The eBay Trading Assistant list has become worthless. It’s time for eBay to update and clean the list and improve eBay seller certification to become a TA.
As a newsletter publisher (eBay Sellers News), I know the value of a list. And, having a clean list is critical to your success. The eBay Trading Assistant Program is a very important program for eBay, eBay consignment sellers (Trading Assistants) and people who want to sell their valuable treasures on eBay but don’t know how. But the eBay Trading Assistant list is out of date and contains thousands of non-active and unqualified sellers.
Earlier this year I wrote a book called How To Start and Run and eBay Consignment Business. Because of that I get a lot of calls and emails from people who apparently Google terms such as consignment on eBay, and get my name in the results. They call or email me and ask me to sell their items for them, or help them find an eBay Trading Assistant. I only sell very high value goods on consignment and only for local people so I usually can’t help them personally. If they are sitting in front of their computer I show them how to find the page where they can locate an eBay Trading Assistant in their area. Then they go happily off in search of an eBay consignment seller to sell their valuable goods. If only it would end there?
What usually happens is that I get a follow up phone call or email telling me that over 50 names came up in their area and no one will return their calls or emails. This happened today to a gentleman who called me today. (What’s sad is that he has some really wonderful, expensive and highly saleable merchandise). The problem is that so many people got excited by the TA program and signed up for the program, but in fact,most of them are not even active sellers, let alone eBay real trading assistants.
eBay needs to send every trading assistant an email and ask them: 1) are an active? 2) do they have a storefront or will they pick up goods? and 3) do they still want to be in the program?
I guarantee if eBay sent out such an email, about one-half of the people on the list would respond. This would greatly help clean the list. eBay should also raise the requirement from selling 4 items a month to something more reasonable like 10 or 15 or even more. Someone selling only 4 or 5 items a month (unless it is cars or Rolex watches) is not really an active seller. I don’t think it’s ethical for someone with that low a skill level to represent themselves as a legitimate consignment seller. In fact it may even be a good idea to require at least Bronze eBay PowerSeller status to remain an active Trading Assistant.
eBay does list Featured Trading Assistants first, which is a good thing and I congratulate them for it. Everyone has to start somewhere, so I don’t think the requirements to be a TA should be that high –but the integrity of the program really needs some more work.
This brings me to promotion. eBay needs to promote the TA program on the home page. There are thousands of honest hard-working trading assistants out there and eBay needs to help consignors find them. When people call me they have usually never heard the term Trading Assistant until I explain it to them. There needs to be a box on the eBay home page that says something like: Find an eBay seller to sell your items. That box should go directly to a page that first explains the TA program and it should have a big button in the middle of the page that says Click here to find a seller near you.
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