Open Letter to eBay from Long-time Seller

If you want to know why I really gave up on eBay –this letter from an anonymous seller is one of the best explanations you will find.

The only thing I can add is that e Bay used to be a “community.”  When management made the decision to do away with that aspect of eBay –that is when the downfall started.


This is from eCommerceBytes, so I can’t reprint the whole letter —but here is a link to read it:

Dear eBay, it’s not us, it’s you.
I am sitting here in my workshop having been an active eBay seller off and on for the better part of two decades. I have sold nearly a half million dollar in sales over that period in various niches. I have seen, first hand, every change that eBay has made, and adapted to them to the best of my ability. I have become adept at adapting to your changes to sellers to the point that I simply look at them as “well, here we go again…” Click here to read rest of letter



  1. Excellent post, and so many true facts
    If only those who run the company would read and take positive action .
    But oh, it’s Flecebay we’re talking about.
    Maybe they’ll listen when they are burning in ashes, but it will be a little to late

  2. I also closed my EBay store after basically going out of business on Ebay 3 years ago. I hung on until just recently. My 200 dollars in part time sales per day has now dwindled to 100 dollars per month, if that, on ebay. 10k positive feedback since 2008. I moved most of my products to Amazon 3 years ago and was back up to 200 per day until the last 6 months. Both Etsy and Amazon are playing the EBay game. You have to pay to play, and even when you do, results are not guaranteed and are totally unpredictable. The gravy train days are over for many. The Amazon forums are now filled with desperate sellers who cannot figure out what is happening. We are talking about sellers who have thousands of listings making thousands per day whose sales have dropped 80 to 90 percent. I am watching my thriving part time Amazon business go downhill rapidly. I was happy with 20 sales per day, lowered my standards to an easy 10 sales per day and am now seeing days with 1 sale per day. I was only doing merchant fulfilled so I thought that was the problem. Just recently sent in a thousand dollars worth of fba inventory. A trickle of sales. No buy box, no sales. Buy box prices are below cost. Inventory will sit until recalled. Was doing well on Etsy until 2 months ago when they implemented changes. Now I get one or two views on what were good selling items up until then. Soon i will be applying to be a Wal-Mart greeter to make ends meet. Bonanza is dead. Wish and Mercari are still options. FB marketplace. What blows my mind is that I only need 10 sales per day to get by and with hundreds of products scattered across 5 sites, you would think that would be possible. And no, if you are thinking my products must not be in demand, they are and have always been evergreen. It’s a tough time to be a seller online. I think that greed is the reason everything is broken and these companies, who wouldn’t be where they are today, really and truly don’t care about us or need us at all. That is why they no longer listen to their once valuable sellers. I will be working on rebuilding and marketing my own website and I love selling online instead of having to meet the demands of a real job, so I will press on. This is Q4 and sales need to pick up or maybe if not, the real reasons for the slumps will be fixed or revealed.

    1. Author

      Try Mercari and look into setting up a shopify website

  3. Author


    The eBay anonymous letter was well stated. I raised hell when they stopped allowing sellers to control the markdown manager. As you can see they quickly changed that new policy because I am sure sales fell flat. I can tell you last Nov. 2017, I realized that eBay was NOT giving me my 10% top seller discount and had not been as far back as I could go-maybe 1 1/2 years. I finally got a manager involved and he had to manually go back every month which he said was 2 years and then eBay gave me back hundreds of dollars I had overpaid. Well the problem still is not fixed and after a year (next month) I am having to phone eBay each and every month and get them to compute 10% (some months it has been 3,5,6, or no percent). I thought when they went from 20% to 10% that was a raw deal but if I had not noticed during a big month of sales what they where doing to me, I would still be getting ripped off. I have spoken to over 40 people in 19 1/2 hours on this one issue since last Nov. and it is still not correct. One month I paid what I owed except for $5.25 which I did not owe and they blocked 1,100 auctions of mine. I called and the supervisor was irate and gave me more than they owed me (not much more!) and said the problem would be fixed and he unblocked my account immediately. I wonder how many top sellers are being screwed like I was and do not even know this???

    I can understand your frustrations. My problem is as a seller of one of a kind pieces, I think it would be hard to do Amazon and especially with rare art. At one time I do not think you could even sell art on Amazon. Anyway, your newsletter was always something that aided me in my eBay business and I am sorry to see you go. I have no choices right now with my health and all the work I have done on eBay but to keep dealing with their mess. I know very little about the current president but the last one ruined everything good about eBay without doubt. My sales for the holidays are down 25% so far this month, which is horrible.

    It is about that time of the year when we should be busting our butts, making money and looking forward to the upcoming holidays with our families. I guess one out of three will be good enough this year. I pray that you and your sweet wife have a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry CHRISTmas and Happy New Year my friend.

    Thank you for always being there and your hard work. You stand out as being well respected for always doing what is right. I commend you for this and appreciate it. You are my friend. <>< Best Regards, Gregory Leng Hendersonville, NC 29 Oct. 2018

  4. In response to the open letter, I too responded. Although I’m not a major player on eBay like you, I agree with your reasons. Why would a small seller like me want to grow my business with eBay when they don’t take care of their major players like you? So when their profits plunge further, only then will they finally listen to their seller’s needs and change. Hopefully, this is their wake up call. Time will tell. Anyway, I just want to say a big Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with us over the years. Without your guidance, small sellers like me would still be struggling to figure out this ever-changing “E-commerce” animal.

    1. Author

      Skip, eBay seller metrics are a walk in the park
      compared to Amazon’s changes over the years.

      What will you do when you get that red flag
      and Amazon has frozen your funds,
      deleted your listings, etc?

      Many many more buyers rent items on Amazon
      have you seen the forum post on returned rocks?

      I disagree with your analysis of eBay vs. Amazon
      and firmly believe that there are only two monopolies
      enabling everyone to make a living online today:
      Amazon and Google. And Amazon requires you
      to waive your legal rights as a seller, is this fair?

      The problem is that you can get laid off any minute,
      with no legal rights. Good luck relying on Amazon only,
      enjoy every sale on Amazon because it may not last.

      John Acheson, MBA
      20 years on eBay
      15 years on Amazon
      25 years reselling

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