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eBay, live and in Person

Today is the third and final day of the eBay convention, which features a ton of educational seminars and networking events.

The goal is to give the 1.3 million sellers who earn at least part of their living from behind their computer screens a chance to meet one another and chat with eBay's staff -- live and in person. All told, eBay dispatched 720 of its more than 12,000 employees to Las Vegas to work the convention.

EBay's first customer-service rep, Jim "Griff" Griffith, right, does a spot on EBay Radio at the convention. (Leslie Walker-The Washington Post)

At the show, eBay announced that in the past year, it has sharply ramped up its staff for customer support, long an area of griping among eBay sellers. Many say they can't get help when anything goes wrong with their listings.Instead, they often get automated emails that say the same thing over and over.

But eBay has come a long way since it had one man -- Jim Griffith -- in its customer support department. For the United States and Canada, eBay hired 400 more customer support representatives in the past year alone, bringing the total for the North American support team to more than 2,000. EBay also said it has been investing more heavily in technology to help its support staff identify and resolve problems faster.

By Leslie Walker  |  June 15, 2006; 12:32 PM ET  | Category:  EBay Live , Leslie Walker
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Ebay's support staff are the worse that I have ever run across. When you email them about a problem, their replies have an arrogant tone to them and usually give you references to help topics that have nothing to do with your problem. I'm amazed at how little the support staff really know about the user agreement that they hide behind. As a Power Seller, I think I could provide better service then the people they have. I've given up asking ebay for help and instead use the Community forums where other sellers (people who actually use eBay and therefore know from experience how things work) will answer questions posted by other ebayers.

Posted by: ABH | June 16, 2006 8:57 AM

It should be noted that Bill Cobb announced at the Keynote that every Powerseller that is Gold level ($10,000 per month) will have a personal rep by the end of the year. Currently this level of Powerseller can access help by phone as can other Powersellers. The combination of phone availability, the Community boards which have eBay Pinks monitoring them, and the help topics have made it pretty easy to get answers.

Posted by: Susan Gearing | June 19, 2006 1:27 PM

I had a security issue which resulted in the suspension of my account temporarily. While I was super-frustrated and baffled as to how some hacker broke in, I was somehwat appeased by the dogged detrmination of the folks at ebay Trust & Security to help me out. I figured out what it was wiht their help, got my account restored and was back in business in 2 business days.

Posted by: Didi | June 20, 2006 9:22 PM

Been with ebay for 6 or 7 years. Sold a ton of stuff. Been a power seller several times. ebay support is shaky at best. Mostly depends if you get the right guy to answer the call. In the past, many of the support team just gave the "standard answer" instead of answering the question.
Also have to say Pay Pal IS WORSE!!!! Just got a payment through a class action suit filed against them a couple years ago for ripping people off. Got $91.00 for an antique porcelain doll that sold for over $420.00. Gave Pay Pal a print out from my local post office showing the date and time of delivery, with her SIGNATURE!! 88 days after delivery the woman claimed she never received package, and pay pal yanked the money out of my account with no notification. No wonder they lost the class action suit!!!!

Posted by: mybubbadee | June 20, 2006 10:21 PM

I too am a power seller with over 5 years of ebay experience. Ebay over charges sellers outrageous amounts to list and then charges a commission on top of their absurdly high listing fees. Ebay has always thought only with their pocket book and has always been an extremely greedy company. The losers are the people buying from the site as 99% of the sellers turn crooked so they can afford to pay ebay and make a profit at the same time.

99% if the items in our Native American Jewelry catagory on ebay are fake items made in Asia. Ebay doesn't care because these fake items are profitable to them.

If ebay can profit from a corrupt sale... they do.... and they make no effort to clean up what dishonest sellers do on their site.

Ebay does just the opposite and rewards the crooks and liars who make ebay huge profits from their dishonest selling practices.

Posted by: Russell S | June 21, 2006 1:50 PM

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