June 20th, 2008

Live blogging from eBay Live!

I had the thrill of being able to live blog a particularly lively (almost explosive) session from eBay Live. eBay representatives were explaining changes to the feedback system, and facing questions from a group of unhappy sellers. You could feel the unhappiness in the small room. I heard afterwards that a long line of people were standing outside, unable to get in. What’s the deal with eBay holding this session in such a small room? Didn’t they understand the hostility this subject would engender? They will certainly understand it going home from eBay Live. Cries of “Bullshit!” erupted when Griff tried to explain that the changes were the result of the desire to protect buyers and keep them from leaving the site. One reason in particular: eBay’s studies showed that a primary reason for buyers going elsewhere was receiving negative feedback from sellers. So now they can leave negative feedback for sellers, but sellers can’t leave negative feedback for buyers. Sellers are naturally livid about this. eBay explains that a variety of systems are in place to report abuses of the feedback system on the part of buyers. But sellers aren’t “buying” it. The sound guy told Ina Steiner that it was all like sitting in on one of his union meetings.

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