Commenting on my post on ebay, CapitalD directed me to this article here. Ebay will now be offering discounts to PowerSellers; trying to attract more of those who shift lots though their system; rather than the hoards of little fish like me who don’t.
I know, I know, eBay is a big business and it has to make money. But sometimes big businesses really piss off the users who make them big in the first place, and although they stay big, they create so much bad will that it comes back to bite them on their big successful rounded arses.
When I was in America in February Starbucks was freaking out as their growth has severely stalled. A lot has to do with total saturation and cannibalisation – Starbucks pave the streets there. But they announced that one day all their stores would close for a training session and they’d be focusing on service and product. This got a lot of press that day, and I’m not sure what the results were. But it seemed like such a good thing to do. Focusing on customers and service – how novel! It may have just been a good PR stunt, but it sent you a message as a customer that you were a key focus for this big monolithic monster churning out frappucinos by the million and you mattered.
eBay is sort of like Microsoft. They are building a business that doesn’t have to deal with little people, just big players. But brands like Starbucks have to deal with punters daily so they have to focus on them – no neat and tidy medium Enterprise grande latte accounts for them.
eBay has the potential to be as hated as microsoft if it keeps pissing off little fish like me.
– And as “hated” as Starbucks may be, I have read some quite nice things about them of late. Kim Gordon said in an interview (after Sonic Youth launched their latest CD through them, so granted a bit of a vested interested – but Kim has cred) that Starbucks was actually a good company for employees as they have medical, good training and generally good working conditions. And while I NEVER buy Starbucks here – too much good coffee to warrant it – I have to admit in some some parts of some cities in the states good coffee is very hard to find and I have been “saved” on more than one occasion by a dopo soy macchiato and an Odwalla Superfood.