Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of
Tue Sept 17 2019 22:59:37

A Reminder that Search May Be Slanted Against You

By: Ina Steiner

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The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about Amazon's search algorithm, and in doing so, it exposed one of the problems sellers struggle with when it comes to search engines: secrecy.

In the old days, when a shopper searched for a particular item, ecommerce sites would bring back listings that were most relevant to the search term. But over time, they began taking many other factors into account. Take for example eBay's help page on its Best Match search algorithm, which it calls "the formula eBay uses to sort listings" when sorting search results.

Factors include the following:

- How closely the listing ... Read More

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Thu Sept 12 2019 17:12:38

eBay Screws Up Notice of Mandatory Payments Enrollment

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay screwed up an important notice about Managed Payments, giving sellers another reason to be leery of eBay's decision to inject itself into the payment process on its marketplace.

eBay sent an email notice to many sellers this week informing them they are required to register for Managed Payments by October 22nd - otherwise they won't be able to create new listings. But the subject line of the email notification read: "Count on BIG sales with these items," which was also the title of a marketing email some users received, according to sellers.

In addition, many sellers reported receiving ... Read More

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Wed Sept 11 2019 00:22:08

eBay Bares All to Dismay of Customers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is investigating how its icon in Microsoft's Outlook mobile app was switched from its logo to a nude pic. The Register broke the story on Friday.

According to a report in the BBC, the image appeared at the top of eBay UK messages containing receipts, notifications and status reports.

The Daily Mail said the incident caused hacking fears. "Users of eBay were left wondering whether or not the site has been hacked after the online auctioneer's logo was replaced with a picture of a naked woman."

It also shared the reaction of eBay customers who were exposed to the graphic. "It is ... Read More

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Mon Sept 9 2019 21:00:11

eBay Quizzes Users on Shopping Features

By: Ina Steiner


eBay has a number of features designed to help shoppers, and it's running a poll on social media to test users' knowledge. The poll asked users:

"Test your #ebaytech knowledge: Which of the following tools notifies buyers about new inventory or price changes on eBay? Check back tomorrow to find out the answer!"

It offered four features from which to choose:

Visual Shopping
Recently Viewed
Save and Watch

Do you know how to sign up to receive notices about new items or price changes on existing items in which you're interested? Are you familiar with the four features above? Any thoughts on other features useful to shoppers?

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Sun Sept 8 2019 13:16:03

eBay Ad Sparks Backlash over Treatment of Retailers

By: Ina Steiner


eBay is facing backlash over how it treats retailers in a new ad. The "When You're Over Overpaying" ad features shoppers comparing the price tags of items in stores to prices on eBay. The actors display incredulity that the in-store prices are so much higher than eBay prices and launch into laughing fits that some say are at the expense of small-business owners and retail workers.

A publication called InsideHook wrote a scathing review of the ad. "In trying to compete with Amazon, eBay has exposed the mission of both companies as being explicitly against the local businesses in your community," ... Read More

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