I've reviewed several books about eBay and use the online auction site to buy and sell stuff. Mostly, I sell my old comics with the help of a friend.
eBay is not doing so great lately, supposedly due to competition from Amazon, which conducts fixed-price sales and not auctions. Maybe that's true, but in the meantime, eBay is pissing off its sellers, which is no small thing.
The rap is that too many buyers have been swindled and are shunning eBay. Rather than fixing this by strengthening their own procedures, eBay made it tougher for sellers... y'know, the ones they collect their fees from. They changed their feedback system to allow buyers — but not sellers — to leave negative feedback.
Now, buyers have the upper hand. I'll spare you the sob stories but it's not been pleasant, though some sellers have really been hit badly. And it hasn't improved anything, as many buyers are still reportedly quite unhappy. What a surprise!
In addition, eBay cut a deal with bulk sellers and retailers like Buy.com that gives them a huge advantage: they pay no fees.
Yes, eBay must grow its business. Doing so may require dumping old, unprofitable customers or those who don't fit a new business model. That's understood.
But it seems to me that eBay should be able to grow without screwing up (or just screwing) their existing client base. Is that so crazy?