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Old 09-02-2009
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Default eBay Motors Extends Special Deal for GM

General Motors Company is extending its promotion that enables consumers to shop new cars, crossovers and trucks online from participating California Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Pontiac dealers on the eBay Motors website. The promotion, launched on August 11, has been extended through September 30. While the companies are pleased with the promotion, some eBay sellers are not.

AuctionBytes has received email letters from sellers pointing to the low feedback ratings consumers are leaving for the seller. Here's what eBay Motors tells buyers when they are readying to make an offer: "The seller's feedback rating is a valuable tool to learn about the positives and negatives of a seller's transactional history. When buying a vehicle, look for a seller with positive feedback and take the time to read comments from other buyers to get a sense of the seller's reliability." Clicking through to the GM feedback shows six positive ratings and 3 negative ratings and a feedback percentage of 57 percent.

Another complaint is that eBay is condoning off-eBay sales through the agreement. According to the press release, "Since the beginning of the program through August 30, shoppers visited dealers' virtual showroom sites more than 1 million times and logged more than 1.4 million searches of GM inventory. In addition, nearly 4,000 new car buyers entered into negotiations online, over the phone and in person as a result of this promotion."

A seller who writes frequently about eBay on his blog wrote about the GM promotion:

Given the "success rate" of this seller, just how much in fees could eBay have taken in thusfar for the GM promotion event for the month of August? And, yet, how much goodwill has this promotion cost eBay? Other sellers can see how eBay allows GM to violate a whole laundry list of policies. And GM’s 57.1% approval rating (assuming all the feedback is legitimate) would never be tolerated if the seller were not a "high profile" seller."

Since last year, eBay has been making special deals with large retailers and manufacturers, upsetting many long-time sellers who view the special treatment as "unleveling the playing field."

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