I bear eBay Valet no ill will, particularly because it’s priced so high and excludes so many of the items that are the majority eBay Trading Assistants’ profit it’s not in competition with the average Selling Assistant. It certainly hasn’t hurt my business at all and I’ve heard the same from readers. But they’re still in the consignment selling business and, as it’s the heir apparently to eBay’s Trading Assistant program, I have a professional interest in it.
But as an outside observer, I have no idea what they’re doing over there. They feature it very prominently on the Sell page, way more prominently than they ever featured the Trading Assistant program. Most of the press of the service, even the ones that praise it, complain that it’s too pricey and the reviews from readers are much less kind. I can understand the logic of using eBay Valet to bring the Trading Assistant program in house because there was zero regulation of the program before and I’m sure things occasionally went horribly wrong. Now they can regulate it more AND take some of the profit. But to limit as much as they are really makes it seem like they still want independent Selling Assistants around to pick up the slack. They just want us… underground? It’s all very dumb.
Back in August, I wrote about the irony that they shut down the eBay Valet mobile app almost to the day of when they shut down the Trading Assistant program. At the time, I, like many who wrote about it, assumed this was a sign that they were shutting down the program because why would you shutter the app if the program was successful? In response to this post, a reader challenged the idea that eBay had given up on the program citing that the page was still live on the eBay site (it is but so was the TA page even months after the program was officially dead so that means nothing) and then referring me to this article: Ebay Doubles Down On Its “Valet” Service With Acquisition Of Clothing Resale Startup Twice. Sounds like it’s going to disprove my case… until you realize it’s from 10 days BEFORE they announced that they were shutting down the mobile app.
In fact, the only other recent movement on the eBay Valet service was eBay added a link to it in the 4.0 app release. Oooh a link! They really ARE going all in!
eBay’s had a lot of half baked ideas over the years that they abandoned long before they clued the public in on it. Maybe I’m a cynic (“Maybe?” you guffaw) but it sure doesn’t look like this program is thriving from what I’m seeing.
What do you think? Have any of you used Valet to sell an item?