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Wed July 14 2010 11:37:31

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay will conduct a test of a shopping cart in the UK that allows buyers to purchase multiple items from multiple sellers, making it eBay's third attempt at a shopping cart. Little information was revealed in the announcement, which was tucked inside the Seller Release 3 changes announced in the UK on Wednesday.

The shopping cart is eBay's Holy Grail, and it has been trying to launch it for years with no success. In 2006, eBay launched a separate marketplace called "eBay Express," which allowed shoppers to buy multiple fixed-priced items from multiple sellers. eBay was ambivalent about the site - it did little to promote it, resulting in low traffic to the site. The shopping cart on eBay Express was extremely limited, only allowing buyers to order from no more than 5 different sellers.

When eBay shut down eBay Express in the UK in January 2008, it said, "Many of the innovations pioneered on eBay Express have been integrated into the main site, helping us to bring in more buyers and to provide them with a better experience, for example in search, checkout and seller standards." It closed eBay Express in the U.S. in August of 2008 with little fanfare.

In 2007, eBay again tested a shopping cart, called "Next Generation Checkout," on its UK marketplace that featured the ability to pay for all PayPal items from multiple sellers with one payment, though like eBay Express, it was limited to a set number of sellers within a single session. But while it was supposed to roll out globally by the end of that year, Next Gen Checkout was never launched and simply faded away.

Three years later, it's trying its hand at a shopping cart again. eBay said it would test a new shopping basket on its UK site that would support both fixed price and auction-style listings from all eBay sellers in a single site-wide shopping basket experience. "For fixed price listings, a new "add to basket" button will replace "Buy It Now" on the item page, and buyers will have to checkout and pay for the item in order to purchase it. Until the payment is made, the item can be purchased by another buyer. This should help reduce instances of unpaid items."

No other information was made available, and eBay UK said it would announce the "beta opt in test" on its General Announcements page.

David had tested eBay's first shopping cart in eBay Express in 2006, and the article helps to understand its limitations from a buyer's point of view.

Only certain sellers will be able to opt-in to the coming eBay UK shopping cart test. (*SEE UPDATE BELOW.) That means buyers trying to purchase from multiple sellers could likely be confused and frustrated if they can only add some items to their cart and not others - a big challenge for eBay to overcome.

Mark Mahaney of Citi Group issued a report this month showing eBay's troubling traffic trends - he expects Amazon traffic to grow 21% year over year in Q2 and expects eBay's traffic to drop 2% year over year. Even if eBay achieves a shopping cart that equals that of Amazon.com and independent retail websites - which is a big question - will it be enough to revive eBay?

UPDATE 7/14/10: In announcing its tests on Wednesday, eBay UK wrote, "Sellers may participate in these tests either by invitation or by opting in to beta versions." However, eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff wrote to me today to explain that the shopping basket test would be on the buyer side, so buyers in the test group would be able to use the cart with any seller. She said more information on the UK test would be announced soon.




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: Nurse Nellie

Wed Jul 14 11:53:00 2010

INA ASKS: ''...will it be enough to revive eBay?''

No! eBay has a terminal end-stage disease. Buyers and Sellers agree: DNR!

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: I Need New Glasses

Wed Jul 14 11:56:17 2010

HA! ~~ LOL@ME!! ~~ I need new glasses.

Imagine my shock when I read that CitiGroup issued a report showing eBays ''doubling'' traffic trends!

HUH?? That can't be right! ~~ Indeed, my bifocals weren't bifocaling perfectly, and a closer examination showed that I had simply misread the word.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Jul 14 12:23:12 2010

''Will it be enough to revive eBay?''

Will it solve worst match, fraud, PreyPal holds, excessive control and fees? Does the shopping cart prevent bid shilling?

eBay is a rancid cesspool of lies and deceit.

I wouldn't shop there if Griff filled the cart and JD paid the bill.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: Rich

Wed Jul 14 13:57:53 2010

Can someone explain why a shopping cart matters? With sky high fees, bad feedback policies and all the other bad parts of selling; why does a shopping cart matter?  If someone is buying an item on Ebay, they have to click on description and then make the purchase.  And do the same for each purchase.  When done they have an invoice.  Why do some members complain about the lack of a shopping cart?  Why does a shopping cart matter?

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

This user has validated their user name. by: Stockmiser

Wed Jul 14 14:13:05 2010

@Rich
Because many fixed price sellers want ebay to work like every other fixed price site in the world.  In ebay terms, it's "immediate payment" for multiple items.  The seller isn't charged a fee until payment is made - and there is no such thing as a non-paying buyer.  Like Amazon and every other fixed price retail site on the internet.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: another side of the coin

Wed Jul 14 15:53:41 2010

Talk about putting the cart before the horse!

eBay's site is more than likely beyond repair. On top of that eBay NEVER advertises anymore to bring buyers to the site. They are relying on word of mouth which is now pretty much bad word of mouth. Why would buyers want to come to a site where eBay goes on and on about all it's awful sellers? Where sellers are belittled, graded and punished by ''I love all my children Donahoe''?

What we have here is an attempt at a shopping cart being pulled by a dead horse.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: Digby
Web Site

Wed Jul 14 17:00:45 2010

Its probably a good idea.
But I don't see it as being earth shattering or bringing in more buyers.
People know when they shop on ebay, that they are buying from individual sellers, not ebay.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: ebay seller

Wed Jul 14 18:37:50 2010

It would make a big difference .I get complaints all the time from buyers about ebays current checkout process.This is especially true of the many buyers who do not or don't want to use paypal and want to pay with a credit card .The more streamlined the process is the less chance a buyer will change there mind especially if it is a impulse purchase.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: honeybunch

Wed Jul 14 19:34:04 2010

I don't just think it's a good idea to have a shopping cart, I think it's a must.  If a buyer wants to buy three shirts from me using Buy It Now and has to go through checkout three times to do it, he's going to get seriously annoyed.

I consider myself lucky if buyers contact me instead of just leaving to shop on another site.  At least then I can put all of their items into a single listing for their convenience (but what a hassle that is!) and I still make the sale.

I consider myself *extraordinarily* lucky if buyers simply go ahead and do the multiple transactions.

And I consider it a bloody miracle if I ever see any of those buyers in my store again.

Yep, I have definitely lost sales due to lack of a shopping cart.

Looking at it from a buyer's perspective, well, imagine going to Target and having to purchase every item in a separate transaction.  Would you bother?  I know I wouldn't.  I'd head to a store that had those new-fangled, four-wheeled contraptions that hold all your stuff, along with those fancy cash-register/scanner thingys that can ring up all of your items at once.

To me, this is one of the few good changes that eBay is working on.  Not that I think the Glitchmeisters at eBay can pull it off.  Such programming is probably well beyond their capability.

I shudder to think of the items put into shopping carts, paid for, and then not shipped because the listings weren't marked as sold, or the seller notifications/invoices were incorrect.

I can imagine buyers adding items to their carts, only to see them randomly disappear from the cart with the next item added.

I can see carts being sent through checkout but transmitted to PayPal incorrectly, so the quantities/totals are wrong.

I can even imagine eBay mixing up one buyer's cart with another buyer's cart, both buyers being charged incorrectly, the sellers shipping items to the wrong addresses, and the gigantic returns/feedback mess that would result.

Yeah, I think a shopping cart is a fantastic idea.  I just don't have any confidence that the Incompetents at eBay can pull it off.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: LastGirl

Wed Jul 14 19:47:47 2010

“and has to go through checkout three times to do it,”

Unless your check out is set up differently, all purchases from the same buyer can be easily combined on one invoice therefore the buyer makes only one payment without checking out three different times.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: honeybunch

Wed Jul 14 19:51:17 2010

"Unless your check out is set up differently, all purchases from the same buyer can be easily combined on one invoice therefore the buyer makes only one payment without checking out three different times."


Not if they're buying from my different stores, they can't.  Like many other sellers, I have several selling IDs and make a point in my listings of noting that I will combine shipping from ALL of my stores.  I would definitely benefit from a shopping cart.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: good idea but

Wed Jul 14 20:14:13 2010

A shopping cart would be great thing if anyone was still shopping on ebay

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: RicRoe

Wed Jul 14 21:03:54 2010

A shopping cart at this stage of eBay's decline is like putting whipped cream on top of dog turds. ( sorry for the graphic metaphor)


Talk about ironic..... eBay will finally attempt to implement a system to permit buyers to complete payments for multiple items at the exact same time their system and policy changes make it barely possible to find and purchase a single item in the morass eBay has become.

Start with the garbage results returned by Best Match, and finish with a marketplace full of Diamond Sellers whom eBay allows to continue selling despite the fact that Diamond's combine to disappoint tens of thousands of buyers a year.

What is in between are the never ending system glitches which make the experience of dealing with eBay a nightmare on the best of days for buyers and sellers alike.

eBay is becoming a relic because management fails to accept the facts.

Fact: The Diamond sellers Donahoe worships give tens of thousands of buyers a poor experience every year.  Despite being responsible for voluminous numbers of unsatisfactory transactions which alienate buyers, Donahoe gives them free listings, the highest elevation in manipulated search, and there are no consequences.

Fact: Buyers can not find what they want because eBay's method of search manipulation called Best Match produces the least relevant search results of any ecommerce platform.

Fact: The stores in core inventory dump on top of Best Match degrades search quality making results returned even less relevant.

Fact: The perpetual increases in eBay fees drive prices higher. The value proposition eBay once offered buyers has evaporated because eBay decided they want a bigger chunk of transactions which sellers must include in their pricing.

Fact: Traffic on eBay is steadily declining.

Fact: Sellers receive little or no value as traffic declines and Best Match renders listings all but invisible.

Bottom line, eBay no longer represents a value to either buyers or to sellers.

Putting a shopping cart in place at this stage of the game is laughable, and further illustrates the level of incompetence that thrives among the ranks of eBay management.

Eliminate Best Match, lower fees in recognition that sellers are not receiving the visibility or traffic they pay for, fix the incredible number of glitches that are system wide, reign in the ability of Diamond Sellers to generate high volume of unsatisfactory transactions, and then try to find new buyers that have not been alienated by the destruction of the last three years under Donahoe.

Accomplish that before the roof caves in and there is a chance that a shopping cart might be relevant and necessary.



Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: taobaostop
Web Site

Wed Jul 14 21:59:09 2010

Seems that earn money in Ebay is not that easier as before..

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: another side of the coin

Wed Jul 14 23:55:57 2010

What we have here is an attempt at a shopping cart being pulled by a dead horse.

Maybe I should state after RicRoe's spot on remarks .. a dead horse (eBay) pulled by a shopping cart.

eBay is trying to ''innovate'' (what we call keeping up with the times) but won't spend the money to do it. JD and Co. want the money in their own pockets. Why is it that years have gone by without a shopping cart, advertising, outdated servers, layoffs and outsourcing? Sellers are paying fees for invisibility. Sure eBay may tack on a shopping cart now just to look good for a buyout. Kind of like throwing some paint on your house so it will sell faster.

Don't forget eBay is having a shopping cart for both fixed price and auctions, so there should be all the expected glitches that eBay fails to address or just adds a quick ''half-a@@'' fix.  

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Thu Jul 15 00:34:06 2010

Gee, a shopping cart. Wot will they think of next?

The eBay whale has been well and truly beached now for nigh on four months, has died, and is now stinking. Unless you are somewhat mentally unbalanced, one can only stand and watch and smell the horrible aftermath of this sad, self-inflicted event for so long.

Even I have gotten tired of watching this arrogant fool Donahoe as he has most stupidly, cruelly and inhumanely, slowly slaughtered this probably the most commercially successful golden-egg laying goose of modern times.

One can only presume that the headless turkeys running eBay harbor great resentment towards such gifted geese …

Whatever is the grand plan that this incompetent, unscrupulous sociopath thinks he has for the eBay “brand”, clearly there is no long-term place in it for all those “small” merchants who made eBay the success that it used to be, nor apparently for all the buyers who wanted to buy what those sellers had to offer.

Maybe it is I who am naïve but this fool’s strategy—whatever it actually is—for “turning this business around” does not make sense—unless it’s about continuing to go around and around in ever-diminishing circles, at ever-increasing speed, until ——! And we all know how that little story ends.

Of course, this Chief Headless Turkey will fail; the only question is, at the end of his catastrophically destructive reign, will the next monkey (with a brain, if they can find one therewith) be able to put eBay back together again. The BoD seem not to be interested in the current disastrous state of affairs, and the stockholders are rightly downgrading the value of the company. eBay stock may well even be a good buy when it gets to $5. Of course, that is all it will be worth by then.

Still, it will be interesting to hear how the Chief Headless Turkey spins the ongoing disastrous consequences of the April Fools Day Massacre at the new data center, when he presents what will undoubtedly be another “creative” reporting on the 21st next.

In the meantime, for anyone seriously interested in the utter incompetence and deviousness of eBay’s executive management generally, and in particular eBay’s deliberate and demonstrable criminal facilitation of the rampant shill bidding fraud being perpetrated on unsuspecting buyers, by a great many unscrupulous professional sellers, on nominal-start auctions, an introduction thereto (along with some PayPal horror stories thrown in for good measure) can be found at

http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877
>And,
of course, the real question still remains, just how much more time is eBay’s BoD going to give this turkey to “turn eBay around”: to resuscitate the whale and drag it back into the water—given that it is this headless turkey’s negligent helmsmanship that has caused the beaching in the first place.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: sickandtired

Thu Jul 15 09:33:04 2010

I for one as a seller of antiques and collectables both as auction listings and fixed price in my store DO NOT WANT any part of a shopping cart on ebay.

Aside from my certainty that ebay would screw it up anyway, there is no way in hell that I want my items lumped in with other seller's stuff in what the customer will perceive as ''ONE ORDER''.

As sellers we are already dealing with buyers who don't always read descriptions concerning shipping times and other important details. Scenario - US buyer gets a postcard from the next state over - it arrives in the mail in a couple of days. Also buys a little booklet that is mailed from the UK but is mailed air so it arrives in about a week. In the same cart order is a small parcel rate item from me in Canada that can take up to 3 weeks if it is going to the western US. Perception is that my shipping is slow and expensive.....and my stars are going to take the hit!

What will happen when a buyer is not happy with one or more items in a cart full of items......again, I'm afraid of the perception of it being one order. I think if the buyer is really upset, everyone may suffer.

Ebay needs a ''shopping cart like every other retailer on the net'' is a false statement. Ebay is NOT a retailer. It is a venue where individual buyers and sellers can interact.

It is my firmly held conviction that ebay sabotaged its own success by trying to be what it is not. Instead of celebrating what was unique, exciting and fun about ebay, management starting with Meg, decided to try to turn the site into a ''new goods'' retail hub. Ebay is not Amazon, Walmart, Sears, Home Depot, Future Shop etc.

Instead of building on the initial success, encouraging small sellers, investing in the site and promoting what was unique about ebay, they put the blinders on and have been on a single minded pursuit of becoming a new goods retail hub.

Ebay might have saved itself if it had split the site several years ago(as it did when it spun off ebay motors) as a large number of sellers were promoting - one area for new, fixed price and another for the used, antiques, collectables and weird and oddities.

I know for sure that when a problem child buyer who loves the crystal candlesticks I shipped but is in a foaming at the mouth rant with another seller whose pink sweater was not pink enough, or a seller who didn't ship because the dropshipper was out of stock, my stars are going to get bombed.

I really hope that ebay never manages to get a shopping cart that will even function on a minimal level. I'm an independent seller and want control of MY transactions from beginning to end.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: kw

Thu Jul 15 11:03:34 2010

First, don't assume an ebay shopping cart will work any better than the first two attempts.  Second, even if it works there will be constant glitches like the rest of the site.  And finally, I doubt it will ever be made available to all sellers because ebay is running everyone's business and will be selective.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: honeybunch

Thu Jul 15 11:13:11 2010

"What will happen when a buyer is not happy with one or more items in a cart full of items......again, I'm afraid of the perception of it being one order. I think if the buyer is really upset, everyone may suffer.
[...]
I know for sure that when a problem child buyer who loves the crystal candlesticks I shipped but is in a foaming at the mouth rant with another seller whose pink sweater was not pink enough, or a seller who didn't ship because the dropshipper was out of stock, my stars are going to get bombed."

I'm not too worried about this.  The packages very likely won't be arriving together, so the pink sweater isn't all that likely to be automatically associated with the candlesticks.  For example, When I buy from multiple sellers on Amazon, the packages usually arrive on different days.  If I'm unhappy with an item, the sellers of the other items don't even cross my mind at that point, because I'm completely focused on contacting the seller of the bad item and working things out with him.

That said, eBay *does* make it too easy to leave multiple bad feedbacks in batches, which is something Amazon doesn't do.  I think an eBay buyer in a bad mood is more likely to ding innocent bystanders than an Amazon buyer is.  For me personally, though, the risk of that happening would be more than offset by the multiple sales to be made with a shopping cart in place.

Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart   Try, Try again - eBay UK Tests Shopping Cart

by: Margaret

Thu Jul 15 12:45:37 2010

Good luck with your shopping cart Amazon-wanna-be-Ebay.  You're gonna need it.  Ebay is good for one thing now:  finding bargains to sell on other venues.  

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