EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3141 - August 29, 2013     1 of 3

Sellers React as eBay Confirms Stores Redesign

By Julia Wilkinson

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eBay sellers who thought they were hallucinating a different look 'n feel to their Storefronts learned the changes were real: eBay confirmed in an announcement titled Seeing Something Different that it was indeed testing different designs of eBay Stores to a "small number of randomly selected users."

eBay said further that "as with most tests, these will be limited to a small number of randomly selected users so it's possible to see them sometimes but not always," and that eBay Store owners should "rest assured the testing will not impact the visibility of your items - except to make them more prominent and attractive for any buyers in the test."

One user, whose eBay id and store name is alwaysabargain4u, said his store had changed, but it wasn't "all nicely done up," like one of the examples posted to a discussion board.

Alwaysabargain4u started a thread on the Building An eBay Business discussion board that includes a couple of screenshots of the redesign. "It looks a bit like Etsy stores," he said of one of them.

The Stores redesigns seemed to fall into a few different camps. One does bear a strong resemblance to Etsy stores, with a graphic for the store owner or logo in the upper left, and a graphic-based "Pinterest"-like layout of rows of images.

Alwaysabargain4u 's store, however, had a more pared-down look, with banners displaying "New Arrivals!" and "Ending Soon!" at the top.

Yet another design being tested seemed to be a "stripped-down" version of an eBay Store, with, as one eBayer phrased it on the "My Store Front has Completely Changed - Did I Miss Something?" thread on the Powersellers discussion board, "Yeah, my banners are gone, my color scheme is gone, yadda, yadda, yadda. Surprise!!"

According to one eBayer, one of the survey questions about rolling out the changes read:

eBay is considering two potential options for rolling out the new eBay Store design. As an eBay Store owner, which one of these two options do you prefer?

  • Option Q: eBay automatically opts you in to the new Store design, but you have the option to opt-out, retaining the appearance and features of your current Store.
  • Option X: eBay informs you of the changes and provides the opportunity for you to review and edit your existing Store content in the new Store design before you publish your new Store.

Another section of the survey said, "You may have noticed the Follow button next to your eBay user ID on the new eBay Store home page. We would like you to take a closer look at how eBay will introduce Follow as part of a new shopping experience on eBay."

Alwaysabargain4u said he personally hadn't used the follow and feed features "so I don't know what changes are coming, except that they said the About me page is going away and there will be a new profile page that will show our storefronts."

Some eBayers said they liked the new look - or at least one of the new looks; it seemed the Etsy-like design got comments like "Interesting layout and very professional looking. I like it." But others were upset that the changes were sprung so quickly, and just as sellers are ramping up for the holiday season: "Whatever happened to the LIE that sellers would get 6 months notice of any MAJOR changes?" wrote one seller.

One user who talked to an eBay rep was told if a Store owner doesn't like their new storefront, "you're supposed to be able to Opt Out. The new storefront isn't supposed to affect storeowners who paid big bucks for a custom store package. You're also supposed to be able to customize the new storefront with, for example, background colors, Promotion boxes and additional pages."

However, that user added, "The key word is "supposed," because I haven't been able to do any of this with my new storefront. I have no "Opt Out" tab that the rep said I'd have."

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About the author:

Julia Wilkinson is the author of "The eBay Price Guide" (No Starch Press, 2006) and "eBay Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks" (Wiley, 2004-6). Her free "Yard Salers" newsletter is at available at YardSalers.net where you will also find her latest ebook, Flip It Again.


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