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eBay Top Rated Seller Brand to Be Replaced by Program M

eBay is keeping its Top Rated Seller program, but its consumer-facing brand will be changed to a new, yet-to-be-announced brand, codenamed Program M. Sellers sent EcommerceBytes screenshots of a survey eBay is conducting asking them questions to find out what they think of the new program.

eBay currently displays logos indicating whether a listing falls under one of several programs. eBay is planning to replace three of those logos with one consolidated seal: eBay explained that “if” it proceeds with Program M, it would retire current logos for its Top Rated Seller, Fast N’ Free, and Hassle-Free Returns programs.

A major brand change such as this may be indicative of changing leadership. eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe is overseeing the breakup of eBay and PayPal and will be stepping down next year, and the head of eBay Marketplaces Devin Wenig will be named eBay CEO after the breakup. When Donahoe replaced CEO Meg Whitman in 2008, changes came rapid-fire as he tried to put his touch on the company.

Apparently, the Program M badge would convey a guaranteed delivery date, and one seller who took the survey said eBay was considering giving buyers a coupon if a promised 4-day delivery schedule was not met. On a discussion board, the seller wrote in response to a question about who would foot the bill for the Program M coupon:

My impression was that eBay will be stepping in (if the program goes forward – they are testing the waters with the survey) to supply an eBay coupon at eBay’s expense. They seem to be trying to short circuit all the flack Sellers get from Buyers when the item is taking the scenic route at no fault of the Seller’s.

IMHO, the best thing they could do for us is when the Buyer gets itchy and wants to open an INR (Item Not Received) case, that the darn system shows the Buyer the tracking with the package’s progress and tells them to chill out because tracking shows it is on its way and the “four days” haven’t past yet so no INR case for you, next!

Shipping time is a touchy subject for online sellers – one responded, “eBay just needs to stay out of the package delivery time business. eBay does not own the trucks, planes, etc. which transport our packages so they are in no position to be making promises as to when a package will be delivered.”

Other sellers weighed in on the EcommerceBytes Blog, where you can find more information about the survey.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.