|Mon Apr 13 2009 21:38:33|
Tomorrow's eBay Announcements: No Fee Change, New Dispute Process
By: Ina Steiner
eBay confirmed it would announce a new dispute process tomorrow and said there would be no changes to fees. Spokesperson Usher Lieberman said eBay would take a more active role in resolutions that would make it simpler for buyers and remove friction between buyers and sellers.
"Our goal is to stand behind the transactions on eBay no matter the payment method and make a long term investment in the customer experience and the eBay brand."
AuctionBytes has learned that, in disputes found in favor of the buyer, eBay itself may actually issue refunds without waiting for the seller to do so. This would be a radical change for the company, and something to which many sellers may strenuously object. It's not clear whether eBay will give sellers less time to respond to claims or how it will collect from the seller.
Lieberman said the company is not releasing specifics and is taking a deliberate approach to testing the new process. eBay would roll out the new dispute process in a way that makes sense for buyers and sellers, he said.
Sources say that many of the specifics to be announced tomorrow would not come as a surprise to those who follow eBay and listened to its recent presentation to analysts. There are some new features designed to make it easier for sellers, such as a new feature similar to Hosted Support's FAQs feature to help reduce buyer inquiries. (Sellers currently report far fewer customers inquiries on sites such as Amazon.com than on eBay.)
Longer-term changes appear to revolve around an easier returns process for buyers, a more robust checkout system and an expansion of its structured catalog pages where shoppers see a more Amazon-style page when shopping for items. A more consistent and detailed catalog would be especially well received by large Diamond-level merchants who list their inventory on multiple channels.
eBay is revealing its spring product release cycle tomorrow scheduled to roll out live to the site in June. Expect an Announcement Board post tomorrow morning. A Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and the changes will be discussed on Griff's radio show tomorrow and on the eBay Ink corporate blog.
Update: Here is the announcement.
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