Top Problems with Ebay's Best Match as Currently Designed
[ This is an email I wrote to my ebay account manager along with Pierre (creator of ebay) 07-11-2008 ]
1. The biggest problem I have seen is this: since it is ranked on a monthly feedback, DSR level, I have noticed really bad sellers with bad feedback above me. How? Because they only sell maybe 1 time a month and as a result, have say 1 positive from last month and overall have a 82% positive feedback score.
As a result, poor marketers (as they are newbies) on top of bad feedback is ignored by the current best match design. Quite literally, the exact opposite of the proposed design and function of Best Match..
For the idea was to have the "superior" sellers with "higher feedback and DSRs" at the top. Obviously, there is a glitch in the system and I just pointed it out.. I have seen several examples of this.. For, instead, we find a large chunk of bad sellers with bad feedback and poor ability to sell are on top.. It does not take rocket science to see that this can hurt your side of making money.
2. As a result of number 1 above, it is obvious you can not grade accurately those who do not sell on a mass level with just last month's feedback. So, as a result, you have a system where the guy who sells a ton is disinfrancised. You are actually ironically promoting people to sell less.. If they sell less, they are less likely to have negatives and more likely to fall into this "dead zone" of prediction by your system.
3. Also, I am guessing, your system does not account for the probability of there being more policy violations on those that sell on a higher level. Particularly thinking sellers.. For those who are just mass sellers of big companies maybe just selling the same thing over and over and will not have any "policy" issues. However, those who that think on their feet, have a smaller business and are changing around listings and sales are more apt to accidentially break some rule, particularly considering the fact that ebay is not consistant on how they interpret rules and is also constantly changing their stance on things and how they operate.
This means that those who sell a lot that are small businesses are likely to have more policy violations per the dynamics of how all this works.. And those who sell less who are small businesses will be ranked higher.. (newbie, non-expert marketers at the top, making you less money)..
4. Since you are a big company and are continually changing things around, I am under the impression ebay suffers from the common big company syndrome, where communication between various departments and those under management and management is not entirely function to perfection.. As a result, you have quick reorgs and changes but then have to backtrack and fix errors.. I think this quick change on "Best match" and other things this year bear the mark of such things.. They are not bad ideas, just not entirely executed with full thought.. And that being a result of your company being so big and having say bean counters in one corner and say a committee on how to improve ebay's image in another and non-of them being fully integrated to execute this correctly. I dare to propose this, as in the past, ebay has suffered similar things. But, I know not all companies have this problem. I sell through about 7 different places on the internet and do not seem to see the problem with many of the others.. For instance, Google.. They do not seem to have this problem. With Adsense and Adwords.. I never seem to have a problem with them and never feel like they are shaking the table every time I build my house of cards.
As the old saying goes, "If it aint broke, don't fix it". As you might actually hurt the good thing you already have.
5. I have noticed a few days that your Best Match has not been functioning properly. Possibly just the program went down, I don't know.. But those inconsistancies mess with sales..
6. I have noticed a lot of other places cropping up all over the internet that are really very feasible places to make money now.. I have seen sales grow quite considerably with www.craigslist.com, www.overstock.com, www.asdcashgenerator.com, Adwords coupled with your website, etc.. I have making a great deal of money from these places now.. Which from your perspective should be raising some red flags.. People are becoming disinchanted with ebay and now, all these other websites are actually starting to make some serious money.. This should all be considered for the future of ebay, if you would like to stay on top of the heap..
7. Last, I would say you do not fully understand those who sell on higher levels on your website.. For they are not motivated by fear, but determination.. They are entrepenuers, not drones.. They do not work for ebay, so when ebay tries to pressure then as you would a drone, it likely does not work.. Particularly when ebay seems to not be looking in the mirror very much lately. To judge sellers on such a high level, but not to apply the same standard to yourself is not making for the best image to sellers.
That is why many sellers are not happy with ebay. Saying, look, you pay us the same money, you make less sales and you better shape up or be gone (but saying it with a smile), does not make people of this type of personality want to just jump up and say, wow, you are right I have seen the errors in my ways.. They are likely going to be saying, ebay doesn't appreciate me and I think I will just go over to Google/Clickbank/ASD and give them my money.. Or, better yet, just post on Craigslist for free..
I am under the impression ebay will change and realize this error.. So, I have no problem waiting to see them figure this out.. That is why I am waiting for this refund.. I figure, if you want to keep your customers happy, you have to do the right thing.. Ebay expects me to refund customers when they are not happy. Why not the same from ebay?