Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue July 11 2017 14:47:08

eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay continues to make changes that impact users outside of the two major seller updates announced already this year, and unfortunately it's leaving users in the dark. eBay finally addressed some of these changes in a blog post published by Bob Kupbens, head of Seller Experience (pictured), on Tuesday.

While acknowledging sellers need time to adapt to impactful changes, Kupbens provided a reason for making changes outside of the Spring and Summer Seller Updates: "continuous innovation." 

While that may explain the "small-scale tests" eBay undertakes to "evaluate new platform capabilities," it doesn't explain why eBay didn't tell sellers about the changes once they had grown into larger-scale tests or permanent policies:

"As your partner at eBay, we aim to consolidate impactful changes that may require action on your part into seasonal seller updates so you have time to adapt - our spring and summer updates are examples.
 
"At the same time, we are a company of continuous innovation, and we regularly evaluate new platform capabilities. These typically start with small-scale tests, and when we see positive results that benefit buyers and sellers, we want to bring these new features to the broader ecosystem right away."

The lack of communication extends to eBay's own customer service reps. That makes things confusing for sellers (and in some cases, buyers) when they encounter a test or change in policy and contact the company for clarification, but are unable to receive clear answers.

Kupbens' post comes 3 days after we blogged about the most recent concern we heard from eBay users: Immediate Payment Required is no longer optional if listings meet certain conditions - it had always been an optional requirement. (Kupbens said it was a test eBay was running.)

The EcommerceBytes blog post, titled "eBay Furtively Changes Payments Policy," may have conveyed to eBay management the way such changes come across to sellers. Having to adjust to a major change to payments policy is difficult enough, but deducing it after hearing reports from buyers rather than hearing it from eBay itself is frustrating - and that's just one example.

Sellers who want more information about changes taking place on eBay should read the post. For example, Kupbens addressed the change to Best Offer, which we recently blogged about, and he updated sellers about Promoted Listing Ads and Product Reviews. 

There were several issues Kupbens did not address that were described in the following EcommerceBytes Blog posts:

"eBay Hides Item Descriptions from Shoppers" (link to blog post) - Shoppers viewing a listing must now often click on a link in order to read the seller's description.

"eBay Hampers Sales Due to Messaging Crackdown" (link to blog post) - Sellers are dealing with the fallout from a crackdown on messages sent through the eBay messaging system.

Kubpens did allude to the latter crackdown: "Also starting this month for the small group of sellers who repeatedly violate important eBay policies like completing transactions outside of eBay checkout, their active listings will be suppressed from search and browse results in line with selling restrictions." But he provided no answers to the questions raised by sellers who say they are being warned or even suspended without cause.

Be sure to pay close attention to the other parts of his post under the section, "We've also taken a few steps recently to benefit the marketplace," and let us know what you think.

Comments (52) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 12 13:21:50 2017

Let's play a game, Bob.  Yes, I know you're somewhat busy playing your own, but this will only take a minute.

Its's called the trading game.  It's very old, but very simple.  The object is to complete trades for as long as you can, which makes you, by default, an automatic winner.  The game ends when trading stops.

First, you'll need a partner.  A trading partner.  You claim to know what that is.  We'll see.

Close one hand into a fist.  Open the other palm up.  Have your partner do the same.

To make a trade, simply either take with your free hand from your partner's closed fist, closing your fist now, while they open theirs.  Or you can also give from your closed hand into their open, which then closes while yours opens.  You must act twice, once with each hand.  Then it's your partner's turn to act, and so on.  Doesn't matter who goes first.

Get it?  Go.

Uh, oh.  Did you find that when you've given it all (both hands open), there's nothing left to trade?  Or perhaps, in your case, with two closed fists full if it, nothing left to take?  Thus, trading stops.  Game over.  Partnershi dissolved.  Everybody loses.

As always, thank you for playing.







Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Jul 12 14:25:36 2017

A partner enables a seller.

A partner does not hide a seller.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jul 12 17:26:20 2017

To add to what Rexford stated, one partner does not hinder the growth of the other partner since success for one is success for both.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 12 22:03:29 2017

Pierre started eBay as an auction site. Unfortunately he did not actually start it as a real type auction. More unfortunately eBay caught hold even tho not a real auction site.

eBay got traction and unfortunately again, a couple of sites that actually understood how auctions were supposed to work were too late and did not get traction.

In the mean time eBay thrived and Pierre thrived, but was, and admitted, not suited to run a large company and bought Meg on board.

Things went along OK on the surface even as she (Meg) said a monkey or some such could run the company, but began in big time bringing in the commodity sellers of Chinese junk.

Anyway she brought in John (the ultimate destroyer of companies) and moved on to a failed political campaign and is now the CEO or something of a company that should have been smarter than to hire her.

Meanwhile John did his damnest to destroy all small sellers on eBay (and largely succeeded) while collecting large unearned millions and now on spin off Pay Pal doing much the same.

He was replaced by ''what's his name'' and his highly educated and dumb peons and the march goes on.

God help us all if we are hoping to earn a buck for survival on eBay!  

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: cash4clothesbozeman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 00:19:58 2017

Today is the first day since 2008 that I sold Zero items.  I have 11500 item listed.  I cant even get a straight answer of how many hits I am getting.  Regards  Bruce Wendt

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 00:40:22 2017

I hear a lot of frustrated people out here but honestly if they came out straight with what they're doing I don't think people would be any happier. They would be just as unhappy but in a different way. You can never please all the sellers or all the buyers. People want it their way and no one even in the best company in the world can give that to all the people on a giant site like this. Amazon is just as bad but in a different way. Every site has it's problems. And I am not an eBay cheerleader, just a realist.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: Ichabod This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 01:24:31 2017

If ebay is a "company of continuous innovation", why don't they innovate a way to take a much smaller cut of our sales and still give us the same lackluster service.

If they could innovate the truth, that would be nice and if they could innovate a way not to continuously pick our pocket, sellers might not be so tempted to do deals outside of ebay.

They are not my partner. They are a vehicle through which I can reach, theoretically, a larger audience than I could on my own. A partner doesn't dump on his/her partner.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 01:51:52 2017

eBay was never my partner.  Tell me what to do with my own business, give corrupt individuals cart blanche to screw me over, charge me fees on postage.  I closed my ebay store 4 months ago.  They sent me a questionare asking why.  I told them, then I told them it was a shame I would never get that 20 minutes back I wasted.  Now they send me 3-5 spam emails a day trying to get me to come back.  No way in hell.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Jul 13 02:27:50 2017

eBay—the partner who gave you STDs.  

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 05:24:50 2017

I expect with all these changes that the fees will shoot up.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Jono

Thu Jul 13 05:27:37 2017

I posted on Bob's blog but it was immediately removed. Lasted about 4 mins before they removed it. I can only assume they did not like my analogy or my reference to shareholders.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Jul 13 06:34:14 2017

Jester says "People want it their way....."

No, we just want the company that we are paying fees to every month to show our items in search. Is that too much to ask for? When a company has a user agreement that states that they will sometimes hide you in search there is no doubt in my mind that this is going on.  Most long term sellers know when their items are actually being seen in search, because during those times they actually get sales.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 06:42:59 2017

''My gut seized up with momentary rage when I saw Kupbens describe eBay as my ''partner'' in selling. No Mr. Kupbens,''...''

He probably adapted the same type of language as Merkel who now calls US a ''partner'' not a friend.

I sell on ebay since 1998, they are my 'adversary partner' at best

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 06:46:53 2017

..also, I really don't like a guy with a false smile and crossed arms trying to pretend that he is just a guy like you and me while quite opposite is true.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jul 13 07:08:56 2017

More bull from ebay.  I think they like to keep the sellers confused it makes us look like the idiots and not them.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 07:14:14 2017

He's taking a page out of Etsy's playbook. Chad Dickerson allowed his developers to do experiments on a live site without informing sellers. I'll never forget when they hid the Paypal button...

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 07:29:12 2017

How desperate are we the people.  Still supporting a monstrosity like Ebay because we are desperate for money.  Until we have a government that protects the people from companies like Ebay and Amazon and Goolge, we will be prisoners of the Oligarchy.  At least Europe is doing something to protect its people.  All these insidious actions are illegal and are driving the country to poverty.  The Federal Trade Commission needs to be empowered to deal with these abuses...

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: Rural artist

Thu Jul 13 08:04:56 2017

Nice to see different commentators which eBay can get a feel of their partnership with sellers. I just wonder what are the Real negotiated shipping prices with the post office and what sellers pay to Ebay? Hmm?

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Thu Jul 13 08:32:01 2017

Understand they will make changes. That is inevitable (but not always necessary). To not communicate them is just running a very poor business.

Essentially they don't tell so they can live test beta versions. We are the guinea pigs. No other business operates this way.

Perminate Link for eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes   eBay Comes Clean about Recent Changes

by: ySirTinLee This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 13 08:51:02 2017

Too bad sellers couldn't get together to boycott eBay in some way, maybe like Not adding new listings for a day.  Nothing big, just enough to show displeasure or a simple counter measure for the "partner" that just seems to forget.

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