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eBay Gets Serious About Product Reviews

eBay is soliciting buyers to write product reviews in a move that reminded one reader of Amazon. Reviews aren’t new on eBay – in 2010, eBay announced product reviews in technology and media categories. And we wrote about eBay emails that solicited buyers to review products in 2012.

But the email asking buyers to review products came as a surprise to an EcommerceBytes reader this month who said the eBay product review page had a new appearance. “Is eBay rolling out a new Amazon-looking buy/review page? I had previously purchased this (product name redacted) on eBay April 13, and now am getting an odd request from eBay to add to their “Reviews & Guides”. The link to the “new” eBay page looked suspiciously like a page from Amazon.”

The reader forwarded the email they received from eBay that featured the subject line, “Write a Review about Your eBay Purchase.”

We’d like to hear about the product you bought from eBay. Did you love it? Hate it? Something in between? Tell us all about it!

By writing a product review for eBay’s Reviews & Guides, you’ll help other eBay members make informed buying decisions about that product.

Here are a few things you may want to include in your product review:

  • Why you bought it
  • What you like most about it
  • What you dislike about it
  • Whether or not you would buy the product again

Remember, this is your product review. Use your own words and style, and have a little fun with it.

Get started now. Write a product review for: (product information redacted)

The product was outside of the technology or media category. Another eBay buyer wrote about a similar email and eBay’s new product-review page design in December. The item was for a “fairly high priced designer cosmetic.”

A user responding to the thread was skeptical. “This is one of eBay’s attempts to be more like Amazon. It ain’t gonna work. When was the last time you looked up a review on eBay? Exactly. But you probably did go and look one up on Amazon even if you might end up buying it on eBay.”

Another user made note of the wording of eBay’s invitation: “Interesting subtlety here…the product you bought “from eBay,”” saying customers don’t buy from eBay, they buy from eBay sellers.

Since last year when Google gave eBay a hit in search exposure, eBay has been working to make its site more optimized for search engines. In January, eBay CEO John Donahoe said eBay planned to build its own product catalog to overcome SEO problems, comparing it to the building of its Cassini search engine 5 years ago.

Amazon has an advantage in that it offers “structured” data, which search engines like, as opposed to eBay, which features “unstructured” data. eBay is requiring sellers add product identifiers to listings on June 29th in its attempt to offer more of a structured catalog.

Strangely, we found it impossible to find product reviews on eBay, as we noted on the blog. (You can find Guides on this page.)

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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.