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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1992 - March 06, 2009 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

DSR Reports Spotted, Major eBay Announcements Loom

By Ina Steiner
March 06, 2009

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eBay is beginning to reveal some of the changes that were expected to be rolled out or announced this month. It sent an email to some members telling them that eBay would be moving entirely to a new search experience beginning in April, and some users were able to preview the more granular DSR reports in the new Seller Dashboard. A greater number of users are also being exposed to eBay's new View Item page, but some sellers are expecting major changes that have yet to be announced and may be coming soon.

At last month's Town Hall meeting, eBay had promised sellers greater visibility into Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR) scores, which are left by buyers anonymously, through more detailed reporting capabilities. Today, some eBay users reported that they were able to preview the new DSR reports, which contained a warning from eBay to sellers:

It is against eBay policy to question buyers about the detailed seller ratings they left. See the policy.

eBay had said last month that the new reports would allow sellers to run reports for different types of items, compare international and domestic DSRs, compare items with free shipping with those with shipping charges, and create custom reports by entering item IDs.

Said one seller who previewed the new reports today, "There are a ton of ways to request/sort information. People are going to REALLY obsess over this."

eBay also sent an email to users this week about its new search experience. eBay had announced in February that it would be pulling the plug on the old search in April. In an email this week to users, eBay explained that Saved Searches and Favorite Searches would continue to work the same way under the new search experience. It said the new search includes: more relevant items; new options on the left side of the page that make it easy to expand or narrow results; Snapshot View to get a quick glance at the results; and the ability to select multiple brands or colors "to see what you want faster." (AuctionBytes first looked at eBay's new Snapshot view in 2007.)

In a FAQ about new search, eBay explains that it searches not just the titles of listings, it also checks categories, item specifics, and common spelling errors, abbreviations, and similar words.

eBay also revealed on Wednesday that it was extending double discounts for free shipping through June; eliminating the Dutch Auction format; and would provide sellers with a new summary format invoice option.

Analysts are joining sellers in anticipating major eBay announcements after the company rolled out an enormous amount of change in 2008. eBay CEO John Donahoe did little to satisfy their curiosity at a recent Goldman Sachs conference. He did reveal that the company was working on category-specific shopping experience around Books, movie and video, Consumer electronics, Clothing shoes and accessories - "that will be good for both buyers and sellers as we customize the categories." He may have been referring in part to the new Product pages announced in February.

eBay Vice President of Seller Experience Dinesh Lathi had said at last month's Town Hall that he could only say that this year's changes would help sellers be more efficient and profitable.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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