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Fri Jan 13 2012 08:32:13

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

By: Ina Steiner

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When you get tens of millions of visitors to your website every month, you think long and hard about changes you make to the design and navigation of your website. This week readers noticed that eBay has rolled out a change to its headers.

Previously, the headers at the extreme top of the page on the right side read: My eBay, Sell, Community, Customer Support, and Cart. Now they read: Notifications, My eBay, Saved, Sell, Customer Support, Cart.

(The change may not appear to you when using certain browsers such as Google Chrome.)

Now when signed in to eBay, you can hover over "Saved" at the top of every page and see all your saved searches and sellers, making it quicker to get to items you're interested in.

But what's more interesting than what eBay has added is what it has taken away - the Community link. In fact, if you don't have eBay's two announcement boards or the discussion boards bookmarked in your browser, it's difficult to figure out how to get to them. Don't despair - they're found at the very bottom of the page.

The links are not provided on every page - but they are located on the home page and on listing pages. However, it's very difficult to find them - they are located in a large gray box at the bottom of the page in the fifth column of links.

This is only one of many changes eBay has made to de-emphasize community. While the rest of the world believes in the power of social networking, it seems eBay is making it more difficult than ever for users to connect with each other.




Comments (39) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: sparklements

Fri Jan 13 08:39:29 2012

I would wager that their budget allocated to hiring shills thru Liveworld wasn't big enough to handle the increased volume of unhappy customers posting complaints (especially in the PayPal section)...

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Jan 13 08:44:18 2012

Nothing surprises me anymore.

-- ''The links are not provided on every page ... they are located in a large gray box at the bottom of the page in the fifth column of links.''

Being subtle was never one of eBay's strong points... this ''small'' change helps to emphasize how eBay views its sellers.

Okay! Fine! Yeah, eBay! We get it, already! Thanks!

For many years, I was a loyal member of the eBay COMMUNITY, but I just can't bring myself to devote as much time and effort to being an unappreciated and unrewarded COG in the eBay MACHINE.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Jan 13 08:52:39 2012

Well - it should cut down on the number of "monitors" needed on the discussion boards.

And cut down any possibility of having buyer/seller relationships.

Apparently the Soviet model of controlling communication is flourishing in the "Cradle of Democracy"

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Jan 13 09:13:24 2012

Al G observes: ''Well - it should cut down on the number of ''monitors'' needed on the discussion boards.''

I think you're on to something, Al. Knowing eBay as we do, the cynical part of me suspects that this change is intentional. By de-emphasizing community and communication, over time the negative effects will be used to justify a complete removal of those aspects of eBay.

They ''subtly'' create a situation that discourages use of those features and communication channels. Over time, as those channels fall into disuse (their goal) then they'll come in and announce that ''because sellers are no longer 'interested' in these channels of communication, we have decided to eliminate them entirely''.

eBay wants what it wants and nothing will stop it from doing what it wants. They want to avoid the outcry and protests that would obviously occur if they suddenly flipped-a-switch and turned it off. So instead, they've taken the approach that makes it difficult for long-time eBay sellers to use, and that effectively hides it from new eBay sellers.

At some point, the usage will fall below a certain percentage, and it will disappear (or morph into something entirely unrecognizable and nonfunctional).

They're simply looking for a way to ''justify'' their actions... to blame it on the ''disinterest'' of sellers, rather than OWNING it for themselves.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: anyone out there yet

Fri Jan 13 09:33:35 2012

Most of the chat boards in discussion were useless anyway. Time after time you would get the same questions or someone wanting to discuss their warts.

Then there are the people ( BULLIES )who think that they know all the answers and are usually wrong.

Hopefully the next step Fleecebay takes is to get rid of it all.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Fri Jan 13 09:38:39 2012

I noticed the links on the top no longer have drop-downs. I also noticed the font in the item titles and also my item descriptions has been changing from normal to very small(tough to read) off & on this week. Same old eBay B.S. with their ridiculous changes....

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: AB Reader

Fri Jan 13 09:54:00 2012

Hopefully people will get smarter than their smart phones and find some answers on their own.

Otherwise, people keep asking the same questions over and over again. Some examples- How do I sign up for eBay Bucks? I listed items at 2AM ET, why I didn't get promo pricing.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: Kabbage Sean
Web Site

Fri Jan 13 09:54:48 2012

eBay can shut down the paths of communication all they want. Thankfully there are FB and LinkedIn groups that allow for very active communities. I'd rather comment and discuss on a third party forum anyways, there are far more constructive comments on those.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 13 09:58:09 2012

Ebay made the changes because of the tongue lashing it is receiving from their customers you the sellers who are ebay's customers and who pay ebay the fees. Ebay's customers are dissatisfied with ebay's serviver and ebay does not its customers to tell the world about their their policy of clubbing smal, medium sellers on their way to change the site into a parking site for the huge brick and mortar retailers. If you haven't noticed all the major sites who review venues like on ebay on thier customer service use the buyer on ebay as ebay customers to rate ebay's performance, not the sellers reviews. Ebay has a tremendous amount of transactions but the buers are not their customers, even the BBB does this. If they were rated by the sellers like they should be on those sites we would see a horrible rating. All sellers should contact these reviewers and the BBB in San Jose and tell them that we the sellers are the customers not the buyers , the buyers are the sellers customers. Is that not why ebay has a TRS system that allows the buyers to rate the sellers? So why is ebay referring and the reviewrs referring to the buyers as their customers. This would make the TRS system invalid since they think the buyers are their customers. It is all confusing, but ebay is not, we all are well aware that this company is dishonest and managed poorly by stock market thugs.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: Bob@eBay12K

Fri Jan 13 11:47:53 2012

eBay's users are no longer a 'community'.

They are a commodity.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: Digmen1
Web Site

Fri Jan 13 12:17:36 2012

I don't think they will get rid of the Community altogether as they provide a lot of support for members which saves ebay having to answer them

But yes there is a lot of anti ebay feeling on the boards and deservedly so.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: Marvin

Fri Jan 13 12:32:37 2012

This does not come as any surprise. I've been saying for several years that I've never seen a company work so hard to destroy the community that built it.

This is just another example.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: NotHimAgain

Fri Jan 13 12:37:54 2012

Well let's see if this one will post.

Ecommercebytes (nee Auctionbytes) has long wished/hoped that posters would go on record with their comments. That is, something tangible is given to/on this sight to give greater weight to a post.

Well, I guess this is as good as time as any to say that I am user RDCOMICS on eBay.

The reason for revealing my id on this particular thread and not some other ECB thread is because this post had me going back and checking my posted subject matters on eBay.com's forum board.

To my surprise (NOT!), I find that eBay has removed ALL of my original poster threads when I was able to post over there from Sept/2009 to Feb/2010. When this exactly occurred is unknown to me as they were there last time I did a check (think it was last summer).

As many of my posts dealt with my problems with eBay and the legality of some of their changes, it is nice to know that they think my posts are damaging enough for them if someone would want to sue the company (as I am doing with two small claims cases) or wanting to start or join a bigger lawsuit (as I will be doing as they have a listing block on my account) for account mismanagement and dealing in bad faith.

So while the posts were removed on their site, the titles I used still show on Google.

Just Google...rdcomics the magic of ebay as an example of what I mean.

At this point I do not know if they removed my posts from threads that I was not the original poster, but they also did some editing on the Ask Griff posts and many of my posts and his bad faith responses have been removed.

Ah well, wonder if this censorship issue can be used in a large lawsuit as to showing the bad faith machinations of a defendant?

Gotta go.

Rick

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: Ebay Selling Tips
Web Site

Fri Jan 13 12:39:48 2012

I really never thought of ebay as community. Mostly ebay just used the forums as a way of avoiding customer service. Instead of calling customer service you could post your question to a forum. Doesn't really surprise me at all.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: OhForPetesSake

Fri Jan 13 14:05:33 2012

@ rick

Did you ever think that maybe your posts were just delete like a lot of other stuff fleecebay deletes and then denys.

I doubt that ebay is afraid of your lawsuit or what you have to say.

The whole story is probably not being told here.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: He's the 1%

Fri Jan 13 15:41:19 2012

Donahoe's continues to do all he can to destroy the community that made eBay what it is.

Donahoe is the richest 1% that you hear about on the news.  The 1% that does not give a rats back end about anyone who is not the 1%.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: erik
Web Site

Fri Jan 13 15:45:34 2012

many of the programs they have put in place over the last 2 years have emphasized buyers happiness. Unfortunately the seller who pays fees is now seen as a second class citizen on ebay. The attitude is there are no bad buyers just bad sellers. Look at how messed up the dsr system works.

You get below 4.4 / 5.0 and you will lose your selling rights. 4.4 on a percentage scale is an A-, where other than ebayland is an A- grounds for dismissal.

It seems they are working hard with overseas sellers to make it so ebay will be inundated with sellers from China / Hong Kong. Maybe this is there idea of a great marketplace but the sellers need some protections too.

The newbies sellers are being hung out to dry by saavy buyers who know how to work the system.

It will never be like it was when I started in 1998 but lets try and make it an even playing field again.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: WARNING

Fri Jan 13 18:31:53 2012

Well, Ebay has more problems coming. The large group of dissatisfied sellers have taught organized crime how to scam on Ebay. The news stories of ''buy or Sell on Ebay and you will be exposed to organized crime'' are already in the works.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: Dona's hoe

Fri Jan 13 19:11:07 2012

If Ebay does succeed in getting rid of "public outcry" I hope they are prepared for the public outcry to show up at their front door.

These people depend on the anonymity of the net to do their dirty deeds, then hide from protesters, maybe it time for a little "hands on" relationship between Ebay and it's sellers.

eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community   eBay Changes Header Design to De-emphasize Community

by: LJ

Fri Jan 13 20:24:21 2012

Ina when are you going to start some sort of ''UNION'' company to tackle the ebay problem?  You could charge $5-20/year or whatever to fight for us.  You know, some sort of company that forces ebay to behave and stop the abuse.  One email telling thousands of ebay users not to post certain day, or for a week until they get rid of their stupid policies will be great.  You'd make millions.

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