Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Oct 31 2016 22:54:28

The Worst Thing about the New eBay Discussion Boards

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay redesigned its entire community section including its announcement boards and discussion boards. It was met with various complaints from users reacting on the eBay boards, but here's the worst, in my opinion: hovering over titles of threads no longer shows an abstract.

eBay made the same mistake back in July of 2013, so I'll just paste here what I wrote then:

"Another time waster with the new format is that it doesn't give you a preview of the first post when you hover your mouse over the title of a thread. That means you must click on a thread to get the gist of it and hit the back button when you find it is not of interest - which is off putting, especially for threads where people don't use descriptive titles."

Want to see the difference? Here's the new Selling board on the US site. 

And here's the existing Selling board on the UK board where the old format remains. You can hover your mouse over the title and decide whether it's a discussion you're likely to find interesting.

I'm not sure how long it took eBay to put the feature back when they removed it in 2013, but let's hope they bring it back to the US boards quickly!

There are other things to dislike about the new design - one EcommerceBytes reader referred to the "wildly excessive whitespace leaving only 3 or 4 topics visible on-screen at any given time." And many eBay sellers, including EB readers, pointed to the fact that there were far more pressing issues that needed attention than the design of the discussion boards - "How about just fixing the glitches? How about some advertising for sales?" If you've found some new features to enjoy, let us know.




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Readers Comments

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 1 05:27:47 2016

Visited them yesterday. They are just like the pig with different shade of lipstick.

Same bullies who think that they are the only ones who know it all and no one else is capable of answering any question.

Kind of like most of the blogs.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 1 06:39:40 2016

Why do eBay feel the need to constantly redesign something that is working, and when they do redesign, why isn't it ever better?  I guess there are some folks who just have to justify their jobs by implementing change.

I left those boards years ago due to the know-it-all bullies and cliques who dominate those boards like packs of alpha wolves. God forbid if you should disagree with one of them.

It was entertaining from time-to-time though when two or more of the know-it-all bullies would go at each other.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 1 09:23:17 2016

Wow, the mobile version is really dopey looking.  On the topic listing page, it doesn't even fit three posts per screen (vertically - doesn't even fit two horizontally).  Typical whitespace abuse by hipsters who don't know anything but the latest fad framework.

A general mobile complaint but anybody ever notice that, in the rare cases where a "mobile" site is actually designed for mobile screens, they never make the activation area for links or buttons bigger to account for touch sensors being less precise than a mouse pointer?

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 1 09:35:26 2016

"Why do eBay feel the need to constantly redesign something that is working, and when they do redesign, why isn't it ever better?  I guess there are some folks who just have to justify their jobs by implementing change."

I'll answer this one.  Every time I read a job posting, I see "attention to detail" somewhere.  Onsite, it's a myth.  Many times you can't get detailed instructions.  It's all vague and in flux.  If you're the type that does notice details, you get a reputation for being "weird" until you push hard enough to be branded as "difficult" instead.  And that's why everything looks like amateur hour even at premium prices.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Nov 2 03:27:08 2016

There is only one thing I like about it and that is I don't have to sign in all the time.  Beyond that, there is too much empty wide open spaces and I just don't particularly care for it.

I'm with the others.  I don't know why Ebay keeps spending so much money to continue to change the boards when there is so many other things that really need to be fixed so we can do business more easily and accurately.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 05:22:42 2016

I stopped using those boards a long time ago. Figured how many listings I could create by not going there anymore. Realistically I'd rather see just a c/s help board than read all the whinny dribble all these sellers think they are entitled to smear about their choice of selling venues. Geez get a life - there's still Facebook if your looking for a non-productive time hog

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by: xcelr This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 08:51:22 2016

I wouldn't be concerned about all the white space, it will probably be filled with advertising soon

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by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 10:39:45 2016

In addition to all that's been said already, my biggest complaints are that it was obviously redesigned by someone who had no idea how the groups operated, and was released without any formal testing or peer review. For approximately the first 12 hours of its release, the banner line of the page was showing a JavaScript error instead. Ironically (or perhaps appropriately), the error message on display included helpful tips to the novice programmer on the most likely causes for the problem.

Beyond that, what's doubly infuriating is the sheer silence and anonymity on the eBay side: no one wants to take credit or blame for the redesign, and it's impossible to establish or maintain a useful dialogue with anyone on that side of the wall on what needs to be fixed or revised. To see this kind of incompetent behavior from a company the size of eBay simply boggles the mind.

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by: uppercutknives This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 10:43:21 2016

They simply turned a useful tool into a non-useful tool. Another attempt at keeping sellers and buyers in the dark and at bay.
Another reason to close my business on ebay after 19 years of service.
Ebay is a hasbeen and I now recommend anyone to stay away from it due to the environment promoted by ebay.  

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by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 11:33:12 2016

Lol...If everybody just got up and left the problem would be solved.  Ebay is the most hated company that I have had the pleasure of dealing with.  We believed in them and we paid.  I am out of Ebay years now and content...If you need money support your local flea market.  Its the only retail venue left for the little guy...

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by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 14:52:32 2016

Try reading on a smartphone... looks like ebay designed this for optimum smartphone use.  

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 20:37:13 2016

It's better on a smartphone but not that good.

When a mobile app finally adds desktop capability, it's called ''growing up'' - I guess eBay is going backwards?

It's possible to optimise for mobile AND have a good web app, but they're not really farming this out to professionals. I'll just bail for the boards, which before Lithium took over had been an excellent source of information and camaraderie. Many people have just migrated to other off-site groups anyway, which is a shame because the pool of knowledge on eBay's forums was immense.  

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by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 4 08:54:04 2016

Maybe this explains why so much of the archived discussions have disappeared. Twice this week, I had a problem that I had to google and found someone with same problem in google results. When I clicked on it, the Ebay forum page had a red error banner. So it looks to me like they deleted a lot of archived posts.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 9 22:46:56 2016

Can't even manage a simple forum let alone a marketplace



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