Thursday, February 21, 2008

eBay Strike Flames Out

This was supposed to be the week that eBay sellers showed just how upset they were with the company by going out on strike. That is, by not posting any listings. Guess what? It looks like it didn’t happen folks. Not in the numbers many anticipated, anyway. Our own survey of top sellers, including members of the all-powerful Professional eBay Sellers Alliance, found that very few PowerSellers, at least, are participating in the strike.

This is not to say the strike sizzled out completely. The media has been all over the story (what story there really is, anyway). There were definitely people who chose not to list this week. But the vast majority of successful PowerSellers walked right through the strike the way a tough boxer walks through a jab.

Here are some reasons why:

*Sorry, but these guys are too busy selling. They don’t have time to plan for a strike, and frankly they don’t want to give up the income. Some of the PowerSellers we spoke with were not even certain of the details of the strike, like when it was!

*Many top sellers think the strike really won’t accomplish anything anyway. eBay is going to do what it’s going to do, regardless of what a tiny percentage of its sellers do. Haven’t any of these folks ever worked for a corporation? It’s all about the stock price guys. That’s what management is ultimately paying attention to.

*A few sellers actually think the changes eBay recently announced are GOOD for their businesses, and are not about to strike. One seller we spoke with noted that this will force some sellers to raise their Customer Service standards, to ensure their overall ratings are high. That’s a bad thing? Certainly not if you’re a buyer.

*Some sellers have left, or are leaving eBay’s site anyway, and are busy moving their wares through other pipelines, such as Amazon’s.

So despite the media circus, the strike has struck out folks. Let’s move on.