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eBay Seller Update: Vertical Platform Strategy, Faster Payouts

eBay Seller Update: Vertical Platform Strategy, Faster Payouts

“It’s not about categories, it’s about vertical platforms that scale,” eBay told sellers during its February Seller Check-in, which was conducted over Zoom with over 900 people in attendance.

Jordan Sweetnam, Senior Vice President and General Manager for eBay’s North America Market, reviewed the company’s “vertical” approach in three categories – Luxury Watches, Trading Cards, and Sneakers.

The next categories where eBay will take a vertical approach include Comics, Coins, Stamps, and Vinyl, he said.

Sweetnam showed a slide titled, “What’s next?” that answered with the following:

“More verticals, faster.”

  • It’s not about categories, it’s about vertical platforms that scale.
  • Grow the marketplace, drive your sales and protect your reputation.
  • More high-profile vertical activations. We win when we are bold.

Andrea Stairs, who is both Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Seller Community of eBay North America, told attendees during the Zoom session that eBay was partnering with influencers in the three categories where it has been focusing on its new vertical approach.

eBay is also working to drive traffic in new places, including TikTok and Reddit, she said. “Twitch is a new platform we’re testing and experimenting with,” Stairs said. It’s about storytelling, and eBay is working to attract younger customers.

Keala Gaines, Vice President of Payment Services, provided an update on Managed Payments. She said eBay was working on faster payouts of funds to sellers (previously sellers received money instantly into their PayPal accounts). She said the speed at which banks move money through the ACH network is outside eBay’s full control, but eBay was working to optimize such things as cut-off times when sending batches to the banks.

Gaines said the Managed Payments journey would be largely complete by the end of 2021, but eBay would continue to release new features and enhance the payments platform based on customer needs in 2022 and beyond.

Hazel Mitchell, Senior Director of Global Customer Service, made a bold promise to sellers: over the next few weeks, wait times for customer service will improve.

Over the last couple of months, they’ve seen some significant improvements in the average speed of answer, she said.

She also announced that eBay was about to launch an innovative service model for customer service – it allows eBay’s very best sellers to earn additional dollars by helping other eBayers be successful. “We’re going to connect expert sellers with newer sellers,” she said.

eBay is recruiting sellers who would use an app to provide customer service on their own terms, with no obligation.

eBay piloted the program in another market, Mitchell said, and some sellers there are earning up to a thousand dollars a month.

Harry Temkin, Vice President of Seller Experience, gave demos on new reports eBay has made available to sellers, and he talked about the new unified listing tool, which is still in beta testing while eBay collects seller feedback.

He reminded sellers of the importance of including Item Specifics (product attributes) in listings to ensure maximum search visibility.

Temkin also said with the new unified listing tool, eBay’s image cleanup tool would be available for desktop users (it’s currently only available in mobile).

eBay had time for one question, which was about Unpaid Items – eBay will be making some changes until it can get a handle on the feature, which it hopes to complete by the end of the year.

eBay will make the full video of Wednesday’s February Seller Check-in available on YouTube on Friday.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

6 thoughts on “eBay Seller Update: Vertical Platform Strategy, Faster Payouts”

  1. I thought that some presentations were much better than others. The “verticals” presentation appeared to lack specifics and was difficult to hear. One of the seller experience demos on researching site performance data was useful. I do not use the eBay web site to create listings, but I use it for research and, for now, sending invoices. I worry that eBay’s intention to convert the Stamps category to a “vertical” may fail to achieve good results for sellers based on experience so far with eBay’s poorly defined and nonstandard Item Specifics inconsistent with the larger stamp marketplace.

    One pleasant surprise was being able to ask questions and seeing a question about missing totals for gross amounts (sales) and fees in Managed Payments payout reporting received a response that it would be brought to the attention of developers. Currently, it is necessary to manually add sales totals and fees keep track of cash flow from payouts (to eliminate the necessity to download eBay payments transaction reports). The Managed Payments presentation conveniently glossed over early implementation problems like incomplete reporting and inconsistent API data persisting until last summer. While it is possible to download complete 2020 reporting, no mention was made of missing information in 2019 reports.

    There should be more than attractive looking but superficial reports to be a “successful” manager at eBay. Perhaps getting into the trenches with a cross section of sellers and buyers would trickle down to developers and result in a more user friendly and functional web site. Are omissions in early implementations of Managed Payments software and continuing feature gaps indicators that eBay management does not have a handle on actual user experience or any understanding of the necessity for creating a reporting system for reporting bugs or software design errors or omissions?

  2. Faster payouts is a STANDARD.
    There is no need for it to be a promise as the problems should have not been an issue in the first place.

    Why are sellers not able to withhold fee’s until they feel like paying them?
    Why can’t they collect interest on revenue that does not belong to them?

  3. From what I’m seeing from the people on the beta listing platform says its junk and takes even longer. I did get a survey from ebay yesterday about faster payments, FOR a price, 1%-2.5% to get it deposited in 2 days, my fees are already high not paying more to get it a day earlier. The only good thing I saw on the survey was asking about being interested in a ebay wallet like paypal has, especially selling fees will be taken out of payouts by end of next month. Like to be able to hold funds and not have money sent to my bank and then back out to pay fees

  4. Vertical platform strategy……what a bunch of JO’s. Real low lifes. Always sway things their way to make money. Ethical, wrong or right they dont care. That is the definition of a low life, and a psycho ( lacks any empathy),

  5. If Ebay wants to “protect their reputation” they need to take a look at Zanzea Fashions from China – there are at least 15 accounts dedicated to this business and sooo many upset customers that are bought off with measly refunds that I, as one of its victims, am disgusted with Ebay for letting them get away with…

    CHANGING standard sizing chart expectations and calling significantly smaller sizes 1x 2x 3x and so on is destructive to Ebay buyer experience.

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