Archive for June, 2008
Well I just got back from eBay LIVE Chicago and wanted to fill everyone on the events that happened.
A highlight of each eBay LIVE is the location. This was the 7th LIVE, and my 6th (I missed the first one). They have been in Anaheim, Orlando, New Orleans, San Jose, Las Vegas, Boston, & Chicago.
If you’ve been a reader for a while, then you might remember my less then favorable impressions of the city of New Orleans. Now to be fair, my house is surrounded by 31 acres of woods, so being in a dirty, smelly, aggressive, immoral city is not really my cup of tea to begin with.
Last year it was in Boston, which was about 1 hour plus drive each way. Since I didn’t stay over, it was kind of a hassle going back and forth.
So, it was with trepidation that I headed off to the “Windy City”. It had been about 18 years since I visited there last. In my mind I pictured it a smelly, loud, dirty, run-down city.
Man, was I WRONG!
What a lovely city. Hey…. I’m one to give credit when credit is due.
Chicago is a Wonderful City!
It’s vibrant, new, clean, and shiny. There is plenty to do and see.
I arrived Wednesday afternoon, checked into the hotel (gorgeous 4-star Intercontinental Hotel on N. Michigan) and walked around the area. That night was the traditional meet and greet at the Marriott where I got to catch up with a bunch of folks I haven’t seen for a while, and meet some new ones.
Got to spend some time with Rob Caskey, who is VP of marketing over at Liquidation.com, a site I HIGHLY recommend for sourcing eBay product. Spent the evening chatting with a bunch of key players in eBay world and met some new people that I’ll tell you more about in the near future.
Ok… so now on to the show.
It took place at McCormick West, a beautiful, almost new convention center. It was big , spacious and comfortable. A great place to put on a show.
But the number attendees was WAY down. When I arrived at 10am Thursday, there was NO LINE! In past years it is MAYHEM at the beginning of the show, but not this year.
That’s not a good sign!
Not only that, this year the number of exhibitors was much lower then last year. Many no-shows too.
On the positive side they were able to spread out the booths and have really wide aisles.
Although I was hoping to attend some of the lectures, I spent too much time going to the booths, reminiscing about the good ole’ days with old eBay veterans, and trying to predict the future of eBay and how (and IF) we will have a part of it.
The general atmosphere was one of fear, trepidation, and negative feelings toward eBay. This was demonstrated at the keynote address by an abundance of folded arms that applauded less often then the teleprompted script writer has probably expected.
Both CEO John Donahue and Lorrie Norrington (President, eBay Global Marketplace Operation) did a VERY good job facing the audience and doing their best to lead the crowd to a rah-rah frenzy, but it simply didn’t happen.
When the audience booed as soon as she started talking about the new feedback rules where sellers can no longer leave anything but positive feedback to buyers, she said “Bring it on. That’s what communication and dialog is all about.”
Booing is not the typical response you’ll find in an eBay keynote address.
I spoke with many eBay sellers, “eBay gurus”, exhibitors, etc.. and EVERYONE is extremely concerned with eBay’s sledgehammer approach.
Kind of like “It sure looks like this train is about to wreck. Should I completely jump off, or still keep one foot on in case eBay does get it right before destroying all it’s profitability?”
eBay’s “blow up things first, and repair months later” policy is pushing people to Amazon, Etsy.com, and other marketplaces.
Here is an example. The booing came from the new policy where buyers can leave neutral or negative (which are basically the same now) feedback and a seller can’t do ANYTHING about it.
Real Example: A Gold powerseller friend of mine told me how she sold a bunch of items with free shipping (as eBay suggested). Isn’t that a great way to get super feedback! The result was that more then one person gave her a zero rating for her shipping feedback score! Why? They must have felt that since they didn’t pay shipping that the score was not applicable.
Now that eBay’s mantra about a “Level playing field for sellers” has been abandoned, eBay gives Powersellers kickbacks…..errr… I mean rebates depending on your feedback score. Her free shipping reduced her monthly rebates from 15% to just 5%.
How would you like to eat the cost and shipping AND lose 10% of your entire monthly profit with no recourse to fix the situation?
Nah…. Me either!
Ms. Norrington did give a vague promise of a system that would allow buyers and sellers to resolve these situations between themselves.
It will be available by the Christmas shopping season, about 5 months from now.
Sigh…. “Sorry you’re bleeding to death, but don’t worry, the bandages should be here in about 5 months!”
eBay’s motivation and vision is to offer a great experience for the buyer. Hey, I’m all for that. But you can’t expect eBay sellers to offer great products at great prices, with great service and then rush out a bunch of ill thought out policy changes which obliterate eBay’s already razor thin profit margins, and think that promising a partial solution 5 months down the road deserves a clap of approval.
If you check out AuctionBytes.com, they have some really good coverage of eBay LIVE.
Overall the whole event had a negative feel. The small sellers who built eBay on the “level playing field”, and many who make a living with it are being pushed away.
It reminds me of as if your girlfriend is trying to break-up with you in a public place, as nicely as possible so you don’t make a scene, and so she can forget about you and start dating the rich guy with the deep pockets.
The Death of eBay?
No, it’s not the death of eBay. Although eBay is a bigger marketplace then Amazon.com, it has Amazon envy. It seems fixated on becoming something that is not.
Yet what it fails to realize is that while it attempts to perform a “soul transplant” from the eclectic, fun, interesting shopping experience that made it the top shopping site in the world… to becoming a sanitized, “me too”, boring, here’s another shopping site, copycat Amazon clone, it is creating a TREMENDOUS amount of ill-will among those who have been it’s cheerleaders for many years now. These feelings of mistrust, anger, and frustration are driving sellers off to other sites and marketplaces.
Not only sellers, but buyers are leaving too! Many people who USED to shop on eBay complain to me that:
“eBay is not the fun place to shop like it used to be.”
The result is many are skipping eBay when looking to purchase an item.
And it has NOTHING TO DO WITH BAD SELLERS!
I really don’t think that eBay has paid attention to the negative viral impact that disgruntled sellers have on the shopping preferences of potential buyers.
Judging by the atmosphere at eBay LIVE hopefully they realize that the MAJORITY of their sellers and third party solution providers are all venting their frustration to EVERYONE and ANYONE that listens.
Sadly, it seems like they just don’t get it.
Check out some of the blog posts and comments people are leaving at AuctionBytes (who did a very good job of reporting about the event!) Just spend time reading the articles and comments and you’ll better understand the situation.
You should watch this YouTube video too and read some of the comments left there.
It was interesting that Lorrie made a point to mention that eBay recently started calling both their buyers and sellers “Customers”. Yet there customer service is so poor that their TOP selling customers who spent much money and time to go to eBay LIVE are griping continuously about them, booing the executive decisions, shouting back at the speakers (See YouTube link above), and organizing boycotts.
There was ZERO press coverage of the event either. Hmmmm…
The Next Step?
In many conversations in Chicago last week I expressed my thoughts as being “Mad and sad at the same time.”
For well over 5 years I’ve been helping tens of thousands of people start and grow an eBay business. The result has been many people have been able to make good money selling on eBay.
But as I’ve been telling you for a long time now, DON’T put all your eggs in one basket!
As eBay continues to make these decisions that make it more difficult to make a profit on eBay, you have to be ready to change.
Change means selling on alternative sites, having your own website, and making money using other methods on the web.
I’m wrapping up something that should be a BIG help for those who are ready to make money beyond eBay.
Don’t count eBay out yet.
Hopefully this week will be a week of honest contemplation and soul searching for eBay. eBay is VERY close to permanently burning a bridge that can never be rebuilt again.
In the meantime, the wise person will be looking for MULTIPLE methods of making money on the web.
Stay tuned for more info…
I’m busy packing today to fly out to eBay LIVE in Chicago tomorrow
Today, I’m going to show you how to gain access to special training
about Dropship Sourcing.
My friends at WorldwideBrands developed
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Since AuctionTrafficSECRETS opens it’s doors on Friday, I decided to do Freebie Friday a day early!
And it’s a FANTASTIC one!!
Here is the deal…
Back in February of 2007, Mike Filsaime held a secret Private Workshop at an undisclosed location.
Over 100 people paid $5000 for the Workshop.
He then took those DVD’s (Which now sell for $1297) and sold it out in record fashion in under 7 days to 2500 people. Since then… over 3000 people have paid for that information.
The success stories that followed have changed the face of Internet Marketing.
(Filsaime, along with his 37 Staff Members, will do $10,000,000 this year in sales and is credited with showing other marketers how
to grow a 7 figure Business.)
Recently, Mike hired a “TOP GUN” Internet Marketing Expert and Copywriter (That also attended the event.)
Mike Paid this “TOP GUN” $25,000 to watch all 16 DVD’s of “The 7 Figure Code” and condense it into a Masterpiece…
An 85 Page report, no fluff, with all of the Gold nuggets, Pearls of Wisdom, and action plans for you to get in a 1 hours’ read.
That’s right, what 100 people paid $5000 for, and had to sit through 3 days, you will get all of the information crammed into 1
report that you can read in 1 sitting.
NOW HERE IS THE INSANE PART - IT’s FREE
That is right, Mike Filsaime was going to sell it for $297.00 and was planning on selling 3000 copies in 7 days.
They are already printed, spiral bound, and sitting at the warehouse ready to ship.
But Mike has decided to ship it to youfor…
*** Free ***
(Only While supplies Last.)
All Mike Asks is that you pay the shipping (about $8 or so)
That is it. You do NOT have to buy it. You simply tell him where to ship it and he will send it to you for…
nothing, zip, nada!
But… IT GET’S EVEN BETTER…
>>> Mike was going to upsell the 18 Full Color Process Maps. ($197 Value)
Mike hired the best Internet Marketing experts on Process Mapping, Rich Schefrens’ Strategic Profits, to produce these process maps based on each DVD… 18 in all.
Mike has decided to move the FREELINE even further and give you access to these for Free too (also VERY limited time)
And to prove that Mike has lost his mind (and has clearly landed on the North Pole of Mars,) he is also giving you is best selling
“The Butterfly Marketing Manuscript 2.0″ ($97 Value) for Free as well!
So here is a RECAP of what you get Free
- The 7 Figure Secrets Printed and Shipped to you Door
- The 18 Full Color Process Maps
- The Butterfly Marketing Manuscript Version 2.0
It just went live for a Limited Time and ONLY while supplies last…
So, if you want to be THE FIRST TO GET your hands on The 7 Figure Secrets, go NOW to:
Talk to you soon,
P.S - The site just went live , so make sure to get your copy ASAP shipped to your door because when the pre printed copies are gone, you will not be able to get your hands on this.