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Wed Jan 29 2014 14:37:57

Is eBay Switch to New Profile from About Me a Good Thing?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Those of us who consider ourselves eBay "old-timers" (like me) will have to get used to one more change: as of June 2, eBay is nixing its About Me feature for what it simply calls a user's "profile," which you see by clicking on your username. This might be more accurately called a "social profile," as on this page, users can now see not only their profile photo and any accompanying verbiage, but also their feedback, Items for Sale, Collections, who they're following, who their own followers are, and any Reviews or Guides they have written. Got all that?

So, although this page now seems to be trying to do a lot of things - one could argue too many things - it shows more about any individual eBayer than the About Me feature ever did. The question is, do you care? Do you think the new social profiles are an improvement over the old "About Me" pages?

As for me, I stopped really caring much about my "About Me" page once eBayers were no longer allowed to put links on this page. It used to be you could link to a web page, newsletter, whatever you wanted from this one place on eBay.

However, if you had put a lot of effort into your "About Me" page, such as hiring someone to design it for you, I could see being bummed out it is going away.

In gazing at my new page, a few things stood out for me (other than the fact the picture is several years old now, but who's counting?): I had only written one review, this about an excellent resource book on Meissen porcelain. Zero out of zero people found that review helpful, evidently.

But I had written three guides. Far and away, more people are into reading about "Hair Straightening Products" than "Selling Gently Used Clothing on eBay" or "Best Eye Shadows." (55 of 72 people liked it; the others had more modest audiences).

But the big picture there is, how can eBay get people to write more reviews and guides? Or even create more collections? Even though eBay now sells a larger percentage of fixed-price products than Amazon, Amazon has a huge base of user reviews. This in turn makes it an attractive place to shop for products.

And with the whole "followers" thing, eBay seems to be adding Twitter to the mix of Pinterest and Amazon that it's trying to be.

Another thing to consider: is there something else that should be on this profile page? Something that would give eBay sellers a more personal touch, or draw more buyers to them?

Back to the original topic at hand. Will you miss the old "About Me" page? How do you think the new "social profile" page compares to About Me? And, just for grins, let's see a show of hands...who set up their profile in 1995-2000? 2001-2005? 2006-2010? Or in the last few years, 2011-2014? Post a comment here!



Comments (28) | Permalink

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 29 16:27:50 2014

I just can't believe that anyone who is buying cares about if I have 10 kids and 4 dogs and the old man is a drunk....

About Me is just an ego thing.

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This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Jan 29 16:36:40 2014

Froggy, why stop at 10?  

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by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 29 18:00:07 2014

I wouldn't want to put something up that might inadvertently get my account suspended, think I'd rather leave it alone.
Maybe an essay on why JD should be Time's person of the year wouldn't hurt though :)

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This user has validated their user name. by: monkey

Wed Jan 29 18:40:26 2014

Numerous studies have shown that connecting a picture with a sale invokes trust.

Why do you think realtors have their pictures in their ads, and even on their business cards?

If you're ignoring the "About Me" or the new eBay Profile, you're passing up an opportunity to establish trust with your buyer.

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by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 29 19:12:58 2014

Welcome to eamazontwitterfacebookpinterestbay

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This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Wed Jan 29 19:26:08 2014

Good point, monkey. And may I say I love your monkey photo. As a child, monkeys were my favorite animal, and my nickname was "snow monkey," because my aunt and uncle thought I looked like one. Lol!

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 29 20:31:49 2014

@juliawww

You said I stopped not me...Kick the old man out in the cold and moving some new boy toy in.

@Monkey

I don't trust my buyers either picture or not....If they don't trust me then they can go elsewhere. Not a problem.

I just can't get excited about a picture of someones kids dressed as Clancy the Clown at Halloween and I sure don't care what their names are.

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by: SundayPeach This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Jan 29 21:07:57 2014

I'm glad I checked my feed and found this article. I'd finally decided to do a custom about me page that was going to look like a store front home page. Whew, dodged a time wasting bullet there. I actually think they should leave the about me page and add linking back to it since most e-commerce sites have about us pages.

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 29 23:41:00 2014

What???   Ebay had a page where we were suppossed to TELL them about--US???   Their CUSTOMERS?

Were they going to LOOK at it and SEE the faces and stories of the people they have claimed to alternatly LOVE or HATE?  

Were they going to look at the faces of Froggys 10 kids and think--OH maybe we should forget about trashing their mom because after all--the Old Man is a drunk and she NEEDS her ebay sales to put food on the table?

Uh---no.  Sorry.  Not me.  Not  now.  And pretty sure not ever.  

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by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 29 23:47:37 2014

Seems funny to me - the way eBay conducts business is anything but social. Being social, means sharing anything and everything you want (or do not want) with others.

On eBay, you can't say this, you can't say that...you can only write this, you can only write that...

On social sites, you can send a message to another user and say whatever you want.

Once again, eBay is late to the party and out of touch.

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by: Small Guy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 30 00:17:21 2014

I am an honest seller, but I buy at estate sales in my home town an sell on Ebay under a name that local buyers/sellers would not recognize.

I don't want local people knowing what I am selling on Ebay and that would be revealed if I gave out a photo or other personal info on Ebay that identified me.  

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by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 30 00:33:00 2014

I agree with small guy. It can be a security risk. Not only customers troll eBay. So do thieves. With inventory being public who needs the bad guys taking stock and finding who you are, where you warehouse your inventory and taking it?

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by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 30 02:25:44 2014

you could use the same image on your profile page and an ecommerce site, if you have one.
clever buyers would know to do a reverse image search and could find your website themselves :)

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 30 03:10:57 2014

The thing that sticks out here is the reference to Amazon's reviews. It's already bad enough that people are using feedback to 'review' a product they buy on the secondary market from an eBay seller. The result is that the seller gets smacked if that automatic egg breaker doesn't work (yes - the dude who bought it negged the seller because it 'didn't work' and was 'junk' - if he needs an egg breaker no gadget is going to save him from himself), or they can't fit their butt into the dress they bought, or don't like the colour. There's a very real possibility of people confusing 'reviews', properly posted, with 'feedback', and making this problem worse.

IAC, eBay is wasting a HUGE opportunity trying to be everyone else and not developing its own identity and its own market impact. It has the resources, it has the numbers, but the admin just doesn't have the vision. Now is the time, and it's almost painful to see this opportunity just wasted.  

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by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 30 03:29:15 2014

Putting personal photos could invite near naked photos and is not healthy for the community with kids browsing on ebay.

ebay likely don't care.

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by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jan 30 07:34:24 2014

Oh, the eBay About Me page has evolved over the years. At one point, we could write a whole blog, put up pictures of anything we wanted along with all the links we wanted. Oh, those were the days.

What happened, of course, is that the scammers did a better job on their page than we did on ours. They, in anonymity could create a whole surreal world.

Personally, it is my belief, that the "trust" factor on eBay has moved moved over to cynicism. And it is that that the Sellers, who remain, so want to "fix". Without being able to link to the "real world" Buyers know nothing about the Sellers.

eBay has determined that links to the outside world are detrimental to their business. Unfortunately, I believe, the opposite is true. And, for that reason - eBay has cost the Sellers a large portion of the Buyers market as the buyers can not get a "real feel" of who they are doing business with.

Its not going to get better. eBay has determined to take on the isolationist policy - it failed in Japan in the late 1800's, its not going to work, in the long run, for eBay today.

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This user has validated their user name. by: baconsdozen
Web Site

Thu Jan 30 09:02:27 2014

More ebay fiddling while rome burns.Customers are sick and tired of their meddling,do they honestly think this latest silliness will reverse the exodus ?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Jan 30 09:50:29 2014

Just got mooned by a photo of someone's a$$ this morning while doing a search for a warm clothing item. Not even airbrushed! Ugh. Blinked & moved on so I'm not even sure why THAT showed up in my search.


I like seller's personal photos of nature, animals, creativity etc….  Personal people photos are a choice, but I prefer a bit of privacy & think unauthorized use of those can be a problem anywhere online. Please don't use photos of the kids (unless they are goats) .

I have seen people use the About Me page for their personal policy info. The seller used the listing description to refer people to About Me to see their policy.  

Since About Me seems subject to change, probably not a good place to park policy.  

It was on my ''to do'' list to update mine. Glad I waited.

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by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 30 11:07:26 2014

Started on ebay in 2003. Stopped in 2013.
Never paid much attention to about me page.
Re the picture, how do you know it is a legit picture of the seller??????

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This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww

Thu Jan 30 11:26:47 2014

Freddy, if it is a monkey, it is likely not a pic of the seller. I can't speak for all animals, though. ;)

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