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Old 09-13-2009
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Default eBay CEO John Donahoe Takes Field Trips to Visit Sellers

eBay CEO John Donahoe has been taking field trips to sellers' businesses and has been recording video interviews that he posts on the company's Intranet. He told the Wall Street Journal that he records the visits in order to educate eBay employees and to celebrate some of its sellers. In recent months, the CEO has also taken some smaller sellers to dinner in meetups in Omaha, Seattle and Chicago.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to Mr. Donahoe about one video interview that made its way to YouTube featuring a 27-year-old eBay seller named Jordan of Quick Ship Electronics. Donahoe told the newspaper that he has received some useful feedback about eBay on such trips. "For example, he's heard that merchants worry about having to offer free shipping on auction sales where they don't know how high the final sales price will be on an item. They also told him that the company's email system for receiving questions from buyers is too cumbersome, so eBay added a frequently asked questions option on product description pages to cut down on messages."

Since 2002, eBay had gathered face-to-face feedback from sellers during its annual user conferences, but will no longer hold the eBay Live events. The last such conference took place in 2008 in Chicago and was at times contentious due to changes Mr. Donahoe had rolled out to the site after taking the helm from Meg Whitman last year. Instead, eBay plans to hold 7 smaller 1-day events called eBay: On Location that will wrap up with a 15th anniversary event in San Jose.

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