Absolute Answers are for Absolute A******s

I know, strong language. But I really get aggressive when some self-declared experts claim something like “Does ebay still make sense for sellers”?

The answer cannot be absolute. Never.

And everybody who claims to know the answer either

  1. did not hear anything about basic cost- and investment calculation or
  2. exactly knows but chooses to tell a different story which makes him or her a hypocrite.

If you sell something online then basically every service eats up your tiny margin: fulfillment, payment, customer care, your license fees for your top-notch system landscape and many more. And then a self-declared expert looks at a microscopic piece your value chain (let’s say for arguments sake: ebay’s fees go up) and declares the whole business model to be void. And then he posts that on Facebook and gets many likes.

But maybe some sellers are smart and have strong buying power (economics of scale, anyone?). And guess what? Their business will still thrive.

I hear much too often that some “Onliners” think they found all the wisdom in the world. To put it in a nutshell: Amazon wins, multi-channel or – god beware – stationary retailers loose, pure players are smart and managers in the old economy are dumb. It is basically those kinds of narratives that makes them money.

Moreover, easy answers are nice, compelling and easy to digest.

But looking back in history – did it ever occur to you that people with easy answers almost always had their own evil agenda?

Members of the old economy also tend to blame the evil Internet for their problems. At that point an “expert” comes around and says “you need a QR-Code” or “you need an app”. Sorry, a QR-Code or an App is maybe a too simple answer.

If your business case is not working anymore, you may need a new business case. But this kind of simplicity is one of the least easy ones.

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