In its Spring 2012 Seller Update, eBay said that, starting May 1, it will require Top-rated Sellers to upload tracking information on 90 percent of U.S. transactions. Starting June 1, return policies of 14 days or longer and one-day handling will also be required to retain Top-rated Seller status and receive the 20-percent discount on final value fees.
In a nod to the Occupy movement, The Online Seller reader Jan is leading an effort to get eBay sellers to do “what the 99 percent have been doing in politics.” She and others are urging eBay sellers to close their stores or take down their listings from April 26 through April 28, and list on alternative sites instead.“That will be a message, and we will keep it up until they change their minds or we just purely leave”
“That will be a message, and we will keep it up until they change their minds or we just purely leave,” Jan writes in response to Upcoming eBay Return Policy Change Causes Uproar.
Whether sellers will join the strike in numbers large enough to get eBay’s attention is still to be seen. A similar call to action on Powersellersunite.com was scoffed at by forum posters, while other attempts to rally sellers via social media have yet to draw much interest.
Seller strikes are not new to eBay
Previous organized eBay boycotts failed to produce any lasting change. In February 2008, eBay sellers staged a boycott of the marketplace to protest a policy that took away sellers’ ability to leave negative or neutral feedback for buyers.
During the week of the strike, eBay’s listing volume declined 13 percent to 13 million, according to a USA Today report that cited various third-party tracking sites.
A repeat of the boycott was planned for May 1, 2008—the date the policy took effect. However, that strike had little support and, although many sellers left eBay and never looked back, thousands more stayed, despite their festering resentment toward the marketplace’s corporate powers.