Ebay: Heavy Discounting but is There Good Direction?

So we’ve reached the end of the four day protest by sellers and the fall out is hard to judge at the moment. I saw this report by e-consultancy.com today which suggests the strike may have had a significant impact on listing figures in the UK at least.

They reported significant drops in listing numbers from the beginning of the action compared to Sunday evening. Again they also commented on eBay’s reluctance to comment on the action or reveal any figures. There was more bad news in the report for eBay as, quoting a Campaign spokesperson, the writer says more protest action is planned and, apparently, it will be more internationally organised.

However, I’m still at a total loss to explain eBays direction at the moment. Reading through numerous blogs and news reports, it is obvious the upset sellers are not just fee focused. Listing quality is a major issue, as is item visibility for sellers on the key eBay sites. But yesterday, in a move I can only see as antagonistic by the auction giant, eBay offered another cheap listing promotion – this time in India – but the listings had to be made on the US site (eBay.com).

With the current mood of eBay users toward far eastern activity on the site, this has seemingly triggered yet another predictable wave of anger on the forums, blogs and bulletin boards. Do eBay want to fuel more protest actions now? Take a look at this reaction on Bloggingstocks.com. There is even suggestions that these promotions are to kid Wall Street in to believing listing activity is good at present.

Personally I don’t think eBay is deliberately trying to mislead anyone. But I do wonder about the quality of direction at managerial level now. This move shows how totally out of touch the senior managers are with their customers in my opinion.

No sooner do I see this promotion on the US site than I am told of another heavy discounting plan. This time it is in the UK on Wednesday but at least this time UK eBayers can take advantage!

To my eyes eBay is suffering poor overall direction right now. I have seen numerous calls for Meg Whitman to quit by frustrated eBay users but I suspect it wont be too long now before many shareholders start to agree. Again I am asking eBay to speak out. Please do something positive with your PR machine. Explain in credible language why you have taken recent actions.

Surely eBay aren’t relying on heavy discounting and the developing nations to keep this great site alive?

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