Many former eBay sellers have chosen this day to pull a massive prank on eBay. They’re moving or have moved all their listings elsewhere. You can read the details on the Facebook Page for April Fool’s Day Off From Corporate Greed.
Those with too few listings to export them automatically have either just let their listings expire and aren’t posting any more, or have put themselves on “vacation mode”. Buyers who don’t want to see their prices go up or have to search around the internet to maybe get the best deals are opting out of buying on eBay today.
In my case, I let my listings expire, and made my last purchases I’ll make on eBay ever, some days ago. If you’re watching items you want to get before the fee changes, then just at least wait until after today.
It’s intended to persuade eBay not to start charging final value fees that include the shipping costs. I personally don’t think it will work because it is clear that their intention is to get rid of small businesses and individual sellers. Losing us is actually good news for them because then they can finally come out as a wholesaler only marketplace.
However, what eBay should be aware of is a little something we like to call “web karma”. Most of their free linkage and following comes from individuals and small businesses. Without us promoting them, they’ll have substantially fewer buyers. If someone is looking for a collectible, and can only afford to buy one, they’re not going to buy a lot of 50+ just to get the one at the lowest price. They’re going to do what they did before eBay and hit the forums and do an internet search.
Yes, the internet existed long before eBay, and will exist long after. This is what they should bear in mind, and why they shouldn’t have alienated so many people. Worse, some of the taint in eBay’s reputation is going to bleed onto the sellers. Sellers who stay with eBay will be viewed as crooks, so even if someone is visiting eBay to price out their options for a product, they won’t trust that they are really looking at the best price. In addition to this, they may not even trust that they are really going to get their item.
I saw a little of that already in my own selling experience for Sheloya Mystical. I’m located in Israel, and I always send by registered mail. So items may take three weeks to a month to arrive. Even though I post tracking numbers as soon as I return from the post office every Thursday, I still get worried emails from people wondering why they haven’t gotten their package yet. People are apparently already afraid that things they order from eBay might not even get there. This has even happened to me, and because their claim period is so short, you can’t do anything about it feedback-wise.
Buyers already don’t trust eBay or sellers who sell on eBay anymore. I’d say that the eBay ship has sailed. If people don’t trust you, they’re not giving you their money.
So today’s the day both to make a stand and to take your business to a more trusted and trustworthy site, or build your own. Feel free to ask for help if you need it.