Monday, February 18, 2008

eBay Boycott. Will it work?

If you know about Hope for Healing.Org you probably know we sell on eBay. Not only does this provide much needed financial revenue but it also provides job training.

eBay is in the process of changing policies and adjusting fees. Nonprofits who played by the rules enforced by Mission Fish were absolved of paying fees for auctions that closed with a winning bidder. So far I've seen nothing in the proposed changes that will impact the fee waivers currently available to nonprofits.

While we aren't (possibly) effected by the changes most of the clients we've worked with will be. One of the planned changes is in the fee structure. At first glance the fee revisions seem to benefit sellers. More into the explanation given by eBay and you see a huge jump in costs. If my math is correct the end result on a low dollar item will be about the same net profit as before.

The major flaw, and call for boycott, is in the planned changes to the Feedback System. Currently, buyers and sellers can leave positive, neutral or negative feedback for each other. Ratings are based on the actual experience you have with the other individual. Those posting feedback are requested to keep feedback comments factual. The fear is that buyers will have no incentive to be honest and little incentive to uphold their end of the deal and actually pay.

In protest to the changes a movement has begun. Bidders and buyers are being asked to boycott ebay for one week. This will supposedly hopefully force eBay to reevaluate it's planned feedback change.

Our nonprofit is planning to list items again on Feb. 26. , just after the boycott but not because of it. We're trying to maximize our limited staffing. Hopefully, posting items on this date will put them in front of an audience who receives paychecks at or around the first of the month. We hope this strategy will help more of our items sell.

However, even though we're not participating in the boycott we are watching - as is the rest of the world. Will the little guy get the big guy's attention? Will it matter?

By March 1, we'll know.


rob said...

I am really just sick of paying for fake bidders or no bidders at all. Try Does anyone know any other good auctions, somethings got to give.


Steve said...

I totally hear you!

Amazon.Com marketplace is another site we've on successfully. It's great for books, CD's etc. We've not tried anything else yet. has been recommended.

Anonymous said...

Want to hit them where it hurts???
Starting now.... EVERY time you do a search & see a PAID ad either at the top of list OR down the right side (google paid ads) that says (not individual stores)... click on it.
Pass this on to everyone you know.
make them use those fees they charge us instead of raising the CEO's paycheck!