I LOVEwith Some Tough Love …
by John Lawson
President of 3rdPO.com
Hey all my fellow eBay'ers!
WOW, what an "exciting" week we have had as sellers on the eBay platform.
I use the word exciting loosely, because for some it has been aggravating, for others it has been exhilarating and for most in between it has been somewhat trying.
When I started doing business on, I quickly learned that my business would definitely need to become accustomed to many changes eBay makes and mitigate them as quickly as possible.
Over the past 5 years, we have endured many changes in direction at eBay, both good and bad. It is part of the territory and I must admit after all these changes…
I Still LOVE!
Now, the love is not a sloppy like, kissy face kind of love. Right now, I am sort of in a "tough love" phase.
You know the love you have for friend or family member that has had too much to drink, so you FORCE them to leave the party by driving them home yourself?
Or the kid you love who got a "D" in science on the report card.
These wayward actions don't force you to immediately distance yourself from the individual and no longer deal with them. Yes they make you angry, but your connection to them and your bond ultimately surpasses your initial anxiety and deep down, you still love them, in spite of the flaws.
That is where I am at right now, withas I write this blog entry... I still love them, in spite of their flaws...
I began thinking about how my loving relationship has been with this corporation. From the beginning of my time on the eBay platform, there has always been some concern about constant changes that makes which make it difficult to plan ahead as a business using the venue.
So today, I started to "think out loud" some of those concerns I have. Maybecould help me understand a few things…
Case in point:
1.) Since we started selling on, I have regularly received calls from personnel on many levels. eBay people such as consultants, store advisers, account managers and so on, but...
I have never spoken to anyone who has admitted to actually selling "successfully" on eBay in their career?!?
You know, I chat with these people and then politely ask if they ever sold on
Oddly the response I get from most is not NO, it is usually more like... "I shop a lot on" in some form or another. It is like they all believe shopping somehow equates to "doing business on "?
I noticed this lack of selling experience once again's Town Hall Meeting call.
All of the folks including even Lorrie Norrington, will chat about what they BOUGHT on. As if that solidifies their genuine expertise on the eBay experience?!?
But none of them are, or were ever prior sellers?
2.) They (eBay Executives) always have these quotes... the "Buyers want __________" (you can fill in the blank with anything you like). But then there is no real "Amen" moment?!?
Whenhas made some of its most controversial changes in the name of buyer satisfaction in the past... Why is it I never hear consumer advocate types ever report or "cheer" about these moves makes for the consumers. (I listen to Clark Howard our local consumer radio host).
That makes me question...
Where is the AMEN from the choir,? If you have made positive changes to make the buyer experience better, why in the world do they not say AMEN?
Instead it seems year after year the buyers continue to be leaving the building?
Look folks, I am willing to endure change for the good of the buyer, IF the buyers buy more, but unfortunately up till now, this has sorely not been the case... or am I wrong?
3.) Why doesn'tspend some REAL money and recruit some seller(s) into planning/executive positions within the company?
Find good sellers and make them stop what they are doing and entice them to move intowork.
Heck, if thecan get a former web hacker to go "straight" and assist with finding other hackers, why doesn't get a seller to go corporate?
Get some inside views, plans and ideas that also encompass the knowledge of a qualified seller as a real resource. Seriously why have they not done that in the past? Or have they, and I am just not aware? I feel it would be easier to train up a former eBay seller in the ways of the executive career path than it is to make an executive understand the concerns of an eBay seller on the platform.
Remember, we are just thinking out loud here, right?...
But something is missing in thecorporate culture, it seems to me. This puzzles me, it actually... at times, in an odd way....even HAUNTS me...
I always think deep in my mind thatdoes not have a "holistic" view of the platform, in some odd way. Not in a "stating-the-obvious way", but even deeper.
There seems to be a serious appearance of imbalance in their knowledge of how-this-thing-works. And what scares me sometimes is that I don't think they even know the imbalance exists!
Let me be perfectly clear, I am not saying this in a mean, accusatory way.
I often feel like empathizing with their lack of scope. Like they are a blind person I want to help cross a street, NO…NO, not a street, but a busy freeway!
That's how helpless they seem to me when I hear them speak to me on the phone or to the public!
Personally, I have talked to Trust and Safety people, or an account Manager, or even a Product Manager over the years. But at times during the conversation, I feel like OMG, they simply do not have the capacity to grasp the concern or idea I was presenting.
I sit in awe of the "blank stare silence" I get when asking a question of deeper than surface discussion withemployees from the top down.
Maybe there is something culturally missing here? ...
Thanks for reading my guest post...