Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More eBay Changes Part XIX

Did you think they were done? Not at all—eBay has sprung another change on us. The suddenness of it makes me wonder what else eBay is planning that they have not even hinted of yet.

Starting sometime this week, all winning bidder IDs will be anonymous. Earlier this year, eBay made the IDs of bidders during active auctions anonymous by displaying them in the form of a***b during the auction. Once the auction closed, the winning bidder would be revealed while all other bidders would remain in the anonymous format. Within the next few days, eBay will hide all IDs except for the sellers of listings. From the eBay announcement board:
Today, however, the winning bidder’s ID is currently visible to everyone after the listing ends, and this continues to lead to fake checkout offers and other spam. Consequently, it also leads to unpaid items, as winning bidders who fall victim to these fake emails often send payment to someone other than the seller.

Based on the positive results we’ve seen by anonymizing bidder User IDs, as well as our commitment to protecting all bidders from becoming targets for fraudsters, we’ve decided to extend anonymized User IDs to winning bidders, as well. This change will be implemented sometime this week.
I do not like it, but we are stuck with it. There are advantages, of course. Now everyone can blatantly buy to resell without having to use a secondary ID. Sellers can now use their primary IDs to buy and can build up their feedback at the same time. Also, dishonest sellers can bid on their own auctions and not worry about whether they win the auctions, and nobody will be suspicious. Now we will be fully protected from sending payment to a fraudster, but we can be happy knowing that our sellers can shill bid and get away with it (heavy sarcasm here).

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The AuctionBytes blog contrasted announcements made today by eBay.com and Etsy.com. Ina Steiner stated that Etsy is "focused on driving brand awareness" and "is driving shoppers to its site through online, print, and radio advertising, email marketing, and media outreach." In contrast, eBay is "stuck on price and free shipping, and the safety of its marketplace. Nowhere does it talk about advertising. eBay has told analysts it is focused on its 'couponing' initiatives, which amounts to paying previous customers to come to the site to shop."

The coupons are especially frustrating when eBay does not see fit to give users enough time to use them. I have been hearing about coupons for over a week and have been hoping to receive one. I logged out of my primary account last night to pay for an auction with my secondary account. I logged back into my primary account, eBay had given me a coupon. Sigh . . . the coupon is for 10% off of a purchase for up to $100 in savings, and it expires on October 31. Thanks, eBay, for giving me a coupon that is good for only three days when I am finding very little to purchase on eBay.

There are some auctions that close in around 5 to 6 days that I am watching, but my coupon will have expired by them. Oh wait . . . you're trying to get me to purchase something that maybe I would not have purchased without the coupon. I'm not going to spend $20 or more for something I don't want just to get 10% off. I'm not that gullible.

1 comment:

Austin said...

Hi Jennifer,

This is Austin from the former Hardy-Boys.com; we did some books deals a couple years ago. Sorry about commenting here, but I lost your email! I have several library bindings I'm looking to sale (cheap) and wondered if you're interested.

you can let me know at ajohns90 at gmail (dot) [com]

Thanks!
- Austin