Why eBay is the Worst Example of B2B Relationships

As the world’s largest online auction site, you’d think eBay would have more sense and tact in their B2B relationships. Despite their prominent presence, however, eBay has carelessly handled the way they relate to other brands. Whether it’s Google Adwords or a competitor such as Amazon, eBay has been sloppy in handling their public relations.

eBay vs. Adwords

The most recent gaffe is eBay’s scathing report of Google Adwords. The auction site’s report claims that PPC doesn’t work while stating that they intend to discontinue doing business with Adwords. Aside from trashing a B2B partner, eBay’s lack of tact in ending their partnership is embarrassing. Not only are they insulting one of the largest companies in the world, they’re claiming that an entire industry is useless. It also doesn’t help that eBay is notorious for their inefficient PPC strategies.

eBay vs. Amazon

Though both ecommerce sites, eBay and Amazon have two completely different niches. While eBay focuses on auctions, Amazon’s marketplace is more online-store oriented. However, this didn’t stop eBay from taunting retailers over internet commerce to advertise with them over Amazon. While they’re competitors, could eBay have tried better to at least remain amicable competitors with Amazon? I mean, even the most competitive football teams shake hands at the end of a tough game!

Lesson Learned from eBay

While we understand that eBay is looking out for their business and bottom line, what we don’t understand is why they would choose to throw other brands under the bus. Perhaps eBay’s attitude is a reflection of why they are slowly losing market share to sites like Amazon. Lessons marketers can learn from eBay include:

  1. Ending B2B relationships gracefully. Stopping a B2B relationship should be like an amicable break-up. You don’t want to burn bridges and you should never want to embarrass the other in front of an audience, especially in the business world. eBay’s decision to bash Adwords and PPC was reckless.
  2. Competitors are not enemies. What’s most interesting in the eBay vs. Amazon case is the fact that they both have different niches in the online world. While some of their business and target audience overlaps, they’re largely different sites with different concepts. You want to be competitive with your competitors, not act like you’re declaring war on them.
  3. Know what you’re talking about. eBay gained a lot of negative press for themselves when they bashed PPC, especially since it’s well documented that their PPC efforts are…pitiful. Save you and your brand the embarrassment by keeping criticism to yourself.

B2B Insights