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More eBay Changes Are on the Way

eBay told sellers on Monday that more changes are ahead, but only hinted at what’s to come. Sellers abhor changes and lived through a period of extreme “disruptive innovation” when John Donahoe took over as CEO in 2008 – it was a bumpy ride, to say the least.

Devin Wenig, who has taken over as CEO of the now much smaller eBay following the split with PayPal at the end of day Friday, has already articulated loud and clear that he plans to make changes.

The latest messaging directed at sellers came in the form of a blog post written not by Wenig, but by Jordan Sweetnam, eBay Vice President of Seller Experience.

Here are three things you need to know from Sweetnam’s post:

1) eBay is looking at ways to adjust seller performance standards and will attempt to rely less on “subjective buyer inputs” and more on objective metrics.

2) eBay will bring together seller tools and reports together in one centralized spot sometime this year.

3) eBay will “streamline” the returns process. The first set of changes to the returns process will launch in the fall, and it will continue to make changes into next year.

Sweetnam said he was excited about the improvements. “I’ll share specifics over the coming months and, as always, we’ll provide details on actions you should take in the next Seller Update.”

The changes he outlined are “just the beginning,” he wrote, “and you can expect to see more improvements and more regular updates as we continue on this journey.” He ended by thanking sellers for their business.

Devin Wenig wasn’t quiet during his first days as CEO, with a number of interviews including an appearance on CNBC. You can read more about it on the AuctionBytes Blog.

Wenig also posted a message on the eBay blog on Monday where he listed some “core planks” of his strategy:

    • A more robust commerce platform: We are using structured data to improve discoverability and user experience; grow and diversify our traffic sources; and invest in the reliability, security and stability of our platform.


  • A vibrant marketplace: We are bringing unique inventory across a great spectrum of value to engage new and existing buyers. And we are laser focused on attracting sellers who will bring this inventory to our site.


  • Elevated product and brand experiences: We are creating beautiful, accessible and simplified multi-screen buying and selling experiences. Many of our new mobile experiences, such as our iPad and Apple Watch apps, show the path to come.

“We will move fast, innovate tirelessly, execute well and evolve fearlessly,” Wenig wrote. “Today represents the beginning of a new chapter, and a new opportunity for success for the entire eBay community.”

On Monday eBay also published a post with a video featuring its founder, writing: “At times of change and growth, our founder Pierre Omidyar centers us around our purpose.”

Omidyar stepped down as chairman of eBay’s board and remains a board member (he also joined the PayPal board). He talked about commerce as a “fundamental human need” that led to eBay’s rapid growth; and about respect, compassion, and humanity.

Comment on the AuctionBytes 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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.