back to article Tat bazaar eBay confirms: THOUSANDS of workers will be AXED

Loss-making online tat bazaar eBay finally confirmed it will throw thousands of workers overboard and review options to sell or float the Enterprise side of the business. The developments were made public as eBay rolled out calendar Q4 financials with revenues up nine per cent to $4.9bn, and net income rising ten per cent to $ …

  1. Whitter

    Large singer required?

    eBay has modified itself to be too expensive for "clearing your loft" and more hassle than Amazon for a small business. Unless they work out what they are for again, the writing is on the wall.

    1. theModge

      Re: Large singer required?

      Small businesses who've yet to discover Amazon?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Scam Central

      If they're not fencing knocked off goods they're allowing D-bags to rip-off honest sellers using their massively flawed 'resolution centre' which is just a by-word for giving a refund no questions asked.

      Now that you can't even leave a negative comment for someone who doesn't pay or just plain rips you off - who's going to use that service a second time??

    3. paulf
      Big Brother

      Re: Large singer required?

      The downside with Amazon is they now require a whole bunch of ID to sell through their marketplace. These are quite onerous and apply to both private individuals and traders. Previously, they were happy that you had an existing Amazon account (linked to your Credit Card and billing address) plus your bank account details to transfer the proceeds of any sales into.

      This might help weed out scammers (lets face it scammers won't have access to fake IDs to set up fake accounts with...), but I suspect it has more to do with recent VAT changes and Amazon wanting to keep their Luxembourg tax deal one step ahead of the tax authorities.

      I'm not a business trader and I used to use Amazon marketplace to sell unwanted stuff (in preference to Flea Bay it has to be said) but that stopped once they demanded copies of utility bills and a copy of my passport (Driving License not acceptable) to continue using my sellers account.

      I'm still bemused why El Reg hasn't done an investigation/article into these Amazon changes (at least not that I've seen!).

      1. NotWorkAdmin

        Re: Large singer required?

        I am (or at least work for) a business trader. Go back 6 years and most of what we did was eBay. Today? There's no money to be made on eBay - we just use it for clearing old stock. If I was running the place we'd have closed our eBay account 3 years ago or at least restricted it to selling broken tat.

        To put it in perspective, for 2014 just shy of 10000 orders through eBay, the majority at break even or a loss vs 20000 through Amazon and even with their charges, we made money on the vast majority.

    4. ebay

      Ebay too big for their own boots

      Ebay play god I hope they learn not to be so arrogant

    5. ebay

      Ebay too big for their own boots

      Ebay need to respect sellers as well as buyers- don't bite the hand that feeds you!

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Should have done it years ago

    Specifically they should have got rid of the developers who kept making tweaks to what started out as a reasonable interface and introduced lots of minor annoyances.

    1. Phuq Witt

      Re: Should have done it years ago

      What do you mean?

      Those clever developers changed "Saved Searches" to read "Followed Searches" to make it sound all funky and happening and 'Web 2,0' and 'Twitter'-like.

      OK, in doing so they completely broke the basic functionality of the feature, but c'mon, grandad. Would you use a website which used a daggy word like "Saved" instead of "Followed"?

      1. Mister_C

        Re: Should have done it years ago

        Don't forget killing the wildcards from searches when they introduced "smartness" into searches.

        And killing the smartness out if you try to filter out using a '-'.

        Oh, and showing you other users' "collections" based on your search. NIce one fleabay, serving me up a collection market "prezzy ideas" from my wife's account so I can see what she's thinking of buying me.........

    2. Blank-Reg

      Re: Should have done it years ago

      Indeed, including the recent ebay iPad app that underwent a downground just before Christmas and turned quite a nice and usable app into a hideous pile of shite. Turns out, Ebay app designers actually know fuck all on how to design user friend apps but do know the quickest way to discourge usage.

  3. Zog The Undeniable

    They have a licence to print money

    An effective monopoly position in most English-speaking countries, double-dipping on fees, and yet it still doesn't make a profit. Stunning incompetence. The average corner shop proprietor could probably do a better job of running it.

    1. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

      Re: They have a licence to print money

      exactly. My first though on seeing the headline was "how on earth can a company with that monopoly make a loss!" . Its not like they actually have to produce a product like other less fortunate companies.

      Also I'm not sure how "revenues up nine per cent to $4.9bn, and net income rising ten per cent to $936m." amounts to a loss.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They have a licence to print money

        Also I'm not sure how "revenues up nine per cent to $4.9bn, and net income rising ten per cent to $936m." amounts to a loss.

        The $936m was for the last quarter, the loss was for the full year.

        It is mystifying, though, how with an effective monopoly in their "auction" business, high charges in all their business sectors, and a business model that shoves virtually all the risk onto the punters, they still contrive to make a loss.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    eBay should just put the to-be-sacked workers up for auction

    eBay gets free advertising, the soon-to-be-sacked employees get their CVs out to a wide audience, and it's a transparent market for both employers and employees. More useful than LinkedIn anyway. What's not to like?

  5. Phuq Witt

    eBay has workers?

    Who knew!

    What do they do exactly?

    As one of the many who have headbutted great chunks out of walls in the past –with the sheer frustration of having to deal with their arse-witted...

    *"Here's a copy & pasted reply, giving you a list of things to try. All of which you've just painstakingly told us you've already tried and which haven't worked –which we might have realised had we ever bothered to read past the first keyword in the subject line of your emails!"* 'Customer Support', I am genuinely astonished to find that eBay actually employs real people.

    I always assumed the entire enterprise was automated and ran on a Visual Basic programme with a single "if (but no 'else')" loop.

  6. JimmyPage

    eBay - s'OK

    that's it really

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Seriously, WTF?

    Taking a 10% dip on EVERYTHING that pases through their grubby fingers - and that must be a hell of a lot of turnover - and STILL not making a profit?

    Who the hell is skimming that much off?

    1. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

      Re: WTF?!

      it just boggles the mind!

      Employing 34285 people might be one of the problems. god knows what they actually do

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: WTF?!

        34285 employees? Doing what? I'm sure that in the 2400 proposed lay-off/firing/redundancy group will be the one and only developer who knows what he's doing and probably the one and only customer service person who gives a crap.

        The skim starts at the top... board, c-suite, and then tapers off around middle management. Everyone below that is happy if they can pay the rent and feed their family and due to the mess at the top.. they don't give a crap other than the paycheck.

        Hmm.. that sounds like an awful lot of companies.....

  8. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Yesterday's idea

    It was good when it was a way to sell off stuff that you didn't want to people who would give it a good home. Or find items that weren't in the shops anymore.

    But now it's too much cost and hassle for the used stuff market - with better alternatives.

    And too much of the new stuff is cheap ( as in nasty) knock offs or plain fakes.

    A few weeks back the Beeb had some programme on in which various collectors were showing items they'd bought off Ebay, often for substantial cost, and found they were fakes.

    Which was sad for them, though I for one wouldn't have trusted any of it in the first place.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Yesterday's idea

      Agree totally - used to be decent, back in the early 2000's, then they stopped allowing most Joe Sellers to accept anything other than PayPal, which was a PITA as an occasional seller of old IT gear. Now it's almost like they force you into their straight-jacket to sell anything. I realize most of that was because of scammers, but geez, it's ridiculous.

      But I do want to ask - what are the "better alternatives" you speak of? It would be nice if there were a site that would still allow me to sell stuff and accept money orders as paper trail like PayPal, so the wife doesn't get wind... ;)

  9. Fihart

    ebay lose money ?

    Surely only for the purposes of tax avoidance.

    1. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

      Re: ebay lose money ?

      thats the only logical explanation


    Ebay is lossmaking?

    Blimey, even more incompetent than I already thought.

  11. John Miles 1

    Skimming 10% and making a loss?

    How can they make a loss when the charge 10% of sale cost ( + paypal charges ) just for running a website - it beggars belief

    1. Frank N. Stein

      Re: Skimming 10% and making a loss?

      Perhaps Executive Compensation has exceeded a certain level and the only way to make the numbers work is to sack people below the management and supervisor level?

  12. akeane

    They should...

    put the company for sale on ebay, never know you might a couple of quid for it...

    Post and packaging included!

    1. Kaltern

      Re: They should...

      I bid £1. Hopefully I met the reserve.

  13. earl grey

    So, they're getting rid of incompetent upper management, too?

    *crickets, moving away quickly*

  14. Frank N. Stein

    So, sales grew, but lets eliminate jobs to make our sales and profits appear to be higher?

  15. stu 4

    This is a happy day

    I still use ebay as a buyer, but over the last few years more and more of my purchases are made from amazon, bang good, goodluckbuy, dx extreme.

    The ebay sellers, I find are great, but I feel their pain.

    1566 rating - as as I say that's me as a buyer only - so you can see I buy a lot of gadgets. Been with ebay since the beginning.

    As a seller I have up 10 years ago, after getting stung for a 200 quid cash back or whatever it's called and basically getting told to FO from ebay. That and countless other arseholes complaining about stuff that was just taking the piss.

    That and the front to charge paypal fees AND ebay fees from the same f^cking company.

    It's a shame nothing has stepped into the gap though for private folk wanting to easily sell their tat - I must have 10 old digital cameras, and countless gadgets that I'd love to punt - but no real internet way of selling em all.

    35K folk… jesuz christ - WTF to they all do ? I mean … WTFity F ???

    I hope to hell they go titsup - if only to get a good gloat at the 200 quid they shafted me out of. c&nts.

    1. mrbawsaq

      Re: This is a happy day

      Couldn't agree more in the hope that they go titsup.

      I stopped using them about 7 years ago when I left negative feedback for a seller who misrepresented what they were sold me. E-bay gave the seller my home phone number, mobile number and address. The seller then left me several messages threatening legal action for loss of business and other physical threats. According to Ebay he lived several hundred miles north otherwise I'd have fully expected him to turn up at my door in a kilt with a claymore.

      E-bay are on a par with Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Ryanair in my book and my choice is not to do business with any of them.

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