AuctionBytes vs. eBay – The Saga Continues… What's The Good News?

For those who have not read the details yet, a story has developed over the last few days which pits the huge conglomerate of eBay against the established standard bearer of the media (covering the ecommerce industry) Auctionbytes.

Randy Smythe over at My Blog Utopia gives the timeline…

Randy also adds to the discussion with sage advise and the perspective of a former multi-million dollar media seller on eBay, in his article: AuctionBytes Responds to eBay about Diamond Power Sellers. I suggest reading Randy’s 15% as it is usually not to be discounted.

I won’t re-hash the events or the back and forth between Auctionbytes Ina Steiner and eBay’s Jim Griff Griffith.  The damage has already been done to and by both sides of this verbal exchange.

My observation: This simply is a symptom of a greater problem.

Both eBay and Auctionbytes (who has fed from the eBay trough for many years) are showing signs of frustration.  The vibe from eBay, since early this year, has been predicting a split from feeding Auctionbytes the scraps and juicy tidbits they so readily had in the past. As a result, Auctionbytes has become more and more critical of eBay and the relationship has cooled.

Many conclude… there are good reasons behind both positions…

I say, lets move on…

Why don’t we step back and look at what is happening here…

The voices of concern about best match, changes in the fee structure, feedback, special deals for powerful and new Diamond level eBay sellers given unfair competitive advantages et al… have over run the positive outlook of the once impervious eBay ethos.

When in the past sounds of revolt could be easily swept under the rug by eBay and dismissed as just some faction of disgruntled sellers, now the negative voices have become louder and more powerful.  These voices are not just loud, they are pervasive and persistent. They will not be swept under the rug, the media is listening and even mainstream press is picking up the “noise” from the disgruntled sellers.


  • eBay has a position, which states all is well and “we are just tweaking the system to make it better for everyone, because our studies show”….
  • The opposition states that the eBay system is horribly flawed and getting worse every day. Comments abound with stories of seller bankruptcies and despair.  These voices have always been present, but never in such a high volume or with such veracity.

So what is the truth?

For a change of pace here at the Trading Assistant Journal, we are going to ask for some positive news about eBay.  Since the Internet pundits, analysts and most of our colleagues in the blogosphere have published reams of content with a negative spin about eBay of late, why don’t we test the waters and see if any seller will step forward with a positive view?

This invite is only for actual, down in the trenches eBay sellers, not pundits or gurus or sellers of cant miss eBay sales systems… Just every day merchants who find the eBay system works for them.

The same kind of view which could not be missed just a few short years ago…

We are looking for ….

  • Stories of rags to riches success, connected directly or indirectly with eBay sales
  • Positive income stream anecdotes which detail the incremental positive effects of eBay selling
  • Points of view which share eBay’s positive outlook – in the face of dropping stock prices and negative publicity

There must be some happy eBay sellers out there…

I know these types of sellers are usually too busy minding their stores and growing their businesses to take time out of a normal day to post on forums or comment on blogs, but if your out there, I want to hear from you.

I am sure eBay would like to hear from you as well. Its been a rough year…

This post may draw a great deal of attention from the naysayers and doomsday commentors out there, and that’s fine… Every point of view is valid and we do not discount the negative side of the discussion.  The point here is simply that it has been a very long time since any of us have heard a positive viewpoint expressed. I would like to share with the world that viewpoint, if it exists.

eBay is a huge conglomerate to be sure, a cast of thousands, a behemoth in the new world of e-commerce. Sometimes Giants fall, Rome burns, Napoleon has his Waterloo…

Yet before the eBay giant is declared extinct, I would like to put out a call to those who may not believe the reports of its imminent demise. Are you willing to side with eBay and tell the World, everything is going to be OK? Tell the world that eBay is hard work with the possibility of high reward?

Is anyone willing to share good news?

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0 Responses to AuctionBytes vs. eBay – The Saga Continues… What's The Good News?

  1. Hillary September 11, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    Normally, I would be more than willing but I am running around packing for vacation. I do my share of griping but, overall, business is just as good as ever.

    I think the big sellers (, JetBlue, et al) are good news. They were competing with us already before they joined eBay so putting them side by side just makes for a better marketplace. They bring people in, some of which who will look at other items and support smaller sellers, and they renew people’s faith in eBay which is a big thing right now.

    I know I can be guilty of it too, but I think the negativity of the sellers (present and former) is hurting eBay way more than any of the eBay changes are.

    Good luck with the conference call!

  2. Tom D. September 11, 2008 at 10:03 am #

    Hey…. I don’t mind to be in the same “mall” with etc… I can afford to run a business next door to them with just 2 employees. eBay provides me with everything I need to present my inventory to buyers. Cost of doing it next door to big guys, in a brick and mortar store would be astronomical. All I need to do is find right inventory – I can’t compete with everything but niche items are still plenty…


  3. Cliff Aliperti September 11, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Business as usual, Scott.

    Well, lots of tweaks to my listings that, like Hillary, I’ve been known to gripe about, but in the grand scheme my listings could probably stand a tweaking every so often.

    I also share Hillary and Tom D.’s viewpoint, to some extent, about the Diamond Powersellers. I use my better listings to get buyers to the bulk of my material in my eBay Store, I look for Jet Blue and Buy to bring eBay itself some new users who hopefully trickle into the shops of us little guys.

    My auctions still get bids, I usually don’t get the wild action I used too, but my listing strategies have developed with the changing buyers and I don’t get hurt on my minimum bids, so I’m okay with that. Fixed price items still driving buyers to my Store for multiple item purchases. Strong business from Europe lately.

    I’d say look for most of your positive comments in this post to come from collectibles dealers, as I do firmly believe our items stand up best against any changes to the site.

    Thanks for the post,

  4. Consignment Pal Resale Directory September 12, 2008 at 12:29 am #


    Sorry, but I don’t know a single eBay Drop Off Store owner or eBay Trading Assistant (the name given to eBay consignment sellers) who is completely happy.

    One huge future concern is that for eBay Local pickups, sellers will still be required to offer Pay Pal rather than specify just cash, check, or money order. Since the seller cannot get a signed online delivery confirmation in these local pick up situations, this leaves the sellers open to chargebacks.

    Most eBay consignment sellers, as well as other eBayers, cannot afford to loose hundreds or thousands of dollars on large items too bulky to ship. Hopefully eBay will change their mind and NOT require Pay Pal for local pickups.

    eBay Local could become more competitive with CraigsList if eBay plays their cards right.

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