. I’m getting a bit fed up with the attitude of some of the busy-body do-gooders who post in eBay forums. They’re quick enough to jump on someone when they disobey eBay rules, or when it’s them that is directly affected, but when somebody else tries to help out they are simply mocked and treated as though they are new to the eBay “game”! People were also saying that it is not worth me emailing eBay about these sorts of things because they don’t listen – IF WE ALL HAD THAT ATTITUDE, NOTHING WOULD GET DONE WOULD IT? It would only take all those people who “can’t be bothered” to email eBay and complain about things, to drop eBay a quick email en masse as it were, and I’m pretty sure eBay would have to listen to a few hundred angry sellers… So, next time somebody suggests not complaining because people don’t listen, make sure you DO – it only takes few people to make a difference and threaten eBay (or whichever company), with losing their business, and I’m pretty sure they would start to see sense.

The comment was also made that it can work the other way around ie: eBay wouldn’t survive without the BUYERS, as well as sellers. I agree, but as I responded to this person, if eBay wasn’t around another auction site would be – there’s already a growing number of people who use other auction sites, and I’m pretty sure that before long eBay will go the same way as MySpace – users will find a better, cheaper and more reliable option (in MySpace’s case it’s Facebook – although MySpace is still running, a huge number of members now prefer Facebook and are joining the Facebook generation.).

eBay are basically there to make money for themselves now – when they first started they had ethics and listened to what people said, now they just increase their fees and make it harder for seller’s items to be found, and make their lives more and more difficult – so that’s why we’re finally setting up our own website! Yay! I’ve never really felt in control of our eBay shop either, so it’ll be nice to be able to list things without the fear of upsetting eBay – even though we have run our own shop on there it still feels like I have a boss, ie eBay, to answer to!

Apologies to all for the ranting, but I think it’s important to make these issues known. We will be keeping our eBay shop (after all that), but we’ll mostly be using it to get rid of sale stock, do charity sales and sell lots of second hand goods – which seems to be the best thing to sell on eBay. You’ll have noticed that we are running the items down in the shop at the moment – HAVE NO FEAR! Our new website www.thekraftylady.co.uk and www.thekraftylady.fr (which are currently redirected to eBay, but will be linked to our new site), will be up and running by the end of February, and we plan to fill it with LOADS more items, including clothing ranges and even more funky accessories – still at great prices. In the meantime, if there was anything at all you were after then drop us an email and we’ll see if we’ve still got it in stock for you. Of course, we also have a load of items on sale over in the eBay store at the moment, so grab a bargain whilst you can!

We want to thank everyone who has supported us during our time on eBay – we have met some truly wonderful people, and hope that you’ll be following us over to our new website – despite the ranting! ;-D

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