Value Added Resource Week In Review 3-19-23

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Welcome to the Value Added Resource ecommerce news week in review!

eBay News

Just days after authentication workers at eBay-owned TCGPlayer marketplace successfully voted to form a union, the Communications Workers of America have filed a 4th National Labor Relations Board complaint, this time accusing the company of illegal retaliatory firing of a pro-union employee.

eBay-Owned TCGPlayer Accused Of Illegally Firing Pro-Union Employee
eBay stays on sidelines as TCGPlayer racks up more National Labor Relations Board complaints in union fight.

eBay has so far attempted to stay above the fray, not getting directly involved in the union fight at their subsidiary, but will they face further unionization efforts at their other labor-centric operations across the country?

Curiously, eBay only disclosed risks of labor organizing efforts to investors in their most recent 10-K filing with the SEC on February 23, 2023.

Did the previous union drive at TCGPlayer in 2020 not come up in the due diligence that should have taken place in the months leading up to the eBay acquisition announced in August 2022? 🤨

Will eBay Face Further Union Pressure After TCGPlayer Vote?
TCGPlayer workers have become the first US union in eBay history - will other authentication centers follow?

eBay calls subpoena request from Meta in FTC case alarming "discovery gluttony" as it seeks to quash demands for confidential business information about privacy policies, data retention and more.

Interestingly, lawyers for eBay argued the company doesn't compete with Meta on social networking but does face off over the Facebook Marketplace e-commerce service.

It's good to see eBay finally having some awareness of this fact - maybe now they'll also finally stop directing their seller customers to a competitor platform for customer service, seller engagement, and social shopping events. 😉

eBay Squares Off With Meta In FTC Suit Subpoena Fight
eBay calls subpoena from Meta alarming, seeks to quash demands for confidential business info in FTC case.

After last week's Silicon Valley Bank collapse, ex-SVB employees are cashing in on their employer's new found notoriety by hawking company swag on eBay.

Ex-Silicon Valley Bank Employees Sell Swag On eBay
Silicon Valley Bank employees make best of bank’s notoriety, sell corporate swag on eBay to highest bidder.

eBay is welcoming back another "boomeranger" as Shripriya Mahesh joins the Board of Directors.

Mahesh was previously VP Product Management and Product Strategy in 2006 and also has close ties to eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, heading up Product at First Look Media and later becoming a Partner of Emerging Tech at Pierre's "social change venture", Omidyar Network.

In a personal blog from 2010, Mahesh didn't pull any punches with thoughts on eBay and "how not to do innovation" - saying if eBay didn't change the way it thinks, it would become "a terribly uninteresting place for anyone interested in driving innovation." 🔥

eBay Names Shripriya Mahesh To Board Of Directors
eBay expands Board of Directors, welcomes a new “old” face to the table as Shripriya Mahesh joins effective immediately.

It's difficult not to see bringing back a strategist from 2006 with ties to the founder as an indication some stakeholders may be concerned about the current strategy (or lack thereof) at the company.

Maybe Shripriya's thoughts on innovation can help CEO Jamie Iannone's tech led reimagination pull out of its current death spiral - manifesting this week in multiple major search functionality failures.

First, autocorrect has run wild in eBay search, making inappropriate keyword substitutions resulting in incredibly inaccurate and irrelevant search results.

eBay Search Autocorrect Gone Wild
eBay buyers frustrated by autocorrect running wild in search & returning inaccurate results.

And even more alarming, some users were seeing the same search results from page 1 duplicated and repeated over and over on all subsequent pages - which means for a whole day, buyers were not being shown any listings that weren't ranked on page 1 in Best Match sort.

eBay Search Page Duplicates, Repeats Page One Results
eBay search problems continue, repeating first page of results when navigating to subsequent pages.

However, in the credit where it is due department - in a rare display of transparency, eBay is communicating with users in the community about new functionality being tested to show more image thumbnails in the mobile app listing view.

eBay Testing New Image Viewing Experience In App
eBay is testing a new image thumbnail display for the eBay app & looking for user feedback on the design!

Other Ecommerce News

There's big news at Bonanza this week with new ownership bringing exciting plans to ramp up business by focusing on social media and marketing.

New Ownership Brings Marketing Focus To Bonanza Marketplace
Bonanza founder & CEO Bill Harding steps back as new owner Quincy Faison takes over with big plans for marketplace.

Mercari is raising fees effective April 17, taking a page from eBay's playbook in the process.

Mercari Increases Fees Again, Follows in eBay’s Footsteps
Mercari is raising fees again, taking a page from eBay’s playbook in the process.

Frustrated Etsy sellers search for answers as pre-transit tracking glitches stretches over a week, threatening Star Seller metrics, with no help from support forthcoming.

Etsy Star Seller Status Threatened By Tracking Glitch
Etsy sellers search for answers as tracking glitch continues to impact Star Seller stats.

Calling vintage and handmade sellers! Do you have opinions about how ecommerce sites should work? Are you interested in helping create a program to recommend good vintage and crafting ecommerce sites?

If so, the Indie Sellers Guild wants to hear from you!

Indie Sellers Guild Surveys Sellers On Marketplace Accreditation
Indie Sellers Guild looking for handmade & vintage sellers for survey on ideal ecommerce platform characteristics.


Eye4Fraud has finally acknowledged data breach in a statement posted on their website.

However, instead of doing the ethical and responsible thing by having a banner or other prominent notice to users, they buried it at the bottom of the page behind an ambiguous link that just says "Statement About Recent Event." 👎

Eye4Fraud Breach Exposes Data Of Millions Of Ecommerce Shoppers
Eye4Fraud reportedly suffers data breach, exposing 16 Million+ customer emails & data from businesses who use the service.

Shopify's ChatGPT AI shopping assistant is now available on the web as well as the Shop app.

Shopify Adds ChatGPT Assistant To Shop App & Web
Shopify’s ChatGPT powered assistant brings conversational AI to the Shop app & web experiences.

My attempt to test drive eBay's newly acquired AI assisted counterfeit fighter 3PM Sheild was a complete failure - no results were ever provided and the sign up screen after the free trial ends doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

eBay Acquires AI Powered 3PM Shield To Fight Counterfeits & Boost Compliance
eBay has announced an acquisition of AI assisted compliance software 3PM Shield to fight counterfeits on the platform.

And apparently Andrea Stairs has not left eBay after Adrian Fung took over her old just took 4 months to update her LinkedIn profile to show her latest promotion.

eBay Has A New Chief Marketing Officer - Adrian Fung
Chief Growth Officer Julie Loeger announces Adrian Fung has been promoted to eBay’s Global Chief Marketing Officer.

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Week In Review

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!