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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1993 - March 09, 2009 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

A Closer Look at eBay's New Item Page

By Ina Steiner
March 09, 2009

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eBay has been testing a new Item page (also known as View Item page) for over a year, first announcing the new page in June 2008. Stating that the page had suffered from "improvement overload," eBay said at the time that it expected to roll out the new design fully by mid-2009. Note that there have been a lot of recent changes at eBay, including a new "Search experience" and a new "My eBay." The View Item page is where sellers describe their items and hope to convert shoppers to buyers once they land there. eBay has been selectively exposing the new page to a portion of users over time.

The new page provides some design and security improvements (more visual and simpler, according to eBay). The company said that putting less critical features behind tabs emphasizes the most important information that buyers need when they make purchasing decisions, although some sellers have expressed concern over the fact that the full shipping and payment details are a click away from the main Item page.

Others sellers are concerned about shoppers being exposed to competing listings on the page that they feel they own, since they've paid a listing fee for their item to appear on eBay.

In the new View Item page, there is a real-time countdown timer in the last 24 hours of the listing so visitors to the page don't need to keep refreshing their browser to see how much time is left before the listing expires. But one of the biggest changes is the addition of three tabs: Description (the description information is shown by default), Shipping and payments, and Related items and services.

The tab called "Related items and services" displays thumbnails of other active listings. It displays up to two sections. "More items you might like" contains listings from the seller and/or from other, competing sellers. Sometimes the section is called "More items from this seller." Another section under the "Related items and services" tab is "Recently viewed items."

NOTE: As a reader suggested in the AuctionBytes Blog, users who are not yet exposed to the new View Item page can try opening up eBay in a new browser and may then be able to see the new design.

eBay is holding Analyst Day on Wednesday, and many are expecting the company to announce some major changes to eBay this week. However, BusinessWeek expects the company to use the opportunity to tell analysts that they should focus on PayPal metrics rather than eBay.

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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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